Seeking Itinerary Review of Peru Trip

Jul 19th, 2019, 06:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
Seeking Itinerary Review of Peru Trip

My husband and I are in the early planning stages for a trip to Peru in May of 2020. It will be our first visit to South America. Nothing is booked so I can add, subtract or rearrange my days. I have read some great trip reports here on Fodor’s; so much great information, thank you! I would appreciate any advice, ideas and words of wisdom from those of you with experience.

Here is the tentative plan:
5/1 Depart Southern California fly to Arequipa

5/2 Overnight in Arequipa

5/3 2 day/1 night tour with Giardino Tours to Colca Canyon ending in Puno

5/4 Tour Lake Titicaca

5/5 Inka Express bus from Puno to Cusco, sleep Cusco

5/5 Taxi tour to Pisac in route to Ollantaytambo

5/6 Tour the Sacred Valley

5/7 Early train to Machu Picchu, hopefully to include hiking Huayna Picchu, return to Ollantaytambo in the evening

5/8 Taxi tour of sights between Sacred Valley and Cusco, sleep Cusco

5/9 Cusco

5/10, 11, 12 Fly to Puerto Maldonado, spend 3 nights at Posada Amazonas Lodge??

5/13 Fly to Lima, overnight in the city or near the airport?

5/14 Fly to Jaen, van to Chachapayos with Tourismo Explorer

5/15 Visit Kuelap with Tourismo Explorer

5/16 Visit Gocta Falls with Tourismo Explorer

5/17 Van to Jaen, fly to Lima

5/18 Sleep Lima ( how many days for Lima?)
Thanks in advance.
wannabgoin is online now  
Jul 19th, 2019, 08:46 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,521
Firstly Lima. Many visitors just skip through on the way to the Sacred Valley or elsewhere which I think is a big mistake. There is a lot to see and do there, to say nothing of some of the best food in South America. I would allow at least 3 days. How you schedule this is up to you - possibly in the middle? However you do it, I would ensure you spend the night before your flight home in the city, just in case of flight delays.

The section between Cusco and teh Sacred Valley could perhaps benefit from some rearrangement. Cusco deserves at least two full days just for the city. I would be inclined to do Pisac as a side trip from there. Get an early taxi or bus out, explore the ruins, have lunch and on the way back stop off at Tambo Machay, Puka Pukkara, Q’enko and the magnificent Sacsayhuaman. You can do this busy taxi or by hiking from TM back to Cusco. Takes 3-4 hours.

The major sights of the Sacred Valley - Moray, Maras, Chinchero can easily be incorporated into the journey bewteen Cusco and Ollantaytambo ( or VV) .

Can’t comment on the jungle portion as our only foray into the Amazon was in Bolivia, other hopefully will.

3 days for Chachapoyas sounds about right, a fascinating area. If you can squeeze in some extra days then Trujillo would be worth considering. Hope this helps..

What you have so far is pretty good if a little fast paced. I like the idea of going to Arequipa first, an amazing city which is also good for getting used to the altitude. Personally, I would want an extra night there before heading off to the canyon.

When in Puno, make sure to do a full day on the lake. Uros is a bit of a theme park but Taquile is very pleasant but the star of the show is the lake itself. Just cruising on the highest navigable lake in the world, is reason enough to be there.

The Inka Express is a great way to get to Cusco with a lot to see along the way (the trip from Colca to Puno is also pretty spectacular in terms of scenery too.
crellston is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 02:13 PM
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Posts: 19
Crellston, Thank you for the insight. I like the idea of adding more nights, especially in Cusco. I had a one nighter scheduled there, simply as a place to rest after the long bus ride on the Inca Express. Do you think it would be too much to taxi to Ollantaytambo after that bus ride? Then I could bunch my nights in Cusco after the Sacred Valley.
wannabgoin is online now  
Jul 19th, 2019, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,404
I'm certainly not the expert that crellston is, but I agree that your trip is fast paced and -- in some parts, I'm not sure it's feasible.
  • I would definitely want another day in Arequipa, both for acclimatization and to see that wonderful city.
  • I'm not sure I understand your timing for Puno: If you don't leave Arequipa with Giardino until 5/3, and you are on the tour that includes the Colca Canyon, I don't think you would reach Puno until nighrfall on 5/4. That would give you just a quick dinner before a very early awakening to make the Inka Express bus to Cusco on 5/5.
  • And if you take the Inka Express on 5/5, you won't reach Cusco until late -- too late to see anything of that city, let alone tour Pisac.
  • I wish I'd given Lima more than the 3 days I gave it. YMMV.
If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information in my trip report:
Praise for Peru – A report of my solo month in this amazing country
kja is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 06:18 PM
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Posts: 19
Thank you, good eye! I did mean for there to be a night at Colca Canyon. I guess my excitement for the trip planning left my eye for detail in the dust, good this is the early planning stage. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from your trip report. Based on the input so far, I know I want another night in Arequipa and will add some time to both Cusco and Lima. Thanks for looking it over.
wannabgoin is online now  
Jul 19th, 2019, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,404
I'm glad you found my comments, and my trip report, helpful.
Good luck with your planning!
kja is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 10:38 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,521
I think getting the bus to Ollantaytambo on arrival would be a great idea. The IE will get in around 5/6pm and the drive takes around 1.5 hours so you would be there in time for dinner. I would pre book your car either through your accommodation in Olly or via and get them to pick you up from the IE terminal.
crellston is offline  
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