Few people dispute Machu Picchu’s right to top any traveler’s wish list. It ticks all the boxes: beauty, history, mystery, and isolated just enough to make the trip exciting but not difficult. What can be disputed, however, is how one should visit. From budget backpacker to high end travel, there are numerous ways to travel to Machu Picchu. Here are three reasons why one should at least consider upgrading your Machu Picchu tour to a luxurious experience.
Peru is a high value destination. Peru is currently one of the best places for a high return on your travel dollar. Of course there are countries that are cheaper, but Peru combines affordability with comfort and safety. With this in mind, upgrading to luxury accommodations is extremely reasonable. For a couple hundred dollars you can stay in a 5-stay luxury hotel with spas and pools. Paying for private guides and transportation will also make your trip an extremely blissful experience. When it comes to Machu Picchu luxury tours, there are several extremely beautiful lodges near the site that a good company can help you arrange. Train travel on the luxurious Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu is another way to treat yourself.
Language barrier. Although many people picked up a bit of Spanish in high school, chances are you aren’t fluent. And even if you are, chances are even higher you’re not fluent in Quechua, the Incan language spoken in the mountains and valleys around Cuzco. You can of course travel using a guide book, or hire a local guide who speaks passible English along the way, but the best way to fully appreciate the history and diversity of Peru is to travel with a guide who is fluent in both your native language and the local languages, and is also skilled in local customs and history. Chances are you will only find this if you book with a highly qualified and experienced Peru travel company.
Destination of a lifetime. Machu Picchu is widely considered one of the best places to visit in the entire world. This is not the time or place to take risks—you want the best vacation possible. Traveling in Latin America can be difficult, especially with unexpected delays, flexibility with time, and different expectations. Traveling with a company that is partially based in your home country gives you the reassurance that your expectations of quality and service will be met, while also allowing you to experience the best of Machu Picchu. However, an important thing to remember is that you want a combination of security and experience, and any good luxury company will have their preferred hotels and regular guides, as well as an on-the-ground presence to insure your travels all go smoothly.
Laura is an advocate of South America luxury travel.