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Bought my tickets, now I need to fill in the blanks!!

Bought my tickets, now I need to fill in the blanks!!

Old Aug 1st, 2010, 08:56 PM
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Bought my tickets, now I need to fill in the blanks!!

Hi all. Well, today I'm both excited and nervous. I just bought tickets for my family to visit Peru in September. This will be our first international trip (minus trips driving to Baja Mexico). Anyway. Like I said, both excited and nervous. We're a family of 6, the kids are 14, 11, 9 and 3. My wife is fluent in Spanish...

Here's our rough itinerary. You will notice that (gasp) Machu Piccu is not on the list. I debated this back and forth and honestly, if it's as disneyland-esq as what I've read, I'm not interested. Plus we're hoping to do Pisac so, I'm hoping we aren't missing out.

Sep 12 - first day in Lima. Check out the city, take a taxi and check out some sites.
Sep 13 - Bus to Pisco. Get some pool time in, maybe hit the beach.
Sep 14 - Islas Ballestas
Sep 15 - Ica - Sandboarding and dune buggy ride Night bus to Arequipa (I assume they have one?
Sep 16 - Arequipa - check out the city and relax
Sep 17 - Arequipa - more city chillaxing (that is a word according to my kids). Night bus to Cusco
Sep 18 - Cusco - Check out the city.
Sep 19 - Pisac day trip. check out the market and the ruins
Sep 20 - Head over to Olly
Sep 21 - Check out the city
Sep 22 - Mountain biking?
Sep 23 - Horseback riding?
Sep 24-25 figure out how to get back to Lima
Sep 26, fly out bright and early

QUESTIONS: Where can I find more info on the busses? I did some searching and it looks like the local buses are cheap and we can get tickets at the station. Im worried about the Ica > Arequipa, Arequipa > Cusco night buses. I cant find any info. And I have no idea how I'll get from Cusco to Lima.

Any thoughts on my itinerary would be great, info on buses would be great as well. Thanks all, very much appreciated!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 12:12 AM
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First, a few websites which may help you:

For bus info http://www.go2peru.com/ecs3_ing.htm

Non commercial sites for general info

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/index.html

http://www.saexplorers.org/club/home

We went to both Machu Picchu and Pisac and I that I actually preferred Pisac. A word of warning though. Pisac is VERY steep in places and I am not sure I would want to take a 3 year old around the ruins!

We travelled extensively by bus through South America and found them to be very comfortable and efficient. it doesn't cost much more to go 1st Class (Full Cama) and is well worth the extra. You will need to book in advance though as with 6 of you, you will take up half the 1st Class cabin! Can't help with booking in advance as we tended to just turn up at the bus company and buy a ticket.

Personally I would fly from Lima to Cusco and please keep in mind that flights between the two are often disrupted because of bad weather. For this reason and the fact that you seem to have an early flight out from Lima, you should consider staying overnight in Lima.

You are correct re travelling on the local buses you can just turn up at the station and most, rather than operating on a timetable, just leave on a "when full" basis. If not the most comfortable,they are great fun and something every visitor to Peru should experience at least once.

You don't appear to be spending a great deal of time in Cusco. There is a lot to see there and I wonder whether you would be better losing a day in Olly and adding one to Cusco?

Olly is definitely worth a few days and is a great centre for seeing the rest of the Sacred Valley. Moray, Maras Salineras and Chinchero are all easily reachable and well worth a visit.
Some more detail of our time in the country.
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html
Entries 56-64 cover our time there.
crellston is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:29 AM
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adventures.worldnomads.com/destination/168/itinerary/23.aspx

Congrats on your selection of one of the most amazing

roadtrips in SA!

With 6 negotiate for driver/shuttle

from $50 per half day to $100 per day will save over bus

more flexible...www.andeantravelweb.com good general info

but failing that many cheap buses book when you get there

For me add Colca deepest canyon and Titicaca highest

navigable lake in the world on your way to Cusco/MP...

www.insuremytrip.com petty theft risk on bus be careful there

Lodging based on budget www.casa-andina.com hotels my favs

Have fun,
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:34 AM
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http://www.amazon.com/Machu-Picchu-R...ews/1555664245

For me MP although touristic is an amazing sight

might might reconsider...a do not miss for me.

Kind of like going to Egypt and skipping the Pyramids...

www.inkajungletrail.com is a non-touristic back door

route I have done for under $50...

Congrats,Have fun,
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:37 AM
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www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/peru/nazca/27139

these guys do Nasca flights of quality from $55

with discounts for groups personally have flown

with them for $55 all in...

Largest collection of GeoGlyphs in the world

another do not miss for me can only be appreciated properly

from the air...simply amazing...
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 08:14 AM
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MP is not Disneyesque. It's just very popular and crowded. Within the citadel there are no informational signs, no restrooms, no stores with little plastic statues. It is sort of expensive to do, what with train fare and admissions coming in at about $100 pp. However, I still can't imagine skipping it. You can do it as a day trip from Ollantaytambo.

I actually preferred Ollantaytambo. I enjoyed hiking down from Pisac, and saw a lot of families doing that. If you don't hike it is a nice view from the top, but not as good as MP.

It would be better for your altitude adjustment to not sleep in Cusco but in the Sacred Valley which is 1000 feet lower.

To get back from Cusco fly on Star Peru or Peruvian Airlines, it's about $100 to $120 each.

I can't imagine flying over Nazca with small kids. Oh the barfing....
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 11:03 AM
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I'll do some more research on MP and see what happens. I am also going to add time to Cusco. I ordered the footprints book which I'm told is very good. Thanks also for the links to the bus companies. I'm worried I'm not budgeting enough money for travel, those will help. Thanks again to everybody for the info!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:26 PM
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 12:09 PM
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I don't know what reading you did regarding one of the world's wonders, but Machu Picchu is definitely NOT Disenyesqued in ANY respect!!! Far from it! The town/village has apparently maintained its uniqueness and quaintness, and Machu Picchu is truly well worth visiting and experiencing.

I was there in October 2007. The weather was superb; it was not overly-crowded, and because it was such a unique experience for the 12 travelers in my group who'd bonded beautifully, I desire to return with a group of 12 or fewer in the future. Our guide Pepe was superb!

<The tour was a pre-tour via Grand Circle Travel, Boston based.>
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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What a shame not to go to Machu Pichu with your children. I took my 3 (the youngest is 14) last month. None of them even thought of Disneyland. It is so monumental, your children will be awestruck, as mine were. It was not crowded, there is no hype. It's just there to be experienced. You may have a budding archeologist after your trip. They also really enjoyed staying in Ollantaytambo for 5 days. A bit long for me, but they enjoyed hiking to many of the ruins in the area. Don't miss Moray & the salt pans. The children will love them. And so will you!
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think we'll do a day trip while in Olly to MP. You guys talked me into it!!
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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MP is spectacular. Be careful with the 3 year old. MP is not toddler friendly. It is steep and there are no protective rails. In fact unless you are in the middle area I wouldn't let the child's hand go. They also limit what food and drinks you can bring in as well as the size of your luggage. I don't know if you are planning on bringing a stroller, but that won't work except for the largest cities.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for the info. We aren't the stroller type of family, in fact w/ 4 kids we've never used one. We'll keep a close eye on him. He's adventurous and still thinks he's invincible!
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