Sticking to our own rule of brief and informative summaries, we are also going to try to keep this chapter as short as possible, although we are going to talk about the most famous part of Peru.
For many the Machu Picchu is the highlight of their Peru trip. And indeed if you are in Peru you simply cannot miss out on Machu Picchu. Let’s not waste time by trying to put in words the impressiveness of these ancient ruins, they are simply one of a kind and there is no surprise why Machu Picchu is one of the so called new 7 Wonders of the World.
Depending on your budget there are different ways of getting to Machu Picchu, the cheapest is via bus and by feet, the most expensive is taking a train. We are soon going to release a post on how to do Machu Picchu on the lowest budget possible, stay tuned.
Cusco is more than just the closest biggest city to the Inca ruin. It is a marvelous city, that deserves a couple of days. The beautiful historical architecture, the cute narrow streets and the central square make Cusco one of the most beautiful cities we have seen in Peru. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Cusco is one of the more expensive cities to stay in. But it does not have to be an expensive stay, if you search a bit longer on Hostelworld or Booking.com, you will find good deals for accommodation, especially in guesthouses. Instead of paying 15€ or more for a dorm bed, we went to the Cholo Wasi Guesthouse where we paid 18€ a night for a private room, with shared kitchen. Eating out is expensive, if you go for one of the countless tourist restaurants, but if you eat at the market (lunch for 2€) or cook, then you won’t be spending that much in Cusco.
Another trip close to Cusco that we highly recommend is visiting one of the color mountains. While most visit the Instagram famous Montaña de 7 colores (Vinicunca), we suggest you to check out Palccoyo. Palccoyo consists of a total of 3 stunning color mountains and is still lesser known than Vinicunca, which means less fights for the perfect picture.
The Valle Sagrado is the holy Valley of the Incas, it lies only an hour van-ride outside of Cusco. The holy valley consists of several beautiful small towns and impressive Inca ruins. For us the valley truly deserves it’s name, we were simply astonished by everything you are able to see and by the positivity we felt staying in these small towns. The most impressive ruins you’ll find in Ollantaytambo, Pisac and Moray and the biggest artisanal market in Chinchero. Visiting the valley is definitely doable on a low budget, as there is no need for a tour (although in Cusco they will try to sell you Valle Sagrado tours too). There is public transport leaving to those towns every other minute, so don’t get fooled by tour operators. You will also find hostels or guest houses, with private rooms for less than 20€ a night, in all the towns. More details on the Valle Sagrado are going to follow soon in our Valle Sagrado post.