Q-1.0 Can I tour Inca Trail without a tour operator or guide?
Ans. Yes, you can. A good number of people go there independently. Read my pages on Machu Picchu carefully, there is more than sufficient information you need to tour independently. You don't need a tour operator but I recommend you to take a guide. Once you reach Machu Picchu you will easily find guides at train station. They will not charge more $20.00.
Q.-2.0 Why I have to book so many days in advance?
Ans. Yes you can. Lot of people, actually majority of people come back on the same day. There is a good train service between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Take the train, reach in Aguas calientes by 10/11 o'clock. Tour in the ruins for few hours, take your lunch in Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge or in Aguas Calientes. Then take the train to Cusco. So you will reach Cusco by 8/9 o'clock. From Lima there is bus service to Cusco. Bus takes around 20 hours, or you can fly from between Lima and Cusco. Everyday there are a good number of flights between Lima and Cusco.
Q 3.0 What is this Machu Picchu?
Ans. Inca Emperor Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui built this resort or town at a mountain top between 1460 and 1470 AD. Before the arrival of Spaniard this city was discarded for some unknown reasons. In 1911 Hiram Bingham, an American historian rediscovered this city. He was the one who brought this ruins to the attention of the remaining world. Right now nobody lives there. Tourists visit this place because of its beauty and mystery.
Q 4.0. What helps are provided by tour operators?
Ans. There are different types of tour operators. Some provide comprehensive service, like buying your plane tickets and arranging your whole tour. Some just organize the tour. If you select a tour operator for Machu Picchu Visit only, they will buy your train ticket from Cusco to Machu Picchu, Bus ticket to ruin, you entrance ticket, your hotel booking ( if you stay there in Machu Picchu) and they will provide you guide and direction. Also they will pick you from Cusco hotel and drop you there at the end of the tour. You can also hire a operator, who will arrange everything from Lima airport to Machu Picchu then to Lima again.
Q 5.0. Should I take a guide or Tour Operator for Machu Picchu Tour ?
Ans. It depends on you. A good number of people go there independently. But if your pocket is deep, or if you have family with kids, maybe you can hire a tour operator. With tour operators you can hire actually comfort. If you are going to hike Inca trail, you have to hire a tour operators, because it is not possible to hike there without the help of a operator.
If you are not planning to engage a tour operator still you can get a guide at Aguas Calientes. When you will step down form the train there, you will find guides offering their service. They would not cost you more than $ 20.00.
Q 6.0. How many days I need to acclimatize for Machu Picchu ?
Ans. If you are going to Machu Picchu from Lima via Cusco, you need to acclimatize at least one day in Cusco. Machu Picchu is at lower altitude than Cusco. So if you move to Machu Picchu even the next day, and stay there one night and finally come back and visit places in Cusco, then everything should go fine. Read my page on accli