Cusco, Aguas Callientes; Machu Picchu- what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and more!

This post is derived from an email that I just sent to a new friend that is going to Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Cusco
Getting there:

Don’t just purchase a connecting flight from the US on LAN there are less expensive options on Peruvian operated airlines such as:

This also goes for traveling anywhere in Peru. Just watch out on Peruvian Airlines they have two sets of prices – one for Peruvians and the other for non-natives. Don’t try to be sneaky and buy the Peruvian ticket – I have a friend that was hit with the price difference at the airport.

Food, places to stay, things to do and more:
I would also recommend reading the beginning of July and  my June blog posts:  http://gettingtoknowtheworld.com/2011/07/    https://gettingtoknowtheworld.com/2011/06/ . They are all about Cusco. And you should definitely not miss out on some of the things there – there are food recommendations throughout.  I totally recommend going on a 4 wheeler and taking the Sacred Valley Tour! Matthew and I had a blast on that trip.

There is a great pizza place that I didn’t mention in the blog  off of Ave. Sol that has an amazing “Lomo Saltado” Pizza. It’s off on Garcilazo de la Vega. Here’s the map with the pin of the approximate location.

Machu Picchu / Aguas Calientes– during peak season purchase your Machu Picchu ticket a week to two weeks in advance

Bring a hat =)


Getting there:

The Colectivo- really comfy lol but tons of fun

After arriving to Cusco there are two options that I know of

  • You can take a bus to Ollyantatambu and then take a train to Aguas Calientes (stay over night) then you go to Machu Pichu from there. You should buy your ticket in advance during the peak season.
  • Or, you can take a van from Cusco – 5 hours to Santa Maria  (stay overnight)> a colectivo to Santa Theresa > then a combi to Aguas Calientes (stay over night – I stayed at Quello Mayo http://quellomayo.co.uk/) then you go to Machu Picchu from there.   (This is what I did – cost less but that 5 hour van is why it cost less)
Remember there are mudslides during the rain season (Quello Mayo is closed until April because of this), so take caution with both of these options.

Additional info:

So, I never finished writing about Machu Picchu. But this blog post is about the journey there: https://gettingtoknowtheworld.com/2011/09/17/adventures-from-lima-to-cusco-machu-pichu-and-beyond-part-i/
But the best restaurant in Aguas

An amazing appetizer

Calientes  there is Indio Feliz http://www.indiofeliz.com/en/menu.html I was in love with the salad chaski  the S/.50 menu is a great deal.  Also, if you don’t eat there don’t eat anywhere else except for a Pizza place because the food is not fresh and you may get sick.

This is the hotel I stayed at .. http://www.wiracochainn.com/es/index.html They have clean rooms, with private bathrooms and hot water. In addition they will start breakfast early for you if you ask. it typically stars at 6 am – I asked for a 4am breakfast so I could go to the bus at 5am to Machu Picchu.

PSA

I would also NOT recommend doing the bike ride tours on the road to Machu Picchu from Ollyatatambu.. I saw two people after having an accident on the roads there.. NOT SO PRETTY.  and waiting on the side of the road for a ride to come by after visiting a tiny clinic. If you do – be experienced & stay on the side of the road.

Ok so i am inspired to write part 2 now. =)  But there might also be a part 3 of Adventures from Lima to Cusco, Machu Picchu and Beyond! Hmm maybe later today.

Please leave a comment – especially if you have any additional advice or questions =)

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