2 weeks in Peru

Old Jan 24th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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2 weeks in Peru

We have finally decided NOT to go to the Galapagos as part of our trip so we will now have two weeks to spend in Peru. We are a family of five with three boys aged 8, 14, & 15. Consequently as part of our trip, we would like a trip that incorporates some physical activity for our boys. We however have already ruled out doing the Inca hike as I think it may be too much for our 8 year old. I looked into the 2 day hike but found that to be too expensive for a family of five and also with the uncertainty of how well our youngest would do with an all day hike. And I would love to explore the arts and crafts of this area and would love recommendations as to what I need to see. So this is what we are thinking (some of which has been well thought out and as you will see part of which I am not really sure what may be best for our family as we have added the week we were planning to spend in the Galapagos) and would welcome your suggestions!

night 1- arrive late and spend the night at the airport hotel in Lima
night 2- fly to Cuzco and head to Ollantaytambo;
night 2-4- spend in Ollantaytambo; explore the sacred valley from here, including a mountain bike ride. Will get a guide to drive us around as needed

* would appreciate recommendations of a hotel and a company to provide us with a mountain bike tour
* any other adventure sort of activity that you might recommend here-- have heard that white water rafting may not be a good option as the river is polluted?

night 5- aguacalientes-- take the train from Ollantaytambo, check into hotel and go to MP for the afternoon with a guide; following day go up in the AM to hike and then return to Ollantaytambo

* any recommendations of a guide?
* any recommendations of a hotel?

night 6- spend night in Ollantaytambo

night 7-8- return to Cuzco in the AM and spend night in Cuzco and explore this area
* hotel recommendations?
* any activity that you would recommend in particular


Now for the part that we really don't know what may be best. We have probably 4 days to fill and are thinking about going to Lake Titicaca. Is this enough/too much time there? What would you recommend? Where else should we consider instead of Lake Titicaca?

night 13-14- Lima
* plan to stay in Miraflores-- any specific hotel that you would recommend?
* what should we be sure to see here?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 24th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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P.S. I am planning this trip without a travel agent-- have others done this? Did you encounter any unexpected problems as a result?
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 09:24 AM
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If you are in Ollantaytambo check out KB for bike tours, although I am not sure of their minimum age. Their website is kbperu.com

I actually met two people who fell out of their raft and one had to go on a course of antibiotics, however this was during the high water season of January. Perhaps it will be safer in June.

It takes a full day to get by bus to Puno (you can fly back to Lima from Juliaca). I would look at Allways Travel for ideas
http://titicacaperu.com/

Personally I like Lima and never run out of things to do, but I don't travel with a family.

You can check www.limaeasy.com for ideas.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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For the bus between Cusco and Puno, you want Inka Express

http://www.inkaexpress.com.pe/servicios_in.html
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 06:50 PM
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mlgb, thank you for the wonderful links. did you book a homestay via allways travel? do you know if it is possible for a family of five to find one family to stay with?

how long was the bus ride? i think i read that there is a train as well-- if so, why did you prefer the bus?

thanks so much!!
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Jean need - herei is a link to my blog entry covering the time we spent on the Inka Express http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...1440/tpod.html we thoroughly enjoyed the trip on the IE although the constant commentary got a bit wearing after a while. The trip takes 8 hours including several stops along the way. It is lot cheaper than the train. The scenery along the way is superb. Be aware that Puno is higher than Cusco with the consequent effects that the extra altitude may have. It didn't affect me too much but my wife rely did notice it on our trek around one of the islands. Take it easy on your first day.
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 04:00 PM
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crellston, loved reading your blog! What an adventure you had!!

We have three boys (ages range from 8-15). Do you think the bus would work well for children?
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 11:37 PM
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Jeanned, glad you enjoyed the blog.will start another when we return tor South America in May!

Yes, I do think the bus would work well for your boys. There are a number of stops along the way to keep their interest, including a decent buffet style lunch. The bus is luxurious compared to most in Peru. The alternative is a standard bus which we used extensively for shorter journeys but for a long trip such as this it would be a bit too much of an " adventure" with the boys as well. The train is expensive and whilst I didn't use it, I met with people who did and who felt the fashion shows and ethic music performances, detracted from, rather than enhanced their journey.

I second mlgb suggestion of Allways Travel. We found them to be very helpful and were glad we used them. It is possible just to turn up at the dock and get a boat out to the islands and you can arrange overnight stays once there but probably best to pre arrange particularly if you dont speak decent Spanish. If your guide or phrase book includes a Quechua section it is well worth getting your boys to learn a few words - it will go down so well with the Quechua people who are very proud of their language.
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Old Jan 29th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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I third the recommendation for Allways Travel. They have you pay your host family yourself, which ensures they are getting paid fairly. We had a great experience with them. I would recommend booking your overnight stay ahead of time. I didn't see anyone on the dock taking walk-ups and the tour groups have a system for determining which group of families on the island you stay with.

We contemplated whitewater rafting as we really enjoy it and have done it many places, but what deterred us was the fact most companies do not carry insurance and there are little to no safety regulations. If you choose to raft, see if your travel insurance will cover any incidents (they might not).
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Old Jan 29th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Another homestay option is in Ollantaytambo. They are run by Awamaki.

http://awamakitourism.wordpress.com/homestay-programs/
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Old Jan 31st, 2013, 05:01 AM
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Here is our tentative itinerary-- what do you think?

day 1- arrive late at night in Lima and spend the night at the airport hotel
day 2- fly to cuzco and head to Urubamba
day 3- Urubamba
day 4 Ollantaytambo
day 5 Ollantaytambo
day 6 Agua Calientes
day 7 Ollantaytambo
day 8 Cuzco
day 9 Cuzco
day 10 Cuzco
day 11 Puno
day 12 Puno (hopefully a homestay)
day 13 Puno
day 14 Lima
day 15 Lima
day 16 fly home

Thanks.
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Old Jan 31st, 2013, 05:22 AM
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mlgb, I contacted KB and my youngest son is too young for their bike trips .

I am waiting to hear back from allways travel as to whether there is a family that can accommodate the 5 of us in their home as we prefer not to split up.

And I think that we will definitely take the bus over rail to Puno-- huge difference in price and time! And then will probably fly back to Lima if I can find a flight.
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