How many days Ollantaytambo?

Old Feb 20th, 2016, 01:10 PM
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How many days Ollantaytambo?

I have between 4 to 7 nights I can spend in the Machu Picchu area, ideally I would like to spend 5. Can you recommend how I should split them up? At least the first night Ollantaytambo? More? How many Cuzco, and elsewhere? Or should I just set up shop the entire time at a place like Casa del Abuelo and do tours from there?
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Old Feb 20th, 2016, 01:14 PM
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Correction, not Casa del Abuelo. I meant Casa Adina which is in Urubamba, 10 miles away from Ollantambo, but looks very nice
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Old Feb 20th, 2016, 11:51 PM
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A lot depends on how you are getting there, what you plan to see etc.

Assuming you are arriving by air from Lima I would be inclined to go straight to Ollantyatambo from the airport. It is worth a couple of nights stay as it is a very pretty village with some great ruins which are nice to explore in the early morning or late afternoon when the hordes of day visitors are back in Cusco.

Machu Picchu can be done either by a day visit by getting an early train up and alate train back to Ollantaytambo. Alternatively, you could stay overnight in Aguas Calientes for a night to maximise your time there. Book rail and entrance tickets tickets in advance. The most convenient trains leave from Ollantaytambo rather than Urumbamba or Cusco.

Rather than getting a taxi or collectivo straight back to Cusco, rent a taxi and make a day of it by stopping off at some of the sights along the way like Moray, Maras, Chinchero etc. If you can make that on a Sunday so much the better as you will get to see the Chinchero market. You could also have time for Pisac, but that could also be done as a separate trip from Cusco.

Cusco warrants at least a couple of days but more would be better as there is a great deal to see in and around the city.

Urumbamba is pleasant enough with a great working market, a nice plaza but is a little light on other tourist sights. The primary reason for staying there is that it has more luxury hotels than Olantaytambo which has a lot of nice places to stay but they tend towards the simple but comfortable guesthouse rather than big hotels.
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Old Feb 21st, 2016, 10:22 AM
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Great advice Crellston,
How many extra days would I need for Lake Titicaca then back to Lima?
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Old Feb 21st, 2016, 11:13 AM
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Good advice from crellston. To add L Titicaca I think you need at least 3 more days.

But is the max time 7 days? I think that you can easily fill that between the Sacred Valley/Cusco and Lima. Without adding L Titicaca.

Allow a day to get there from Cusco by bus or train. The bus makes a few stops. Takes pretty much all day and the scenery is great. Flying might take a bit less but you would have to still transfer from Juliaca airport, about an hour.

Most visits to Uros floating islands start in the morning and last a half a day. It is possible to go later in the day but there is a risk of thunderstorms (which almost got us). Recommended agency is All Ways Travel, titicacaperu.com which has longer itineraries, see if you want to do those.

You can fly Puno to Lima for the return.
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Old Feb 21st, 2016, 12:08 PM
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I agree with mlgb. The bus ride from Cusco to Puno is pretty spectacular. Titicaca needs two nights. We used All Ways Travel to do Uros and Taquile and were very happy with their services. Alternatively, you could just get the ferry from the pier to Uros. If yo have Ben more time, you could get the bus down to Arequipa for a few days and then fly back to Lima from there.
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Old Feb 21st, 2016, 03:55 PM
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I did the ferry independently just to Uros, but I don't think there is much value in that. You will get the same touristy circuit of Uros, and probably a worse boat for a savings of just a few dollars per person. The ferries leave when full, so you could be sitting there a while.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2016, 05:39 AM
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But is the max time 7 days?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2016, 11:07 AM
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Or, you could just do a second trip to Peru, after you get hooked.

Paracas, Huacachina, Nazca/Ica, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Titcaca and back to Lima.

Or do a leg up to the north Chiclayo, Trujillo, and Chachapoyas.

One of the advantages of living on the west coast, nonstop flights on LAN!
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:16 AM
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OK, I got 10 days, 9 nights exclusive of my time in Lima

would
2 night Ollantaytambo
2 Nights Cuzco
3 nights Manu
1 night Cuzco(on return from Manu)
2 nights Puno
fly back to Lima

would that be doable?
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:26 AM
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When do you see Machu Picchu?
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Old Feb 24th, 2016, 06:28 AM
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I would see MP by early train from Ollantaytambo, and back on late train
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 11:42 AM
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We stayed at a lovely hotel in Ollantaytambo (we booked last minute and got a great rate). It's down by the train station - the name is El Albuerge. The restaurant was very good too (they grow their own veggies out back).
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Old Feb 28th, 2016, 06:23 PM
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I might want a 3rd night in Ollantay .
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 12:29 AM
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Not sure about the order as it is. At the moment you are going up to altitude and then back down to the jungle and then back up which could mean you lose the acclimatisation you have just gained.

If you do need to fly to Manu from Cusco, it may be possible to do it in one day from Lima right at the start and then fly to Cusco. That way you will get a gradual ascent to Puno, the highest point on your trip.

I agree with mlgb that an extra night in Ollanta is better if you are using one of those days to visit MP. If not, then maximise your time on the return from Ollantaytambo to Cusco by renting a taxi and visiting, Moray, Maras, Chinchero and Pisac on the way back.
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 04:03 AM
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Since I last posted, my travelmates curbed my expectations. We are going to do Cusco(w/Ollanta, MP and sacred valley) then Manu, leaving out Puno
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 04:25 AM
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sf7307<
El Albuerge looks ideal, but its showing $200/nt per room on our dates. How good was the last minute rate?
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 05:34 AM
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That makes more sense.

We have stayed in a few nice places in Ollantaytambo over the years and never paid anything like $200 a night.

Apu Lodge is usually around $75 - nice gardens and views, quiet and large rooms.

This time we are at La Casa de Abuela Riverside $40 for a double with ensuite.
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 05:42 AM
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We were deciding between Apu Lodge and Hotel Sol, both seem great and in that $80ish/nt sweet spot
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 09:07 AM
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I doubt you will go wrong with either. Apu Lodge is a little further away from the centre and the station but it is all downhill from the station. They will arrange for someone to help you with you bags from the main Square if you let them know what time you are arriving. Hotel Sol is bit closer and not too far from where we will be staying in August.

Never stayed at El Alberquerque but I think it does attract a premium because it is next to the station (and is now quite famous!)
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