From the Archives: What you need to know for your Machu Picchu trip

Posted on December 6, 2013 by in Travel Deals

I just came back from my day trip to Machu Picchu and here is what I learned:

– it’s MUCH warmer in Machu Picchu than in Cuzco or Urumbamba, believe it when people tell you – just pack sunscreen and a raincoat

– the weather is much like Hawaii but colder and there is this constant on-and-off rain and sunshine

– it is EXPENSIVE – plan at least $200 per person

– the biggest part ($150) will come from the train ride, which is very scenic but the duopoly by IncaRail and PeruRail makes sure prices are out of this world

– there is only one train from the Tambo del Inka Resort every day but the times are good and the resort will organize tickets without additional charge (well, they booked the wrong return date for me but nobody minded, fortunately)

– you can use local buses to get to Agua Caliente and Machu Picchu for much less but it takes a long time, so be prepared to stay at least 2 days

– loved the train ride; probably the most scenic small track ride I have been on, though also one of the slowest

– the trains and the adjacent bus ride are VERY well-organized, which feels a bit like tourism in Japan, with no scams, no hassle and everyone speaks English

– the heritage site is equally well-organized, with lots of security personnel

– it might be because it’s officially low season but it wasn’t really crowded, with big sections of the ruins completely empty

– for me, it was clearly worth it; I consider the experience to be in my TOP 5 touristy things have done so far and I have done a lot of them 🙂

– understand that the ruins themselves are less spectacular but it’s the million-dollar view that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere but in the Avatar movie

What’s your experience?