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peru 12 days

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Hello,
I'm planning to travel to Peru (only Andes not the Amazon) with my girlfriend on July, for 10-12 days.
I would like some tips and suggestions about the itinerary:

- Lima (1 night)
- Machu Pichu ( we don't want to do the 4 day Inca trail), Cuzco and Valle Sagrado (3 nights)
would you suggest a base?
- Puno/lake Titicaca (2 nights)
- Colca Canyon (3 nights)
- Lima (1 night), and back home.

I have a lot of doubts about visiting Machu Pichu in one day tour: is it necessary to book in advance(train, bus, park ticket)
Whay do you think about the itinerary?
Thanks in advance,
Regards

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    Cusco & Machu Picchu: I would stretch this out to 4 days if possible. Ollantaytambo is a good base to acclimate on arrival. From here you can catch a morning train to Aguas Calientes and, depending on how many hours you want to spend in Machu Picchu, an afternoon or evening train back to Ollanta. You can spend the night here or head back to Cusco by shared taxi. Cusco is definitely worth at least a full day and is the Sacred Valley. You should buy your Machu Picchu tickets in advance if you want to climb Huayna Picchu (limited to 400/day). Train tickets as well if you are particular about your schedule. Bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu can be bought the day of.

    Are you planning to fly or bus between destinations?

    Puno/Lake Titicaca: 2 nights might be too much. There is not much to see or do in Puno. You should plan your departure for the afternoon or evening after your Lake Titicaca tour.

    Happy travels,
    Anabel
    Peru For Less

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    Your itinerary is certainly achievable, but with the time you have available I would probably miss out the Colca Canyon ( although in the interests of full disclosure, I haven't actually been there yet!)

    I would fly to Cusco and go straight to Ollantaytambo which is a great place in its own right but especially good for exploring the rest of the SV. It is also at a lower altitude than Cusco and so will help acclimatisation. 4 days would give you enough time to explore the SV and visit MP. You could get a taxi direct from the airport to Ollantaytambo and the train from Ollantaytambo to MP and a train directly back to Cusco. Book your train tickets early.

    Is MP worth it for one day? Yes. We spent two nights in Aquas Calientes and it is not the best place to stay. Many people try to get to MP for the sunrise, some are lucky but we had thick fog for the first couple of hours and so missed it. It is however a lot less crowded early on.


    Cusco itself is worth exploring for a couple of days. To get to Puno, have a look at the Inka Express. More expensive than a normal bus but it is a tour stopping along the way at various points of interest. The scenery along the way is truly spectacular.

    Puno is ok as a town but the only real reason for being their is the lake, which is well worth the visit. You could try to cut your visit to one night but that would be rushing it. There is another scenic bus ride from Puno to Arequipa , for the Colca canyon. We loved Arequipa it is a beautiful city and we were lucky enough to be there for a major fiesta and will be returning this year ( and will make it to Colca and another, apparently deeper, canyon nearby, this time.


    We were in the area in 2008 for a couple of months here are some photo of our time theres ( I don't suppose much has changed!)
    http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/candcthai/1/tpod.html

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