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  #1  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:12 PM
shorning shorning is offline
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Default Train to Machu Picchu

I have been on Perurail.com trying to at least get prices for tickets for March 2014 and every date I put in is unavailable, even dates in 2013. Does anyone know the problem or if all the tickets are already sold out? We intend to go to MP before our cruise on March 15, 2014 so I would like to get my train tickets before making any other plans. Thanks for any insight! Sue
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  #2  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 07:32 PM
me429sb me429sb is offline
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Sue,

I searched for dates in July, August and November 2013 and got available trains. The tickets for 2014 will not open until mid to late December 2013. We went to Machu Picchu in February this year and the tickets didn't open up until just after xmas.

March is low season in Peru so you won't need to worry about whether you are able to get tickets - you could buy them the day before in Cusco and still find available tickets. The only tickets you might not find are Cusco to MP but you can alway get tickets from Ollanta to MP and this is in many ways a better journey. We left from Ollanta and got a taxi to take us there stopping at sites on the way. On the way back we bought tickets all the way to Cusco but they actually offloaded everyone at Urabumba and put us on buses back to Cusco because the Hiram Bingam is the only train running all the way to Cusco because of damage to the track from landslides. The Cusco station is actually at Poroy which is some way out of town so you will need a car/taxi to collect you anyway.

If you have any other questions I'm happy to answer them.

Michelle
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  #3  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 08:59 PM
shorning shorning is offline
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Would you mind telling me your itinerary and where you stayed and the approximate costs? Thanks. Sue
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  #4  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 11:27 PM
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Betho Betho is offline
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Originally Posted by me429sb View Post
Sue,

I searched for dates in July, August and November 2013 and got available trains. The tickets for 2014 will not open until mid to late December 2013. We went to Machu Picchu in February this year and the tickets didn't open up until just after xmas.

March is low season in Peru so you won't need to worry about whether you are able to get tickets - you could buy them the day before in Cusco and still find available tickets. The only tickets you might not find are Cusco to MP but you can alway get tickets from Ollanta to MP and this is in many ways a better journey. We left from Ollanta and got a taxi to take us there stopping at sites on the way. On the way back we bought tickets all the way to Cusco but they actually offloaded everyone at Urabumba and put us on buses back to Cusco because the Hiram Bingam is the only train running all the way to Cusco because of damage to the track from landslides. The Cusco station is actually at Poroy which is some way out of town so you will need a car/taxi to collect you anyway.

If you have any other questions I'm happy to answer them.

Michelle
My adult daughter and I are flying to Peru, Lima to Cuzco and taking the train to Machu Picchu this August 2013..any travel hints and suggestions and help would be great!
would be sincerely appreciated...thank you!
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  #5  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 11:32 PM
catergirl catergirl is offline
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Default Me too!!

yes we plan on doing this precruise feb 2014. and if you have any help with the questions i posed to 'granam' a few threads down, that would be great. seems 'granam' is off boards right now. thanks martha
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Old May 25th, 2013, 11:53 PM
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My adult daughter and I are flying to Peru, Lima to Cuzco and taking the train to Machu Picchu this August 2013..any travel hints and suggestions and help would be great!
would be sincerely appreciated...thank you!
I went to Peru last month. It was so great! I will never forget Machu Picchu! My only regret is I needed more time in Peru!
My suggestions are the first day in Cuzco, take it easy!! I flew in and within two hours attempted to take a city tour. I got altitude sickness really bad. That first day it was like breathing with a straw.
There's alot to see and do in Cuzco. I needed two additional days to see everything. Also head out to other areas. The best shopping was in Cuzco rather than Pisac (even better pricing with the Awamaki fair trade shop in Ollantaytambo).
Hire a private driver to take you around the Scared Valley. I enjoyed going at my own pace and time
Cabs are reasonable,but make sure of the price before getting in and riding. I would ask my hotel host how much.
Hopefully when your trip come around, the train is running from Cuzco again. Right now they are busing your from Cusco to Prory and then the train. Sit on the left side of the train car heading to Machu Picchu. Both side starts off great,but then along the river the right side is nothing but a wall of rocks. The bathroom is clean on the train.
On the return from Machu Picchu, the train station can get hetic! I didn't like the fact you have to walk through a market just to get to the station.
As for Machu Picchu, it's breathtaking! Take a large bottle of water! You will need it. Also there are steep paths and alot of walking. Take it easy! I was trying to do alot and had to slow down. Stop and enjoy how wonderful it is.
You can hire a guide (if you have a package,alot of them offer a guide). I enjoyed going at my own pace with a book I purchased on Amazon that had a map. With some of the guides and groups, you had people trying to keep up with the guides.
The restroom is outside the park and a distance walk.
The food at the snack shop prices was so high!
How many days are you spending in Lima? I spent four days and did two great tours!
I will suggest the following
Haku tours-The shanty town tour was one of my highlights
Awamaki in Ollantaytambo do a weaving village tour. Take this tour! I also like that the money goes right to the women and not a third party. Also their prices and items are a higher quailty than anywhere else.
If you have any other questions, email me at tamairlink@yahoo.com
I hope this helps
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  #7  
Old May 26th, 2013, 08:07 PM
pbnjrockette pbnjrockette is offline
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I second the vote for taking it easy your first day in the Sacred Valley before you head to Machu Picchu. If your hotel offers the Coca Tea---drink it. Few of us on our tour had any major problems by resting when we first got there and drinking the Coca Tea. Some folks also took altitude medication prescribed by their physician. Just be prepared to walk slower and not have your usual energy level!

Wear good support shoes while climbing MP... there are lots of unstable rocks and steep steps. Some folks also used walking poles. Plan on carrying water with you and wear sunscreen. A few folks had light colored umbrellas to shield the sun as there is not a lot of shade.

We sat on the left side of the train going up to MP--but didn't have a choice! our tickets were numbered! Cleaner bathrooms on train than in train station.
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  #8  
Old May 27th, 2013, 12:30 AM
me429sb me429sb is offline
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Default Cusco/Machu/Picchu

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorning View Post
Would you mind telling me your itinerary and where you stayed and the approximate costs? Thanks. Sue
Sue,

Our itinerary was as follows:

Mon- arrive Cusco 6.30am ex Lima. Airport pickup arranged with hotel. Check into Los Apus and Mirador hotel. Rest in morning, afternoon Cusco Plaza de Armas
Tue - car arranged by hotel. Pisac ruins & market, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Q'enqo, Cristo Blanco, Sacsayhuman.
Wed - car arranged by hotel. Cusco to Ollantaytambo via Chinchero, Ollantaytambo ruins, 3.37pm train to MP, check into Terrazas del Inca.
Thur - Machu Picchu, 4.43pm train to Poroy, car Poroy to Cusco arranged by hotel. Return to Los Apus and Mirador hotel.
Fri - car arranged by hotel. Tipon, Pikillacta, Andahuaylillas.
Sat - 7.45am flight to Lima. 5.45pm flight to Santiago.

We absolutely loved the hotel in Cusco. The service was great, the room was nice (upstairs no elevator) and the rate included pickup from the airport and breakfast. I saw rates up to $100 pn but we paid $55 pn so look around. They arranged cars for us each day which were around PEN120-140 day. The hotel in Aguas Calientas was $60 - it wasn't that great but unless you pay a lot of money they're all pretty average from what I read on Tripadvisor.

The drivers we got didn't really speak english (I think you pay more for that) but I managed to get along fine with my basic spanish. We didn't find a lot of people who spoke english (other than other tourists) so I really gave my spanish a workout!

I really enjoyed Cusco and could easily have spent another week there and done things at a much slower pace but we were already away from home for 7 weeks so I couldn't extend it. The five days we had were enough to see nearly everything we wanted.

Michelle
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  #9  
Old May 27th, 2013, 12:41 AM
me429sb me429sb is offline
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Default Altitude

With regards to the altitude my husband and I both took altitude medication the entire time we were in Cusco. The only affects I felt were a slight tingling in the fingers and a bit of breathlessness. You shouldn't feel any ill affects at Machu Picchu as it is nearly 1000m lower than Cusco at 2430m. If you do feel any ill affects from altitude skip the visit to Chinchero which is higher still at 3800m - even our driver was having trouble there and we both sounded like we were having an asthma attack walking up the hill through the village.

I didn't really like Lima at all - we had 6 hours between flights there and went into the Plaza de Armas for a walk around. This was nice and felt relatively safe but other parts of Lima are definately not safe and you need to be very careful with the taxis there.

Michelle
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  #10  
Old May 28th, 2013, 01:40 PM
1982CruzStart 1982CruzStart is offline
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We went to MP in April 2012 on a 3 night break from our cruise. We didn't have the opportunity to do it as a pre-cruise trip. We took the altitude sickness medication and like the other poster the side effect was a little tingling in the fingers. We did not have the luxury of taking it easy the first day as we had such limited time.
We arrived at 7 am and was met by our guide and driver, did a tour of Cuzco and then proceeded to see a number of ruins along the way to our hotel in the Sacred Valley which is lower elevation to Cuzco. We took an early morning train from Ollyantambo to MP arriving about 10:30 including the bus ride. Spent the rest of day and night on MP at the Sanctuary Lodge (very expensive but we felt well worth the extra time at MP). Had the next day until about 2:30 before heading back down to catch the train. We spent the night in Cuzco and caught an early morning flight out to catch up with our ship.
It is a spectacular place and recommend you do it no matter how much time you have to spend there.
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  #11  
Old May 30th, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Taxguy77 Taxguy77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me429sb View Post
With regards to the altitude my husband and I both took altitude medication the entire time we were in Cusco. I didn't really like Lima at all - we had 6 hours between flights there and went into the Plaza de Armas for a walk around. This was nice and felt relatively safe but other parts of Lima are definately not safe and you need to be very careful with the taxis there.

Michelle
I visited MP in 1952 or 3. Hotel Tourista was the only hotel for tourists, and they turned the hot water on about the time the train left, and off just before the train came back!!
I married a Peruvian 55 years ago, and she and our DD have both been to MP. It is one of the ancient wonders of the world!
Don't stay in Lima. get a hotel in Miraflores, safer, nicer and a great place to see the best of Peru. Only a short bus ride from Lima.
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  #12  
Old May 30th, 2013, 01:54 AM
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I hate to hear some people didn't have a good stay in Lima while in Peru.
With the exception of the crazy traffic (but with 10 million people it's expected), I wish that my stay was at least two more days to enjoy it all!
I was traveling solo and stayed in the Barranco area. It was very walkable and each evening walked to dine, or the plaza or one of the parks near my hotel to enjoy the ocean.
I did visit downtown Lima with two local guides on a walking tour. No issues. Only in one area, they suggested not for me to have my camera out.
On another tour I went to another market area near the ocean. The people were nice and proud to tell me about their wares. I also visited the shanty town area with no problems.
My only negative experience was at the Cusco airport.
I want to return to Peru and spend at least three days in Lima before heading from there.
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  #13  
Old June 10th, 2013, 02:34 PM
Jade13 Jade13 is offline
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Originally Posted by 1982CruzStart View Post
We went to MP in April 2012 on a 3 night break from our cruise. We didn't have the opportunity to do it as a pre-cruise trip. We took the altitude sickness medication and like the other poster the side effect was a little tingling in the fingers. We did not have the luxury of taking it easy the first day as we had such limited time.
We arrived at 7 am and was met by our guide and driver, did a tour of Cuzco and then proceeded to see a number of ruins along the way to our hotel in the Sacred Valley which is lower elevation to Cuzco. We took an early morning train from Ollyantambo to MP arriving about 10:30 including the bus ride. Spent the rest of day and night on MP at the Sanctuary Lodge (very expensive but we felt well worth the extra time at MP). Had the next day until about 2:30 before heading back down to catch the train. We spent the night in Cuzco and caught an early morning flight out to catch up with our ship.
It is a spectacular place and recommend you do it no matter how much time you have to spend there.
Hi, how are you? It was such a great trip with you to MP!
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:43 PM
1982CruzStart 1982CruzStart is offline
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Hi, how are you? It was such a great trip with you to MP!
Good Morning
All is well with us. I have seen a couple of posts from you in the last little while after not seeing anything for quite a while. How is everything with you 2? What new trips do you have planned? We were in SE Asia for about 4 weeks earlier this year and really enjoyed that adventure. Most of it on a cruise ship.
It was a great trip to MP.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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Good Morning
All is well with us. I have seen a couple of posts from you in the last little while after not seeing anything for quite a while. How is everything with you 2? What new trips do you have planned? We were in SE Asia for about 4 weeks earlier this year and really enjoyed that adventure. Most of it on a cruise ship.
It was a great trip to MP.
Hi, we were in Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) and Egypt (Cairo, Abu Simbel, and Aswan to Luxor by ship) in April, and it was fantastic. This November we will be on Azamara Journey from Dubai to Singapore and Celebrity Soltice next March from Sydney to Auckland, with a Galapagos trip at the end of next year (assuming Xpedition resumes operations).

What about you? Say hello to the gang from MP and email me when you get a chance.

MP was great. I miss Jimmy.

Last edited by Jade13; June 13th, 2013 at 02:32 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 12:55 AM
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So I am thinking that casual wear in Lima and Cuzco,long shorts, capris...are good, to wear with a casual shirt/t-shirt...Are any of you able to recommend any specific restaurants? We are staying in Miraflores...I love this advise. I am listening to my Spanish CD's every day....
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Old June 20th, 2013, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by shorning View Post
I have been on Perurail.com trying to at least get prices for tickets for March 2014 and every date I put in is unavailable, even dates in 2013. Does anyone know the problem or if all the tickets are already sold out? We intend to go to MP before our cruise on March 15, 2014 so I would like to get my train tickets before making any other plans. Thanks for any insight! Sue
Hi, I was just checking out the South America board, my cousin was in the Peace Corps in the 60s in Peru and would like to go back, do a cruise and see MP. What cruise are you on, where are you embarking, etc?

Also, for those that have been to MP, I have to use a walker for my back. I've taken my walker to Europe, Pompeii, just did the Baltic cruise last week (walked over 50 miles on cobblestones with walker), etc. I've finally have gotten smart and ordered a "Sport"walker that can go over curbs, rocks, etc so it'll be much easier to hike, etc. Is it doable?? It looks like from photos, I know I'll have the altitude, breathing problem, but just want to know about the walker?

If you go, it may be 2014 Jan-March. Which would be a better month to go?

Thanks for the info.
Linda
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Old June 20th, 2013, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by linstadt View Post
Hi, I was just checking out the South America board, my cousin was in the Peace Corps in the 60s in Peru and would like to go back, do a cruise and see MP. What cruise are you on, where are you embarking, etc?

Also, for those that have been to MP, I have to use a walker for my back. I've taken my walker to Europe, Pompeii, just did the Baltic cruise last week (walked over 50 miles on cobblestones with walker), etc. I've finally have gotten smart and ordered a "Sport"walker that can go over curbs, rocks, etc so it'll be much easier to hike, etc. Is it doable?? It looks like from photos, I know I'll have the altitude, breathing problem, but just want to know about the walker?

If you go, it may be 2014 Jan-March. Which would be a better month to go?

Thanks for the info.
Linda
Don't know about using a walker but there were many on our recent MP tour with "hiking poles" and they had a much easier climb. Walking over the uneven terrain is not easy for the sure footed, some of the passage-ways are a bit narrow and the distance between steps can be great.

We went in May and had near perfect weather--beautiful blue skies. We had read that there is "less" rain after March.

Also found this online:


The climate experienced around the Andes is particularly distinctive and those hiking along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu should be fully aware of the strongly seasonal weather. This region of Peru is known for its wet and dry seasons, and most tourists visiting Machu Picchu obviously favour the dry season, between May and September.
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Last edited by pbnjrockette; June 20th, 2013 at 11:07 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 11:08 PM
shorning shorning is offline
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We are going to MP before we get on the Golden Princess on March 15, 2014 in Valparaiso. I have been making the travel arrangements myself so hope I make the right decisions. We will fly to Lima on March 7 and spend six nights doing Cuzco/Mp and then fly to Santiago and spend one night before going to Valparaiso and getting on the ship. If anyone has helpful tips, please share!! Sue
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Old June 24th, 2013, 01:38 PM
1982CruzStart 1982CruzStart is offline
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We are going to MP before we get on the Golden Princess on March 15, 2014 in Valparaiso. I have been making the travel arrangements myself so hope I make the right decisions. We will fly to Lima on March 7 and spend six nights doing Cuzco/Mp and then fly to Santiago and spend one night before going to Valparaiso and getting on the ship. If anyone has helpful tips, please share!! Sue
I envy you that many days in the area. We only had 3 but even that was spectacular. I highly recommend a guide to take you to all the sites. There are so many in the Sacred Valley. There is one pass that you can pick up that gives you access to all or most of them in the area. We picked ours up at our first stop that was SAQSAYHUAMAN. The pass is good for 9 days. We saw Pisac, Q'enqo and Ollantaytambo. The latter being the most impressive outside of MP and a must see from my point of view.

As you will be there during rainy season you will not be able to take the train to and from Cuzco. If you buy a train ticket to/from Cuzco you will be bused to and from Ollantaytambo to catch the train there.

We took altitude medication and stayed outside of Cuzco all except the last night so we were always at a lower elevation than Cuzco. There were 6 of us and none of us got sick.

As we had such limited time on MP we stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge that is right outside the gates. We thus could stay until closing and be there first thing in the morning without having to deal with the bus up and back. They were also the quieter times on the mountain. It is extremely expensive and you have more time so you can find many places to stay in Aguas Calientes.

We bought our entrance tickets online as well but if you are spending time in Aguas Calientes you can pick them up there I believe. If you want to climb either of the extra mountains you have to buy tickets to do so. The entrance ticket to MP doesn't include climbing either of the mountains just the main site. The one mountain allows only limited number of people and at specific times.

If you want the name of a great guide let me know.

Hope this wasn't too much and if you want anything else let me know.
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