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  1. #1
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    Machu Picchu question

    I'm traveling with a friend to Peru this winter (summer down there) and we'll be visiting Machu Picchu. Does anyone have any recommendations for hotels in Cusco? Particularly hotels located within walkable pedestrian friendly areas in the core of Cusco? We're planning on staying there for approximately 3 nights and we're not looking for anything insanely expensive (preferably under $200/night). I've checked TripAdvisor.com, but I thought I'd check to see if anyone here has any personal experiences with accommodations in Cusco? My friend grew up in Lima and therefore is completely fluent in Spanish, so there won't be any language barrier issues to contend with.

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    I stayed at Hotel Resbalosa in 2009. It's a nice hotel and has nice view of the Plaza de Armas from the rooftop cafe. The only issue is that it's on quite a steep uphill street, so it can be a pain to get to if you suffer from altitude sickness and have a lot of luggage.

    There are a lot of places around and near the Plaza de Armas. I would flip through a couple of guide books and see which ones are recommended.

    Cuzco is beautiful and so if, of course, Machu Picchu. Even better that your travelling partner is fluent in Spanish. Have a great time!

    ETA: Don't forget to try cuy and llamas meat while you're there.

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    I hope you like it here, I´ve stayed in a lot of places in Cuzco, but I liked Casa Andina because is close to the plaza de armas, you should also look to stay in Ollantaytambo (to catch the train) and in Aguas Calientes (to get an early entrance to Machu Picchu).

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    No hotel recommendations from me, because I've never been inside any Cusco hotels, but I heartily second Citlali's advice about staying in Aguas Calientes (in particular) and Ollantaytambo (I don't know if that's as necessary, but it seemed like a nice town anyway)on your way to/from Macchu Picchu. I hope it's not too wet whenever you plan to go, though, since our winter is their wet season.

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    Aaron, what other parts of Peru are you planning to see? It's a great country to visit. I hope to be able to re-visit soon.

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    I read this book recently and am seriously considering a vacation in South America:
    http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Right-Mac...t+machu+picchu

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    I want to go to Machu Picchu so bad it hurts. I also really want to go to the tepuis, and hopefully at some point in my life I am fit (and wealthy!) enough to go and do both and have a fantastic time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Don't forget to try cuy and llamas meat while you're there.
    Alpaca meat is much better than llama.

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    My former roommate visited Machu Picchu a few year ago. He made the dumb mistake of not taking enough time to acclimate for a few days before they began the trek and definitely had problems with the altitude. (I think the group he came with only spent about 8 hours in Cusco.)

    He would also tell you not to order the guinea pig (a local favorite).
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

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    Thanks for the info so far everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by kalamalka View Post
    I hope it's not too wet whenever you plan to go, though, since our winter is their wet season.
    I am familiar with it being the rainy season at the time of year I'll be there, but we're going to take our chances and hope for the best. My friend is flying down there a week early to spend time with his family and celebrate his mother's birthday, then I'll fly down and spend the final 9 days with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Aaron, what other parts of Peru are you planning to see? It's a great country to visit. I hope to be able to re-visit soon.
    We'll initially be in Lima at this mother's house, then fly off to Cusco for a few days to check out Machu Picchu and possibly Huayna Picchu, and then return to Lima to finish off the trip at his friend's beach house south of the city.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Alpaca meat is much better than llama.
    I'll keep that in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    My former roommate visited Machu Picchu a few year ago. He made the dumb mistake of not taking enough time to acclimate for a few days before they began the trek and definitely had problems with the altitude. (I think the group he came with only spent about 8 hours in Cusco.)
    We'll probably have a day there to get acclimated. I've never been at a particularly high altitude other than in a pressurized airplane cabin. Hopefully I'll be able to handle it without too much difficulty.

    Quote Originally Posted by peibeck View Post
    He would also tell you not to order the guinea pig (a local favorite).
    Doesn't sound particularly enticing.

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    I stayed in Novotel Cuzco. It is a nice and clean hotel. I don't the the price because it was part of a tour package. Anyone can get altitude sickness, even atheletes. My tour guide who has been to Cuzco many times gets altitude sickness everytime he goes there. It doesn't matter if you are fit or not. It's how your body responds to the high altitude. I had moderate altitude sickness. I remember as soon as I got off the plane, my heart started to beat faster. I also felt mild nausea and headache (felt like I slept too much kind of headache). If you are afraid of altitude sickness, you can take altitude sickness medication prior to arrival. I didn't take it because I don't like taking medicine. I figure I'll take my chances. To relieve the symptoms, I chewed on coca leaves and drank coca tea. It helped to relieve symptoms. By the next day I was back to normal. Also, take it easy on the at least on the first day of arrival. Don't run or do any heavy duty lifting. Some people in the group had it worse, but not bad enough to go to the hospital. They had to oxygen mask to help them combat the sickness. Also I heard there are biting flies in Machu Picchu, if you choose to do the full hike. I went during the winter, and I didn't see any.

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    are you doing the Ince Trail hike to get there- we did that when I went a few years ago. It's beautiful- I highly recommend it, but you do need to be fit.

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    I stayed at Hotel Rumi Punku--it's fabulous!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kedrin View Post
    are you doing the Ince Trail hike to get there- we did that when I went a few years ago. It's beautiful- I highly recommend it, but you do need to be fit.
    Being aclimatized to the high altitude before hiking is more important than being fit. I encountered a group of three 60+ women on the trail at Dead Woman pass, and they were doing ok. People of all shapes, sizes, and fitness do the trail.

    My biggest mistake was carrying to much on my back, having never done camping of any type prior. Before the trip, I walked around my apartment several times with my backpack on thinking "Oh this backpack will be no problem on the trail", but once I started the hike it became soooooooooooo heavy, and I was really dragged down by it. If I ever do this hike again, I would definitely carry as little as possible or pay for more extra porters to carry my things.

    (The only thing I would complain about the hike was the bathrooms on the trail . Just pray that you're constipated for the three days of the hike )

  15. #15

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    I stayed at Hotel Marqueses in Cusco. It's within walking distance of Plaza de Armas.

    Are you planning on staying in Aguas Calientes when you go to Machu Picchu? I stayed at Andina Luxury there.

    You should definitely hike Huayna Picchu, but make sure you get tickets in advance as they only let in 400 visitors per day.

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