Monday, January 4, 2016

Machu Picchu, Peru

"We get there for 3 euro and back for 10.. but little warning.. This way requires a LOT of walking. So here is the guide how to go to Machu Pichu from Cusco for 3 euros." 
Gosia and her llama...
Peru is cheap country. Lunch menu on market cost 1 euro, accommodation from 3 euros per person per night, but to visit Machu Picchu is not cheap at all. On entrance fee (128Soles 32EUR) you can hardly safe but on the transport to and from Machu Picchu you can safe a lot. There is no road to there. most of the tourists coming by train. Cheapest ticket cost some 60 eur one way for a one hour train trip. Together with bus up to Machu Picchu 140eur just for transport from Cusco. Its probably the most expensive train in the world by distance. The well known Inca Trail 3-5 days trek cost between 200 to 400 euro. And of course you can pay much much more if you book by internet from USA or Europe or if you require more comfortable services.

Train in Sacred Valley
Easy walking path but watch for the trains, especially in tunnels.. 
Its way nicer than trekking in Colca Canyon
We get there for 3 euro and back for 10.. but little warning.. This way requires some 60km of walking. So here is the guide how to go to Machu Pichu from Cusco for 3 euros.

Its easy.. Just follow the river or the railway
We understand this like we can go there.. Just we shouldn't stay too long on the rail...
  • First is a collectivo to Ullaytamtambo 90minutes for 10 soles.
  • Than collectivo to Kilometro 82. (its the Km of the railway, there's a village but everyone knows the place like KM82) it goes from market takes 30minutes and cost 3soles.
  • Walk to Aquas Calientes. Its 28km of easy walking in beautifull valley. You cant get lost, From km 82its a bit uphill and after 2 or three km the path join the railway and you can follow the railway or better small paths next to railway all the way to Aquas Calientes. There is few tunnels and bridges, they arent long but be cafefull there.
  • Stay in Aquas Calientes or go to camping municipal – about 3 KM downstream the river (15 soles per tent)
  • Walk all the way up to Machu Pichu some 3 of 4 km from camp. Its steep up. (you need to buy ticket in advance in Cusco (with huge quine) or in Aquas Calientes (no quine)
  • For the super savers who dont want to pay for ticket.. It would be hard to get there without ticket but there is a mountain with nice view of Machu Pichu where you can climb for free. Ask around.
There is plenty of ruins on the way

So we followed this map and we really enjoyed it. We met Maximo, Argentinian hitchhiker on the way to Europe. He felt he goes to Machu Pichu from Other side from Hidroelectrico so he was a bit surpriced that it is 28km walk. On the way especially in the first half there was plenty of Inca nad Pre-Inca ruins which were just inviting to set the tent. In the end we found a spot on Km 98 with two curious horses. 

Km 98, and our camping spot..
Maximo and our friends horses
We arrived to Aquas Calientes another day in at around noon. We set tent in the campground and we went to local market for lunch and beer. The prices in local market are cheap 6soles for lunch and the food very good. And its probably the only place place without tourists here. They are probably afraid. 

Lunch on market in Aquas Calientes
After lunch we bought our tickets to enter Machu Pichu and another day in the morning we went up. We started maybe at around 9 or 10am and some people went already down. Its recomanded to wake up at 4 am, walk as fast as possible, wait until they open gate and be there first.. Nonsence! There are crowds in the morning. And everyone leave before noon, at 2PM latest. We went back down just after 2PM and there wasnt many people left. 3-5PM we would be there alone.

The way up to Machu Picchu

First view of the Inca city
Firstly we went to more distant places like Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) its half an hour up from the town and there's nice view and picknick spot. Than we went to Inka Bridge and in the afternoon we walked in already not so crowded town.

The Inca bridge

The most popular view

The ruins itself
Its definitelly amazing place worth visit. The architecture is not so impressive like in Ankor Wat or Bagan and cannot be compared with European cities or Indian (frim India) palaces. But the setting of the town in between mountains and the harmony with nature is unique. + they have Lamas here!

To go up and walk all day around is quite a lot so we stayed one more night in camp and for the way back we choose a bit shorter way through Hydroelectrico.

Our base in camping municipal of Aquas Calientes
This is how most of the backpackers with tight budget goes to Machu Pichu. Hidroeletrico is a settlement near Santa Theresa Power-plant. Its Just about 15km walk from Aquas Calientes. And you can go there by bus to Santa Maria and two collectivos to Santa Teresa and to Hidroeletrico. The 6 hours bus from Cusco is for 20-25 soles and the collectivo very depends on what driver you meet. Direct transport Cusco – Hidroelectrico from some agency can be for about 40 soles (if you lucky and need to fill the van) and if you find it for this price its probably better to take it.

The road between Santa Maria and Santa Theresa is by many considered scary and dangerous. Yes its thin unpaved road on the wall of canyon and the view to open space from the car window can be scary but we seen much more scary roads than this one. This was safe. 


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