I have already written a detailed report about our trip to Ecuador.
This series of posts will detail our trip to Peru and ultimately one of the new seven wonders of the world – Machu Picchu.
This post (part 2) will cover our airfare and lodging.
Part 1: Traveling to Machu Picchu: The Basics
Part 2: Planning travel and lodging
Part 3: Travel from Cusco to Ollantaytambo
Part 4: Things to do in Ollantaytambo, Peru
Part 5: Eating in Ollantaytambo, Peru
Part 6: Cycling down a mountain
Part 7: Hiking on an Inca trail
Part 8: Zip lining and hiking to Aguas Calientes
Part 9: The climb to Machu Picchu
Part 10: How much did our trip to Peru cost?
Part 2: Planning travel and lodging
The most expensive part of a trip to Peru is your airfare. Once in Peru, everything is relatively inexpensive.
Most major airlines fly into Lima (LIM). Once in Peru, LATAM is the major airline.
I was fortunate to have a good stash of American Airlines miles from a Citibank credit card sign-up bonus.
I used aa.com to use my miles (35,000 round trip to Peru). However, aa.com does not show flights to Cusco. I found flights to Lima, Peru on aa.com. I found the award flight I wanted, and put a hold on that flight. To find flights between Lima and Cusco, I searched for award travel on the British Airways website and found the flight I wanted. I then had to call American Airlines (800-43307300). I gave them the record locator for my flight to Lima, explained my situation about wanting to go to Cusco but it not showing up on aa.com, and then told them the flight I wanted between Lima and Cusco. They put together the entire trip, and it didn’t even cost me phone surcharge since the Lima to Cusco segment doesn’t show up on aa.com.
There are a number of chain hotels in both Lima and Cusco. Prices for this type of accommodation can typically cost over $100 USD.
We used booking.com and found private rooms at local hotels for under $30 USD.
In Cusco, we wanted to stay as close to Plaza Mayor as possible and we found a room at Hotel Incawasi, which is right in the Plaza, for an average of $26.57 USD per night. It was a very basic room, but met our needs just fine.
If you want a little nicer hotel, for about $100 USD, you can stay at the Best Western. It’s conveniently located less than a 5 minute walk to Plaza Mayor, and also right around the corner from Plaza San Antonio, where the colectivo from Ollantaytambo drops people off. By the way, it has an outstanding breakfast spread.
In the Sacred Valley, most people stay in either Urumbamba or Ollantaytambo. I suggest Ollantaytambo for a couple reasons. First, this is where you can pick up the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Secondly, I think it has more of an Inca feel to it with the village being older. Thirdly, there are a number of Inca ruins either in town or a short walk out of town.
In Ollantaytambo, we tried staying at a couple different places. All were pretty cheap and all were in my favorite part of town with extremely old buildings. We stayed at Rumi Wasi and El Tambo both for about $20 USD.
On our return from Machu Picchu we spent another night in Ollantaytambo and this time stayed at Peru Quechua Lodge for $26 USD. It was a much nicer place, but I liked the location of the other two hotels a little better.
All hotels in Ollantaytambo were booked via booking.com and were rated at least 8.0.
Airfare is the most expensive part of the trip. Most flights into Peru land in Lima, but if you are going to Machu Picchu, you will probably need to fly from Lima to Cusco.
There is a wide variety of hotel choices. You can find expensive hotels, but we wanted a more local feel. We don’t need fancy rooms. All we want are clean rooms with comfortable beds at an affordable price, and we were statisfied with our stays at all of these places.
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