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August 2016

Get Information about Travelling to Machu Picchu

get-information-about-travelling-to-machu-picchuConsistently, a great many individuals travelling the forcing and puzzling Incan stronghold of Machu Picchu. In any case, getting to the monstrous agrarian patios, mind boggling stone developments, and epic peak perspectives of this UNESCO World Heritage site isn’t modest, and it includes some trickier-than-regular logistics. Here’s the manner by which to expertly explore your way to Peru’s most popular goal.

When to Go

Machu Picchu is open year-round. October through April is the official rainy season, but it can rain at any time. And while peak season is July and August, you should always expect crowds. Sundays can be the most crowded, because that’s when people who live in the Cusco province are allowed into the site for free, in addition to the daily quota of 5,200 paying visitors.

How To Get Acclimated

Wherever you’re coming from is probably much, much lower than Cusco (11,000 feet) or Machu Picchu (just shy of 8,000 feet). Unless you’ve booked a trip to Machu Picchu that requires an overnight stay in Cusco, we recommend immediately taking the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu Pueblo (colloquially called Aguas Calientes), the town nearest Machu Picchu (see Getting to Machu Picchu, below). Spend a night or two getting used to the relatively low altitude of Aguas Calientes, at about 6,700 feet, then explore Machu Picchu before returning to Cusco. This will help minimize the unpleasant or even dangerous effects of altitude, which commonly include headache, fatigue, and nausea. Avoid alcohol and physical exertion while acclimatizing and drink as much water or tea as you can stand to help your body slowly adjust to the thinner air.

Getting from Cusco to Machu Picchu

The easiest way to get to from Cusco to Machu Picchu is to take the train to Aguas Calientes (the town located a few miles from the site). It’s a scenic 3.5-hour trip each way along tracks that run right along the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley, with dramatic canyon walls on either side.

Some train tips:

• The so-called Cusco train station is actually in the nearby town of Poroy. It’s a cheap taxi ride, but give yourself at least an hour to get from central Cusco to the train station. Traffic in Cusco can be brutal and seemingly never-ending road work makes things even more congested.

• There are three train companies to choose from: Inca Rail, Peru Rail, and theBelmond Hiram Bingham train. The Hiram Bingham service is on a gorgeous train gleaming with brass and polished wood and includes a white tablecloth meal with wine during your journey. It’s also much more expensive than Inca Rail or Peru Rail, both of which offer comfortable passage on different types of trains—including ones designed with extra windows for an additional fee.

• Whichever train you choose, book as far in advance as possible.  Tickets sell out weeks ahead in some months.

• If train tickets from Cusco are sold out, all is not lost. Try to buy a ticket to Aguas Calientes that departs from the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, or vice versa. Taxis and mini vans between Ollantaytambo and Cusco (just over an hour each way) are plentiful. If you have the time, plan an overnight in Ollantaytambo to check out the town, which still features many Incan-built streets and buildings, as well as the archaeological site of the same name. Arrive as early as possible to the site to enjoy sunrise light and beat the tour buses.

• If you do stay in Ollantaytambo, the Aranwa hotel comes highly recommended. It’s not luxurious, but the most charming hotel in Ollantaytambo is El Albergue. Located right at the train station, this petite B&B has Incan terraces right on the property. The current owners still farm the terraces as part of their organic garden.

Machu Picchu Tours

The other way to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu is to walk as part of a multi-day Machu Picchu tour. Thousands of people hike to Machu Picchu each year. Here’s how.

• The most famous way to hike to Machu Picchu is along a section of one of the hundreds of Incan roads built as the empire expanded. Dozens of tour operators offer Inca Trail hikes to Machu Picchu, with varying durations and levels of comfort (though all require camping). Note that the Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu is closed for the entire month of February every year.

• For those who would like a less crowded experience, or are looking to see and experience other aspects of Peru on their way to Machu Picchu, there are a number of diverse hiking alternatives: the second most popular way to hike to Machu Picchu is around massive Salkantay Mountain, one of the most imposing peaks in the Peruvian Andes at 20,569 feet. Many tour companies offer Salkantay Treks, but Apus Peru, an established and well-regarded Cusco tour company with a focus on sustainable and responsible tourism, offers the Expreso Salkantay Trek, which shaves a day off the normal itinerary for those who want to push their physical limits on their way to Machu Picchu.

•Travelers interested in archaeology should consider the Choquequirao Tour with a Machu Picchu extension. This itinerary includes spectacular (but very tough) hiking in the steep Apurimac Canyon and exploration of the Choquequirao archaeological site before arriving to Aguas Calientes and then exploring Machu Picchu.

• The Lares Adventure from Mountain Lodges of Peru offers a great combination of Andean hiking and cultural encounters within Quechua communities before arriving in Aguas Calientes to explore the citadel. Other tour companies offer treks through the Lares region, but only this itinerary includes luxury accommodation in their own lodges and full service along the way.

•The Inca Jungle Tour (also known as Tropical Inca Trail) combines hiking, biking, rafting and zip-lining on your way to Machu Picchu.

• Luxury tour operator andBeyond has recently expanded into South America and will begin offering several Machu Picchu itineraries starting in October 2016.

• You can also drive (most of the way) to Machu Picchu from Cusco to the town of Hydroelectrico (there’s a hydroelectric plant there). From there it’s a three hour hike up to Aguas Calientes and then on to Machu Picchu. Many tour companies in Cusco offer this route as a one- or two-day trip using private vans.

Where to Stay in Aguas Calientes

• Hands-down, the best place to stay in Aguas Calientes is the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. It’s a sprawling resort set on the edge of town, away from the crowds and abutting the forest. Narrow stone paths cut through thick greenery and lead you past colorful birds, blooming orchids, a pool and an outdoor Jacuzzi. The spacious rooms feel very local and come with fireplaces to warm up the Andean evenings. Public spaces include cozy alcoves and a warm ambience that extends to the capable staff. The price includes a full breakfast buffet as well as a choice of several on-property excursions with the resort’s naturalists.

• For something more affordable, check out El MaPi, also an Inkaterra property but with a younger, more casual, design-driven vibe.

• You could also spend the night at the Machu Picchu gates. The appeal is obvious: to be one of the first ones in and last ones out, with no long bus lines. But to do that, you have only one option: the small Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. As you might imagine, access like that is not cheap. Room rates are in the four figures.

Where to Eat in Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes isn’t exactly on the cutting edge of Peruvian cuisine. But walk down Av. Pachacutec and you’ll find several decent, quaint restaurants, some serving a selection of Peru’s growing crop of craft beers. You can also eat at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel even if you’re not a guest. There are two restaurants at the hotel, including a more casual option that’s located by the train tracks, which provides dramatic entertainment when a train comes into the station during your meal.

Things to Do in Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes was named after the thermal springs in town. They’re open to the public from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm (entrance is 20 soles/$6).

Machu Picchu: Tips for Visiting

Entrance tickets: If you’re traveling independently, you can buy individual Machu Picchu entrance tickets here (152 soles/$45 per person). There are also official ticket offices in Cusco and an office in Aguas Calientes where tickets can be purchased in person the day before you wish to enter.

Bring: Water and a rain jacket, even if it looks like a beautiful sunny day. And speaking of sun, remember that the ozone layer over Peru is compromised. That, combined with the altitude, makes the sun extremely strong here so wear a hat and use plenty of high SPF sunscreen. Bring insect repellent as well. And keep some one soles coins in your pocket. You’ll need them to access the lone bathroom at the entrance to the site. To use the bathroom or grab food, you’ll have to exit the gates, so bring your passport and hang onto your ticket. You’ll need to show both to re-enter the citadel.

Don’t bring: Drones, umbrellas, or walking sticks or trekking poles since they’re all prohibited at Machu Picchu. Travelers who require sticks or poles for mobility can bring them in but only with protective rubber tips over the ends.

Don’t miss: Just outside the entrance gates, there’s a barely marked station where you can get the novelty Machu Picchu stamp in your passport.

Bus: You can walk up to the citadel from Aguas Calientes (at least 90 minutes) or you can take a 20-minute bus ride. Buses operate every 15 minutes starting at 5:30 a.m. ($24 adult round trip, $12 child round trip), and people start lining up well before that. Lines to board will be long in both directions.

• Ditch the crowds: When you arrive at the citadel in the morning, peel away from the throngs streaming toward the main structures and head for the Guard House instead. This is an area slightly above the main part of the site and it’s usually less crowded up there as people rush to the heart of the site. Pause here to enjoy the lovely overview of the citadel and to get your bearings.

• Morning? Afternoon? Both? Your ticket allows you to enter the citadel multiple times between from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. (the site closes at 5 p.m. when everyone must exit), but there is no perfect time to visit Machu Picchu. These days the site is crowded at all hours and weather is unpredictable. However, during the rainy season the mornings are most likely to be foggy. Depending on your disposition, fog ruins the view or adds a patina of mystery to it. Afternoons can be slightly less crowded as day-trippers return to the train station for their trip back to Cusco.

• Huayna Picchu peak: You’ll need a separate ticket to climb this peak at the site, and you need to book in advance—there are a limited number of tickets. The view looking down on the Incan ruins is a highlight for many but be aware that some sections of this strenuous trail are very narrow and steep. You’ll have the choice of starting your climb at 7 a.m. or 10 a.m. Go at 10 a.m.; there’s a better chance any clouds will have lifted by then (48 soles/$15 per person).

• Machu Picchu peak This also requires a separate ticket—and good knees. The trail is almost entirely stairs. You’ll have the choice of starting your climb at 7 a.m. or 9 a.m. (48 soles/$15 per person).

• Free hikes at the citadel: Though Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu both require additional tickets, anyone can walk up to the Sun Gate (about two hours round trip along a relatively gentle trail with few stairs) for fantastic views of the overall site. You can also make the short walk to the Incan Bridge (less than an hour round trip along a mostly flat trail) to check out a precarious section of trail, now closed, which the Incas built along a rock face.

• Guides: Machu Picchu can certainly be seen with just a detailed guidebook. But don’t underestimate what a good guide can add: local perspective, as well as all the historical, architectural, and biological info you’d expect. If you’re not on an organized visit with your own guide, you can book a guide in town, or find one at the entrance to the site.

• Stay for lunch: There’s a casual café and bar with a lovely deck just outside the entrance gates, but the Sanctuary Lodge’s buffet lunch is your only sit-down-restaurant option. It’s very good, if pricey ($40 per person).

Cusco Travel Tips

Don’t skip Cusco. Its pre-Columbian buildings have given this city UNESCO World Heritage status, and its cobblestoned streets, great hotels, museums, nearby archaeological sites, and relaxed atmosphere make it worth spending at least a couple days here.

Where to Stay in Cusco

Cusco has more than its share of large, full-service hotels including:

• Inkaterra La Casona: Rap on the hotel’s wooden door with a big iron knocker and someone greets you by name—just one sign of the kind of intimacy an 11-suite hotel affords you. Full of stone and wood, the hotel, built in a 16th-century mansion, has a baronial feel, though bathrooms are thoroughly modern. It’s no surprise that this was the first Relais & Châteaux property in Peru.

• Belmond Hotel Monasterio: This 16th-century former Jesuit seminary, still feels very much like a monastery, complete with Baroque chapel. The 126 rooms maintain the feel with antique-style furniture. And be sure to have a drink in the barrel-vaulted bar. Order a chilcano (pisco, ginger ale and lime on the rocks), not a pisco sour, if you don’t want to scream “tourist.”

• Other highly rated large scale hotels in Cusco include: Palacio del Inka, the JW Marriott and the Palacio Nazarenas.

If boutique is more your style, try the following:

• El Mercado is a place where playful design and amazing attention to detail merge among the restored stone columns of a former market building. Suites and junior suites have fireplaces and jetted tubs.

• Atiq Hotel Boutique has nine rooms, including a suite with a furnished patio which looks down on Qorikancha, a site that many consider to have been the most important Incan temple of the empire. No other hotel in the city can claim such a view. Heated towel racks, fresh-cut flowers and 500 thread count sheets ensure a comfortable stay.

Where to Eat in Cusco

• Cicciolina is a classic which feels very much like a local hangout, serving international and Andean dishes out of an open kitchen. At the tapas bar you can order from both the tapas and dining room menus.

• Kion, from the growing Cusco Restaurants group, is a stylish place to enjoy Cantonese cuisine. The décor is Chinese vintage, flavors are subtle and the atmosphere is festive.

• Chicha is the first restaurant in Cusco from Peruvian superstar chef Gaston Acurio of Astrid y Gaston fame. Located on the second floor of a Colonial building, the restaurant offers haute Andean cuisine (alpaca carpaccio, quinoa with duck) in an airy, bright, and well-lit space.

Where to Drink in Cusco

• Cholos pub, near the main plaza, keeps around a dozen different Peruvian craft beers on tap and the Peruvian owner Rodrigo Cardenas is passionate and knowledgeable about all of them.

Step by step instructions to Have More Energy While Traveling

step-by-step-instructions-to-have-more-energy-while-travelingWhether you’re going for work or joy, capitalizing on your time away is key. Underneath, 10 hacks for keeping your vitality levels high—beginning before departure.

Use sleep-aids wisely.

Melatonin, a hormone excreted by the pineal gland in the brain, is a natural supplement that helps some users ease into sleep—and wake up without grogginess. Others swear by a glass or two of wine with dinner. But mixing the two is not advised, as alcohol can decrease (or even reverse) the effects of the melatonin.

Recognize what time you arrive.

Sounds self-evident, however it’s excessively critical not, making it impossible to incorporate. Aligning your worldly reality when you load onto the plane is the way to guiding your body into your goal’s opportunity zone. Will it be morning when you arrive? At that point rationally tuck yourself in after supper with an end goal to rest however much as could reasonably be expected. Will it be evening time when you arrive? At that point do the exact inverse—keep yourself wakeful with peppy music or motion pictures so you’ll be prepared for a decent night’s rest when the plane touches landing area.

Settle in for the ride.

Do whatever you can to make your seat as comfortable as possible. Wear shoes that easily slide off and on and bring cozy socks or slippers to wear instead. Always travel with a favorite fuzzy neck pillow, earplugs, and an eye mask. Wear layers so you can add and remove them according to the in-flight temperature. Want more comfy travel outfit ideas? Right this way.

BYO healthy food.

Skip the carb- and sodium-laden airplane food and pack a salad or wrap for your in-flight meal. And if you’re traveling to a remote or unfamiliar region, research the food of the area beforehand, particularly if you have specific dietary restrictions, to make sure you’ll have enough to eat. Always keep a few energy bars in your backpack, especially if your trip includes hiking, biking and other activities that require higher energy levels.

Create your personal soundtrack.

Make a two playlists before you leave town, especially if you are traveling across several time zones. One should feature soothing, relaxing tracks to help you ease into sleep even when your body thinks it’s daytime. The other should be filled with get-up-and-go tracks to get your morning started or give you a lift in the afternoon.

Drink plenty of water.

It’s very easy to feel dehydrated (and thus fatigued) during and immediately after traveling by plane, so drink more water the day of your flight and pack your own water bottle. Every time water is offered on the plane, take it.

Pack good shoes … and day-to-night clothing.

Leave the cute-but-painful platforms at home and opt instead of comfortable shoes that can easily handle hours of treading around town. (We’ve got tons of recommendations for walking shoes, winter boots, and travel sandals.) Likewise, pack outfits that can easily transition from day to night. Not only will you be able to do and see more that way, but you won’t need to factor in time to run back to your hotel and change each day.

Leave your work at home.

There’s no quicker way to fizzle out than by burning the candle at both ends.

Stay active.

Resistance bands and jump ropes easily slip into a suitcase and can be used anywhere. Websites like Physique 57 and Yogis Anonymous offer streaming fitness classes that can turn any location into your personal gym. Or try a new challenge, like kayaking, surfing, or stand-up paddleboarding. A good way to get a feel for the lay of the land is with a morning jog around town. Getting the blood pumping first thing in the morning is the way to go. It ensures a thorough wake-up and helps make sure you’ll fall asleep the right away the next time your head hits the pillow.

Schedule in down time.

As exciting it is to be a new place, don’t burn yourself out with an overloaded itinerary. Be sure to schedule in time for relaxing (poolside, with yoga, or just by lounging at your hotel with a book). An hour of rest will give you more energy (and renewed excitement) to check everything off your to-do list.

Some Reasons You Need to begin Meditating on Vacations

Serene woman meditating on beach.
Serene woman meditating on beach.

It’s useful for the brain, body, and soul to escape with some unwinding on the shoreline. Be that as it may, you might need to consider ruminating while you’ll away to give yourself significantly to a greater extent a solid support.

Vacationers who ruminate while in the midst of a furlough might be less disposed toward sorrow and stretch, as per new research from researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; the University of California, San Francisco; and Harvard Medical School. They found that a resort get-away gives a solid and quick advantage to stretch and prosperity — particularly when you ponder while you’re there.

The research studied 94 healthy women, aged 30 to 60. Participants stayed at the same resort in California for six days; while half were simply on vacation, the other half joined a meditation training program with mantra meditation, yoga and self-reflection exercises. Researchers also studied a group of 30 experienced meditators already at the resort.

The researchers examined gene network expressions changes to determine the effects of vacation and meditation. The novice meditators, experienced meditators, and regular vacationers alike all showed signs of improvement in stress response and immune function during their time at the resort. Both novice and experienced meditators, however, showed these improvements much longer after their vacations ended — as long as ten months after the vacation.

While the meditators showed improvements far than non-meditation vacationers — according to metrics like blood samples and self-reported well-being surveys — it’s unclear whether these enduring effects are due to continued practice or psychological changes in how people view their lives.

The researchers also pointed out how “impressive” they found the significant changes in such a short time spent in a relaxing environment.

“The benefit we experience from meditation isn’t strictly psychological; there is a clear and quantifiable change in how our bodies function,” said Harvard researcher Rudolph Tanzi in the news release.

Another takeaway from the study is that workers should not feel guilty about taking vacation time. In fact, this and other research indicates that vacations have positive, quantifiable effects on productivity at the office. For instance, a study from Intuit found that 82% of small business owned reported increased job performance after taking a vacation.

Marked down Hotel Rooms and Amazing Activities for Unique Experience

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Here they are Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is something which one will find one of the best San Luis Valley Activities. Yes, you will experience the best ride in a vintage steam locomotive which will take you to the best places. Riding with the same and watching the beauty of the same valley will be a great pleasure and offer you very unique experience. Children will definitely enjoy this ride and adults will just recall all their experience with the train they had before. Apart from this, what you should never miss out at all, is- Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, which can easily be reached. Those who just love watching the natural beauty, animals and would like to gather other various information about the same, this wildlife refuge will be the best idea. It has covered 11000 acre wetland and one can see various animals, like- American Avocet, deer, coyotes, white-faced ibis and various other beautiful animals.

Would you like to add more fun and excitement in your vacation, just be in touch with the Colorado Gators Alligator farm and reptile park and watch out the best Alligators. One will find around 400 alligators along with other amphibians, like- Lizards, snakes, fish, birds and other unique and never seen before creatures will make you more excited. Other best places are waiting for you here, like- Fort Garland Museum, Penitente Canyon, Great sand dunes national park and preserve and various other amazing places are the best in making your vacation very special.

Apart from this, along with the same if you get the best place to live, there is nothing which can stop you to have amazing time over here. Like amazing places, one can easily find out the Discounted Hotel Rooms Alamosa for an affordable stay without any compromise. Yes, discounted hotel doesn’t mean that you can’t expect all the facilities, amenities and roomy rooms, even you will get everything what you deserve to have and this will surely make your experience something you always wanted to have. So, must visit this place and expect amazing stay for a great energy, happiness and complete peace of mind.