what to do 10 days in Peru?

Old Nov 9th, 2012, 02:12 AM
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what to do 10 days in Peru?

Hello guys!

I m travelling from Greece to Peru this september!!And as you all know, with the economical crisis here, I worked v.hard for this trip, and it might not be another similar one, for a long long time!So we want to make sure we are not spending any day to the wrong place.
We are only going to be for 10 solid days in peru, and we want to live the real peru(we speak spanish), far away from too touristic attractions. How many days should we stay in Lima? Should we book a return flight ticket to Cuzco, or we shall try to take a bus as well, and book only a single ticket back to Lima. Are buses safe there? Which other towns or villages should we visit?How should we experience the Machu Picchu?Our friends, that we re travelling with, will do the inca trail with an agency called SAS, but we can t afford to do that moneywise and timewise... Fyi I m an architect, therefore some nice colourful villages and churches will be welcome.

Thank you for your time
natalia
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Old Nov 10th, 2012, 08:27 AM
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With 10 days you can fly from Lima to Arequipa, the old center is built of volcanic sillar and there is the must-see Santa Catalina monastery. There is also the San Camilo market designed by Eiffel. I think a great stop for any architect. From there you can do an overnight visit to the Colca Canyon, there are a series of villages with colonial Spanish churches and many of the local people wear their traditional costume.

I like Lima, I would spend at least the night before you return home there.

When booking flights if you are on LAN or a partner, you may get a better price by using their South American airpass. Otherwise you will want to look at Star Peru or Peruvian Airlines to Cusco, which has a surcharge for overseas visitors.

For flying Lima to Arequipa, try TACA.com , you can also fly direct Arequipa to Cusco on TACA. However keep an eye on your reservations (no matter who you book with) as it is very common for flights to be cancelled and routes discontinued!

Busses require some judgement, my experience is that it is best to take a day bus,and if possible a bus targeted specifically to tourists, for example, the 4-M Express between Arequipa, Chivay and Puno, or the Inka Express from Puno to Cusco.

To go to Machu Picchu you can do a day visit, train from Ollantaytambo, or you can overnight in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo).

Ollantaytambo is an interesting village in the Sacred Valley, with a sector that is still in the original Inca town plan. Recommended!

Arequipa
picasaweb.google.com/kiwifann/Arequipa
picasaweb.google.com/kiwifann/ArequipaPeruSantaCatalinaMonastery

Colca Canyon
picasaweb.google.com/kiwifann/ColcaCanyon
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Old Nov 11th, 2012, 12:11 AM
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Excellent advice from mlgb's. we used both of the buses mentioned Cusco -Puno-Arequipa and thought both were excellent. The local buses around Cusco are rife with pickpockets according to some of the Peruvians we got to know but we did not encounter any problems.

Macchu Picchu is a must do for most although I actually preferred Pisac which can be visited from Ollantaytambo or Cusco. The Inca architecture in Ollantaytambo is amazing and I would highly recommend staying there for a day or to as you wil then get the opportunity to wander the streets once the day trippers are gone. In the area Chinchero, Maras and The salt terraces are all worth a visit.

Cusco itself is worth a more than a few days as there is so much to see. Do take care re altitude which affects most people to some degree, particularly in Cusco and seven more so in Puno. With 10 days you really should consider flying some sections to make the most of your time. however, although the Inka Express between Puno and Cusco take 7 hours, it is not time wasted as there are lots of stops en route and the scenery as you cross the altiplano amongst the most spectacular I have seen anywhere.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 06:33 AM
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Thank you guys! very very useful info...I checked TACA airline and the flights are much cheaper than LAN...I was thinking an itinerary like this:

DAY 1 : LIMA
DAY 2 FLIGHT TO CUSCO
DAYS 3,4,5 CUSCO AND GETTING AROUND (SEE MAP)
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid...48239,1.054687

DAY 6,7 PUNO AND LAKE TITICACA (BY INCA EXPRESS)

DAY 8 BUS OR TRAIN TO AREQUIPA
DAY 9 AREQUIPA
DAY 10 FLIGHT TO LIMA

What do you think? Am I missing from other places, i.e. jungle?

Are there good buses routes between Puno and Arequipa?
What do you think of the map I attached?
xx nat
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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Looks good to me! You seem to have most bases covered and really do not have the time IMO to fit in a jungle visit.. Our blog covers most of the places you intend visiting with some detail of our time there and some photos:

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/1/tpod.html
Entries 56 - 64 cover Peru.

The bus from Puno to Arequipa takes 5 hours through some great scenery. Most buses will arrive in the dark and Arequipa bus station has a reputation for being a little dodgy at night ( we found it to be ok) so it would be wise to pre book accommodation and arrange for them to collect you from the station which is normal practice.
It is only a few extra $ to get a first class or Ejecutivo seat and well worth it. Get a downstairs seat which is more stable on the ride there are lots of twists and turns on the road and Peruvian drivers are more concerned with speed than comfort..
When in Arequipa allow a morning to wander around Santa Catalina convent, a really beautiful place.

The SV can be covered in one , very long, day but deserves more. You could always split your time 2 days cusco and 2 days Ollantaytambo. Your map covers it well with the exception of Pisac which should not be missed!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2012, 09:09 AM
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@ crellston
I spent the last hour and half reading your blog

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

the Peru section. Great writing!!Well done!
I feel like however, you were not impressed with anything you came along in Peru, except maybe Lake titicaca..Do you think there is an altenative itinery than the one i suggested?

DAY 1 (7/12) : LIMA
DAY 2 (8/12) FLIGHT TO CUSCO
DAYS 3,4,5 (9,10,11 december) CUSCO AND GETTING AROUND (SEE MAP)
DAY 6,7 (12,13 december) PUNO AND LAKE TITICACA (BY INCA EXPRESS)
DAY 8 (14/12) BUS OR TRAIN TO AREQUIPA
DAY 9 (15/12)AREQUIPA
DAY 10 (16/12) FLIGHT TO LIMA


Also I m quite puzzled cause my cousin and his wife are flying to cusco 3 days later than us(they re spending 17 days in total peru and bolivia) and I cannot think of a common itinery we can have. Except maybe, if we fly first to Arequipa, and then drive up in cusco to meet them, but all the itinery suggestions are the other way down, lima -cusco-puno-arequipa-lima rather than lima-arequipa-puno-cusco-lima

Is there another great place to visit, before going to cusco?
thank you all for your time!
natalia
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Old Nov 22nd, 2012, 11:47 AM
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I will let crellston reply but when I read his blog I did not get the feeling that he was only impressed by Lake Titicaca!

The other thing to be aware if is that by now the blog is over 4 years old, do not rely on prices quoted and as well there have been many changes since the big floods in the Sacred Valley. Lima is also much improved from my first visit which was just after crellston's.

Suggest you visit www.andeantravelweb.com which maintains updated pricing, as well as various links to lodging, tour companies, transport etc.

Of course you can do your itinerary in reverse.

And there is no train between Puno and Arequipa. There is now a good tourist bus, the 4-M Express which runs Arequipa-Chivay-Puno, or direct Arequipa-Puno.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2012, 12:59 AM
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Natkoko, I am surprised that you gained that impression form my blog! We spent two months in Peru, a lot longer than our original intention because we enjoyed it so much. Indeed we are in the process of planning a return next year.

As mlgb rightly points out, it is entirely possible to do the trip in reverse, it is simply a matter of personal preference. The reason for most operators to offer the routes they do is possibly to do with the altitudes of the places involved, Cusco being the second highest point and a good way to acclimatise in prep for Puno.

The website provided by mlgb is excellent. We used it a lot, together with the SA explores site, but you need to be a member for that one.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Hello guys

Once again , thank you for your replies!
Tha time is coming, we are flying to Peru on thursday, and...we still haven t decided exactly where we re going, hehe
BUT...I have booked the domestic flights, through the peruvian site of LAN (hope they are not going to charge me extra at the airport, when they discover, I m not a peruvian!). We are flying from Lima to Arequipa first, on the 8 th of december, and we return from Cuzco to Lima on the 16th...the inbetween is quite chaotic right now...Any help?

A itinerary we had in mind, is not quite working with the buses routes:

First day: Lima, night 1: Lima

Second day : Arequipa (arrive 13.20), night 2 : Arequipa

Third day : Arequipa+ Santa Catalina, night 3: Arequipa

Fourth day: Arequipa-Puno, depart at 13h, arrive at 19h, night 4: Puno, via M4

Fifth day (Tuesday):half dayake Titicaca, depart to Cuzco via Inca express[inca express departs only in the early morning...so quite impossible!], night 5: Cuzco

Sixth day : Sacred valley , night 6: Ollay

Seventh day Machu Picchu, night 8: aguas calientes

Eight day: Machu Picchu, night 8: Cuzco

Ninth day: Cuzco, night 9 : Cuzco

tenth day: Lima, back to Europe


to cut the long story short, it seems that lake titicaca simply, does not fit. We are people that are willing to sqeeze a lot of things in our itinerary, but the point is to enjoy the trip and kind on immence in the local spirit. What do you think? Is there a direct bus route from arequipa to cuzco? Safe?

Thank you in advance for all your help

natalia
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 04:44 PM
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When you show your Passport ID to check in at the airport, they will flag you as nonPeruvian.

I don't know the odds of being able to print out a boarding pass online and get away with not being asked for an ID.

You should be able to find a morning bus Arequipa to Puno. I think Cruz del Sur has one. That trip takes about 6 hours.

Yes there are busses from Arequipa to Cusco but they are overnight. Cruz del Sur also does this. It's about 10 hours.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 05:10 PM
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wow! fast and effective! thank you mlgb
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 09:17 AM
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Hope I'm not too late. I'd spend less time in Arequipa and another night in Lima or Cusco. Lima has several great museums-- National Museum of Archaeology, etc. and Museo Larco, both in Puebla Libre area offer good introductions to the many cultures of Pre-Columbian Peru and I'd suggest one or the other or both (you can walk).
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