back from peru

Sep 14th, 2004, 08:31 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12
back from peru

we just got back from peru and had an awesome time. the weather was nice, but i had to buy a fleece because i was too cold. we spent the first day in lima and stayed the night in miraflores. the next day we had to wake up at 5:00am to catch the first flight to cuzco. you have to be at the airport 2 hours before.. cuzco was awesome, neither of us had altitude sickness, but the first day i noticed we had to take deeper breaths ... i don't know if i believe in coca tea, but i drank it everyday .. that afternoon we booked a city tour which took us to two sights in cuzco followed by the ruins nearby. the next morning we took the train to machu picchu, 4 hours on the vistadome .. we ended up booking our tickets through inkaterra, from the US, i must have paid like $50 transaction fee.. but i was worried about tickets selling out ....we stayed at machu picchu pueblo hotel, and i have to say it was the best night's sleep in peru. awesome place !! we took a nature tour on site and saw beautiful orchids and many different plants...machu picchu was breathtakingly unbelieveable ....we hiked up to huyna picchu and the 1 hour hike was strenous but well worth it.. the view from the top was stupendeous ... by the time we got back down to machu picchu the tourist groups were all gone, we had machu picchu pretty much to ourselves, but we were pretty tired from the hike. the hike is difficult, but totally do-able. the lonely planet guide made it sound like it would be a difficult climb if we weren't in shape ...but it wasn't that bad..
after machu picchu, we returned to cuzco & we hired a car and a guide to take us to the sacred valley, it was well worth it as we were able to stop wherever to take a few pictures ...the ruins at ollantaytambo are very impressive, so save som eenergy for thr end of the sacred valley tour..by the time i got there i was a little tired ... we concluded our trip with a bus trip to Puno, which wasn't all that bad.. we had like six sightseeing stops, and the bus was comfortable... i slept for the most part as i was sick for a day with traveler's stuff, and a sore throat.
we booked a tour to he floating islands and taquile... the trip on the boat was too long in my opinion, but it was an interesting place to visit. i especially liked the floating islands....( we ended up flying to lima from juliaca, something i hadn;t thought about... i had bought a round trip ticket to/from cuzco, but lan peru was able to change it with a fee of course) by the end of the trip i ran out of soles ( money ..), because you have to tip everyone ... it seems... people want to sing to you everywhere you go.... we had an awesome time, though. i did so much shopping , my husband said he never knew i could shop so much ....i ended up leaving a lot of extra clothes in the hotel to make room for all my souvenirs.... some restaurant to try ... that have been mentioned here before are the inka grill & pachacutec in cuzco ... we went to another restaurant with a show and i didn't like it one bit ...
la rosa nautica in lima, very expensive ... we spent about $75 for lunch on our last day .... overall, peru is a beautiful country... we both just loved it ... i wish we had had more time to go to the jungle areas ...
pekochan is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 04:09 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 532
Thanks for the great report! We're in the process of planning a trip to Peru for November. You mentioned that you'd gotten tickets before you left the US for the train up to Machu Picchu - would you recommend that? Or was it easy to get tickets there?

What about flights in country from Lima to Cuzco? I've read that flights book quickly and don't want to run the risk unless they're a lot less expensive in country.

Didn't think about all of the tips - that's great advice!
hlphillips2 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 03:25 PM
  #3  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12
hlphillips2, if you'll be in cuzco a couple days before leaving for machu picchu, then i think you can get the tix at the train station the day you get to cuzco. i panicked b/c it was late august/early sept... & it seemed too close to tourist season, but maybe Nov will be ok. you can also email peru rail directly, but good luck, you have to keep on it because they didn't get back to me until a few days before my departure date with a reservation, but i had already purchased them through an agency... but like i said, if you have a few days in cuzco, it's probbaly ok if you just buy them once you;re there ...
Regarding the flight to cuzco, our flight was full, but lanperu has many flights on any given day; the guide books say you should book the first flight out just in case there's a cancellation, which is not uncommon... i think they're about the same price here & there...
im glad you found the info helpful. this site was helpful for me when i was preparing my trip .... take care, and enjoy peru.
pekochan is offline  
Sep 18th, 2004, 05:12 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 532
Thanks! We'll only have a day in Cuzco before MP, so I'll start working on Peru Rail now!
hlphillips2 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 07:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 44
thank you for the great information. I'd like to ask a question of you however.
We are planning a trip to the Sacred Valley and would like to know how to go about hiring a car and guide in Cuzco to do a day trip to the Sacred Valley Do you think it would be important to hire a guide before we leave home, or is it rasonable to assume we would be able to hire an English speaking, knowledgable guide once in Cuzco? Also, what is the usual charge for this private service? (Approximation is fine)
Did you get transfers from the airport to the hotelsas well?
Thank you for your time in answering this.
Helaine
helaine is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 09:16 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12
helaine: for a trip to sacred valley, you're hotel will be able to help you .. you can hire a private guide & car for about $100. that's how much we paid. the guide spoke english well. you can wait to hire someone once you get to Peru. the hotel we stayed at in cuzco picked us up at the airport. i think it was free, we just tipepd the driver. epending on the hotel you stay at .. they will "take care" of you .. meaning they will make sure you know about the tours etc... then you ccna decide to go with them or haggle on the price with some other tour agencies. we compared prices and he prices quoted by the "agent" at our hotel were very comparable.
pekochan is offline  
Sep 28th, 2004, 05:34 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 978
Pekochan - Thank you for the great report! How did you book your LanPeru tickets? I'll be needing a one way ticket from Cusco to Lima. Did you do this online from the LanPeru website? (We live in the states.) Just wondering... Did you have paper ticket or e-ticket?

Thanks bunches,
Sharon
SharonNRayMc is offline  

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