South America - Machu Pichu Excursion

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#1
West Coast Canada
168 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Hello,

Has anyone done the Machu Pichu excursion from a cruise ship - the one where you leave the ship for a couple nights for the overland excursion and then return to the ship a few days later? Is that a recommended way to experience Machu Pichu or would you be better to do it on your own? Any info would be appreciated. I would expect the excursion to be pricey as I believe flights are also involved.
#2
Alberta
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by CuriousC
Hello,

Has anyone done the Machu Pichu excursion from a cruise ship - the one where you leave the ship for a couple nights for the overland excursion and then return to the ship a few days later? Is that a recommended way to experience Machu Pichu or would you be better to do it on your own? Any info would be appreciated. I would expect the excursion to be pricey as I believe flights are also involved.
If you can do it on your own I'd hight recommend that either before or after a cruise or as a one off. I really wanted to do this excursion but I wasn't about to pay the $3200 to do it through HAL. I've heard you can do it much cheaper on your own. That wasn't an option for me as I was doing a B2B.
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#3
Ontario - Hamilton (when necessary) and Haliburton (when possible)
1,990 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
When we were on the Veendam on its October relocation cruise some people on our Roll Call tried to work out the details of doing the trip by themselves during the 3 days the HAL trip used. They found that scheduling flights, train, etc., was very difficult. They also found that they could do a separate trip from home to Machu Picchu for the cost of the HAL excursion.

The people who took the HAL tour enjoyed it, but wished they'd had more time.
#4
3,380 Posts
Joined May 2001
We did the HAL pre cruise excursion in '07 and it was fantastic, and it cost half of what HAL charges today. At today's rates I wonder if we would have done it. There are so many arrangements to be made to do this trip it would be difficult to arrange on your own -- too many places to miss a connection and ultimately the ship, however, I do believe t that it can be arranged separately from a cruise for less.

That being said, the trip is a must do. Absolutely spectacular however and whenever you get to do it. Figure it out if you can, you will not be disappointed.
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#5
florida
703 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
We did the trip just after a cruise on our own. It was easy to organize, gave us an extra day and the big plus for us was the difference in cost.

The hotels in Cusco are used to tourists and are very helpful. One piece of advice, I would stay in a hotel that offers oxygen, although we did not need it we saw a few people that did. We did have some side effects of the altitude such as breathlessness when walking and a bloody nose but both were not too bad. The coca tea and coca candy helped. It is really important to take it easy the first day.

We usually roll our own luggage at the airports but I do not think we would have been able to so we used the porters and they were really helpful.

We arranged our hotel to pick us up from the airport with a detour to the train station to pick up our tickets for the train to Machu picchu.

If you have any questions I would be happy to help. I gained a lot of help from Greatam who posts on these boards and without her advice I do not think I would have attempted the trip on my own.
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#6
West Coast Canada
168 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Thank you Woodley. Do you recall which tour company you used, where you stayed, how long the tour package was, pricing, etc.? Which city did you fly into from the US and which airline(s) service that route? Further info would be appreciated. I suppose one could do Machu Pichu on one's own and then fly to Valparaiso and cruise around the Horn to Rio to make a longer trip. A lot of cruises seem to only go as far as Buenos Aires but I understand Rio is also a 'must do'.
#7
3,380 Posts
Joined May 2001
Iguazu falls a another must do -- easy to arrange on your own post cruise and much less expensive than thru the cruise line.
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#8
florida
703 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by CuriousC
Thank you Woodley. Do you recall which tour company you used, where you stayed, how long the tour package was, pricing, etc.? Which city did you fly into from the US and which airline(s) service that route? Further info would be appreciated. I suppose one could do Machu Pichu on one's own and then fly to Valparaiso and cruise around the Horn to Rio to make a longer trip. A lot of cruises seem to only go as far as Buenos Aires but I understand Rio is also a 'must do'.
We did not use a tour company I booked it all by internet. We flew from santiago to Lima then from Lima to Cusco as our cruise ended in Valparaiso. We flew a combination Of Lan and another airline which I cannot remember.

We stayed at the Casa Andina Private collection in Cusco and they arranged pick up from airport to hotel. They were waiting for us when we arrived at the airport with a sign.

I booked the train to Machu Pichu on line and then picked the tickets up the day we arrived in Cusco on our way to the hotel. The driver waited for us while we did this.

We left the bulk of our luggage at the Casa Andina in their store room while we went to Machu Pichu. The casa andina arranged a taxi to take us to Poroy to catch the train and also to pick us up the next day late in the evening.

At Machu Picchu We stayed at the The sactuary Lodge (very expensive but very nice and all meals, drinks included). I also had the best massage I have ever had there and there was no charge.

We were met at the train station escorted to the bus by the Sanctuary staff and our luggage was transported from the station to our room, which was very nice as we did not have the hassle of it. On our return our luggage was directly transported to the station where we picked it up just before boarding which gave us the freedom to explore the town.
Many people in the hotels and shops do speak english. Any E mail requests I sent while trying to arrange this trip were responded to within a couple of days.

Cost as I remember was $149 per night at the Casa Andina we stayed 3 nights total.
$800 for the night at the sactuary (there are many other hotels down in the village ranging from $40-300)
Airfare was about $450 each from santiago to Lima on to Cusco and back to Lima.
We spent about $80.00 on Taxis
Train was about $140 each
I cannot remember how much food cost in the restaurants in Cusco but it must have been average price as I do not recall thinking it was either poor or good value.
I hope this is of some help to you.
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#9
19,314 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by woodley
We did not use a tour company I booked it all by internet. We flew from santiago to Lima then from Lima to Cusco as our cruise ended in Valparaiso. We flew a combination Of Lan and another airline which I cannot remember.

We stayed at the Casa Andina Private collection in Cusco and they arranged pick up from airport to hotel. They were waiting for us when we arrived at the airport with a sign.

I booked the train to Machu Pichu on line and then picked the tickets up the day we arrived in Cusco on our way to the hotel. The driver waited for us while we did this.

We left the bulk of our luggage at the Casa Andina in their store room while we went to Machu Pichu. The casa andina arranged a taxi to take us to Poroy to catch the train and also to pick us up the next day late in the evening.

At Machu Picchu We stayed at the The sactuary Lodge (very expensive but very nice and all meals, drinks included). I also had the best massage I have ever had there and there was no charge.

We were met at the train station escorted to the bus by the Sanctuary staff and our luggage was transported from the station to our room, which was very nice as we did not have the hassle of it. On our return our luggage was directly transported to the station where we picked it up just before boarding which gave us the freedom to explore the town.
Many people in the hotels and shops do speak english. Any E mail requests I sent while trying to arrange this trip were responded to within a couple of days.

Cost as I remember was $149 per night at the Casa Andina we stayed 3 nights total.
$800 for the night at the sactuary (there are many other hotels down in the village ranging from $40-300)
Airfare was about $450 each from santiago to Lima on to Cusco and back to Lima.
We spent about $80.00 on Taxis
Train was about $140 each
I cannot remember how much food cost in the restaurants in Cusco but it must have been average price as I do not recall thinking it was either poor or good value.
I hope this is of some help to you.
Where did your cruise start as ours starts in Santiago.

Did you take the Vista train?
#10
West Coast Canada
168 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Thanks everyone for your comments, and especially Woodley for all the detail from your trip to Machu Pichu. This will be a big help. At least now I have a starting point.
#11
florida
703 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Jade13
Where did your cruise start as ours starts in Santiago.

Did you take the Vista train?
We cruised with NCL and we started off in San Francisco it was a 19 night cruise.
The train was the vistadome train it used to leave from Cusco but when we went Nov 2009 it only went from Poroy so that is why we had to get the taxi to and from Poroy.
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1997 Big Red Boat,
1998 western caribbean CCL
2000 RCCL Bahamas ,
2001 CCL Bahamas ,
2003NCL Sky Caribbean,
2005 NCL Spirit Alaska, RCCL Bahamas, CCL Bahamas
2006 NCLA POAM Hawaii,
2007 NCL Jewel Caribbean
2008 NCL Majesty Bermuda
2009 CCL Miracle Jan, NCL Sun San Francisco to South America
2010 NCL Pearl Caribbean,CCL Dream W.Caribbean
2011 HAL Volendam australia & New Zealand
2012 CCL Inspiration Mexico,2012 CCL Ectasy Bahamas, 2012 DCL dream Bahamas
2013 RCCL Monarch of the seas, 2013 Carnival Breeze southern Caribbean.2013 DCL Dream Bahamas 2013 Crown princess Southern caribbean
2014 Celebrity constellation western caribbean, Caribbean Princess to mexico
2015 CCL Elation Mexico, DCL Dream Bahamas,Cunard QM2 Transatlantic
2016 Celebrity Infinity Rio Carnival, Carnival Magic western Caribbean,Celebrity Millennium Asia
2017 MSC Divina Caribbean