Travel Tips and Advice
When I visited Machu Picchu, I was unprepared and consequently missed out on some of the most important experiences. There are some essential things you should know before you head over to these idyllic ruins. Based on my experience at Machu Picchu, I learned four valuable tips that can help other travelers make the most out of their trip while spending less money.
1. Before even beginning your trip.
Do you want to do one of the two iconic hikes to overlook the ruins? Then RESERVE TICKETS IN ADVANCE. The most popular walk was booked four months in advance when we arrived, and the other one was scheduled about a week in advance.
We didn't have any plans, and so we were not able to do any of the hikes. We went in low season, so we were able to buy tickets into the actual ruins the day before, but it may be different in high season (only a certain amount of people are permitted in the ruins and on the hikes each day).
2. From Hydroelectrica to Aguas Calientes...Train or walk?
You can always wait for the train, but they don't come that often and then you need to wait and pay.
I recommend, unless you have any physical challenges, to walk from Hydroelectrica. Then you don't need to spend more money, and it is a flat and easy walk. The walk took us about 1.5-2 hours to walk.
3. Once in Aguas Calientes, where do you stay for cheap?
Once you walk into town, there is a hostel right on the edge that is very cheap. It is only a few minutes walk from the main square, and they will watch your backpacks when you hike up to Machu Picchu.
So, if you're like me and want to spend frugally, I would recommend staying in this hostel.
4. Going up to the ruins...Bus or walk?
Again, if you want to save some money, I recommend just hiking up to the ruins. It doesn't take very long, and you will look less like a tourist.
The bus is unnecessary, and the wait can be reasonably long. Unless you have troubles walking up and down hills, take the scenic route up the mountain and get active.
Signs tell you where to go along the hike, maps show how close you are, and there rest spots scattered throughout the trail. Locals even sell water and snacks along the path on the way up.