How to Visit Machu Picchu
How to visit Machu Picchu? If you are planning to visit Machu Picchu this year or in the future, and you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place! I’ll try to explain it briefly as possible, so I won’t waste your time reading this post.
Two ways to visit Machu Picchu: Go with a guided tour (stress-free) or do it your own (stress-filled way but more adventurous!).
GO WITH A TOUR GUIDE FROM CUSCO
We did this because we only had a short time in Cusco and joining a small-group tour is stress-free. If only Cusco had reliable transport and made it easy for non-Spanish speaking to move around from one place to another, we would have taken this more adventurous way. So, we opted for a two-day Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu tour.
First Day of the Tour: We explored the places in the Sacred Valley. The tour took us to Chinchero, Moray, Maras, Urubamba (for lunch), and Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, we took a train to Aguas Calientes. The hotel receptionists were waiting for us – with our names – at the train station when we arrived at Aguas Calientes or the Machu Picchu Village.
Second Day of the Tour: Our guide picked us up from our hotel from our hotel at 7 in the morning. Then we went to the bus station and took a mini-bus to Machu Picchu. The ride was around 30 minutes.
Why choose a guided tour?
Obviously, it’s stress-free! And most of all, the reason why we chose this route is because of the 24-hour free cancellation policy. Many tours you see online have a cancellation policy a week before the tour. With COVID still around, we must be wise and ensure we won’t lose our money.
Buy a ticket to Machu Picchu in Advance. You have to get/buy a ticket in advance, especially in high season. They limit the number of people who can enter the archeological site in a day. To eliminate this worry, joining a tour is your best bet because it includes all fees, transport, and a hotel should you decide to stay for one night at Aguas Calientes.
You can’t enter without a tour guide. Yep! You have to find a tour guide so you can enter Machu Picchu. They’re very strict with this rule,, and started implementing it You never know; some stupid tourists will vandalize or film inappropriate content for their social media followers.
GO ON YOUR OWN
I didn’t try this, but a backpacker told me what he did to get to Machu Picchu on his own.
From Cusco, he took a bus to Ollantaytambo. Or you can hire a taxi if it’s within your budget. Then, he spent 2 hours in Ollantaytambo exploring the ruins (a 10-minute walk to/from the train station) at the Sacred Valley. Then, he took a train to Aguas Calientes. The hotel receptionist met him at the train station when he arrived,, and the hotel also helped him find a tour guide. However, getting a tour guide only for you was expensive, so he joined a group tour instead. He bought his ticket in advance online so he didn’t have to worry about tickets being sold out.
When we compared how much we spent, it turned out we only had an $80 difference, not to mention he didn’t experience or visit the places we went to on the first day of our tour.
MACCHU PICCHU IN ONE DAY
Is it possible to visit Macchu Picchu in one day only? Sure it is, but it’s impossible to do it yourself and go back to Cusco on the same day. Sadly, you have to join a day trip which could last up to 13 hours! Click the image links below and see if this one-day tour to Machu Picchu is for you.
Not everyone has the same travel budget. As long as as you see what you came for, then it doesn’t matter how you got there. Just be safe and if things go awry, don’t panic. Breathe and embrace the situation that you can’t change. Afterall, traveling is also a journey to the destination you wanna go in life!