Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

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Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby poplyric » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:21 am

I am booked on the Absolute Peru In June/12 And Then Am going to Spend A week in Cusco After The Amazon part,and what I would Like is to hear is what the average Day there Is like At Machu Picchu , The reason Being I see from other posts in S.A. hear is how you spend the after noon in Aguas Calientes then , caught the train back To Cusco, Ok back to the Question? Did you have Enough time to see everything in Machu Picchu or after 3 nights Camping and a early start Do you get to see all you want, Hike everwhere around the Site! I say this as I want to Know if , Would you go back and spend an other day to go over things that a budding Archeologist would like to see! I am in Cusco for a week after the Tour Could you see more after tour , And as you have to get Permits so far in advance this would be something that I have to decide soon, so if any Inka Trail do'ers what are your thoughts???? :|
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby sinecure » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:54 am

On our tour, once we got there in the morning we got a tour of the site with a guide and then we given all afternoon to check out MP and took a bus back to Aquas Caliente when we were ready and told where and when to meet everyone for the train back.

I found we had plenty of time, and even had time to hike up one on the mountains that overlook the site.

Now this wasn't the exact trip you are doing so ymmv.
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby onyx007 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:09 am

As "sinecure" wrote already one day should be enough to see the whole site and even climb the mountain if you like to. The site is not as big as one think from the pictures.

I had also a guided tour in the morning for about 2 to 3 hours, where you'll see all the major sights and afterwards have time to explore the ruins for yourself. I had on my trip a second day there and on the second visit I just walked to the sun gate and back (as I didn't go on the hike but went there by train).

Machu Picchu is as I can recall 4 to 5 hours away from Cusco. So for a second visit you would waste probably two days of your time for Cusco, which you could spent better.
There are some worthy sights to see around Cusco which you should consider to see. Like
Sacsayhuaman, with it's huge stone walls or the "fortress" at Ollantaytambo..

But if you really haven't got enough of Machu Picchu, I'm sure that you can get it done on short notice in Cusco. It would be a shame if you book it all in advance and then not to see anything new on your second visit.
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby IncaTrail50 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:50 pm

As Onyx007 says the fortress at Ollantaytambo is worth seeing but you should have a chance to visit it as part of your tour since that's where you'll probably stay the night before the Inca Trail hike. Even the little town is worth wandering in if you have time!
We pestered our guide to get up early enough to be at the Sun gate above Machu Picchu at sunrise so we were actually starting our guided tour at Machu Picchu at around 7:30AM. The tour took a couple of hours and the guide left us to ourselves after that. He told us the train for Cuzco left Aguas Calientes at 4:30 so we needed to be there at least an hour ahead. Some of us stayed at Machu Picchu as late as we could to explore on our own, some left with the guide to explore Aguas Calientes. Not every group wants to be at the Sun gate above Machu Picchu for sunrise since it's frequently covered in fog but even waiting the couple of hours for the fog to clear you still should have time to see everything you want in one day. We were fortunate that the day dawned sunny and clear so we got an early start!
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby poplyric » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:31 pm

This is all really great info , it is really helpful as in the middle of the week I am in Cusco The Inti Raymi Festival is on,Which I want to attend and wanting to go back I think would be a couple of days to execute, I think I will do a Bike trip or raft trip instead of an other day at Machu Picchu if there are other things on the Absolute Peru that you would like to see again or suggest to do in Cusco would be Great thanks again :D :D
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby ballu » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:21 pm

I was one of the unlucky ones who was greated by fog at the sun gate...the site didn't clear up very much during the visit so the lost city stayed pretty lost. :lol:

The day after MP, I had visions of going rafting but I was really pretty tired after the days of hiking. If you really want to get another day out of MP, I'd suggest asking your leader when you arrive. It may be possible to bump your train to take it back the following day. You'll probably have to pay for your own hotel in Aguas Calientes for the night and you'd be on your own until you train back to Cusco.
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby wannabeee » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:05 pm

Hey, Ballu, what time of year did you visit MP? I'm going in the middle of March and am worried I'm gonna experience the same, with the fog. I'm sure the long hike will be worth it anyway, but if I don't see ANYTHING up there it'll be a disappointment for sure.
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby IncaTrail50 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:54 pm

ballu wrote:I was one of the unlucky ones who was greated by fog at the sun gate...the site didn't clear up very much during the visit so the lost city stayed pretty lost. :lol:

Our guide said we extremely lucky, in the 80 groups he'd led to MP he'd only seen the sunrise twice! We think we were especially lucky because one of our group turned 50 the day we arrived at MP, and upon arrival he proposed completely out of the blue to the woman he'd been living with for nine years! He hadn't even brought a ring to Peru with him, just bought one at the market in Pisac to offer her while he was down on one knee! Somehow the G cooks baked him a cake in their portable stove! Amazing!
My husband and I turned 50 a month later and our old knees had had enough by the time we hiked to MP. We couldn't have come back another day even if we wanted, spirit willing, flesh weak and all that!
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby ballu » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:15 am

I was there in early November...on our last night of camping we were told if it rained it would likely be foggy...it poured! Still a pretty amazing experience though, one of my favourite moments was sitting on a terrace at a campsite watching the clouds in a valley below me.
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby AdamfromCanada » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:52 pm

IncaTrail50 wrote:
ballu wrote:I was one of the unlucky ones who was greated by fog at the sun gate...the site didn't clear up very much during the visit so the lost city stayed pretty lost. :lol:

Our guide said we extremely lucky, in the 80 groups he'd led to MP he'd only seen the sunrise twice! We think we were especially lucky because one of our group turned 50 the day we arrived at MP, and upon arrival he proposed completely out of the blue to the woman he'd been living with for nine years! He hadn't even brought a ring to Peru with him, just bought one at the market in Pisac to offer her while he was down on one knee! Somehow the G cooks baked him a cake in their portable stove! Amazing!
My husband and I turned 50 a month later and our old knees had had enough by the time we hiked to MP. We couldn't have come back another day even if we wanted, spirit willing, flesh weak and all that!


I'm currently reading Turn Right at Macchu Pichu: Rediscovering the Lost City of the Incas One Step at a Time by Mark Adams. In it, his guide is an old explorer who suggests that sunrise at the Sun Gate is almost a myth, because it will almost never be anything but covered in fog at that time of day. Still, as we're heading there in March, I can't imagine that I'll sleep in late that day anyhow...
Feel free to check out my travels on http://www.adammallonphotography.com
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby IncaTrail50 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:08 pm

AdamfromCanada wrote: Still, as we're heading there in March, I can't imagine that I'll sleep in late that day anyhow...

Yup, no sleeping in! The final passport control gate before MP opened at 5:30AM and our guide said if we wanted to be at or near the front of the 200+ tourists running to the Sun gate we should be at the gate by 4AM!! We sent out someone from our group at 4:05AM and we were second already! We rotated through our group and made sure one person was there to hold our place while the rest brushed our teeth, used the bathroom, etc.
We camped at Winay Wayna and it was the first one that was noisy due to critters in the bush, birds, frogs, whatever. No hardship to get up early, we were awake from the noise and the excitement!
It was awesome!
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby graybeard » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:48 am

Curious - I had a wonderful sunrise at the Sungate*. Our G guide said 50-50 chance,but better odds during the dry season. (I was there in June.) Guess I was lucky. I also experienced the rude annoyance of a group that had "saved" a place for their entire group by sending someone up early. Shortly before the gate to the park opened they pushed and shoved their way thru the several hundred or more people in the other groups to "claim" their right. Sorry, but that is just plain offensive. Our G guide had not nice things to say about groups that engaged in this behavior. It was an SAS tour in this case.

As for after the hike.... We had the choice of an excellent several hour tour OR climbing Waynu Picchu, but not both. At the latest had to catch the 12:30 bus down to meet for lunch and then to the "backpacker" train at 2 PM back towards Cusco. More time would have been nice, but even with the schedule we had we did not get back into Cusco until 8 PM (if I remember right). A very hungry group could not wait to eat dinner, shower and sleep after getting up at 4 AM or so.

It should be noted that even though more time in MP would have been nice, I did not regret in the slightest the experience of hiking the Inca Trail. It was beautiful and there were a lot of archeological sites along the way that we were guided thru.

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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby IncaTrail50 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:17 am

graybeard wrote: I also experienced the rude annoyance of a group that had "saved" a place for their entire group by sending someone up early. Shortly before the gate to the park opened they pushed and shoved their way thru the several hundred or more people in the other groups to "claim" their right. Sorry, but that is just plain offensive. Our G guide had not nice things to say about groups that engaged in this behavior. It was an SAS tour in this case.

Aw, Graybeard, I get your point but we didn't push and shove. Our first guy was there at 4:05AM and the final 15 of us were there by 4:20AM. We didn't have to push past anyone, there was no one there except our guy, and one guy ahead of him. I should have been more clear, yes, it would be rude to send one guy out and then have the rest of the group show up an hour and a half later. Sorry. :oops:
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Re: Machu Picchu after you Hike the Trail

Postby gocubsgirl » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:32 pm

If you're hiking the Inca Trail to get to MP, one day will be more than enough. ALL you'll want to do is SLEEP after the trail.

If you can take the train instead, do it.
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