Cusco and Machu Picchu

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Peru

Arriving early morning the four of us jumped into the taxi and drove to our hostel. We had a reservation and hoped to check-in in the morning. At 8:30 am we finally got the room and after a breakfast Michael and I explored the city.

From the first moment we were impressed about the beautiful historic part of Cusco. The dark stones and the massive churches were just beautiful. We were happy to stay for three nights in Cusco to explore and enjoy this nice place.

The people are friendly and sure, a bit pushy, but you will find this in a lot of places. We were so used to it that it didn´t bother us. Go to Bali and then you know what is pushy!

At the hostel we got a good deal for our Machu Picchu trip and after two nights James, Lucy, Michael and I jumped into the Microbus towards those famous ruins. The trip to Aguas Calientes was windy and took a long time. 

But when we finally made it to the Hydroelectrica, we jumped out and were ready for the two hours hike along the train tracks. Hundreds of tourists seemed to be a bit disoriented when finally some guides appeared and told them, that we meet at the main square in Aguas Calientes. Arriving a bit sweaty at the main plaza in Aguas Calientes, we waited for our guide. 

The hostel room was a bit damp but we had an own bathroom. We got up very early - at 4am - to walk up to Machu Picchu. The 1 1/2 hours up the steep and uneven steps where painful and totally soaked we arrived at the ruins.

After a good introduction from our guide we had plenty of time to explore another wonder of the world. Another hour and plenty of steps we fight up the mountain to get a glimpse of the ruins from atop. 

The morning was foggy but we were lucky, it opened up a couple of times to see Machu Picchu. It was breath-taking. With wobbly legs we came down to the ruins and the mass of people had left luckily. Roaming around the ruins we enjoyed this place and decided to take the bus down. Our legs felt a bit like pudding.

For sure in the evening we treated ourselves with the hot springs and felt the muscle relaxation. You can imagine that we had a deep sleep, actually in another hostel. Since they needed our room they moved us in a way nicer hostel. We didn´t complain.

The next morning we walked around the touristy Aguas Calientes before we walked two hours back to the Hydroelectrica. Arriving before 2pm - that´s what our guide told us several times - we had to wait actually another hour before they started sorting out the microbuses. Our names were the last to show up on a list so we jumped in and off we went.

The bus driver was a bit strange and picked up two girls in Santa Martha. After he realized that they had the wrong ticket he kicked them out in the middle of the road. We protested but it didn´t do any good. Than he asked me to move over to this kid’s seat but I refused to sit only sideways for 8 hours.

Finally arriving in Cusco we checked in our room and after a burger at McDonalds we slept like babies. The next day we strolled around the city a bit and explored the Santo Domingo. In this monastery you can still find the old walls of the Sun Temple, one of the most important Inca Temples in this area. In the evening it was time to pack up again and continue to Arequipa.

Accommodation: VIP Hostal, Cusco

Price: PEN $ 30 p. p, 4 bed dorm with bathroom, incl. breakfast

Comment: super friendly staff, great agency for trips and fair prices


Accommodation: Hostal y Restaurante Choquequirao, Calle Collasuyo, Aguas Calientes (Tour Operator & Owner: Mario A. Jara Castro)

Price: incl. in trip, 4 bed dorm with bathroom, incl. breakfast

Comment: room was very moldy but we got a nice room in a nearby hostel the second night.

Tour VIP Peru Travel (via VIP Hostal in Cusco): $ 130 p.p. to Machu Picchu incl. transport to Hydroelectric, two nights in bed dorm, two breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, entrance to Machu Picchu with the Montana