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Can I Plan my own trip to Machu Picchu?

Old Oct 27th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Can I Plan my own trip to Machu Picchu?

Hello all you Fodorites!

I've received very accurate and valuable information here in the past, but never for South America.

I'm considering a trip for my husband and myself to SA in May of 2011 for our anniversary. DH's main deisre is to see MP, but we can extend the trip to include other venues if that is recommended. My Mom visited MP and Galapagos on a tour about 2 yrs ago, but I would prefer to arrange this myself if possible.

If this is a bad time of year to visit, we can be flexible. I prefer to avoid high-season in most destinations (to save money), but only if the alternative is bearable.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 06:19 PM
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Yes you can plan your own trip and May is not bad at all, in fact you may get quite a good airfare to Lima because it is the start of their foggy season.

There are dozens of trip reports just pick one you like and start there.

A good website is www.andeantravelweb.com
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 06:45 PM
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Thanks mlgb...let me check that out! How long should I allow for Machu Pichu and Galapagos?
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Old Oct 27th, 2010, 08:52 PM
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I've been to MP several times and at all different times of the year. I think May is the ideal month to visit. The rainy season has ended, but everything is still green, and the high-season crowds won't begin pouring in until June. You get good weather and not so many people.
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 03:57 AM
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Early May B4 crowds arrive is a perfect time

Self guiding easy have done it a bunch..

adventures.worldnomads.com/destination/168/itinerary/23.aspx

best to buy a good guide book follow the Gringo Trail

to the Inka Trail to MP

www.andeantravelweb.com best info on this

www.galapagosXpeditions.com to add on Galapagos

many find it lots cheaper to fly to Tumbes

then cross to Ecuador for the Galapagos..

careful many web scammers secret agent owner touts

in both areas...so insuremytrip.com and Caveat Emptor

Galapagos Forum on TripAdvsor is the worst FOR PROFIT

expat agent owner posing as "expert" from Paris France

sanctioned by mods so always best for me

to deal with local ecudorians not angency owner/expats

you can pick up super nice cruises on Quality Cats

like Seaman II from $800-1100 all in..pay no more.

Happy Hunting,
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 03:59 AM
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www.latinamericaforless.com custom tours also good

www.saexplorers.org good non-biased info sales discounts

on SA Travel..

Have fun,
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 08:55 AM
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I did 8 days or so for just Lima Sacred Valley Machu Picchu Lima it seemed okay, not too fast but once you are there you will probably want to stay (forever)! Recommended order for me is to go Lima (1 night) fly to Cusco then immediately to the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo 2 or 3 nights) then Aguas Calientes/MP (1 night or day trip) then Cusco (2 or 3 nights)and back to Lima for 2 nights.

I can't help with Galapagos, sorry.
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Old Oct 28th, 2010, 10:12 AM
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I don't know your budget but my suggested lodgings (moderate cost)

Lima: (Barranco) Second Home Peru (for the end of trip, when you have a few days. I like this area better than Miraflores)

Cusco: Rumi Punki, Second Home Cusco, El Balcon Inn

Ollantaytambo: El Albergue, Pakaritampu
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 01:53 PM
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I self-planned. How long do you have? In broad terms I was a couple of weeks in Peru on the "Gringo Trail" of Lima-Nazca-Puno-Cisco-Machu Picchu (the rail line opened again after the mudslides the week I was there, thank goodness), then a week in Quito straddling four nights in the Galapagos, four days in Rio, two in Iguassu and a week in BA to wind down.

Trip reports begin here and wander on for another 20 posts: http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2010...way-again.html

I saw a lot in Peru, but some things must not be missed:

Machu Picchu
Flight over the Nazca Lines
The Andean Explorer
Cusco
Colca Canyon

I used organised tours twice. For the Galapagos I booked on the Seaman II; excellent boat and guide. For the Colca Canyon I walked around the various agencies in Arequipa and chose one based on the best price at the time. There did not seem to be much difference in quality between the various tours offered. I chose Colonial; it was OK.
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Thanks all...at this point a Peru trip is on hold as hubby wants to return to Costa Rica next year instead.

But who knows...maybe he'll change his mind.
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Bookmarking
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Old Nov 14th, 2010, 06:32 AM
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Tell hubby you get about 3x more for your money in Peru than in CR..and the food is 3x better!!!

CR has the beaches going for it but Peru is tops for archaeology, culture, shopping and gastronomy!
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Old Dec 25th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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mlgb, have you ever tried Unaytambo in cusco? I ended up booking there for my two nights in april at 65$ per night for a single.

http://www.unaytambocusco.com/location.html

I booked el alburque in Olly and am inquiring into the Inki orchid for AC/MP.
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Old Dec 25th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Don't know it ncounty. I got $25 single off season at Balcon cusco!
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Old Dec 25th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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I'll let you know how it is, mlgb; I am amazed at the prices I am getting at places that look like I would be happy to stay at. I was prepared to shell out over $300 for Sumaq or Inkaterra in AC/MP!
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