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Machu Picchu Itinerary Dilemma

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Machu Picchu Itinerary Dilemma

I'm planning a trip to Peru next month (leaving May 4) for 17 days... the first half I'll be solo making my way from Arequipa to Cusco via Colca Canyon and Puno/Lake Titicaca. In Cusco I'll join some friends for a 7-day group tour, including Inca Trail/Machu Picchu. I have found some good suggestions on the forums here, so I wanted to see what advice folks had for my dilemma:

The group tour ends at Machu Picchu and returns to Cusco on the 6th day of the tour. However, there is nothing planned for the group on the 7th day besides checking out of the hotel, so I'm considering leaving the group at the end of day 6 to stay the night in Aguas Calientes, return to MP the next day to hike HP (early time slot), then return to Cusco via train and taxi to make the 8:30 pm departure of the Cruz del Sur overnight bus back to Arequipa.

This would mean some extra expenses (hotel in AC, second day ticket to MP/HP, train/taxi, etc) but I don't want to feel like I missed out on something really worthwhile. Thoughts?

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1. Re: Machu Picchu Itinerary Dilemma

I think it would depend upon what time you arrive at MP on the last day of your trek, and how much time you have to spend there, as well as your energy level and interest in scouring around the ruins in depth.

If you arrive late in the day and don't have time to do MP justice, I think you would be glad that you did your own thing separate from your comrades. I personally enjoyed my night in Agua Callientes because of the spectacle of many foreign tourists from everywhere, either going or coming from MP. It was like the town was humming with excitement. And the climb up HP was definitely the icing on the cake, because it is such an extreme climb (of course, I didn't do the prelude of hiking the inca trail) and gave me such a victorious feeling so I could check that thing off my "to do" bucket list.

If you think you'll only get to Machu Picchu once in your lifetime, don't go home without being completely satisfied with what you accomplished and saw while you were there


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2. Re: Machu Picchu Itinerary Dilemma

The people I saw coming down off the Inca Trail did NOT look like they wanted to do any more hiking!

Don't you think that there would be enough to do in Cusco on your last day?

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3. Re: Machu Picchu Itinerary Dilemma

Thanks Charlotte. That's exactly what I'm thinking - I don't want to leave regretting that I passed up an amazing opportunity! But of course I know I can't possibly do or see everything I'd like to.

mlgb, I don't know about Cusco. I'll have one evening there when I arrive (thinking about doing the planetarium) plus a full day with city/ruins tour on day 1 with the group. Is one day generally enough for Cusco?

Lima, Peru
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4. Re: Machu Picchu Itinerary Dilemma

If the highlight of your trip is Machu Picchu and if you are fit enough for a hike the next day I would say go for it.

5. Re: Machu Picchu Itinerary Dilemma

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