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how much time do you need to see machu pichu

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean how much time do you need to see machu pichu

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1. Posted by helppleas (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

sorry, this may be a dumb question. so my friend and i are going to be in cuzco for 4 days and we were just going to take the train up to machu pichu to see it. trains there only run in the morning and trains back only run in the evening so i was wondering if it was better to take a train there and back on the same day or if we should spend a night in machu pichu and take a train back the next evening. basically, i just dont know how much time people usually spend there...


2. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 8y

Hi, I just happened to be there yesterday.

I did the inca trail for 4 days with 1 extra night in Aguas Calientes.

In my opinion the site was 1000 times better when it was quiet very early in the morning. So, if I were you I would head up there and stay a night and go very first thing.

I got the vistadome train back and to be honest it wasn't exactly great. It was comfortable and you got something to eat but I didn't see anything as spectacular as I had in the previous 5 days.

There are plenty hostals there too. Mind it's one of Peru's most expensive small towns though.

3. Posted by helppleas (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

thanks! then we'll probably stay at aguas calientes the night before... do you know if we should take the morning train from cuzco to aguas calientes or is there some other way of gettin there (besides walking) later in the day? i read somewhere about taxis or buses that go but i wasnt sure where to find out about that.

- thanks, kelly

4. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 8y

from what I saw there were quite a lot of trains. You can get the train part of the way there and bus part of the way. Contact one of the companies like SAS and ask them about the transport options.

Pretend you are going to book with them and I am sure they will help you out.

Taxi isnt a good option though. Long way!!

5. Posted by helppleas (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Oh thanks! Um, what is SAS? Sorry i'm so clueless about this stuff!

6. Posted by lehcargiar (Budding Member 62 posts) 8y

SAS is one of many tour companies in Cusco that runs Inca Trails etc

7. Posted by findemundo (Full Member 127 posts) 8y

I agree the site is exquisite early in the morning.
If the "aguas calientes" (hot water) in town interest you, just an FYI.
I learned from our guide that the porters, after four days without the opportunity to get a good bath (this an issue of resources, not their hygiene) tend to hit the hot baths after finishing the Inca Trail. (wouldn't you after hauling gringo gear and food for four days?) That means the water gets pretty used by mid day. My point? Hit the baths early in the morning.

8. Posted by helppleas (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Thanks! Do any of you recommend going from Cuzco to the sacred valley at Ollatamboya, staying there a night and then going to machu pichu from there and coming back straight from machu pichu back to cuzco??
Although I dont really know how I would get from cuzco to the sacred valley...

- kelly

9. Posted by AndyB24 (Respected Member 167 posts) 8y

Ollantaytambo is great, i probably enjoyed it more than macchu picchu as it was far less crowded. Early morning is the ONLY time to see macchu, once it hits 10am, its swarming with people. I was lucky enough to go on a foggy morning, so it felt like I was alone, even tho there were already a few thousand people in there.

You have to buy your tickets in aguas caliente, then pay more money to catch a bus up to the site. Allow plenty of time before the busses are due to leave, as they fill up fast.

To get to Ollantaytambo, take a taxi, or collectivo bus from cusco- the south american explorers club has info on where to catch it. When you buy your tickets for the train to aguas calliente, you have the option of leaving from either cusco or ollantaytambo, works out cheaper to go by bus for the first part.

We walked back along the train line from aguas caliente, about 30kms, to the town where the road starts, took around 7-8 hours. Stayed the night with a family there, then caught a minibus back to ollantaytambo in the morning for 2 sol.


10. Posted by helppleas (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Thanks Andrew!