Looking for Jeff_Costa_Rica/ Machu Picchu

Old Nov 10th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Looking for Jeff_Costa_Rica/ Machu Picchu

Jeff, may I pick your brain regarding Machu Picchu??

I want to plan a trip for next Sept, but need expert advice...thanks
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 12:32 PM
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I'm here, as are a lot of other people who have been to MP.

I'll also put in a plug for getting a guidebook. Since this is the Fodor's site, I'll suggest that one.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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Of course, I will be reading and getting all of the guide books,I have an old Fodor's but will get the newest one, love Fodor's!!

I have already started amassing tons of info and sometimes too much info is overwhelming.

My first question, I think we will go in September
Pro's? Con's?
And we will fly into Lima, spend a night and then rent a car and drive to Cusco?? Or fly to Cusco and then rent a car?
Pro's? Con's?

Maybe that will be all I will have to bug you with

Thanks!! Toni
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 05:20 AM
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www.andeantravelweb.com lots of good info

www.weather2travel.com Peru Cusco Sept. pretty good

Far cheaper to fly LIM CUZ www.taca.com www.starperu.com

Car rental expensive can be in the thousands

usually bad idea in Peru...
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 05:33 AM
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September is a good month to go, Toni. The rainy season does not start until October, and the monster high season has begun to wind down by the end of August.

Depending on the route you take, driving from Lima to Cusco can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. Portions are unpaved and the mountain switchbacks can be pretty hair-raising. I would never attempt it.

The bus from Lima to Cusco will also eat up a good chunk of two days, and the trip would be exhausting. Flying is, realistically, the only was to go, unless you have a lot of time. There are no international flights to Cusco. You'd have to change in Lima.

You can only reach Machu Picchu by train. They leave every day early in the morning from Poroy, about 30 minutes outside of Cusco, and return in the evening. Or you can leave from Ollantaytambo, out in the Sacred Valley. You actually have more options from out there, and the Sacred Valley is a pleasant place to base yourself.

The latest edition of the Fodor's guide to Peru looks really sharp with a lot of great color photos and a nice design.
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 11:21 AM
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Thank you both so much! I love this forum ! I really do appreciate your input. I will probably be asking more questions , but for now thanks for the info!
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Old Nov 11th, 2009, 05:27 PM
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This is a very well traveled path I suggest reading some of the Trip Reports posted here.
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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I have printed and saved so many TR's on this forum my head is spinning!! But there are some great rsources here that's for sure!
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Old Nov 12th, 2009, 07:48 AM
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I get the impression that most people here prefer to base themselves in the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Urubamba). Doing that, you're at 9,000-9,500 feet in elevation, still very high, but nothing like Cusco's 11,000 feet. It's easier to acclimatize to the altitude and it's a little warmer.

The Sacred Valley is a nice place to have your own vehicle. The drives are beautiful. But I personally think it's kind of a waste to rent a car because you can't take it to Machu Picchu, and I think you're nuts if you try to drive to Cusco. It's a terrible city for driving.
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