Last minute HELP-Machu Picchu

Jul 22nd, 2019, 07:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 58
Last minute HELP-Machu Picchu

We are leaving Friday, and have some large holes in our trip! After our time in Lima, Paracus, Oasis... We will fly to Cusco from Lima. We will fly out of Cusco on the afternoon of the 5th. I have a non refundable hotel (JW Marriott) for the night of first and second. My question is, should we just stay put in Cusco and do Machu Picchu from there (long day) or should we head to Aguas Calientes (or elsewhere)? If we do that, should we do one night and go back to Cusco, or just stay two nights?
Thank you for any input! I know we are last minute, but sometimes trips just pop up!! haha
Begue70 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2019, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,404
Unless you have acclimated to altitude, I would not recommend staying in Cusco upon your arrival from Lima. Consider going to Ollantaytambo ASAP. You can visit Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo -- assuming you have tickets and are willing to work your schedule around your time slot, or -- if you can get a room at this late date -- you might stay in Aguas Calientes to give you more options for visiting Machu Picchu.
kja is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2019, 02:45 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,521
If you haven’t already purchased your train tickets and entrance tickets for Machu Picchu your question may well be irrelevant as I would be VERY surprised if there was any availability at this late stage.

As kja points out altitude is an issue but it doesn’t affect everyone to the same degree. with the time you seem have, I would be inclined to stay in Cusco as there is a lot to see in the city itself and for the other day take a taxi tour of the Sacred Valley or to Pisac

The alternative would be on arrival in Cusco, get to pick you up from the airport and take a tour of Chinchero, Moray and Maras on the way to Ollantaytambo - see the first two entries in our blog @ . The journey will take around 4-5 hours. On arrival in Ollantaytambo, if you have time, explore the ruins in the late pm when it is quiet. Next day get a taxi straight back to Cusco and spend the day there.
crellston is offline  
Jul 25th, 2019, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,063
Yes you are going to find things sold out, but there should still be SOME availability if you book right now. Ollantaytambo usually works better since there are more trains. Cusco is not really a good idea in the beginning. I believe the Marriott has oxygen in the rooms. You're going to want to use it.

The return train is usually more of a problem, because people want to stay late.

Train services also include Inca Rail as well as Peru Rail.

For hotels, many are on If you had more time for planning, a better option is usually staying in Ollantaytambo. But now that ideal train/ticket combos are likely blocked out, you may need to stay in Aguas Calientes overnight, for example if you can only find a morning return train.

For MP tickets try the official website with a Mastercard. Call your company and let them know you are making the purchase.

There is now a new version of the website, with hourly tickets. I assume that you know that you can't just show up at MP and buy tickets.

Last edited by mlgb; Jul 25th, 2019 at 05:44 AM.
mlgb is offline  
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