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brettvdb's avatar

I am planning a trip to Macchu Picchu in March. What should my itinerary look like?

Asked by brettvdb (1192points) October 11th, 2010

I have always wanted to do the Inka trail and see Macchu Picchu, so I’ve decided to book time off work and go with my girlfriend in March. The problem is, I don’t know much about Peru or what else there is to do around Macchu Picchu and Cuzco.

The trip will be 10 days long. Does anyone have recommendations for the Inka Trail, guides, places to stay, things to do around Macchu Picchu, places to go, or even a potential itinerary?

Would love any advice anyone can give me.

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2 Answers

janbb's avatar

I know you will want to go to Cuzco first and get acclimated to the altitude before hiking. If you have the money, you might want to consider going with a small guided group trip such as those run by Classic Journeys or OAT. Otherwise, I would sugget checking out their websites to see what their itineraries are like. I haven’t been to Macchu Picchu yet so I can’t make specific recommendations, but I followed the Classic Journeys itinerary when we went to Costa Rica and it worked well.

GeorgeGee's avatar

There’s almost nothing to do around Machu Picchu outside of visiting the historic site (which is absolutely awesome). The nearby town of Aguas Calientes is kind of a dump, with overpriced bars, touristy restaurants and souvenir shops. There was only one other thing to do there, a place to get hot spring-fed baths.
I would plan on spending 2 days in Lima, stay in Miraflores and hit the beach while you’re there. You’ll want to fly to Cuzco, the bus takes forever.
Head to Cuzco and spend 2 nights there. It’s at a very high altitude and it might take you that long to start feeling good and breathing right, but it’s a very interesting place.
The train to Augas Calientes takes 4 hours. Plan to spend another 2 nights there. The “backpacker” train leaves 6:50 am and arrives at 10:50. If you like hiking, hike to Machu Picchu the first day; you’ll probably want to take the bus back though. Most hikers end up in one of the four or so bars in Aguas Calientes the first night, BS’ing in English until late in the night because there’s nothing else to do.
The next morning get up early and take the bus to Machu Picchu and head straight to climb up Wayna Picchu, the mountain peak behind the ruins. They close it off later, and it’s first come first served. It’s moderately strenuous, not as bad as it looks, but it’s amazing and you’ll brag about it for the rest of your life.
In the remaining days of your visit I’d suggest either an Amazon jungle tour, or visiting smaller archeological sites outside Lima, or if you can afford it, Fly to Nazca.
BTW, Listen careful to warnings about places NOT to go. There are some neighborhoods in Lima for instance that tourists should not go into. Apparently even the police are scared to go into them. But overall I didn’t have any problems except for my travelers checks being stolen from my bags while they were checked at a hotel. They were replaced by the t.c. company though I was scolded about how I shouldn’t have left them in my bags.
have a good trip!

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