12 Day Peru Itinerary Help

Old Mar 18th, 2016, 02:48 PM
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12 Day Peru Itinerary Help

We'll have 12 days in Peru around July 4th of this year and are hiking the Inca Trail...3 adults...2 50 year olds and 1 20 year old. Here's my tentative plan. The only thing I've booked is the hike so everything else is up for negotiation.

Day 1) Fly to Lima and then on to Ica?
Day 2) See Nazca Lines; Surf the sand dunes
Day 3) Take boat tour of Islas Ballestas -
Day 3 evening) Fly to Cusco...can you fly directly to Cusco from Ica?
Day 4, 5) - Sacred Valley stuff, downhill bike tour?
Day 6-9) Hike Inca Trial and Wayna Picchu at end
Day 10-11) ?
Day 12) Fly home

So here are my questions:

1) I have 2 extra days. What would you recommend I do with them? Lake Titicaca? Amazon? Spend another day in Cusco?
2) I see a lot of people staying in Ollantaytambo instead of Cusco? Is it fine to just stay in Cusco and day trip to the other places in the Sacred Valley?
3) Any recommendations for hotels in Cusco or Ica?
awayfromitall is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2016, 09:33 AM
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Hi, Your plan sounds great. Islas Ballestas is actually before Ica/Huacachina which is about two hours from the Nasca Lines. One idea would be to take a bus like Peru Hop from Lima to Arequipa and fly from there to Cusco. This would include a stop in Arequipa or the Colca Canyon if you wanted for those extra days -- so it could go like this Day 1 Leave Lima and go to Paracas/Ballastas Island and then Ica/Huacachina (where the sand dunes are) (unless you want to do an overnight in Paracas and do Ballastas Island, National Preserve Tour and and Huacachina the next day). Day 2 do Nazca Lines (if there are flights from here to Cusco you could just do that or you could do Day 3 and 4 in Arequipa with a possible Colca Canyon (condors, etc) tour for one day or two or even a two day trek into the Canyon. Then you could just push the Sacred Valley part to before or after Machu Picchu.

You also could go from Cusco to Lake Titicaca if you prefer that to Arequipa/Colca Canyon but you would be on the road quite a bit so it might not work.

I think staying in Olla makes sense instead of day tripping.
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 12:03 PM
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Spend more time in Cusco and the sacred valley. There is a huge amount to see and do and you need to acclimatise before your hike and so need to take it easy on arrival a t altitude. . You don't have enough time for Colca. However, you almost certainly need to get to Arequipa to fly to Cusco ( although there may be a bus).

The reason many stay in Ollanataytambo is because it is at a lower altitude than Cusco and easier to acclimatise. It is a great little village. We needed up staying for nearly a month.

What is your budget for hotels?
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 03:19 PM
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Budget for hotels: Anything under $250 a night.
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 06:05 PM
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You are hiking the Inca Trail. You need to acclimatise at HIGH elevation and not low. Prior to the hike you should do things in Cusco, and save the rest of Sacred Valley and Ollanataytambo afterwards.

This is the opposite of recommendations for those who are NOT hiking the Inca Trail and are just touring MP and Cusco.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 10:20 AM
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You should be able to afford a lot of hotel in Peru--even Cusco-- for around $250/nite. There are (or were) rooms right at Huacachina and you might be interested in getting one of those. They're not luxurious by any means but give you good access to the dunes.

Try Tripadvisor. I'm finding Tierra Viva Cusco San Blas, which is where I think we stayed, four around $140/nite for three--nothing fancy but comfortable. Includes breakfast. San Blas is a good, quiet neighborhood close to the Plaza de Armas. But you could get one of the luxury hotels for under your price point.

!Buen viaje!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2016, 02:32 PM
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Hi again,
Are you still planning to get to Arequipa to then fly to Cusco? If so, I do believe that you have time to see Colca Canyon (there are even one day tours) or Arequipa which seems to have a lot to see.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2016, 03:36 PM
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Peru inspires wonder, from the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu and the mysterious Nazca Lines to the Cordillera Blanca’s soaring peaks and Lake Titicaca’s floating islands. Stroll Cusco’s cobblestone streets and take in stunning Inca and colonial architecture, or visit an Andean community where daily life remains rooted in tradition.

Fodors has come up with a list of Top Peru Experiences that we think will help you on your adventure

http://www.fodors.com/world/south-am...periences/news

Safe Travels!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2016, 06:22 PM
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does anyone have a tour company they recommend that could help us sequence all this stuff...air/bus transfers/sand dunes/boat trips, etc.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2016, 06:25 PM
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...and the Colca canyon.
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Old Mar 25th, 2016, 12:39 PM
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Go to a travel agency in Ica or Huacachina to make reservations for dune buggies and boat trips. You'll save a lot of money getting these in country rather than on the internet, and there are beaucoup buggies and boats so you don't need to be concerned about being excluded.

You can probably find good ones in a Fodor's or a Lonely Planet.
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Old Mar 26th, 2016, 01:29 AM
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It is pretty straightforward to arrange flights, buses and accomodation online yourself and you will save a lot doing this compared with a tour operator. You can always book day tours at each location. If you want actual tours the one of the best resources for operators is http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/index.html
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Old Mar 26th, 2016, 06:37 AM
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You may be looking for something fancier than this, but Peru Hop will sequence all of these. And you have the ability to stay in whatever hotels you want so could go with higher end options. You will guidance in English every step of the way.
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Old Mar 28th, 2016, 04:37 AM
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Forget Peru Hop.Do they just put you on commercial buses anyways, or is it a limited circuit bus?

To do what you want, early morning/overnight transfers returning to Lima. For independent travelers, Cruz del Sur can be booked online. Go2Peru has some bus schedules on line, although I would book direct with the Company.

You can probably also find companies that will do this with some or all private transfers. Sorry no recs.

That said, I agree w crellston, spend more time in the SV.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2016, 07:03 AM
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The purpose of the forum isn't to be dismissive of ideas especially if you don't actually know anything about a suggestion. If you have personal experience with something that is a different story. There are several ways to accomplish the IP's goals. Some people like to go by independently, some people would never go on a commercial bus, some like a driver, some like a planned tour, etc. I happened to notice that this person's path followed the Peru Hop schedule so suggested it since it is another way they were likely unaware of. And no, they don't just put you on commercial buses. Clearly it is for each person to decide whether a suggestion is what he/she wants and worth it.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2016, 08:44 AM
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Have you been to Peru yet, burry?
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Old Apr 10th, 2016, 04:40 PM
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burry, thanks for your response. That's exactly what I wanted. We've changed around our itinerary now so the buses are no longer needed as we're flying between Lima, Cusco, and Puerto Maldonado.

But sometimes, even though things are "easy" to do oneself, and it costs more for someone else to arrange them, it's just worth it to let that someone else do it.
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