Suggestions and Questions for Peru Vacation

Old May 28th, 2010, 08:48 AM
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Suggestions and Questions for Peru Vacation

We are a married couple, active, in our mid-30's, very limited Spanish speaking abilities, headed to Peru July 13-29, 2010. This is our first trip to Peru, we want to visit typical tourist sites at a relaxed pace, maybe get into some biking along the way, and would maybe be interested in Paragliding in Miraflores. We will fly from Ft Lauderdale to Lima arriving around 10PM on July 13, roundtrip direct for two was about $1200.00 total.
The only reservation we have currently is for the Machu Picchu Sanctaury Lodge on the 21-23, two nights. I have a couple questions and am open to suggestions. Also, my wife is an online educator and this will be a working vacation for her, where we will require internet access at most of our hotel stays.

We are thinking of spending our first few days in country in Miraflores at the Radisson Hotel Decapolis (13-16). Would like to do a city tour, hang on the beach, jog in the parks, some gastronomic adventuring. Guide/tour suggestions?

We would like to see the Nazca Lines, Ica, and such. What are our options for travel? We are thinking of leaving Lima on July 16 to go to Ica-Nazca and return on the 18, or at least travel on to the Sacred Valley. Again Hotel, Tour, and Guide suggestions? What are our travel options between Ica/Nazca and Cusco?

We were thinking of traveling to the Sacred Valley on July 18. My wife has had a history of horrible headaches at altitude, so we were thinking SV first , then Machu Picchu, then Cusco.
Any thoughts for travel from Cusco Airport to Sacred Valley and Hotels as well as guides?

As I mentioned, we will travel to Machu Picchu on July 21. Are the trains running? What will be our mode of transport? When should we buy the tickets?

We plan to travel back to Cusco on July 23 and stay untill July 27. Would love some moderate hotel suggestions as well as guide suggestions.

Back to Lima July 27 and fly home late July 29.
As for hotel stays, we would be interested in options around 100-150 per night. Also would love to hear somet dining options.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Regards,
David
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Old May 28th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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I strongly suggest you buy your tickets for MP now. They tend to go quickly and you might not find yourself being able to get to MP. If you can't buy them yourself on line then contact a travel agency and see if they can get them for you.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:34 PM
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Beaches at Lima are not that great, there is a lot of construction at the moment. Plus it is winter!

Instead of Miraflores, I recommend this lodging in Barranco. She does have wireless if you will be bringing a laptop. They also have a related lodging in Cusco. I think you'll find Barranco a lot more pleasant than Miraflores.

http://www.secondhomeperu.com/

City tours in Lima are easy to find. LimaVision is one.

Lilian has a list of restaurants to try in Lima on the Second Home website. It is hard to find bad food, just avoid those that cater strictly to tourists. And even some of those are pretty good, if overpriced by Peruvian standards.

I agree with the option to go straight to the Sacred Valley. Ollantaytambo would be my recommendation, try El Albergue if it isn't too late. They have wi-fi according to the website. Excellent restaurant, try the alpaca loin.

http://www.elalbergue.com/en/service...taytambo-hotel

Haven't been to Nazca etc.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 02:49 PM
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adventures.worldnomads.com/destination/168/itinerary/23.aspx

Follow the Gringo Trail to MP by deluxe bus

www.cruzdelsur.com.pe best bus VIP seats

www.casa-andina.com great moderate hotels everywhere

www.culturalimmersion.org good Train info book tickets soon.

www.peruforless.com good custon tour agent

if you do not want to DIY...

www.limaeasy.com for Lima tours...

Percy Salas is a great Cusco guide...

Have fun,
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Old May 28th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Old May 29th, 2010, 02:36 PM
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David Choque is a great guide based in Cusco - he can do airport transfers/be your guide and even book hotels if you wish (he booked for us and his rates were lower than published internet rates)

[email protected]

http://www.cuscotoptravelperu.com/index.html

We really liked Hotel Sauce in Ollantaytambo - stayed there 4 nights and toured with David around the SV. In 2006 it did not have internet access but there were several cafes within metres of the hotel.

Re your wife's problem with altitude - does she plan to take Diamox?

We stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge for 2 nights and were very happy with that choice. We walked in and out of MP several times a day and experienced it fully.

Here's a link to our blog

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...lake_titicaca/

In Lima recommend Astrid and Gaston and we had a lovely meal at La Rosa Nautica...famous restaurant on the beach in Miraflores. Pics of food on the blog
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Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Thank you all for the very useful information. We have purchased our Train Tickets online from PeruRail. Yet to make further Hotel Reservations. Were now thinking of an overnight trip from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and spending a night with a local host family, any thoughts or suggestions on this matter?

Again thanks, I've always had the best luck organizing my vacations utilizing the information you kind folks have to share here on Fodors.

David
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 08:06 AM
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We would like to see the Nazca Lines, Ica, and such. What are our options for travel?

There really is one way to get to Ica and Nazca - bus. There are several bus lines I would recommend Cruz del Sur. They are the nicer bus line and still extremely affordable by US standards. Most people take the bus to Paracas and see the Ballista Islands and then go on to Ica. You can stay over night there. Maybe tour a winery or go dune surfing or dune bugging depending on what you enjoy. It is another 3 hours by bus from Ica to Nazca. The flights over the lines are about 30 minutes and there are multiple buses back to Ica and on to Lima. You can get a flight out of Ica for the lines, but they are more expensive (about $100 per person) It is up to you what your time is worth. I enjoyed the bus ride and caught up on my sleep (and watched a few bad movies).

You can get a bus from Ica/ Nazca to Cusco, but it is a long ride (over 16 hours). I would recommend returning to Lima (the bus from Ica will get in about 10:30 pm) and flying to Cusco the following morning.

Make sure you bring bottled water with you. There are very limited shops / carts at the bus stations and you will want something on the bus. Snacks also are a good item to bring.

When considering your trip to Lake Titcaca you'll be on the bus again or having connecting flights. Most air travel in Peru treats Lima as a hub. There are a few flights going through Cusco on to the Amazon, but I don't recall any going Juli or Puno from there.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 08:55 AM
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We really enjoyed our night on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca - it was one of the highlights of our trip (if you click on the link above to our blog it also has Lake Titicaca info)
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 05:34 PM
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Ditto what Liz said about Lake Titicaca - we really enjoyed our night on Amantani Island. We booked through All Ways Travel for the homestay. It was a definite highlight of our time in Peru. Here's my trip report if you want to read details.



http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...es-in-peru.cfm
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