Peru Itinerary - Suggestions Please!

Old Apr 19th, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Peru Itinerary - Suggestions Please!

My mom and I are traveling to Peru for 12 days. We've laid out the following itinerary but we're concerned it may be too much for the time that we have. Any suggestions? What, if anything, should we eliminate?

Day 1 - Fly to Lima
Day 2 - AM flight to Cuzco
Day 3 - Mach Picchu
Day 4 - PM flight to Puerto Maldonado
Day 5 - Jungle Trip
Day 6 - Jungle Trip
Day 7 - Flight back to Cuzco
Day 8 - Inka Express Bus Ride to Puno (8 hr trip)
Day 9 - Puno
Day 10 - PM flight to Arequipa
Day 11 - Arequipa
Day 12 - AM flight to Lima / Late night flight to U.S.
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Old Apr 19th, 2011, 11:04 PM
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You are right, it is way too much in 10 days. Almost impossible IMHO. Don't forget that many of these places are at high altitude which will affect almost everyone, the question is how much. With the exception of Puerto Maldonado we have spent quite a lot of time in all of these places and love them all,

if it were me (and its not!) I would lose the trip to the jungle and spend more time in the Sacred Valley, may be going to Ollantaytambo for a couple of days to get acclimatised at lower altitude and to visit the sights such as Pisac, Chinchero, Maras etc. (which can be done in a long day) plus of course MP which requires an overnight stop in Aquas Calientes. You could then head directly to Cusco which is worth at least a couple of days.

The Inka Express bus ride is great taking you through the spectacular scenery of the altiplano with lots of intersting stops along the way. You will arrive late afternoon whcih gives you time to wander around the city to find somewhere to eat (lots of good choices) and the next day a boat trip on Titicaca which is certainly something you will always remember. Check the flight timings to Arequipa. if not convenient consider the overnight bus which we found to be very comfortable (even luxurious!) and got us into Arequipa in the early morning. Santa cataline convent is worth half a day on its own.

Here is a link to some of our photos of these places. Entries 56 to 64 cover Peru.

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html
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Old Apr 20th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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That's a lot of moving around. with even one delayed flight or bus, you could be forced to miss a whole region!

Right now, You've got Machu Picchu & Cusco, Puno/Lake Titicaca, the river/rainforest, and Arequipa.

I have not been yet, but have been planning for my trip to Peru in May. Maybe there is something about the city Arequipa that I'm missing, but with so little time, I'd be tempted to cut the city to allow yourself extra time everywhere else.
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 06:14 AM
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adventures.worldnomads.com/destination/168/itinerary/23.aspx

To see more and adjust to altitude better cruzdelsur.com.pe

up the Gringo Trail to MP fly back from Cusco to Lima

casa-andina.com Private Collection best hotels for me.

Skip PM consider Manu inkanatura.com for jungle if time.

Happy Planning,
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 09:31 AM
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Drop one of your destinations add a few days in the Saced Valley before Cusco. It makes little sense to me to add Arequipa and not see Cusco, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Moray, the Salineras, and perhaps some of the ruins closer to Cusco. On Day 11 fly back to Lima and spend the night before there. Lima is easily worth a day of sightseeing.
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 03:02 PM
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Hi there,

I would have to agree with the others and say this is a bit too much in such a short time.
All destinations you have picked are great of course but you definitely need to drop one if you want to be able to enjoy your trip and to leave yourself some margin of erros (flight delays are common here).
In my opinion, you should probably drop Puno/Lake Titicaca. Although it's an amazing place, it's a bit difficult to reach and I would prefer Arequipa & Colca Canyon. You can fly directly from Cusco to Arequipa. And this way, you'll have time to visit the Colca Canyon, which is just amazing (about 4 hours from Arequipa).
Hope this helps.

Happy Travels!

Hortense
Peru For Less
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 05:46 AM
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Hi we are still in Peru. Here is my biggest tip - book everything early or find a really good travel agent. Do not use ORBITZ.com. Stay in Aguas Calientes at Inkaterra. Sanctuary is right outside the ruins. Do the 2 day walk if you can. You can walk from machu picchu into the jungle. Sounds like a huge amount of fun. I used PM excplorers guide. Stay at Aranwa Boutique hotel in Cusco. I am going to do a trip report next time I sit down for more than 5 minutes. enjoy...
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 09:34 AM
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hup234--you say to book early, how early? I'm going in September and haven't made arrangements yet. You have me nervous
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 10:27 AM
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September is plenty of time to book, Jackie. I am on my last day here in Lima. It is important to book your train to Agua Caliente; I booked mine about a month before my trip. Once those are sold out, you're out of luck. Research your tour operator well. Be careful using the ones at the airport in Cusco; I got scammed by one called Inkapal. It was a stressful experience amidst an otherwise fantastic trip.

I agree with what all the others have said, mhsberg. I would only add that there is really no place to sleep at the airport if you are doing the 11 pm arrival and 5 am departure. It was a bit excessive for me to go through that and then I did the sacred valley tour the next day climbing the ruins at Pisac and Ollantaytambo. I personally would overnight in Lima at the airport next time and take a mid to late morning flight and head straight to Ollantaytambo from Cusco. Packing too much in is not conducive to as enjoyable a vacation for me.

I loved Lake Titicaca and would recommend the two day tour. I did not like Puno and the lake just looks like any other lake from Puno. You have to get out there and see the islands to really appreciate it. I would just fly there and back and not invest so much time on that journey. If you decide to do the overnight bus from Puno to cusco, the Inka suites bus is the only way to go. I was put on a standard bus and it was truly awful....bumpy, crowded, no sleep all night.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 02:30 PM
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Thanks ncountry. I knew you were on your way to Peru and have been waiting for a trip report. We've nailed down Cuzco and Ollantaytambo, but not the third segment. Need to do more research; read more trip reports. What made you decide on Titicaca over the jungle?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2011, 09:28 PM
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time and cost. I had only 3 total days and it would have been more difficult to squeeze in the jungle in that time. I think it would have involved a flight to Puerto Maldonado. Overall, it just fell easily to Lake Titicaca. btw, fodors book this year describes Amantina island as dusty and brown; it was quite gorgeous. I did a homestay in a Peruvian house (I think this is standard on the 2 day overnight tour). It is VERY rustic but quite worth it, for me. I will work on my trip report when I get back. I am at the airport lounge in Lima right now, boarding in half an hour.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:32 AM
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Just back from 13 days in Peru. Did see Arequipa, but really the convent and the youthful mummy Juniata are about the only things of note there. Better to spend time in Cusco and Sacred Valley. If you have $200 in the budget for the Orient express train from Puno/Titicaca to Cusco, it is a great trip (lunch and tea included with on-board music and a free drink). As others have said, don't try to do too much, due to the altitude. We had to call the Dr. who ordered up 2-3 5-minute Oxy. sniffs from the hotel supply (free), a few pills, and steady water intake. Recovery was quick.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2011, 06:47 AM
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The Peru guidebook I looked at had Arequipa as one of the top 10 places to see and the first itinerary I got back from a travel agent included it. Glad to hear your account pkarp; it falls lower down the list for me. Thanks for your feedback ncountry. I think I'd like to do that 2 days, but others in my party aren't interested so I'd be on my own. Need to think about that.

Looking forward to trip reports from both of you.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2011, 09:00 AM
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Advisable to get the pills before you go; Diamox, and start taking it before arrival to Cusco. Even with taking the pills, I was a little short of breath with exertion.

I would do the Lake Titicaca 2 day overnight trip only if you are really good at roughing it, Jackie. There was no running water in the morning; I used my bottled water to brush my teeth. It is very basic, but beautiful.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 04:19 PM
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I have been to all of the places you are talking about and my favorite of all of them was the jungle. I'm not sure which part you are planning to travel to but I flew from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado ...a 30 minute flight and went to Refugio Amazonas (www.perunature.com). It was the most amazing place I have ever been.

Puno and Lake Titticaca were cool because I had enough time to hike on one of the islands and do a home stay with a family....but with this itinerary, it doesn't allow for more than a quick tour of the place. The town of Puno itself was not all that impressive to me...you time is much better spent in other places. Arequipa and the Colca Canyon are also beautiful....but again, I'm not all that sure that you will have enough time to really enjoy it. I vote that with your time frame, you spend it enjoying Cusco and the Sacred valley, and the jungle.

Good Luck and safe travels!
Danielle
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