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Feedback on Trip Itinerary + Flight Advice

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Hi,

My wife and I have free tickets to South America and so we are taking advantage of them by combining Rio de Jainero and Cuzco/Machu Picchu. Initially we were going to just stay in Peru and add on the Amazon, but ultimately it didn't interest us nearly as much as the prospect of going to Rio!

We are planning on doing 5 full days and nights in Rio and then taking a flight to Cuzco from Rio and staying in Cuzco for 4 days. Then we head back to the US. It's obviously a lot of flying and doesn't seem like a very common thing to do (flying from one end of the continent to the other!) but we are really excited about the prospect of combining one of the most beautiful looking beach/party cities in the world with Machu Picchu and colonial Cuzco. I'm curious what others think of this idea, whether good or bad, even though we are doing it regardless :).

Lastly, does anyone have any advice on how to fly from Rio to Cuzco for the best price? Are there some local airlines or websites we should check other than the usual kayak, Travelocity, Expedia options? It looks like the best option is an $800 per person flight that will take 10.5 hours and route from Rio -> Sao Paulo -> Lima -> Cuzco. We have to pay for this flight, so if anyone has any great ideas on how to find something better than this I'm very interested! :)

As always, thanks in advance for any and all input!

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