First time trip to Peru - Machu Picchu

Feb 13th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 26
First time trip to Peru - Machu Picchu

I am planning on going to Peru and doing the 4 day Inca Trail hike with some friends. Since I can not start the trip with them (work conflicts), I will meet up with them in Cuzco. My questions are.

Is it safe for a women to travel alone? I will be alone for 3 days before the hike and 2 after.

We arrive in Machu Picchu at sunrise. Will I have enough time to explore Machu Picchu, hike the Huayna Trail in the morning and then get back to Aquas Calientes in time for the 3:30 train or should I plan on spending the night?

I am interested in visiting some sites once I arrive in Cuzco. Can anyone suggest any sites that are must see's? I have 2 1/2 days before the hike begins.

Thanks so much!
kiki2 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 03:54 PM
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I think you're punishing yourself if you come off the four-day hike and immiediately take on the Huayna Picchu hike and then take the train back the same day. I'd spend the night, although what are your hiking companions planning on doing?

A good guidebook would serve you well at this point. There are so many sights to see in Cusco and the surrounding Sacred Valley, and they could keep you busy for days.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 11:00 PM
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Most of the hikers I saw coming off the Inca Trail looked like they wanted a soak in a bathtub, not to hike Huayna Picchu.

I liked the Ollantaytambo and Pisac Ruins, which you can see as day trips, even if you overnight in Cusco. The Salineras (salt pans) at Moray were also a favorite.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 04:12 AM
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Head there by cab $25 from the airport

explore adjust to altitude do MP HP from there

always works best for me tour Cusco after you have adjusted. fun safe there.

Overall safe for solo female but review Peru for a heads up and for theft strikes weather cheap wise.

Happy Journey,
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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It is safe for a woman to travel alone. I spent 17 days in Peru with out incident or feeling like I was in any type of situation.

I would spend the night at MP (agua callientas) just relax and enjoy the feeling of the place (and a nice hot shower and soak after 4 days on the trail without a shower).
Diane60030 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 09:46 AM
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My companions are not willing to do the Huayna hike and so they will return to Cuzco that afternoon. It sounds like I would be pushing it so I will take everyone's advice and stay the night.

Can anyone suggest a decent hotel in Agua Calientes? Just need something clean and quiet.

Thanks so much everyone for the great information.
kiki2 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2011, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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When you arrive at MP from the Inca Trail you will then be given a tour of MP by the lead guide that hiked the IT with your group. At least that was how it worked when I did it with PeruTrek. (Pesonally I would've preferred to skip the toured guide and just explore the place myself, but that's just me.) After the toured guide you can then wander around the compound yourself until you have to catch the train if you're going back to Cuzco that evening.

The morning that our group arrive there were tickets available still to climb HP, so our guide asked us if anyone wanted to climb HP instead of taking the guided tour. Most of us were just too pooped out, but one guy in our group did take the offer to climb it. I climbed HP the next morning and was glad I didn't do it immediately coming off the IT.
Axel2DP is offline  
Feb 20th, 2011, 06:22 AM
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Thanks so much Axel2DP! I think I have decided to do it the next day and you just confirmed it for me. Where did you stay in Aguas Calientes? Would you recommend it?
kiki2 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2011, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I have to admit that I did not do a wise thing when looking for place to stay at AC, so I cannot recommend the place that I stayed at. I was extremely tired and miserable coming down from MP that afternoon... my bare legs were entirely covered with disgusting swelts from being bitten by flies up at MP that morning (I foolishly had shorts on). I walked aroung AC with a heavy backpack on my back to two places recommended in the guide book, and both had no room available. I tried to look for a third place from the guide book but couldn't locate it. At that point I just said the heck with it and walked into this fancy smancy place that I had seen earlier and just grab any room that they had. The price for this place was ridiculous for one night, IMO, but at that point I just wanted a shower and change cloths so bad that I just suck it up and whip out my credit card. You should have seen the look on the clerk face when I walked in looking all dirty, disheveled, and covered with bugs bite, LOL. It was definitely not a place that backpacker just waltz in.

I can only recommend that you'll map out a couple of promising places recommended in the guide books before arriving at AC. If you're going in the high season then it might not be a bad idea to see if you can book ahead also.
Axel2DP is offline  
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