The second day of our trip we had to get up very early to catch the train to Aguas Calientes [the city where Machu Picchu lies]. Basically there are two-‘three’ ways to get to this small town.
- Take the train for about three hours.
- Take the bus and then walk around 2-2,5 hours to get to Aguas Calientes [ cost of the bus is around 30 US$ and it takes 6 hours]
- Walk from Cusco to Aguas Calientes “Inca Trail”.
We opted for option 1 as we didn’t have enough time for the other options, even though its definitely the most expensive one ( ~160$ roundtrip). You can buy the train tickets via this website [ https://www.perurail.com ]. As a tip the nearest train station to Cusco is Poroy. The best thing to do is to buy the tickets in advance as they are sold out very quickly and the prices rise as well.
If you prefer the other two options I recommend to walk around Cusco and ask people or at your hotel what offers they have [ believe me there are enough offers for you].
When we arrived in Aguas Calientes we searched for an acommodation, because we didn’t reserve anything beforehand. The best thing to do is to get off the main Street and look in some smaller streets. The town is very small so you dont have to walk much. We asked in some hostels but most of them were full. The one that really stood out in my opinion was the one called Supertramp:
Sadly there weren’t any rooms left. We continued to look and found one that was pretty okay and costed around ~6$ per person for a private room for 4. The bad news is that I don’t remember the name.
With our stomach yelling for some food we were ready to keep exploring the famous Peruvian cuisine. I ordered “Aji de gallina” and some friends ordered alpaca, which they really loved. Mine was excellent too. Going to Peru I was really excited to eat cebiche, but sadly in the regions we were there is only ceviche of trout, because the other seafood isn’t fresh there. And cebiche is pretty expensive, considering the small amount of food you get. There was one restaurant that I really loved, even though we didn’t go there because of our budget. But if you have some extra money you should really check it out. Its called Indio Feliz.
Another thing to consider is that everything takes longer in Peru. So be patient, it might take a while till your food is served.
After eating we went to buy our tickets to Machu Picchu. Normally they are sold out but as it was high season they offered some extra tickets in the town. If you are from the “Comunidad Andina” [ Ecuador, Colombia, Peru & Bolivia] you pay around 20 US$ for the entrance to Machu Picchu. If you are not, you pay around 40 US$. [ If you have an ISIC Student Card you get a 10 US$ discount].Normally you can buy your tickets beforehand at a travel agency or via the internet.
It was already late afternoon, so we decided to walk to a waterfall [ we got this recommendation from the tourism office] but actually never found it. So we went back to the hotel to sleep. We had to wake up early the next morning to be precise: 4 a.m. to see the sunrise in Machu Picchu.