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Help with choices on flights to Peru from US...

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We are hiking the Inca Trail in September. We would like to be in Cusco 3 days prior to leaving on our trek in order to acclimitize (sp?)

We will be flying to Lima as our gateway to Peru. Is it worth it to stay in Lima for one night before heading to Cusco?

My other thought is to just go straight to Cusco and book the whole sequence of flights on American - in order to make sure they are responsible for getting us all the way to Cusco vs. booking the flights to Cusco on our own (separate ticket). We do not live near an airport with direct flights to Lima - so this requires 3 legs of travel for us (all the way to Cusco) However, this option would not allow any time in Lima. There is a price difference (about $100 per ticket more) by booking straight through to Cusco with AA - but it might be worth the piece of mind in knowing if one leg has a problem they have to rebook us all the way to Cusco.

Those of you that have been there and done this- please let me know your thoughts and where my thinking may be flawed. If we booked on our own - we would probably go with Star Peru - looks like AA uses LAN as codeshares. Thanks in advance.

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