Cusco and Machu Picchu

Old Feb 12th, 2016, 12:41 PM
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Cusco and Machu Picchu

Hi there!

My husband and I are traveling to Peru in May, and we are beyond excited for this trip! We have already planned on spending four days in Lima and four in Cusco. We typically don't use tour groups when we travel, and plan to see Lima on our own, but I've been doing some reading, and keep seeing that it is advisable to sign up with a group for Machu Picchu (if not Cusco and MP), as it is difficult to get tickets to see MP and other sites on short notice. Is that true? This may be an ignorant question, but is there a way to buy tickets for MP online somewhere?

Having looked at some of the tour packages, they seem on the pricey side, and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to how to do this the best way. We would definitely not want to go all the way there and not got to MP because we couldn't get tickets

Any other tips/recommendations are welcome too!

Thanks a lot, in advance!!
chictraveler is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2016, 04:46 PM
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What do you mean by "short notice"? Right now, most days in May have >2,000 tickets left for Machu Picchu. When can you decide on your dates?

The place is to buy your tickets online is at the official site, which is the first link that comes up if you Google "Machu Picchu Tickets".

http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe
rkkwan is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2016, 11:06 PM
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It is very easy to organise yourself with a little effort. Absolutely no need for a tour operator unless you want to do the hike to MP ( or want to throw money away!)

Buying the tickets for Machu Picchu is but one part of the process. You also need to get there.

Apart from hiking, the only way is by train. Easy to book tickets online @

https://www.perurail.com

I would be inclined to book both the train and MP entrance tickets sooner rather than later for May especially if you are tied to specific dates. Do take into account the effects of altitude
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Old Feb 19th, 2016, 11:59 AM
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As indicated above, easy to do it yourself. I concur with Ramiro on adding a day around Cusco. You can easily see the best of Lima in three days.
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Old Feb 19th, 2016, 12:05 PM
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Should have added: most important thing about Cusco is to avoid altitude sickness by doing very little your first day there and avoiding eating until nitetime, when you can eat a little bit (if your stomach will let you). Many people go to Ollantaytambo the first nite and then pick up the train to MP from there--Olla is at a significantly lower altitude than Cusco(as is MP) so will be easier to acclimate there.
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Old Apr 19th, 2016, 01:43 PM
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Thanks a lot for the suggestions!
chictraveler is offline  
Old May 7th, 2016, 03:07 PM
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Read these two before you go for certain:
Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie and Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams.
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Old Jun 19th, 2016, 04:59 PM
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We are visiting Peru in July and I have pieced together the trip myself with aid from Fodors and other travel websites. Based upon some travel advice and experiences, I have arranged so that my family of 5 flies into Cusco from Lima in the morning. Since Cusco is at a higher altitude than Machu Pichu (or the nearest town Aguas Calientes), we take a train (Vistadome, Perurail) from Ollantaytambo to Machu Pichu. I did this since in order to take the train from Cusco itself, i would have to be in Cusco the night before.

So, we land in Cusco, take a taxi (see related thread here) from Cusco airport to Ollantaytambo and then take the train to Aguas.

I am trying to purchase the tickets online through the government website and am encountering difficulties . The one time that I managed to purchase the tickets, my credit card company put the transaction on hold (argh! despite me telling them to watch out for transactions in Peru) and I lost that reservation. I may just give in and work through a travel agent to secure those tickets.

I did end up using a tour for our last leg of our visit to the Colca Canyon area (Kilawasi Lodge) since there was no simple way of doing this on my own.

One thing, though: I don't know what your budget is... but there is a hotel (I think the only one) that is at the base of Machu Pichu itself (so dont have to wake up and queue up for the bus to take you there) called the Belmond Machu Pichu (or somthing like that).... it looks beyond amazing!! However, way beyond my price range ... perhaps, one day. . Check it out.
Good luck! Simply sharing my experiences in organizing.
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Old Jun 20th, 2016, 04:54 AM
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Save your money

Belmont doesn't look as good in person, besides the bus ride has awesome views
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Old Jun 20th, 2016, 04:45 PM
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Frank, we loved our stay at the Belmond at Machu Picchu. We got it for much (MUCH) less than what you see listed as the price on various websites as we traveled in shoulder season and booked through a local agent. The price includes all meals and the food is excellent.

Staying there means you can go in and out of MP as you wish. We spent two nights there, so visited MP on three days.
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Old Jun 21st, 2016, 05:22 AM
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You are a lucky lady Kathy. I got the lunch with my train ticket, what I needed was a shower too

Isn't Machu Picchu one of the most breathtaking places you have ever been?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2016, 01:56 PM
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I'm planning a trip to see our son in Chili and then flying to Peru, I thought a tour would be best but you've given me confidence to try to plan on my own.
Any better luck buying the train tickets online? Any other thoughts to consider on traveling between Chili and Peru? Airlines?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2016, 05:37 AM
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Quite an involved question becksbuys so may be better to post separately with more detail. Chile to Peru is covered by a number of airlines of which Latam is the biggest, has the most routes and is usually the most expensive. Sky is a budget airline we have used in the past and has some very competitive fares. If you have time is also possible by bus. Clearly, it takes longer, but there is so much to see on route (Arequipa and Titicaca immediately spring to mind) it would be a shame to miss it all by flying.

I had few problems buying Perurail tickets online. I think it is more down to individual credit card companies than Perurail itself. People from the US seem to have more problems than those from say Europe.
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