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Lake Titicaca and Puno - advice on itinerary and altitude sickness?

Lake Titicaca and Puno - advice on itinerary and altitude sickness?

Old Aug 4th, 2014, 11:43 PM
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Lake Titicaca and Puno - advice on itinerary and altitude sickness?

Hi, I will be headed to Puno/Lake Titicaca from Cuzco after my hike in Machu Picchu. Nothing is booked yet, but we're planning on booking a bus (any recommendations? I've heard Inka Express and Cruz Del Sur are pretty dependable) from Cuzco-Puno, which seems to take about 5-8 hrs, and staying in a hostel in Puno. And depending on when we arrive, either staying the night in Puno and taking a tour to Lake Titicaca the next day (presumably can book this with our hostel). Does anybody have any advice on whether or not this rough itinerary looks doable, or if anyone has recommendations on alternative suggestions (i.e. doing a homestay on one of the floating islands)?

1/ Bus from Cuzco-Puno
2/ Puno for night
3/ Lake Titicaca day tour
4/ Puno for night
5/ Bus from Puno to Arequipa

Also, I've read in the forums that because the altitude in Puno is higher than it is in Cuzco, a lot of people seem to have trouble with altitude sickness, even if they didn't have any trouble with it in Cuzco. Knowing this, would you advise perhaps even staying somewhere else instead of Puno, or some other alternative?

ellstah is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2014, 12:48 AM
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Your itinerary looks entirely doable. We did a similar trip on our first a visit to Peru a few years ago. We used. Inka Express for the trip from Cusco to Puno and enjoyed it. Some fantastic scenery along the way some photos on our blog http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...1440/tpod.html
The trip took 8 hours and arrived late afternoon in. Puno.

We used Allways travel for the trip on the lake to Uros and Taquile. We had planned to stay overnight on an island but my wife was affected by the altitude when we hiked around. Taquile. This was despite having been at altitude for over a month in Cusco and the SV. I was fine but had been affected on arrival in Cusco - there is just no telling how you may be affected. Just take it easy and, if you do feel rough, forego the stay on the island. There is no other choice than to stay in Puno but you may wish to pick a hotel which has oxygen facilities - many do.

The trip to Arequipa is also through some pretty amazing scenery. We left in the afternoon and the sunset was pretty spectacular. The downside was arriving in Arequipa at night. Take care around the bus station there and make sure you get an official taxi from inside the station.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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I don't think you will want to do an overnight on the lake in August (it will be too cold!). I agree with crellston on booking with Allways (www.titicacaperu.com). They can book your transfers into and out of Puno as well.

I don't think you have looked at possibly going Puno to Chivay, on the 5th day & spending the night and morning, see the condors, then go in the afternoon to Arequipa. This can be done of 4-M Express, and it seems that Allways can also book you the transfer (may be a second company that is now doing this route).

Again I would book ahead, high season plus they pickup at hotels in Puno and drop off in hotels in Arequipa, I believe.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 09:19 AM
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It is hard to say if altitude will affect you in Puno. I've read many reports of people being fine in Cusco and even hiking the IT, but being not so great for the first night in Puno. I think it is just over the altitude where more people have problems. As crellston said, many hotels will have a canister with oxygen and can help if needed, don't suffer.
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 08:20 PM
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We weren't affected by the altitude in Puno (and we also came straight from Cuzco and the Inca Trail to MP), but it certainly was cold! This was in early Sept. Puno was cold, and the island we stayed on (Taquile) was cold, too. But we were fine with warm clothes and blankets. Bring long johns!
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