By: Arely C. (México)
Machu Picchu has always been one of my dreams. I recently made my trip there. To my visit I added the tour of the Huayna Picchu mountain. The walk was difficult but it was worth it because we were able to take incredible photos at the top of the place. Learn about the 2-day trip I made to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, without a tour, all on my own and including a night in the town of Aguas Calientes.
The trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu
My trip began in the city of Cusco where we spent some great days. A few months before we had already bought our tickets for the Huayna Picchu mountain and also our train tickets.
The day of the trip we woke up early to take a car on Pavitos street. We took the car around 8 in the morning. The cost was only 15 soles. After approximately 1 hour 30 minutes we arrive at Ollantaytambo.
In Ollantaytambo we show our train tickets. After almost 2 hours we arrive at Machu Picchu town. This place is great, it has many services like restaurants, hotels, bars, etc. We settled into our hotel (we had already made reservations weeks before). Then we walk through the town to have lunch.
As we were told, Aguas Calientes (as the town is also called) is only 10 kilometers from Machu Picchu. The next day we would make that trip that will take us to the door of Machu Picchu. The return journey follows the same route as the outward journey.
- More information: The train we chose was the ‘Expedition’ of Peru Rail, which is the cheapest service for tourists. The truth is that the trains are a bit expensive for the short trip they make.
In the town of Aguas Calientes
The town of Aguas Calientes is beautiful. It is full of mountains and services for tourists. There we spend the night before the trip to Machu Picchu. We had lunch at a very nice restaurant called ‘El indio feliz’.
In the afternoon we decided to walk through the town that is full of sculptures with Inca and Andean motifs. I really liked that there are no cars in the town, only the buses that leave for Machu Picchu.
The hotel we chose was 3 stars, it was surrounded by incredible forest landscapes. The bad thing was that he was in front of the train tracks. However, the windows succeeded in blocking out the noise of the engines. The truth is that we slept well. The next day, very early, the hotel had breakfast ready.
At night we went to relax in the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes. The facilities are not the best but it helps you relax your muscles for the walk to Huayna Picchu that we would do the next day.
Back at the hotel we had dinner in the hotel dining room. That night we rested like babies. We had to get up very early the next day. Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu were waiting for us.
- More information: The entrance to the thermal baths of Aguas Calientes costs 10 soles for foreign tourists. The tourist restaurants where we had lunch cost 50 soles per plate more or less.
The visit to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu
The second day we got up around 5 in the morning to have breakfast at the hotel. Then we went to take the bus that would take us to Machu Picchu. The truth is that we had to wait about 15 minutes because the queue to take the bus was long. The bus trip was short, lasting only 30 minutes. When we got off we were already in Machu Picchu.
Our ticket said that we had to enter Machu Picchu from 6 in the morning. As soon as we entered we took a detour that took us directly to the door of the Huayna Picchu mountain.
When we arrived there was a small queue to enter the mountain. We entered and began the difficult 2-hour hike to the top of Huayna Picchu. We went slowly but surely. We enjoyed the hike taking photos. After about 2 hours of walking, we reach the top of Huayna Picchu.
Unfortunately at the top of the mountain it was very cloudy and we couldn’t take the photos we imagined. You have to be lucky to get a good day. On the way back we wanted to do the walk to the Temple of the Moon but the truth is that we were exhausted and decided to return directly to Machu Picchu.
When we left Machu Picchu we toured the constructions of the archaeological site. We saw constructions such as the Temple of the Condor, the Sacred Rock, the Water Fountains, the Temple of the Sun and more.
After almost 4 hours inside Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu we return to Aguas Calientes by bus.
- More information: We did the tour of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu without a tour guide. At the entrance door we saw that there were several tour guides offering their services. According to what they told us, the prices vary from 15 to 50 soles, depending on the type of service they choose.
The return to Cusco
The return to the city of Cusco is the same way as the outward journey. That is, we took a bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes. Once there we took the opportunity to have lunch and celebrate with some craft beers that were really good.
Before entering the train station we took advantage of the last hour in Aguas Calientes to buy souvenirs in the town market. Then we entered the train station. We did the return trip on the ‘Vistadome’ service which was very nice. The trip included a typical Peruvian dance show. Also a kind of parade with products made of alpaca.
At night we took the minivan that finally took us back to the city of Cusco. It was already eight or nine at night so we took the opportunity to have dinner. Then to sleep in our new hotel. The next day we returned to Mexico happy.
- More information: The trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu can also be done in just 1 day. However, this route must be done with more organization. It is recommended to leave Cusco at 4 in the morning. This is the only way to get to Machu Picchu early enough. We did the route in 2 days because it allowed us more time to enjoy each of the places.