Peru transport questioins

Old Sep 18th, 2016, 01:30 PM
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Peru transport questioins

We are a family of four (two adults and two kids, aged 12 and 14) planning a trip to Peru next June. We will be flying into and out of Lima from the US and have three weeks to spend in Peru. In addition to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, we want to visit Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno/Lake Titicaca and Tambopata National Reserve. I am trying to work out the most logical means of transport to cover those places. With only three weeks, I don't envision us visiting anywhere else on this trip.

I know we will fly from Lima to Cusco and will probably head straight to the Sacred Valley to start our trip, returning to Cusco afterwards.

My thought was to fly from Cusco to Arequipa. From there plan on a tour (Carlito's Tours?) to Colca Canyon and then, if practical, having the tour continue (by bus) on to Puno/Lake Titicaca. After concluding our time there, would likely plan on flying from Juliaca to Cusco, then Cusco to Puerto Maldonado. I envision wanting two or three days devoted to visiting Cusco and my thought was that those two or three days might best occur between the flights from Juliaca and to Puerto Maldonado. Once we finish our time in Tambopata, we would likely fly back to Lima from Puerto Maldonato before heading home.

Does this seem like a rationale, mostly efficient approach? Any thoughts on how it could be more efficient (e.g. changing the order or a different mode of transport)?

While it would be untrue to say that money is no object, it is a secondary consideration. Time, comfort, and convenience trump cost for the most part.

Thanks.......
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 01:38 PM
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You can do a loop trip

Lima to Arequipa (fly)
Arequipa to Colca to Puno (tour/land) for 4 people I should think a private tour might do alright vs taking one of the tourist buses such as 4M. This way you don't need to backtrack to Arequipa, just continue to Puno via a very scenic route.

Puno to Cusco, (I would take the all day bus, but you can also take a train or fly)...Machu Picchu etc

Cusco to Amazon

Puerto Maldonado to Lima
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 01:53 PM
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Why would you take the bus from Puno to Cusco?
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Old Sep 18th, 2016, 04:44 PM
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The route is pretty, you can take Inka Express which is a tour/transfer with several stops. You avoid Juliaca which is a pit.

You do need a full day for either the train or bus.
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Old Sep 19th, 2016, 01:45 AM
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Totally agree with mlgb's suggestion. After a great deal of deliberation we did pretty much the same trip when some friends joined us in Peru and it worked fine.

After a couple of days in Lima we took the Cruz del Sur overnight bus to Arequipa (but flying would also work, depending on your international flight arrival - ideally fly straight on to Arequipa. We spent a couple of days there before heading to the Colca Canyon with Killawasi Lodge who also arranged the onward bus to Puno.

Our first time visiting Colca after several visits to Peru and it was the highlight of this trip. A couple of days in Arequipa will allow you to start acclimatising but be aware that some places in Colca do reach over 4000m and most people will be affected. We were already well acclimatised but our friends were not but took Diamox and coped very well ( consult your GP to ensure it is suitable for you)

A couple of nights in Puno with a trip on the lake are all that are needed.

We then got the Inka Express bus to Cusco (10 hours) lots of interesting stops along the way, arriving in Cusco around 17.30. Amazing scenery!

We then spent a couple of days in Cusco, then some time in the Sacred Valley in Ollantaytambo ( our friends got the train from their to Machu Picchu) before returning to Cusco for couple more days and flying out to La Paz. In your case you would clearly head to the jungle.

Lima is worth a few days of anyone's time but is too often overlooked as just a transit point.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2016, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for the answers, all.

Based on your replies and some more thought, our final itinerary will likely look something like this:

Arrive Lima. Spend 1-2 days in Lima. We'll likely spend another day or 2 there at the end of the trip.

Fly to Arequipa. Tour Arequipa-Colca-Puno.

Puno-Cusco (maybe via the Andean Explorer train? Looks pretty interesting!)

Cusco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu

Fly Cusco-Puerto Maldonado for time in Tambopata.

Fly Cusco-Lima

Fly Lima-US
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Old Sep 24th, 2016, 08:14 AM
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Looks pretty good to me!
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Old Sep 27th, 2016, 06:01 AM
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Me too. The train is supposed to be quite scenic.
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