Peru itinerary tips??

Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:20 PM
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Peru itinerary tips??

With just over a month to go before we journey to South America for 10 days, my gf and I are excited and a bit scared that we did not prepare enough, but what is a journey without experiencing the unexpected, right?

Here is a rough guide of our itinerary.

Day 1, flight from states to Caracas, stay overnight.

Day 2, AM flight to Lima with AA, arrive in afternoon, explore Miraflores, 2 nights in Hostal El Patio, Miraflores.

Day 3, city tour of Lima.

Day 4, AM flight to Cusco with StarPeru, Sacred Valley Tour with Llamapath, dropoff in Ollantaytambo, 1 night in El Albergue.

Day 5, explore Ollantaytambo, afternoon train to Aguas Calientes, evening cooking class at Rupa Wasi, 1 night in Rupa Wasi

Day 6, Machu Picchu, 1 night in Gringo Bills

Day 7, Machu Picchu, PM train to Ollantaytambo, 1 night in El Albergue.

Day 8, Taxi to Cusco, visit textile shop, Cusco City Tour, with Llamapath, 2 nights in Ninos Hotel.

Day 9, Horseback riding with Ninos Hotel, explore city.

Day 10, AM flight to Lima with StarPeru, afternoon flight to Caracas with AA, stay overnight

Day 11, AM flight back to the states

Quite a bit of traveling but there is so much we want to see. In comparison, my family is taking a trip to Rio, Buenos Aires & Santiago de Chile during the same time period but we opted out and decided to visit just one country-Peru!

We have a budget of $1000per person which seemed to have worked out not withstanding incidentals like food and souvenirs.

Now that we are closer to traveling we'd like to find out what prices are like and if they accept dollars, soles, or both. We both have ISIC cards.

1. How much is entrance ticket to Machu Picchu, do they still have 1/2 off prices if you visit the second day, does this apply to ISIC card prices?

2. How much is a RT bus ticket to Machu Picchu?

3. How much is the Boleto Turistico? 70 Soles for students?

4.. How much is Domestic Departure Tax?

5. How much is International Departure Tax?

6. On Day 8, we plan to take a taxi back to Cusco from Ollantaytambo, are there any textile places to see and maybe purchase pima cotton or alpaca wool. How is the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco (CTTC)? Can you just drop in and see them make garments or is it an all day thing? One of us is a fashion student.

7. Where is a good place to change money, we will be joining a Sacred Valley tour straight from the airport on Day 4 and would like to have Soles on hand for Pisac market. Is there a better exchange rate in Lima?

8. Has anyone taken Llamapath tours before, are they experienced, safe, and reliable? It is 60 Soles per person, they will take us to Pisaq, Urumbaba, and Ollantaytambo, but we will miss Chinchero.

9. Is the Rupa Wasi cooking class worth $25 per person?

10. Will we need heavy rain jackets(North Face type) while in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu?

11. Is it sunny; will we need sunglasses during our trip or leave them at home?

These are all the questions we could think of but I'm sure there will be more.

We are both in our mid-twenties, speak practically no Spanish, like exploring and sightseeing, shopping for bargains, and enjoy nightlife but not the drinking. We have already packed Acetazolamide(Diamox) and will bring tons of bug spray. Oh, and one last thing, we will be traveling during Christmas and New Year, will this affect our plans?

We're very excited to go on this trip. Thanks!
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:51 PM
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Sounds like a fun trip! Check out http://andeantravelweb.com/peru/index.html a very useful resource which will conatina lot of the info you need. Also, http://www.saexplorers.org/club/home you have to join to get the good stuff but some v. useful tips are available without being a member.

During our months in Peru our daily spend for two of us averaged about $80 in accomodation so your budget should be fine.

In answer to a few of your specific questions:
7. In my experienc the best place to get cash was from an ATM (depending on the T&Cs of your own bank).ATMs are fairly widely available (make sure one of you keeps watch whilst the other uses the machine.
8. Rtaher than take a tour we hired a taxi to take us around for a day so can't comment on Llamapath except to say that its a shame you are not going to Chinchero - a really nice place.
9. Is the Rupa Wasi cooking class worth $25 per person? - I doubt any cooking course is worth this amount! We paid $5 at teh SA Explorers club house in Cusco (and got a great lunch!)
10. You need a good rain jacket (and a fleece) it does get quite cold at night at that altitude. For part of teh time in Cusco we stayed in budget hostals with "limited" heating and were glad we had brought our thermal underwear.
11. Definitely take the sunglasses (and sunscreen).

Here are a few photos of our trip:

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html

Enries start at #56

I do suggest you learn at least a few words of Spanish as this will enhance your experience a lot.
Fodors have a pretty good resource you could use at

http://www.fodors.com/language/spanish/

There is a link to a pdf. of teh basic you could download and print.

Have a fantastic time - it is an amzing country!
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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I answered you on the Tripadvisor posting.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Crellston- wow! What a wonderful photoblog you’ve created, it looked like a journey of a lifetime, hopefully not the last.
We will check with our banks to see who offers the best rate(least amount of fees) and if they have partnerships with bank ATM’s in Peru.
We may do exactly as you had and forgo the tour company altogether and take a taxi tour, that way we can see the Sacred Valley at our own pace. I keep reading of this guide named “Percy”, do you have his contact info and know how much he charges to take us from Cusco Airport to Ollantaytambo with stops in Cusco, Pisaq, and other textile locations along the way.
We head good things about the Rupa Wasi cooking class, plus their website makes their food look delicious.
We will definitely bring a North Face jacket with us, especially for the morning rush for the bus to Machu Picchu. Backpacks are still not allowed I assume? How about a small ‘waterpack’.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 09:53 PM
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Just read other posts on Sacred Valley guides and I emailed both Percy and David C. on suggested itineraries. We'll see how it pans out compared to the Llamapath tours.
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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dominicinco - I certainly hope its not the last trip. Every time I read of other planned trips hear I get itchy feet!
Techically backpacks are not allowed but plenty of people ignored this when we were there and the officials didn't seem bothered. A small pack would not be a problem.
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Old Dec 1st, 2009, 10:25 AM
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I have an answer to a few of your questions.

2. How much is a RT bus ticket to Machu Picchu - $14.00 I think the MP ticket was $31.00 (I'll look at my ticket stub tonight and make sure)

4. How much is Domestic Departure Tax? Depends on the airport. In Lima it was $4.81 USD in Cusco it was $3.65.

5. How much is International Departure Tax? Depending on the airline you are flying it may be included in your ticket. American and Delta do this. Otherwise it was $31.00.

7. Where is a good place to change money, we will be joining a Sacred Valley tour straight from the airport on Day 4 and would like to have Soles on hand for Pisac market. Is there a better exchange rate in Lima? - Your best exchange rate is from the ATMs. Scotiabank didn't charge me an access fee and their limit is 500 Soles a day. There are numerous ATMs in the Miraflores District. Most notiably at the Lancomar Mall but that is also a heavy banking district.

8. Has anyone taken Llamapath tours before, are they experienced, safe, and reliable? It is 60 Soles per person, they will take us to Pisaq, Urumbaba, and Ollantaytambo, but we will miss Chinchero. - Chinchero is pretty, but could have missed it and not felt like my experience would have been less (plus it is over 12,000 ft)

10. Will we need heavy rain jackets(North Face type) while in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu? - No you won't need the heavy jackets. You will be there during their summer and very near the equator so the temperatures should be fairly nice. The hotels you've listed aren't limited in services soat the very least there will be an alpaca blanket if you get cold at night. Also remember you'll be hiking around so you'll work up a good deal of personal warmth that way.

11. Is it sunny; will we need sunglasses during our trip or leave them at home? Yes. Bring them. You'll be at altitude and it is amazing how bright that sun will be while you are in the Andes.

Just a side thought - Why are you staying at two different places in AC? You'll have to check in and check out and store your luggage while you are at MP. Just pick one and stay there.

Your city tours whether through Lampath or some one else should include your toursit bollito as you will need it to get into the sites they take you to. (plus a few more not on the tour)

Word of experience - weather can and usually does impact flights out of Cusco. Is there any way to go to the SV on Day 3 and then come back to Lima on Day 10 and do the city tour then? It is only airport I've been anywhere in the world where they post signs telling you to expect weather delays.
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Old Dec 1st, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Diane, thanks for the info. We will change majority of our dollars at ATMs in and around Lima before we leave to Cusco and MP. We booked 2 well known tour guides for our time in the Sacred Valley and skipped on Llamapath tours, although much more expensive, we felt we will enjoy the Sacred Valley even more with the private tour guides, plus we have an interest in textiles and they will take us to towns that specialize in this.
Have you ever taken a trip and regretted not doing certain things because of expense, this is one of them and we did not want to miss out on seeing and hearing about the culture from a local's perspective.
If a North Face type jacket is not required, how come most of the pictures we looked at of people who get up very early for the bus to MP seem very cold and are bundled up? Will we need a jacket at all during our trip?
We booked two separate hotels because Rupa Wasi only had room for one night and our email communication got mixed up in between so I thought they had two nights and put the cash deposit in their account but found out later they only had one night. On Day 6, the other night, we are staying at Andina Luxury instead of Gringo Bills.

I was a bit shocked to see my budget go way overboard. Flights and departure taxes were mostly to blame, $1,049 to be exact. Everything else including hotels, train, & tours was approx 3/4 this.
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Old Dec 1st, 2009, 06:42 PM
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"If a North Face type jacket is not required, how come most of the pictures we looked at of people who get up very early for the bus to MP seem very cold and are bundled up? Will we need a jacket at all during our trip?"

It gets quite chilly at night, even in summer. You should bring something like a polartec jacket, as well as a waterproof layer.

Or if you have old waterproof warm jacket(s), it's a nice gesture to bring it and then donate it before you leave. I'm sure your guides could help with getting it to the right people.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Chilly is a matter of personal opinion. But I'm from Chicago. I had a fleece jacket for first thing in the morning and by 8 am it was around my waist. You really do warm up while walking around. Or maybe I should say walking up and down because there isn't much flat. And the flat there is, it at an altitude.

Maybe I should suggest layers as more practical.

Was 1049 for one person or 2? I paid 601 in May for my September flight. But the holidays probably have a much higher demand.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 05:06 AM
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I think layers is a great idea....everyone's experience and resistance to cold is different. Lima, in general, and Cuzco are are more humid than many areas of the the US, which makes the cold a bit ore intense.

I am flying in next week from DC and got a flight $400 to Lima and a Taca flight to Cuzco for $112 round trip. There were cheaper flights to Cuzco if you are willing to leave at 5:45am.
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Old Dec 4th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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Since you are going in summer, Lima will not be cold, even at night. The climate is a hot foggy (humid) desert, very strange indeed. However because you are at such high altitude in Cusco, over 11000 feet, it cools off very quickly at night, even in summer it can be just above freezing. But during the day, when the sun is out, it is intense and you will be hot! So yes layers, sunscreen, even sunglasses and a hat are a good idea. As well as something that you can get off pretty quickly once you start walking (as said above, uphill!)
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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Cool! Thanks for explaining the weather in Peru. I feel more confident in knowing what to expect. The one thing that I did not plan on bringing which is totally out of character for me since I live in SoCal is sunblock! You mentioned the sun is more intense at higher altitudes so I will make sure to pack that.
Flights and taxes added up to $1,049. This includes AA flight from LAX-MIA-CCS reward travel tax of $290, Continental flight CCS-MDE-PTY-LIM reward travel tax of $132, StarPeru flight LIM-CUS for $336, PeruRail tickets of $200. Also, Caracas airport departure tax of $420 for flying out of the airport twice, and Lima and Cusco departure taxes.
Kind of sad to see all these taxes add up leaving me less to spend on my trip.
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Old Dec 5th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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Wow that is a mess with all the taxes.

Last year (in January though) I flew direct to Lima from LAX and it was about $650-$700 inclusive of everything, on LAN.

BTw I recommend to wear light weight long sleeved pants and shirts and use insect repellent when around Machu Picchu, there are sandflies there and the bites can be horrific. I saw a few people with huge welts on their arms..don't go sleeveless. They aren't much of a problem in Cusco. I brought a sample size of a citronella type made by Burts Bees and it worked well enough.
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Old Dec 6th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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I forgot about the sandflies when I arrived at MP from the Inca Trail trek in short. I didn't feel like anything was biting me while I was there that morning, but I was horrified when I looked down at my legs and both were completely covered with red welts. It was quite disgusting. I still have the marks on my legs but they're lightish brown color now.
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