Seeking itinerary advice for Peru

Old Jun 18th, 2012, 11:44 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seeking itinerary advice for Peru

For a 2-week trip to Peru in August (that we are planning later than we should have), we--2 adults and one child--are thinking about doing the following:

Day 1: arrive Lima at night
Day 2: to Sacred Valley, stay in Ollantaytambo
Question -- we should fly, correct? To Cusco and then transfer to Ollantaytambo by train?
Days 3-5: visit Sacred Valley sites; to Aguas Calientes afternoon of Day 5
Question -- add a day to SV here?
Day 6: visit Machu Picchu, and return to Ollantaytambo or go to Cusco at end of day
Days 7-9: visit Cusco
Question -- is this enough time in Cusco?
Days 10-13: Visit Lake Titicaca or Arequipa?? Is it apples and oranges, or can one be recommended over the other?
Day 14: fly to Lima, and onward home
Question -- flights from Lima to home leave fairly late at night. How risky is it (in terms of flight cancellation risk) to plan to fly to Lima from Puno or Arequipa same day we are departing LIma for home?

Any advice will be heartily appreciated!
Spartaca is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2012, 12:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,938
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Firstly, your itinerary looks pretty good. I would only make a few minor amendments, if any.

Q1. Yes you should fly to Cusco and then get a taxi straight to Ollantaytambo (not a train). This will aid your acclimatisation as olly os lower than Cusco.

Q2. You have enough time in the SV but personally I would add another days as there is so much to see and it is sometimes nice to build in some chll out time (especially with a child). Chinchero, Moray, Maras and Pisac are must sees. Olly itself is worth a day on its own.

Q3 - You have enough time in Cusco unless you are into museums in whcih case add another day (or 3!)

Q4. I am afraid comparing Titicaca and Arequipa is very much like comaping apples and oranges. I loved both and would find it hard to choose. The journey via the Inka Express bus from Cusco to Puno is one of the most spectacular I have ever been on and Titicaca is of course a totally unique natural wonder(but the altitude could be a probelm for some. Arequipa is, by contrast, all about the great colonial archictecture, especially Santa Catalina convent which takes half a day on its own. An extremely beautiful city. Entirely possible to combine the two by getting the bus from Puno.

Here is a link to our blog with some photos and more info:

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

entires#55-65 cover Peru

We were there in Aug & Sept which is a great time to visit.
crellston is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:47 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,729
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your itinerary is pretty good. I think you could even drop a day if you need more time elsewhere.

I think you have a good amount of time for the Sacred Valley, MP and Cusco. If you don't want to sleep for a night in Aguas Calientes, then it's a bit easier to round trip from Ollantaytambo, there are more trains and the ride is shorter.

You might fine tune your itinerary to allot Sunday for the Pisac market and ruins (Chinchero also has a Sunday market). You didn't mention how old your child is, if they are a toddler you will not want to walk down from the top of Pisac into town, but if they can hike for a few hours and can be trusted on steep edges, I've seen younger local kids on this trail. Recently I spent a Saturday and Sunday night in Pisac before moving on to Ollantaytambo, and enjoyed it. Either way, try to get to Pisac in time for the 11am Quecha Mass, especially the arrival or departure of the mayors of the local villages.

Consider your travel time on the second destination. It might be easiest to fly Lima to Arequipa if you can, either at the start or end of your trip.

I like Lima, so would vote for an overnight before your return. The "Magical Water Circuit" is a good evening activity for families (Weds thru Sunday only). There are also double decker buses and a little train that Mirabus runs thru the center of Lima

http://www.mirabusperu.com/english/tours-tren.html

For more info on Lima I like www.limaeasy.com
mlgb is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2012, 01:54 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 201
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day 1: arrive Lima at night
Day 2: to Sacred Valley, stay in Ollantaytambo
Question -- we should fly, correct? To Cusco and then transfer to Ollantaytambo by train?

Yes, definitely fly! It's a 22-hour bus ride otherwise. You can transfer to Ollanta by taxi or ask your hotel to arrange a pick-up.

Days 3-5: visit Sacred Valley sites; to Aguas Calientes afternoon of Day 5
Question -- add a day to SV here?

We had 4 days in the Sacred Valley and were able to see all the popular sites. We did use a private driver, though, so had pretty quick transport around the area and didn't have to wait for buses/other tourists. If you want to do more than the ones most people go to, then you might want another day.

Day 6: visit Machu Picchu, and return to Ollantaytambo or go to Cusco at end of day
Days 7-9: visit Cusco
Question -- is this enough time in Cusco?

I believe so, yes. We had two days in Cusco alone and saw multiple churches, museums and sites. Well, then again, we also used all our free time after our daily SV tours were done, so you might want an extra day if you really like museums and churches.

Days 10-13: Visit Lake Titicaca or Arequipa?? Is it apples and oranges, or can one be recommended over the other?

It's closer to go to Lake Titicaca. You can take a tourist bus (with stops along the way) or a regular bus (no stops). We did the Inka Express which was great. Loved the sites we stopped at. I can't speak for Arequipa because we had to scratch it from our trip due to a strike blocking the road. But I hear it's really fantastic as well. Highly recommend doing an island tour with an overnight on Amantani. It was amazing.

Day 14: fly to Lima, and onward home
Question -- flights from Lima to home leave fairly late at night. How risky is it (in terms of flight cancellation risk) to plan to fly to Lima from Puno or Arequipa same day we are departing LIma for home?

I would leave a buffer day in Lima. That's what we did. Flights do get cancelled and delayed. My husband had his flight TO Peru get cancelled halfway through the flight a few years ago. (They landed in the Dominican Republic then went back to Miami.) So if flights don't get to Lima, you can't leave either. Lima is a nice city. Plenty to see and do.

Random advice:
- If you've never been at this extreme of an altitude, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for Diamox or another altitude medication. My husband was fine; I was not.
- I brought one pair of cute flats to wear out to our fancier dinners in Cusco & Lima, but never wore them. Cusco has cobblestone streets which are not easy to walk in without tread. (At least in my experience.) We wore sneakers and hiking boots the entire trip.
- If you can stay in MP until it closes, do it! The park really empties out in the afternoon. It's really nice to have it "to yourself" (well, with hundreds of other people instead of thousands).
- If you do use a tour guide in the SV, ask them to take you to local restaurants for lunch/dinner. Ours was amazing and took us to try chicharrones (super delicious) and chicha, among other things.

I'm sure I've got more advice, but feel free to ask more questions! This Peru board is really great. I used them extensively for our May trip.
shutterbug85 is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 05:36 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, definitely fly to Cusco and start gallons of mate de coca (coca tea) as soon as you get there. it is a natural remedy for altitude sickness.
Having been to both I would recommend Lake Titicaca over Arequipa. It is the birthplace of the Incas after all. Take a boat to the Isla del Sol and visit the Temple of the Sun. If you have time on the Peruvian side take a boat to the Floating Islands. It's a very touristy trip, but if you can get past that it is magical to see the way of life in this unique community.
And I would never invite the possible stress of flying out of Lima the same day as flying in. Treat yourself to a fabulous dinner in Lima's best fish restaurant El Red in Miraflores.
Have a great trip!
SkyHacienda is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 06:06 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,729
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sky Hacienda has neglected to mention the niggling little detail of the $135 per person tourist visa fee for US citizens who wish to travel to the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 06:19 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you everyone for the great advice! Before reading SkyHacienda's reply, we opted for Arequipa and Colca Canyon over Lake Titicaca. It was a hard call. Have to admit I was swayed at least in part by what I read on the Lonely Planet forum on the same subject, where the votes were all for Arequipa.

If anyone has been to Colca Canyon, I'd welcome advice about how to make the most of a 2-day/1-night visit. I'm thinking about booking at Killawasi Lodge and arranging a tour from Arequipa and back through them. I've never done an organized tour on any vacation, but it seems warranted for this bit of the trip.

Shutterbug85: your "random" advice is much appreciated, including the shoe advice! We're hoping to pack light, so don't want to bring anything not needed.

Spartaca
Spartaca is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2012, 06:42 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 19,729
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like Killawasi Lodge very much.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2012, 11:19 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't worry - Lake Titicaca will always be there for a future visit.
Santa Catalina in Arequipa is a city within a city - beautiful courtyards, arches, gardens, shady places to sit. We took around 500 photos each! Do visit if you have time.
SkyHacienda is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
uday029
South America
19
Aug 4th, 2018 05:41 AM
newtravelerjb
South America
3
Mar 2nd, 2014 08:51 AM
nycgal73
South America
16
Jan 5th, 2013 01:31 AM
natkoko79
South America
11
Dec 6th, 2012 09:17 AM
mhsberg
South America
14
Apr 26th, 2011 04:19 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 12:55 PM.