Machu Picchu...Doable?

Old Jan 8th, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Machu Picchu...Doable?

It has always been a dream to go to Machu Picchu and I am trying to make it happen this year. Working with school restraints (they don't appreciate it too much when we take our daughter out of school!), work schedules and mileage award tickets here is what I have come up with (but haven't booked yet):
Nov 17-Evening flight JFK-LIM nonstop
Nov 18-Arrive LIM, travel on to CUZ, bus to Olly
Nov 19-Olly
Nov 20-Olly
Nov 21-2 day inca trail (night in tent or Aguas)
Nov 22-Machu Picchu with over night in CUZ
Nov 23-CUZ
Nov 24-CUZ (either flying to LIM and staying the night or overnighting in CUZ again
Nov 25- (depending on yesterday either checking out LIM or flight straight to airport and then on to 11:40PM flight back home)

Thoughts? Doable. A bit rushed I know but...
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Old Jan 9th, 2017, 12:27 AM
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Yes it is doable and yes it is a bit rushed. I may be wrong but I think most Inca trail operators insist upon two nights in Cusco pre trek. Perhaps it is different for ten two day version.

I would always suggest spending the night in Lima before an international flight as delays are not uncommon between Cusco and Lima. Although if you are flying with Latam who have the more modern fleet, you should be fine.
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Old Jan 9th, 2017, 04:11 AM
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I agree with Crellston on your itinerary being doable but rushed. We had a single day in the Inca Trail, going from KM 104 to the Citadel with Day 2 being an actual tour of the ancient site. This is what it sounds like, which is okay. If you are able to add a night to Cuzco, do so. I really enjoy Lima but with limited time come back for it at another time.
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Old Jan 9th, 2017, 05:22 PM
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ok. I'm booking it!

crellston-We will stay in Lima the night before and yes, will be flying Latam.

Tripplanner-We are planning on doing the same Inca trail hike. Did you enjoy it? What company did you use and do you recommend them? We are planning three nights in Cuzco.
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Old Jan 9th, 2017, 07:03 PM
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If you live at low altitude I would think twice about the 2day trek and how you will acclimate..Do you have experience hiking or staying at altitude? If y u have no idea how you react then think about just taking the train from Ollantaytambo. ONce in MP if you are feeling well, you can hike from inside the citadel to the "Sun Gate" where the trekkers enter the site

Olly is about 900k, the top of the citadel is about 8k and Cusco is much higher about 12000 feet. So staying at Cusco at the end is good, if you aren't reequired to acclimate for the 2 day hike.

I don't know what the elevation gain is for the 2 day hike or how high you go.

You can also do some other activities involving hiking, including walking DOWN from the Pisac ruins into town ( a lot less stresful than walking up and no reservations needed.

Also bear in mind that November can be rainy.



Age and fitness are not related to how you react to altitude.
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Old Jan 9th, 2017, 11:50 PM
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Great advice from mlgb re altitude issues. Gradual acclimatisation is always best but Diamox may help (it helped me when I went straight to Huaraz at 3600m from Lima) have a word with you Doc to see if it is ok for you.

The walk down from Pisac is great ( I was as impressed with Pisac as MP). Another thought to maximise your limited time is to jump off the bus or taxi back from Pisac at Tambo Machay and walk back ( downhill) to Cusco via Q'enka and Sacsayhuaman. My favourite hike in the region see entry 19 on our blog http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/6/tpod.html

Takes around 3 hours with stops.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 05:16 AM
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The two day hike starts at 6,890 feet and goes as high as about 8,900 feet at the Sun Gate. It is then a 950 foot descent to MP.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 05:58 AM
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mlgb and crellston-thanks for the advice re elevation. We have a cabin in the mountains of Arizona (8500 feet) where we vacation a few times a year and will actually spend all summer this year at. We recreate up to elevations of 10,000 feet. I typically have a slight headache the first day, unless we fly in ABQ (7,000') and stay the night there first. Sleep is always a bit strange for the first few days as well but otherwise, I've never had a problem (been going there all my 46 years). As colduphere states, the two day inca trail does not go to the elevations that the four day trek does and because we will be spending three days in Olla previously, I think we will be OK.

Will definitely look at the hike down from Pisac as well.

Thanks colduphere for the added info on elevations.

I recognize that November is beginning of rainy season, but with what's going on in the world weather wise...you never know!
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 09:40 AM
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True that!
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 09:51 AM
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Timing wise things look ok to me..

Why not a taxi to Olly? With three people, and stuff. and flying into high altitude it's nicer to have someone helping with luggage. (I am not anti-bus, but not with luggage). Also be aware when picking hotels, if you are carrying a lot of stuff that some hotels in Olly (the old town part) can't be reached by car. There are a few parts of Cusco where that also applies.

If you want to prebook a transfer you might try taxidatum.com. They are tranparent on pricing, so you can also use their website to get an idea of fares. They provide meet and great in Cusco and Lima. I've used them in Lima and they were fine, switched to them after Mario Andretti wannabe in Lima from Taxi Green. Fares in USD or PEN, usually a discount if you have PEN handy, due to the strong USD. I would suggest prebooking taxi back to Lima airport. There are issues now with taxi drivers in Lima needing to compete with Uber etc so they can be difficult to reserve by phone.

They can also do taxi-tour transfers.

Returning to the airport from Cusco, your hotel should just be able to call for you. It's like a 15 minute drive.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 10:43 AM
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mlgb-Perfect advice-thanks! A pre-booked taxi it will be! Hopefully only have backpacks and one small roll aboard each. Just booked my airline tickets so we are psyched! I know I will have more questions as I start to lay out the plan for the trip. Any favorite hotels in Olly? Was planning on using Marriott/SPG because their properties here look lovely (usually only use them if we are staying in a big city) for the other nights but not set in stone if there are any places that just scream brilliance.
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Old Jan 11th, 2017, 04:13 PM
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Pakarimtampu Or El Albergue Only are good 3ish in Oily. There are plenty of others although I would prefer to stay in town,few gone there before the buses distorts the tourists.

Points in Lima and Cusco should be ok. I wouldn't want to be stuck out in Urubamba at Tambo del Inka.
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Old Jan 11th, 2017, 04:14 PM
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Gawd autocorrect needs To go!
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Old Jan 11th, 2017, 05:33 PM
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We stayed at Pakarimtampu and it was fine. If you stay there try to get on the top floor as they have wooden floors that are very loud when people walk about above you. We had dinner at El Albergue and it seemed nice.

We stayed in Pisac and I loved the ruins there. I was not as impressed with the ones at Olly.

I found the coca tea very helpful with the altitiude.
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 06:23 AM
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So, I had to change my dates, I forgot my daughter will most likely be doing a school exchange program to France over Thanksgiving week (the week I had planned Peru). The good news, is I picked up a few extra days because I am gambling on built in snow days... so our new dates are:

April 9-JFK-CUZ, taxi on to Olly
10-Olly
11-Olly
12-Inca Trail overnight Aguas
13-Cuz
14-Cuz
15-Cuz
16
17
18-Lima overnight
19-LIM-JFK

Anyone want to help me fill in the days?

yestravel-you steered us right with La Casa Escondida in Punta Arnas so I will check out Pakarimtampu. Also looking at Apu Lodge and Intitambo along with el Albergue.
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 08:45 AM
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I might have recommended Casa Escondida to yt? That place is a gem.

April can be a nice month. It will be green.Weather is transitional.

Have a look at excursions offered by Awamaki or KB Tambo in Olly.

Fora 3rd destination,Titicaca or Paracas. I might drop one of the Cuzco nights to add to T. LooK at All ways Travel Agent in Puno. You can fly back Juliaca to Lima.
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 10:08 AM
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That advice to book top floors is a good one..anywhere. You'll also get better views of the surrounding mountains.

It's worth doing a bit of research to get a room with a view in Olly and Cusco. Also, you may find it's pretty easy to find triple rooms in those spots.

In Cusco, I've 2x stayed in El Balcon which is a sister hotel to El Albergue. Same advice, stay on the top floor. Views from the balconies only, not the rooms. I like the location although it's a hike back up from the plaza, you can reach it by taxi if they go around the block. I know they have triple bedded rooms. I was looking at Andenes al Cielo and I know there is a Terra Viva in Cusco.
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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I enjoyed the day hike of the Inca Trail very much. It gave me a good flavor of the trail and we saw some nice ruins along the way, although what is in the Sacred Valley, I thought, was better.

With extra days, I would add one to Agua Calientes (after your Inca Trail hike, you may or may not have enough time for the Citadel, and if the weather is not good, you may want an opportunity to go back and explore) and the rest to Lima.

We also stayed at Pakaritampu in Ollantaytambo and enjoyed it very much.
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 12:42 PM
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I'm with mlgb on top floors wherever possible for the views if there are any and for the quiet. In Cusco we stayed in Casa San Blanc. There was a bed in a loft and then a pull out on the bottom floor. Even at the end of our trip we found ourselves getting winded walking up the hill to the hotel.

Arequipa is a nice town worth a couple days. We flew there from Lima and then from Arequipa to Cusco and went directly to the SV.

We didnt stay in AC and the little I saw of it I'm glad we didnt. But it is popular. Its also been quite a few years since we were in Peru.

We were there at the end of April and as mentined its transitional period. We had pretty much perfect weather.
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Old Jan 12th, 2017, 02:07 PM
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AC was cleaned up quite a bit after the big flood that swept the tracks away. I still wouldn't allow much extra time. I think the "two-day hike" assumes a second day where you go back to visit the site.
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