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3 days before Cuzco/Machu Picchu - what to do, where to go

3 days before Cuzco/Machu Picchu - what to do, where to go

Old Nov 25th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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3 days before Cuzco/Machu Picchu - what to do, where to go

We are planning a 7-day hike (lodge to lodge) to Machu Picchu. We will arrive in Cuzco at least 3 days before starting the hike to acclimatize. We will fly into Lima and have 3 days before we go to Cuzco. I could use suggestions on what to do/where to go in the area for those 3 days - should we stay around Lima, go straight on to the Cuzco area, something else? We could add a day or two at the start if that would make going elsewhere more "doable". Thanks.
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Old Nov 25th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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I would suggest take a day or two in Lima to try some of the fabulous food and then spend the rest of the time in Cusco. This will also help you acclimatize to the altitude in preparation for your trek.

Cusco is packed with things to see and do, some of my favourites include the Cusco cathedral, Qoricancha Incan palace, wandering around the cobbled streets of San Blas at dusk, visiting the San Pedro Market... The list goes on.. Try these free trip planners for more specific ideas on what you can do in Cusco: http://bit.ly/16ur8KS

You could also add in a day tour or visit of the Sacred Valley from Cusco too.
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Old Nov 26th, 2013, 06:27 AM
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Lima is a nice modern city with a lot of culture and art museums (Louise is also right about the wonderful food you can find there!). Miraflores area is certainly the most attractive suburb of Lima.

I'm sure your 7-day lodge to lodge hike will be awesome, I don't know what your trip does include but I think that if you go straight to your wonderful adventure you might not be able to see some of the Must-Sees of the Sacred Valley(Sacsayhuaman, Moray, Pisac, Chinchero, Salinas de Maras...). By the way, there’s a very convenient tourist pass called 'Boleto Turístico del Cusco' that covers the most important of these archaeological sites
Also, as Lima is not located in high altitude at all, I think acclimatizing in Cusco will be better for you. So allow at least one or two days in Cusco before starting your walk.

What can also be done if you got at least 3 full days is an beautiful trip to the Peruvian Amazon (along the Tambopata River, near Puerto Maldonado). There are several wonderful ecolodges that offers a menu of excursions with amazing activities, it's an ideal opportunity not only to look for wildlife but to get in touch with indigenous tribes.

I hope this helps,

Laurent
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Old Nov 26th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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As LouiseC points out, Lima has some amazing restaurants at all levels so it would be a real shame to miss out on a couple of days in the city. Miraflores is very nice but I prefer Barranco which is little more laid back, almost a bohemian vibe to the place. They are close together so it is easy to walk between the two.

Lima is of course at sea level and will do nothing to aid your acclimatisation. I assume you are flying to. Cusco and it really is pot luck as to how much the altitude will affect you. Three days is a good amount of time to acclimatise it is just a question of where. Cusco is higher than the rest of the sacred valley and it is there that most people will feel the effects. It may be better to stay the first couple of nights in Ollantaytambo , a great little town in the SV and a good place to from which to explore the rest of the SV which can easily be done in 3 days. You could then leave Cusco until after your trek.Cusco itself deserves two or three days in its own right so if you could squeeze in an extra day or two, I doubt you would regret it. Again some great restaurants, some incredible museums, churches and architecture.

We have only been back from a long trip to Peru and elsewhere in South America and are already missing it! You will have a great time.
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Old Nov 26th, 2013, 09:09 AM
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This is all so helpful - I think we'll consider a couple of days in Lima, maybe 3 days in and around Ollantaytambo, 2-3 days in Cusco, and the hike. Sounds like a wonderful trip!
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Old Nov 26th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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So, any recommendations about where to stay in any or all of Lima, Ollantaytambo, and Cusco?
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Old Nov 26th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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I would like to recommend Piccola Locanda in Cusco but it is more of an upscale hostel. And you probably would not enjoy the stairs up to the front door.

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Revi...co_Region.html

Great preparation for the hike though.
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Old Nov 26th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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Sf - what sort of budget/ style of accommodation are you looking for?
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Old Nov 27th, 2013, 10:51 AM
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Hellow!
Well, three days in Lima, i recommend to take one day in Lima to proof about de delicious peruvian food and two days to visit the misterious nasca Lines, Oasis of Huacachina or Paracas these are a very very wonderful places to have unforgetable travel and then you can to take your flight to Cusco for 4 or 5 days to visit Machupicchu ruis in two days and Sacred valled of the inca's and city tours cusco and finally flyback to lima.
Ihope this good for your help.
Good luck!
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Old Nov 27th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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Do stay in Lima and visit the Plaza de Armas and at least one of the very good archaeological museums. My favorites are the National Archaeological and Historical and the Larco, both in the Pueblo Libre area and walking distance from each other.

The National Archaeological gives a good chronological view of the many pre-Columbian cultures of Peru, and Larco has lots of wonderful objects. Both these will whet your appetite for your next trip to Peru.

The Barranco area of Lima is good for nightlife and for a look at the Pacific Ocean.
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Old Nov 30th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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If you are doing the lodge to lodge hike, I am guessing you are not budget travelers.

I like Barranco, two good lodging options in the mid range are 3B Barranco, a small hotel with a great staff that goes above and beyond, and a safe location
http://3bhostal.com/

and Second Home Peru, run by the daughter of Victor Delfin. If you love art, I think it's worth staying there at least once, although I actually prefer 3B's location if not their rooms. Unless you are there in mid-summer, that pool is freezing!

There is a new luxury hotel option in Barranco that may not have made the books yet, it's been open about a year. I've only been in the lobby
http://hotelb.pe/rooms
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 11:20 AM
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While we're not truly "budget" travelers, we are not "break the bank" travelers either. We like value for our money. For example, in Hanoi, we absolutely loved the Hanoi Elegance Diamond, a 3* with 5* service, and in Madrid we loved the Hotel Preciados. At home, we're as likely to be happy in a Courtyard (with "free" WiFi and parking LOL), as we are a full-service hotel. We care more about location, decor (we don't like "tired" or "shabby"), bed comfort, and a great shower than we do about amenities (we've never used the services of a concierge in our entire lives, room service once in a awhile).

Us in a nutshell!
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Old Dec 2nd, 2013, 11:41 AM
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I like Barranco too. I have a Peruvian friend who grew up in Lima and has always booked a room in Barranco for me. I'm a little more downscale than you, sf7307, and travel alone when I travel to Peru, so . . .
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Old Dec 9th, 2013, 10:45 PM
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Some recommendations:


CUSCO
- Go. Very charming
- Stay: JW Marriott, Hotel Monasterio
- Eat: Cicciolina
- Drink: Fallen Angel, Norton Rat’s Tavern balcony
- See: Market, Sacayhuaman Archeological Park, San Blas neighborhood

SACRED VALLEY
- Stay: Tambo del Inka. Great hotel!
- See: Machu Picchu (obviously) (if you stay at Tambo del Inka you can board the train at your hotel). Also, book a taxi for a day (about $60) and visit Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Salinas de Maras and Moray

AMAZON
- Stay: Book a stay with Rainforest Adventures

LIMA
- Stay: JW Marriott in Miraflores
- Eat: Pescados Capitales
- See: Churches in Central, Circuito de Magico, Museum of the Inquisition

Travelogue, with photos, at:
http://www.esmetravels.com/category/travel-blog/peru/
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 12:59 AM
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Sf, we stayed in the. Hanoi Eleagnce a few years ago and if you enjoyed that place, then I am sure you will love mlgb's suggestion of http://hotelb.pe/ in Barranco. We rented an apartment just along the street from there and popped in once or twice. VERY nice place. Some amazing artworks in the lobby. Quite small but very elegant. On the Miraflores side of Barranco so an easy walk to Miraflores and Larcomar and still only five mins fro Barranco plaza.
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Old Dec 10th, 2013, 09:29 AM
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Hotel B B is an awesome option in Lima. Stayed there about 2 months ago and it's defintely one of my favourite places in Lima to stay. Rates include afternoon tea and a great breakfast and rooms are as you would expect high-end but very comfortable with lots of nice design touches.

In Cusco, I love Andenes al Cielo and Tambo del Arriero - boutique style hotels in typical Cusco colonial buildings between $80 - 150.
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Old Dec 12th, 2013, 12:43 PM
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Thank you all! We have our accommodations set only for the night before we return from Cusco to Lima -- at Casa Andina (our friends made a reservation there, so we figured we should stay at the same hotel). I'll look into all the suggestions for Lima, Cusco etc. I think we'll have 3 nights in each, and 2 nights in Ollantaytampo before the hike.
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Old Dec 14th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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In Ollataytambo we stayed at Hotel Pakaritampu http://www.pakaritampu.com. Nice grounds and lodge-like place with nice rooms. Its a little walk into the main part of town-maybe 5-10 minutes. If you stay there be sure to get a room on the top floor as this a wooden structure. I imagine the first floor rooms would noisy with a rooms on top of them.

I agree to stay in Barranco rather than in Miraflores. I thought Miraflores not particularly interesting or exciting -- beautiful views along the coast, but other than that not so much that I liked.
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Old Dec 14th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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What time is "dinner time" in Lima - is it late like Paris or Madrid?
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Old Dec 14th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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We ate ~9ish at the nicer restaurants in Lima. And the diners were very dressed up in the nicer restaurants. One of the few times I ever felt horribly underdressed was at Astrid Gaston in Lima.
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