ITINERARY CHECK! It's a short one;)

Old Mar 7th, 2019, 08:55 PM
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ITINERARY CHECK! It's a short one;)

Hi all! Let me know your thoughts!

We are a couple in our 30s. Unfortunately, we only have a week- coming from LAX

Arrive Sunday in Lima
Connect to Cusco
Straight to Sacred Valley- staying at Sol y Luna or Belmond Rio Sagrado
Rest/maybe sightsee

Explore Sacred Valley area (will hire tour guide)
Maras and Moray
Looking for UNIQUE suggestions of additional activities!

Vistadome train( or Hiram Bingham-is it worth it for this short distance?) to Machu Picchu
Tour MP
Stay overnight at Sumac or Santuary Lodge if we can get reservations

Day 4
Early morning at MP
Take late morning/afternoon train back to Cusco
Explore Cusco// stay the night

Day 5
Leave in morning back to Lima
Check in Belmond Miraflores Park

Day 6

Day 7
Afternoon flight back to LAX

Last edited by akasper22; Mar 7th, 2019 at 08:59 PM.
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Old Mar 8th, 2019, 06:11 PM
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Peru is delightful! Just a few comments:

I’m sure you realize that altitude can pose real challenges, and am glad I had more time to acclimitize that you will. But it could work for you!

For your exploration of the Sacred Valley, note that offers drivers (but not tours) to Maras and Moray.

I took the Vistadome and thought it wonderful. I don’t know what added benefit you would have with the Hiram Bingham; you should have more options with the Vistadome.

You have very little time in Cusco and very little time in Lima. I would urge you to think through your priorities in advance so you can use your time to greatest advantage.

If you haven’t already seen it, you might find some useful information in my long (but searchable!) trip report:
Praise for Peru A report of my solo month in this amazing country
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Old Mar 8th, 2019, 10:06 PM
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A few thoughts:

I would normally stay in Ollantaytambo a much more interesting town than Urumbamba but Urumbamba is where all the lux hotels are situated so perhaps that is why you have chosen there. However, it is only a 20 min ride between the two so I would suggest considering a afternoon visit there to the ruins. The tour groups will have left and it will be quieter.

A taxi tour of the main Sacred Valley sights of Moray Maras and Chinchero is best done on your way back to Cusco. You will be passing by them anyway so it would free up some time which may be better used in Cusco and/or the surrounding area. As suggested by kja, Taxidatum offer a good reliable service ( you don’t really need a guide for these places but they are available at the site entrances)

With such a short trip, I would not stay overnight in Aguas Calientes. There is little of interest in the town itself. Instead, I would probably go for an early train up and an afternoon train back. I haven’t been on the HB train but form what I have heard/seen, it offers a fashion show and music on board and possibly refreshments. It is no Orient Express though! I have done both the backpacker and Vistadome trains and was happy with both.

With your current plan it looks like you will have one full an two half days in Lima which is just about enough to take in some of the main sights in Miraflores and Centro Historico and at a push, maybe Barranco too.

If you did decide to forego your night in AC, then it really would be a toss up between adding a night to Cusco or Lima, neither would be wasted.

Some details and photos of our time in Peru @ the first two entries are about Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley, scroll down and there is some stuff about Lima too.

Also worth reading up on altitude acclimatisation issues if you haven’t been to high altitude before By spending a couple of days in the lower altitude of the Sacred Valley you should be ok by the time you get to Cusco but best to be aware of the symptoms.

Despite having spent a great deal of time in both Ollantaytambo and Urumbamba, I struggle to think of any "unique" activities. A few random thoughts on something a little different though; rafting on the Urumbamba river, horse riding from the Plaza in Ollantaytambo, weaving co ops near Ollantaytambo, mountain biking.
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