New Zealand ... or Nepal ....or Peru?

Old Jun 4th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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New Zealand ... or Nepal ....or Peru?

Myself and my boyfriend are looking to go on a long haul holiday this year. The two options we have are 2 weeks in Sept or 3 weeks at Christmas. We would like to spend some time taking in the scenery, maybe doing a little hiking ....as well as kicking back to take in the local culture.

We had been looking at 2 destinations; Macchu Picchu and Nepal but recently I've been hearing great things about campervaning in New Zealand.

Re Nepal - Would you need to do an organised trip to get around? Or is it easy enough to plan ourselves? Is 2 weeks enough?

Would the trip to Peru be too short at 2 weeks in September? Is it too much to consider Boliva in that trip?

I know I have quite a mix of ideas here, and it all depends on what we're looking for.... but would very much appreciate any advice you can give on timing/time required or any trips you have doen to these places.
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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I can't help you compare, but you can visit Nepal without an organised trip. We did a 3 week trek leaving Pokhara which followed the river northwards. There are small villages to stay in overnight and the paths are pretty easy to follow. I'm sure you could do a shorter trek to fit a 2 week stay. It's incredibly beautiful, but then I'm sure your old two choices are too.
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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Peru hands down! Such a wealth of culture and diversity and Macchu Picchu is an absolute must to see. Lima is not particularly interesting so I would go around this way - Lima - Ariquipa and spend a couple of days there, or three, seeing the Colca ( sp??) canyon and surrounds in Arequipa. Then on to Cusco once you have acclimatized and from there to Macchu Picchu. You would need at least 3 days in Cusco with one very full day going to M.P. Another day going to the sacred valley but do that with a guide with a car so that you can spend time where you want. I stayed at B&B called Los Aticos - at least I think that was the name in Cusco and the owner has a travel agency next door and he speaks very good english and is himself decended from the Incas. The last time I was there he organized a trip from Cusco for me through to Lake Titicaca which takes about one day and you stop off at all the interesting places en route. The floating islands on Lake Titicaca are really interesting and worth seeing and you can arrange to stay on them over night. From there you can either arrange yourself or have it arranged to go to La Paz, Bolivia, which is an exceptionally interesting city, make sure you go out to the Moon scape landscape there. All this can either be done in Peru by some organization or yourself. Remember that most of the airline routing goes Lima - Arequipa -Cusco -Lima. For something totally different then you can go from Cusco to Port MacDonaldo which is the beginning of the Amazon region and a World apart OR there are some much cheaper but harder to find excursions from cities in Bolivia to the Amazon areas which are a just getting off the ground. I think the hub for those is Cochabamba. I will try and make sure that Los Aticos is the name of the B&B in Cusco as you could write to Carlos and get him to make all sorts of bookings - which incidently are a lot cheaper doing in Peru than outside Peru.
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Old Jun 4th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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Yes it is Los Aticos and here is the website:
http://www.losaticos.com/

Look at the bottom and you will see " millatourismo" site where you should be able to contact Carlos for information on everything else.
His hotel/B&B is very clean and very inexpensive, airport pickup, you can do your own tea and coffee making and heat in the microwave etc, breakfast is included and everything can be arranged from there. If his daughter still lives in Lima she will probably pick you up from the airport if you do your bookings in Peru with Carlos. Hope this helps with your decisions.
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Old Jun 5th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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What's your budget? How do you like to travel? Are we talking all pre-planned or just a flight and busk it?
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Old Jun 5th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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Its a holiday from work so I guess we don't have a lot of time to work things out when we arrive.

Mid range budget really, but clean hostels can be considered as maybe have more atmosphere than hotels? Would like to see the proper Peru, meet people, absorb the place. Not over the top fussy but clean rooms and hot showers in the plan!
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Old Jun 5th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Haven't been to Peru or Nepal, but went to New zealand for 2 weeks last fall and totally fell in love with the scenery & people! If I can I'd love to live there... it's magical and totally worth a trip there!
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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TTT
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 10:39 PM
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I've been to both Nepal & New Zealand. The sceneries are very different.
Nepal's rather undeveloped & is supposed to be one of the poorest countries in the world. The capital, Kathmandu, sits in a valley and the sight of it when you're landing in the plane is really a wonderful sight to behold.
I spent only a week there, without trekking. If you like rugged and rural country, with views of mountains and a laid-back environment, plus trekking, that's the place to go. I can get you in touch with a local Nepalese who was our guide; he can also take you trekking.
BTW, Dec. is peak season for tourists so you should book trip early,while Sept weather may be a little rainy.
I was in New Zealand for a little over 2 wks. It's, of course, a developed place with its own natural, pristine beauty. Don't miss Milford Sound if you do go and if you're seeing Milford Sound, try not to miss the "stone forest" in Invercargill at the tip of the South Island - it's sort of an eerie, very unusual landscape that may not be easily found elsewhere. The railway ride across the Southern Island to the Alps provides really breath-taking scenery. Rotorua's also lovely for its hot thermal springs and unusual landscape. The Antarctic Centre in Christchurch is also very interesting. Christchurch itself is a nice city, and everywhere I went, New Zealanders were really helpful, friendly and smiley.
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Old Jun 8th, 2007, 04:43 AM
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Have not been to NZ, but the the other two are superb (as NZ is, I'm sure). Have spent months in Nepal on long and remote treks. Also, hiked the Inca trail in Peru, back in 1981. It was fantastic and highly recommeded, but I know the regulations have changed a lot since then.

In any case, depending on how much walking and outdoor time your are planning you should check the weather patterns for your destinations.

September is the end of the monsoon in Nepal, so things will tend to be wet and there are a lot of leeches on the lower elevation trails. December is clear and cool, but too cold for going up very high in elevation - which you won't be doing on a short trip anyway. December is the peak of the rainy season in Peru, if memory serves me well.

Of course all that depends on the luck of the draw, but no harm stacking the odds in your favor, or at least being mentally prepared for inclement weather.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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Hi. I spent 5 weeks in Nepal and found it fantastic. We walked the Annapurna Circuit unaided. If you are of a reasonable standard of fitness you should be ok. You will need to research carefully and be aware of signs of altitude sickness and be comfortable with dealing with possible stomach upsets and other mishaps.Good common sense. I think the weather may be against you in Sept. - research very very carefully !
Iam a NZer. The Southern Alps are ( to me ) a mini version of the Himalayas.
Culturally Nepal is an absolute eye opener. If you are looking for somewhere completely unique then Nepal would be my choice.
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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We loved NZ, but it's a place that you could visit in your later years. I haven't yet been to Peru or Nepal but I think they would be more adventurous options and maybe better for younger people. JMHO.
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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Whilst there has been some troubles in Peru over recent times it is usually isolated and short lived. I do recall that Nepal was in the headlines recently for some reason so checked and this is what the Government warning says:
situation.

* On 21 November 2006 the Government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) signed a comprehensive peace agreement, effectively making permanent the cease-fire which had been in place since April 2006. While considerable progress has been made in negotiating a formal end to the decade-long Maoist insurgency, the longer-term security situation in Nepal remains unpredictable and could deteriorate.

* The House of Representatives was dissolved on 15 January 2007 and an interim government was formed on 1 April 2007. Elections had been planned for June 2007, but are widely expected to be held later this year. Demonstrations and strikes can be expected in the lead up to the elections.

* Violent demonstrations in the south-eastern Terai region since January 2007 have resulted in many deaths and injuries.

* You are strongly urged to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings throughout Nepal as they may turn violent.

* Although the Maoists have joined the interim government, groups of their followers continue to violate the peace accord with incidents of physical abuse, extortion and abductions.

* Pay close attention to your security at all times and monitor the media and other local information sources for information about possible new safety or security risks.

* Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:

* organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy

* register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency

* subscribe to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued.

Keep travelling safely




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Old Jun 12th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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after reading lizzyf's post - i might opt for peru.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 11:26 PM
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I think we're leaning towards a decision. Nepal in Sept. Peru is maybe coming in close 2nd at moment. We're making final decision this weekend so any last thoughts would be great. Two things that I'm not fully sure about - political situation/safety in Nepal (any areas to avoid?) and the weather (you say it might wet - end of Monsoon) Would like to catch the best month to appreciate scenery. Is Oct better?

Thanks so much everyone for detailed advice. You have shaped our travels!
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Old Jun 20th, 2007, 01:44 AM
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Glad your leaning towards Nepal. Im sure you'll enjoy it. We were there in Dec. which is supposed to be the best time to go. Unfortunately there were unseasonal storms which resulted in avalanches - and yes it was pretty serious and a number of people died ( locals and tourists ). Please be careful.
Its an unpredictable place to visit - but when your young thats all part of the adventure - I know. Take care and please post to let us all know what you finally decide.
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Old Jun 20th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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yes, please keep us posted. i haven't seen a lot of posts from nepal or tibet. i would also like to do a similar trip someday - so look forward to hearing how things turn out for you.
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