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> Warning before booking tour to Machu Pichu, Warning for travellers
post Dec 7 2008, 07:01 PM
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Just a quick warning for those thinking of booking a tour company to see Machu Pichu in the future.

We went recently with Gecko (Peregrine) Travel and after promising in our itinerary that we would be get to spend all day at the Machu Pichu site and leave on a late afternoon train we arrived at Aguas Calientes to find we had return tickets booked to leave the village again at 10.30am the following morning.

As we had to be at the train 30 mins before it left, and the bus down from the site took 30 min and also required being there 10 min early, we therefore had to LEAVE the site at 9.20am in the morning!!!!

No Huayna Pichu, No Sun gate, Tour cut in half and no time to see the ruins by ourselves.
This the highlight of our South America tour ruined due to rubbish organisation and communication between staff and all we got was an apologetic sorry from our guide (not his fault as he had it sprung on him as well). We have had nothing from head office unless pushed to respond - and then they had the nerve to offer us a 20% discount on any further tour!! As if!!

I would therefore like to advise that if you are going to spend 1400 on a tour, plus $500 cash on local payment plus 1000 flights and Machu Pichu is going to be a highlight of your tour of which you get 1 HOUR to see it, that you think before using Gecko tours.

p.s. After this the atmosphere amongst all travelling was one of extreme disillusionment and annoyance which pretty much ruined the rest of the entire tour
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post Dec 8 2008, 11:15 AM
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Rolling Stone

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I don't understand, what was the reason for making you leave on an earlier train?

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post Dec 8 2008, 11:20 AM
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Thanks for your observation. Indeed it is a complete letdown to have to leave MP so early the next day. Once upon a time all trains left Cusco early in the morning and arrived at M.P (Aguas Calientes) in dribs and draps up to 11:00 am, and the first train back was at 3:30 pm, and there was never a morning train back from Aguas Calientes to Cusco. Times have now changed. Since privatization Peru Rail has now introduced many more timetables to accommodate the increased number of visitors.

In this case, when booking train tickets, be very careful to check your return ticket and the departure time printed on it. Regrettably when you book a package, you many never see your ticket, as your escort will probably be keeping them all as a group. In this case, make sure you have a printed itinerary which indicates all the times of transfers and your train schedule.

It's a shame we can't contact everyone who travels to Machu Picchu on package tours to advise them of this. This shows the wisdom of doing some research prior to your trip, either through a travel blog such as this or Trip Advisor and purchasing an accredited up-to-date guide book.


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post Jan 29 2009, 12:02 PM
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The Inca Trail to Machupicchu is going to close because of maintenance works.
Starting February 1st 2009, the transit through the Inca Trail that leads to Machupicchu will be closed for one month in order to do refurbishment, conservation, cleaning and adequacy to roads works and camps. These works have been done since 2002, according to the Regulations for the Use of the Inca Trail.

The Inca Trail to Sacsahuaman will open to tourists
Starting in February the Inca Trail of the Archaeological Park of Sacsahuaman will be open to tourists. This circuit goes farther than the visit to the monumental zone of Sacsahuaman, which is what is allowed today by the tourist ticket of Cusco. The new aspect of the tour is the visit to the Inca Jail, located in Kallachaca, located more than 3 thousand meters of altitude. There are constructions built in carved stones; precincts forming a ceramic workshop, colcas with burned corn, which shows an evidence of funeral offerings and niches that would have been occupied by mummies.

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post Jan 29 2009, 02:19 PM
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Rolling Stone

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Oh wow. Thanks for that Martin. I hope everyone planning to go knows this!

That's a shame about your tour. Martin's advice is great. I guess you just don'texpect that such a crappy thing will happen.

When we hiked the Inca Trail to MP you could still go it alone, no tour guide, no nothing. I'm so glad we got to enjoy it that way. We took all our own camping gear and food. We hiked four days to get there. We had an incredible experience. One of our finest travel memories. And it didn't cost us much either.

I'm sorry the highlight of your trip was a letdown. That stinks.


'Yesterday's the past and tomorrow's the future. Today is a gift - which is why they call it the present.'
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