Machu Picchu

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Bastet
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Machu Picchu

Post by Bastet » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:20 am

I'm not doing the Inca trail, I don't have time so I'm interested in hearing from those who didn't do it either - tell me about your experience.

How did you get to Machu Picchu, how far in advance did you book it, did you do a tour or pick up a guide once there (this is mandator now I read) where did you stay etc.?

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:40 am

The fastest way is to take the train from Cuzco. You can fly to Cuzco from Lima.

I've never been to Peru, but I've read about 275 ads over the years in my archaeology magazines.

Tours are available, but not necessary.

Agent 009 lived in Peru, and would also be a great resource.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Andrea1 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:24 pm

I'm heading there this winter and also don't plan on hiking the Inca Trail.

I found this website that lays out all the options. It says it has been updated for 2017.

http://thriftynomads.com/how-to-see-machu-picchu-cheap/

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by coffeeguy » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:23 pm

Been over a decade so things may have changed. Had no interest in hiking Inca trail either. Most tourists take the train n up in the am, explore MP and then take the train n back to Cuzco. We went up and stayed the night at the town at base of the mountain, Aquas Calienties, then took the first bus up in the am. We had about 3 hours of great explorIng and hiking before the train and tourist hordes arrived. That is what I would recommend.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by northern_goddess » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:52 am

We splurged for my birthday and did this. It was really enjoyable.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by polardude1 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:07 am

Yu can tour the sacred Valley and spend the night in Ollantaytambo and take the train to MP from there.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Moethebartender » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:57 pm

polardude1 wrote:Yu can tour the sacred Valley and spend the night in Ollantaytambo and take the train to MP from there.


This is a good recommendation; Ollantaytambo is at a little bit of a lower altitude and that may somewhat ease your acclimatization. It's worth a look regardless, there are a few worthy sights in the Sacred Valley. I didn't do the trail (you have to book it so far in advance nowadays) and enjoyed it a lot anyway. I did the same as Coffeeguy; I stayed in a hotel right by the tracks in Aguas Calientes, having taken the train from Cuzco the night before I was going to Machu Picchu. Get to the site early to avoid the worst of the crowds.

Cuzco itself is worth a couple of days; Aguas Calientes, not so much. I'm sure things have changed in the years that have passed since I was there, so can't really offer much advice on accommodations or eating. When I went, you didn't have to have a guide and you were free to wander the site as you pleased.

If you're avoiding the Trail because of the advance time required or because it's crowded, there are other hikes in the region that might be worth looking into, depending on your interests.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by polardude1 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:59 pm

there are other hikes in the region that might be worth looking into, depending on your interests.

This is true. Looking back, i would have chosen an alternative hike. The Inca Trail was great, but it was very busy
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Wilster » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 am

I was there in the late-90's I believe ($hit gets muddle over time) and wasn't even planning to go to Peru/Machu Picchu. I was booking a flight to Buenos Aires and then travels in Argentina and Chile. The bucket shop agent was Peruvian and was like, "You are not going to Peru? You must go to Peru, I am Peruvian!" So I went to Peru en route to Buenos Aires. Glad I did.

Had a longish layover in Lima, left the airport for a spell before I had to get back to the airport (or that was on my way back from Cuzco, can't remember now). Landed in Cuzco, met an American guy who spoke great Spanish, but he was a little high-strung for my liking, but a decent guy; we poked around Cuzco together for a day or so before I took the train to Aguas Calientes (as you can guess, I didn't do the Trail--hell, I wasn't even planning to go to Peru!). Met a cool brother/sister team from Lima, hung with them in Aguas Calientes, but remember touring Machu Picchu on my own.

Took the early morning bus up to Machu Picchu and then did the walk back down to Aguas Calientes. Fond memories; at least as much as I can remember!
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Agent009 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:29 pm

I did not hike the trail... MP was my destination and i wanted to be well rested for my day there.

This was 2011, we boooked nothing in advance.

Stayed in Olly and toook the train up. I thought Olly was a great town, especially compared to Aguas.
The train was full leaving Aquas back to Olly, but we didnt care as i wanted to take the back way out via the power plant.
This was kind of a new way at the time, the back way in for the tour operators and supplies.
It envoled a short train ride, a 20 minute hike, then a few bus/van transfers, some epic views, then back in cusco. Took like 7 hours. I like traveling taht way, and had already spent a year as a dirty clownpant l005er backpacker, so it was really no big deal for me. I was with a wheeliebag girl from home whod i met in cusco for the trip to MP, and she really liked the 'adventure' of the backway, but wasnt sure if she could of pulled it orf on her own.

I kant imagine being saddled with a guide at MP.
I was on about the 1st bus up, and the last bus down.
Was so exhausted i was on the verge of barfing as i left.

Inside the park i hiked machu picchu mountian instead of huayan picchu.
It took almost 2 hours, saw maybe 4 people come down, and 4 at the top when i got there.
Was one of the most difficult hikes of my life, not that im in all great shape, or much of a hiker to begin with.
It was going up stone stairs for an hour and a half..... Up, up, up, up, up....
But it was worth it for this.....

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Best advice i can give is to learn as much about the ruins and culture before you visit, dont depend on someone there to tell you what you are looking at.
Try to be an expert, do your best to be indiana jones....
That is the single bestest way IMO to get the most out of your time there, or any pile of ruins.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:51 am

I remember you describing that hike in your travel journalism thread.

Good stuff.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Agent009 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:01 pm

I think i should make it clear we spent 2 nights in aguas. Train up, spent the night. Then a day at MP, spent the night, then left the following day for cusco.

The most amazing thing about aquas was the higher the elevation, the more piscos you got for free with the purchase of one.
They were like 5 for 1 at the top of the main road, or at least as far up as i wanted to go...
Id say about every 150 meters you rise, you get a bonus drink.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by steveogolf » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:59 pm

Many years ago I spent TWO nights at Aguas Calientes, with two days at Macchu Picchu, giving time to do the hike above the ruins and to walk back along the Inca Trail a few miles toward Cuzco to experience part of the Inca Trail too.
The best thing about staying at Aguas Calientes is that you can get to the ruins before the so-called "Tourist Train" arrives from Cuzco and buses the hoard of tourists to the ruins. Also, in the very early morning there was thick fog through the ruins which added to the mystique of the site, and, with the Peruvian boys playing tunes on their flutes at the ruins, it was magical !
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:53 pm

Here's an old Peruvian song complete with a slide show. 17,000,000 hits!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1E0nEe8RxM
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by ceylon_tea » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:03 am

Aguas Calientes is a tourist trap. I'd avoid spending any time there. ollantaytambo is a cute little town and a good stop over.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by polardude1 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm

ollantaytambo is a cute little town and a good stop over.
Agree.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Electrolyte » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:49 am

Maccu Pichu is not the best part of the Inca Trail, imo. Is time the constraint, or fitness? Ollantaytambo is the next best attraction.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by veronica_inheels » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:26 am

i went to peru about 17 years ago. we took a helicopter from cuzco to machu picchu. then stayed in town for couple of days. went back by train.
actually i was in cuzco on halloween- the most amazing halloween ever.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Andrea1 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:56 pm

I'm in Cusco, heading to Aguas Callientes tomorrow.
Today I queued half an hour at the Machu Picchu ticket office, bought a 152 sole/$47.30 ticket for 23rd. That is for one session only, you have to choose, morning or afternoon. If you want to stay all day, you have to pay twice.

Tomorrow I'm taking transport as far as the hydro plant - 65/70 soles return, 40 one way. I just paid for one-way, haven't decided yet if I'm taking the train from aguas Callientes to ollantaytambo or not. It's supposed to be a 3 hour easy flat walk from the plant to Aguas. We shall see. The train to/from Ollantaytambo to Agua s is from about $60+ one way up.

It's not the busy time at the moment, lots of agencies in Cusco offering all in packages, I haven't really paid attention because I don't want to do any of the treks. The biggest issue at this time of the year is the weather - rain and cloud and when you'll get the best views.

I'll add more details after I've been.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Bastet » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:27 am

I’ve bougjt my tix already for 2 morning sessions. They only allow 2x 400 people up to Huyana Picchu and when I booked early Jan there was only 180 left for mid-May.

Also I’ve read that it’s possible to stay longer than the 1/2 day as long as you don’t leave for lunch.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Klara » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:28 pm

Man how things have changed.

I did the trail in late 90's. You just paid the entrance fee and walked for 4 days on your own. It was great, and I agree with whoever said Machu Picchu wasn't the most important part of the trail.

I'm not trying to convince you to do the trail, mind. I know you don't have the time. I'm just saying.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by steveogolf » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:25 pm

What's this Shit about buying tickets in advance and having limited time. I went there in 1979 when you could avoid the so-
called tourist train, and ust buy a local train ticket to Aguas Calientes, walk to the MP Station, and take the bus to the ruins where you paid an admission fee good for all day. Times have changed.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Bastet » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:31 pm

Yeah I wish I’d gone a long time ago. Not only the pre-booking to get in, the time allocation, but you’re supposed to have a guide with you (as in mandatory).

Next they are talking about stopping people walking around freely as well but having to follow a path and viewing platforms.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Moethebartender » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:18 pm

If you haven't already seen the Nazca lines, you're really going to regret it. Apparently, things have really changed since A truck driver plowed through the area
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by polardude1 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:52 pm

Man how things have changed.

I did the trail in late 90's. You just paid the entrance fee and walked for 4 days on your own. It was great, and I agree with whoever said Machu Picchu wasn't the most important part of the trail.
Well unregulated numbers and trashing the trail had taken away for the experience for others. I did the trail on the 1st year it was regulated in 2003. It was a reasonable all inclusive $200 for the 4 days. Now it's inflated to $400 which I do find excessive.


Back country us in US national parks is regulated. You need a permit and numbers are limited. This protects the back country campsites for being overrun
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Andrea1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:37 pm

Bastet wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:27 am
I’ve bougjt my tix already for 2 morning sessions. They only allow 2x 400 people up to Huyana Picchu and when I booked early Jan there was only 180 left for mid-May.

Also I’ve read that it’s possible to stay longer than the 1/2 day as long as you don’t leave for lunch.
I spent some time with 2 Chilean women who hiked up Huyana, it was hard, according to them, felt like actual climbing in parts.

The hydroplant trip and hike along the tracks, 7 hours in a minibus, a fair part of it along a dirt track and along cliff edges, is one of my trip highlights. Incredibly scenic, a very skillful driver, it was thrilling. We were delayed 2 hours due to a landslide which we all pitched in to clear. Loved the walk along the train tracks, it was even fun and atmospheric, arriving in Machu Picchu Pueblo in the dark.

Took the bus up to Machu Picchu - $12, payable in dollars or soles, walked down. Took me 2 hours, everyone else a lot less. My body ached the next day, from walking around up top and the steep stairs down, but I am 57 so younger people will probably be fine.

At this moment they don't appear to be enforcing some of the rules - it isn't necessary to hire a guide, I had booked afternoon session but was shunted in at 11am.

The weather in January is a big factor. It can pour with rain. Suddenly. Fortunately, I got to experience sunny and dry plus downpour.

Machu Picchu is lower than Cusco so, hopefully, you'll have sorted out your altitude aclimatisation. It is an issue for a lot of people.

On the return to Cusco went by train to Ollantaytambo, spent a couple days. Definitely worth visiting.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by polardude1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:14 pm

At this moment they don't appear to be enforcing some of the rules - it isn't necessary to hire a guide, I had booked afternoon session but was shunted in at 11am.
I thought the guide is required only for those who did the Inca Trail

.
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Andrea1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:39 pm

Apparently, they're trying to introduce it for Machu Picchu. Part of it is to have some control on where people walk and how long they spend there. But, though it is now one of the rules, they're not enforcing it. Yet.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by polardude1 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:44 pm

I guess that's what happens when a site gets over run by visitors
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Agent009 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:36 pm

Degreeed andrea, the hydo route was also one of the highlights of the MP adventure for us.

Olly is very koool as well.
Town is still laid as the inca had planned, and sooooo many oarsome stone doorways, i like taking pics of doorways, lol.
The city was as fun to explore as the ruins......

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Electrolyte » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:12 pm

The bright side of having so many aspiring megalomaniacal authoritarian leaders in the world today is that maybe one or two of them will succeed, will build a magnificent (albeit perhaps not democratic, fair, equal, or humane) empire, and there will be a greater supply of grand palaces, monuments, cathedrals, artworks, etc ... to spread out the tourists.

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by VinnyD » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:33 pm


Bastet
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Bastet » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:42 pm

Andrea1 wrote:
Bastet wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:27 am
I’ve bougjt my tix already for 2 morning sessions. They only allow 2x 400 people up to Huyana Picchu and when I booked early Jan there was only 180 left for mid-May.

Also I’ve read that it’s possible to stay longer than the 1/2 day as long as you don’t leave for lunch.
At this moment they don't appear to be enforcing some of the rules - it isn't necessary to hire a guide, I had booked afternoon session but was shunted in at 11am.
What about the rule to stick to 3 paths only and not wander around freely?

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Agent009 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:08 pm

Electrolyte wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:12 pm
The bright side of having so many aspiring megalomaniacal authoritarian leaders in the world today is that maybe one or two of them will succeed, will build a magnificent (albeit perhaps not democratic, fair, equal, or humane) empire, and there will be a greater supply of grand palaces, monuments, cathedrals, artworks, etc ... to spread out the tourists.
Hahahahahahaha
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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:59 pm

What I remember...we took a local train to get there, not the tourist train. We missed the first train though, because we had two dogs with us, and unbeknownst to us, dogs aren't allowed on the train. Chickens, goats, pigs are all fine, but no dogs allowed. So we made arrangements to leave our dogs with someone in town, and caught the next train. We walked up the hill to the ruins from the train station below, because my backpacker looser parents were too cheap to pay for a bus. And then we "camped" inside some type of boiler room for the tourist hotel, because my parents were too cheap to pay for the expensive hotel at the ruins. But man those ruins were impressive. That was 1975, age 11. :lol:

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by troubs » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:25 pm

I did the trail on the 1st year it was regulated in 2003
^^me too! My parents did it last year. Much has changed but there is still something special about that hike that goes beyond just seeing MP

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Re: Machu Picchu

Post by Andrea1 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:01 pm

Bastet wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:42 pm

What about the rule to stick to 3 paths only and not wander around freely?
Not enforced. Yet.

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