Machu Picchu as a Single Traveler?


Oct 30th, 2012, 08:27 AM
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Machu Picchu as a Single Traveler?

Hey all!

I'm sure this has been asked, but I couldn't sift through the hundreds of posts on MP. Are there any good tour companies that do trips to Machu Picchu that would be worth taking as a single traveler? I'm in the process of saving for this trip (#3 on my list of top places I'd like to see), but I will be going alone. Trying to determine if it's worth it to go with a group of people on a guided trip or try to figure it out by myself.

Thanks everyone!
nightxsky is offline  
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Hi Nightxsky,

I went alone with a privately guided trip for Cuzco, Sacred Valley, and the morning of MP. Then the guide left. I continued my MP viewing in the afternoon and went back to MP for further exploration the next day alone and then returned alone by train to Poroy, the stop for Cuzco. So it was a hybrid of guided and a little solo.

A small group of people (like 8 max) would be ideal, I think, if it fits with your travel dates and spends the amount of time that you want doing the things you want. If you can find such a trip, I think it could be a money saver and a fun way to travel.

I could not find such a group. Plus I wanted to devote only 4-5 days to the Incan/Cultural/Architectural experience in Peru with the balance of my trip on nature stuff, so I needed everything to flow smoothly and fit with my limited time frame. Also I was not comfortable doing that part of the trip all on my own, especially because I did not have buffer days to recover if something got goofed up. So I wanted some guiding/direction.

Having done the guided trip, I think you could take the train (of if need be a taxi) and get along ABSOLUTELY FINE on your own for the entire excursion.

Train info.

The hotels are within easy walking distance from the train. Everything in Cuzco to the Sacred Valley to MP is set up to accommodate foreign visitors. The last leg of the journey to MP is by shuttle bus that leaves every 5 minutes (and returns every 5 minutes), so there is no schedule to meet for the bus part.

If you decide to go alone, I would highly recommend hiring some guides along the way for educational purposes. That extra guide fee is well worth it to make your initial hefty expenditures of airline ticket, hotels, transport, etc. a worthwhile investment to fully understand what you paid to come see.

I used Green Tracks and did some price checking with someone who had done something similar the year before. Cost was good. Green Tracks did the rest of my solo Peru trip too, where I was able to join others, and all was great.

Here's a link to the whole trip report. The Machu Picchu part is in green after some intro commnents in black.

What is your #1 and #2? If it's somewhere in Africa, I'll see you over there on the Africa and Middle East forum. If it's not somewhere in Africa, it should be.
atravelynn is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2012, 06:28 AM
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Thank you so much, that's SUPER helpful!

#1 - Antarctica
#2 - Galapagos

But most of the rest of the top 10 is in Africa!
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Oct 31st, 2012, 08:42 AM
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nighttxsky, atravelynn has been very informative on my recent MP thread also. Seems like she is a very experienced traveler. Her report that she mentioned is copied below.

My wife and I are planning a trip to that area in December and we are going through the same process as you. Looking at your name, I am guessing that you are also a Texan?

atravelynn, what or who is the green tracks you mentioned as your tour guide? After reading your report, I'm wondering if I shouldn't just go to Cuzco the next morning after we arrive in Lima and spend a night there and then again on the return part of the MP trip. I was kind of avoiding that because everyone said that the elevation is so high that it would be better to go right away to the Sacred Valley. What do you think about that? It probably would make things easier for us if we spent that first night in Cuzco, then we could make that early train out. I would appreciate your input.

Nighttxsky, don't mean to hijack your thread, but maybe my questions can help you also. My thread should be pretty close to yours and you're welcome to join in on that one also. Besides travelynn, Bellaclaire has been very helpful on my thread so she could give you some input also.

Here is travelynn's helpful report from her earlier trip:

Aug 12 Transfer to airport. Fly to Cuzco. Cuzco city tour. O/nt Casa Andina Koricancha.

Aug 13 Depart Cuzco with driver and guide for Sacred Valley Tour, o/nt Pakaritampu Hotel in Ollantaytambo.

Aug 14 Vistadome Train to Aguas Calientes with guide. Bus to Machu Picchu with guide. Morning guided tour of Machu Picchu. Guide departs after lunch. Machu Picchu (no guide) in afternoon. Bus to Aguas Calientes and o/nt El Mapi.

Aug 15 To Machu Picchu by bus (no guide). Take bus back down to Aguas Calientes in time for late afternoon Vistadome train to Poroy, picked transferred to Cuzco. O/nt Casa Andina Koricancha.
LarryRGV is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Both of you may wish to go to the trip report section and read some of the other trip reports (no disrespect to atravelynn), look for one that matches the number of days that you have for the area.

For me 7 to 8 days is a good amount of time including travel round trip to and from Lima. This gives time to see Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Moray and the Salineras, Chinchero, MP and a few days in Cusco. It is only and hour from Cusco to the Sacred Valley. There is no reason to stress your body by spending the first night there. Tour agencies like to do it to you, because they are mostly located in Cusco and it is more convenient for them.
mlgb is offline  
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Oct 31st, 2012, 05:20 PM
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Impressive #1 and #2 Nightxsky. It is common to combine Machu Pichhu and Galapagos.

Thank you for the nice comments LarryRGV.
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