Notices

Peru Itinerary Suggestions

Old Nov 8th, 2010, 04:29 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peru Itinerary Suggestions

We are planning to hike the Inca Trail in mid June. We figure we have about 2 weeks in Peru total. We will be flying into Lima and will need to spend some time in Cusco and other high altitude places to adjust prior to our trip. We are interested in Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, Sacred Valley, salt mines but are unsure as to the best way to arrange our time in Peru. Suggestions? We are on a modest budget.
lustfulwanderer is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2010, 08:12 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,938
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With just two weeks you are probably best going straight to Cusco form Lima rather than spending ay time in the capita which I personally found a tad uninspiring. On arrival in Cusco I would suggest going straight to Ollantaytambo partly because it is a really beautiful town with loads to see and a great place to base yourself for seeing the rest of the SV - Cinchero, Moras, Pisac etc are all easily reachable from Olly. The other main reason for staying there is that being at a lowr altitude than Cusco it will give your body time to acclimatise before going on your trek. Cusco is worth a couple of days at least with loads to see and some great restaurants around town.

We got the Inka Express bus from Cusco to Puno (8hours) for Lake Titicaca which stop at several places on the way to view a few of sights. Puno itself is a nice town especially if you are lucky enough to arrive when there is a fiesta going on. The main reason for being there is obviously Lake Titicaca and a day on the lake is enough for most although some choose to stay overnight on one of the islands.

From Puno we got the overnight bus to Arequipa (the jumping off point for trips to Colca). We didn't make it to the canyon as we were heading down into Chile but I belive it is best done as a 2 day trip with an overnight stop near the canyon. Arequipa itself was one of our favourite places in the country. Santa Catalina convent is most definitely worth a few hours.

There are a few photos etc of these places on our blog:
http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html
Entries #56 onwards

We too were travelling on a budget and tended to use www.hostelworld.com and www.hostelbookers.com to book accommodation. www.saexplorers.org has a clubhouse in Cusco and Lima and is a great source of info. If you join (it was $40)then members also get genuine discounts on accomodation, restaurants and tours
crellston is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2010, 05:46 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
yes, we are not spending any time in Lima. We are wondering if we should start first in Arequipa and then onto the Canyon for a couple of days - to Lake Titicaca or start in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. I'm wondering if we should wait on doing Colca Canyon until after the trek or before although we really want to be aclimatized prior to the trek.

Great blog by the way.
lustfulwanderer is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2010, 02:14 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maybe my itinerary will help with some ideas; this was my trip over 16 days in March:

Tuesday 23-Mar-10 arrive Lima
Wednesday 24-Mar-10 Lima
Thursday 25-Mar-10 Lima-Nazca by bus
Flew over the lines.
Friday 26-Mar-10 Nazca-Arequipa by bus
Saturday 27-Mar-10 Arequipa
Sunday 28-Mar-10 Arequipa-Colca using tour
Monday 29-Mar-10 Colca-Puno by M4 bus
Tuesday 30-Mar-10 Puno, L Titicaca reed islands
Wednesday 31-Mar-10 Puno-Cusco Andean Explorer train
Thursday 1-Apr-10 Easter in Cusco
Friday 2-Apr-10 Cusco
Saturday 3-Apr-10 Cusco
Sunday 4-Apr-10 Cusco
Monday 5-Apr-10 Aguas Calientes
Tuesday 6-Apr-10 Macchu Picchu
Wednesday 7-Apr-10 Cusco
Thursday 8-Apr-10 to Ecuador

If I was planning that again, the only way I would shorten the time would be to spend as little time as I could in Lima; if I needed to cut out more days, then possibly one or two in Cusco.

One of the big advantages of using the bus via Nazca was the slower journey into the mountains via Arequipa by bus. That gave more hours to slowly get used to altitude. On the other hand, you go considerably higher en-route to Chivay (Colca) than you do on other routes, so I chewed lots of coca leaves

Hope that helps. Trip reports start here and continue on subsequent pages: http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2010/03/lima-peru.html

Cheers, Alan
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2010, 02:16 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS As you are doing the Inka trail, you'll neeed to allocate a couple more days to that and a few less to Cusco or other places. But I it's hard to cut anything - I am so glad I saw Colca Canyon and the Nazca lines.
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2010, 02:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
adventures.worldnomads.com/destination/168/itinerary/23.aspx

to adjust to altitude and see it all follow the Gringo Trail

www.casa-andina.ocm best hotels DIY or

www.ancientsummit.com

www.peruforless.com

2 excellent providers of repute based on budget.

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2010, 04:34 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have looked at the Gringo Trail information and am thinking about something like this

Lima (1n airport)
Arequipa (2n)
Canyon del Colca (2d 1n)
Puno/Lake Titicaca (1n)
Inca Express to Cusco (1n)
Ollyantambo (1n)
Cusco or Chinceros (1n)
Cusco (1n)
Inca Trail (3n)
Cusco (1n)
Fly home

I am wondering if I have left enough time prior the canyon and the trek for altitude issues. Should I reconsider the arrangement. Am I missing something I will kick myself for not seeing?
lustfulwanderer is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2010, 12:29 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are you limited to 13 nights?

A few thoughts. In such a limited time scale, I would tweak it slightly by changing Arequipa to one night and adding an extra night in Cusco or Puno or possibly including Nazca (by bus http://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe/inicio_2.php) en-route to Arequipa. One advantage is the slower rise to altitude which can help with altitude sickness when you get to 16000 feet on the way to Colca.

The bus Lima-Nazca is about five hours. Nazca-Arequipa is about nine hours but it is overnight. I stayed the night before in Nazca, but if you arrive early enough to see the lines in the afternoon you could go straight on to Arequipa that night. Pay a little extra for the VIP seats downstairs and you can sleep comfortably through the trip and save the cost of accommodation. The Nazca lines flight is $75.

I arranged the Colca tour simply by walking around the tour operators on arrival in Arequipa to get the best price and itinerary. The tour included the bus and guide, hotel in Chivay or Yanque and connection with the 4M mini-bus (six hours; $40) to Puno the following day.

I had very mixed quality of accommodation in Peru. Possibly the best value for money was in Arequipa at Los Tambos: http://www.lostambos.com.pe/. My review: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...ECK_RATES_CONT

If you can afford it, consider the Andean Express train ($220)instead of the Inka Express bus (about $40). For me it was well worth the extra; relaxed, scenic and entertaining.

I think you need two nights in Puno. You will arrive too late, whether that is from Arequipa or Chivay, to do much on the first night and the journey to Cusco is a full day leaving early in the morning whether you go by bus or train. If you intend staying only one night I would suggest flying out from Juliaca, but LAN only have a morning flight to Cusco at the moment.

Hope that helps.
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2010, 12:32 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are you limited to 13 nights?

A few thoughts. In such a limited time scale, I would tweak it slightly by changing Arequipa to one night and adding an extra night in Cusco or Puno or possibly including Nazca (by bus http://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe/inicio_2.php) en-route to Arequipa. One advantage is the slower rise to altitude which can help with altitude sickness when you get to 16000 feet on the way to Colca.

The bus Lima-Nazca is about five hours. Nazca-Arequipa is about nine hours but it is overnight. I stayed the night before in Nazca, but if you arrive early enough to see the lines in the afternoon you could go straight on to Arequipa that night. Pay a little extra for the VIP seats downstairs and you can sleep comfortably through the trip and save the cost of accommodation. The Nazca lines flight is $75.

I arranged the Colca tour simply by walking around the tour operators on arrival in Arequipa to get the best price and itinerary. The tour included the bus and guide, hotel in Chivay or Yanque and connection with the 4M mini-bus (six hours; $40) to Puno the following day.

I had very mixed quality of accommodation in Peru. Possibly the best value for money was in Arequipa at Los Tambos: http://www.lostambos.com.pe/. My review: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...ECK_RATES_CONT

If you can afford it, consider the Andean Express train ($220)instead of the Inka Express bus (about $40). For me it was well worth the extra; relaxed, scenic and entertaining.

I think you need two nights in Puno. You will arrive too late, whether that is from Arequipa or Chivay, to do much on the first night and the journey to Cusco is a full day leaving early in the morning whether you go by bus or train. If you intend staying only one night I would suggest flying out from Juliaca, but LAN only have a morning flight to Cusco at the moment.

Hope that helps.
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2010, 12:34 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS Sorry agbout the stereo - but I don't know how to delete the duplicate. Maybe the modertators could fix that.
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2010, 08:09 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey Alan: I have read some of your comments and I think I will try and copy your schedule - we (my wife and I) are planning a 2 week trip to Peru and I had Nazca and MP as a must do - should I try and copy your schedule exactly or would you help me shorten it a day or two? We live in Colorado, USA (6000+ feet) so altitude should not be as big an issue for us, (I do see that we may be heading into 16000+ feet - so maybe it will still affect us); also, we are in our 50s. I am thinking of going to Lima on or about May 3 or 4 and do a 2 week plus or minus a couple days - what exactly would you suggest? Thanks:
motu is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2010, 11:38 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The extra days in my own schedule were mainly in Cusco. A day or two could easily be cut there; I mainly wanted to be there for the Easter celebrations at that time. As I mentioned to lustfulwanderer I think you need two nights in Puno. You also need to spend the night in the Colca Valley; it would be a horribly long day if you tried to go Arequipa-Colca-Puno all in one day, even if that was possible.

The other place a day can be picked up would be by taking an early bus from Lima to Nazca, seeing the lines in the afternoon (the 7 am bus is scheduled to arrive about 2pm), then continuing to Arequipa on the night bus departing at 10 pm. The Cruz del Sur VIP downstairs compartment is like a luxurious aircraft and I did not find it difficult to sleep. The seats are large; they don't lie flat, but they recline far enough for a comfortable sleep. The only problem was the TV, be sure to take earplugs for that. The attendant wanted it on non-stop for some reason.

On the flight over the lines some of the images were difficult to see clearly in the afternoon light, but came our on the camera very clearly when I adjusted the contrast; keep snapping away even if you're not sure of the shot.
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2010, 10:37 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 44
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My itinerary was very similar to what you have in mind. I think 2 weeks is sufficient time to cover all the places you've listed. If I had to do it all over again, I would gladly skip Nazca. I did not suffer from altitude sickness at all. Colca canyon and Puno/Titicaca are at a higher altitude than Cuzco, so it's a good idea to do these before the Inca Trail. I highly recommend Hotel Ninos (on calle Meloq) for budget stay in Cuzco.
Nina3500 is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2010, 10:16 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 29
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nazca Lines aren't on my itinerary. It doesn't have to be 13 days and I will add an additional day in Cusco and possibly somewhere else. I hadn't thought to spend two nights in Puno. Is it worthwhile?
lustfulwanderer is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2010, 12:32 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My comment on the need for two nights in Puno was based on the fact that you will arrive late from Colca Canyon and depart early to Cusco, so if you only stay one night you will see nothing of the town or L Titicaca. I spent half that day on a boat trip out to the reed islands (see http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2010...-titicaca.html ) which I found very interesting but also sad, and the rest of the day just relaxing and walking around the town. After the bumpy rides and altitude of Colca a bit of relaxation was very welcome
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2010, 08:12 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Alan:
So if I tweaked my itinerary like this - would it be alright?

Day 1 arrive Lima
Day 2 Lima
Day 3 Take early bus Lima-Nazca by bus; Fly over the
lines. Take late bus to Arequipa
Day 4 Arequipa
Day 5 Arequipa-Colca using tour
Day 6 Colca-Puno by M4 bus
Day 7 Puno, L Titicaca reed islands
Day 8 Puno-Cusco Andean Explorer train
Day 9 Cusco
Day 10 Aguas Calientes
Day 11 Macchu Picchu
Day 12 Cusco
Day 13 to Lima
Day 14 To Denver
Or can I cut another day in Cusco and/or need to add another day somewhere else. My idea is to take this itinerary after your inputs and then try and follow it as I start booking airlines/hotels etc.
So the next question is - Will it be alright to try and get the hotels as and when we get there - maybe just book the Lima hotel for now? We do not want to slog around looking for a hotel either but if they are easy to find (we are planning an early May trip) then we can take a chance. Thanks for all your comments and help.
Nina - which part of the year are you planning your trip?
motu is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2010, 01:23 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looks pretty good to me. If stress is a problem, you could cut out the Nazca lines and save a couple of days flying direct to Arequipa.

If you choose to do Nazca, I suggest you tee up the flight in advance and a cab to the airport from the Cruz del Sur terminal. You don't want to find the flights booked out when you get there. I stayed at the Walk On Inn. They also helped arrange the flight. Possibly they may do that, and also arrange transport, for a small fee if you contact them even if you don't stay the night: http://nazca.walkoninn.com/
Lovely people, lumpy beds Others may be able to provide other contacts. Be sure to book the VIP bus section if you go to Nazca, at least for the night trip - and take earplugs for that TV.

You might also save a day on the return trip depending on your flight timing to Denver. There are flights almost hourly from Cusco. The flight time Cusco-Lima is brief and you may not need to stay overnight in Lima. Check whether that is a foggy time of year in case that may cause flight delays from Cusco.

On hotels, my timing was unusual, as I travelled when most hotels were desperate for customers after the Machu Picchu mudslide disaster. So my experience may not be valid. I made several poor decisions on internet hotel bookings based on inflated good reviews on the web. In Puno and Cusco I simply walked around until I found better ones. Consequently I stayed at the Royal Inn in Puno for $40 per night (excellent 4*, despite mixed TA reviews http://www.royalinnhoteles.com/)and the Royal Inka I (good, but make sure you get an internal courtyard room, not one on the noisy street frontage http://www.royalinkahotel.com/) in Cusco very cheaply. But they are busier now, so that may not be the right way for you. I can recommend the Los Tambos (http://www.lostambos.com.pe/)in Arequipa without hesitation. Superb value for money.
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2010, 01:25 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS Those links may not work - delete the ) and anything after the bracket at the end of links.

Cheers, Alan
http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/
Trav_Eller is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2010, 12:13 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great. Thanks Alan. I will start the airlines booking process next week. $40 a night seems a great price for a hotel when the prices in Lima seem to be $150+ a night.
Did you go everywhere by bus or flew certain legs (I see that you are recommending flying from Cusco to Lima and then try to get on the Denver flight and we will try and do that once I get the Airlines info.) We are also retired (I am; and my wife doesn't work full-time in any case) - so time is not of the essence (though we do get tired of the sleeping and eating in hotels after a while). Also I definitely want to see the Nazca lines - I guess we should book the tickets while we are in Lima for that - I intend to get a local cell phone chip and use my cell phone (I have an unlocked cell phone that worked well in Colombia and should work in Peru too). Thanks a lot for all your advice. Really appreciate that.
motu is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2010, 02:17 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You asked "Did you go everywhere by bus or flew certain legs".

The Peru trip was a combination of buses, train and air.

I travelled on the Lima-Nazca and Nazca-Arequipa legs using the Cruz del Sur buses, booked on the net. The mini-bus from Arequipa to Colca was part of the Colonial tour. The 4m bus to Puno was booked via them. I used the train for Puno-Cusco. Because the track was still being repaired (it only opened that week) I used bus from Cusco to Piscacucho and the two-car Vistadome from there to Aguas Calientes, aka Machu Picchu Pueblo. And finally the local bus from there to the MP site and back.

During my trip around South America I used a combination of the One-World Continent Airpass (LAN), and GOL. I did a few air-miles in total:

OOL (my local) - SYD - EZE - LIM - (road/rail in Peru) - CUS - LIM - UIO - GYE - GPS - (boat) - SCY - GYE - UIO - LIM - GRU - GIG - IGU - bus - IGR - AEP - (BA local transport) - EZE - SYD - OOL
Trav_Eller is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information