Things to do in Machu Picchu, Peru

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUSThings to do in Machu Picchu, Peru!

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit Machu Picchu. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Travel Essentials – What You Need To Know About a Visit To Machu Picchu

The Basics – This is a great list of several things that are important to know before visiting the magnificent Machu Picchu. From pickpocketing to cold nights, these quick tips serve as a basic “heads up” to help prepare you for your stay.

Book Ahead – When traveling to Machu Picchu, you will need to purchase various tickets depending on your traveling needs. It is important to book early, as this blog post suggests as permits and tickets sell out fast!

An Overview – This website offers up a fantastic post highlighting the history of the stunning ruins. It is a bit lengthy, but certainly worth the read!

Things To Do In Machu Picchu

A Service Town – Aguas Calientes is the service town for Machu Picchu. With several hot springs located throughout, it is the perfect place to relax! This blog post is worth a read as it makes several other important notes ie. increased prices and lack of ATM’s

A Visitors Point-of-View – This is a great post, full of close up photos from a traveler who has been to Aguas Calientes. While it doesn’t offer a list of things to do or specific restaurants to visit – it does show one what they will be able to expect – and when traveling, surprises are the last thing anyone wants.

Things To Do With Kids In Machu Picchu

Let’s Be Realistic – Traveling with children is infinitely different than traveling alone. There are always inquisitive minds to appease! Between all the questions, and probably more than a few complaints you can utilize some of the fantastic tips listed on this blog post! Written by our very own Ariana Svenson, a mom who has traveled with younger kids, we know that we can rely on the advice she gives!

Bits And Pieces – This is a short post, with several small tips however I still felt like they were important, and could come in handy for a visitor. It highlights a few of the sights, instructs you to keep a close eye on your toddlers and reminds you to take the time to enjoy what you see.

Where To Stay In Machu Picchu

Affordable Family Hotels – Finding a hotel to stay in that is child-friendly can sometimes be a fight! Thankfully, Machu Picchu offers several affordable options!

A Fancy Accommodation – The Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary hotel, is located right next to the ancient Incan citadel. They boast fun activities, beautiful gardens, and massage treatments. This hotel can accommodate children but comes with a much higher price tag.

A list of recommended hotels – from our very own folks at Apus Peru Adventure Travel Specialists.

 

 

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Family trekking in the Andes.

My name is Matt, I work as a Travel Consultant for Apus Peru. I’d like to introduce myself as a new and regular blogger to report first-hand information on some of the Apus Peru treks and to obtain up-to-date relative trip information and experiences of the treks associated with Apus Peru. I am absolutely mad for the mountains and since I am in the middle of the Andes why not take the chance to explore what’s just a stones-throw from our office.

So here goes the first blog! This week I had the pleasure to accompany 2 families with children aged between 8 and 10 walking 16 miles (just under 26 kilometres) over 2 days across the high Andes to the ruins of Huchuy Qosqo in the Sacred Valley.

This would be a tough test for all!

6 Walking through Pongobamba village1 hour in and I caught the first, “are we nearly there yet?” from one of the kids. This did not become a habit I am pleased to announce. The reason for this may well have been the opportunities of interaction with animals, the locals, ever-changing scenery and great weather that we had ensuring that the younger trekkers did not become bored in any way.

One of the children could speak some Spanish, which was a blessing as at one point several children from a local school caught our eye whilst picnicking. She was gently encouraged to go over and make introductions and soon followed a little bit of banter and exchange of conversation.

Local children during the trekA little later, as we made our way onwards we were accompanied on our journey by some more locals who asked us where we were going – easy to answer that  “Huchuy Qosqo” – understood in Quechua as ‘Old Cusco’ – the language of which most people of these parts speak.

17 Chatting with the locals

Our climb to the top was hard-going but we made it to our camp spot.

The following day we passed through a very remote village called Pucamarca, which still uses thatched roofs that are rarely seen amongst the modernization of Andean villages these days!

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Then we ran into some problems. We were stopped in our tracks. We could not go any further for at least 30 minutes. Our trail was blocked!!! Landslides no, llamas were the issue here!

They had our route guarded and were not moving – that was that!

27 Llamas!!! 50 of them

We met a local trader who offered to sell some handicrafts. We liked buying from her and giving some income to someone who probably doesn’t see tourists coming through her village often.

Did we pass any other tourists along the way of the entire trip?  No, not one!

31 Maybe a little more than the first price given though

The next section on from the village was rather ‘cool’ as we proceeded through a canyon where there were some waterfalls and wooden bridges – could well have been a set off an Indiana Jones movie!

33 Bridge 1

We arrived at the Sacred Valley in dramatic form. There were some amazing panoramic vistas and all the way to the site of Huchuy Qosqo itself. It is claimed these ruins were built under the orders of Viracocha –  the 8th reigning Inca and were constructed to house Stone Masons working in the area while they were constructing the surrounding villages and temples.

A 2 hour, steep descent on switch-backs to the valley floor got us to our final stop of the journey, Lamay. This town was definitely not like that of Pisac or Ollantaytambo and full of tour groups.

41 making our way down some seriously steep switch-backs to our final goal, the village of Lamay

A nice shaded spot with a cold soda and beer was just the right touch to mark the end; flake down on to the grass with weary legs but contented trekkers, before heading back to Cusco.

42 Happy ending, although tired

We asked the kids at the end of the trek, to count how many kinds of animals they had seen on the way and they got to 11 – Pigs, sheep, llamas, Condors, Ducks, Chickens, Cows, Donkeys, horses, Guinea Pigs, Alpacas – this took a while, but then they started on the bugs….!

Are you an adventurous family with children that would like to trek in the Cusco region?  Missed out on the Inca trail, then why not contact our family oriented sales consultants who can offer honest and helpful advice about trekking with kids? We run many private treks for families all over the Andes and our guides are experienced in making your trek a family adventure work for you and your children!

Huchuy Qosqo trek http://www.apus-peru.com/treks/huchuy_qosqo_adv.htm, being “easy” by Andean standards (that is, with not too many climbs) and also short with just 1 nights camping, is the perfect way for a family to test their trekking abilities as a group, while also having an adventure right on the doorstep of Cusco!

Matt Waugh, 3rd of June 2014