The best way to experience Machu Picchu

Old Jul 14th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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The best way to experience Machu Picchu

My husband and I are planning to spend 9 days in the Sacred Valley at the end of August. We are not going to hike the Inka Trail, but love hiking, the outdoors, and adventure. What is the best way to experience Machu Picchu for a day?

We plan to spend the night in Aguas Calientes, get up very early and spend the day at Machu Picchu, then take the train back to Ollanyaytambo that evening. Is this doable or will it be too rushed?

How much time would you advise spending at this site?

Should we get a tour guide at the site?

I've read that there are areas to hike some sort of trail, but there are a limited number of people allowed to so this per day. Is this worth doing? What is the best way to ensure that we can.

Any recommendations for where to stay in Aguas Calientes?

Any feedback and thoughts are appreciated!! Thanks!
celizwilson is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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can book Presidente river view room is a nice moderate

Personally would splurge for or Sumaq though

Train into your hotel buy MP ticket for 126 soles exactly

from the Cultural Center on the Plaza in AC

Overnite at AC get up at 5AM go up for the sunrise

go right away to the back sign up for the HP climb

only 400 allowed so do that then hire a guide if you like

or on Ruth Wright MP Revealed best guidebook

Do not forget to get your passport stamped cool and free

Train back out that PM...Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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As you probably know, the most popular hike is to climb Huayna Picchu (aka Wayna Picchu). For that you will need to get a special stamp on your Macchu Picchu ticket (limited to 400 stamps per day - 200 for 7am start and 200 more for 10am). The line to get stamps forms very early right outside the entrance to MP and all in your party must be present with their individual tickets. The day we were there at 5:35am there were at least 200 people already in line (mostly hikers from the town below - the buses don't start arriving until closer to 6am). Around 6am we got our tickets stamped. You should try to see the sunrise at MP – the site opens at 6am, and then proceed to Wayna Picchu. The hike is pretty challenging and will take you about 3 hrs round trip. Upon return and after having lunch at the snack bar we did hire a guide for a private tour for two hours in the afternoon and thought it was worth it. The guides are waiting at the entrance to MP - some speak much better English than others, so try to listen before approaching.
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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 05:23 PM
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The potential problem here is that you'll have to check out of your hotel before you go up to MP that morning. Every lodging keeps very early checkout times (like 9 a.m.), but will store your luggage for when you get back in the afternoon. You won't have access to your room when you come back down the mountain.

Huayna Picchu is the climb within the Machu Picchu grounds themselves. It's that sugarloaf mountain you see in the background of all the standard MP photos. Go up to MP first thing in morning. Make your all the way back to the HP entrance. Sign in at the gate. They limit that part of the grounds to 400 people or 1 p.m., whichever comes first. August being the high season, they'll reach the 400 limit before 1 p.m. When you come back down, you sign out. They want to be sure everybody has returned safely. It's a moderately tiring climb.

August 30 is a holiday in Peru and it falls on a Monday this year making for a three-day weekend. It's always one of the monster travel times of the year, one of the highest of the high season. Make your reservations very soon.
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Old Jul 15th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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I think Macchu Picchu Mountain offer a much better top view of MP than Huayna Picchu. You'll see MP surrounded on three sides by the Urumbra River. It's a relatively long hike but nowhere near as steep as Huayna Picchu and ususally much less crowded since most everyone seems to want to do HP. There's a flag at the very top that make a good picture with you next to it

The beauty of MP is to enjoy it during the the morning hours and in the late afternoon until closing time. During midday with the crowd and harsh sun, it's not so enjoyable.

I could stay at MP forever but that's just me
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Old Jul 15th, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Hi! Julia Dimon, travel expert, has some good tips. I watched this before I left for my hike.

She tells her fellow travelers to not hesitate is using a walking stick and carrying a light load.

Watch her video:
etlee is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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You're not allowed to bring walking sticks into Machu Picchu. The Inca trail hikers may use them, but they exit MP and leave them outside, along with their packs, before returning.
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