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Driving in Peru for a photographer - Sacred Valley & Huaraz in the Andes

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Hi .. I will be traveling to Peru with my wife and my 6 year old son in December for two weeks ...We plan to cover Huaraz, SV and MP and the Amazon basin ...

We have traveled extensively in Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and Switzerland) ... I hail from India so have driven in unruly traffic for the first 25 years of my life ... I have been spoilt by the US driving for the last 10 years ... But I have successfully driven in all of these European countries listed above and never ever regretted it ... In fact, the only time I regretted it was when on the Swiss trip everyone convinced us that the public transportation is best in the world and no need to drive there ... I totally regretted NOT driving in Switzerland ... As a photographer, I need to explore on my own and find places off the beaten path ... Even if I am just going to the touristy places, I need to be able to go there at sunrise or sunset times which public transport always does not provide ..

So I am trying to find out what is the driving scene in Peru ... i understand that taxis and cars/guides are very cheap there and 98% of the tourists use those services ... I plan to use them in most of the places as well ... Places like Lima, MP, Amazon basin etc where I know we have to depend on the guides, I will happily do so ...

But what about touring Sacred Valley? Is there merit to driving there? What is the road condition? If I stay in Cusco for 2 days, then rent a car at the end of those two days and drive myself, can I cover the towns of Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo using my car for the next two days? That might give me the flexibility to stay at pretty places at odd hours for better lighting... Not sure if the driver or guide will be happy to get up at 5 AM in the morning to accommodate my photography needs...

Same thing for Huaraz ... First of all, is driving from Lima to Huaraz worth it? Are the roads OK? Any scenery on the route? Also, once in Huaraz, I saw that there are many day trips that you can take with minimal hiking (since I will have my 6 yr old son) ... There are many guided trips that you can take, but can I drive that myself too?

I know this is a lot of questions and also the questions are a little out there since most people do not chose the option ... Hoping to get feedback from folks who have traveled in the region extensively and also from anyone who drove and has feedback from their experience ...

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