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Please help with itinerary for Peru + Questions!

Please help with itinerary for Peru + Questions!

Old May 5th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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Please help with itinerary for Peru + Questions!

My husband and I are planning a trip to Peru in September. I would appreciate if the expert Fodorites can help me with my itinerary.We will be flying into Lima and then flying into Cusco from there. Based on some of the reports that I read, I was thinking of the following intinerary.

-Day 1 (Friday) : Fly from JFK/EWR to Lima
-Day 2 (Saturday): Fly from Lima to Cusco. Go to Pisac, spend the whole day, check ruins, go to market etc , then go to Ollantaytambo at night
-Day 3 (Sunday): Ollantaytambo : ruins etc
-Day 4 (Monday): Ollantaytambo : ??
-Day 5 (Wednesday): Ollanta to Aguas Caliente. Guided tour at MP.
-Day 6 (Thursday): Hike Huayna Picchu early morning ( in the evening leave for cusco)
-Day 7 (Friday): Spend whole day in cusco
-Day 8 (Saturday): Spend the whole day at Cusco, in the evening fly to lima, then take the flight from Lima to EWR/JFK
-Day 9: Home sweet home

Questions:
-Does the above itinerary look very packed?

-Is Ollantaytambo worth more than a day? If yes, what are the places we could see for 2 days or things to do for 2 days?

-I am a little confused on the Macchu Picchu plans. From my understanding there are 2 ways to get to Macchu Picchu a) Either a bus from Aguas Caliente takes you to MP or b) You can hike to Huayna Picchu from Aguas Caliente and then hike down to reach the Macchu Picchu ruins. Is that correct?

- If we want to stay 2 days (1 night) in MP, is the only way to do it is by staying in Aguas Caliente town?

-Is delay in flights from Lima to Cusco/Cusco to Lima common even during Sept? Is there anything we need to keep in mind due to the delays?

-What do we need Percy for and what are the places we can do on own?

Thank you very much for all the help in advance.
catchgee is offline  
Old May 5th, 2010, 04:58 PM
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Sunday is a better day for the Pisac market. You could stay overnight and visit the market in the morning. If you travel to Ollantaytambo during the day, you could visit Moray or Salineras on the way there. The residential part of Ollantaytambo looks interesting.
http://enperublog.com/2009/09/18/oll...ing-inca-town/
I'd say it's worth more than a day if you want to do day hikes or horseback rides from there to other nearby ruins.
Yes, you would overnight in Aguas Caliente for MP. At least I'm not aware of any other options.
You can get an evening flight CUZ-LIM? I thought the flights only ran through the afternoon.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 11:50 PM
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I agree with Kittest in that Ollantaytambo is worth more than one day as it is a v.good base for seeing the rest of the sacred valley. The town and ruins are worth a day alone and Moray, Salineras, Chinchero and the surrounding countryside are all worth a visit. Heading straight to the SV on arrival rather than staying in Cuscois a great idea as this will almost certainly improve your chances of avoiding altitude problems.

Pisac is spectacular (I preferred it to MP) Sunday is the busiest day for the market which has some high quality handicrafts (although they are very expensive by comparison with most other places we visited.

Aqua Calientes is a bit of a dump and, personally, I was glad to get out of the place after just one night there. Can't help with your question re hiking down from Huayna Picchu to MP as we just got the first bus at 5.00am from AC (the queues we horrendous!). We did see a few people hiking along the road from AC to MP - we thought they were completely mad as it was dark and wet with bus hurtling along the road!

Finally, leave plenty of time for Cusco as there is loads to see there.
A link to our blog with some photos of the area. http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html Entries 56 on, cover our time there.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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There's a very expensive hotel right at the base of MP ticket entrance. That's another option to stay aside from staying down at AC. I didn't mind AC since I spent most of the day up at MP anyway.

The two ways to get to MP are the either you (1) take the bus from AC up to MP or (2) you arrive at MP from the Inca Trail trek. I've not read anything about being able to hike from AC to Huayna Picchu and then from there to MP. When you hike up HP and look down at MP I think you'll see it's sort of impossible or at least very difficult to do just that. Also, people going from MP to HP have to sign in and then out. I don't see how you can do that in reverse.

I agree that Ollanty is good base to arrange day trip to the salt pans, Chincheros, and Moray and Moras. You can also arrange day hike or bike ride around the SV with Hotel Kombo (?) there.

You can arrange all the trips on your own. I didn't find the Cusco-SV-MP route difficult to navigate at all. But I'm sure someone like Percy can make everything much more carefree for you and the family, especially if you have any apprehension about the language barrier, etc., and perhaps show you sights off the beaten path if you requested it. It depends on your comfort level on whether you want to arrange your trip with a guide or not. You'll enjoy Peru either way.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:14 AM
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Thanks all for your replies. I really appreciate your inputs.

Alex2DPbr /> As a followup to your input on Huayna Picchu hiking, if you know the answers to any of these, please let me know

-If we take the first bus from Aguas Caliente to Macchu Picchu at 5 am, does the bus drop you off near the MP ruins?

-Where is the entrance/starting point for hiking Huayna Picchu and what is the ending point?

-Since everyone is suggesting hiking Huanya Picchu early morning, how can we do both hiking Huanya Picchu and guided tour of MP ruins in 1 day? Do we need 2 days for this?

Thanks a lot
catchgee is offline  
Old May 7th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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Your schedule seems to be missing a Tuesday.

I think three days in the Sacred Valley is more than enough. AC while not lavish isn't that bad. You'll see worse in Peru.

The name of the hotel at MP is the Sanctuary Lodge. It is EXPENSIVE, but to some it is worth it. There is a small grill at the park entrance (and toliets) and nothing else up on the mountain.

I would fly into Lima the day before your flight out. Cusco is notorious for weather delays and flight cancellations. They also don't fly out of the Andes after dark. Enjoy the hospitality in Mirraflores and tour Lima for a day. You don't want to be stuck because of a delayed flight out of Cusco.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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Aguas Calientes is a small town with a bus that goes up and down to MP - I think it was like a 15/20 minute ride. The bus really only goes to MP (like a shuttle), so yes, you are dropped off right at MP entrance.

We hiked the inca trail to MP. There were a few crazy folks in our group that wanted to hike HP when we arrived. The rest of us took the tour through the ruins (I personally was exhausted). But they left MP and went to HP, and I think they ended up back at MP - ie: the trail is from MP to HP. I don't think they were hiking more than a few hours -

Check and see how long the hike is from MP to HP because we arrived in the morning and all of us were in AC for early dinner, including those that hiked.

There are hot springs in AC (hence the name) too.

Make sure you get some good ceviche when you are in Lima (at a nice restaurant) - it's Lima's one redeeming quality, the city is otherwise not too thrilling.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 12:56 AM
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I would go directly to Ollantaytambo and use that town as a base to see Chinchero, Maras, Moray, Salinas, Písac, etc. This will help with acclimatization, which going directly to Písac won't as Písac is just as high as Cusco. Go to Písac on Sunday as that's the day they have the largest market and the ceremonial parade.

Huaya Picchu is inside Machu Picchu. If you arrive at Machu Picchu early enough, you can get a ticket to climb it. They only give out a few hundred per day. You can choose to hike up immediately or wait until 10; if the latter and you haven't shown up at the checkpoint by 11 or so they'll give away your ticket to someone else.
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Old May 9th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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Thank you everyone for your valuable feedback.
catchgee is offline  
Old May 9th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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With regards to The Sanctuary Lodge, I stayed there when visiting Peru three years ago. http://machupicchu.orient-express.co...troduction.jsp
Yes, it is well located, being the only hotel directly across from the MP ruins. It was costly when I was there in 2007 and prices have escalated since then.

Okay, so the question you might ask, "Was it worth it?" ..... admittedly, it's seriously overpriced and truly epitomizes 'location-location-location' = top $$$.
I enjoyed the convenience; however would suggest staying at Aguas Calientes is fine and save those extra dollars for other parts of your trip.
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