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Machu Picchu, Machu Picchu

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tour or on your own

Posted on: June 17, 2009 at 4:42PM

By Guest

We went to Machu Picchu in May of 2009. We took 6 days to see most of the Sacred Valley and it is certainly a trip worth taking. You can easily do everything here on your own. You can even rent a car if you don't want to take buses and cabs (though you have to take the train to Machu Picchu - or walk). That being said, there are some very good reasons for taking a tour. For one thing, it will save you a lot of time. Most of the ruins in the Sacred Valley are fairly far apart, and some of them aren't all that easy to find. The tour will take you right to them, without having to figure out which bus to take to get to the town (and you might still have to take a cab to the site). Second, taking a tour reduces the stress level. If you don't speak Spanish, things will be more difficult for you. Not impossible, but not everyone speaks English here. It's so nice to have someone waiting for you at the airport with a sign with your name on it. And to have someone get all of your tickets for you (including the entry and bus tickets to Machu Picchu) without standing in line (try to have the exact amount for the Machu Picchu tickets if you're getting them yourselves). And for most of the ruins, you'll totally miss out on the history if you don't have a guide (you can usually find a guide at the entrance if you go it alone). This is especially true of Machu Picchu. There's so much you'd miss if you didn't have someone telling the story. And on most tours, at most of the sites, you can step away from the group if you want to be alone. Often there is time after the tour of a ruin to either see it in silence by yourself or stop at the market for a gift. Purists will say that you miss out on interacting with the local people by taking a tour. That's somewhat true. But most of the locals you're going to meet work in the tourist trade at one level or another. And many will have limited English (and limited time). And your guide on a tour will probably be "local". So it's your call. If you speak some Spanish, go it alone and hire guides and cars as you go. Otherwise, why waste time? Take a tour.

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