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travelmom13 Nov 3rd, 2012 04:00 PM

Calling Peru Travel Enthusiasts!

I love Fodors because all of you have the best tried and true information!

I am planning a trip to Peru in May. It will be myself and husband (active late 30's) parents (active mid 60's), friends (active mid 60's) and sister and her husband (active late 30's).

We will have 12 days (but really 9 days minus travel time to and from LAX). We have booked our 4 day hike to MP. However we will have 2 days in Cusco prior to the hike to site see and acclimatize. Then we will have 3 days for a possible amazon/Puerto Maldonado excursion and one day in Lima before we leave late that night.

Day 1: Travel to Lima
Stay near airport--suggestions? I heard there was a Raddison that wasn't too expensive.

Day 2: Fly to Cusco in the morning
Tour: What do we want to see? Could we do Sacred Valley this day?
Where to stay? Where to eat?

Day 3: Cusco
Tour: What do we want to see? We will be doing a home stay program the night before our Inca Trail we don't have all day to site see.

Day 4-7: Inca Trail Hike/Machu Picchu/HP hike

Day 8-10: Amazon Adventure
Where would you stay? Some will want to be very active (kayak, zip line etc.) and some will not. All will want to see animals and would love to do piranha fishing.

Day 11: Travel back to Lima and explore city
Anything exciting to see?

Day 12: Fly back to LAX

Guides: We normally like to use private guides for both transportation and tours. I saw a posting about a guide named Percy. Any feedback on him for tours in Cusco?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Amy Nov 3rd, 2012 08:15 PM

Usually when I'm in Peru, the flight arrives so late and the next one leaves so early that I just hang out in the airport. The domestic side has a kinda cozy vibe, actually.

I caught piranha while staying at Explorama Lodge (outside of Iquitos.) My three visits to the Amazon have all been with Explorama; Explornapo is my favorite of their sites.

For Cusco, do remember (I'm sure you are keeping this in mind) that the altitude can really do you in, so a very little local sightseeing on the first day will probably be enough. (The main square, the amazing multi-cut fit stone, things like that.) I stayed in Hotel Monasterio, but in what I think were the newer, cheaper add-on rooms. Lovely place, though, and a good location.

One of the things I enjoyed most in the Sacred Valley was rafting along the Urubamba River.

Peru is just...magical, really. Have a wonderful time!

colduphere Nov 4th, 2012 04:29 AM

I agree with Amy, which gets tiring. We had four nights in Cuzco before doing the IT. We had one thing scheduled for four days - a rafting trip. The day we arrived we did what we were told to do - not much. Moved slowly, went to the main square, found a restaurant, found a money machine, looked in the stores and that was about it.

I realize people want to maximize their time at their destination. But sometimes it is nice just to walk around.

colduphere Nov 4th, 2012 05:49 AM

You have probably figured this out already but you travel though the Sacred Valley to get to the start of the Inca Trail. So if you go to Ollantaytambo on either day one or day two and then back to Cuzco, you are repeating the trip again the day you start the hike. We didn't want to make the trip twice. So we went from Cuzco to Pisac (which is sort of the other way) and then visited several other sites on the way back to Cuzco. You could do this on your second day in Cuzco.

The problem with this approach is that you don't visit Ollantaytambo or some of the other SV sites. That didn't bother us and we were very much focused on being ready for the hike. Which was a good thing. You will find out in your pre-meeting which campsite you have been assigned on day one. If it not the first site, then the day one hike is a very long day, followed by a harder day two.

By the way, when is your pre-hike meeting? Sounds like it is the middle of your home stay.

mlgb Nov 4th, 2012 10:51 AM

The airport hotel is a Ramada, not a Radisson. The rack rate is high, but you may find a better rate through your Inca Trail agent or by doing a bit of searching. Depending on what time you arrive and depart it may be worthwhile to go into Miraflores wear you can find better values.

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