As almost everyone, I dreamt of visiting Machu Picchu. And living in Bogota – about 3 hours by plane it would be just really bad not to take advantage of it and not going there. There was only one problem. What to do with our 11 kg of love – our 20 months old toddler. As there were not so many options to choose we decided for this adventurous trip with our kid. Some of our friends thought we were simply crazy. They were concerned especially about the altitude sickness our kid could suffer from. However living for almost all her life in Bogota at the altitude of 2640 m above the sea level it was not a problem at all. Cusco indeed is much higher – 3.399 above the sea level but I was the only one to get headache but it was due to waking up at 4 AM taking two flight and visiting Cusco caring the toddler in the baby carrier (or toddler carrier) the entire day. After I took Paracetamol it was gone.
Our hotel was very close to the main square, just by the Cusco Walls. For our kid the main attraction in Cusco were llamas. Every time we bumped into a woman with a llama (usually we saw women walking the lamas on the streets) our daughter wanted to come closer and to touch the animal. If you meet one and would like to take a picture you should know that you will have to pay for the picture with the women and the llama.
Most of Cusco streets and pavements are not really stroller friendly so we only had the baby (toddler) carrier with us.
For the next day we had arranged (by our hotel) a taxi at a flat fare to Ollantaytambo, from where we were taking the train to Aguas Calientes. We also asked the taxi driver if he could stop on few places on the way to Ollantaytambo. Apparently there are two roads to Ollantaytambo from Cuzco and we decided to take the road on the attached map to be able to visit Saksaywaman, the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary and the Pisac Market. The road that leads through the Sacred Valley is scenic and curvy (if you kid suffers from motion sickness) at the beginning afterwards it is straight. The Animal Sanctuary was an excellent choice. Our daughter was delighted to be able to feed the animals there. You can also visit their handicraft shop and watch women knitting.
To be able to visit all the places and take the train at about 4PM we left Cusco at 9:30. If you have some time left, the Ollantaytambo ruins are also worth visiting but there are a lot of steps to carry the kid.
The kid pays half fare of the adult ticket (I think if they are more than 1 year old – at the time of our travel this is what we payed) and has a seat for itself. The train journey was another amazing attraction for our daughter.
We arrived at about 6PM to Aguas Calientes. It was dark to visit the town. Our return train was departing the next day at about 2PM. My idea was to get up early to go to see the sunrise up at the ruins. But since it was foggy when I woke up I didn’t even bother about the sunrise and got back to bed.
The queue for the very expensive bus to go up to Machu Picchu was very long. Having the kid with us did not give us any priority so we had to wait about 30 minutes for our turn. The ride is literally breathing on a very curvy, uphill, unpaved road – a once in a lifetime experience.
If I had a chance to go back I don’t think I would go up in the morning again. It seemed to me that it was too busy. You need about 3 hours to visit the ruins. So almost everyone was going down at the same time and the buses on their way up were empty.
Check the weather forecast before as there is no shelter at all in case of rain. And if you travel with kids, that could be more complicated. Get food and drinks for the kid.
To be honest, although it was not easy visiting the Machu Picchu itself walking on the rocks with all the crowds, going there with a kid wasn’t as bad as I would have expected.