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Peru - besides Machu Picchu/What are the must dos?

Peru - besides Machu Picchu/What are the must dos?

Old Apr 27th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Peru - besides Machu Picchu/What are the must dos?

Hi, I am going to Peru in September. What are the must dos in the Sacred Valley and Cuzco. Also, should we go to Lake Titicaca and why? What about the Nazca lines? We have 8 days (maybe nine if we go to Nazca) should we just stay Sacred Valley - then 2 overnights in Agua Calientes and then 2 more days in Cuzco - or should we do 1 night in Agua Calientes so we can go to Lake Titicaca?

Thanks for your help!
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 11:30 PM
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Must dos in the SV include Ollantaytambo a great little Inca town with lots to see and the best place in which to base yourself to see the rest of the SV and to get to Macchu Picchu. Places to see include Maras, Moray, Chichero and especially Pisac. 8 days is not a lot of time as there is so much to see!

Personally I would not bother with the Nazca lines, nearby Arequipa is worth a visit but Puno and Titicaca is my 1st choice- an amazing place and best reached from Cusco. The trip there via the Inka Express bus across the altiplano is superb with loads to see along the way.

The less time spent in Aquas Calientes the better - it is a charmless place and the only reason to visit is for MP. More details and photos on our blog - entries 56 on http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/1/tpod.html
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 03:08 AM
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I second Crelston, one night in AC should be more than enough. Don't miss the Pisac ruins, nor the Chinchero market and Moray. With a couple of days at Cusco you won't have time for much else, maybe a day at either Puno/Titicaca or Arequipa. Haven't been to Nazca so can't somment.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for your input. I really enjoyed browsing your blog! What a year you must have had! Thanks for sharing and for the insight, I appreciate it!
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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We enjoyed Arequipa and an overnight to Colca Canyon. Pisac is a charming tiny village -- the ruins there are outstanding, 2nd only to MP. Many people enjoy the Sunday market there. Thought AC was just awful and was very happy we didn't spend a night there. We took an early train to AC from Olly and arrived around 9ish at MP. Spent the entire day there and took a late afternoon train back to Olly.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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I always recommend at least a night and day in Lima.

The problem with including another location is that it takes the better part of a day to travel anywhere else, and you don't have very many days to start with.

So to add another location requires shortchanging the Sacred Valley, Cusco and MP.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 05:08 PM
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We only saw Lima, Cuzco/Machu Picchu and Puno so our base is fairly limited. As Crellston says, we enjoyed the bus trip from Cuzco to Puno. But the day trip on Lake Titicaca to us was not much more than an enjoyable boat ride. The floating islands seemed like a Disney exhibit, especially when our host told us he was close to earning his tourism degree. And the women singing Row Row Row Your Boat to us? I dunno. Over the top it seemed.

We visited Sillustani (20 miles from Puno) which was interesting. And a few parades passed by us in Puno.

So I would say Puno was fun but not overly so. I agree with Mlgb. Lima is worth a day at least.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 07:37 PM
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You shoul try to do the 2 day in Titicaca. Amantani is a great experience. While in the Cuzco area you could also do water rafting for 1 day
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 12:27 AM
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colduphere - I agree the Uros floating islands were disneyesque and I did find the dancing /singing welcome a bit tacky. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip on the lake itself (even if we did see another boat on fire and sinking!!). Hiking around the island (Tacquile it think) was also a great experience.
We hit Puno at fiesta time so it was a great time to be there to watch the party and procession but essentially it is just a jump off point for Titicaca.
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 02:55 AM
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Nazca Lines
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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I also enjoyed the ride on the lake thru the reed beds (except for the last half hour when when a massive storm was looming.) I liked walking for a few minutes on the floating island. The rest of the experience had too much of the "human zoo" aspect and went on for too long. But I couldn't imagine going to the Lake and not walking on one of the floating islands.

If you have the option to add a ninth day I would do it regardless of how you plan your itinerary.

I have never had the urge to visit Nazca, I know the drive there is boring as all get out, many people get nausea from the small plane flights, as well as complaining that you don't see the figures as well as the enhanced photos lead you to believe.

The north coast (Trujillo and Chiclayo) has some amazing archaeological sites such as Chan Chan, Huaca de Luna, Sican, and the Lord of Sipan musuem, but you would want several days there and need to plan around museum closed days. You can fly from Lima to either city.
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 02:29 PM
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I know the drive there is boring

that part is true. In fact we had a police block in a middle of nowhere when we drove from Lima to that particular area. Nothing happen but my Peruvian friend was little scared as she has known of police abuse in her country.

many people get nausea from the small plane flights, as well as complaining that you don't see the figures as well as the enhanced photos lead you to believe.

the plane flight is an individual issue, but the rest of your statement is not true at all. I have dozens of photos taken from the plane that actually look better than some that I see in the brochures/magazines, whatever.

but the main point is that they are there and it's still a mystery how they came about. According to your theory, Machu Picchu can also be described as worthless. After all it's just bunch of ruins on top of a mountain that takes most of the day to get there and then all you see is bunch of broken down settlements and bricks on top of a hill. Many people can't deal with the elevation issue.

I look at any possible adventure as "witnessing different cultures" not if it's something I can/can't do. I'll take my chances. YOMV
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 06:06 PM
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It really is no mystery about who and how. There is lots of debate about purpose and meaning but not how they came to be, excluding the lunatic fringe in the tinfoil hats.
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 09:23 PM
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Anyone want to add jungle/wildlife spots? Macaws on clay licks and that kind of thing?
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Old May 1st, 2012, 06:11 AM
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http://uniquestories.info/nazca-lines-in-peru
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Old May 1st, 2012, 12:01 PM
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Consider the source

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...asca-animation
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Old May 1st, 2012, 12:40 PM
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and your point is?
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Old May 1st, 2012, 12:46 PM
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The same one I made 5 posts up, there is no "mystery" as to who or how the lines were created, at least amongst reputable archaeologists.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 12:49 PM
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and all I asked was that it's still a mystery WHY?
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Old May 1st, 2012, 01:11 PM
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Actually you stated it's a mystery "HOW". Which is different than WHY.
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