When it comes to planning our vacations for the year we do it sometimes months or even a year in advance. Flights, accommodations, tours and much more has to be ready when starting our holiday. The fear of horrifically high prices makes us wanting to go for the best price possible. Especially when travelling to exotic destinations we prefer everything ready and planned in advance so we do not have to worry about anything last minute. However, sometimes, we find ourselves in situations where we get days off of work, school, university etc. unexpectedly. What to do now? While some enjoy to relax a few days at home, others want to take the opportunity to pack their bags and go on a journey. With being on the bucket list of plenty of people, Machu Picchu is definitely a destination for last minute travels.
For your visit in Peru it is important to know where you wish to go. With being such a diverse country it is recommendable to check out some places you definitely want to see, especially if you have very limited time. From the jungle to the coast to the Andes: there are countless places to visit. Number one is, without doubt, the lost Inca citadel Machu Picchu. For you to be able to enjoy your last minute Peru vacation at Machu Picchu, it is crucial to inform yourself about the following things:
To be able to enter Machu Picchu you do need a valid entrance ticket. At the entrance to the citadel there are control points and you are only able to enter if you take your valid passport as well. How to get the ticket? You can get the Machu Picchu entrance ticket either online at the website of the Ministry of Culture or directly at their office. Entrance tickets are limited for each day. On the website of the Ministry of Culture it is possible to see how many tickets are left for each day, however, especially in busy season (April – September) they can sell out within minutes. If you are planning your tour to Machu Picchu last minute, it is important to know if there are any left, because chance is that once you get there they have already sold out.
How to get to Machu Picchu? There are several ways of how to get there. The most common one is by car and train. From Cusco to Machu Picchu you can go by train, but it leaves rarely. From Cusco you can easily go by car as well. First it will take you to Ollantaytambo and from there take the train to Aguas Calientes (village at Machu Picchu). The train ride to Aguas Calientes is quite expensive for the relatively short ride. Also in this case, tickets might sell out in busy season, or the ones that are still left are you will not get for the cheapest price. There are two train companies that operate: Incarail and Perurail. Incarail operates a First Class Trail, the 360 º Train and the Voyager Train. Perurail offers the Expedition Train, Vistadome Train and the Hiram Bingham Train, which is a luxury train to Machu Picchu in the style of the 1920s. Worst case, there are no tickets left you can still go by car to Hidroelectrica (Santa Teresa) and walk along the train tracks for around 3 hours to get to Aguas Calientes. There is a terminal not too far from the center where you can take a car. The benefit is that by car you will save a lot of money without the train ticket, if you want to organize your tour on your own. If you wish to play it safe you can book your tour to Machu Picchu through an agency, but be aware that due to the short notice prices will rise.
Hotel reservations usually want to be made well in advance. With late booking chances are that hotels are fully booked or they only have the most expensive room available. Especially in Cusco, where so many tourists arrive every day, it can be quite tricky. That also applies to hostels. It is always possible to look for a room once you are there, but if you travel last minute you might want to check before you take your flight to Peru. Be prepared for the more expensive options. Aguas Calientes is the village at the bottom of Machu Picchu. Due to the UNESCO World Heritage it is a place full of tourists, which means that prices are even more higher than in Cusco.
In general, there are endless ways to plan your tour to Machu Picchu, however, be prepared that it possibly, but not necessarily, is more expensive if you book last minute. Peru is always an excellent destination to spend your holidays, if your vacations are planned long before or in just a few days.
Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Peru Travel, our speciality is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.