Airfare to Peru: how far in advance to buy?

Old Oct 5th, 2009, 03:09 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Airfare to Peru: how far in advance to buy?

Hello
I usually post over on the Europe board, but have been reading a lot about Peru here recently; I am planning on going next summer (early July departure). I will undoubtedly be asking lots more questions as I do more research and the date gets closer, but meanwhile, I am trying to figure out what a good airfare from the west coast US (SF or LA) to Lima is. Right now I see a $686. on AA; same flight has been in the $700s recently.

I have traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, and N. America (including Mexico), but this will be my first trip to South America. I have a better feel for when to grab a ticket for those destinations, but no idea about Peru. Any tips would be appreciated.
Thanks!
annabelle2 is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2009, 08:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,576
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is that the base fare or does it include taxes?

You also have to fly Cusco-Lima, which can be expensive. You might want to price the total fare not just the flight to Lima.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 11:06 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 729
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just bought tickets on 10-3-09 for a trip from Sacramento to Lima in March 2010. Including the trip protection coverage, taxes and fees it was right at $600.00 through Delta. We had been watching prices for about 6 months and they ranged from $622.00 to $748.00 from San Francisco. When the price dropped below $600.00 out of Sacramento (our home town) we jumped on them. Now we don't have to make the drive back and forth to San Franciso or stay in a hotel the night before we leave. A win-win deal all the way around.

Check LAN for the Cusco-Lima flight.

Good luck. Barb
BabsB is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 03:13 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks for the replies!

mlgb, that does include taxes, but you are right - after talking with the trip leader (this is through my Spanish class, which is also a travel company with cultural/hiking trips to Mexico and Peru) last night, I realized I need to figure out the Cusco portion, too.

BabsB
I didn't think about Sacramento, which could work for me. Good suggestion.

I meet my trip in Cusco; do you recommend trying to fly straight on through to Cusco from Lima (I realize I may have to wait several hours at the airport) or to spend a night in Lima and then continue on to Cusco? I may spend some time in Lima at the end of the trip to meet a friend, but can't really do that at the beginning. But I don't have a problem spending a night in Lima upfront if it makes for a better arrival into Cusco.

Thanks for the advice, guys.
annabelle2 is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 04:34 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,576
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think I would just stay at the airport and take the first flight on to Cusco.

You might see if one of the US airlines sells a ticket all the way thru.

TACA is a less expensive local carrier if you can't get a good fare on a US airlines. LAN is also excellent but more expensive. If you try their Peru website you may see a fare called "Base Plus" which you should be able to buy.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2009, 03:59 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Anabelle

Usually wait till Jan to book airlines are desparate.

Usually get best sales with

www.taca.com

www.copaair.com

www.aa.com

there are better prices sometimes with LAN

which runs a disrimatory 2 tier pricing system

that rips tourists off on every flight

by booking with a Peru agent like www.traficoperu.com

best prices LIM CUZ with

www.taca.com

www.starperu.com

Happy hunting...
qwovadis is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2009, 02:08 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the information - these are great tips.

I will keep you guys posted on what I find - and will undoubtedly be back with more questions!
Thanks!
annabelle2 is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2009, 01:35 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 88
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I booked with LAN last Jan/Feb for $580/tix including taxes for a direct flight from LAX to Lima. Also booked with LAN for my interPeru fares...but I would recommend trying to book with a local travel agent within Peru to get better fares for flights within the country.

Just FYI: We landed in Lima at 1AM and slept in the airport until our flight to Cusco at 6AM. We had a rough first day in Cusco being tired (maybe we got 2 hours of sleep at the airport) and having altitude sickness. We were short on time and were trying to cram everything in. We ended up sleeping 4 hours in the afternoon after our guide Percy dropped us off at our hotel in Cusco. You might want to consider the fatigue factor when planning your Lima to Cusco leg.
aristokat is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2009, 04:05 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, aristokat - that is what the trip leader suggested (staying overnight in Lima at a hotel and getting some sleep). I live at 6200 feet, so want to not "lose" what altitude adjustment I already have before arriving in Cusco. I am assuming that the altitude will hit me anyway, but don't want to linger longer at sea level than necessary.
annabelle2 is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2009, 05:31 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,576
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you really think you want to sleep, I would suggest the Lima airport Ramada. If you take a taxi to a Miraflores hotel and back, you are going to lose 2 hours just in travel time, and probably more due to the stress of driving from the airport to your hotel...even at midnight or 1 am.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 02:13 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the hotel tip - I was thinking of staying near the airport if I did decide to spend a night. Still not sure if I want to do that. Hanging out at the airport doesn't sound all that miserable to me. Just the fact that flying to Peru does not involve gaining or losing time makes me happy! Kind of a novelty for me after trips to Asia and Europe from West Coast US. I mostly want to make sure I don't hit Cusco (and altitude) too tired, thus the thought of breaking up the trip.

Since I haven't been to Peru and will most likely be flying there alone, are there any safety issues I should consider re: spending night hours at airport vs hotel near airport vs going into Lima? Going into Lima sounds like kind of a time waste...

Thanks!
annabelle2 is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 05:37 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just came back from Peru recently. I stayed overnight at a hostal somewhere near the main Plaza and in hindsight, it totally wasn't worth it for me. I got like maybe 2 hours of shut eyes, if even that, in a small room with an even tinier bathroom with no hot water. If I had to do it over again, I would've either stayed at the airport or spring the extra dough for the hotel right next to the airport.

The Lima airport is bright inside and looks modern. I see security guards around. You always need to keep an eyes on your belongings of course, but it looks safe to me. If you go into Lima for the night then have the hotel/hostal arrange for a taxi pickup for you. That should be safe. Just make sure to verify beforehand if the cost of the taxi will be included in the hotel price or if you have to pay the driver separately. I didn't do this for Lima and think I might have paid the driver when I didn't need to. I did find it strange that the cab driver asked me to pay the airport parking fee. I don't know if that's the normal practice.
Axel2DP is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 05:40 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 567
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I want to mention that I was hit with altitude sickness in Cusco for the first two days that I was there. I got severe headache and couldn't move or do much of anything. The hostal gave me cocoa tea, and I also bought and took soroche pills and was able to feel much better by the 3rd day, which was a good thing since I had to start the Inca Trail on the 4th day.
Axel2DP is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 06:37 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,576
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Lima airport is really pretty nice and because so many flights arrive in the wee hours you will find a
nice cafe called 4D open 24hrs...with really impeccable gelato. Ir'a upstairs. On my second pass thru Lima in the middle of the night, I decided not to go into Lima (been there done that). I wound up hanging out at a booth in 4D for a few hours with a meal and coffee, then worked my way thru the stores, went thru security and rested at the LAN gate for Cusco for a few hours. There are a lot of people there waiting for the first plane. If you don't fly LAN I don't know if TACA has the same level of comfort. The seats in the LAN departure area did not have arms between so you could stretch out. Also I had been able to check my main luggage back in after I cleared customs. There were security guards at the gate. I think it's better to hang out in the area that is beyond the passport/ ticket control and not on the ground floor, although even then I think I remember they didn't let just anyone into the airport terminal.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2009, 03:21 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great detailed information, axel & mlgb - thank you. I am leaning towards just hanging out in the airport and getting on to Cusco. The airport sounds good - I can easily kill time eating and reading and people watching, and set my cell phone alarm in case I doze off (which I have done before). I can get to Cusco a couple of days before I meet my group, so that could give me some hanging out time to adjust to the altitude. If I want to do things in Lima, I will leave that for the end of the trip.
Thanks!
annabelle2 is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2009, 05:10 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, I don't know where you are coming from originally, but $600 round trip from the midwest for example, sounds about right. I went 4 years ago and walked the Inca trail so I had to spent 10 days in Cuzco to acclimitize to the altitude. But Cuzco hostels are cheap and breakfast is included. Two nice hotels in Lima are the Suissa and El Patio in Miraflores. Both pick you up at the airport and you meet people in them. They are also inexpensive. In Peru, you can either take a lot of time by bus or fly over the mountains. those flights are not cheap so budge them in. Just remember that most of peru is high altitude and you need to acclimitize. Ayacucho is a good in between altitude between sea level and Cuzco. If you go to Bolivia, you are much higher than Cuzco so adjust accordingly.
olgastavrakis is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2009, 08:49 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why don't you check with Gate1? They have a great price on a Lima-Cuzco tour, airfare on LAN included. The LAN flight was wonderful, excellent equpment and entertainment, food, not wine but beer. We paid $999 for everything--7 days/nights/ hotels/city tours/most meals, etc. The Sacred Valley day tour is not to be missed, and it's included. We toured Cuzco on our own one day & evening, dined there with a wonderful musical/dance show.
travel4now is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2009, 10:10 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,576
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wouldn't book a package tour such as recommended by travel4 since you're meeting up with group later. But I do like the idea of spending a few days in the Sacred Valley rather than Cusco. Ollantaytambo is a great little town, friendly people and has impressive scenery and ruins. You can read the trip reports and find other's impressions. KB Tambo or El Albergue are good places to stay in Ollanta. KB also runs tours but you might just like hanging out in the town, visit the Salineras in nearby Maras and the circular ruins at Moray.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2009, 01:27 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,527
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the comments; mlgb is right, travel4 - I am meeting a small group from my Spanish class, so I don't need to make arrangements for Cusco/Macchu Pichu. I think we are going to Ollantaytambo, but maybe just a quick visit, so I am glad to get recommendations for there if I want to stay longer.

olga, I am coming from the west coast US - either SF or LA, although I am also looking at Sacramento/San Jose. I live at 6200 feet, so I hope that will help a little bit with the altitude; I have gotten mild altitude sickness before, so I am anticipating that I will be somewhat affected. I plan to get to Cusco a few days before we 'start' the trip officially, so I can hang out and adjust. I am beignning to think about bagging the idea of Bolivia/Lake Titicaca for this trip. Now I am intrigued with trying to add on a few days in the jungle, but I am just starting to read (here and elsewhere) about doing that...
annabelle2 is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2009, 04:09 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 134
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FYI. We live in flat Florida and weren't bothered by the 11,000 ft in Cuzco except for walking up the stairs in the hotel. We stopped for awhile half way up where coco tea was set out for us. Then a soccer team checked into the hotel and RAN up the stairs!
travel4now is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:29 AM.