Peru 🇵🇪 - Macchu Pichu

· 9 min read
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Tips 👏

  • You can book Machu Picchu tickets for the site, or the site and a mountain: Huyana Picchu or Montana. You don’t need to hike any mountain to have the classic view on the site, but it’s still pretty cool to do.
  • We’ve been there early morning but it was already packed. It could be better to go either very early or later.
  • Book your tickets in advance, specially for any mountain.
  • There’s no water, food or toilet after passing the entrance.
  • The best point of view is from the top terraces, follow the Inca Bridge.
  • Take the minimum with you since you have to walk around quite a lot.
  • Bring hikking shoes and rain gear.
  • Take your passport with you, they check at the entrance and you can also get it stamped for free.
  • You don’t need a guide to visit the site. It’s better but not mandatory. We didn’t took one and that was perfect.
  • It takes around 4 hours to visit, including Huyana Picchu if you go fast.
  • Aguas Calientes is a sad town with nothing besides hotels, one night is enough.

🏠 Accommodation

We stayed at Adelas Hotel, very comfortable with nice view on the river and breakfast.

🚲 Getting there

We came there by train from Ollantaytambo in two hours.

⏱ Duration

We arrived at 8PM, slept, did the Macchu Pichu and went back to Cusco.

Sacred Valley day tour 🌄

After few days chilling in Cusco to get used to the altitude, we started our first expedition into the Inca world. We booked in advance a small sized day tour to the Sacred Valley, to then get dropped at the Ollantaytambo train station, to carry on our way to Machu Picchu.

We booked with the Exploor agency and that was perfect. The guide, Gris, was awesome, the minivan perfect, the lunch of high quality and the views fantastic, for a total of 50$ each. You probably can find way cheaper in Cusco but we wanted some comfort, trolley travel style.

After an early pick-up at 6:45AM from our hotel in Cusco, we drove 45 minutes and reached the first viewpoint of the Sacred Valley, where we stopped and took some nice pictures. An extra hour of drive later, we stopped to buy the multi-site tickets for 70S each and entered in the Pisac Archeologic site: a wonderful old inca village sitting on top of a mountain. Most of the walls and terraces are still there. We also learnt that the hill in front used to be a cemetery, where people where buried in fetal position in the inca tradition. We stayed around one hour on the site, walking around and enjoying the view.

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Our next stop was located 1 hour drive further, at the Salineras de Maras. After a little hike down, we could enjoy watching more than 3000 pools of salty water for around 45 minutes. The incas and now local communities use the naturally very salty water to fill their pool, and extract the salt from it with evaporation. Those pools at the bottom of the valley created a fantastic and very unusual landscape. While passing in the souvenirs shops after the visit, make sure to try the quinoa with salt chocolate, very tasty.

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We then reached Moray, an avocado shaped terrace which according to the latest studies, was a kind of laboratory for the incas to try to adapt plants to high altitudes. Regardless of the history, it’s very scenic and quite impressive.

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We then stopped for a delicious buffet lunch, with ceviche please, at Hacienda Puka Punku, and then to a local shop a bit further to try out the local alcohol Chicha. Full and tipsy, we headed to our latest stop of the day, Ollataytambo ruins, which was the highlight for us.

We climbed on top of the huge terraces in the mountain, while having a splendid view on the Sacred Valley. Our guide also showed us other buildings in the front mountain, called Colca, which used to store goods at Inca times. We stayed on the site for one hour, said our goodbye with the tour people, and made our way to the train station to get to Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu.

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