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Forums » Peru » Help with Machu Pichu and Sacred Valley


Help with Machu Pichu and Sacred Valley

by JTraveler »

Good morning:

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


RE: Help with Machu Pichu and Sacred Valley

by rjonsun »

We were there in May a couple of years ago and had no trouble getting MP tix and train tix while in Cusco.  July can be more difficult as it is high season.  So I would try to pick up the MP tix in advance.

Getting from Cusco to Pisac with 4 people would be easiest done by taxi.  I'm guessing maybe $20 tops.  There aren't too many hotels right in Pisac.  On the outskirts are some nicer ones.  One thing that most people don't see are the best ruins in Pisac.  You will problably take a taxi up to the ruins where all the tour buses pull in and see some decent ruins.  however, it is best to walk the ridge toward town to see some probably the best ican masonry with a beautiful overlook of the Sacred Valley.  From there you walk down the terraces back into town.  We were in our early 60's and this took the better part of a whole day, but was well worth it.  99% of the people that go to Pisac miss this wonderful spot.

From Pisac you can take a bus or a taxi to either Urabamba or Ollantaitambo.  I'm suggesting a taxi because they are fairly cheap and with 4 of you the cost is split 4 ways.  We based out of Urabamba for a few days and took a day trip to Chincheros and spent about 4 hours there to see the market (Sunday) and also some nice ruins and terraces.  We did another day trip so see Salineras amd Moray, again well worht the effort.  I don't think I would stay in salineras or Moray, but some people stay in Chincheros.  Remeber, Chincheros is even higher than Cusco, so altitude sickness may be a factor.

From Urabamba we took a combi to Ollantaytambo for a full day.  There are a number of good places to stay in Ollanta, but we elected to stay in Urabamba.  Most people only spend about an hour at Ollantaytambo, but we spent the whole day there and enjoyed a lunch up above the ruins at a little visited spot.  The train to MP is based out of Ollanta.

We did not use any tour guides visiting any of the ruins.  Just used a guide book and took our time to really absorb each ruin.

In Cusco we stayed at Pension Aliman (I think) which was $66 per night for 2 with breakfast.  Really nice clean place but up in the san Blas district.  In Urabamba we satyed a a neat little place called Tres Maria's.  I think it was about $50 a night and was run buy a middle aged family out of their impeccable home with a wonderful garden.  this place was a find.

Hope some of this helps.




RE: Help with Machu Pichu and Sacred Valley

by JTraveler »

Thank you - it was very helpful