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Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

s f
Shreveport...
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Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

Hello, I am eyeing a frequent flyer award ticket that can get me down to Lima for very few miles. I need to make the decision quickly and I have a question about if I would absolutely need any required shots to make it in-and-out of Peru (i.e. if I did not have the required paper work they would not let me pass Customs)I am a US citizen. I plan on staying in Lima and a day trip to Machu Picchu. If I understand correctly, I do not need any required documentation of ANY shots or vaccines. All the shots and vaccines would just be recommendations for safety but not "Show-Stoppers" at BOTH Peruvian and US borders

Thank you so much for the help!!

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

There are no shots required to go to Lima or Machu Picchu if you are coming from the USA.

Also, it's impossible to do a day trip to Macchu Picchu from Lima. It's much too far. To get to MP from Lima, the easiest way is to take about a 90 minute flight to Cusco, then a 90 minute taxi to Ollantaytambo, then a 90 minute train to Agua Calientes. From there it's about a 20-30 minute bus ride to the MP entrance. In practice, when you add in waiting time, you can do all that, see MP, and then reverse it for a day trip.

At minimum, I think you'd need two nights outside of Lima. You could stay one night in Ollantaytambo do a day trip to MP the next day, staying in Ollantaytambo again, and flying back to Cusco the third day.

california
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2. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

A day trip Lima to MP is impossible. You will also need a flight Lima to Cusco. Check if you can book that FF flight all the way to Cusco for the same miles as those tickets can be expensive.

Also it may be possible to get a free evening in Lima on the way back, if you book the last flight out of Cusco and the first departing Lima. Of course that can be very risky in the wet season!

Another option is if you can book two one way tickets, one of which is a through ticket including Cusco as an end point , the other just the international leg departing Lima, and buy a separate one way ticket Cusco to Lima back a few days ahead. Check Star Peru for one way fares.

I would try to have at least 5 nights total to make this worthwhile. The train and entry ticket to MP are not cheap and you would not want to waste the ff miles and not be able to get there due to weather delays.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 00:13
Cusco, Peru
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3. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

Here is one of those points where wes032 and I have differing opinions, if you do decide to try a quick trip to Machu Picchu, I would travel to Aguas Calientes the first day, as this will either allow you to get an earlier start to Machu Picchu, or allow you some extra sleep. Basically you are saving yourself the 90 minute (+/-), train ride in the morning, just my opinion.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

That will work, too. I'd rather have that first afternoon in Ollanta instead if AC and not risk missing the train if my flight is late, but Lyle's way is fine, too.

The key is you can't do it as one day from Lima.

california
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5. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

I agree with wes, risky to plan on taking the train same day as flight.

s f
Shreveport...
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6. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

Thanks so much for the info, I have "bought" the ticket to Lima. At first, I just want to make sure I can get in and out of Peru without any extra paper work or “show stoppers.” I travel in March 14’ will be there for 5 full days, It appears that a trip to MP is still possible(within those 5 days.) Thanks so much for walking me through this procedure and helping me get started.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

Hi, we just spent 2 weeks in Peru with Transat Discoveries. After our experience we do not recommend going to Machu Pichu without tickets booked as they only admit 2500 per day for the world! The train gets booked up and then you are out of luck. Why would you want to make this a rush trip when there is so much to see. We went to LakeTitikaka which was amazing, the Colca canyon is also an experience worth the trip! Cusco is a wonderful place and Machu Pichu is the icing on the cake! so much history (5000 years) and stunning discoveries. The people are friendly and courteous and greatful for their "new tourist " industry!

At the end of our 10 days with Transat we spent 3 days in Lima. We hired a private guide for one day which was fantastic. Hilda from Caral Tours showed us some things that were not on our tour with Transat.

Her private driver was a godsend in Lima traffic (not for the faint of heart!) Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way! Intersections are a free for all!

Our hotels, meals and transport were well organised and clean. This is not a country for anyone not in good health as the altitude and climate can be difficult. Glad we went now before we get any oder! (63 &67) .

Cusco, Peru
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8. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

No extra paperwork needed, and the decision to stay in Ollantaytambo or go to AC shouldn’t come down to flights, a delayed flight would not affect either plan, only a canceled flight would, and in this case you would miss the train in either case. Say you booked LAN (as they have the most flights), as long as you catch the last flight into Cusco (6:50 pm), there is no reason you couldn’t make the 9 pm train. This is of course a worst case scenario.

Personally I would make the decision based on how early of a start you want, if you don’t mind getting to Machu Picchu until 7-7:30am, and don’t mind getting up around 4am to do it, then staying in Ollantaytambo is fine. I think Ollantaytambo is fine if your plan for the next day is to travel in the afternoon, but I would much rather start my Machu Picchu day in AC.

california
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9. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

The problem is that if your flight is delayed and you miss your RESERVED train, you lose the money you spent on it.

Also it's much nicer to take the train at least one direction in daylight.

If you take the early train from Ollantaytambo you at least have the option of seeing the journey and still get to MP before the crowds arrive. Then you can stay late and come back in the dark after the park closes. Your luggage remains at the hotel in Ollantaytambo. I've done it twice this way and haven't regretted giving Aguas Calientes a miss.

Cusco, Peru
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10. Re: Lima and Machu Picchu vist only

For starters, if you miss your RESERVED train, you can just have your tickets changed to the next train with availability, they will allow this. You mealy pay the difference if there is one and a small fee, which is usually around $5-7 USD (I believe it is 10% of the cost of the ticket). So as I said, a flight delay would not be a big problem, unless you are traveling during the high season, in which case the next train with availability, may be a day or two away.

Second, I never said the train ride was not worth a daylight run at least once, the point I am making is that if you want an early start at Machu Picchu, it is much better to travel to Aguas Calientes the day before. Many people seem to want to be at Machu Picchu early and try to catch the sunrise, which would be impossible with your plan.

If you’re main point is to be able to take at least one train when it is still light out, then my plan works just as well, because being at the site early, would allow someone to return to Ollantaytambo while it is still light out, and have the same amount of time in Machu Picchu as they would with your plan.

There are many different reasons people travel, and many different situations to be considered when planning trips and tours. While I have recommended the same thing that you have on several occasions, I feel it is more suited to someone with more time to spend. For someone that is on a tight schedule, I believe this to be a better option, based on feedback received from our guests. Not the only option mind you, just a better one in my opinion.