Like almost everyone, I dreamt of visiting Machu Picchu. And living in Bogota – about 3 hours by plane, it would be just 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 to visit Machu Picchu with a kid.
Our friends kept asking: are you going to Machu Picchu with your daughter? It was making us feel as crazy and irresponsible parents. They were concerned mainly about the altitude sickness our kid could suffer from. However, she lived almost all her life in Bogota at the altitude of 2640 m above the sea level. So the height was not a problem for her. Cusco indeed is much higher – 3.399 above the sea level. But I was the only one who had a headache. I think it was due mainly to waking up at 4 AM. Also because of taking two flight and visiting Cusco caring the toddler in the baby 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. The main attraction for our kid in Cusco were llamas. Every time we bumped into a woman with a llama our daughter wanted to come closer and to touch the animal. We had to pay any time we wanted to take a picture with them.
Most of Cusco streets and sidewalks 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 in few places on the way to Ollantaytambo. Apparently, there are two roads to Ollantaytambo from Cuzco. We decided to take the route on the attached map. Like this, we visited 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 4 PM we left Cusco at 9:30. If you have some time left, the Ollantaytambo ruins are also worth visiting. Keep in mind that there are a lot of steps if you travel with a kid.
Kids over one-year-old pay half fare of the adult train ticket and have a seat for itself. The train journey was another fantastic attraction for our daughter.
We arrived at about 6 PM to Aguas Calientes. Our return train was departing the next day at about 2 PM. 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 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. We had to wait about 30 minutes for our turn. The ride on a very curvy, uphill, unpaved road is breathtaking- 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 to Machu Picchu with a kid, that could be more complicated. Get food and drinks for the kid. Also a sun cream and a hat.
To be honest, although it was not easy visiting the Inca’s Ruins itself walking on the rocks with all the crowds, going to Machu Picchu with a kid wasn’t as bad as I would have expected.