7 Day Itinerary Help - Peru

Old Apr 25th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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7 Day Itinerary Help - Peru

Hello all -

My husband and I are considering a trip to Peru in October - unfortunately we'll only have about a week.

I was hoping you might be able to help with some itinerary questions - I've just begun thinking about this, so forgive my shameful ignorance of Peruvian geography!

Machu Picchu and Cuzco are definitely on the to do list - but the question is, where else should we go? Is Lima worth seeing? Would we better off skipping Lima, and trying something else? I'm into wildlife - is there a logical wildlife / nature locale that nearby that would fit into our limited time?

Some info about us - we're into off-the-beaten path trips, lots of developing country experience, enjoy hiking (although I have some minor fear-of-height issues), like local crafts, young and healthy, and neither of us have ever been to Peru!

Any thoughts would be appreciated - I'm sure I'll be back with many more specific questions if we decide to go and are firming up the details. Cheers, Carrie
DoctorCarrie is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2005, 08:08 AM
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Most people do not like Lima. There is a lot of crime and the city does not have that much charm. However, if you enjoy museums it is worth exploring.

With only a week you won't have much time to explore. Most people spend most of their time in Cusco and explore from there the sacred valley (Pisac market and ruins, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba).
If it were me, I would spend at least one night in Aguas Caliente rather than making a quick day trip to Machu Picchu. The day train trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu, arrives about 10 am and returns about 3 pm and the ruins are swarmed with tourists during those hours. If you spend a night in Aguas Caliente, you can explore Machu Picchu earlier or later and have the ruins more to yourself.

If you like wildlife, you may consider going to the Amazon, Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado, the Amazon jungle has unique wildlife, capybara, caiman, piranha, macaws, monkeys, etc.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 03:30 PM
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Yes, I would skip Lima if only have a week. It does have great museums, but I would head directly to Cusco, MP (stay over night) and then to the Amazon or Lake Titicaca area. Happy travels!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I would definitely spend the majority of the time in the Cusco area and Amazon area. Two other charming cities are Arequipa and Trujillo. They have some tourists attractions, but not quite as much Cusco.

Definitely be very careful in Lima. If you decide to spend some time in Lima, make sure you leave your bags somewhere safe. Especially be very careful travelling in taxis in Lima. Look for the nicer cars, and the more professional looking drivers. If you enjoy museums you could go to the National Gold Museum in Lima.

In Cusco, you may also want to visit Sacsayhuaman. I took a horse back ride to that site.

The lines of Nasca may be something you might enjoy.

If you have the opportunity you can also look around to visit different old haciendas.

Have a great time!
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Old Aug 25th, 2005, 09:09 PM
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If you are only spending a week in Peru. I suggust you to skip Lima. I personally think it wasn't worth it. If you are looking for a more intimate cultural Peruvian experience, I highly suggest the Sacred Valley, especially Urubamba. There isn't a lot of tourists and you will get a more cultural experience. Check out Moray.
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Old Aug 30th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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If you enjoy wildlife I'd highly recommend some time in the Amazon Basin - maybe at Lake Sandoval or try Manu (though you might not have enough time - they have specific departure dates and lengths of trips). Heath River Lodge is amazing but requires a full day to get there and and another to get back to relative civilization. I was a bit disappointed that flight delays prevented me from seeing Lima, but that's my own personal preference. I've heard some of the architecture is beautiful, but reports that it's a bit run down were accurate from the bit of the city I was able to see. If you are pressed for time (with just one week) it's possible to do Machu Picchu in one day. You will need at least an arrival day in Cuzco - if you add a day there you can visit Ollantaytambo and other towns mentioned here to give you a slightly better flavour of local crafts and culture. Then you can take a morning train (and the subsequent bus at Aguas Calientes) up to MP, spend the afternoon walking the ruins, and catch the bus and train back to Cuzco to arrive around nightfall. A lot of people here don't recommend that - personally it was just the right amount of time for me. While I don't have fear of heights issues I spotted many who did and had a difficult time about the ruins, and were very happy to leave. My husband and I are in fairly good shape and were able to walk through the majority of the area within that afternoon. It allowed us plenty of time to experience so much more that Peru has to offer.

In terms of wildlife we used World Class Travel (www.worldclasstvl.com, www.peruperu.com, and www.naturelodges.com) and found them to be excellent to work with. While there's absolutely no guarantee you'll see any animals, we had a very fortunate experience with mammals. We weren't bird watchers when we arrived but have an immense appreciation for it now.
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Old Sep 6th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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Just got back from a 8 day trip to Peru. We spent 2 nights in Ollantatambo (Sacred Valley). As this is at a lower elevation than Cuzco, you will acclimatize easier. Its a very nice tranquil place. The hotel, Pakaritampu,is only 5 min walk to the train station train station. Staying here also made the train ride to MP shorter. Then we spent 1 night in Aguas Calientes. I suggest going up MP on the following day, early in the morning (around 7). This way you can be there when its nice and cool (gets hot in the afternoon). After that we returned to Cuzco for a 2 nights stay. Then we took the bus to Puno , stayed at the Libertador for our visit to Lake Titicaca. I booked this trip through Setours (www.Setours.com). Their service is excellent and the price is reasonable, as compared to other companies.
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Old Sep 7th, 2005, 08:38 PM
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a week in Peru its short time, we did it in two weeks and was amazing talking about Amazon You can fly to Puerto Maldonado 1h30' from Lima 30' from Cusco stay in any Lodge 3 days 2 nights then fly to Cusco and vist cusco city, indian market & machupicchu You cna get some help: WWW.PERUTOURISTINFORMATION.COM
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Old Sep 8th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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We were in Peru in 1997 for about that long. It was supposed to be longer but flights were cancelled (5/10) and once we got a flight, it took an entire day to get there from Miami (don't ask). (5/11) We were supposed to spend time in Lima at the beginning but that was eliminated. We spent the arrival night there only, then flew to Cusco (5/12). Spent that day exploring Cusco then two days in Machu Pichu with a night in Aguas Calientes (5/13 and 14). Went back to Cusco, spent a half day there (5/15) then went to Puerto Maldonado where we had reservations with a jungle lodge - Explorer's Inn. We only spent one full day there, but left late afternoon on the second day (5/17) to return to Cusco. The next morning (5/18) we returned to Lima and spent only that one day there. The last day was our return flight (5/19).

You can see some of the pictures here: http://groups.msn.com/bernsteinalbum. Click vacations then Peru.

I should tell you. We didn't get altitude sickness at all. Thank goodness cause we were running around like crazy people trying to see everything after losing the two days. Everyone we met though had to acclimate. We just stared at them because we didn't know what they were talking about. At the time I felt like we missed something in Lima or right outside Lima, but seeing Machu Pichu was the highlight. Everything else was just sprinkles on top.

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Old Sep 8th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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Here's another thread here that might help.

gnrbernstein is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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A few years ago we spent about 9 days in Peru. We flew to Cusco and spent a few days in the area, including a 2-day adventure to Machu Pichu. We then took the 14 hour scenic train ride over the Andes south to Puno. The train is owned by the same company that runs the Oriential Express and our luxury first class tickets cost around $35. We spent several days around Puno and took an all day boat rides to the straw islands and other islands in Lake Titicaca. We flew back to Lima, spent a day exploring that city, and then home. Great trip!
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