Things you should know before visiting Machu Picchu Peru on a budget.
Few things that we have learned from our trip to visit Machu Picchu on a tight budget.
Our trip to Peru was on June 2017. It was fantastic! We have seen many places in the world, however this was extraordinary special. This trip was a tipping stone in our lives and filled with positive energy.
In this topic we will cover the following:
- Short History of Machu Picchu with Pictures and Video.
- What you should take to Peru with you.
- Food and Water in Peru.
- Plan your trip.
- Finding the right Tour to Machu Picchu and Peru.
Before our travel, we have seen so many photos of Machu Picchu! Never been able to get enough time to visit Peru, however we finally did it! What is so magical about that place that is making it so attractive?
1) Short History of Machu Picchu:
Machu Picchu is the lost and hidden city of Incas that Spaniards never knew when they colonized Peru. It is one of the seven wonders of the world – this place has fascinating stories of cultural and spiritual background of Peruvian ancestors!
Machu Picchu, is the 15th century Inca Citadel located on top of the mountain ridge. Many have wondered how they managed to build a city up in the mountains – that is 2,430 meters above the sea level. It was build at 1450s and abandoned in the next century. Located about 80 km away from Cusco, in Peru.
Some say people left to the jungle running away from war, others believe there was some kind supernatural explanation of why Machu Picchu was abandoned.
The Inca civilization worshiped mother nature, Earth including Sun, Moon and even stars. For this reason, Machu Picchu has a Sun Temple, Moon Temple and School. It was said that all the educated and talented engineers, teachers, astrologers and descendants of royal families inhabited this city.
It was a very developed city with all the facilities, education and noble, religious center of Inca empire.
2) What you should take to Peru with you.
Differences of cities:
Peru is a very interesting place, where each city is different. For example in Lima it almost never rains. Cusco is very warm during the day and cold at night. In June when the sun goes down, it can go from +25C degrees during the day to 0C at night.
Machu Picchu is a tropical place with many insects, and it can rain at any time, the weather is not like in Cusco and it is very warm place.
Every place you travel in Peru is different and awesome!
Differences in altitudes:
Machu Picchu is around 2,430 meters above the seal level, where is Cusco is 3,400 meters above the sea level. Cusco can go up to 4,000 meters above the sea level if you are hiking or when you are travelling towards Machu Picchu.
List of things you will need.
- Few Spanish words, so download an application for your phone! Download it for Android or Iphone. Buying food in local restaurants without proper Spanish can get you some interesting orders. Just saying, I had some fun while learning Spanish on the go, during the travel.
- Insect replant, you will need it in Peru, it will help you in many ways to enjoy your trip. There are many mosquitoes in Machu Picchu.
- Toilet Paper, take one roll with you! In Peru they may not have it in the toilets, or they will give you a very small 2 finger size paper for your entire operation in paid toilets. Just saying, we did not have to use ours, but it may be something you should consider having anyway.
- Pain killers like Tylenol, will help you with altitude sickness. Yes, this was the trick some experienced travelers shared with us. It works great, then you can get some Sorojechi Pills locally in Cusco, I believe it is was around 30 Sols ($11 CAD) to get a pack of it.
- Rain coat, just having one will keep your mind in peace in case it rains when you are on the trip. It did not rain on our trip, however it was in our bag anyway.
- Warm Cloth for Cusco, at night it gets freezing cold! Having a sweater with you will keep you warm and save you some money. You can always get something locally made form Alpaca wool if you forget to take it.
3) Food and Water in Peru.
Food is good in Peru, unlike some other countries it is not that easy to get food poisoning. For safety reasons I would still recommend you to buy food from establishments and restaurants and not the street vendors.
You will love Peruvian food, it was awesome!
If you like mild food, spicy or sweet. They have it all!
The first picture with a glass is a famous corn drink. We had in Cusco, it does not taste like corn. Sweet and nice drink, was something I had never tried before. Highly recommend to try!
Second picture on the right was something we got at Larcomar in Lima, we were very hungry, so hungry we got this dinner for 2 with no Spanish!
The third picture is of a strawberry cheese cake. You can get Peruvian styled cakes and cookies in the town just next to the Machu Picchu.
During the trip we have figured out the prices what to get and where to get it for cheaper price. We found small family owed restaurants that do not even have menu in English, and they were 2 times cheaper with almost the same kind of food.
Water is sold all over the place anywhere from 2 to 5 sol per bottle of water on the street. That is the only thing you should be buying from street vendors.
Please do not drink water from the tab. It can spoil your entire trip and health, only bottled water is good for drinking.
Once you are in Peru try local drink Inca Cola ,
4) Plan your trip.
Planning your trip is very important.
- It will save you money.
- Will help you enjoy the trip
- You will have a peace of mind.
Machu Picchu only lets 2,500 visitors a day, imagine you are at the door and have to leave Peru by tomorrow and you can’t get the ticket to see the place today. Now, when all the money is spent to see visit Machu Picchu and you cant get in, there is an issue. Planning ahead will not let this happen to you.
Some people do not plan.
In Peru you can get tours locally, and it is true. You get a hotel and you can find tours all over the place. Imagine you got there, you go out to get a tour with no Idea on what you want to see. Most likely you will end up visiting Machu Picchu, but missing 90% of other attractions.
Plan ahead or let the experts do it for you. Not planning costs more!
Someone told me: “I do not need a tour guide, I have booked all things myself and saved a lot of money!”. So I asked him, a simple question “How much did you spend?”, and found out that the person spent more money then I did. The only difference is, he is on his own, and I had a team of people from Peru planning it for me and watching my back. I said nothing to that person, did not want to spoil vacation by saying that he spent more then he had to.
That person planned all hotels, tickets and booked few tours online, but because he had only 10 days like myself, I had every hour planned and it was awesome! Did not have to spend hours searching for tours, running around trying to get the tour locally and spending extra time and money.
Fun part was, when our personal guide was waiting in the line to Machu Picchu holding a place for us from 2 or 3 am in the morning, for us to show up by 5 am and be ahead of thousands of people trying to get on the first buses to go up the mountain before the sunrise. People who did not plan, had to be the last once to see Machu Picchu and waste so much of the time in the line.
5) Finding the right Tour to Machu Picchu, Peru.
It is not easy to find a tour. Living in Canada I had gone though so many agencies to see their prices, and it is just insane amount of money they are asking to see Machu Picchu.
You could always try and just buy it from local company in Peru.It is a risk to get something from someone from another country, transferring thousands of dollars to some company you can’t even take to court in your own country. It is challenging to get the best tour for the best price.
But, getting a tour is cheaper if you get the right agency to do it for you.
Why getting a tour package is better ?
- Saves time, you do not have to try a figure out a new country on your own.
- Saves money, no additional expanses, no uncertainty.
- No risk of doing something wrong or missing out something.
- You get all the information from your agent on what you will need to take and how it is going to be.
- You know what you get in the end, how your day will be and are concentrated on enjoying your vacation, and not worrying.
Things I liked about my own tour:
We came to Lima and we had someone waiting for us in the Airport, then we were transferred to a hotel.
- There was always a person to ask a question in English.
- We knew at what time and where we are going.
- It was cheaper for us to shop around with a local tour guide.
- Someone always looking after our schedule.
- We could ask all the questions we had about anything and everything we have seen in Peru.
Now you know some history of Machu Picchu “The Lost City on Incas” and what you should take with you on your trip to Peru. You know some things about food in Lima and Peru in general and the importance of planing your trip. And why it is always better to get a tour guide then to travel on your own.
Hope this helps you on your trip to Peru and will keep you on budget!
Share your story with us in the comments section!