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4 nights in Cusco/Sacred Valley/MP

4 nights in Cusco/Sacred Valley/MP

Old Jan 6, 2014, 4:02 pm
  #1  
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4 nights in Cusco/Sacred Valley/MP

Hello everyone, my wife and I are heading to Peru and Chile in April and need some help with the Cusco/SV/MP part of our trip.

We're arriving into Cusco at Sunday 27 April at 1300 and are departing on Thursday 1 May at 1100, when we'll be flying to Puerto Maldonadao for 3 night at an Amazon lodge.

Essentially we have 4 nights in the area and all I have booked at this stage is the 3rd night in Machu Picchu. What I'm wondering is how I should organise the remaining nights. Which of the following would you recommend?

Cusco, Urubamba, MP, Cusco
Cusco, Urubamba, MP, Urubamba

Appreciate anyones input who has previously been! Trying to squeeze in the main experiences in Cusco and Sacred Valley. With the second option, my thinking is if we get what we want to see done, it'll be a relaxed night at something like Tambo Del Inka, before the morning flight out. We'd get a taxi from TDI to airport.. or is that a bit too risky
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Old Jan 7, 2014, 4:24 pm
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You'll get differing opinions but given the length of time you'll be staying, I think you should frontload the trip in the SV and backload it in CUZ. Going directly to TdI from CUZ will also help you get acclimated to the altitude faster. Also, staying in CUZ the last day will mean less rush to get to the airport compared to the long drive from Urubamba.

If I had to redo my trip all over again, I would probably stay the first and second nights at TdI. I'd do a day trip the next day to MP and avoid staying the night in AC. For the third night, I'd stay in CUZ. When I was there last year, I did the day trip to MP from CUZ, but it's not recommended for everyone.
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Old Jan 8, 2014, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by BayAreaTraveler
You'll get differing opinions but given the length of time you'll be staying, I think you should frontload the trip in the SV and backload it in CUZ. Going directly to TdI from CUZ will also help you get acclimated to the altitude faster. Also, staying in CUZ the last day will mean less rush to get to the airport compared to the long drive from Urubamba.

If I had to redo my trip all over again, I would probably stay the first and second nights at TdI. I'd do a day trip the next day to MP and avoid staying the night in AC. For the third night, I'd stay in CUZ. When I was there last year, I did the day trip to MP from CUZ, but it's not recommended for everyone.
Couple of threads below this one is good collection of opinions.

We preferred to stay night ar AC because we wanted to have a backup day in case it rains and also wanted to climb the wyanapicchu in the second morning.

But if rains is not a factor in April then day trip from Ollayantambo is easily possible. Male sense to head to SV directly from CUZ from Altitude Sickness point of view also.
SUN Day 1: arrive and visit OLT ruins
MON Day 2: trip to MP (plenty of trains)
TUE Day 3: Pisac and Moray/Maras/Chinchero using private car
(switch day 2 and day3 if rain is expected in MP on Day 2)
WED Day 4: CUZ (via stops at Pissac and Sexywoman
THU Day 5: depart
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 4:49 pm
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Thanks for getting back to me.

So in terms of priorities for what we want to see, they're as follows:

Machu Picchu - We definitely want to spend the night, so we can experience sunset and a mostly empty site at sun rise. Whilst I was originally thinking we'd climb Wayna Picchu, my other half is now put off as she's very worried about her balance.

Ollantaytambo town & ruins (Sacred Valley)
Maras salt pools/terraces (Sacred Valley)
Moray (Sacred Valley)
Pisac market & ruins (Sacred Valley)
Chinchero - if we're passing by (Sacred Valley)
Sacsahuaman (Cusco)
Plaza de Armas & Cathedral Santo Domingo - Briefly (Cusco)
Qorikancha (Cusco)

I agree about ending up in Cusco Wednesday night, as we'll need to be at the airport for 9am, so need to consider that fixed end point.

The question is, to get the rest in, what's the best order to go in... couple of possible itineraries below...

Itinerary 1:

Sunday

Arrive 1300
Check into hotel ASAP and squeeze in:
Sacsahuaman (Cusco)
Plaza de Armas & Cathedral Santo Domingo - Briefly (Cusco)
Qorikancha (Cusco)
Night in Cusco (JW Marriott or Palacio Del Inka)

Monday

Leave Cusco at 0900, private driver/guide takes us to:
Pisac market & ruins
Ollantaytambo town & ruins
Night in Urubamba (Tambo Del Inka)

Tuesday

Depart early for Machu Picchu
Night in Aguas Calientes (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo)

Wednesday

Wake early (0500) for sun rise at 0744
Depart on 1055 for Ollantaytambo, arriving 1232
Private driver/guide picks us and takes us back to Cusco via:
Maras salt pools/terraces
Moray
Chinchero
Night in Cusco (Casa Cartagena, JW Marriott or Palacio Del Inka)

Thursday

Cusco Airport 0900



Itinerary 2:

Sunday

Arrive 1300
Private driver/guide picks us up from airport and takes us to:
Pisac market & ruins (what time does the market wrap up on Sundays?)
Night in Urubamba (Tambo Del Inka)

Monday

Private driver/guide takes us around:
Maras salt pools/terraces
Moray
Ollantaytambo town & ruins
Night in Urubamba (Tambo Del Inka)

Tuesday

Depart early for Machu Picchu
Night in Aguas Calientes (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo)

Wednesday

Wake early (0500) for sun rise at 0744
Depart on 1055 for Ollantaytambo, arriving 1232
Private driver/guide picks us and takes us back to Cusco, arrive approx 1430, go around the following after dropping off bags:
Sacsahuaman (Cusco)
Plaza de Armas & Cathedral Santo Domingo - Briefly (Cusco)
Qorikancha (Cusco)
Night in Cusco (Casa Cartagena, JW Marriott or Palacio Del Inka)

Thursday

Cusco Airport 0900



Which makes more sense ? I'm trying to align them to certain hotel reservations (TDI on Mon and Inkaterra on Tue), but could change these if you have other suggestions.

Last edited by kunid; Jan 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 8:11 pm
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iten 1 vs 2

from altitude sickness point of view, iten 2 is much better than iten 1

however, may i suggest following modification (i still think your iten is too hectic and short changes cusco - you do need 1 more day if you want to do everything listed on your wish list)

Sunday

Arrive 1300
Private driver/guide picks us up from airport and takes us to:
Pisac market & ruins (even if mkt is winding down, main mkt is still there)
Night in Urubamba (Tambo Del Inka)
(better if you can get upscale hotel at OLT instead)

Monday

Depart early for Machu Picchu
spend afternoon at ruins
Night in Aguas Calientes (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo)

Tuesday

Wake early (0500) for sun rise at 0744
Depart on 1055 for Ollantaytambo, arriving 1232
Ollantaytambo town & ruins
Night in Urubamba (Tambo Del Inka)

Wednesday
Private driver/guide picks us and takes us back to Cusco

(although you can technically stop at moras/moray/chinchero and arrive CUZ by noon if you start early and then rush through your list of CUZ, it may not be practical given your are doing it in their winter)

My personal preference would be to skip moras/moray. Make a very short stop at Chinchero and spend day at CUZ.


Night in Cusco (Casa Cartagena, JW Marriott or Palacio Del Inka)

Thursday

Cusco Airport 0900


(wish you can add a day)

Otherwise you can also do OLT ruins on day 1 evening or day 2 morning especially if you are living in OLT. IF you are spending night at AC, there is no need to take early train from OLT. On the other hand, sunrise is many times a downer (due to fog or clouds or rain) and so you may want to make MC a day trip insyead (which will free up time to do other things)

For us. MC was the main purpose of the visit and everything else was icing on the cake. (So we stayed in AC and climbed wyanapicchu which BTW is not difficult up to the first platform which is about 90% up and gives fantastic view of MC - the remaining 10% is indeed tricky but is mostly for bragging rights and ego satisfaction)

Also, for us, Pissac Sunday Market was totally unimpressive (mainly because of where we grew up)
Another item - at some point, too many inca ruins gets boring. On last day, I actually enjoyed variation of walking through Sam Blass area of Cuzco.
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 12:45 pm
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Hi Desi,

I can relate to a lot of what you're saying!

MP is also the main purpose for us - I will try to convince my wife that getting partially up Wayna Picchu will be ok, we can skip the last part.

She has already warned me about not overdo the ruins - she got fed up pretty quickly with temples in Thailand!

Our families are from India + we've travelled extensively in Asia/Europe so seen plenty of markets - is it worth skipping?

What would you say were the must see's?

I agree that we're trying to squeeze in too much - it'd be great if we could make the overall pace more relaxing.

Unfortunately we can't add another day What started with a 16 night Peru trip has turned into a 17 night Chile-Peru trip (Patagonia-4NT, SCL-1NT, Atacama-3NT, SCL-1NT, Cusco-4NT, Amazon-3NT)
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Old Jan 10, 2014, 12:51 pm
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Did you go see the Las Salineras near Maras?
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Old Jan 16, 2014, 3:07 pm
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I'd do a modified version of Trip 2. If you're doing it on points, Tambo Del Inka is great. If you're paying out of pocket, Ollantaytambo has a lot more to offer. My significant other and I stayed at Hotel Sol in a Private Room with Balcony overlooking the ruins for ~$50 USD/night. I'd highly recommend it.

For Cuzco we stayed at Hotel Encantada, Room 302 again has a private balcony, with incredible views of the city. The one challenge here though is the hotel is at the top of a rather large hill which makes it a workout to walk to.

I'd scratch the Pisac market, I wasn't overly impressed.

Sunday

Arrive 1300
Private driver/guide picks us up from airport and takes us to:
Ollantaytambo town & ruins
Check out the ruins on the opposite side too
Night at Hotel Sol in Olly


Monday
Private driver/guide
Maras salt pools/terraces
Moray
Chinceros
Night at Hotel Sol in Olly

Tuesday

Depart early for Machu Picchu
Night in Aguas Calientes (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo)

Wednesday

Wake early (0500) for sun rise at 0744
Depart on 1055 for Ollantaytambo, arriving 1232
Private driver/guide picks us and takes us back to Cusco, arrive approx 1430, go around the following after dropping off bags:
Sacsahuaman (Cusco)
Plaza de Armas & Cathedral Santo Domingo - Briefly (Cusco)
Qorikancha (Cusco)
Night in Cusco (Casa Cartagena, JW Marriott or Palacio Del Inka)

Thursday

Cusco Airport 0900
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Old Jan 17, 2014, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by kunid
Hello everyone, my wife and I are heading to Peru and Chile in April and need some help with the Cusco/SV/MP part of our trip.

We're arriving into Cusco at Sunday 27 April at 1300 and are departing on Thursday 1 May at 1100, when we'll be flying to Puerto Maldonadao for 3 night at an Amazon lodge.

Essentially we have 4 nights in the area and all I have booked at this stage is the 3rd night in Machu Picchu. What I'm wondering is how I should organise the remaining nights.
I will staying in Cusco/SV/MP the same week
Have you also noticed the extremely expensive lodging options? Not sure what's going on...
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 12:29 pm
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Also, it seems the train between Cuzco and AC is not running! Buses to Olly instead, then the train. Jeez.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by dieuwer2
Also, it seems the train between Cuzco and AC is not running! Buses to Olly instead, then the train. Jeez.
The repairs are ongoing now, but you are talking April, no? Although things progress slowly in Peru sometimes, they do progress.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 12:50 am
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@kunid,
For anyone growing up in India, Pissac market is big underwhelming YAWN
(although Pisac ruins are nice but as state dbefore, at some point you may get too much of nca ruins feeling)

Staying in OLT does save time.

I still feel that you are not providing enough time to CUZ

@dieuwer2
you may actually saving time and gaining a lot of flexibility by taking taxi/bus to OLT to catch train

i think biggest challenge is going to be rains in this offseason.
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Old Feb 9, 2014, 9:43 am
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My partner and I are traveling to Cusco, SV and MP in mid-September. We've allotted:
4 nights in Ollantaytambo at the El Alberque ($506.60) for four nights with breakfast),
2 nights in MP at the Inkaterra El Mapi ($500 for two nights with breakfast and dinner)
2 nights in Cusco at the JW Marriott ($501.60 for two nights)

I hope four nights and three days in Ollantaytambo aren't too much! Sounds like lots to do!
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Old Feb 11, 2014, 9:39 am
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Along the lines of philwupdx's question, can anyone comment on using Olly as a base to see the SV? One itinerary I'm favoring involves flying to CUZ, transferring immediately to Olly for 3 nights, up to AC for a night, then back to Cuzco for 3 nights. I'm trying to minimize time spent moving between lodging, so would prefer to just make day trips from one point in the SV if possible, and Olly seems like a decent spot since it will be easy to collect bags on the way back from AC.
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Old Feb 14, 2014, 6:33 pm
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Originally Posted by linglingfool
Along the lines of philwupdx's question, can anyone comment on using Olly as a base to see the SV? One itinerary I'm favoring involves flying to CUZ, transferring immediately to Olly for 3 nights, up to AC for a night, then back to Cuzco for 3 nights. I'm trying to minimize time spent moving between lodging, so would prefer to just make day trips from one point in the SV if possible, and Olly seems like a decent spot since it will be easy to collect bags on the way back from AC.
Your plan make sense.

Going directly to Olly would avoid Altitude sickness issue.
Also, train ride to AC is much shorter.
Night in AC will allow for backup day for MC as well as opportunity to climb wynapicchu.
3 nites in Olly (2.5 full days) will allow to see possibly everything that most tourist places - and some more. (Maras/Moray, Pissac, Olly town itself and may be lunch at some hacienda in SV)
You can stop at Chinchro on your way back to CUZ from Olly if time/energy permits.
3 nites in CUZ also will allow you to hit all tourist places as wel as enjoy some of the neighborhood such as San Blass.

It is good that you are spending 7 nites in SV/CUZ instead of typical 3/4
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