Tag: Machu Picchu Travel

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Peru Announces Plans to Create a 'Second Machu Picchu'

Where: Kuelap, Peru
December 15, 2014 at 10:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

One of Peru’s best kept secrets is about to be circled on the map.

While Machu Picchu and the Incan ruins of the south have for decades been the main calling card for just about every person that steps foot in Peru, the Chachapoya ruins of the northern “cloud people” have remained largely underexplored, a prize left for backpackers and savvy travelers looking to avoid the crowds. But those days look to be coming to an end as the Peruvian government seeks to ease traffic off its holy grail and increase tourism in other areas of the country, specifically the northern Amazonas region.

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How Dangerous Is It to Travel to Machu Picchu?

Where: Cusco, Peru
March 8, 2013 at 12:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Airfares from the US to Lima, Peru have been shockingly low lately—we're talking $500 roundtrip on a route that's typically at least $800—and some of the reason is likely due to a (now lifted) travel warning from the US Embassy in Peru to Americans traveling in the Machu Picchu/Cusco area.

This week that warning ended, after a couple feared to have been kidnapped was actually found, happily traveling still, just through areas with no internet access. There is a rebel group (named Shining Path) still threatening the area in general, but the situation is once again safe for tourism.

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Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express Train from Machu Picchu: Part 2

October 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

So you've been hiking Incan ruins all day, likely in the sun, and you've been fed finger sandwiches and teacakes until your stomach bulged...so the last thing you'd want to do is eat again, right? Wrong. The grueling daytrip of Cusco to Machu Picchu and back made us ravenous like no other and so, when it came time for a four-course meal and drinks onboard the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express train, "si" was the answer to every question asked by our waiter.

Si, keep the agua flowing (con gas, yummy).

Si, I'm having the steak.

Si, there's no way I'm skipping dessert.

Si si si after-dinner drinks in the bar car.

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Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express Train from Machu Picchu: Part 1

October 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

The train is blue. Unlike its European cousins, the cars are not painted with "Orient-Express" down the sides, but "Hiram Bingham" in gold lettering.

What would Hiram himself, explorer/Yale professor/politician, think of this train that makes traversing such forbidding terrain look so easy? Hiram Bingham discovered the site of Machu Picchu in 1911 and worked to uncover and preserve it for study and, yes, tourism. Even the switchback road up to the ruins from the town of Aguas Calientes and the Urubamba River is named the Hiram Bingham Highway (though it's hardly a 'highway').

But before we digress on some History Channel-ish tangents, back to the train! A one-way ticket averages $329 per person, in high contrast to the Vistadome which runs $76 and the Expedition at $62. There are a few dining cars and one bar car with a lounge and rear observation area, complete with an open-air platform. The locomotive is also blue, though a lighter shade that's the signature of its operator: PeruRail.

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Clickety-Clack Down the Track: Riding the Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu

October 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

You've got options. What train to take to Machu Picchu? There are three choices: the Expedition (cheapest, minimal), the Vistadome (affordable, comfortable), and the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (pricey, but over-the-top luxurious). Booking a Machu Picchu trip on your own versus with a tour company means you've got the option to mix it up and try different trains. Here, we focus on the Vistadome.

It's far from a high-speed journey. The train trip takes 4 hours and averages $76 per person each way (bookable online at PeruRail), so turning Machu Picchu into a day trip from Cusco is doable (it's what we did!), but brace yourself to be utterly exhausted on the return and, well, pretty much over riding trains for a little bit.

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The Paper Trail to Machu Picchu: Necessary Documents and Tickets

Where: Cusco, Peru
October 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM | by | Comment (1)

Talk about bucket list locations, Machu Picchu is up there (literally). The sacred Inca city high in the Andes mountains of Peru isn't an easy place to visit, but thousands head there every day for a glimpse at the archaeological site. Having just returned ourselves, all this week we'll give you the low-down on how to get to this high place.

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

Despite the difficulty of reaching Machu Picchu, visitors pack into trains and buses to swarm the site. This has recently been calmed a bit with the introduction of a daily limit of 2,500 visitors. The way to ensure you're in that 2,500 is by reserving your Machu Picchu entrance in advance and paying the admission fee to score the needed ticket. Once you have that, you're all good. Buy your train tickets (but it's wise to check availability of these on your preferred day before reserving the site entrance). It's not as confusing as guidebooks would have you think.**

Here's six documents you should have in hand:

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Up and Over the Andes: Flying TACA from Lima to Cusco, Peru

Where: Cusco, Peru
October 3, 2012 at 4:41 PM | by | Comments (0)


The Embraer-190 at Cusco Airport

The Jaunted Goes to Machu Picchu Series:

1. Flying into Cusco
2. Sorting out documents
3. Riding the Vistadome train
4. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 1 - the train)
5. Riding the Hiram Bingham Orient-Express (Part 2 - the dining & extras)
6. MACHU PICCHU

One week to kill in Lima, Peru. This is what happens when you book reward flights and take whatever availability. We'd learned that lesson already. Friends who'd been to Lima before advised us to get out—one week was plenty time for a side trip of several days to bucket list destinations like Machu Picchu or Colca Canyon. And so, Machu Picchu it was, but first we'd have to get our butt over to the city of Cusco.

The quick decision meant we had done little pre-planning and, searching flights from Lima to Cusco and back, the prices were already rocketing. The eventual winner, after searching LAN, TACA and StarPeru, was TACA. We went with TACA for three big reasons:
1. For the roundtrip price ($331.96 total), competitive with the other airlines at the time of booking, we could fly Biz Class on TACA.
2. We'd never flown 'em and were curious
3. We're Star Alliance Gold status and TACA is a member of the alliance.

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