Car

For exploring the Sacred Valley, a car is nice to be able to get around, but driving anywhere in Peru seems to have its own unwritten rules, so hiring a car and driver or going by taxi is usually the safest option. Armando Agüero (974/213–172 [email protected]) is one such driver. He speaks Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese, and he can connect with other drivers as needed.

The vehicular tourist route ends at Ollantaytambo. Cusco is the only place to rent a vehicle. Nevertheless, you won't need or want to drive inside the city; heavy traffic, lack of parking, and narrow streets, many of them pedestrian-only, make a car a burden.

Highways are good, and traffic is relatively light in the Sacred Valley, but any trip entails a series of twisting, turning roads as you head out of the mountains near Cusco and descend into the valley. Most people get here by way of an organized tour, but you can hire a taxi to take you around. Alternatively, you can take a colectivo taxi or van from Cusco (US$2–US$3.50). They depart daily from Pavitos, close to the intersection with Avenida Grau. This is the best place to hire a private taxi to the valley on the street. Watch for the rooftop bulls as you pass through the valley. The road to Machu Picchu ends in Ollantaytambo; beyond that point it's rail only.

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