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Peru Help! Machu Picchu hike and more!

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I am coming back to plea for help from my fellow Fodorites. My wife and I are in the beginning stages of planning our final jaunt abroad before settling down to grow our family. We figured what better time than now, while we are young and able bodied with no dependents, to conquer one of our major bucket list items - HIKE TO MACHU PICCHU!

So far in my research I have come across quite a few websites that lead the 4 day hikes to Machu Picchu but since I trust my fellow Fodorites more than a random googled website, I would love to hear from some travelers with personal experience on trustworthy and affordable expedition groups.

Here is my general idea of this trip - fly into Lima, spend a day or 2 there to see the city. From Lima I plan on us flying into Cuzco and spending a day getting acclimated to the altitude (should we plan for more than that?). After hiking to MP, do the tours include a train back to Cuzco?

Ideally I'd like to see some other cities in Lima - any suggestions on where we should go? The Nazca lines are really cool to me, but I'm not sure if my wife would be interested in spending $ for a 30 minute plane ride over the desert. I would love for other suggestions on where to go, what to see, and what to do.

I've even tossed the idea that we could fly to Brazil for a few days before heading home...Not sure what pitfalls lie there but any advice will be graciously received. This is our first time traveling to South America so we are unfamiliar with travel times, customs, airports, airlines - everything!

I should give some more information about us. My wife is 31, and I am 29. We are both fit and very active - hence the plan on hiking. We are both very adventurous - marathons, skydiving, hang-gliding, snorkeling, the works! so we find almost nothing too terrifying. I eat anything, regardless if its meat, vegetable, or any delicacy. My wife...not so much, her diet does not include red meat or pork (that includes duck and rodents).

I have NO clue as to what sort of budget we should be looking at but from the research I have done, as well as previous trips we have taken I don't plan on budgeting/spending more than $4000 for the two of us for 2 weeks. From what I know, South America's currency exchange rate is more in our favor than the Euro.

Thanks for any and all the help you can provide! Looking forward to some great information here.

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