Tag Archives: Machu Picchu

Travel News: State Dept says Renew your US Passport Now

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State Dept. Says Renew Your Expiring US Passport Now!

In general, for regular applications, the State Department lists the turnaround time as 6-8 weeks (although wait times usually end up shorter than that), and by paying an extra fee you can have that cut down to 2-3 weeks. In urgent circumstances, travelers can get a same-day passport renewal at a local passport office, if they can prove they are traveling sooner than the normal wait time. While the State Department promises to do a better job of staying on top of the flood of applications than they did ten years ago, if your expiration date ends in a seven, better to get on it early–specially because applications tend to spike in spring and summer as people gear up for vacation. And remember, some countries require you to have six months of validity left to enter, not something you want to find out the hard way. On average, the State Department processes around 13 million passport applications a year–last year, it saw 16.8 applications-so while 20.5 million is out of the norm, the State Department has seemingly learned to expect major increases of this magnitude every ten years when that initial flood of passports is up for renewal.

machu picchu peru 

Goway lays out Peru’s new rules for visiting Machu Picchu

New admission rules for Machu Picchu, which (as of now) go into effect January 2018. Ticket sales will be divided into a morning ticket 8am to 12pm and an afternoon ticket 12pm to 5:30pm. Change in cost for a ticket has not been announced. Travelers can buy both to spend a full day at the site. “Initially this change was to begin mid-2017, but after consultations with tour operators locally and internationally the date has been unofficially moved to Jan 2018,” says Goway. The number of visitors has grown annually, from low hundred thousands in 1980s to a peak of 1.4 million tourists in 2014. The ticket changes are an attempt to ease the stress on the fragile ruins, and keep it in good shape and accessibility for future travelers.  

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Holland America Adds Cuba Calls

Holland America Line has received approval to begin sailing to Cuba from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, starting with the Dec. 22, 2017, 12-day holiday cruise aboard the Veendam, according to a statement from the company. The addition of Veendam itineraries will help meet the growing demand for premium cruise experiences to Cuba, the company said. Nine seven-day itineraries will feature the capital city Havana, and three of these will add another Cuba call at Cienfuegos. Depending on the departure day, cruises include the Cuba ports, as well as a combination of Caribbean ports, including Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Key West, Florida; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The series of Cuban cruises will debut with the Dec. 22, 2017, 12-day holiday sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In addition to the seven-day cruises, an 11-day spring cruise sails March 17, 2018, and also features the Cuban ports of Havana and Cienfuegos, as well as Key West, Cozumel, Montego Bay and Georgetown. The final seven-day Cuba sailing departs on April 18, 2018.

 

 

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Filed under Cuba, Europe, Goway, holland america, News, Peru

Peru Feature: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Incan archaeological site located in the Cusco Region of Peru. It perches about 7970 feet above sea level, towering over the Urubamba Valley. Though the purpose of the site is still disputed, many archaeologists believe that it was an imperial estate, and may even have been a royals’ resort. It was abandoned around the time of the Spanish Conquest, but has in the last century enjoyed popularity as a tourist attraction, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It has an undying appeal to tourists and locals alike—built in elegant Inca style, with polished stone walls. Several distinguished buildings are found on the grounds—including the Temple of the sun and the Room of the Three Windows.

Visitors typically visit the ruins with a tour guide on a day trip or longer hike. Overnighting in the small touristy town Aguas Calientes is recommended. Months to visit are March to November, after the wet season. Don’t miss riding the Vistadome train, a recently renovated transport with panoramic windows, tasty refreshments and spectacular views.

There are a variety of tours for every taste and type of traveler. Several of our vendors offer excursions, and typically include lunch, entrance fees, train and bus tickets, and accommodation. Book a day trip or a 2-day private tours wander and let yourself discover the wonders of an ancient empire. Expert guides will keep you informed of the history and culture. Afterwards, enjoy a respite at the Sanctuary Lodge, the only restaurant on the peak.

There are even chances to combine Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley with Quito and the Galapagos islands in one itinerary!

photo by audrey_sel

Ask your Willamette Intl Travel about arranging tours to Machu Picchu. We can arrange private, group, half day, and multiday adventures as part of a whole itinerary or an enhancement to your Latin American adventure. Call us at 503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

 

 

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Filed under Peru, South America, Travel by Rail