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Mom wants to go to cusco/macchu picchu in 5 days - impossible?

Mom wants to go to cusco/macchu picchu in 5 days - impossible?

Old Oct 24th, 2016, 12:31 PM
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Mom wants to go to cusco/macchu picchu in 5 days - impossible?

I have a Tuesday-Sunday free. I mean, can take an overnight flight to Lima/cusco on a Tuesday, arrive Wednesday and have to be home Sunday night. This is the only child care I can get from inlaws ��

I have a terrible need to go but don't know with altitude and trains this is a doable itinerary:

Wednesday/thursday - cusco/sacred valley
Friday - train to citadel, spend day -
Saturday, return to cusco, fly to Lima.
Leave Lima for NY Sunday.

Is this insane? It's this or I'll never get there
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 12:56 PM
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Not completey insane. Wednesday you arrive in LImaearly morning? you should be able to continue on to Cusco, then taxi to Ollnataytambo that night. Then theFrday take the real early train, and return that night to Ollantaytqmo for Frideay night Saturday as you say, a few hours in Cusco before flying back to Lima.

For this type of tight itinerary I'd use nonstop flights between NY and Lima. YOu don't want delays at connecting airports.

Also I probably would not try to do it in December-February.
due to possibliliy of weather delays in NYC and Cusco (Lima generally is not an issue.)
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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This is great to know. Would be may and a direct flight with AA points
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 01:56 PM
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May is just a little rainy and one of my favorite months for the Sacred Valley.

With AA wpoints you may be able to fly LAtam (codeshare) or maybe Avianca.,.try to put it all on one ticket (Ie NYC to Cusco)>

I usually advise to fly back to Lima from Cusco the night before.. Flights between Cusco and LIma are often cancelled or delayed up to a few hours (check flightstats). Another reason to use LATAM for the Cusco-Lima leg as they have more flights per day..and later flights.

Hopefully it isn't Memorial Day weekend?
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 02:34 PM
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Nope - 2nd weekend of month. It's one ticket with stop in Lima on LATAM.
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 03:46 PM
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Hi there,

I think it's enough time for visiting the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu. Here some ideas

Wednesday: Arrival in Cusco (free day & time to get acclimatized)
Thursday: Sacred Valley visit (Pisac & Ollantaytambo), in the afternoon/evening you take the train to Aguas Calientes.
Friday: Machu Picchu visit and train back to Cusco
Saturday: Flight Cusco - Lima
Sunday: flight Lima - NY

Personally, I think it's quite possible, knowing that rainy season has began and flights might be delayed, this itinerary gives you enough time to face any eventuality.
Feel free to get back to me if you want, hope it can help you.
Ramiro
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 04:24 PM
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Ooh! This is good.
Question: is there a way to get on train at urabamba?
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 10:52 PM
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There are trains from Urumbamba but they are far less frequent than those from Ollantaytambo. Check out http://www.perurail.com/trains/vistadome/ for schedules

Why would you want to go from Urumbamba? Ollantaytambo is more convenient, prettier, with its own ruins to explore.

To minimise the possible effects of the altitude, do stay in the sacred valley rather than Cusco. Once you have your flights sorted, i would pre book a taxi from the airport either via your accommodation or with taxidatum. Do not pick one up at the airport.

PS we have in the sacred valley several times in may and have always had pretty good weather.
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Old Oct 25th, 2016, 01:35 AM
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I agree w crellston.

Ramiro is a travel agent . They typically push tourists to stay in Cusco even when you are more likely to suffer altitude sickness there..it's more convenient for them. Plus they make money selling tours and transfers to the Sacred Valley from there. Taking the train all the way back to Cusco is also a bad idea. Do it round trip to the Sacred Valley (Ollantay or Urubamba) an take a taxi back to Cusco, stopping on the way.taxidatum.com is a taxi service you can book ahead of time..they're reliable and fairly priced.

Ollay is over 2,00 feet lower than Cusco, and a better place to stay as crellston explained.. Save Cusco for the end. I might skip Pisac, especially for shopping (you can do that at the big market in Aguas Calientes which you walk through when you get off the train at the Machu Picchu end.

On the return to Cusco your Saturday, it's worthwhile to stop briefly at the Salineras (salt pans).

I'm also a tourist who has been twice, and has nothing to sell...
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Old Oct 25th, 2016, 01:45 AM
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Urubamba has the big luxury hotels but fewer trains. An early train from Ollntaytambo allows you to arrive up at the citadel beforev10 am when it starts to get really crowded. With Urubamba and especially Cusco that's harder to do.

IN OLLantaytambo, El Albergue is convenient for taking an early train and reachable by taxi. Pakaritampu is another one about halfway down from town square to the train station. In Cusco, it' easiest for walking to stay as close to the plaza as possible. Some of the other neighborhood are a bit of a steep walk uphill.

http://www.elalbergue.com/
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Old Oct 25th, 2016, 09:40 AM
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I Defintely want to visit cusco and happy to take train back from citadel Friday night and stay there until Saturday afternoon.

If I do this - fly from NY to Lima - to cusco - and not stay in cusco, get a taxi to ollntaytambo or urubamba (have Starwood points and I do like a cushier accommodation) and stay for night? Seems like an awfully long travel day ��
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Old Oct 25th, 2016, 11:49 AM
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Your plan is good. A taxi from the airport will take around two hours to Ollantaytambo, 20 mins less to Urumbamba. IMO you might just as well get the travelling out of the way in one day.

Having spent a lot of time in both Ollantaytambo and Urumbamba, I would definitely opt for Ollantaytambo over Urumbamba . el alburque is a nice hotel and couldn't be more convenient for the train to MP - it is in the station. Much more to see in Ollantaytambo than Urumbamba. Save your Starwood points for Cusco!
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Old Oct 25th, 2016, 12:19 PM
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I wondered if you had STarwood points..w

What youmight do is stay that first night at El Albergue

Take one ofthe first two trains to MP for a day visit.(Maybe the 6:10)Return on the 15:48 train or 16:22 p train back (you'll want to leave uptop at about an hour before Depending on how much time you want to see of the Sacred Valley vs Cusco, would determine your Friday night hotel.. you could also stay at Tambo del INca Friday night rather than OLLantaytambo...it looks like that 15:48pm train continues on to Urubamba. The main issue to figure out is dealing with luggage. Most hotels are used to storing luggage..even for several days if you have a reservation and will be checking in later. Most are also set up for early arrivals and departures.

The airport in Cusco is not even 15 minutes from town. If you're a Starwoods member I would expect you could store luggage for a few hours with them Saturday morning in Cusco even if you did Friday night in Urubamba.
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Old Nov 1st, 2016, 07:04 PM
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Hi mlgb and crellston

I've enjoyed your advice as I've worked through some of your postings on Peru. My good friend and I are travelling from Canada to Peru and visiting from November 14 - 28, 2016. We have booked our flights from Lima to Cusco for noonish on Saturday the 19th. We fly back to Lima on Thursday the 24th.

We are most interested in the concept of going directly to Ollantaytambo, rather than plan to stay two nights in Lima to acclimate to the altitude. You suggest the taxi would take about 2 hours. Do you have an estimate on what it would cost? Also, can you tell us more about taxidatum.com?

Thank you so much.

teacherCanada
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Old Nov 1st, 2016, 07:37 PM
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I think you meant 'rather than stay two nights in Cusco to acclimate". I agree that is the way to go. After seeing MP, you can go back and spend a few nights in Cusco before flying back to Lima.

I have used taxidatum from Lima airport into the city a few times. I think crellston recently used them in Cusco.

It' is basically a private car /taxi service you book online in advance. Their pricing is on their website, www.taxidatum.com They can do either a straight transfer or include some touring. They meet you with your name on a sign at the airport for the fare..which is great, especially in Cusco where the altitude can make you a little woozy. Hotels also offer this service, taxidatumT prices are competitive or slightly better than what is offered by official taxi services and hotels. The owner (Leonardo) is a Peruvian who lived in the US for a while, the drivers are contracted with him. Now that they have expanded quite a bit, many of the drivers are not fluent in English, but they should know enough..plus since you reserve online you can communicate with Leonardo re where you are going and what stops you want to make. The only problem I've ever had is that on one trip from the aiport the driver insisted I wasn't eligible for the senior discount (10%) I emailed Leo and he apologized and gave me a double discount on my return back to the airport. Which was alll I really wanted , as well as to warn him that he had a drive that wasn't up to speed on the company discount policy. All of the drivers in Lima have been safe, as well as on time. If you read crellstons trip report his driver disappeared for an hour at the salt pans I believe.


On my recent trip to LIma, I needed a taxi to move hotels. Because of some recent price reductions in Lima city taxis, the radio taxi companies s are no longer responding when it's busy..the only way to get a taxi is to flag it on the street. Or make an advance reservation.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 12:34 AM
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As mlgb points out, we did get left high and dry ( and very hot !) when our taxidatum driver disappeared for an hour. We opted for the tour covering Moray, Maras, Chinchero en route to Ollantaytambo ( which I would recommend if you have the time, either on the way or on your return). Annoying, but we were satisfied with the way Leonardo resolved it by providing a vastly reduced return trip. My concern is that these sorts of errors are usually an indication of a small company expanding too quickly without the necessary systems to oversee its staff. Having said that, it does provide a good service and there are few, if any, better options out there.

Costs are on their website, I think around $35 and double that for the tour). The predeparture service Leonardo provides is excellent and responsive. Worth mentioning that they use two types of vehicle a van for larger groups and a sedan for smaller. If there are four of you with a lot of bags go for the van, two or four people with light luggage should be fine with a sedan.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 08:42 AM
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I agree crellston. Too successful for their own good? Going from pOint A to point B should still be fine.

If you do a tour/transfer I try to agree on where and when you will meet up.

I think the alternatives in Cusco involve contracting with you hotel or hiring a Guide/Driver combo.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 10:24 AM
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Hi mlgb and crellston

First off, thanks to both of you for your prompt and informative replies. Sorry mlgb, you are right - I meant Cusco not Lima. Thank you mlgb for the background on taxidatum.com. It reinforces our ideas to travel directly to Ollantaytambo rather than stay in Cusco for a few days. Good news about the senior discount too. I'm thinking we just might be eligible. Also thanks for the updated info on the taxi situation in Lima. Always good to have that background.

crellston, thank you for sharing your story. Being left behind on a hot day could be unnerving. I'm glad it was resolved satisfactorily. There are two of us travelling this time - so the sedan will work for us. We won't have much baggage either.

I will be emailing taxidatum shortly with our request. I think we will take a direct drive to O, then the next day do the tour of M, M and C once we are rested.

We will try to stay at a hostel in Ollantaytambo. Any suggestions?

tC
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 11:15 AM
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Earlier this year we stayed at La Casa del Abuelo Riverside. A good location, quiet but a reasonably short walk to the plaza. Great breakfasts, pleasant owners and staff and really comfortable beds and room rooms. We booked via booking.com.

Apu Lodge is also very nice. As you are short on time, it might be advisable to consider El Alberque which is right by the train station and convenient for getting to and from MP but less so for the restaurants in the main plaza - I would guess it is also considerably more expensive
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 03:09 PM
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Fantastic crellston! We have just booked La Casa del Abuelo Riverside for our two nights in Ollantaytambo. What a great location. You are right about the costs for the El Alberque. They are at least double the other rates. I guess it's all about location, location, location.

We will be travelling by train to Aguas Calientes upon leaving Ollantaytambo. We are looking for a hostel there. Any suggestions?

After MP, we are returning to Cusco for two nights. In your experience, do you or mlgb have recommendation for overnight stays there? We are quite flexible in our needs and can adjust to nearly any place as long as there is a place to lock up our backpacks and charge our phones. I'm not sure we would take our wives to some of the places we have stayed in the past.

It appears I have hijacked this thread from thereadbaron and I apologise for that. I hope you and your Mom are able to complete your trip planning and truly enjoy your time (albeit compressed and intense) in Peru.

tC
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