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Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

Rosetown, Canada
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301 posts
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Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

We are looking to arrive in Cusco at 12:40 on Nov.18th by Taca airlines...unfortunately, I now have to fly back out from Cusco on the 21st at 13:15, which does not leave me much time. My original plan was to spend 2 nights in Ollantaytambo, one night in Aguas Calientes, do MP, then either Olla or AC the night we climbed, and back to Cusco the following day....now I have to shorten this up a day...what would you suggest ? I am trying to decide if we should just spend all 3 nights in Olla....arrange for pickup at the airport, and to take us back to the airport for my return flight...or if we should still stay in AC the night before we visit MP....I would prefer to not move too many times.

My husband and another traveler will probably stay in Cusco for a couple of days to see the sights before flying to Lima....but I will have to leave before them.

I had everything sorted out in my mind, avoiding altitude sickness....getting to see everything I wanted to.... but now I'm scrambling to make it work and just getting confused !!! Help !!

Thanks !

Marilyn

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

Since you're short of time, I'd suggest staying in Ollantaytambo and doing MP as a day trip. If you get an early train up and a late one back, you'll still have a lot of time in MP. You can get between the airport and Ollantaytambo in about 90 minutes so it's completely feasible to base yourselves there.

Rosetown, Canada
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301 posts
95 reviews
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2. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

Great....thank you so much for your help !

I am so disappointed but now trying to make the best if it ....

Finland
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894 posts
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3. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

Another vote to stay in Ollantaytambo. Also Urubamba is worth giving a thought, it is only 15 min by taxi from Olla. It's a non-touristy Peruvian town but has really nice hotels. We really enjoyed it as we like it more laid back.

Rosetown, Canada
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301 posts
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4. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

Thanks ! I am looking at a few B&B's in both places.

Berlin, Germany
12 posts
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5. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

I would recommend Ollantaytambo as well. We stayed in a nice little hotel in this picturesque town. Very nice! I think Aguas Calientes is too crowded, the hotels seem more expensive and less quality.

Chicago, Illinois
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17 posts
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6. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

I would recommend Cusco over either of those options, depending on what you want.

First: Stay in Aguas Calientes the night before your MP trip. It's so worth it to wake up early and take the first bus to Machu Picchu- being there as the sun rises before the clouds lift and the tourists arrive in droves is magical. There isn't much to do in Aguas Calientes other than tons of touristy restaurants and shops, so get there in the evening, have dinner, then turn in early. Even the hot springs the town is named after aren't really worth a visit, honestly. You just want to be there so you can be in the first group to Machu Picchu.

Ollantaytambo is also a very small town with not much to do, but there are more sites nearby that you can visit. It's not a bad option as a place to stay, but I would still prefer Cusco. There's tons to do, and it's a beautiful city to walk around. Stay near the old city center- it's very safe to walk around at night, and the cobblestone streets and historic buildings add a lot of charm. Every hotel and hostel offers free walking tours and a travel desk that will help you arrange trips to nearby sites, including the Sacred Valley. After my trip to Peru, I wished I'd spend a lot more time in Cusco, enjoying the city and taking nearby day trips.

For information on how to do Machu Picchu in a day without a tour company, check out this site: visitingmachupicchu.com/getting-to-machu-pic…

Toronto, Canada
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14 posts
25 reviews
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7. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

I just finished MP and is now staying in Cusco and completely agreed with the suggestions from wes032 and schmitzer S.

- Ollantaynis a nice town with many train departures to AC ( mine is 640am to 1412pm)

- plenty of b and b to choose from and at Low rate.

- easy to get train ticket and MP entrance ticket online.

- take a short trip to Ollantaytambom fortress on your arrival day in Ollantay. It is a 2-3 hour trip with easy walking from most places in town.

Rosetown, Canada
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301 posts
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8. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

Thanks everyone ! I have made reservations at Hostal Samanapaq...arranging pick up at the Cusco airport with them. We will spend 3 nights there, taking an early train to AC, still need to book that. I'm hoping to book accommodation in Cusco, for after SV, that we can leave our suitcases at and only take backpacks to Olla. I need to research yet the average temp. in mid Nov. to decide how many layers of clothes to take :)

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

The ruins in Olly are nice to visit too. Good choice.

Mi Wuk Village...
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1,600 posts
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10. Re: Stay in Ollantaytambo or Aguas Calientes ?

Cuzco is a far more interesting city to stay in. IMO one of the best in South America. As to altitude sickness.. been many times and with lots of people and none of us had issues. In a worse case scenario... if you did have an attack in Cuzco, grab a taxi to Olly.