Need Help Planning Argentina/Peru Trip

Aug 27th, 2011, 03:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 19
Need Help Planning Argentina/Peru Trip

Hello Fodorites. Just started thinking about this trip and need to get on it. The trip would be in early November and we have from 14 to 20 days. The very rough plan:
Fly to Buenos Aires for five or six nights, to include a day trip or overnight to Uruguay by bus.
Fly to Iguaza Falls for one day and night.
Fly back to BA, connect to Cuzco for a couple of days.
Bus to Machu Picchu, return to Cuzco same day.
Next day catch the long train to Puno or Juliaca. Hotel provides shuttles from either to its Titicaca location. Three nights there.
Catch a plane from Juliaca to whatever international airport makes sense for return home.
First of all, does this make sense? Is there a better routing? Having never been to SA are there other things I should be considering, regarding connections, travel time, weather...anything? Is this too much, or too widespread to have the time to enjoy where I am? If I were to simplify, I'd probably lose Titicaca and hit Mendoza and the wine country.
Anyway, guys, any and all thoughts are deeply appreciated, including responses to questions I don't know enough to ask. Peace.
CYA is offline  
Aug 27th, 2011, 05:33 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,864
"to include a day trip or overnight to Uruguay by bus"

There will need to be a boat in there somewhere.

"Bus to Machu Picchu, return to Cuzco same day"

That will have to be a train.

"Fly back to BA, connect to Cuzco for a couple of days"

It'll require a connection in Lima too. I doubt you can do Iguazu-BA-Lima-Cusco all in one day since airport operations in Cusco start winding down by mid-afternoon. (Argentina is two hours ahead of Peru, so maybe ... But I really doubt it.)

"Catch a plane from Juliaca to whatever international airport makes sense for return home"

That will be Lima.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Aug 27th, 2011, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,337
It may be more difficult, but if you were to fly into Montevideo (MVD) first and then take the ferry to Buenos Aires, you would avoid paying the Argentina reciprocity fee, $138 I think.

Iguazu Falls is well worth two full days and two nights.

Vic's travels:
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Aug 27th, 2011, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 531
Be sure to look into a visit south america pass on LAN airlines. We used it last summer and saved a ton on our flights in Peru and Argentina. I agree; it would be tough to do the Iguazu Falls and Cusco part in one day. We flew Iguazu Falls to Buenos Aries to Lima in one day. Spent the night at the Ramada hotel and the airport and then flew out the next morning to Cusco. It is the only way to do it since there are not a lot of flights from Iguazu Falls to Lima.
itsv is offline  
Aug 28th, 2011, 01:47 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,294
It seems to me that you are trying to pack too much in to too short a timescale.

- 5/6 days in BA may be too much for the time you have available.

- A day trip to Colonia from BA would be great and takes about an hour or so each way - some photos

- If yopu did want to spend more time in Argentina then for me the NW region around Salta beats mendoza hands down (but that is a very subjective opinion)
- As per Vics comments you will need 2 days and 2 nights in Iguazu - try to get to the Brazilian side if possible for a totally different perspective

- I much preferred Titicaca to Mendoza and certainly would not leave this out

- The Inka Express bus from Cusco to Puno is IMHO a better way to go than the train. It follows virtually the same route as the train but stops at various places of interest on the altiplano along the way.

- You really do need to factor in some time for acclimatisation to altitude particularly in Cusco and Puno other wis you will find it difficult

-I would choose to spend more time in The Sacred Valley rather than just rus it to MP - there is a huge amount to see Pisca, Moray, chinchero and Ollantaytambo is my preferred base to stay.

- Jeff makes very valid points re air travel in the region which is often a hit and miss affair

If you can go for the 20 days rather than 14 - you will end up wishing you had stayed longer anyway!
crellston is offline  
Aug 28th, 2011, 02:14 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Hi CYA love your honest handle best I have seen on the boards...

Congrats on your trip have a look at for some itineraries for

Peru/Argentina you can do in 20 days or so.

For me BsAs/Uruguay Iguazu Salta more

Cusco/MP do a short trek from $300 then on to Lima

for flight home would make the most sense and flow best.

Overland by bus/train cheapest flights best. for more clues and discounts great locals

Always pay with CC never wire money and for entry safety info

Happy Planning!
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 28th, 2011, 02:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269 light years better cheaper

than rip off "Andean Explorer" scammiest train ride in SA

followed closely by the "Hiram Bingham" most expensive

rip off train on a mileage basis avoid both...

Grupo Ormeno fast Puno Cusco if in a hurry 5-6 hours $20 or so
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 28th, 2011, 04:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 19
Thanks everyone for all the wise and knowledgeable thoughts. I'll be burnng the midnght oil to make this happen!
CYA is offline  
Aug 30th, 2011, 11:10 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 14
HI, I was in BA in December 2009 and I will be in the Sacred Valley this October. I suggest you cut a few days from BA and add them to the Sacred Valley. 3 full days in BA is plenty. We took the city and Recoleta walking tours with Free Walking tours (2 hours morning and 2 hours afternoon) and got a very good view of the city in one day. Be sure to see Caminito, Puerto Madero and the San Telmo street fair on the weekend. We also did the ferry to Colonia - OK. We did one night at Iguazu (early morning flight from BA and late afternoon return the next day), which I feel was sufficient if you stay at the Sheraton in the park. But you will not be able to make it back to BA and to Lima in one day if you only spend one night in Iguazu.

I also recommend staying overnight at the Ramada in Lima and then when you arrvive in Cusco go directly to Ollantaytambo. Spend a day or two touring Pisac, Chinero, Moray and Maras, and then go th MP. Then return to Cusco for a few days after you have acclimated.
hmelman is offline  
Aug 30th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 19
hmelman, thanks for your thoughts. As I get into this, I'm definitely thinking I want some time in the Sacred Valley. I'm also considering swapping Titicaca for Salta, just for reasons of logistics. I'd rather spend more time being in a place than getting to it, which I'm discovering is an issue in these places. What I'm thinking now is, upon arrival in BA, flying straight to Iguaza, provided I can make a reasonable connection. Couple of days there, then fly to Salta (or vice-versa, Salta then Iguaza), several days in Salta/NW, TBD, fly to BA, do my thing there, then to Cuscu, via Lima (hopefully in one day) explore the town and acclimate for a day, then Sacred Valley, then Machhu Picchu, back to BA, overnight at airport hotel, then fly home. I welcome any and all wisdom as to the practicality of this plan and any factors/realities I may not be aware of. Thanks again to hmelman and anyone else who has or may respond.
CYA is offline  
Aug 30th, 2011, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,646
Start in Ollantaytambo, SV, not Cusco. Save Cusco for the day before you fly back to BA.
mlgb is offline  
Aug 31st, 2011, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 19
Right, mlgb, for the altitude. Thanks and will do.
CYA is offline  

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