Posted on March 20, 2013
This post is for everyone who is adventurous, or wants to save money, or just wants to be different. Here is a tip how to get to Machu Picchu on your own, without paying an agency.
I don’t know why it excites me so much to do things on my own, rather than utilizing services of travel agencies. Even though, some tours and agencies are really good and when you have a guide it is totally worth it. I just like to organize things myself and it is killing me to sit in a tourist van and not being directly in contact with the locals. For this reason it is perfect to speak Spanish and do it yourself. And even if you don’t speak Spanish, your hands and legs will do the communication job for you ☺
How did we do a – self-organized – trip to Machu Picchu? We did an express tour, everything in 2 days, without real trekking and we spent 6 hours walking in the ruins – which I personally find enough. We didn’t climb Wayna Picchu, because the tickets were sold out. Book in advance, if you want to do it.
Here comes a brief trip summary and cost per person:
6:45am – 7am Taxi from the accommodation to the bus station in Cuzco (buses that go to Santa Maria, ask at your hostel) – 1-2 Sol
7:30am – 1:30pm Local bus from Cuzco to Santa Maria – 15 Soles
1:45pm – 2:45pm Taxi from Santa Maria to Santa Teresa – 10 Soles
2:45pm – 3:45pm Taxi from Santa Teresa to Hidroelectrica – hydro plant – 5 Soles
3:45pm – 6:30pm From Hidroelectrica walking by the train track to Aguas Calientes – for free!
6:30pm Aguas calientes – 1 night in a hostel (we stayed at Angie’s hostel) – 15 Sol es/night (double bed and private bathroom)
Dinner at Govinda’s restaurant, great vegetarian meal
You can go to hot springs too ☺
5am Get up, stand up for the sunrise at Machu Picchu
… and now you have 2 options, either you walk up the mountain that is steep and it will take you 2 hours and you will sweat a lot and save some money, or you will take a bus up from Aguas Calientes…
5am Bus up to Machu Picchu – 25 Soles
6am – Noon Visit Machu Picchu
– Entrance to Machu Picchu: 128 Soles – you have to buy in advance in Aguas Calientes or online!!
– Entrance to Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu: 158 Soles – you have to buy in advance in Aguas Calientes or online at least 4 days, because Wayna Picchu can accept only 400 visitors per day!!
– Guided tour: There is lot of guides at the entrance waiting for you. The bigger group you are, the better. We paid 30 Soles each and it was a 2 hours tour through the whole Inka city and it was worth it.
Noon – 12:30pm Bus back to Aguas Calientes – 25 Soles (you can walk, we took a bus to be able to catch the train to Hidroelectrica)
1:30pm – 2pm Train from Aguas Calientes to Hidroelectica – 31 Soles
– You can walk back, but because it was raining and we didn’t want to come back late to Cuzco, we took the train
2pm – 3pm: Taxi Hidroelectrica to Santa Teresa – 5 Soles
3pm – 4pm: Taxi Santa Teresa to Santa Maria – 10 Soles
4pm – 4:30pm: Lunch in a local restaurant in Santa Maria
4:30pm – 9pm: Van Santa Maria to Cuzco. There are lot of vans going back to Cuzco, ask your taxi driver or ask directly at the plaza who is available – 20 Soles
9pm dinner and Good night ☺
Total costs for transport, accommodation and Machu Picchu visit: 321 Soles, which is around 123 US Dollars (just for comparison, the train round trip ticket from Ollantaytambo to Auguas Calientes costs 100 US Dollars).
– Avoid walking at dark when going from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes and mind the train track
– Avoid taking a van too late, because the road back to Cuzco is crazy and could be dangerous at night
– Bring food and lot of water to Machu Picchu, everything there is very enpensive
– Check the “Puente del Inca” when you are at Machu Picchu
– Get a guided tour directly at Machu Picchu
I wish you lot of fun, you are going to enjoy a lot and if someone knows even a better way how to organize “your own tour”, please let us know! At the end comes a little photo story:
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