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Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

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Pawleys Island...
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Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

Please your thoughts--

Company we are talking with recommends we stay one night in Lima, then fly to Cusco the next day with an afternoon tour in Cusco (due to flights). Stay a night in Cusco. (Hotel Monasterio)

Then they say to head to Sacred Valley for 2 nights (Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo) take train to Machu Picchu for afternoon and next day.

THEN back to Cusco for one or two nights.(back to Hotel Monasterio)

We love the hotel choices--just not the what seems to be wasted time back and forth to stay in Cusco.

We've read we could fly to Lima, spend night, fly to Cusco next morning and take private transfer or taxi to Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, then go to Cusco to stay 1-3 nights.

This also would seem to make more sense with altitudes.

WHICH OF THESE OPTIONS MAKES MORE SENSE????

From there we plan to go to Juliaca, transfer to Puno for one night, then Lake Titicaca Isla Suasi.

From there fly to Lima onto Guayaquil for 6 or 7 nights in Galapagos. Then home.

Please share advice on these options and our itinerary. Thanks so much !!!

Mi Wuk Village...
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1. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

"They" seem to have a paranoia about altitude sickness. I've been many times with other people. None have gotten sick. Cusco has far more of interest than the rest of the sacred valley and that includes MP. The architecture is unique...with Spanish colonial buildings built on top of Inca foundations. More art and culture there than anywhere else in the valley. Machu Picchu was only used for a short period in Inca history. Hence the third rate architecture. The emperor would go out there for certain religious ceremonies. Even with all the servants and porters it was a rough journey. Then one of them got smart. Since he was a God/King he ordered them to build a new place for the ceremonies...across the street from his palace.

Pawleys Island...
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2. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

Sorry I must not have been clear--we do very much want and plan to stay in Cusco, particularly for the architecture.

We just would perfer not to stay one night, then go to SV and MP and then come back to Cusco for a night.

We wanted to also get advice about the options of how best to get from Cusco to SV and MP area.

Also, would like to get feedback about our proposed itinerary.

Yes, we are somewhat concerned about altitude adjustment only because of many comments we've read in the TA forums and because we live at sea level.

Thanks for sharing your insight.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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3. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

The reply you previously got, is completely crazy, so ignore it.

I suggest that upon arrival to Cusco city you transfer to the Sacred Valley, rest for a day and then go to MP.

Your visit to Cusco city should be done after you visit MP, its a great idea and will be much easier on your high altitude acclimatization process.

Many people do get sick with the altitude and any precaution is a great idea.

4. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

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Removed on: 09 September 2013, 22:05
Finland
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5. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

Hi, we went straight to Sacred Valley from Cusco airport (by taxi), and returned later to stay in Cusco. IMHO that makes sense simply because checking in and out of hotels takes up time and effort. I cannot comment on the altitude concern other than that we did not have trouble, but could feel that the air in Cusco was really thin.

Mukilteo, Washington
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6. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

I would stay that first night in Cusco. It's a lovely city to walk around and will give you an opportunity to get settled or get anything you might have forgotten before heading out. the next morning you can get an early start (and I do mean early) to the sacred valley and see everything you need to see.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

We took a taxi to the SV and stayed there a few days, then went to MP, then went to Cusco. This was to try and minimize the potential for altitude issues. Even if the possibility of getting real pulmonary or cerebral edema is remote, often when I go to altitude too fast from sea level I get headaches and even that makes the first couple days not so fun. The way we did it in Peru worked great. No problems at all.

I also don't understand, since you'd be going to Cusco at the end of the trip anyway, what the point is of going there for one afternoon tour on the first day. Just to minimize the hotel check ins/outs and moving around, why not put all the Cusco days together in a block.

Cusco, Peru
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8. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

If you like history, staying in Cusco first will give you more context about what you'll see in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. You'll also get a feel for our andean-spanish culture at the beginning of your trip. In terms of the altitude, some people have problems but most people don't.

california
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9. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

I don't work for anyone and I am in the camp of stay the first few nights in the Sacred Valley somewhere.

If you are arriving on a Saturday or Sunday, I'd stay in Pisac. Then you are right there near the market.

Urubamba is fairly central, has mostly upscale resorts, but you need to take taxis to see most things.

Ollantaytambo is a great place to start, small village with interesting ruins, old town, and that is where you have the best choice of train times (far more trains leave from Ollantaytambo).

On the high road between Ollantaytambo and Cusco, you can visit Moray, the Salineras and Chinchero. If it is clear there is beautiful scenery this way.

Do spend a few nights in Cusco at the end. It's also easy to visit Pisac from Cusco.

You are on the right track OP. Most tour agencies have their offices and personal based in Cusco. It is more convenient for them (not you) to start there.

10. Re: Stay in Cusco or go straight to Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

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Removed on: 10 September 2013, 04:35
Edited: 10 September 2013, 04:35