EscapeSouth America

Cusco & La Vallée Sacrée

By July 22, 2019 No Comments

When-Where-Why?

Cusco is a beautiful city at 3399m above sea level. It is the ancient capital of the Inca civilization and an ideal starting point to visit the sacred valley and go to Machu Picchu.

We went for ten days in July 2019.

Our tour was: Cusco – Pisac – Urubamba – Maras & Moray – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) – Cusco.

Transports

Take the combi at the bus terminal of Avenida Tullumayo.

Price: 4-5 soles

Duration: 45min-1h

There are “parada” in the main street.

Raise your hand if the destination is not indicated on the van.

Price: 5 soles

Duration: 30-45min

Go to the bus terminal if you do not go through a ride.

* To go to Maras:

Price: 2.5 soles

Duration: 20min

* To go to Moray from Maras:

Price: to negotiate with a combi driver. About 5 soles.

Duration: 10min

Otherwise there is a path that makes Maras-Moray in 1h-30 max one way.

Go to the Urubamba bus terminal.

Price: 2 soles

Duration: 30min

Vous pouvez longer la voie ferrée ou prendre le train avec Peru Rail.

Tarif:

Durée:

Alors si vous avez les moyens, prenez le train.

Sinon voici une autre option plus économique:

Housing

* Chaska Kawarina

Type: Double room with shared bathroom.

Price: 11USD

Address: Calle Quillichapata lte, 3 (Cuesta Santa Ana), Cusco City Center

and on Airbnb

* Luxury Apartament! For Couples or Small Families

Type: Apartment for 4-5 people. There is everything you need to cook. It’s clean. Hot water.

Rate: 60 soles at night

Address: Calle Koricancha

* Hospedaje of Colores

Type: Double room with shared bathroom. Crade and hippie landmark. Bad address but not expensive. The girl who took care of giving us the room was rude. Breakfast included.

Price: 8USD

Address: Amazonas Lote 3, Pisac

* Pisac Inca Gues House

Type: Double room with private bathroom. Very nice room. Tea available all day. Hot water. Breakfast excellent and plentiful. The staff is very kind and helpful. Excellent address.

Price: 45USD by booking directly otherwise it is 15% more expensive on booking.

Address: Huayna Pichu, Pisac

*Las Bananas

Type: Double room with shared bathroom. Very good breakfast with homemade jams. Petra, the owner is a young Dutch girl married to a Peruvian; she is super nice and caring.

Price: 12USD

Address: Charcahuaylla s/n Patawasi/La Cantuta, behind Clinica Cima, Urubamba

*Inka Khawarina Tambo Lodge

Type: Double room with private bathroom. The people are super nice and friendly. Rooms are big and clean. Breakfast is good.

Price: 14 USD with breakfast

Address: Patacalle s/n Niño Samachina, Ollantaytambo

*Qory Miski

Type: Double room with shared bathroom.

Price: 17USD

Address: Yahuar Huaca 113, Machu Picchu

* Los Jardines de Mandor

Type: There are rooms with shared bathroom and you can also camp. There is a meal service. It is superb! In front of the railway that connects Aguas Calientes to Cusco (there are no trains all night long I reassure you!) And there is access to a garden and pretty waterfalls.

Rate: 60 soles for a double room. We have access to the garden (entrance only 10 soles).

Address: After Aguas Calientes towards Machu Picchu for 15 minutes, then you have to walk along the railway for 30 minutes. Take the direction of Mandor Catarata.

Visits

Boleto Turistico

What’s this?

This ticket will allow you to visit the most important sites of Cusco and the Sacred Valley (excluding Machu Pichu).

There are two types of tickets:

Boleto turistico integral (130 soles): 16 sites in Cusco and its surroundings. It is valid for 10 days.
Boleto turistico partial (70 soles): 3 different circuits. It is valid 1 or 2 days depending on the ticket.
The integral boleto includes:

In Cusco: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Regional History, the Folk Art Museum, the Pachacutec Monument, the Qosqo Center for Music and Dance, the Qoricancha Museum
Around Cusco: the ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, Tipon, Pikillacta
In the Sacred Valley: the ruins of Pisac, the ruins of Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, the agricultural terraces of Moray
The boleto turistico parcial is a ticket divided into 3 possible circuits:

Option 1: Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara (archaeological sites around Cusco). It is valid 1 day.
Option 2: Regional Historical Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Folk Art Museum, Qosqo Center for Music and Traditional Dances, Coricancha Museum, Monument to Pachacutec, Tipon and Pikillacta. It is valid for 2 days.
Option 3: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Moray (sites of the Sacred Valley). It is valid for 2 days.

Where to buy it?

COSITUC: Galerías Turísticas, Av. El Sol No. 103, Cusco (Mon-Fri 8h-17h30, Sat 8h30-12h30).
OFEC: Calle Garcilaso s / n, Cusco (Mon-Sat 8h-17h and Sun 8h-20h).
At the entrance of the sites included in the tourist ticket (except at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Monument to Pachacutec)
Otherwise you can also book it online in advance.

Cusco & Vinicunca

*Plaza de Armas

Main square of the city. There are many quite expensive shops, restaurants, banks. But we particularly appreciate the beautiful buildings with colonial architecture with carved wooden balconies, as well as the Capilla del Triunfo (entrance 10 soles) and the iglesia of the Compañía de Jesús (entrance 30 soles! Overpriced!).

The place where the Plaza de Armas of Cusco is located was formerly a swampy area which, at the time of the Incas, was drained and transformed into an administrative, cultural and religious center of the Tahuantinsuyo empire, After the conquest by the Spaniards the old buildings and foundations of the Inca palaces and buildings were covered with more recent buildings. Such as temples and mansions.

This place is of great importance for the inhabitants. Indeed, it is on this place that José Gabriel Condorcanqui Noguera (Tupac Amaru II) was executed on May 18, 1781.

The real name Quechua with what was called the current Plaza de Armas of Cusco, at the time of the Incas, is still unknown. He took the lead of a great Indian rebellion against the Spanish settlers

This square was the administrative, cultural and religious core of the capital Tahuantinsuyo, one of the greatest empires in America and the world. It will be the most important anti-colonial revolt in Spanish America during the eighteenth century. This revolt, nicknamed “Great Rebellion”, took place in the viceroyalty of Peru and in the viceroyalty of Río de la Plata (subdivisions of the Spanish Empire) and was launched on November 4, 1780. He was the first to to claim freedom for all America and to wish to free it from all guardianship. The movement failed and Túpac Amaru II was publicly quartered and beheaded in 1781 in Cuzco. However, he later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence and recognition of indigenous rights, and will be recognized as the founder of Peruvian national identity.

*Museo Inka

Located in a 17th century colonial house, built partly with Inca stones, by Lieutenant Corregidor Francisco Aldrete Maldonado. There is a vast collection of “keros” (ceremonial vases made of carved wood), fabrics, mummies and idols in solid gold and silver, as well as Inca weapons, tools and pottery. It belongs to the San Antonio Abad National University of Cusco and has a fine collection of archaeological pieces of the Inca culture.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 08:00 to 18:00 / Saturdays and holidays: 09:00 to 16:00.

Price: Adults S / 10.00

Address: Ataud 154, Cusco 08002

 

*Barrio San Blas

Very nice neighborhood with its picturesque streets. They are very small and when cars rush in it must almost stick to the walls! The streets rise and fall in all directions and offer great views of the surrounding mountains and roofs of houses. There are many shops of all kinds, many bobos cafes, restaurants and typical Peruvian markets. There is a nice place where ladies in traditional outfits will try to make us take pictures with llamas or alpacas for some soles. In this square there is also a craft market and a museum that is worth seeing: the workshop museum of Hilario Mendivil (local artist who has a pretty interesting way to represent virgins with llamas!) The house is very beautiful and worth the trip, even if you do not like his art, plus it’s free).

While walking in the alleys, do not hesitate to enter the small courtyards of the hotels. Some hotels are beautiful. This is the case of Antigua Casona San Blas (Calle Carmen Bajo), with carved wooden balconies.

Do not miss Hatunrumiyoc, where you’ll see a perfect example of Incas wall construction.

*Palacio Inka del Kusikancha

It is a place where lived the most remarkable Inca governor of the Tawantinsuyo empire: Pachakuti Inka Yupanti (1430-1478). During the Inca period, this palace was an integral part of Qurikancha (Temple of the Gods universal) and took the sacred function of serving as “home of the real mummies of the Incas”. During the colonization and the republic, this temple was occupied by many families of the city.

From now on we can only see remains of Incas construction.

*Covento Santo Domingo

Q’orikancha is the most important Inca monument in the city of Cusco. The church and Spanish convent were built on the ruins of an ancient Inca temple: the temple of the Sun or Q’orikancha. During the earthquake of 1650, most Hispanic walls were destroyed while the Inca walls remained intact. The interior houses many remains of the Inca temple, whose walls were slanted to withstand earthquakes. It is said that up to 4,000 priests lived in its enclosure and the walls were entirely covered with gold leaf, as a representation of the God of the sun. Its breathtaking riches (precious stones, silver and gold) were stolen by the Spanish conquistadors during the conquest of the city in 1534. The Inca temple was replaced by the Santo Domingo Convent, to demonstrate the removal of the ancient Inca cult.

Koricancha Tariff: Adult S./15

Price of the museum: Included in “Tourist ticket” – adult S./10 and student S./5

*Saqsaywaman

Inca Fortress and Religious Center. Built by Inca Pachacutec in the middle of the fifteenth century, following the attack on Cuzco in 1438, it was finally completed by the Incas that followed (Tupac Yupanqui, Huayna Capac). Under the walls of Saqsaywaman was played one of the last episodes of the conquest of Peru. In 1536, during the uprising of Manco Inca, the Spaniards, who held the center of Cuzco, were assaulted on all sides by thousands of Inca soldiers. They narrowly managed to maintain their positions and tried to loosen the vice by a counter-attack on Sacsayhuaman which ended in failure: Juan Pizarro, the youngest of the four brothers, was fatally wounded. The battle gave rise to the heroic episode of Inca captain Cahuide, passed to posterity: while the Spaniards assaulted the tower where he had entrenched himself with several warriors, he preferred to jump into the void and went to crash at the foot of this one rather than surrender. The siege of Saqsaywaman was recounted by an eyewitness to the battle, Pedro Pizarro (the cousin of the four brothers), in his chronic Relacion del descubrimiento conquista del Peru, written in 1571.

How to get there:On foot up the street Atoqsaycuchi, or combo from the Garcilazo stop (roundabout of the same name).

Price:Included in the ” Boleto Turistico”.

* Puka Pukara

Inca fortress built to defend Cusco.

How to get there: Incombi from Garcilazo stop (roundabout of the same name).

Price:Included in the ” Boleto Turistico”.

* Tambomachay

Former home of the Inca emperor Tupac Yupanqui. The visit of this site is very restricted; you can see fountains and the valley. The Incas made many human sacrifices …

How to get there: Five minutes walk from Punku pukara.

Price:Included in  the “Boleto Turistico”.

What: The rainbow mount has become Peru’s second most visited attraction after Machu Picchu. It rises to folds of 5200m above sea level and is located in the region of Cusco. Its different hues are due to the minerals that constitute it:

-the sulfur that gives the color yellow,
-iron oxide makes it possible to obtain red
-copper sulphate for the green color.

Many indigenous people live in small villages in these mountains. The main inhabitants being the Quechuas, who are the descendants of the Inca populations. Originally covered with snow, Vinicunca has subsequently undergone global warming and unveiled its colors. She was recently discovered by an Italian tourist; since the inhabitants of the region have developed a mass tourism around this mountain, harming its environment. However it is the inhabitants of the region who manage tourism and not the state. There are many species including llamas, vicuñas, horses and alpacas. The main crop is potato, Peru having more than 2000 different varieties of potatoes.

Right next to the mountain is the Rojo Valley. It’s even more beautiful than the mountain! You must follow the trail that goes to the left after the mountain retracing your steps. It takes a good hour to walk to the point of view that is breathtaking!

Difficulty: You will walk at more than 4000m of altitude. So you need to acclimatize a minimum in Cusco before starting the ride. Do not think that you are infallible. We do not joke with this kind of altitude, tourists have died wanting to do crazy. The ride starts slowly then climbs quickly. It is not very difficult but it is the altitude that makes it difficult. The tours start at 4.30am and return at the end of the afternoon.

How: By your own means it is possible and much cheaper. Inquire at the tourist office for buses and options once near the track. Otherwise there are hundreds of tours that offer tours of 1 to 3 days. Be very careful when choosing the agency. She must have a certification (if you are not sure you can ask at the tourist office) and provide first aid and oxygen in case of emergency. The tours offer the following services (normally):

-Round trip
-Breakfast in a village
-Oxygen and first aid
-Guides
-Lunch.

Duration: Once there, count between 45min and 1h30 walk to reach the rainbow mountain. Then the tours will give you time to enjoy the scenery and take your photos. If you have been quick, you will have time to go to see the Valle Rojo an extra hour of walking (it’s even more beautiful!).

Price: 45 soles to much more! It’s up to you to negotiate! The entrance to Vinicunca is 10 soles and Valle Rojo is also 10 soles.

Sacred Valley

Pisac is a small town located 1 hour from Cusco, at an altitude of 2972m. It has a nice central square and pretty pitorresque streets. The main attraction of this city is the discovery of its great archaeological site, often forgotten tourists passing through the sacred valley.

In July, around the 15th, we must not miss the feast of the Virgin. It lasts several days. The locals party nonstop day and night and are dressed in their traditional costumes. People dance and sing in the streets it’s really great!

* Market of Pisac

There are many shops in the streets but also a nice craft market near the church close to the Plaza de Armas.

* Ruins of Pisac

What: The ruins of Pisac are divided into 4 groups: Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’Allaqasa and Kinchiracay.

At the time Inca, the site had 3 functions:

– Military: he defended the southern entrance of the Sacred Valley.

– Religious: the terraces above the citadel represent the wing of a partridge.

– Agricultural: graves of Inca villagers were found plundered at the arrival of archaeologists.

The landscape is beautiful and the ruins very well preserved.

How: You can leave the place of arms and go up the path that passes the walk. If you do this, you will mostly climb. Otherwise, take a taxi and drop off in the northern part of the site, from there you will only have the descent and the views will be much more beautiful! There are agencies that will offer tours from Cusco. If you are on Pisac take the time to explore the entire site; it does not consist of two ruins but a whole series of ruins along the valley and terraces.

Duration: If you do everything and take your time, minimum 4 hours. It’s so beautiful that you’ll want to take your time!

Price: It is not possible to visit this site by paying an entry only for the ruins. You will have to pay a Boleto turistico (which includes other sites in the valley and on Cusco). There are alternative ways not to pay (ask the locals); but I think you should pay because the money goes back to the community.

Few people stop at Urubamba; it is not a very beautiful city but it is still a good base in the sacred valley if you do not go through the tour operator to visit the sites of Maras (salt) and Moray.

Good addresses:

* Antojitos: It’s a very cozy cafe restaurant where you can taste very good craft beers and cakes. They do dishes not very expensive (around 12 soles) which is hearty.

Address: Peru, Jirón Mainique 211, Urubamba

* El Eden: Small (very small) cafe restaurant very cute. They have daily specials, homemade cakes, homemade ice creams, hot chocolate too good, tasty fruits just and they also sell sauces and jams.

Address: Av. Mariscal Castilla 960, Urubamba 08661

Few people stop at Urubamba; it is not a very beautiful city but it is still a good base in the sacred valley if you do not go through the tour operator to visit the sites of Maras (salt) and Moray.

*Maras

What: The salines of Maras are the main attraction of the city. They are located at more than 3000 meters of altitude. These are salinas that are maintained by the inhabitants of the city. The salt that is harvested is sold in the village and elsewhere, either by the families directly or by the community (it harvests all the salt and shares the recipe). The different shades are due to the progress of the sedimentation in each basin. Everything is harvested by hand by the inhabitants themselves. From now on it is no longer possible to walk around the site but there are some points of view.

How: In collective since Urubamba.

Price: 2.5 soles

Duration: 20min

Entry: 10 soles.

* Moray

What: To resume wikipedia: “At first glance, the site is like a main amphitheater and two secondary, smaller ones nearby. They consist of several terraces arranged in a concentric circle. In fact, it was an Inca agricultural research center where cultural experiments were practiced.

The position of the terraces creates a series of microclimates: the temperature is higher in the center but then decreases depending on the distance of each terrace. This allows to simulate about twenty different microclimates. It is thought that Moray was used in particular to predict agricultural yields, not only in the Sacred Valley but also in other parts of the Inca Empire. It also seems that in Moray the Incas tried to acclimate to the local conditions of the exotic plants.

The terraces consist of retaining walls, fertile soil and a complex irrigation system to grow more than 250 species of plants. The word moray is linked to the cornfield, which was called Aymoray, or in May, which is also called Aymoray, but also to the dehydrated potato that is Moraya or Moray.

Each level is accessible by a system of stairs whose steps are directly embedded in the walls. Each level is about 2 m high.

A pond located at the top of the site retained the water needed for crops. Irrigation canals brought water on each level through ditches dug into the stone.

An average temperature difference of 5 ° C was observed, whereas this difference is only 0.5 ° C on comparable height differences in the same place. ”

How: In collective since Maras.

Price: to negotiate with a combi driver. About 5 soles.

Duration: 10min

Otherwise there is a path that makes Maras-Moray in 1h-30 max one way. It’s flat, easy and the scenery is beautiful.

How much: Included in the Boleto Turistico.

As it is well written on Wikipedia, “Ollantaytambo is an Inca fortress whose name means the inn of Ollantay, named after a warrior.It was the seat of fierce battles between Incas and Spaniards, Manco Inca there fleeing to federate Inca resistance after the fall of Cuzco, located 75 km northwest of Cuzco in Peru at an altitude of 2,792 m, at the junction of the Cuzco Valley. Urubamba and a side ravine on the right. ”

Here is what I could visit in three full days on site:

* Ñaupa Iglesia

What: It is a ceremonial center between the communities of Pachar and Pomatales. Its name “ÑAUPA CHOQELLA CHURCH” means “the old temple where gold shines”. We take a staircase of 180 steps cut stone and climbing to the top, to get to the entrance of Waka (ceremonial center) is a rock shelter. The enclosure is a natural cavity formed by two large rocks of volcanic origin. This wall houses eight trapezoidal niches spread over two levels with four each. The niches had a dual purpose: utilitarian or decorative.
Another important element of the site is the large basalt stone, in the center of the entrance. It is an altar where the sacred ceremonies were performed (and perhaps still are, because during my visit there were offerings).

How: You have to go to Pachar in combi (10min) or on foot (1h-1h30). Once in the central square of the village where there are two churches you must continue to the street that goes up. You will arrive at a bridge after crossing the main street. The easiest way is to walk along the railway line (watch out for trains) until the site is indicated by a blue sign. When you see it, take a right and go up on the terraces. The site is at the top.

Price: Free.

* Choqana

What: I did not find information on this site but it looks like ruins built in the mountains.

How: From Ollantaytambo, cross the river and follow the road. You will fall on it. The view is much more beautiful on the other side of the river though. Count 30min walk minimum one way.

Price: Free.

* Ruins of Ollantaytambo

What: The site is grandiose, there are terraces and small houses in the hills. The ruins of Ollantaytamnbo were used as a military and religious site. The construction of this site in height is not trivial. It allowed Inca leader Manco Pacac and his warriors to have an eye on the whole valley and to prevent enemy attacks (hence the meaning of Ollantaytabo which in Quechua means “place to see below”). The view of the site is beautiful! We can see the mountains, the glacier Veronica (named after a girl who died after trying to climb) and the village. It must be known that the construction of the site was begun before the Incas arrived in the valley. It can be seen by the superposition of the two types of walls: the pre-Inca walls have the stones that are welded using a mortar; while the Inca stones are placed one on top of the other and are much more imposing. In pre-Inca culture the inhabitants of the city lived on the site; after the conquest by the Incas, only the chief and the warriors stayed in the heights. The site was built so that during the winter and summer solstices, the sun coming out of the surrounding mountains, at very specific points (where the mountains form Inca faces), strikes at the entrance of the “puerta del sol” at the top of the site, but also in the sacred fountain below where the virgins were to be purified (water representing life in the Inca culture). It was fascinating to hear the guide’s explanations about all of this! We also learned that in some buildings the Incas stored food for their daily consumption, while in the ruins opposite, which were also ruins dedicated to the protection of the fortress, there was a huge building dedicated to food preservation for several months or even years. There are also large terraces where the Incas grew potatoes and other foods. The Incas had occupied the site for a hundred years, before the arrival of the Spaniards in 1536. The capture of the fortress by the Spaniards interrupted the construction of the fortress; that’s why the walls are not finished and stones are still on the ground. The guide will explain that the stones were recovered in a quarry several kilometers from Ollantaytambo. To bring them back they had to cross the river. This river had two arms which during the rainy season was soon too high for transport. So during the months when the river was high, the inhabitants and the slaves cut the stones and went down to the river, and during the rest of the year they brought them up to the top of the site. But how did they do it? Very simple (I’m kidding of course): they put stones that weighed several tons on smaller stones and then on logs. With the help of ropes they brought them to the top of the site thanks to a ramp on the side of the mountain. To cross the river they diverted the current with the help of stones to cross one side, then the other! All the inhabitants worked on the construction of the fortress and this lasted for several generations. They were between 300 and 400 people to bring the stones to the top. Once up the stones were shaped so that they could fit together. This site is remarkable!

How: Go to the craft market which is behind the main square.

Price: It’s included in the Boleto turistico.

*Pinkuylluna

What: This site served as a military zone and as a pantry. Military zone because it was very well located in the heights of the mountain. The Incas could see the enemies arriving on each side. The pantry was also very important because its geographical location on the mountain guaranteed the freshness of food and allowed to keep them for months or even years. The site is very little visited by tourists and yet offers a breathtaking view of the ruins and the village.

How: Go to Calle Lares. You will find a wooden door on your right, you only have to go up.

Price: Free.

*Inti Punki (La Puerta del Sol)

What:These are remains of an Inca gate that is about 3900m above sea level. Its orientation is such that during the summer solstices the sun enters the door, as for all the sacred doors in the Inca world in fact. It is in a place that I suppose is symbolic because all around we see the mountains and the sacred valley, it’s beautiful!

How:You leave Ollantaytambo and cross the river. After the bridge take the path that runs along the river to the right and you follow it. It is hilly and easy at first. You will pass in front of the quarry that served to build the ruins of the village. There you will have two choices: make a climb well hard but faster or bypass. We climbed hard. When you reach the top there are huge stones and a path that continues to climb but more slowly. You will pass in front of ruins with horses (possibility of camping here). From the ruins count 1h-1h30 walk to the door you will see in small. It goes up but it’s less violent. To go down again take the same path or when you are again towards the ruins with the horses go down to the village of Cachiccata (count 1h30-2h to reach Ollantaytambo).

Difficulty:Medium.

Duration:3-4h minimum climb and about 2h descent.

Price:Free.

Well, do not hide your face, Aguas Calientes it’s super ugly, and it’s a tourist catcher! The restaurants are of poor quality (for menus that revolve around 14 soles) and the craft market is a huge scam (prices are three times more expensive than other villages in the Sacred Valley so shop before! ). However, there are two cool things to do.

* Los Jardines de Mandor & Catarata of Mador

What: A family spent about ten years maintaining their garden and part of the river where water flows from two waterfalls. There are several very beautiful plant species where you can observe the birds. It is a very nice ballad if you have time to lose to Aguas Calientes.
Address: You leave the village heading towards the road to Machu Picchu. When you see the bridge do not cross it, turn right and follow the railway. You will have about 45min walk.
Price: 10 soles. It’s free if you stay on site.

* Machu Picchu

Look at the following tab 🙂

What: Machu Picchu is an Inca site and is the first tourist site in Peru. It is located in the sacred valley. Its construction was started in the 15th century between the Machu Picchuet Huayna Picchu mountains. This site was a religious and agricultural place. It was not finished because of the arrival of the Spaniards in the region.

How:There are many ways to get to Machu Picchu. In any case you will have to go through Aguas Calientes.

* To get to Aguas Calientes:

Option 1:You take the train that takes you to Aguas Calientes from Cusco or Ollantaytambo (with Peru Rail or Inca Rail). It is the least economical option but it is nice and the road is beautiful. Count at least 50USD the trip for 1H30 from Ollantaytambo.

Option 2:You must go to Hydroelectrica. Possible from Cusco (8h drive in combi). Count around 20 soles the way. Once at Hydroelectrica, it takes about 3 hours to reach Aguas Calientes. The road is very pretty, it’s flat and it’s along the railway.

* To get to Machu Picchu:

Option 1:The simplest and least economical: the bus. Now there are schedules for buses. If you choose to visit Machu Picchu in the morning you will have to take the bus that corresponds to your entry on the site that will be indicated on your ticket at the time of purchase. You will not be able to eat. For example: you decide to visit the site in the morning and do the mountain at 7am. On your ticket it will be indicated that you will have to present yourself at the entrance of the site for 6am. So you have to take the bus at 5:30 at the earliest (first bus) knowing that the bus takes 30 minutes. You will not be able to come after this time.

Bus fare:12USD one way.

Option 2:The longest and cheapest: walk. The road is zigzagged but there is a staircase that cuts it. Count 1h-1h30 of walking to go up and less than an hour to go down.

If you do not want to get up early to get on you can go by bus and return by walking for example!

Price:It all depends on what you want to see and do. From now on we can not stay as long as we want on the site. It takes about 8h on the spot maximum if you go hiking.

Option 1:You choose a single entry for Machu Picchu.

Price:152 soles / adult, 77 soles / student, 70 soles / child

Option 2:Machu Picchu & Mountain Waynapicchu.

Price:200 soles / adult, 125 soles / student, 118 soles / child

There are only two slots which means that entry to the mountain can be done only during this time slot. Once the recording is done you will have a few hours to go up, admire and go back down.

7h-8h (entry on the site at 6h or 7h) / 10h-11h (entry on the site at 8h)

Ex: You choose the first niche: you want to climb on the mountain in the morning before 10am. You will have to arrive on the site for 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock in the morning and to present you in front of the door to register you for the climb of the mountain between 7:00 and 8:00. After 8am your entry will be refused on the site and on the mountain.

Option 3:Machupicchu & montaña Machupicchu

Price:200 soles / adult, 125 soles / student, 118 soles / child

Schedules:There are only three time slots that mean that entry to the mountain can be done only during this time slot. Once the recording is done you will have a few hours to go up, admire and go back down.

7h-8h (entry on the site at 6h) / 9h-10h (entry on the site at 8h)

Advice:

* If you decide to climb, take a time slot early because both are not easy (I had the chance to do both). Allow at least 3 hours of hiking and beware of closing times.

* If you do the Waynapicchu leave for the first time slot because otherwise you will be embarrassed by people coming down and it is very steep. This radiance is not recommended for people who have vertigo.

* Choose to visit Machu Picchu as soon as possible when you arrive at the site when it opens there will be no or very few tourists in the middle of the site and your photos will be more beautiful!

Other:

* The Machu Picchu is a monumental scam tariff level (it’s true, it’s beautiful but what is beautiful is the mountains around in fact! They charge a blind for the train, housing in Aguas Calientes, the thaw food in Aguas Calientes, and the entrance!) expect not to be at the end of your surprises once at the top.

  • Luggage is 5 soles. They will try to have you put your backpacks on consignment if they are too big so beware!
  • The toilet is 2 soles!

* Know that if you visit one of the two mountains in addition to the site, you have the right to go out to go to the WC and re-enter. So keep your tickets on you!

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