Itinerary order considering altitude

Old Jun 11th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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Itinerary order considering altitude

It seems like the basic advice to try to limit/prevent altitude sickness is to (1) not do too much too early and (2) start at a lower altitude and work your way up.

We are not hiking the Inca trail but will be going to Machu Picchu. We arrive in Lima from NYC late on 6/26 (int'l flight booked) and will fly to Cusco in the morning/midday on 6/27. I want to be in the Sacred Valley area on 6/29 to go to the markets since that is a Sunday. On 7/1 we will be taking the Inka Express bus to Puno (so we want to spend the night of 6/30 in Cusco). What's the ideal order in which we should do things? I don't want to do too much too early (especially since my husband also works a pretty stressful job and usually needs the first day or so to get some good rest and actually relax into the vacay!) but I don't know if we should head to Aguas Calientes on the 27th since that's at a lower altitude than Cusco. We don't want to be tired at MP obviously though since that's our primary reason for going to Peru. This was my plan right now, though nothing (no hotels nor trains) is booked yet:

6/27: fly to Cusco (12noon flight). Spend day seeing Cusco, maybe Sacsayhuaman ruins.
6/28: Ollantaytambo, Moray, and Maras (bike trip?)
6/29 (Sunday): Pisac Market and ruins, Chinchero market. Train to Aguas Calientes.
6/30: Day at Machu Picchu; hike Machu Picchu Mountain (tickets to hike Huayna Picchu sold out for all days we're there). Return to Cusco.
7/1: bus to Puno departs Cusco at 7am

Do you all suggest we switch up the plans for 6/28 and 6/30 so we go to Machu Picchu earlier? Or is that doing too much too early?

Thanks in advance! You all are always so helpful, I wouldn't otherwise be able to plan something like this so last minute!
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Old Jun 11th, 2014, 07:48 AM
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The altitudes:

Puno: 12,500 ft
Cusco: 11,000 ft
Sacred Valley: 9,000-9,700 ft
Macu Picchu: 8,000 ft
Aguas Calientes: 6,700 ft
Lima: sea level
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Old Jun 11th, 2014, 07:49 AM
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"Machu" Picchu
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Old Jun 11th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Right, I'm aware of the altitudes. Just wondering what people suggest in terms of balancing the two main factors: not doing too much too early, and going from low to high altitude. ie, do we head to Aguas Calientes immediately or will we be too tired/possibly sick to enjoy Machu Picchu?
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Old Jun 11th, 2014, 09:58 AM
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I would do it this way

6/27 arrive Cusco, taxi to Ollantaytambo, rest. Afternoon for Ollantaytambo ruins or more rest if needed. ON Ollantaytambo.

6/28 Machu Picchu full day, return to Ollantaytambo.

6/29 Private Tour to visit Moray, Salineras, Chinchero, Pisac. Night in Pisac or Cusco.

6/30 Full day Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, etc.
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Old Jun 11th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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i would head straight to Ollantaytambo from the airport. You won't get into cusco until around 2.00as so you will have very little time in Cusco to explore anyway.

A couple of hours to Ollantaytambo will give a bit of time to explore the town and chill out at a lower altitude than Cusco ( it really does make a difference to many, but not all people). You can get the train from Ollanta to AC but book early. You could either return to Ollanta and get a taxi back to Cusco or maybe the trai lall the way.Ollanta is a MUCH nicer place than AC

i would leave Cusco until the end when you are acclimatised and maybe include Pisac then, visiting Sacsayhuaman on the way there or back. Chinchero could be visited en route from Ollanta to Cusco but the flaw in my plan is that you won't get here on a sunday!

I suggest forgetting about the bike trip to Maras and Moray and get a taxi unless you feel ok on arrival in Ollanta.
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