Need help rounding out Peru itinerary

Old May 3rd, 2024, 06:39 PM
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Need help rounding out Peru itinerary

My husband and I will be in Peru for about 2 weeks from June 15 to the 29th.

We will arrive in Lima on the 15th and fly out to Cusco on the 17th.

From Cusco, we plan to head right to Ollantaytambo from the 17th to the 21st— we will hit Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, and a horseback ride to Moray and Maras.

Then to Cusco— not sure how many days we should spend there but the Inti Raymi festival is the 24th. Not sure if we should hang around to see that?

From there we will have about 4 days before flying out from Lima. Wondering what the last leg of our trip should be…

We’ve considered…
  • Puerto Maldonado— would love to see the Amazon but it would probably require stealing some time away from SV/Cusco
  • Arequipa and Colca Canyon
  • Ica or Paracas
  • Puno and Lake Titicaca— heard mixed things about Titicaca
  • Other places like Huaraz, Trujillo, or Caral in the north.

I’m just feeling really overwhelmed by all the amazing places to see. The only thing that is set is our flight from Lima to Cusco on the 17th. After that, we can change parts to spend more or less time in any place.

We really enjoy soaking the culture of an area (obviously), food, markets, etc. As much as we love exploring cities, we’ve been gravitating toward small towns and nature in our last few trips. We enjoy some adventure activities (horseback riding, light hiking) but not looking for strenuous treks.. especially with the high altitudes in much of Peru. Our activity level is somewhere in the middle— we like the occasional day trip or excursion but we’re not into hopping from one place to the next every day or two.

How should we plan our itinerary? Would it be feasible to add one more location after Cusco and, if so, what would you recommend?
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Old May 5th, 2024, 08:41 AM
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"I’m just feeling really overwhelmed by all the amazing places to see." Indeed! A feeling many experience when planning a trip to Peru!

There is a huge amount to see in the country and it is great that you are being selective. Too many try to pack in too many destinations into the time they have and end up spending a disproportionate amount of time in transit rather than actually seeing stuff. Basically , I think you have entirely the right idea for the first part of your trip. It looks like you will have one full day in Lima on arrival which is enough Geta. taste for the city but you may want to think about spending the night before you homebound flight so as to avoid any possible problems with flight delays. That may allow another half day of sightseeing.

Great idea to head straight to Ollantaytambo on arrival in Cusco which will be much better for adapting to the altitude. An added bonus is that it is a great place in its own right (we went for a day and ended up staying a couple of months!). With the time you have , I would suggest just doing a day trip to MP from there by train.

Rainbow Mountain is probably better done from Cusco from where the tours start but be aware it is a VERY early start and an VERY high altitude. Perhaps be left until the end of your stay in Cusco when better acclimatised.

Ideally I would want two full days for Cusco (3 nts). One very full day for the sights in the city and another to head out to Pisac for a morning at the ruins there and then a taxi or bus back to Tambo Machay and then hike back (a very easy, level hike of 3 hours ) via Q'enko and Puka Puccarra to Sacasayhuaman where it is 10 mins walk into Cusco.

Inta Raimi is a great time to be in Cusco but I think it would limit your choices for a final destination.

AMAZON Four nights will give you three full days which is just about enough for Puerto Maldonado. Any less and it would be very rushed. I am pretty sure you can fly there directly from Cusco and directly back to Lima which makes thing a lot simpler.

TITICACA - You need two nights, one full day to see the lake. Uros is a bit theme parkish , but fun and is only an hour on your way to Taquile island which is nice. It is really all about the lake though.Bear in mind the altitude, it is much higher than Cusco.

AREQUIPA/COLCA _ Arequipa is perhaps my favourite city in Peru. Always some sort of fiesta going on and lost to see. Colca Canyon is spectacular but really needs a couple of nights otherwise is would be too rushed. Not sure about direct flights form Cusco. If not you could lose a whole day transferring through Lima.

ICA and PARACAS - Personally I wouldn't bother given the time you have.

HUARAZ - The most amazing scenery in Peru but if not into hiking, probably not worth it .

TRUJILLO - Worth seeing but a bit of a drag to get to. You could combine with Chiclayo for a taste of ancient civilisations other than they ubiquitous Inca.

Essentially, I think you could add another location and given you interest in the Amazon, Puerto Maldonado would seem a great fit

Here is a link to our blog covering some of our travels in Peru which may provide an idea of what to expect in these places https://accidentalnomads.com/category/peru/



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