Help with Machu Pichu and Sacred Valley
We (4 of us in 50's) are planning a trip to MP in early July. Experienced travelers but just not in South America although we felt very comfortable manuevering through Cost Rica and Belize if that is comparable. Is it?
Done some research, including reading the postings here (thank you for some great ones). We are looking to take a modified version of the 8 day itinerary in Moon Handbook.
Basically fly into Lima and then fly to Cusco. Moon recommends exploring the valley for a few days (Pisac, Chinchero, Salineras, Ollantaytambo) and then on day 4, taking a late afternoon train to Aguas Calientes. Next morning go to MP. for part of the day. Then head back to Aguas Calientes and take a train and then a bus to Cusco. Spend a couple of days in Cusco and the fly back to Lima for a late at night home to JFK.
Moons discourages using Cusco as a base for day trips to out villages/ruins and for a day trip to MP. It says you get a better feel staying at a village or near a ruin overnight. Also, it says the one day trip to MP is just a very long day.
1. Transportation between Cusco through Pisac and eventually ending up in Ollantaytambo. How is the transportation on busses or can cars be hired to take us to these cities. If we can figure out how to get to Pisac and find a hotel there to book, I assume the hotel people can provide some direction. Is it safe? any thoughts
2. Tour from Aguas Calientes to MP. We hear the number of passes are limited and want to hook up with a tour company for that leg. any recommendations? Why? Also, should we be concerned about not getting a pass to MP only 1 and 1/2 months out?
3. Local tour companies/guides you'd recommend?
4. what are the hotels like in Pisac, Chinchero, Salineras, Ollantaytambo?
Thank you for reading this and hopefully responding. I look forward to your comments.
John and Cilla