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10 tips to visit Inca Trail, Cusco and Machu Picchu

21 July 2015

1- Visa for Peru

Usually if you are Latin American, North American or European you will not need it. If you are a citizen of all Mercosur members can enter Peru just carrying the DNI or the passport.

If you are from a country not a member of Mercosur then you will need a valid passport and in some exceptional cases, depending on your country of origin, a visa.

2- Shots?

There is no vaccine mandatory but the Ministry of Health of Peru "recommended" vaccination against yellow fever to go to certain regions of the jungle. Usually nobody does, so stays with you if it's worth the risk or not. In several countries this vaccine is free and when cost is not expensive.

3- Lodging and camping.

We do not suggest take a tent. Not only there but also enabled campsites is not something that estile do in the Peruvian highlands. In general camping in the Peruvian highlands it is often insecure and you'll end up hating the idea of carrying a heavy tent with you in Cusco, a place where practically no need. Peru is one of the cheapest countries in South America so we can get rooms at ridiculously low prices. However what you get is directly related to what you pay.

4- Climate and environment in Cusco

If you are Argentine, Colombian or come from a place where it is hot in summer as possible in Cusco is the opposite. Do not think your summer is replicated in this region. Periods of intense cold and rain are between December and February in the capital while it is hot. Whether summer or winter, in Cusco at any time of the day it's cold. Always wearing a coat. Typically sun in places feel heat and cold places sombre. The sun is bright, and the local climate can damage your skin. Bring sunscreen and / or purchase pills cocoa paste pharmacies that are very cheap and useful. Machu Picchu, unlike the city of Cusco is located in jungle, ie a hybrid point where the mountain meets the forest and vegetation changes at times showing characteristics of both regions. The best season to visit is usually between July and October (high season) that there is always so much rain and blue skies, however this place is visited all year and never disappoints.

5- Altitude Sickness

Maybe you have never experienced a lack of oxygen. This is commonly felt in Cusco because of the height and makes everything cost you triple the effort so do not count on your usual physical strength which will be diminished. Your digestion will be a little slower and your dense and deep sleep. The ideal is to stay quiet on the first day to acclimatize. It is very normal that all pharmacies selling pills for altitude sickness. Coca tea also helps well as candy.

6- Inca Trail

Make the "Inca Trail" is not required to reach Machu Picchu. Many people are terribly confused about it. This is just a tourist route that can be accessed only through authorized travel agencies. There treks of two to four days and is essential to have an excellent physical condition. The walk ends in "one of the entrances to Machu Picchu" (Intipunku), which is why many believe that is the way to go. You can only access a small group of visitors making the reservation must be made in advance.


7- Alternatives to reach Machu Picchu.

All roads are excellent, filled with the same incredible nature and are almost the same landscapes. It is not essential to the "Inca Trail", and do not do not deprived of things that do not go to see throughout Cusco. In fact, Cusco is full of authentic path routes that formed the Inca road system. You will see during your stay the same ruins, mountains and landscapes.

To reach Machu Picchu by yourself you can do it in the following ways:

A) By train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo town (closer) through IncaRail or PeruRail.

B) In minibus to Ollantaytambo (15 soles) and then another combi to drop you at the Km 83 of the railway. From there walk the missing to reach Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) kilometers. It is the cheapest of all but the most strenuous hike (after the Inca Trail) and you have to walk about 10 hours to arrive.

C) Route Cusco> Santa Maria> Santa Teresa> Waters Calientes.- Perhaps the preferred route for backpackers who want to save the cost of the train. It's a bit longer but can enjoy the scenery in the most economical way and make as interesting as the Inca Trail but less strenuous trekking.

8- Health and safety

Cusco is safe in places where you see yourself surrounded by tourists, the center, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu. Avoid walking alone at night markets or too far from the center with valuables and tourist aspect. Stay tuned to your pockets at fairs or areas where this close to people. In one of the most tourist cities of the world it is predictable that have petty theft and scams. To avoid this simply do not leave your valuables alone nor trust the free stuff. Do not trust the excesses of unjustified kindness of strangers who usually always want something from you.

Hygiene is very important to maintain health. Always try to be possible to see how the food being served are treated. It is common for tourists sick stomach to try everything. To avoid this, prudent, and avoid things that sold in buses and hawkers especially fried foods and cheeses that can carry dangerous bacteria. Boiled food, freshly made or washed almost always be fine. Long walks on rocky terrain can make easy prey of dislocations or similar injuries. Use good footwear. Cusco has good health care places that cater specifically to tourists. To access them do not forget to have a travel insurance.

9- Discounts

If you are a student should take the (International Student Identity Card) ISIC card that allows discounts on hostels, besides getting the ticket to board MachuPichu (out 128 soles) for half price as well as the Tourist Ticket in Cusco and other advantages . (costs about 18 dollars).

10- In Machu Picchu

Formerly with one entry Podias visit all Machupichu complex. Now they have divided the visit into sections. If you want to climb the mountain Huayna Picchu you must book your tickets in advance and arrive before noon (It's the mountain behind the citadel where the temple of the Moon is abut). Torque of the mountain Machu Picchu.

From Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) can add to the ruins of Machu Picchu. In two ways:

a) Walk: Not recommended for people who want to reserve energy to climb Huayna Picchu

b) By bus: There are buses that go up and down people all the time.

Miss: Make a hike to the Mandor Waterfalls. If you came by train you are certainly not have been there. If you came to the foot of Ollantaytambo either.

If, however, came from Santa Teresa spent time near the route deviates toward this place. It's a nice alternative trekking to consider.

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