Cusco, Valley Sagrado and Machu Picchu, Peru
Official Language: Spanish
Population: 30 million (a 2011 estimate)
Currency: Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.) yet, the US Dollar is accepted at some local businesses, restaurants and gas stations. If you hold Euro, it must be exchanged into Nuevos Soles or US Dollars.
Visa needed for Kuwaitis: Yes
Visas for Americas and Western Europe are not required.
If you are planning to travel to jungle: insect repellent is a must.
If you are planning to travel to the Andes: to avoid altitude sickness rest on the first day of your arrival and eat light foods and drink plenty of fluids.
- Peruvian Embassy in Kuwait City, KuwaitAl Arabiya Tower Bulding, 6th floor
Ahmed Al Jaber Street
[This blog post has been updated on Aug 2022]
I remember how excited and thankful I was to have visited Machu Picchu the first time back in 2016.
My first trip to Peru was on March, 2016, and the second one was in August 2022.
I live in Kuwait, so I’ve completed my visa process in the Peruvian Consulate in Kuwait. (Kuwaitis do require a visa to enter Peru). In my last visit in August 22, I needed to email the embassy first, send all the documents via email and get it approved by email THEN attend an appoint at the embassy to receive the visa and the appointment took around 30 mins.
(As the requirements of visa always change, I do advise you to call the embassy to inquire, always
- The requirements I was asked to provide:
- One picture, white background صوره واحده بخلفيه بيضاء
- An application form to be filled (provided by the embassy)
- Reservations (Ticket & Hotel) حجوزات الفندق والطيران
- Salary Certificate شهادة راتب
- Bank statement of three months شهادة رصيد البنك لثلاث اشهر
- Civil ID copy صورة البطاقه المدنيه
- Passport & copy of your passport صورة الجواز والجواز
- 30 USD to be paid ‘after’ you get approved.
The embassy is located in Al Arabia Tower, Ahmad Al Jaber Street, Sharq (9AM-1PM)
(Personal experience – you could always look for alternatives that you prefer)
Personally, I’ve hopped on many planes! Among which were: KLM, Avianca, and LAN (on my first time). On my second time, Ive taken Kuwait – Amsterdam and to Lima via KLM. From Lima to Cusco I flew on LATAM.
My Hotels through out the trip:
- Tambo Del Inca Luxury Collection in Valle Sagrado (11/10) LOVED IT. فندقي في ذا سيقريد فالي
- (First visit – March 2016 ) Belmond Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu (6.5/10) Expensive, but very conveniently located for visiting Machu Picchu. فندقي في الماتشو بيتشو
- (Second visit – Aug 2022) Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo (I prefer this hotel although the service is average but better than the one before)
- (First Visit – March 2016) JW Marriot in Cusco (10/10) Great location, great hotel and great service. فندقي في كوسكو
- (Second Visit – Aug 2022) Casa Cartagena (loved it, excellent location)
- (Second Visit – Aug 2022) Antigua Casona San Blas (loved it, excellent service)
Other famous sights and activities in Peru:
- Inca Trail
- Amazon River
- Cloud Forests
- Lake Titicaca
- Canopy Walks
- Giant Sand Dunes
Food to try:
- Aji de Gallina
My route was the following: Cusco – Valley Sagrado – Machu Picchu – Cusco -Lima (2016), same was for 2022 but I continued from Cusco to Puno & lake Titicaca by train
We arrived via plane to Cusco – A car from the airport to Valle Sagrado, train to Machu Picchu, a train back from Machu Picchu and finally a plane back to Lima.
On the way to Machu Picchu we’ve tried: Vistadome – Regular Train (2016)
On the way to Machu Picchu we’ve tried: Hiram Bingham Train (2022)
On the way back from Machu Picchu we’ve tried: Hiram Bingham – Luxury Train (2016)
On the way back from Machu Picchu we’ve tried: Peru Rail (which was amazing too) (2022)
Sacred Valley or Valley Sagrado is one of Peru’s major destinations for tourists. The valley lies north of Cusco and is nearly 609 meters lower in altitude, so many visitors plan to tour it first, while still acclimatizing.
From Cusco, it is less than an hour by car to Pisac or 90 minutes to Urubamba
- Checkout the Pisac Market! (Pisac is popular for its huge and colorful Sunday market, a good place to shop for local handcrafts.)
- Pisac Ruins
Aguas Calientes which has now been changed to Machu Picchu Pueblo is the base of Machu Picchu and where I had my hotel during my second visit in 2022. Usually, a train bring you here and takes you back. Train tickets could be booked on the spot at the station, or before hand which we did. In Machu Picchu Pueblo is where you are able to get the stamp on your passport for visiting Machu Picchu!
In Macchu Picchu there are two options, to hike the Waynapicchu, or just tour Machupicchu. In my first visit, I hiked Waynapicchu which is not an easy hike. And my second visit as I had a group with me, we’ve only done the normal Machu Picchu tour.
- Hayunapicchu (Waynapicchu) Hike
In our case, we did the hike to Waynapicchu first in 2016. The Huayna Picchu trek leads to a view point overlooking the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu
The trail loops around the very top of the mountain, with some narrow staircases tunnels and terraces can be found. The lower trail (often forgotten), follows the base of the Huayna Picchu to the Great Cavern where the secluded and mysterious Moon Temple is located.
The trek is moderate level I would say. We stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge at the top, to be able to do Wayunapicchu, shower, then do the Machupicchu tour.
From the main entrance of Machu Picchu you take the lower circuit around the site. The trail head is located at the far north of the Machu Picchu citadel behind the Sacred Rock.
After signing in at the warden’s hut (passport number and name required), the Huayna Picchu Trail follows an undulating path for 15 – 20 minutes until the trail splits. The upper path continues to the summit of Huayna Picchu (which we followed) and the lower trail continues around the base of the mountain to the Great Cavern and the Moon Temple before climbing a steep incline to the summit.
There are two type of Trails: Short, and Long. We took the short one.
You will see a wooden sign post clearly marking the direction to the summit of Huayna Picchu. The trail has a set of steep and moderately challenging (and at some parts slippery) steps and paths. Once at the top the trail passes through a narrow rock tunnel where you may need to get down on your hands and knees to pass (I was almost stuck with my backpack haha). After just a few minutes you will arrive at the rocky summit, where you can appreciate panoramic views of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains. When we did this, we appreciated the thousand clouds covering Machu Picchu. It was still beautiful and dreamy! From the top the trail descends sharply following a set of very narrow and steep steps called the “Death Stairs), before meeting up with the original trail that ascended the mountain. It took us less time than expected to finish the whole thing.
The short Huayna Picchu trail is accessible to most people of all ages and requires that you have a reasonable level of fitness. The climb to the summit from the base of the mountain (about 40 mins) is more strenuous and you can expect to use your hands as well as your feet to navigate the trail. The full Huayna Picchu trail is a little more demanding due to the increased trekking time and steepness of the trail. From the summit to the Moon Temple (or vice-versa) there is a 1 story wooden ladder that you will also need to navigate.
Short Trail Difficulty: moderate
Full Trail Difficulty: moderate – challenging
Cusco in Peru was the most important city in the whole of the Inca Empire, and governed as far north as Quito in Ecuador and as far south as Santiago in Chile.
Plaza de Armas
Barrio de San Blas
- San Pedro market