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2 week Peru trip itinerary - Appreciate feedback

2 week Peru trip itinerary - Appreciate feedback

Old Mar 9th, 2017, 01:15 PM
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2 week Peru trip itinerary - Appreciate feedback

This will be our first trip to South America / Peru. We are a family of 4 including 2 teenagers and are looking for an active trip giving us exposure to different cultures, customs and traditions. Plan is to do this trip the last 2 weeks of December. Appreciate your feedback on the tentative itinerary shown below. Thank you.

Couple of questions:

i) Is Tues 19th too rushed?
ii) Better to do Huayana Picchu at 7am or 10am?
iii) We plan to take it easy in Cusco and go slow. Any "Do NOT MISS" lists for Cusco?
iv) Want to visit Titicaca but ambivalent about Amantani homestay. Any inputs?
v) If we don't do Amantani homestay, we can add a day in Arequipa instead. Pros /Cons?

16 Dec Sat – Fly out of USA
17 Sun – Arrive Puerto Maldonado 11:30am. Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion.
18 Mon – Amazon – Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion
19 Tues –Fly to Cusco Arrive Cusco ~11:30am. Taxidatum with stops in Maras, Moray & Chincheros. Overnight Ollantaytambo
20 Wed – Ollantaytambo riuns in the am. 16:36pm Inca Rail to Aguas Caliente. Overnight AC.
21 Thu – Machu Picchu and Huanya Picchu (7am). 16:12pm train back to Poroy. Overnight Cusco
22 Fri – Cusco
23 Sat – Cusco
24 Sun – Cusco – Pisac trip. Overnight Cusco
25 Mon – Wonder Peru Bus to Puno
26 Tues – Lake Titicaca All Ways Travel Tour - Amantani Homestay
27 Wed – Return from Titicaca. Overnight Puno
28 Thu – 4M Bus to Colca Canyon. Overnight Chivay
29 Fri – Colca Canyon. Arrive Arequipa 5pm
30 Sat - Arequipa. Flight at 9:30pm
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 01:26 AM
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1. No, I don't think it is too rushed. The transfer, including a reasonable amount of time at those sites should take around 5 hours. Insist your driver stays with your car at all,times - ours went missing for over an hour! You should arrive in Ollantaytambo around 18.00 in time to dump you bags and find somewhere to eat.

2. Absolutely no idea. Early could mean less people??

3. "DO NOT MISS" lists despite spending a lot of Tim there over several visits we alsways seem to miss something. Not a great fan if organising travel down ztomthe last debatable but Cusco is perhaps one of those places that it may be advisable. Start with bolero toristico which wil get you into a lot of the sightsbin Cusco but by no means all are include or indeed not all are worth the time. For me Sacsayhauman never gets boring - try and fit it in as a walk from Tamnpbo Machay, via PukaPukara, Quenko back into Cusco. Qorikancha definitely and the market areas of Santa Clara and Wanchaq. If you really like markets then Molinos is also worth a wander. Quite frankly, just wandering th streets and alley as of San Blas is one of my favourite wastes of time!

The food is also worth considering in advance - some terrific restaurants for market stalls to Gaston Acurio places and everything in between.

4. We returned Titicaca last year after an abscence of ten years. The Uros island have morphed into a tacky theme park ( but still worth a visit for the novelty value) . Prvously , we hiked around amantani but didn't stay the night as my wife was ill at the time. You get a much better view of the lake going there but I don't Feel we missed anything by not stayin over. Allways are a good outfit and I know they offer some off the beaten track trips on the lake. More expensive, but I would go for that for one day with no overnight to get the best experience. Puno city, by contrast, seemed much nicer this time around!

5. Definitely add an extra night in Arequipa. One of my favourite cities in Peru. Some photos of our time there and in Colca last year on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/peru/

Overall, I think you have done good job of planning your trip. The time early on in the SV should prepare you for the higher altitudes of Cusco and elsewhere. There are some long bus journeys in there Cusco - Puno - Arequipa (8+ hours) but there are lots of stops en route so the time will fly - just make sure your cameras are charged!

You are packing a lot in to an amazing part of the world, I am a Sure you will have a fantastic time.
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 05:55 AM
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Wow. Cool photos & blog. Very much appreciate your detailed feedback crellston. Thank you.
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 07:25 AM
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What Crellston said.

Re no (iv): I have a friend who did the homestay and loved it. If you are into cultural sharing and speak Spanish reasonably well, I'd do it.
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 07:55 AM
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I think you should do one of your trains to or from MP in the daylight.. I Might do the early part differently

Tuesday, straight to Ollantaytambo, rest a little and walk around the old Inca Town in the afternoon. (you won't have had any time to acclimate for Tuesday, Moray and Salineras are very high)

Wednesday, take a DAYLIGHT train to MP, after visting the Ollantay ruins in the morning. Spend the night at Aguas Calientes. Leave most of your luggage in Olly (your hotel will hold it).

Thursday, spend the day at MP, including a hike to Huayna Picchu (In Dec, 7am likely to be clouded over, so maybe the 10am is a better time). Take a night train back to Olly (several leave after the site closes). Spend the night in OLLy>

Friday, Take a tour transfer OLLY to Cusco leaving after breakfast. Include time to stop at Moray, Salineras and possibly Chinchero (there is a weaving coop there if you think that may interest). Finish midday in Cusco. You might also do Sacsayhuaman that day if you don't want to do the walk back

Saturday Sightseeing in Cusco

Sunday Pisac , the market will be in full swing about 9am. Note that about 10:30 or so you can walk up to the chapel and watch the "Mayors" arrive in traditional costume for the Quechua Mass which starts at 11. Ask about the "alcaldes". About mid day, hire a taxi to take you up to the top of Pisac ruins and walk all the way down into town. If you made any purchases, you may find a storefront shop that will hold them for you (of course they may hope you add something ).

All Ways is the right company for your Amantani stay, but I haven't doen that one.

The 4M bus Puno to Chivay, check the schedule. Hope it is a morning bus. If not with 4 it may work to arrange a taxi tranfer.

Friday, arrange a tour to include hotel and transfer to condor view. Which is in the AM. I know that bus leaves at 1pm, you may arrive an hour later than it says but they should drop you at your hotel, I think.
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Old Mar 10th, 2017, 11:18 AM
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Thanks mlgb. Very much appreciate your input. Agree that the day from Cusco to Olly seemed a little too packed and difficult given altitude. Will think through the option that you outlined.

On doing the MP train journey during Daylight, thought that given sun does not set till ~6, it might ok. Not so?

For Puno-Colca-Arequipa, was thinking of doing the the tour offiered through 4M. Saw that on their website. Haven't contacted them to see if it is still available etc.

http://www.busperu4m.com/store/index...duct&id_lang=2

Or other option was the one offered by Killawasi lodge
http://www.killawasilodge.com/tours-....php?tou_id=16

Better to go through these tours or DIY? Any preferences between the above 2 tours? Thanks again.
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 12:18 AM
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We took the Killawasi tour and accomodation (at the suggestion of mlgb) and were very happy. Even though it was a couple of days after a series earthquake everything went to plan (apart from a blocked road into chivay). We had two nights Yanque but in retrospect the one night would have been fine.

One advantage of going with Killawasi is that deal includes transfers to and from the accomodation from Chivay. With 4M I imagine you would be stuck with staying in Chivay and arranging your own transfer on to Arequipa.
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 07:03 AM
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Thanks crellston. The 4M link is actually a tour package similar to Killawasi. Only difference seems to be accommodation in Mamayachhi and does not include the 3hr trek that the Killawasi lodge package has. Looked interesting for the price.
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 08:16 AM
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I looked it up and sunset is around 6pm in Cusco in December, but it will go below the mountains a bit earlier so yes a 4pm train will let you see a few hours of daylight (but that is a few hours that you are missing at MP when the crowds are smaller). Balance that against possibility of rain in afternoon vs wanting to have more time to look at the rest of the site especially if you are hiking HP.There are other hikes within the main part of the site (eg Sun Gate).

In Colca stayed at Mamayacchi for one night and then Killawasi for a second night. I booked the first night and transfers through Giardino Tours. They own Mamayacchi.

You might contact Giardino for pricing if you book with them.They can add in the bus from Puno. Also ask if it possible still, to walk from the hotel through the town up to the ruin site of San Antonio (The path seemed well used at least in the village but not sure re the condition all the way to the top, especially post-quake) and things may have changted since I visited). Also, Giardino is now offering some cultural experiences with Corporaque villagers so you may also want to inquire about that.

Be sure you know what your quoted Colca Canyon packages include..which meals, the tourist fee, etc.

crellston, 4M offers a daily bus between Chivay and Arequipa. They drop at the hotels and I believe also at the airport.

I really did like Colca Canyon and was glad I had two nights. I did the Killawasi hike the second afternoon. There were also hot springs down in the canyon (if they are still open post quake, as well as the ones closer to town. You can have Killawasi call you a taxi to take you back to Chivay. Last half day relax in Yanque, taxi back to Chivay for lunch at one of the buffet restaurants and a quick look at the town of Chivay.
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Old Mar 11th, 2017, 09:34 AM
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Another thing, at times in rainy season when there are heavy rains they could switch to bimodal service even if you've booked the train all the way to Cusco...(they take everyone off in Ollantaytambo and put you on their bus). Normally not in December, but it can happen.
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