Cusco or Sacred Valley

Is it better to stay in Cusco or somewhere in the Sacred Valley?
Only asking since there seems to be plusses and minuses to each. With towns in the sacred valley being at a lower altitude and more quiet, but not as central. Compared to Cusco which has more to offer and closer to the airport, but far busier and higher altitude.
Doesnt matter which one Im going to MP from.

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  1. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    you can easily travel anywhere in the sacred valley from cusco so I would base myself there and accordingly move around.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Sure, but depending on what you'd like to see, you'll have to do long distances every day if you stay only in one place. Me personally, I stayed about 10 days in Cusco and about a week in Urubamba.

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        More into temples personally, but I hear the Rainbow mountains are a real letdown and the salt mines look like shit.
        Any other tourist traps I should avoid?

        • 1 year ago
          Anonymous

          >More into temples personally
          Oh hey, me too. I didn't even see the rainbow mountains. The salt mines of Maras were cool though, but I'd understand if you want to skip them.
          >Any other tourist traps I should avoid?
          I didn't go to Machu Picchu. There's so much to see in the area, lots of ruined cities like MP, I didn't see the need to go to MP if I had to spend 10x as much money as all the other shit combined. I was ona budget, but not on a time limit, so it made sense for me. But don't let me stop you.

          • 1 year ago
            Anonymous

            >lots of ruined cities like MP
            Any examples of those?

            • 1 year ago
              Anonymous

              Ollantaytambo in particular, I believe, is the one that resembles Machu Picchu the most. Pisac is fantastic too, even if it's very small, but it has amazing views. Saqsaywaman is very good too, but very different. You might like Pikillakta too, but it's not Inca but Wari. I don't know if they still have it, but you could get the boleto turistico which gives you access to a bunch of shit. Some small and/or less popular ones are: Tipón, Rumicolca, Choccepujo, Tambomachay, Pua Pucará, Qinqo, Huchuy Qosqo (but I didn't get up there because the climb looked too intimidating), Chincheros, Machuqolqa... I've seen some shit. I saw everything I just listed here, so I didn't think it necessary to go to MP.

              Ah memories. Late 2015/early 2016 was the best time of my life. I graduated, I travelled a lot, lost my virginity, my father died, and I hadn't completely mentally broken down yet.

              • 1 year ago
                Anonymous

                Pic related. A buddy I met in Cusco.

              • 1 year ago
                Anonymous

                Neat - sounds like quite a time. How did you get around if you were based in Cusco?

              • 1 year ago
                Anonymous

                Well you know, there are busses to all the surrounding towns. I speak Spanish almost fluently, I think this made a huge difference.

              • 1 year ago
                Anonymous

                Well thats convenient, I heard people suggest hiring a taxi for the day or make use of colectivo? I just hate these day tours where they take you to half the shit you want to see and then force you to eat at their cousin's husband's eatery.

              • 1 year ago
                Anonymous

                I never went on a tour, not even once.

          • 1 year ago
            Anonymous

            well, I beg to differ. I think the MP and the ruins in the Inca trail are pretty unique in comparison to the ruins in the sacred valley, even if it's onle the location factor. The only ones that are close would be Pisac IMO. If you are into ruins I would definitely try to do the inca trail or at least visit the MP one day.

            • 1 year ago
              Anonymous

              Okay, fair. To each his own. People should decide for themselves.

  2. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I stayed in both cusco and the sacred valley, personally I liked the lodgings and scenery of the sacred valley more but there is a lot of cool stuff in cusco that's also worth seeing. I would really suggest reading about some of the history before you go, it enhances the experience greatly so you won't feel like you're just looking at various rock structures. Here's a pic of some goodbois I met around the place I stayed, which was right on the urubamba river and I would recommend highly. This was last november before most of the current unrest, but I believe things are pretty calm around the sacred valley. It's very rural, people distrust the government in lima but mostly just want to go about their lives and make a few bucks.

  3. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I did the whole day train to MP thing, and it was certainly memorable for the location, view, and being probably the best preserved ruin. However, knowing the archaeological history of the site (it was never fully inhabited, mostly in part to the wildly impractical location they built it on) I was more impressed with ollantaytambo and saqsaywaman. Honorable mention to chincheros. If you can pick up or download a copy of kim mcquarrie's "last days of the inca" for the plane ride, do it. The historiography of the conquest comes mostly from the spanish, but this author did a great job of incorporating the few native sources on that time period and tying the narrative to specific places which you'll visit. It's crazy how these things that happened almost 500 years ago still live rent free in the minds of modern peruvians, so that book really helped flesh out a piece of history that I knew about but wasn't very familiar with before I went and I'm glad I read it.

    There is a vizcocha hiding in this image.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      Neat - is pic MP?

      • 1 year ago
        Anonymous

        Yep, here's another.

        • 1 year ago
          Anonymous

          Cool - what time of the year if I may ask?

          • 1 year ago
            Anonymous

            This was last november, so early summer down there. There was still a decent amount of rain, I was told we were lucky to see MP on such a clear day

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/T8JnKCs.jpg

      Yep, here's another.

      How did you manage to get shots without all the tourists in the frame?

  4. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    >want to hike to the Sun Gate from MP
    >want to hike up the Huayna Picchu from MP
    >depending on the hike; that's 4-6 hrs
    >you need to drink a lot of water
    >only toilet is at the entrance
    >not allowed to take a piss in the bushes

    what do they expect people to do? hold it in for 4+ hours? I understand that they dont want people to piss on the ruins and shit, but they could at least put some pit toilets somewhere on the routes or allow a guy to piss on some dirt

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