Peru - Puno & Lakes or Amazon

Old Jan 12th, 2017, 08:52 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Peru - Puno & Lakes or Amazon

My friend and I are planning a trip to Peru and need to cut something out of our itinerary to keep within a 15-16 day span. Do we cut Puno & Lake Titicaca & Ile Tquile or do we cut the Amazon? Or something else? We are active, independent traveling women in our late 60s who love nature, history, people, and adventure. Here's our tentative plan and questions:
Day 1-2 Lima -
fly or overnight bus to
Day 3 Arequipa
Day 4-5 Colca Canyon tour
??? Day 6-7 Puno & Lake Titicaca & Ile Tquile
Bus to Cusco (we've been advised to take day bus because of beauty of drive - should we?)
Day 8-9 Cusco
Day 10 Sacred Valley Tour
Day 11 travel by bus from Cusco to the town of Ollantaytambo
stay overnight Ollantaytambo
Day 12 Take train to Aquas Calientes - Machu Picchu in evening?
Day 13 Machu Picchu
Day 14 Train back to Cusco then fly to Amazon?
How many days needed in Amazon?

We want to have 2 days in Machu Picchu

Please advise on this itinerary and how to decide between Lakes and Amazon. Thanks so much for your help!
Brosis
brosis is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2017, 08:05 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Totally a personal choice between the two. I went to the Amazon on my first trip (see below) and had planned to do Lake Titicaca on my second trip, but changed the itinerary.

I've heard the tourist train that goes between Cusco and Puno also is very scenic. So if I were going to do Puno-Cusco I'd certainly take either the bus or the train.

If you do decide to drop Puno--so that you won't have been acclimated to altitude--I'd go straight to Ollantaytambo when you get to the Cusco area as it is lower than Cusco--as is Machu Picchu. Then do all the Cusco itinerary, including the Sacred Valley, when you get back from MP.

Be sure to get your MP tickets on-line as soon as you work your itinerary out. That is one of the few places in South America where it makes sense (in fact required) to buy in advance. Then book your train tickets and room in Aguas Calientes on line.

Also, if you do decide to drop Puno, I'd also drop Colca Canyon. I was pretty disappointed in it, and wish I had had more time in Arequipa itself. The trip to the Canyon is very long and over very dusty roads. And you have to arrive just at the right time to see condors--our vehicle broke down so we arrived too late to see any other than those that the ladies in the area keep on hand (literally) to show late arrivals.

I went to the Amazon via Iquitos and stayed at Explorama--check it and other various similar companies for travel to the Amazon. They offer various lengths of stay and various locations--I stayed I think three nites in the rain forest plus a nite in Iquitos before departure. That is sufficient, IMO. I believe you'd have to fly through Lima to get to Iquitos.

You can also visit "the Amazon" at Manu on the Madre de Dios River which is the source of the Amazon, but a far cry from the River in all its glory as you see it at Iquitos.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2017, 08:41 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for this great advice! Didn't think of Puno helping to acclimatize and had heard Colca Canyon was a must. I was thinking of doing Amazon via Tambopata - heard that was closer for limited time. ... more things to consider now!
brosis is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2017, 11:03 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's a link to the trains around Cusco. http://www.seat61.com/Peru.htm
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2017, 11:04 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,938
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That is a very difficult choice! We visited Titicaca for ten second time this year. I was shocked at how the Uros islands had morphed into a theme park in the intervening 10 years. Tacquile is probably much the same but it is a long way to go just for that. Puno town is quite pleasant nowadays but the main reason for going for me was te stunning scenery en route from Colca to Puno and from Puno to Cusco. Is it worth it just for the stunning bus rides? maybe.

The bus follows virtually the same route as the train between Cusco and Puno but doesn't stop and costs ten times as much so I would give it a miss. Inka express and or 4M is definitely worth it if going that way.

I love Arequipa and could happily live there. Colca Canyon was IMO, amazing. Scenery, condors etc..But the altitude is high and many people will be affect by that. W ha spent many months at altitude and were fine. Our friends who had only recently arrived were also fine but they did take Diamox to help them deal with the altitude. Some photos and detail of our time in Arequipa and Colca this year @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/peru/

You could get your Amazon fix from either Cusco, Lima or possibly Arequipa, either way, do it at the beginning or end of your trip so as not mess with your acclimatisation.

Personally, I don't think you need two days at MP. Three days min for the amazon basin.
crellston is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2017, 12:48 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks crellston! What you say about Arequipa and Colca Canyon is why I included them as must see stops... but do you think we're better off doing the itinerary in the opposite direction? On another forum I was warned that in my proposed itinerary altitude adjustment would be more difficult.
My friend really wants 2 days at MP - so we have to do that - probably getting their in the late afternoon for first visit and then in the morning for 2nd visit then back to Cusco.
brosis is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2017, 01:27 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,734
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cusco and the rim of the Colca Canyon (Chivay) are at similar altitudes, but when you take the bus from Arequipa to Chivay you go over a very high pass which tends to make about half the people on the bus sick to some degree (often younger people have it worse!). So it's actually rougher for many people than starting in Cusco. But you won't be at that altitude for very long, at least. If you don't feel good you just stay on the bus while they do the stop.

As far as altitude issues I think it's slightly easier to adjust by flying into Cusco, and going SV=MP=Cusco=Puno=Colca=Arequipa.

But you may find it easier to organize the excursion to Chivay from Arequipa since it's something that many agencies in AQP specialize in.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2017, 11:56 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,938
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mlgb has said it all really. Essentially, you could do it either way. Go for which ever seems more convenient. How the altitude affects you is largely down to luck. Sex and fitness seem to have little influence and older people do seem to adapt better than younger. The big factor is where you sleep, which is when most people feel it the most. My first time in Peru, we flew into Cusco and stayed there. I felt terrible for the first couple of nights, my wife was unaffected. Life just isn't fair

Re "fly or overnight bus to Arequipa" we have done both. Flying involves a return to the airport and another $20 transfer. It can take a long time in rush hours (I.e. Pretty much all the time!) . The bus station is in town and quicker to get to but it does take 15 hours - any experience everyone should try once! Go VIP class with cruz del sur and you will get very comfortable seat (apart from the very flatulent priest sitting behind me - one of the other rarely discussed effects of altitude!!) and a food service. We left at 05.30 and arrived around 07.30 after a reasonable nights sleep. All things considered, probably little difference in cost although we did save on one nights accomodation.
crellston is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2017, 01:32 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, all. We have opted for the Amazon instead of the lake and Puno. We also will be heading straight to Arequipa from the airport and have put Lima at the end. I will begin a new thread for input on our final itinerary.
brosis is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Rosalie
South America
5
Mar 13th, 2017 12:01 AM
klorenc
South America
5
Jan 6th, 2017 05:09 PM
jrh23
South America
3
Mar 14th, 2014 11:18 AM
newtravelerjb
South America
3
Mar 2nd, 2014 08:51 AM
lustfulwanderer
South America
27
Nov 24th, 2010 04:09 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:52 PM.