Date: March 8, 2008
First of all, great website, second, great talent to write – you should go further, Jessica! Not only about travels. English is not my mother tongue, but it reads so easily with such a great sense of humor, that i was 'stuck' on your site (where i got 'blown' from the site of your friend Klaus for good couple of hours.
Listen can you please do me a great favor – I am going in May to make it to Peru as well. Will you be so kind and give me the address or contact details of that hostel in Cuzco where you stayed. Please? And one more question – why didn't you go for Machu Picchu trekking tours? too difficult to book?
ok, thanks so much in advance for your any advices,
Hey Anita! Thank you so much for your kind words. That really means a lot to us.
The hotel we stayed at in Cuzco is called Casa Hospedaje Kuntur Wasi. It's located in the San Blas section of Cuzco and is a bit of an uphill (!) walk from the Plaza de Armas. But we couldn't speak more highly of the place – very welcoming, very safe, sweet staff (especially the owner), and cozy. (Ok, and it's a bit chilly too! But so is all of Cuzco in May!)
We ended up not going on a Machu Picchu trek because they were all booked by the time we arrived in Cuzco. (On our trip, we usually didn't reserve things ahead of time... which usually worked out great BUT Peru's government had just changed the trekking rules for the Inca Trail that year, which meant that available spaces became very limited and they were already booked up months and months in advance.) At first we were really disappointed by the realization that we wouldn't be able to do the hike, but in the end it worked out great. We still had a great time at the ruins, and the cash we saved helped go towards our time in an ecolodge in Ecuador (Yachana Lodge – we highly recommend a visit there if you're headed to Ecuador). The train ride up to Aquas Calientes (the little town nearest to Machu Picchu) was also really enjoyable.
That said, we have many friends who have said the highlight of their travels was the Inca Trail trek. So if you get the chance to trek with a reputable company, you might want to grab it! (Remember that cheapest isn't usually the best when it comes to Inca Trail treks. The cheaper the trek usually indicates a lack of quality in guides, food, and how they treat the porters. So paying a bit more is usually worth it for several reasons.)
If you are able to do a trek, one piece of advice we've heard is to opt to stay overnight in Aquas Calientes the day the trek ends at the ruins. (Most people just see the ruins on the last day of their trek when they're absolutely exhausted, and a few of our friends have mentioned how they didn't really get to see the ruins at all because they were too tired to look at them.) And even if trekking isn't something you end up doing, we definitely recommend staying overnight in Aquas Calientes, spending a few days at the ruins, and climbing Waynu Picchu too.
Hopefully some of this info is helpful. And definitely send us an email if you have any questions! We love chatting with fellow travelers!
Jessica (and Tim too)