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Help with Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Arequipa Itinerary

Help with Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Arequipa Itinerary

Old Nov 16th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Help with Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Arequipa Itinerary

We are planning a mid-June 2010 trip to Peru.

20 Jun - Cusco - Hotel: TBD
21 Jun - Urubamba - Hotel: Casa Andina – Valle Sagrado
22 Jun - Urubamba - Hotel: Casa Andina – Valle Sagrado
23 Jun - Train or Car to Agua Calientes
23 Jun - Machu Picchu - Hotel: Sanctuary
24 Jun - Machu Picchu - Hotel: Sanctuary
24 Jun - Train Agua Calientes to Cusco
25 Jun - Cusco - Hotel: TBD
26 Jun - Afternoon flight to Arequipa
26 Jun - Arequipa - Hotel: Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa
27 Jun - Arequipa - Hotel: Las Casitas del Coca
28 Jun - Arequipa - Hotel: Las Casitas del Coca
29 Jun - Arequipa - Hotel: Las Casitas del Coca
30 Jun - Early PM flight to Lima
30 June - Lima - Hotel: Ramada at Airport

Questions.

1. Since we are flying from Buenos Aires to Lima and then Cusco we thought we would play it safe by staying at Cusco. The flight is scheduled to arrive at 3:10 PM. Our other option would be to go to Urubamba on the same day. Some say the drive is one hour - other posts say two hours. Thoughts?

2. Our hardest decision is whether to spend one or two nights at Machu Picchu. I have read that in addition to the Citadel there are several interesting walks. If we spent two nights then we could take a later train on the first day. If we take the Vistadome back then it leaves at 3:20 PM thus giving up a full afternoon, a full day, and the morning. Too much time?

Thank you all for any assistance.
AlwaysOnTheRoad is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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1.Go to Urubamba less than 1 hour lower than Cusco
less altitude illness would also take Diamox
(acetazolamida) to prevent altitude illness.

2.1 full day including the sunrise at MP and HP
climb is plenty for most.Would just do 1 night
the next full daytrain out in late afternoon.

From 23 Jun above no car to AC train only

Looks good,have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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It depends on what you want to do at MP. If you arrive in AC in the day on the 23 and leave in the later afternoon on the 24 then that will give you a whole afternoon on the 23 at MP and then on the 24 get up early and revisit MP again. Personally for me I would do two nights, because I don't like to rush thing. If you do the sun gate and climb HP on the 24th then you'll be exhausted before your train back to Cusco later that day.

I highly recommend climbing Macchu Picchu Mountain if you have the time and energy. IMO, the view is better from up there than from HP, and you'll also probably find fewer people up there than up at HP.

A tibit on Arequipa: The Santa Catalina Monastery is open late (till 9pm I think) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I don't know why I didn't see this detail listed in any of the guide books that I've read before my trip a few months ago, otherwise I would've plan my visit on one of those nights. I think the place will look very beautiful lit up in the eveninf if you get the chance to see it.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:08 PM
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I agree with quovadis re not staying in Cusco on arrival because of the possibility of AMS. It doesn't affect everyone (I was affected quite badly but my wife was unaffected). Staying at a lower altitude to get acclimatised is definitely a good idea. We stayed in Urumbamba and commuted to Ollantaytambo daily for a month last year. I much preferred Olly as there is much more to see and do. That said Casa Andina is the best place to stay in the area by some margin and it is only a 15 min taxi or bus ride into Olly.

Make sure that you get out and about in the Sacred Valley. You will be very close to some amazing places - Pisac, Chinchero and Maras Salineras are all easily accessible.

Personally, I preferred Pisac to Macchu Picchu but realise that I am probably in a minority. I would spend one less day at MP and one more in the SV.

We loved Arequipa. We were there at the time of a major festival competition. Santa Catalina is not to be missed. Like Axel, I was not aware that the place opened late on some nights - that really would be atmospericlit up in the evening - probably worth two trips!

Whilst I am not a great fan of zooming around in a rush, 5 nights in Arequipa does seem a little too long, unless of couse you are planning a side trip to Colca. Otherwise you may wish to consider getting the bus or train from Cusco to Lake Titicaca for a night or two and then going to Arequipa from there.

Here is a link to our blog of our time in the area with some photos and a bit more detail of our travel arrangements. Peru starts at #56

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html
crellston is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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I agree with going immediately out of Cusco. Once again, the only issue was the possibility of a delayed flight. I have gotten times from 1 to 2 hours to get from the train station to Casa Andina.

Question. On the way back from MP should we get off the train at Ollantaytambo and either (1) stay the night at Casa Andina or (2)travel by car back to Cusco?

We are going to stay the night in Arequipa and then go to another property that is in Colca Valley. I understand it takes 3-4 hours each way. We will stay there for three nights to allow time for hiking, horse back riding, perhaps see the Condors and other adventures.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 08:12 AM
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Hi Always -

I agree with previous posters about Cusco. Land there, of course, but arrange to have your Urubamba hotel pick you up at the Cusco airport. (Have you considered staying in Ollanta instead of Urumamba?) Spend 2 days there, spend 2 days in AC. 1st day in AC for MP, second day in case it rains on the first day. If you are able to see MP on the first day, you can relax at the hot springs on the second day or shop at the market. You could also just go back and see MP again - it really is so fascinating.

Are you sure about the Sanctuary Lodge?

Then take the train to Cusco. By this time you should be fairly well acclimated, but at 11,000 feet above sea level, Cusco will still have you a bit winded.

I will also add that Cusco is really charming and interesting, and deserves more than days. And if you're there on a Sunsay, by all means go by taxi or bus to the market at Pisac. Great market and a beuatiful drive.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Robertino,

I had considered Ollanta but had read some good reviews of Casa Andina on TripAdvisor. We thought it would make a good base for a visit to Pisac and other areas in the Sacred Valley.

Sanctuary Lodge is certainly expensive but as you know has the singular advantage of its location. The thinking was that since we - or at least me - wanted to go to Huyana Picchu or Machu Picchu or both in the mornings, to the Sun Gate, and perhaps a few other hikes - that it would be worth it for the convenience.

Many, many years past my wife and I stayed up on Machu Picchu when there was a very, very simple hotel. It was really great having the place to ourselves in the morning and afternoon. Of course that was long ago and there are many more visitors and controls on access today than then.

What are your thoughts on the way back from MP should we get off the train at Ollantaytambo and either (1) stay the night or (2)travel by car back to Cusco?
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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I don't think Urubamba has any locational advantage, just that it has more luxury hotels. You have to take a taxi to see anything regardless.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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Hi there,

I highly recommend go directly to Urubamba to avoid any probably highness illness. The ride to Urubamba is almost 1hr15min in average. Staying 2 nights in Machu Picchu is ok, because any excursion you want to do there will demand you a challenge physical effort, so it's better if you take it easy. In Machu Picchu you can walk up the Machu Picchu Mountain, higher than Wayna Picchu. Also, the Putukusi mountain, but be aware that is more complicated to climb, because it has wood ladders with a difficult access. Sanctuary? If you are going to pay that money I prefer the Inkaterra hotel, there is to much to do in this little town than Up there, maybe you can go for a walk around Aguas Calientes town by night. Remember the last bus to Machu Picchu citadel entrance rides around 17:30 each day, so your day will end at that time.
After Machu Picchu you can arrange a couple of days in Cusco, to visit this fascinating city. I really love Cusco. Hotels there, maybe Libertador (close to Korikancha), Monasterio or the new Inkaterra hotel. I hope This can help.
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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I really like Ollanta, so I would suggest staying there for the night and seeing the fortress in the morning. However, I saw Ollanta on my way to MP rather than on my way from it, and I took the train straight from MP / AC to Poroy, and took a short taxi ride to Cusco. Not sure why you would drive from Ollanta to Cusco.

That said, I don't think I would add a night in Ollanta and take away a night from Cusco. Cusco is really great. If you can figure out how, I would take a day or 2 away from Arequipa and give them to Cusco.

Lima suggestion - see the sights in Central Lima when you arrive on the afternoon of the 30th. Then take a taxi to Barranco for drinks and dinner.
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Old Nov 24th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Our hardest decision is whether to spend one or two nights at Machu Picchu. I have read that in addition to the Citadel there are several interesting walks. If we spent two nights then we could take a later train on the first day. If we take the Vistadome back then it leaves at 3:20 PM thus giving up a full afternoon, a full day, and the morning. Too much time?
If you can take the time, no, it isn't too much, particularly if you are a photographer which means the early and late hours matter most. the two nights allow (a) fallback if bad weather screws up first day; (b) go up HP early one morning and go back the next just to enjoy MP early in the morning before many people are there and while most of the ones who are there are on line for HP. I spend two nights - arrived late in the day, next day a full day at MP, then second day enjoyed a very nice morning at MP and caught an early afternoon train back to Ollataytambo. See http://kojin.wordpress.com/2009/02/2...cchu-picchu-i/
btw, in AQP, Monasterio is quite beautiful, particularly if you are a photographer, and well worth many hours.
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Old Nov 25th, 2009, 04:11 PM
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We spent one night at the Santuary and one night in Agua Calliente. ALthough very expensive we do not regret the stay there. It was great to be the last ones to leave the site and first ones there in the morning.
We also loved Ollantaytambo and Pisac
live42day is offline  
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