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Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

Los Angeles...
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Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

Please provide your input or suggestion. :)

We will take train from Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes and visit Machu Picchu. Which of the following schedule is better:

Option #1:

Day 1 - take trains from SV to AC. Visit AC, hot spring.. etc;

Day 2 - get up in the early morning to visit MP (everyone suggests to see the sunrise). Leave AC in the late afternoon.

Option #2:

Day 1 - take trains from SV to AC. go to MP.

Day 2 - may go back to MP again in the morning, visit AC (leave AC in the late afternoon).

West Palm Beach...
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1. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

Just realize that if you go back to Machu Picchu on a second day, you have to pay the entrance fees again as well as the bus trip up and back. Most people are happy with arriving the night before and going up for sunrise. It gives you a good full day there. You can still overnight and take a morning train back the day after. Hope this helps.

Lima, Peru
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2. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

Not much to see or visit in AC. You should try to spend as much time as possible in MP. Go up the Huayna Picchu and the Temple of the Moon and/or the Sun Gate.

AC is just another disorganized small town in Peru.The hot springs are nothing special either.

Portland, OR
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3. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

I had read somewhere that if you go back up to MP the second day, the entrance free is half price. Can someone confirm that?

The way I look at it, I will probably never go back to MP again as there are so many places in the world that I have not visited yet. If I love MP, I am happy to spend the extra $100 or so to go back up and see it a second day, even if it means spending another night in what many people consider a town not worth much time.

We will arrive arrive on the latest strain from Olly to AC, stay the night and get up at the butt crack of dawn for the earliest bus up, spend the entire day at MP and catch the last bus out. We would have to leave earlier if we were going to head to another place in the SV.

Cheers!

new york
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4. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

Butt crack?? LOL

Some people write to spend as much time as possible at MP (even 3 days), while most will say that 5 hours is sufficient.

I've been debating this issue and think that the first bus up (at butt crack of dawn) and a bus down about 2 is enough.

Any other thoughts.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

Thank you for all the inputs. How far (in hours) is Huayna Picchu, the Temple of the Moon and the Sun Gate?

I was told that if we take the early bus, we can get the chance to beat the tourist crowd. and also if we are interested in hiking up Huayna Picchu, the amount of people they let on the trail is first come first serve. Is this correct?

So, how early should we catch the bus from AC?

And what's the difficult level of hiking Huayna Picchu, the Temple of the Moon and the Sun Gate?

U.S.A. ( the land...
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6. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

I would go with Option 2. Contrary to our own expectations, we really enjoyed AC, especially when we took the time to sit in the main plaza with its imposing statue, and people-watch. It's a charming mix of "touristy" and "native". We saw a festival procession go into the lovely church off the plaza, local kids playing marbles, the 'cleaning crew' doing their duties in very regimented fashion, and several local families shopping.The locals use the plaza more than the tourists.

You can also walk along the river - there are benches at periodic intervals.We didn't use the hot springs. There's a 'restaurant row' that's interesting to stroll on ( uphill), with some interesting shops. We even liked the train station!

We queued up early to catch the first bus to MP but there was already a long line and most of it was comprised of a tour group; we got the 6 a.m bus instead of the 5.30 a.m but still got to see the sunrise ( this was in May).

Can't answer your Huayna Picchu question as we didn't do it but there are lots of posts on the MP forum - type in Huayna Picchu on the Search tab on top right.

Lima, Peru
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7. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

When at Machu Picchu, visit MP, not AC.

The walk to HP is about 2 hours and an extra 45 minutes if you do the Temple of the Moon.

The Sun Gate is at most another couple of hours.

Two hundred people in the morning and another 200 in the afternoon are allowed on the HP trek.

No half price entry ticket to MP exists, unless you are a student with an ID.

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8. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

Originally we were planning to spend just one day in MP. But our travel agent has now suggested a second day. We'll be staying at the Sanctuary Lodge. Is a second day worthwhile? In other words, if we are not hikers, is there enough to see in MP for more than one day? Is the hike to Huayna Picchu and Temple of the Moon a fairly steep hike? I would love to go up there but I have bad knees and anything steep and prolonged would be be stressful, if not painful, for my knees.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

9. Re: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu

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