Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   South America (
-   -   Traveling to Peru for two weeks... Itinerary suggestions needed!! (

newtravelerjb Feb 24th, 2014 09:42 AM

Traveling to Peru for two weeks... Itinerary suggestions needed!!
Hi everyone! I am planning a two week trip to Peru in the beginning of April and am very excited, but stumped on how to plan out my itinerary, I have done a lot of research, but there is a lot of information and I find myself getting a little overwhelmed. Hoping that some of you experienced travelers can help me out a bit!

Here are the places I would like to see in Peru. Lima, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Puno, and Huacachina. I wish I had more time to see other places, but don't want to be to speedy throughout the places I really am looking forward to seeing.

I am the most confused and concerned with when to visit Machu Picchu and where to stay. Adjusting to the climate is a big concern of mine and I've read that some people suggest staying in Ollantaytambo first as opposed to Cusco. Do you think this is necessary?

I have been traveling throughout Argentina and Chile for the last 2 months so I am on a bit of a budget when it comes to my trip to Peru, but I am prepared for things to be a little bit more expensive.

Any advice and suggestions is very much appreciated! Thank you!

Kevin_LT Feb 25th, 2014 05:13 AM


2 weeks should be enough to enjoy Peru. I took a trip there and to Bolivia last year (Oct/Nov for 3 weeks) and I visited pretty much all the places you listed except Puno (went to Copacabana-Isla del Sol instead).

Huacachina could be skipped in my opinion and replaced by Paracas but that really depends on what you like.

I would also add Arequipa and the visit of the Colca canyon (2-day trek) but that may be a bit too much although it was my favorite experience in Peru after Machu Picchu.

I wouldn't recommend to fly straight to Cusco after Lima as indeed you may have some issues with the the change in altitute. Instead, visit Lima and proceed to Huacachina (or Paracas) then to Arequipa (if you would like) and then Cusco.
You need to reach Aguas Calientes from Cusco to visit Machu Picchu. Our Cusco/Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu trip was as follows:
- Day 1-2: Cusco
- Day 3: Cusco to Aguas Calientes (night there)
- Day 4: Machu Picchu all day (with the ascension of Huayna Picchu) and return to Cusco in the late afternoon

Let me know if you have more questions. You can also check my full trip itinerary on the website listed in my profile.

dwdvagamundo Feb 25th, 2014 01:20 PM

Concur with Kevin. I'd substitute Paracas Peninsula and Arequipa for Huacachina. You can take buses down from Lima.

There is a train from Arequipa to Puno that then goes to Cusco (change trains in Puno or take the bus). Although I don't know for certain, I suspect that taking the train would help with altitude sickness as you would have time to get used to the lack of oxygen (it helped me taking the bus to Huaraz from Lima). The ride is supposed to be lovely, but I haven't taken it.

Unless you've been to Puno first, do go to Ollantaytambo for overnite, then catch the morning train to Aguas Calientes from there. Overnite in Aguas Calientes, hit the MP park again first thing in the morning to see the sunrise, then go back to Cusco. You'll need at least two days in Cusco and another day to do a tour of the Sacred Valley. A week in the area is not too much time.

I would not take a trip to Colca Canyon--it takes a day to get there and a day to get back to Arequipa and you're there for just a few hours. One of my bigger traveling mistakes was to do this. OTOH, the town we stayed in on the way was very unusual and the camraderie was fun.

Backpacker_Ron Mar 2nd, 2014 08:51 AM

I always recommend people to stay out of the big cities. the guys here stated some really great options. but keep it out the big cities so you get to see authentic people (and prices..)


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:21 AM.