South America: Cuzco, Peru Making Plans for Machu Picchu

For a small donation, the
locals will let you take a pic.  I just
couldn’t resist these two!

A struggle, interesting sights, and a chocolate museum in Cuzco, Peru. Yep, this has been a good day.

To start, we decided to stay in Cuzco another night, we’ll head to Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes tomorrow.

Working out the Details of Machu Picchu

 

Be in the Know:  There are a lot of packaged deals to Machu Picchu. Make sure you find one that fits your plans!

Initially, Rebecca and I were going to take public buses, but we heard about some problems with mudslides and bad roads, so we decided to go with a group/packaged deal. So, we sat down with Evan at our hostel, ecopackers (they have a travel desk). He wanted to sell us a plan that would give us just an hour or two in Ollantaytambo, then just part of the day in Machu Picchu, then we’d be coming back. No thank you.

View from the top of Cuzco

We worked out our own plan with him.  For the package deal fee, we’d be paying for a van ride and then train ride up to Aguas Calientes (the entry point for Machu Picchu), one night in a hostel in Aguas, a guide for Machu Picchu, and a return train ride to Ollant. Our second night in Aguas was on us, as was our two nights in Ollant, and we’d have to find our own way back to Cuzco.

That sounded fine since our only goal was to reach Machu Picchu. FYI: If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest reading Turn Right at Machu Picchu. It really made all of our visits to ruins throughout Peru feel very connected.

Warning of Travel in Peru

I received a message from my aunt today that there’s a travel warning: 

The U.S. Embassy in Lima has issued an official security message for American citizens warning about travel to the Cusco area of Peru, including Machu Picchu. The message, issued Thursday, says that the embassy received information that a criminal organization may be planning to kidnap American tourists in the Cusco and Machu Picchu area. The report adds, “possible targets and methods are not known and the threat is credible.”

So, that makes things interesting and makes me a little worried. However, we’re not changing our plans.

Enjoying our chocolate and coffee at
the ChocoMuseo

The Chocolate Museum

That accomplished, we headed out to explore Cuzco. Someone handed us a pamphlet about a
chocolate museum that had a cafe. Yes, please! Somebody must have known we were coming. It took a little bit of walking around to find it, but it was worth a visit.

The ChocoMuseo has interesting exhibits on the history and making of chocolate, special workshops you can sign up to make chocolate, and best of all, plenty of chocolate to eat. My favorite was the tea made from the husks of cacao.

It’s worth it to purchase a Boleto Turistico

The Boleto Turistico is a ticket that gets you into many different museums and sights, most of these places will only take the BT. At least for us, this ticket seems worth it.  We’ll visit as many places today that use it in Cuzco, Peru as we can, plus it’s good for places we’ll be seeing in Ollantaytambo, etc.

Serious art museum had a great collection
of toy robots. I love that!

So we moved from museum to museum, wandered the city, tried another restaurant (food was so/so), walked up to the top of the city and then headed back for a quiet night. We saw a lot of security personnel wherever we went, so we felt fairly safe.

Time to pack again, darn it.  But tomorrow, Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo)!

Want to see more:
Day 27 Posada Amazonas (Day 4 of 4) – Puerto Maldonaldo, Peru
Day 29 Cuzco to Aguas Callientes, Peru

Hello. I’m Sonja Dewing. I am a Writing Professional: Technical, business, travel, as well as a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers. I’m also a published author, Toy of the Godsand I’m always seeking adventure travel. I’m a Social Media Manager and consult with writers on creativity and social media.

 

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