So I've been researching my upcoming trip exhaustively with these forums and my guidebook (footprint) and I think I'm ready to ask your opinion about my itinerary.... It's still a work in progress but at this point I need input.
I will be leaving Canada on June 4th 2014 and I'm planning to return the 13th of August for a total of 10 weeks/70 days.
My return date is flexible and I can easily add another week if I really want to add more to the trip.
Here it is:
Fly to Lima, spend 2 days
Bus to Huaraz, acclimatize and find a trekking group - 2 days
Huayhuash Circuit - 10 days
Lima via Bus - in transit
Cuzco via bus or flight - organize MP trek - 3 days
Salkantay trek + MP - 5 days
Copacabana + Isla del Sol via bus - 2 days
La Paz via bus - 3 days
Huyana Potosi - 2 days
Death Road - 1 day
Rurrenbaque + Pampas Tour, including flights - 5 days
Uyuni via overnight bus - in transit
Salt Flats - 3 days
San Pedro de Atacama - 2 days
Salta + JuJuy via bus - 4 days
Iguazu (Arg + Brazil sides) via bus - 2 days
Buenos Aires via bus - 5 days
Ushuaia via flight - 4 days
Puerto Natales + Torres Del Paine for winter W trek - 6 days
El Calafate via bus - 2 days
El Chalten via bus - 2 days
then fly home via El Calafate -> Buenos Aires -> Toronto
Which leaves me with 5 days for non-overnight-bus transport and general flexibility. To be honest I'd like this number to be higher but I can always delay my flight home.
Also, note that I have been in contact with others who've done the W trek in TDP in the winter and I will have the necessary equipment and I have experience winter camping (-20 degrees celcius one night this winter).
So I have a few questions, please feel free to answer one or multiple, I would truly appreciate your feedback, negative or positive...
1. General Impressions? Anything you'd add or remove? Any drastic reorganizations you think would work better?
2. Any tour guide recommendations for Salar de Uyuni? Huayhuash circuit? Rurrenbaque + Pampas tour? or Huayana Potosi?
3. Should I add another day in Cuzco to check out the sacred valley? or will 3 days be enough?
4. Should I fit in Colca Canyon + Arequipa? I already have a lot of hiking so I was thinking I could skip the canyon... but it and Arequipa look great...
5. Is the Perrito Merino Glacier viewable by boat in august? I'm aware that the walkways are available but I'd like to get up close and personal too.
6. Are there treks (snowshoe?) available in El Chalten in august? Or should I cut this out of my itinerary?
Let me add that I'm 24 years old, no afraid of being uncomfortable and my interests are nature viewing, trekking, history, beer (i homebrew), wine, food, cross country skiing, snowboarding, self-guided walking tours of cities, and maybe even a couple nights of partying.
Thank you to all the people who make this forum great and especially those who take the time to help me with these daunting, yet exciting, decisions!!!
All the best,
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