Trip to Machu Picchu

Old Oct 5th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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Trip to Machu Picchu

We are planning a trip to Peru in January 2013, mostly to see Machu Picchu. Below is my itinerary. I would like feedback about our timeline and choices of sites to visit.

Day 1-fly to Lima
Day 2-tour Lime
Day 3-fly to Cuzco
Day 4-train to Aquas Calientes, bus to Machu Picchu, stay overnight in AC
Day 5 - tour Machu Picchu, train back to Cuzco
Day 6-tour Cuzco
Day 7-fly to Lima
Day 8-fly home

Have we missed more important sites? Does this seem doable?
lesanne is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2012, 11:14 AM
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Hi,

This seems totally doable. However, January is the rainy season in the Andes; flight delays are common, while train delays/cancellations are less frequent, but a real possibility.

I would suggest flying to Cusco on Day 2 and saving the Lima tour for the way back. This would give you some extra time as a cushion in case something happens. (Don't mean to scare you off - tons of people travel to Machu Picchu in January with no significant problems. Just something to be aware of.)

Your itinerary would be as follows:
Day 1- fly to Lima
Day 2- fly to Cusco, city tour
Day 3- Sacred Valley tour, afternoon or evening train to Aguas Calientes, with overnight
Day 4- Machu Picchu, train back to Cusco
Day 5- extra day in Cusco (cushion)
Day 6- fly to Lima
Day 7- Lima tour
Day 8- fly home

Most people regret not having more time in Cusco. It's a lovely city with lots to see and do apart from the city tour.

Also on Day 4/5 of your timeline you have Machu Picchu for both days. Do you intend to visit MP on 2 days? If so, Day 5 on the itinerary above would be your return to Cusco. Be aware that you would have to purchase an entrance ticket for each day.

On Day 3, you have the following options:
-overnight in Sacred Valley (there are some great hotels in and around Ollantaytambo), with early morning train to AC and MP tour on Day 4.

Happy travels!
LatAmForLess is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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I just got back...this trip is totally doable. I agree, save Lima for the way back. I went to Machu Picchu twice....I arrived in Aguas Calientes around 1030am...there is not much to do there, and I was so excited to be there...I had to go right up to see the ruins.

I agree, I only had a 1/2 day in Cusco - it's a great city...I wanted to stay longer....

I also agree - GREAT hotels in Ollantaytambo....and the ruins there are fantastic. I also went to Pisac and loved it.....I wanted to stay longer there too...see the ruins and shop. In addition, I also wanted to see Moray and Maras.....

If you have any questions, I'd be glad to try and answer them.

You will LOVE Peru. It's a fantastic country. The land is beautiful and people are lovely.
BellaClaire is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2012, 11:13 AM
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I would suggest planning to see Machu Picchu on two days. That way, in case it does rain on the first day, you have the possibility of nicer weather on the second day. We had rain in May, and that's the dry season!

Like Bella said, there's not much to do in Aguas Calientes, so going to MP twice won't keep you from any exciting alternatives.

There is so much to see in the Sacred Valley. As much time as you can dedicate to it won't be wasted. I highly recommend Tipon and Moray - very amazing sites. But they're all fascinating (Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Maras etc...)
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Old Oct 8th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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We just returned from Peru and the itinerary your suggested is totally doable. We just got back and used South Adventure Peru Tours in Cuzco for tours of Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and the Sacred Valley. All oyr guides were well informed, knowlegeable, spoke good Emglish and were easy to be around. Pricing was very resonable for the quality we got. Ruben Coronado and his team will make sure you have a great trip. Give them a try. Www.southadventurperutours.com
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Another vote for spending more time in Cusco there is a lot to see in the city and you may even be able to fit in a day trip out into the Sacred Valley from there. A link to our blog covering on long and busy day in the SV;
http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...8980/tpod.html

You should however be aware that you may have issues with the altitude in Cusco in such a short visit so take it easy. The SV is a bit lower so a good place to aclimatise. Good to see you are spending just one night in Aquas Calientes as it really is a bit of a dump. Do be careful with the food their as it is notorious as a place to acquire stomach upsets!
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 03:24 AM
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Since you're staying overnight in AC suggest you stay on in MP in the afternoon, the day trippers would've left by then and the place is much less crowded. Similarly, try and get up there as they open the next morning and walk up to the Sun Gate, we loved the view of the ruins draped in wispy mist, which cleared up by around 8.

And do spend a couple of days in Cusco, a lot to see and do there, as in the SV. Happy travels, Peru's a delightful place!
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Old Oct 12th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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<blue>shutterbug85 on Oct 7, 12 at 1:13pm </blue>
I would suggest planning to see Machu Picchu on two days. That way, in case it does rain on the first day, you have the possibility of nicer weather on the second day. We had rain in May, and that's the dry season!

Having just returned from MP, I'd second this opinion. If you have nice weather both days, it is a bonus.

It appears you have 2 visits:

Day 4-train to Aquas Calientes, bus to Machu Picchu, stay overnight in AC
Day 5 - tour Machu Picchu, train back to Cuzco

"Have we missed more important sites?"

Ollantaytambo ruins is the second most visited site in Peru. You can take the train there too.
atravelynn is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:17 PM
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I would definitely spend more time in cusco & the Sacred Valley, including Ollantaytambo. I wouldn't spend any time in Lima.
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 08:49 AM
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Day 1- fly to Lima
Day 2- fly to Cusco, transfer to Sacred Valley, rest or light touring
Day 3- Sacred Valley tour
Day 4- Train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, train back to Ollantaytambo
Day 5- taxi to Cusco, touring
Day 6- Cusco
Day 7- fly to Lima in the morning, tour
Day 8- morning in Lima, fly home in afternoon or evening
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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We spent 3 weeks last year in Peru and no time in Lima other than the airport. We overnighted in a hotel at the airport (flight arrived too late to get a flight out) then flew on to Cuzco in the AM. The only real thing to see in Lima is the museum and frankly, Peru itself is a museum. With such limited time, I would definitely agree with the last poster and go straight out to the Sacred Valley and stay there. We spent nearly a week there. Of course all they hype is Machu Picchu but there are some amazing ruins in the Sacred Valley - particularly Ollyntaytambo and Pisac. Also, try and take in some of the local markets (check the internet for what days which villages have their markets). The largest one is in Pisac on Sunday. The markets are so colorful with the woman in their local dress, bags of stuff (purchases or children) in their bags on their back, and all the unusual wares being sold. Hire a local guide at the ruin sights (very cheap). They give you so much more info than you can get trying to do it yourself with a tour book. Also, I strongly recommend you read "The Last Days of The Incas" by Kim MacQuirre. before you go. It will make your trip to Peru so much more meaningful.
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 01:00 PM
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"The only real thing to see in Lima is the museum".

Well considering that there are about a dozen of them worth seeing, in addition to the World Heritage Plaza de Armas, colonial churches and casonas, and great restaurants, that might be selling Lima just a tad short.
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