Peru Itinerary

Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 06:12 AM
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Peru Itinerary

Hello,
I've done a lot of reading, both in my guide book and various online sources, in preparation for our honeymoon trip to Peru this July/August 2018. We are planning to go for about 3 weeks. We've been working on our itinerary for awhile as we want to book our Inca trail tour asap but are a bit concerned as I haven't come across any itinerary similar to ours. I would love any advice or feedback on our draft itinerary. Our reasoning for this order is that we want to complete the Inca trail early on our trip so hopefully we are not sick or injured for it, and we want to try to stay at higher altitudes so we don't need to re-acclimatize. Here's our draft itinerary:
- Fly into Cusco (arrive 6am) and go straight to Olly and rest for whole day
- Explore SV, overnight in Olly again
- Head to Cusco for Inca trail debrief and city tour. Overnight in Cusco
- Free day in Cusco (or maybe explore the southern valley). Overnight in Cusco.
- Inca trail (4 days/3 nights)
- Rest day in Cusco
- Travel to Puno
- Homestay on Taquile Island (2 nights)
- Travel to Cabanaconde
- Colca Canyon hike (either 2 days/1 night or 3 days/2 nights)
- Arequipa for 1 night/2 days
- Overnight bus to Cusco and fly to Puerto Maldonado. Overnight in Puerto Maldonado.
- 4 days/3 nights at Tambopata Research Centre in Amazon
- Fly to Lima
- 1.5 days in Lime with 2am flight back to Canada
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Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 07:12 AM
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I might try to fly back AQP to Lima and then do a Roundtrip LIM-PM flight instead. There are a number of AM flights out of AQP..Avianca if LATAM is charging too much for the one way flight.

LATAM is good in the air although they often suck on the ground..as does Avianca. Accordingly, you may want to use a travel agent to book your flights to help when (not if) they get rescheduled/cancelled.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 09:17 AM
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Thank you so much for that suggestion! We hadn't considered flying to Lima as it seemed a strange route to take to head back towards the south, but a quick Google search looks like flying will be a less stressful and time consuming option and the prices don't look too bad.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2018, 10:13 AM
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Be sure to look at award flight options for the domestic flights, either as a partner award or set up an Avianca or LATAM account. You can find credit cards for either of the last two.

I know LATAM only gives roundtrip awards but often you can book thru a partner such as United as a oneway ticket.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2018, 02:40 PM
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Looks like a thorough tour of Southern Peru! The main reason why your not finding itineraries like yours is the return to Cusco from Arequipa to get to the jungle.

It's a lot of work to get around the Highlands -- especially if you're not only doing flight between destinations (there are direct flights by LATAM & Peruvian between Arequipa and Cusco). Also the immediate visit to the SV versus staying in Cusco and then coming back to Cusco is a bit unusual, but done by some looking to adjust a bit more gradually to elevation.

Depending on what you like doing in any free time, take a cooking class in the PM with Cusco Culinary (http://www.cuscoculinary.com/). It's a good intro to Andean food whereas many others offer something similar to what you find in Lima. Also, if you like architecture there's a baroque architecture tour of some really impressive churches between Cusco and Puno.

Have fun and enjoy the experience!
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Old Jan 4th, 2018, 12:49 AM
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I can’t comment on PM as I haven’t been there but would be guided by mlgb.
Other thoughts though:

As you are doing the Inca Trail I think I would just stay in Cusco on arrival for acclimatisation rest aand exploration. Do the Inca Trail and then a day in Ollantaytambo with a tour of the SV on the way back to Cusco.

Get the Inka Express or similar tour bus and visit the sites along the route to Puno. It only takes a few hour extra and te sights are very worthwhile.

Unless you have found a really special Homestay on Taquile, I would say two night is too long.

Definitely go for the two nights in the Colca Canyon.
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Old Jan 4th, 2018, 09:26 AM
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Thanks so much everyone for the feedback - I really appreciate it! I figured our itinerary was a bit unusual due to the flying back for the jungle bit but we got pretty stuck on the idea of starting our trip with the trek and basically ending relaxing in the jungle.

I think we need to work a bit on figuring out the whole Cusco SV part of our trip as I want to make sure we have enough time to fully enjoy the SV. I was worried about starting directly in Cusco due to the high elevation and had read that spending a couple nights in the SV before Cusco can make acclimatization easier.

Thanks for the tip about Taquile - I haven't done as much research into that part of the trip yet and wasn't sure how much time to dedicate to Puno/Lake Titicaca/Taquile. We might take a day away from there then and add another day to Arequipa/Colca or to the Amazon. I had read that the bus to Puno was worthwhile - thanks for confirming
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Old Jan 4th, 2018, 09:52 AM
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We stayed in Cusco for four days after arrival and before the IT. No issues with altitude but who knows how you will react. I think you will find the first two days of the hike are tough. The last two are pretty relaxing.
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