Machu Picchu FAQ

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Q-1.0    Can I tour Inca Trail without a tour operator or guide?

Q.-2.0   Why I have to book so many days in advance?

Q- 3.0   Do I need to book short trail in advance ?

Q- 4.0   Do I need to book Salkantay trail in advance ?

Q- 5.0   How expensive is Inca Trail ?

Q- 6.0   How strong I have to be to hike this trail ?

Q- 7.0   Alternative trail ends at Machu Picchu too ?

Q- 8.0   When the trail remains close ?

Q- 9.0  Which tour operators is good ?

Q- 10.0 Who Can get discount in Inca trail permit ?



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 acclimatization.

Q 7.0.    Where can I get the entrance ticket for Machu Picchu ?

Ans.  This is really very very important issue. Usually entrance tickets are sold at entry point. This is not the case here. If you reach at the entry gate of without Machu Picchu without the admission or entry ticket, you are in big trouble. You have to go back to Aguas Calientes to get the ticket. So you will lose valuable time and money.

Entrance tickets for Machu Picchu ruin are available only at Cusco and Aguas Calientes.

Q 8.0.   Where can I get the tickets for the buses from Aguas Calientes to 

           ruins ?


Ans.     Bus tickets are available at bus stations. I hope you know there are two bus station/ stoppage at Aguas Calientes. At both stations you will get the tickets for bus. You can even buy bus ticket at Cusco. If you are a day visitor to Machu Picchu, must try to buy it from Cusco, so you can save some time. For detail read my page on bus in Aguas calientes.

Q 9.0.    Is Machu Picchu a city?

 Ans.     Machu Picchu is actually a ruin of Inca City.  So you will actually visit the remnant of a past Inca town.

Q 10.0 . Who discovered Machu Picchu ?

Ans.       Hiram Bingham. Bingham was a history professor at Yale university. He visited Peru for the purpose of locating a city named Vilcabamba, which was the last Inca capital. While looking for Vilcabamba, in 1911, he spotted a massive Inca ruin at the mountain top of Machu Picchu and named this ruin as Machu Picchu.



Bus Ticket 

If you are day visitor to Machu Picchu, try to buy both entrance ticket and bus ticket from Cusco.


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