Tuesday we went to Machu Picchu. In order to get there you need to buy an entrance ticket a few weeks in advance as they sell out. You will also need to buy way in advance train tickets as you can only get there by train, or the Inka trail (which sells out even faster and takes a few days to hike). Trains leave from Cuzco and take about 2.5 hours I think, but we went from the Sacred Valley, where we were staying. It is closer and cheaper this way. The train leaves from Ollytatambo, which is my favorite city in Peru. Huge mountains and a lot of fun people watching. There are several ruins there as well. We hung out there for 2 hours until our train was scheduled to leave.
We arrived at Aguas Calientas, which is where Machu Picchu is located around 1 pm. You then need to buy tickets in town for the bus to Machu Picchu. Don't try walking it is really far and uphill. Buses run every ten minutes. We got to Machu Picchu and gave in our tickets. We then went into the park and were blown away by the ruins. They are surrounded by these huge mountains and cliffs, and are really spectacular. The ruins are in great condition and you really get a feel for what it was like. I really enjoyed it even though I am not a history guy. There were llamas roaming around and the experience was worth coming to Peru for. We then took the bus down to and hung around Aguas Calientes until our train left. There are lots of great places to buy souvenirs and it's fun to hang out there (like everywhere in that part of Peru). Our train ride home was quite an experience. We were waiting for our train but it wan't coming. All of the sudden a train from a different company came and everyone just got on. We just followed the crowd and boarded after realizing our train was cancelled and our company had rebooked us with their competition. No announcement or anything just utter chaos. Peru style I guess.
Wednesday was our final day. We had a red eye flight to Rio de Janiero which we booked on TACA at 20K UA points a piece. This gave us the day to tour Cuzco before flying to Lima for our connection. We hired a driver to take us to Cuzco and then toured the city, We then went to the airport and enjoyed watching part of the ceiling fall onto the head of the Lan employee helping us. Only in Peru. Our flight from Cuzco to Lima we booked with Avios which was 4.5K IIRC. We had a 3 hour layover in Lima airport but there is a great lounge there which has shower facilities etc. There is even a machine which you put in oranges and you get freshly squeezed OJ. That was the end of the Peru part of our trip!!
It sounds like machu picchu is just about sight seeing, are there any activities involved? Is there any hikes you have to go in order to get there or are there any optional hikes or climbing?
The lounge in lima is pretty nice but was extremely crowded when I was there, though the shower was very refreshing.