3 week itinerary for Peru

Old Jul 26th, 2015, 01:17 PM
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3 week itinerary for Peru

Hello there,

my better half and me plan on experiencing a fantastic three week trip to Peru, traveling from Arequipa to Lake Titicaca to Cusco incl. the Sacred Valley to Rio Madre de Dios.

Having read a lot of different stuff about the various routes, locations, and treks already, we are still undecided on a lot of mayor things. Usually we like to setup most of the vacation before we start traveling. With Peru we might approach it a bit differently and therefore appreciate any help and suggestion.

So, our journey starts by flying into Arequipa by a direct connection from Europe to Lima to Arequipa. We have 21 days to go with and right now things look as follows:

1 Flight to Peru; Arrival in Arequipa at night
2 Exploring Arequipa a bit, getting used to the altitude
3 Arequipa's city center
4 Drive to Colca Canyon in the morning, experience different stuff on the way, spend a night locally probably in Chivay
5 Starting with Cruz del Condor, transfer to Puno; We've read various blogs about the direct connection from Chivay to Puno by minibus.
6 - 8 Here we'd like to get away from the usual touristy floating islands basically due to a lot of "mediocre" experiences we read of lately. Recommendations are highly welcome.
9. Transfer to Cusco by train
10-17 Right now we think about the Salcantay Trail in 4 days. I am unsure whether my girlfriend will manage to keep on track without going through a lot of trouble and pain. As the Inca Trail is fully booked, we might opt to take another 2-3 day trail, add the walk to Machu Picchu, Ollanta and surroundings before getting back to Cusco.
17-20 Rio Madre de Dios, undecided between Manu and Tambopata so far. From the experiences I've read I favour Manu. We are looking to seeing a huge variety of animals.
21 Returning to Europa

Feel free to chime in whether it's general feedback or very specific recommendations. We are at the final stages of our twenties, enjoy the local way of life, nature, countryside and don't mind a bit of action.

As of today, we opt against descending the Colca Canyon as we've seen some beautiful canyons already.

We appreciate your input and help.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 01:22 AM
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In general it looks okay but my #1rec is that you should return to Lima the day before the international flight, eg on day 20 of a 21 day trip.

Don't expect to see such a huge variety of animals in the jungle..probably monkeys, birds, caiman, sloth, frogs. Tapir and cats are difficult.

All Ways travel for Titicaca. You might be able to drop a day there if things look tight.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 07:16 AM
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we actually thought about going to Lima a day before not as much for the amount of traveling rather than the short time in transition between the arrival and international departure. I've read getting from Puerto Maldonado to Lima might be delayed especially if heavy rains occour. Anything you would add to that on why you recommend doing it?

As to the jungle, your point is pretty much the reason why we consider a 3d/2n stay only. Is there any mayor difference between Manu and Tambopata that is not so obvious to the unknown eye?

Thx also for the last advice. We will see how things turn out. Big thx so far.
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Old Jul 27th, 2015, 08:55 AM
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I'm not an expert on that part of the Peruvian jungle, MaloBalo. But my understanding is that Tambopata is the easier to get to, less expensive but also more developed and less wildlife. For a shorter stay (less than 5 days) that would likely be the best option.

You might look at Lake Sandoval, one place where they have the giant otters.

Re the need to go back to Lima, it isn't just weather. For any number of reasons flights get delayed and cancelled. Equipment issues, strikes, and rescheduling that results in impossible connections, etc...

Lima is also not a bad place to sightsee for a day. And great seafood.
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