Savvy Traveller – Accessible travel

Jane has never let her mobility issues stop her travelling, but wonders if Machu Picchu is too far

Savvy Traveller – Accessible travel

YOURLifeChoices member Jane has never been one to let her mobility issues stop her travelling, but wonders if Machu Picchu is one step too far? Our Savvy Traveller has some wise advice to help Jane follow her dream.

Q. Jane

My lifetime dream is to visit Machu Picchu, but I do not move around terribly easily. I don't need a wheelchair, but tire after short walks. Is there any way I could visit this World Heritage Site and see all the important aspects? Or should I give up and stick with other people’s photos?

A. Jane, this is a sensible question, because Machu Picchu can be very tiring thanks to its steep site and oxygen-deprived altitude. But I’d always encourage people to follow their “lifetime dream” – Machu Picchu is stunning!

The usual day trip from Cuzco is exhausting. I’d strongly advise you to stay onsite at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge if you can. They have oxygenated rooms right by the ruins, allowing you to rest and even enjoy a tranquil sunrise without tour groups.

Walking the site isn’t easy. From the access car park you’ll have to ascend 50 or more steps. The going is rough and more steps connect terraces. However, terraces do provide long, flat promenades. Take it slowly and you should be okay. You’ll miss out on climbing to the fabled viewpoints, but you’re unlikely to be disappointed with these incredible ruins, grazed by alpacas and framed by mountains.

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    5th Mar 2013
    I believe there is now an option to travel to the top by train??? Think I read it in weekend travel article
    6th Mar 2013
    Jane - I am a retired senior & also have some mobility issues (mainly bad knees & too much weight). I use a walking stick & have problems with too many steps, either up or down! I have just booked a trip to South America for March next year & this will include a visit to Machu Picchu. According to the booking details we stay overnight in Sacred Valley then "board PeruRail's Vistadome train" to travel to Machu Picchu, then stay at Inkaterra Machu Piccchu Pueblo Hotel for 1 night; then Hiram Bingham train return to Cusco. Guess I'm going to see part of this wonderful heritage site at least! I've booked with an Australian tour company, so it's escorted all the way. Check the internet for tours - APT & Scenic Tours are particularly good with fully escorted tours from Australia & will also take the time to give you information before you book. Or make use of the knowledge of a good travel agent & ask lots of questions. I'm sure that I won't be the oldest person on the tour. Keep travelling & including new adventures in your holiday photo albums!

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