Questions re. Machu Picchu

Old Mar 30th, 2014, 06:01 PM
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Questions re. Machu Picchu

I'll be traveling to Peru later this year and plan on visiting Machu Picchu on a Monday. We'll be staying in Ollantataytambo when we visit and right now my plan is to get there first thing in the AM.

I've read that the lines for both the train and once you arrive in Aguas Calientes can be very long. Would you recommend taking the first train of the day from Ollanta to Machu Picchu? The idea of catching a roughly 5 AM train isn't the most "appealing" to me but will do it if it helps with the crowds etc. I'm not looking for a "deserted" experience since I know that would not happen but definitely want to be able to enjoy myself too.

Also, how much time would you say is needed/worth it at the ruins? I've visited Chichen Itza and Teotiahuacan ruins before but both of those visits were definitely more on the rushed side so it's definitely appealing to me the idea of being able to take my time etc. I'm just curious that if I catch the 5/6 AM train, what time should I do a return train for? It's not in the plans to stay overnight in the area though.

I read that no food is allowed inside the ruins-if you have your ticket are you allowed to reenter at all? I've read that there are plenty of food options in Aguas Calientes.

Any personal tips you have would be terrific.

Thanks in advance!
librarychica85 is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2014, 06:56 PM
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Well, I was there a long time ago (almost 20 years!) but I'd say being there with fewer people would be worth getting up early. We did the hike and got up at 3 am, and it was nice to have the ruins pretty empty the first few hours we were there.

As for the food question, I'll leave that to people with more up to date advice!
pantanal is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2014, 08:01 PM
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I was just there in Feb. It truly does get crowded very quickly....best bet is spend the night in Aguas Calientes, catch the first bus to the ruins. I believe the first bus leaves @ 6 am. By 9:30- 10 the crowds are arriving. Keep in mind when I went in Feb -its the off season-and it was crowded. I actually remember sitting there just watching all the people pour in...First day there I had a personal guide. Lasted maybe 2 hours. 2nd day I wanted to experience it alone and used half the day. The walk to the Sun gate is around 2 hours round trip. And then there the other mountain Huyana Picchu-I'm sure I spelled it wrong. There are 2 restaurants at the ruins, one sells hot dogs, burgers etc. other one is a buffet. FYI- you have to pay to pee, 1 sole. Bring some tissue with you, there is some tissue but its outside where you pay. Machu Picchu is AMAZING!
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Old Apr 1st, 2014, 03:06 AM
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We aimed for the 5.00am bus but of course it didn't leave on time. We arrived shortly after dawn and it was relatively quiet. It got busier as one would expect but was still relatively ok at 8-9.00 am. The problem for us was that in the quieter early hours the whole place was swathed in mist which didn't make for great photography ( not sure if this is the case every day).
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 03:17 PM
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We took the bus at around 7:15 am -- the buses were full and they run them like Disneyland, bus is full, off it goes and the next one pulls up. It certainly wasn't crowded at that hour, but it was "filling up" and it was shoulder season (two weeks ago). As the day wore on (we were on-site about 3 hours, more for those who climbed Huayna Picchu), it got more and more crowded, no getting around it. It was misty when we arrived, but the wispy clouds came and went and came again every few seconds it seemed. We loved that.

Do know that you cannot buy a ticket at the site - you have to get your ticket in town first, before you board the bus.
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Old Apr 7th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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If you have luck and the right Visa card, you can also buy your ticket online in advance, at www.machupicchu.gob.pe

If you wish to hike Huayna Picchu, getting and advance ticket is essential.
mlgb is offline  
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