Sacred Valley Itinerary Review?

Old Oct 15th, 2014, 09:56 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sacred Valley Itinerary Review?

My dates are set and things are starting to shape up for my trip to Peru April 30-May 14, 2015. I’m mostly seeking some perspective and advice for my 6 full days in Cusco/Sacred Valley, but I’ll include my entire itinerary for review. I’ll be travelling solo and enjoy active vacations, but don’t want to push my luck at altitude. I hope my time in the Sacred Valley isn’t too tight, but the rainforest grabbed my interest and wouldn’t let go, so I made room for it.

Day 1 (Thurs): Arrive in Lima ~10PM
Day 2 (Fri): AM flight to Cusco and on to Ollantaytambo, see town and ruins
Day 3 (Sat): Possible horseback day tour to Salineras, Maras, Moray (assuming others are also signed up- I can’t do this one as one person)
Day 4 (Sun): Morning train to Aguas Calientes and spend the day exploring Machu Picchu, stay in Aguas
Day 5 (Mon): Early to MP again, Huayna Picchu hike, wander some more, return to Ollanta
Day 6 (Tues): Make my way to Cusco via Pisac
Day 7 & 8 (Wed/Thurs): See the city, Sacsayhuaman, shopping, etc.
Day 9 (Fri): Fly to Puerto Maldonado to start 4D/3N rainforest package (reserved)
Day 12 (Mon): Fly to Lima
Day 13 & 14 (Tues/Wed): Tour the city, etc.
Day 15 (Thurs): Home

It’s always timing questions that get me in the end…Does this seem a reasonably paced trip? I’m accustomed to busy trips, but I don’t want to push myself or feel rushed. I’ve done ok at elevations around 8-9000ft., but home is pretty much sea level so I’m keeping that in mind.

Is it feasible to take in the main/Temple ruins around Ollanta that first day, or am I risking over-exertion? Or, I could just rest and explore the town Day 1 and visit the ruins first thing on Day 6 to beat the crowds. Is it likely that I would have enough time to also visit the Pisac ruins and see the market that day and still make it to Cusco at a reasonable time?

What I keep debating is the time in Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Is my time in Ollanta adequate to get a good taste? I’ve been pretty set on 2 days for MP, so that I can have time to hike all over (Huayna and Moon Gate, Sun Gate, and so on) and still have time to just hang out and take it all in. Any thoughts?
Megan04 is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2014, 02:11 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,708
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I find that I do better by resting for a few hours, even when transferring to Ollantaytambo. And I think I do better at altitude than many people (have been all the way up to 5,000 meters).

So on Friday, eg, I fly in the morning, then rest for a few hours at hotel (most let you check in early). Then in the afternoon I would walk around the old town sector, check out the Awamaki store, and if you feel good (not dizzy or nauseous) see the ruins (take your time climbing up the Ollantaytambo steps !) In fact I might just delay Ollantaytambo ruins til the next day,and not consider doing the full day horse thing. You might also be able to book a horsey thing from Cusco later in the trip.

Also, Pisac isn't a bad place to spend a night. It is still at a lower elevation, and is actually nice when it isn't crowded with Sunday market tourists. So it might be worthwhile for you to continue on to Pisac on Monday night rather than Cusco. Then you don't have to worry about where your luggage is when you visit the market. And if the weather is good you can hike down from the Pisac ruins into town (take a taxi up rather than walking!)

If you go that route I would want to be back in Ollantaytambo around 4 pm so that it's mostly daylight for the ride into Pisac.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2014, 03:42 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi

Yes, your schedule is fine, especially going to Ollantaytambo right after arriving at Cusco. Ollanta is like 2000 ft lower than Cusco. Spending around 3h walking the Ollantaytambo ruins is ok, so you should be good the first afternoon.

Be aware that this depends what time you reach Cusco, you should count 2 hours from the airport to Ollantaytambo (the Pavitos terminal in Cusco is located at 15mn from there)

For the Huayna Picchu, you probably know that the ticket must be booked weeks in advance.

You can spend the whole day in Pisac, it's located 1h or 1h30 from Ollantaytambo, and only 30mn from Cusco. If you take the first train (5:30 am) you should be there at mid-morning.

Have a nice trip!
Christophe
mapipanorama is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2014, 12:35 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,938
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looks a pretty well thought out trip. A few comments.

Ollantaytambo - it is going to take a couple of hours to get from the aiport so you would most likely arrive at the busiest time of the day when the ruins are crowded after the many tour buses have scanted their cargo. I would either rest up for a few hours to get over the trip or have a wonder through the streets of the town ( often ignored). Best time to visit the ruins would be in the early morning before the tour buses arrive , say 7.30am.

Moray/maras I would give teh horseriding a miss. Just get a taxi in yen main plaza to visit those sites or get a taxi drive to incorporate it into a trip back to Cusco/ Pisac. Ollantytambo is best explored in a leisurely way..

Sacsayhuaman - on our last trip we decided to take a walk along the old inca paths from Tambo Machay back to Cusco via Sacsayhuaman. I great walk with fantastic views which take you through some very interesting sites. Details and photo on our blog http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/6/tpod.html. entry no. 19 . It is easy to incorporate this on a trip back fro PISAC to Cusco. Just ask the driver to drop you at Tambo Machay.

Have a great trip
crellston is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2014, 04:54 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the thoughts. I'll think some more on the horseback tour- losing that would give me some breathing room in the schedule. I really want to get a ride in somewhere, though. I'm seeing there are companies offering horse tours around the Cusco ruins, so maybe I can do that instead. Decisions...
Megan04 is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2014, 11:29 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok, I'm mulling over some adjustments based on recommendations. Is it reasonable to include Moray/Salineras on the way to Ollantaytambo from Cusco? Neither seem to require too much physical effort, and if I arrange for private transportation my luggage should be secure. This frees up Day 3 entirely to enjoy Ollantaytambo, maybe get my horse fix with a ride to Pumamarca. Otherwise, it seems possible to take in the main Ollanta ruins as well as Moray/Salineras this day.

Spending a night in Pisac is also appealing now- probably arranging for transport for myself and luggage on Day 5. With 2 days for MP I see no reason why I couldn't make it back from Aguas Calientes with enough daylight for the drive to Pisac. I could then take in Pisac at my leisure for Day 6 and move on to Cusco early evening.
Megan04 is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2014, 12:22 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,708
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Whether to see Moray & Salineras on Day 1, isn't my usual recommendation, because they are at a fairly high altitude, similar to Cusco. Moray is about 3300 meters, for example (the point at which many people start to feel effects).

Walking around the top of Moray doesn't require much effort. I think most people like to walk down to the salt pans, as I recall there is a little bit of walking but not too much.
It will be an hour or two before you reach those sites. It means you'll probably be agreeing to pay for the extra time to visit them up front, and won't be sure how you will feel when you arrive.
mlgb is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bendivertx
South America
4
Jan 24th, 2019 12:35 PM
barry_ps
South America
9
Mar 11th, 2017 09:34 AM
fernan8925
South America
4
Mar 3rd, 2017 07:56 AM
anuta77
South America
6
Oct 31st, 2014 05:14 PM
newesttraveler
South America
4
Jan 20th, 2011 01:10 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:38 AM.