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Help with yet another Peru Itinerary question

Old Nov 27th, 2009, 01:58 PM
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Help with yet another Peru Itinerary question

We plan on going in Sept. We arrive late into Lima, will stay over night for an early AM flight to Cuzco. Will probably rent a car and head to Olly and stay at Pakaritampu.
There are 5 of us.

Question...
3 nights at Olly too long? Should we just plan on 2? We will explore the Sacred Valley


Then return the car and take the train to Aquas Caliente.

Question...
Can you return the car only at Cusco? Will the rental place pick it up at Olly, so we can get the train to MP there? Or will we need to return it to Cusco and get the train there? Not sure what agency we will use. There will be 5 of us.

Stay one night at Aguas Calientes and head to MP early the next day, spend the day, then stay at Sanctuary, I know it is ridiculously expensive but we are going to see if we can swing it. Next day again MP, then back to Cusco


We plan on staying 3 nights in Cusco, I have no idea what hotel at this point, the choices are overwhelming.
.

Question...
3 nights too many for Cusco? We want to explore the town and ruins etc

Head then to Puerto Maldonado via air and to the Amazon for 3 nights, still deciding where to stay

Back to Cusco for a night or to Lima and head home the next day.
Any and all suggestions welcome
Thanks!
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Old Nov 27th, 2009, 04:37 PM
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I'd advise against renting a car; buses and taxis will get you anywhere you want to go easier and cheaper. There are better options for luxury accommodation in Aguas Calientes than the Sanctuary, at a fraction of the price. The location isn't really a plus, since you won't need the room during the day and at night the park's closed anyway. I think the last bus down the mountain leaves before 6pm, so staying at the Sanctuary you would have no mobility after that time. Three days is a good amount of time for Cusco.
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Old Nov 28th, 2009, 05:48 AM
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Do 2 days in www.ollantaytambo.org first

Easier cheaper to hire taxi/guide combos

than rent a car must be done from Cusco...

Train from Ollantaytambo to AC/MP closer better

www.inkterra.com best MP hotel also Reserva Amazonica in PM

not Sanctuary Lodge remote old overpriced

Head back up to Cusco after you have adjusted

Monasterio or www.libertador.com.pe

Palacio Del Inka best there
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Old Nov 28th, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Ramada Costa Del Sol Hotel at LIM best for flight night
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Old Nov 28th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Yeah I'd also bag the car rental. No point in going back to Cusco to return it, and you can hire a driver probably for less cost than the rental (plus they'll know where they are going). Your first day in Olly you might take it easy, even though lower in elevation you may still feel altitude. I had enough energy to explore the old Inka Town, and have a meal at Hearts Cafe, that was about it.

You won't need a car to see the ruins in Ollanta, you can walk or take a moto taxi uphill from Pakaritampu. There are other ruins around Olly if you have the energy. It's a very pleasant town. You can also hire a driver for a half day tour at around $75 for a minivan, visit Chinchero-Moray-Salineras. There are other things you can do from Olly, if you ride bikes you might look at KB Tours www.kbtours.com based in Olly.

I saw Pisac as a day trip from Cusco, plus two more days would be plenty to see the town (and other ruins if you aren't ruined out).

Go back to Lima the night before.
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Old Nov 28th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Another vote for not renting a car.

We had a terrific guide/driver while in the SV/Cusco - his name is David Choque and he has a very comfortable large van that would work splendidly for a group of 5. He can be reached via email at

[email protected]

Lots of positive reviews of him here and this is a link to our blog for more info

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...lake_titicaca/

Re your specific questions -

We were 4 nights in Ollanta - found it a great base to explore the SV - (stayed at Hotel Sauce - right at the ruins - a little less expensive than Pakaratimpu but more like a B&B) ....... on the other hand 3 nights in Cusco was one too many for us.

For MP I debated back and forth on two issues

a) One night or two - in the end we chose two as we were traveling in January and I didn't want to be rained/fogged out. Happy we did that

b) Inkaterra property in AC or Sanctuary Lodge at the Gates - we chose the latter and had a terrific time. Yes it is stupidly expensive and basically a glorified motel but we went there to see MP not AC (which didn't really do it for us after Ollanta, which we loved). We arrived at Sanctuary Lodge (from Ollanta) at about 1pm - had a relaxing lunch and then went into the site twice that afternoon. Most people are gone by 4pm so in those two hours we virtually had it to ourselves. Then the next morning we were in the gates by 6am - all alone again -and that day we went in and out of the site several times......so there was no pressure to run around. The next morning David Choque met us there and we did a traditional guided tour - by that time we had seen the highlights so we went to some less frequented sites. Took the 4pm train back to Ollanta and David drove us to Cusco - much better than taking the train directly from AC to Cusco.

Re Cusco hotel - I'll dig around to find the name of the hotel we stayed at (David booked it) it was just fine but if you want something a little more upend we looked at the Novatel (near the square) and it seemed quite nice, but not over the top expensive.

Happy to answer any questions - have a great trip!
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Old Nov 28th, 2009, 05:56 PM
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I don't think 3 nights in Cusco is too long. That will probably give you 2 whole days to explore the city and nearby sites. There seems to always be something going on in the Plaza and up around the San Blas area.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 02:41 PM
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Thank you all so much for the info. I guess we'll bag the car idea, I just liked the idea of exploring the SV on our own, stopping for photo ops etc. But we can def. hire a driver.

I am on the fence re: Sanctuary, I know reviews are mixed and it is grossly overpriced, but I liked the idea of being at MP all day, and also first thing in the AM.
Once we determine our other hotel choices, that will help w/the budget.

Looking at Rumi Punku in Cusco, Terra Andina, Casa San Blas and a few others

Again thanks!! Love this forum

Elizabeth S, thanks for the link, but I can't get past page one????
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Old Dec 2nd, 2009, 04:16 PM
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parrmt - at the bottom of page one is a teeny arrow (really teeny) which takes you to the next page...........which is here

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...ticaca/page/2/
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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 07:52 AM
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I spent 2 nights in Ollanta and could have spent 1 more. The ruins are wonderful and the precolumbian foundations of the town are still very much intact. A fascinating place.

For Machu Picchu, buses start running from Aguas Calientes very very early. AC itself is not so great but at least there's something to do at night and you can find reasonably priced lodging.

In Cusco I thought the Rumi Punku was excellent. Great quiet location half way between the square and San Blas. Friendly staff. Good rooms around a pretty courtyard.

I don't really think that 3 days is enough for Cusco. First, you will not be able to tour at the pace you're used to, because the altitude slows you down. 5 days allows you to relax and enjoy the city. Also, you will want to go to Pisac on Sunday for the ruins (do that first) and the market.

Have fun planning!
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Old Dec 6th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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Thank you all again for the great info

Elizabeth, yes that is a teeny tiny arrow! . I loved the report , you really had quite the trip.

Glad to hear more good things about the Rumi Punku.

As soon as I narrow down the selections..I know I will be back asking more questions.
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Old Dec 6th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Agree with most of what's above, especially about hiring a driver instead of renting a car. The same price or less and he knows where he's going! I could spend three weeks easy in the Sacred Valley, so 3 days is definitely not too much. Same with Cusco--wonderful place to hang. Have fun.
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