Planning a Machu Picchu Trip? Machu Picchu in Peru has been on many peoples bucket list for a long time. It is a very popular travel destination nowadays, however the logistics of how to get there and what to do can be a bit of a hassle; There are several items to consider such as domestic flights, hotel booking and costs, best routes, tours, guides, land transportation, safety and the list can go on and on. Below we will break down what you need for your Machu Picchu trip in order to make it both a memorable and safe trip.
Arriving in Machu Picchu
One of the most important questions made by arriving travelers seems to be “so I get to the airport and then I go to Machu Picchu?” It is a common misconception that you arrive in Peru and the Inca city is right there. The normal process is to arrive in Lima at Jorge Chavez international airport and proceed to take a domestic flight to Cusco located in the Peruvian highland region. There are no international flights arriving in the Cusco airport (except for one that comes from La Paz, Bolivia). Once in Cusco you could do a one day tour where you are immediately taken to Machu Picchu (depending on your arrival time) and can be back in the evening for a late domestic flight. We don’t recommend this for your Machu Picchu trip since it can be quite tiring and you really aren’t able to take advantage of your vacation. When you arrive in Cusco it is advisable to at least stay one night in the city before heading to Machu Picchu.
Booking a Cusco Hotel
Booking your Cusco hotel is a snap, first figure out what type of hotel you’d like. Consider star ratings as well as your planned budget you can go by ratings on websites such as trip advisor, check out each hotel on a virtual tour if their website has the option, look at pictures, comments in social media etc. Once you have done all that all you need to do is call the hotel, we advise that you do this a few months in advance. Cusco can be quite crowded on certain seasons so making sure a hotel has vacancy is a must, rest is very important when you are in altitude and want to be in good conditions for your Machu Picchu trip.
Tours and Treks to Machu Picchu
Tours to Machu Picchu leave on a daily, hourly basis. They usually consist of picking you up at your hotel and taking you to the train station where you will take a train to a town at the foothills of Machu Picchu called Aguas Calientes (also referred to as Machu Picchu Town). Once there you can either spend the night in Aguas Calientes and go on take your Machu Picchu trip early in the morning (5am).
The other option is to trek to Machu Picchu; this is a very appealing idea since you get to see not only Machu Picchu but also experience the local flora and fauna as you hike through the Andean wilderness and sleep under the starry highland sky. There are several treks that will lead you to Machu Picchu such as the ever popular Inca trail (must be reserved 3-6 months in advance fyi), the picturesque Salkantay trek (definitely one of if not the most visually appealing hike to Machu Picchu), The lares trek which is a shorter trek and the Choquequirao which can be a 9 day trek to the Inca city. All of these have something in particular to offer travelers so you can’t go wrong with any of them, however some might fit your particular fitness level/hiking experience better than others.
There are many things you can and should do in between your arrival to Cusco and your Machu Picchu trip such as the Sacred Valley tour or a Cusco city tour. We find it also important to have your transfers to and from the airport also taken care off as well as pickups. Making sure your guide speaks the same language as you is also very important so that should also be checked on your list.
In Conclusion you have several options on what do you and what to look for when planning your Machu Picchu trip, As long as you make sure everything is taken care of you will have both a safe and fun vacation. We take great pride in making sure all of our clients are well taken care of and are in constant contact with them from the time they arrive in Lima to the trek and finally when they leave Peru. Please make sure to contact us in case you need help organizing your Machu Picchu trip.