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Peru: We finally pushed the button to commit. Help with itinerary.

Peru: We finally pushed the button to commit. Help with itinerary.

Old Mar 30th, 2023, 05:04 PM
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Peru: We finally pushed the button to commit. Help with itinerary.

We have planned our tour of Peru as a dream for 5 years, and this will be our first big trip post Covid and post retirement. With the unrest recently we have stayed quiet and debated whether to change to next year when our knees are a bit more worn out, and unrest may still be on the table, so decided to jump in. Reading about protests in 2016 and 2018 and with crellston also helped make our decision to GFI. My husband and I will be traveling here for 6 weeks, and will be meeting another couple for weeks 2 through 4. My research has included Lonely Planet Peru, the Kindle version of Fodor's Peru, and this forum. Thank you to Crellston, to ToujoursVoyager kja for wonderful information and trip reports to help me with my itinerary.

Would love advice on this itinerary. Week 1, and 5,6 will be flexible, as that is how we travel, and weeks 2,3, and 4 pretty scheduled.

May 1 Fly out of Seattle to Miami then Lima, arriving May 2nd. Have not planned where to stay yet.
May 2 or 3rd. Fly to Trujillo and spend a few days at museums and the beach. Any advice on staying in Huanchaco as we do enjoy the ocean. Chan Chan and Huaca de la Luna.
May 5? Take a tour to Puerto Chicama or stay there one day, to surf or windsurf or play on the beach.
May 6,7 Bus to Chiclayo or Lambayeque and see the lord of Sipan. Any recommendations on the best busses to take?
(We may have a few extra days, as our friends will arrive in Lima on May 8th, but be jet lagged and they decided not to do the Nazca lines. Maybe have time to do Chachapoyos or the Reserva Ecologica Chaparri.
May 8th -May 12th Lima. (was planning on the Nazca lines during this time, but now changed) We have reservations at 3B, in Barranca. Museum Larco and the textile museum are a must for me in Lima, otherwise we are not huge city people.
May 13: Fly to Arequipa for altitude acclimatization and cooking class, and Chaco canyon day trip. Visit museums and do food. (Two of our group get headaches with altitude, so worry about overnight at the Canyon.
May 18: Fly to Cusco, and head down to Ollantaytambo for 3 nights at Apu Lodge. Altitude acclimatization and see the Sacred Valley.
May 21: Cusco. Stay at Ninos Meloc. Its a Sunday so could see the market at Pisac as we travel from Ollantaytambo
May 23: Inca Trail 5 day trek.
May 27: Machu Picchu with the Inca Trail Trek.
May 28: Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu hike. Take train back to Cusco. Stay at Ninos Meloc.
May 30: Fly to Porto Maldonado. Stay overnight.
May 31-June 3: Amazon stay at ? Our friends made the reservation and I don't have exact info yet.
June 3: Our friends fly out to Lima, and we have 2 1/2 weeks to go wherever we want. Maybe back to the Sacred Valley for Qoyllur Rit'i around June 6th. We decided not to do Puno and Lake Titicaca due to the unrest and trip reports. Change my mind if we need to go there.
Go somewhere where other travelers tell us is wonderful.
Fit in the Nazca lines, and I really liked the trip report from kja about Huancayo so may head there.
Best places to shop for good quality textiles and art?
Currently our flight home is June 18th. We did get fully changeable flights home due to the unrest.

It is more expensive but planning on flying when we can to avoid disruptions with the busses.

Places to stay in Arequipa? Places to eat or take a cooking class?
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Old Mar 30th, 2023, 08:26 PM
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Peru is a fascinating country, full of history and ancient cultures and warm, welcoming people and delicious foods. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful trip!

Originally Posted by karrma
Thank you to ... kja for wonderful information and trip reports to help me with my itinerary.
I'm very glad to hear that my trip report proved useful! If you have any questions, feel free to add them to that report.

Originally Posted by karrma
I really liked the trip report from kja about Huancayo so may head there.
Hmmm... I don't believe I visited Huancayo. Might you mean Huanchaco? Pleasant enough, IMO, but not something I personally would have made a priority. It's really just a beach on the outskirts of Trujillo that proved a convenient stop for the guide and driver I had on one particular day. That said, it sounds like you have an interest in surfing, so maybe it would prove of greater interest to you than to me.

Have fun as you continue planning!
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Old Mar 31st, 2023, 12:28 AM
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Looks like a fantastic trip!

A few random observations/suggestion
  • accomodation - we have stayed at all of the places you mention and have been very happy with all of them. In Arequipa we have stayed at numerous places but La Torres de Ugarte was our favourite. Close to Monasteria de Santa Catalina which you should definitely visit.
  • If flying straight out of Lima, you may as well stay at the airport to avoid the drag into the city . The Wyndham is there I think. Alternatively, if you have say 24 hours it may be worth getting a taxi into town eat and stay somewhere nice and head back to the airport next day. Depends upon flight times
  • Huanchaco, Chan Chan etc can easily be done as a day trip from Trujillo. We just based ourselves in Trujillo for a few days. Didn’t seem worth relocating just for the beach.
  • Chiclayo - some love it, I wasn’t especially overwhelmed though. The buses from Trujillo to and from Chachapoya pass through there so it would be easy to spend one night there and head on up to Chachapoya
  • We used Movil in the north of Peru for most trips and they were fine.
  • As you are not city people, Barranco is a great place to stay as it is more like a village. Great restaurants which I am happy to share and an all round nice bohemian like atmosphere. A couple of interesting museos too.
  • Wise to skip Puno at this time ( v. Sad though!)
  • Other places to consider? We enjoyed a long weekend in Ayacucho. Other wise , if you do head to Chachapoya that will need three nights min. It is a nice town and pleasant just to hang out, Kuelap is a full day really and Gocta and the surrounding area another. Travel is not perhaps as easy as in other parts of Peru. Perhaps Cajamarca. Huaraz in the Cordillera Blanca has the most stunning mountain scenery in Peru. Laguna 69 trek ( photos on our blog) would be a nice prep trek for the Inca Trail. Have a look at the Lazy Dog Inn or one of the other similar places around the region.
  • if you do end up with extra time, I would seriously consider spending additional time in Liam and Cusco. Always tempting to add more places but there is so much to see and do in both cities that you are unlikely to regret the extra time.
  • places to shop for art? Lots of galleries around Barranco in Lima and around the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. For high end alpaca and weaving, Sol is good if expensive. Lots of fake alpaca around so swot up on how to check online.
I am excited for you , wish I was going!
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Old Mar 31st, 2023, 09:37 AM
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Congratulations or your retirement and long delayed trip. Were there no affordable flights out of Los Angeles or San Francisco? It's a shame you have to go through the east coast and Miami in particular. If your flight the next day is early, then do stay near the airport. If you want to go from the airport into Lima it can be about an hour each way in traffic.

I've not had as many days in Lima and Peru as crellston but have been half a dozen times. My first trip was in 2009 and the last trip was just a day in 2016 to run into Lima on a layover (prepandemic).

For buses along the north coast I used Transportes Linea. Movil is also okay.

Chan Chan and Huaca de Luna can be done on the same day. I might skip Huanchaco and go to Playa Pimentel instead (see below). I am one of those who preferred Chiclayo to Trujillo but it was influenced by my poor choice of lodging and guides in Trujillo and my satisfaction with the same in Chiclayo. There were few options at the time I went, but with the cruise ships and explosion of tourism outside of Machu Picchu, there are now many more choices.

I might spend another night around Chiclayo. If you want to see the treasures of the Lord of Sipan tombs, the museum in Lambeyeque (Museo Tumbes Real de Sipan) is spectacular. I was told that it can be worthwhile staying in Lambeyeque for that. I did like the small hotel Mochiks I used in Chiclayo (which I think kja wasn't 100% okay with ?). My first trip I also spent one night at what is now the Winmeier which is a big casino/conference hotel. I used private taxi tours to get around (lucked into a driver stationed in front of the Winmeier). One day we went to Pimentel out of Chiclayo for the caballitos de totara and lenguado ceviche (secondary stop was the town of Santa Rosa). Pimentel also has a surf break.

Another worthwhile site out of Chiclayo is the Sican National Museum in a slightly different direction (in Ferrenafe) which I thought was one of the best in the country. In addition there is Purgatorio aka Tucume which are giant adobe pyramids with no shade and a site museum.

I think you will find enough to do between Chiclayo and Trujillo and for Chaparri it is really worth an overnight (or two). Perhaps a visit to El Brujo (Lady of Cao) if not too hard to arrange.

Chaparri is absolutely lovely if you enjoy nature. Not sure if it is still difficult to book. If you have a flexible leg of time, you might want to look into Chaparri and/or Chachapoyas during that time rather than trying to squeeze it in during that first week.

For Lima a museum in Barranco is the Pedro de Osma palace and museum (may need a reservation, bring cash). Ask reception at 3B to arrange it if needed. 3B should also have a gallery guide for Barranco. It's also enjoyable to just walk around Barranco looking at the murals.
https://museopedrodeosma.org/en/visit/

Chaco Canyon??

I don't believe the Sunday Pisac market is a 'thing' anymore. It sounds like it's become another version of the tourist markets such as the one that can be found in Aguas Calientes when one gets off the train. Unfortunate. Also don't know the status of the procession of the "alcaldes" to the chapel.

For markets, the one in Arequipa designed by THAT Eiffel is quite interesting and also has good food in the comedor stalls (go early in the day, though). I like the embroidered hats made in the area and managed to find one there after striking out elsewhere.

Huancayo is the town up in the central Andes where one used to be able to take the high altitude train at Galera through the Ticlio pass. I think the train is still suspended due to COVID-19 (and civil unrest).

Ayacucho is relatively unvisited by western tourists. There are rug and tapestry weaving studies in the community (barrio) of Santa Ana although I can't vouch for how accessible they might be to you. If still open the "Prison" market is good for shopping. Ayacucho is also a center for crewel embroidery. When I went, a couple was there specifically to shop for artesania. I was able to find a private (Spanish language) guide. In addition to crafts, Ayacucho has festivals and churches (usually only open one day a week for each as there are concerns about robberies). Outside of town is the Wari (Huari) site and museum and the town of Quinua. These can be visited together with the Pampas de Ayacucho on a long day trip (recommend doing with a private guide, not local buses). You can fly now from Lima to Ayacucho, or take the sketchy bus through the central Andes. For crellston Ayacucho (with Paracas)

Another choice since you are interested in the Nazca Lines is to go to Paracas for the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas Peninsula Park, then Ica (largest town near the oasis of Huacachina) and then continue on to Nazca by bus. In addition to the flight, in the outskirts of Nazca are some interesting archaeological sites, I especially liked the Aqueducts. Also good replica pottery available there.

One thing to know about coastal Peru in May is that is the start of the garua season aka panza de burro (donkey's belly) coastal fog (think San Francisco). It does keep the temps down in the deserts.

If you don't go to Ayacucho for rug shopping then there are reliable galleries at higher prices in Lima/Barranco. Arequipa is a center for wool spinning and you might find some outlets there for knit goods (not sure about this anymore).

For hand-woven textiles around Cusco and the Sacred Valley are the weaving centers (most well known in Chinchero). In Cusco be sure to check into CTTC at Sol Avenue 603/ Open M-Sat. They have a museum shop there. Info: https://www.textilescusco.org/our-communities.

Some but not all of the textiles and artesania now sold around the Sacred Valley come from elsewhere (if you are lucky it is just from Bolivia and not China, LOL).

As much as I love Chachapoyas, it can be tough to get to. If you can find flights ( Lima to Jaen on LATAM plus a land transfer) or (Lima to Chachapoyas on ATSA) maybe possible. kja covered that very well in her trip report!

Last edited by mlgb; Mar 31st, 2023 at 10:29 AM.
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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 04:51 AM
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Excited for you!

We, too, are planning a similar experience but not until May/June 2024. I would love to hear an update upon your return. We are interested in a 4-5 day Inca Trail hike and are debating on which local company to use. Who have you chosen?
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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 12:52 PM
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Yes needed to recheck

Originally Posted by kja
Peru is a fascinating country, full of history and ancient cultures and warm, welcoming people and delicious foods. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful trip!



I'm very glad to hear that my trip report proved useful! If you have any questions, feel free to add them to that report.



Hmmm... I don't believe I visited Huancayo. Might you mean Huanchaco? Pleasant enough, IMO, but not something I personally would have made a priority. It's really just a beach on the outskirts of Trujillo that proved a convenient stop for the guide and driver I had on one particular day. That said, it sounds like you have an interest in surfing, so maybe it would prove of greater interest to you than to me.

Have fun as you continue planning!
Yes, I was too busy to double check. It was Ayacucho that sounded interesting to me. And yes we enjoy the water.
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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 12:57 PM
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Thank you so much. Yes it was Ayacucho that sounded interesting to me. And we were able to reserve a room at La Torres de Ugarte.
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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 01:00 PM
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Hah, what a slip in spelling and place. Colca Canyon. And yes, we are aware that we are on the edge of the gar season in early May. Thank you.

Last edited by karrma; Apr 9th, 2023 at 01:05 PM.
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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 01:05 PM
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Trip reports in future.

Originally Posted by JanaLee
We, too, are planning a similar experience but not until May/June 2024. I would love to hear an update upon your return. We are interested in a 4-5 day Inca Trail hike and are debating on which local company to use. Who have you chosen?
Yes, I will try to do a trip report for Peru, as feel it is a wonderful thank-you for all the help received here. I did do part of a trip report for Greece, especially our off the beaten track part is complete. We chose Alpaca Adventures based on another trip report here, as I do like to use local guides and companies.
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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by karrma
It was Ayacucho that sounded interesting to me.
I found Ayacucho a place of great charm and appeal. It saddened me greatly to read of the unrest there -- some say a massacre -- last December. I hope the situation has eased.
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Old Apr 10th, 2023, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by karrma
Yes, I will try to do a trip report for Peru, as feel it is a wonderful thank-you for all the help received here. I did do part of a trip report for Greece, especially our off the beaten track part is complete. We chose Alpaca Adventures based on another trip report here, as I do like to use local guides and companies.
alpaca Expeditions
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Old Apr 11th, 2023, 05:08 AM
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Thanks will look forward to it 🙂
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