We're considering a trip to Peru and I'm in the early planning stages (I've read several trip reports and know enough to be dangerous, but need to clarify some things).
The first thing I've noticed is that it seems everyone is using a travel agent/on-the-ground guide for this trip. Do they know something I don't? We're frequent travelers and I almost never use an agent or the feel the need to have someone greet me at every turn (and kinda find it annoying to have travel be 'that easy' when in a new place). I generally understand why they can be helpful, but is there something particular about Peru and MP that I should go the agent route?
Second, I'm having difficulty determining whether it's better to stay in Cusco as a 'base' or also spend a night or two in Olly. (I would do one night in Agua Calientes to catch an early MP bus.)
We only have a week, so I tentatively see the first portion of our trip shaping up like this...
Fri - land in Lima late night from Atlanta
Sat - fly to Cusco, see the town, aclimate
Sun - visit the market, then Pisac (unless this is part of Sacred Valley?)
Mon - Sacred Valley for majority of day, move to Agua Calientes in evening
Tues - MP, back to Cusco for night
Wed - move on to either Lake Titicaca or Arequipa (or Galapagos or Amazon! obviously would pick one but don't know enough yet to make decision) for the rest of the week
Saturday - back to Lima for a midnight flight home
So I see some people staying in Cusco and in Olly. But I see Sacred Valley tours that include Olly...I can't figure out if you need to stay in two places, or if this is a preference. And if so, what are the pros and cons of each? Is it worth a move? We're early 30's, foodies and enjoy 'cocktails and people watching' but are not 'looking for the party'. We would prefer nicer boutique style lodging if available.
Thanks in advance!
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Early Peru planning - need a travel agent? General Itinerary?