How many days at Machu Picchu?

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#1
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
12,437 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I have been researching tours of MP and find that most include three nights in Cusco/MP. Some add two nights (1 before, 1 after the MP core tour) in Lima. Are three nights enough?

Also, I have found that we probably need a night in Lima prior to flying to Cusco, but can schedule our flights to avoid another night in Lima. We have been to Lima before.
#3
Palm City, Fl
4,857 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
We did the three night and it was enough. Having said that, we think that, when we go again we will take an additional day to wander around Cuzco. The bus tour we had was great, but we didn't have time to linger at places that caught our eye.

As far as the ruins at Machu Picchu...we were told that it is now a requirement to hire/use a govt licensed guide for the first two hours that you are inside the ruins. After that you are free to wander and explore on your own. For us, another 3-4 hours was enough to satisfy our interests.

There will be a lot of other visitors wandering around the ruins....it is very popular. The govt limits the number of visitors to about 2500 per day. Any tour you book should include tickets to the ruins.

The altitude of Cuzco is 11,000 ft...instant headache for me....my wife took diamox...she swears by it now! The ruins are substantially lower...about 8900 ft.
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#4
97 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
We're going to MP after our cruise, in early Feb next year. Our plans:
* Arrive in Lima, 1 night (leave big bags at hotel for later)
* Cusco (3 nights before our tour, acclimatizing to the altitude as we live at sea level!)
* Cusco (1 night) - tour of sites around Cusco
* Aguas Calientes (1 night) - via Pisca, Moray, Salt Mines and train from Ollantaytambo
* Next day MP sites (we got permits for the first half of the day, so 5.30am to noon); 4.30pm train back to Ollantaytabmo
* Cusco (1 night) - before we head off to Puno and Lake Titicaca via Andahuaylillas, Raqchi and La Raya
-etc etc
* Back to Lima from Puno (Juliaca) for 4 nights, pick up big bags then off to our next leg of our journey



As I understand Cusco (11,150ft) is actually at a higher altitude than MP (7970ft), the 4 full days may help us to get used to the altitude. hopefully. Also for Lake Titicaca (12,500ft). Will be a challenge for us, I'm sure.
#5
Delray Beach, Florida
511 Posts
Joined May 2007
We went to Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley in May of 2017. My original plan had been to stay in Cusco before going to MP, but when I researched it, it was strongly recommended to go directly into the Sacred Valley to more easily acclimate to the altitude. So we flew into Cusco, stayed a couple of nights in the Sacred Valley, went to MP, then ended up in Cusco. We also took Diamox, which helped tremendously.
#6
Normandy Park WA
2,514 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
For sure, spend an overnight in MP. We did it in a day and that was not enought.

We had 3 days in Cusco and could have spend a least 2 more days there.
#7
COLUMBUS, OHIO
228 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by thinfool
We did the three night and it was enough. Having said that, we think that, when we go again we will take an additional day to wander around Cuzco. The bus tour we had was great, but we didn't have time to linger at places that caught our eye.

As far as the ruins at Machu Picchu...we were told that it is now a requirement to hire/use a govt licensed guide for the first two hours that you are inside the ruins. After that you are free to wander and explore on your own. For us, another 3-4 hours was enough to satisfy our interests.

There will be a lot of other visitors wandering around the ruins....it is very popular. The govt limits the number of visitors to about 2500 per day. Any tour you book should include tickets to the ruins.

The altitude of Cuzco is 11,000 ft...instant headache for me....my wife took diamox...she swears by it now! The ruins are substantially lower...about 8900 ft.
My husband walks with a cane and we want to go to Machu Picchu. We know he won't be able to climb stairs. My question is, when you get off the bus in the parking lot, can he walk around on any paths that are mostly level to get some pictures. We know he probably won't be able to film the picture that is always shown when Machu Picchu is mentioned.