Peru in October - Itinerary Input

Jul 1st, 2008, 07:15 PM
  #1  
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Peru in October - Itinerary Input

I'm planning a solo trip to Peru this October (40-year old, female). So far my planned itinerary looks like this:
Day 1 - Arr Lima (1 night)
Day 2 - Fly to Cusco, travel to Sacred Valley (2 nights)
Day 3 - Pisac Market (Sunday)
Day 4 - Train to Aguas Calientes, bus to Machu Picchu (1 night)
Day 5 - morning bus to Machu Picchu, Train from AC to Cusco (3 nights)
Day 8 - InkaExpress Bus to Puno (2 nights)
Day 9 - Lake Titicaca
Day 10 - Fly Juliaca to Lima (1 night)
Day 11 - Fly Home
I'm considering booking the hotels using Latindestinations.com, seems easy since I can book them all on the same website. Will book internal flights on Lan.com (Spanish site)myself.

I welcome any advice on sites not to be missed along the way, whether the Tourist Bus to Puno is actually worth it (or should I just fly?)or anyone's favourite budget hotels in Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo or Urubamba?) etc. Look forward to your input.
kamitz is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:32 PM
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Hello. Im in Ollanta right now and i just passed a little Hostel that whose card i grabbed cuz it looked clean and was cheap. the name us kuychi punku hostal. i hadn´t seen it reviewed at any of the blogs. the email address is [email protected]. Hotel Sauce is also VERY cute. And the Albergue Ollantaytambo is VERY nice as well, although its really close to the rails a fellow travelor mentioned that it isnt that noisy at all. we had a really nice meal today at Tawa Chaki, in Ollanta. Really good stuff. I am staying at Hotel Pakarimptu (don´t remember the spelling) but its the best hotel in Ollanta. The grounds are impecable and everyone´s been nice, but it isnt very budget friendly. im paying $94 a day. One thing i would do different is do Cusco at the end. No need to put yourself through the torture of the altitude early on. Go straight to the low lands (the sacred valley) and acclimate slowly, ending up in Cusco. We stayed two nights at the Hotel Monasterio, which was FANTASTIC...but not budget ($480 a night). Hope this helps. -veronana
veronana70 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 04:52 PM
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Can you give more info about your experience at Pakaritampu. How are the rooms? Do they have central heating? Quiet? Considering it for next April.
eenusa is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 05:48 PM
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If you haven't seen my trip report, you might want to check it out. I did almost this exact same trip last October with my (then 26-year-old) daughter. Type "Karen and Julie" in the search box and it will come up. Lots of details!
I'd definitely recommend staying in Ollanta for your two nights in the Sacred Valley. The train to Aguas Calientes is right there, and the town is (in my opinion) the cutest among those we visited. We stayed at Las Orquideas - very clean and inexpensive. Great location. No website or email, though. You'll need to get a local to arrange the reservation. We hired a guide who took care of it for us. (details in my report) There's a picture among my photos, plus pictures of all the other places you're visiting: http://kbutler1122.zenfolio.com/

And yes, I think the bus trip to Puno is well worth it (see my photos!). The scenery is gorgeous. I wouldn't have wanted to miss it.
All the best!
Karen
althom1122 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 05:52 PM
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The one downside (besides cost) to Hotel Pakarimptu (in my opinion) is that it's a bit farther from the center of town. Very close to the train station, but a 15-min walk to the square and the ruins. Hotel Sauce, which I thought looked terrific (prob nicer than where we stayed at Las Orquideas), was better located. That said, the town's pretty small, so nothing is really that far from the center.
You asked about quiet... the town is quiet EXCEPT for the dogs barking at night. Bark, bark, bark, first one dog, then another!
althom1122 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 06:09 PM
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P_M
 
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If you take the express bus between Puno an Cusco be advised of the following:

This is a 7 hour bus ride. There will be a nasty toilet on board but we were told it's for #1's only and no #2's. ;-) There will be one brief stop along the way where semi-clean toilets will be available. And be sure to bring our own food, preferably something cheesy. (note the rule above about toilet use) And lastly, be prepared for a white knuckle ride. Our drive was a maniac, going very fast and often veering to the wrong side of the road.
P_M is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 01:57 PM
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P_M, that is nothing like the experience we had. We made about five stops, including lunch, and decent toilets were available at each stop. The driver seemed quite safe - I never once felt uncomfortable. There are several different bus companies, and I've heard some of them are less desirable. I can highly recommend Inka Express.
althom1122 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 04:00 PM
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veronana70-

I also have read that it is a better choice to go straight to the low lands (the sacred valley) to acclimate slowly, ending up in Cusco. But, how does one do this?? Everything I've read thus far starts in Cusco then to S.V.
book_it is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Regarding how to go straight to the Sacred Valley...
fly to Cusco and upon landing transfer to the Sacred Valley by car. We arranged a driver in advance to meet us at the airport. You could prob get a taxi. The drive is about an hour and a half to Ollanta. Spend a couple nights there. Catch the train to MP. And return to Cusco, either via the train all the away - or train back to Ollanta and then catch a cab (or have a driver meet you) to drive the rest of the way. It's pretty easy!
althom1122 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
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Great information. That's exactly where I think we wil do.
Any tips on where to look for a driver? And where to stay in Ollanta?
book_it is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 07:12 PM
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Karen

Thanks for the tips. I have indeed read your trip report...... a lot of that has influenced the way my intinerary is shaping up.
kamitz is offline  
Jul 4th, 2008, 06:05 AM
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Thanks, kamitz - glad my report was helpful!

book_it: we used Percy Salas as our driver/guide. He was great. If you don't want a guide, a taxi would prob be quite a bit cheaper. Search on his name and you'll find his contact info (or I can look it up later if you can't find it).
althom1122 is offline  
Jul 4th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Percy's email:

[email protected]

althom1122 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 04:09 PM
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Hi Book_it. Sorry it took so long to reply. Just got back from Peru yesterday. I would grab a taxi from Cusco airport to Ollanta/Sacred Valley. I hired a cab to take me from Ollanta to Cusco and it cost me 40 soles for 2 people. Here is a GREAT TIP: Before you hire the taxi, make SURE IT HAS SEATBELTS in the back. Some of the drive has some "curvas peligrosas"... aka dangerous curves, in English. One thing you can also do is get on a "collectivo." This is a type of shared taxi. The bus from Cusco to the Sacred Valley/Ollanta is 5 soles each, but im not sure where you catch that. The bus/train station is not far from the Cusco airport- about a 10 soles ride. Maybe you can get a better deal on a cab from those venues- or you can opt for the train or bus. Have a great trip! We LOVED Peru.
veronana70 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2008, 05:06 PM
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Miss Kamitz,
My boyfriend and I JUST got back from Peru this afternoon. We loved, loved, loved it.

As per Andean inquiries, for us, if we had to do it again, we might've opted to do at least one night's homestay in one of the Sacred Valley towns. I don't know what your travel comfort levels are, but many of the areas we visited in Cusco and Aguas Calientes were bursting with tourists...not really affording us an opportunity to understand the local culture. This site was recommended by Andean Travel Web- http://www.myperu.org/ We passed through one of the towns, Chinchero, and at dusk it felt like a Wyeth painting. So charming.

As per Machupicchu, wow, it is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. Keep in mind:
1.) No bathrooms. Go before you go.
2.) No food. No water.
3.) Protect yourself from the sun.
4.) Wear good shoes with traction.
5.) Keep it light. Your back will thank you.If you can get someone to hold your place in line when you first arrive, run over and check your pack at the entrance...or just leave it in the hotel.
6.) If you choose to hike up Waynupicchu:
a.) Buses leave at 5:30 a.m. When we got there at 5 a.m., I kid you not, we were 50th in line. It was peak tourist time, but still. Get there or you risk not getting in. They only allow 400 max per day. When we finished,we passed 401 begging to get in.
b.) The hike is tough, but it wouldn't have been as hard if we had skipped Temple of the Moon after making it to the top. It's a small cave and it added an hour to our trek. We were so pooped by the end, we couldn't give attention to the actual ruins. That and I developed a serious pimp walk for 2 days.

Don't forget your swimsuit if you go to Aguas Calientes, for the hotsprings. Also, we stayed at the Wiracocha Inn, which was awesome: cleanest of all the places we stayed, actual hot water, early breakfast (5 a.m.), fell asleep to the springs outside my window.

Anyway, I've written too much. Have a wonderful, happy time. Un abrazo!
AmesYun is offline  
Jul 8th, 2008, 05:08 PM
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Clarification: They don't have food or water for sale there. B.Y.O.B.!

AmesYun is offline  
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