Both Machu Picchu and honeymoons are once-in-a-lifetime experiences… ones you’ll pay a lot for, too. And when you combine the two, it pays to do it right!
Here are five things you don’t want to do on your Machu Picchu honeymoon:
In South America, it’s easy to want to go with the flow! But when you’re talking about visiting a spot that people all over the world are clamoring to get to, and only so many are allowed to see per day, you’ll want to make the necessary arrangements months in advance. Per day, only 2,500 people can visit Machu Picchu, and only 1,000 can trek the Inca Trail to get to it—so tickets sell out quickly. Plan ahead so you don’t miss out.
Think you can download a map or a Lonely Planet guide and discover all of Machu Picchu on your own? Think again. Sure, it’s easy to follow the trail and take in the sights, but there’s so much more to Machu Picchu than just what you see. If you’ve made it all the way out there on your Machu Picchu honeymoon, be a sponge and soak up as much of it as you can. That includes getting a guide, who can show you its deepest corners, tell you the history of why it’s important, and fully immerse you in the Lost City of the Incas.
It’s true that you can do Machu Picchu in a day… but that doesn’t mean you should. For the best experience that won’t leave your energy spent (remember, you’re at high altitudes there!), we recommend spending a night in Aguas Calientes: a small, but lively town at the base of Machu Picchu. When you do, you can wake up early and take the 5:30 a.m. bus to Machu Picchu—the earliest one you can catch—and be one of the first people to enter the site and get to see the sunrise from one of the most spiritual landscapes in the world.
If you’re going to Machu Picchu via Cusco, you need to stop along the way and dig deep into the Sacred Valley, which you’ll have to drive through anyway. Tucked in the Andes, there are isolated villages filled with locals practicing sacred traditions that have been around for centuries. Go here to buy hats, gloves, ponchos and sweaters woven from alpaca fibers on traditional looms, or get blankets dyed with colors from Andean flowers. Eat a pachamanca feast or roasted “cuy.” Cuy is the local word for “guinea pig,” which is a delicacy in Peru. Are you daring enough to try it?
Hangovers aren’t great; hangovers at extremely high altitudes are downright miserable. You’ll want to down Pisco sours everywhere you go here, but be careful! Exploring the Lost City is a spiritual experience, but that doesn’t mean it won’t take some energy out of you when you’re at 8,000 feet. Drinking too much the night before may make you too sick to get the most out of your visit, which would totally put a damper on your Machu Picchu honeymoon.
Want to know other things to avoid? Ask the experts at Surtrek, the leader in custom South American travel, for in-the-know tips.