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Yet again another itinerary check from a Peru virgin

Yet again another itinerary check from a Peru virgin

Feb 14th, 2014, 07:54 PM
  #1  
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Yet again another itinerary check from a Peru virgin

Hello everyone, my 2 other friends and I are planning a trip to Peru from Aug 30-Sept 10.

Aug 30 Sat Depart YYZ to LIM
Aug 31 Sun Arrive in Lima & stay overnight
Sep 01 Mon Morning flight to Cuzco then go straight to Sacred Valley (stay in Olly)
Sep 02 Tue Sacred Valley tour
Sep 03 Wed Maras/Moray tour
Sep 04 Thu Train from Olly to Aguas Calientes via Peru Rail and stay overnight
Sep 05 Fri Take a very early bus to Machu Picchu from AC then head to Cuzco
Sep 06 Sat Cuzco City tour
Sep 07 Sun Fly to Lima from Cuzco and take the bus to ICA for Huacachina
Sep 08 Mon Huacachina day and bus back to Lima
Sep 09 Tue Lima day
Sep 10 Wed Depart Lim to YYZ

What do you guys think? Suggestions? I have been reading a lot of information and they are very helpful especially the ones from this site, much appreciated.

- I imagine the hotel in Aguas Calientes will be kind enough to hold our bags when we check out on Fri to be collected once we are done seeing MP?
grace_cortez_9678 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2014, 07:58 PM
  #2  
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Also if there are any suggestions in regards to hotels in Lima/SV/AC/Cuzco/Huacachina, that'll be awesome. I'd say we're a budget/mid range price trio. Thanks a lot!
grace_cortez_9678 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 08:12 AM
  #3  
 
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The hotels in AG will hold your bags for you. We stayed at something like Nature Green which was my least favorite place. Rooms were ok but wi-fi was spotty, thin walls, water went out while people were showering & didn't come on for 3 more hours do if you had shampoo in your hair you were out of luck. It was also the only place that didn't have water for you in the room. If you plan on hiking Huayan Picchu you must buy that as part of your entrance ticket & you should do it in advance as they only sell $200 per day. We did the early hike (7 am vs 11 am) & were glad we did as it was quite warm on the way down. Important to know is that the restrooms at Machuu Picchu are outside the park enterance & charge a couple of soles so keep change handy. Buy your railway ticket in advance as well as soon as you know for sure when you are going. We were a group of 4 so our hotel in Cusco helped us hire a private guide rather than go out on the big tour bus. The cost worked out about the same. If you are interested his name is Ciro Lopez & email is [email protected]. We enjoyed the one on one experience & were able to skip some of the things that the tours stop at & do things that we were more interested in. We had planned on renting a car & were so glad we didn't. We stayed in Cusco so I can't help you on the hotel in sacred valley. We only spent the first night in Lima as we were getting in late & leaving early we were only there about 5 hrs. When you check your airfare if you use LAN look at both one way & round trip. I found it to be about $20 per person cheaper to do one way rather than round trip which surprised me. We took an extra week & went in to Manu Biosphere (Amazon) which was amazing. Good luck with your trip. The food & people are amazing.
Madannie is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 08:57 AM
  #4  
 
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I would do this
Aug 30 Sat Depart YYZ to LIM (What time do you arrive?)
Aug 31 Sun Arrive in Lima & FLY TO CUSCO, TRANSFER TO SV, REST.
Sep 01 Mon SACRED VALLEY TOUR (What did you intend to see?).
Sep 02 Tue HALF DAY (OLLANTAYTAMBO RUINS) AFTERNOON TRAIN TO AC
Sep 03 Wed MACHU PICCHU, return to Olly.
Sep 04 Thu TRANSFER TO CUSCO FROM OLLY, including Moray and Salineras.
Sep 05 Fri CUSCO CITY TOUR.
Sep 06 Sat Fly to Lima, half day Lima sightseeing.
Sep 07 Sun Early Morning Bus to ICA (6:30 am to 7:30 am) arrival 11 am to noon. Sand Dunes, etc. (sunset tour is nicer) Overnight Hucachina.
Sep 08 Mon Morning bus back to Lima, half day Lima.
Sep 09 Tue Lima day
Sep 10 Wed Depart Lim to YYZ

Questions

What did you intend to see for the Sacred Valley tour? Most of the canned tours leave from Cusco. If you are staying in Ollantaytambo, you don't need a tour to get to the ruins there, you can walk and hire a guide at the entry. Pisac is actually a bit easier to reach from Cusco. Do you like to hike or bike? There are some alternative trails to the Inca Trail around Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

What time does your flight arrive? I would rather try to catch up on sleep in Ollantaytambo than Lima. The traffic is bad in Lima, it takes forever to get to and from the airport, the alternative airport hotels are either expensive or in bad neighborhoods where you are just there to sleep. Also Lima is quite noisy!

The hotels that I've used in Ollantaytambo are KB Tambo and El Albergue, there are many other choices. KB has lots of tour information on their website http://kbperu.com/

In Cusco I stay at El Balcon, and I know they have triple rooms.
In Lima I like 3 B Barranco but they do not have triple rooms as far as I know.

With 3 people I think you will find it cost effective to use a taxi for touring and transfers, or you can even use public buses to get between the main cities in the Sacred Valley (eg Ollantaytambo to Pisac via Urubamba). Moray and the Salineras are a bit more difficult, so I would do that one in a taxi, perhaps on the way back to Cusco. They really don't take very long to see, certainly not an entire day by themselves.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 09:27 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the replies! Definately a lot of great information.

- We are actually not gonna do any hiking so one day tour of MP is good enough for us.
- The only reason we decided to stay in SV is to better adjust to the altitude since it's lower than Cuzco. I tend to be overly cautious as I don't like to be sick especially when I'm on vacation! lol
- The flight we are considering would get to Lima around 1:00 a.m. so we will have a day in Lima before flying to CUZ.

- The stuff we want to see in SV would be Ollantaytambo itself, Pisac Market, Pisac archeological site, Chinchero, Urubamba which really is a canned tour like you said! Is this better to do once we get to CUZ? Is it the same for the Maras/Moray tour? Would it be too much to cram the Cuzco city tour with Maras/Moray or that's a bit much?
- The bus tours are rather cheap but I imagine there will be loads of people with you, maybe we should look into hiring a private guide and just split the cost among us like you guys suggest. It'll probably work out the same!
- So far I only have 2 hotels on my list: in SV - Hotel Sol, in AC - La Pequeña Casita Hoteland. I checked Huacachina and I didn't see a lot of choices!

Im sorry for the loads of questions and I know for sure they won't be my last! lol

Much appreciated, guys!
grace_cortez_9678 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 10:06 AM
  #6  
 
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Do not do one of those canned bus package tours!!! They spend way too much time at commission paying shops and eating lunch, and picking up people in the morning. And there is far too much on the one day. As I said, you won't need a tour to see Ollantaytambo ruins, you are already there. Chinchero, Moray and Salineras are close together, so you can do those all at the same time and split the taxi three ways.

I have done the one overnight in Lima and return to the airport next day. It is 3 am by the time you are checked in to your room, and if you manage to fall asleep the noise will be starting within a few hours with people getting up at 5am to catch flights. So if you are talking only about that night you arrive in the wee hours, I wouldn't do it. If two nights (eg very early Saturday morning and again Sunday night) that is different. But I would still rather go to Ollantaytambo right away, which gains you a day, and you will be wanting to rest that day of arrival regardless.

Here's another option
Aug 30 Sat Depart YYZ to LIM (arrive early morning, night Lima?)
Aug 31 Sun Full Day in Lima, night Lima?.
Sep 01 Mon Fly to Cusco, transfer to Pisac. Rest a bit, visit Pisac ruins and town. Overnight Pisac.
Sep 02 Tue morning transfer to Ollantaytambo, visit Ollantaytambo ruins. Afternoon train to Aguas Calientes. (Leave luggage at hotel for Sept 3.)
Sep 03 Wed MACHU PICCHU train return to Ollantaytambo, overnight there.
Sep 04 Thu morning TRANSFER TO CUSCO FROM OLLY, including Chinchero, Moray and Salineras. Night Cusco.
Sep 05 Fri CUSCO CITY TOUR. Night Cusco.
Sep 06 Sat Fly to Lima, half day Lima sightseeing.
Sep 07 Sun Early Morning Bus to ICA (6:30 am to 7:30 am) arrival 11 am to noon. Sand Dunes, etc. (sunset tour is nicer) Overnight Hucachina.
Sep 08 Mon Morning bus back to Lima, half day Lima.
Sep 09 Tue Lima day
Sep 10 Wed Depart Lim to YYZ
mlgb is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 12:17 PM
  #7  
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@MLGB
I read about those taxi drivers that also act as tour guides you can hire privately but I don't know where I could contact them and find out about their price, service etc. I tend to be very organized when it comes to trips so I'd rather not leave it last minute or when I get there! heh
grace_cortez_9678 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 12:20 PM
  #8  
 
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Percy Salas is a tour guide that speaks English
[email protected]

For a taxi only, you can email your hotel and ask them. Most of them have drivers that they use regularly.
mlgb is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 02:10 PM
  #9  
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How about this?

Aug 30 Sat Depart YYZ to LIM
Aug 31 Sun Arrive in Lima & stay overnight
Sep 01 Mon Morning flight to Cuzco then go straight to
Sacred Valley (rest day)
Sep 02 Tue Ollantaytambo ruins in the morning
Maras,Chinchero, Moray in the afternoon
Sep 03 Wed Train to Aguas Calientes stay overnight
Sep 04 Thu Very early bus to Machu Picchu from AC then
transfer to Cusco
Sep 05 Fri Cuzco City
Sep 06 Sat Pisac Ruins, Town/Market
Sep 07 Sun Fly to Lima take the bus to ICA for Huacachina
Sep 08 Mon Huacachina day and bus back to Lima in the
afternoon
Sep 09 Tue Lima day
Sep 10 Wed Depart Lim to YYZ
grace_cortez_9678 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 11:17 AM
  #10  
 
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On Sept 3 it does not take all day to go to Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo. Just a few hours. If you want to get up in time to take the early trains, you could see all of Machu Picchu that day (especially if you do not wish to hike at all). So that is why I had you seeing MP on the 3rd. If you want to go two days to MP you could also do this. There is very little to do in Aguas Calientes, so if that is only a travel day, I would not take an early train, you could do something else that morning instead.

Re September 7, I doubt you will reach ICA in time for a tour that day. (Sunset tours leave at 4 pm). You can plug in possible flight times and it then takes about 5 hours to bus Lima to Ica, plus allow at least an hour to get from the airport to the bus station in Lima.

I think my itinerary is more efficient and gives you an extra day to get to Huacachina, plus a bit more time in Lima. But it's your trip!
mlgb is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 08:47 PM
  #11  
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@mlgb I've changed my itinerary based on your tips as you were right! I'm wondering how much time do we need to do Moray/Maras if we hire a private guide as I am thinking of doing it in the morning before we leave later in the afternoon for Olly? Also would it be a very long & tiring day if I do both on the same day? Reason I ask is I want to make sure we are fully rested for MP the next day. Would it be better if I do Maras/Moray on a different day?

Lastly, I am now thinking twice about Pisac Ruins as we will see Olly's anyway. In your opinion, which one would you choose if you could only do one of them? I just dont want us to be exhausted that we don't even get to enjoy what we're seeing so we are trying to pace ourselves!
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Feb 17th, 2014, 09:04 AM
  #12  
 
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Moray and the Salineras are at high altitude (similar to Cusco), so I think it's better to do them after you have had a few days to acclimate, not on your first day. If you don't want to walk down to the bottom of the circles (and have to climb back up!) then they don't really take much time at all. And you don't need a guide, read up about them before you go. Little interpretation is needed.

Pisac ruins and town are different than Olly. Really I would try to see both. On different days!
mlgb is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 07:14 PM
  #13  
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I really appreciate this mlgb. We won't be walking down to the bottom of the circles so it really shouldn't take long for that one! We will just definately hire a cab to take us there.

Does this look better? As always, very open to feedbacks and suggestions! I added more days in Cusco so that we'll have more time to adjust to the altitude (crossing fingers.)

Fri Arrive in LIM @ 7PM
Sat Early AM flight to Cusco, stay in SV
Sun Pisac ruins, town/market
Mon Ollantaytambo ruins in the AM then train to AC
Tue Very early bus to MP then transfer to Cusco
Wed Cusco City/surrounding area
Thu Maras/Moray/Salineras (AM half day)
Fri Cusco City/surrounding area
Sat Fly to Lima & half a day tour of LIM
Sun Early morning bus ride to ICA
Mon Morning bus back to LIM & half a day tour of LIM
Tue Depart Lim @1:50PM
grace_cortez_9678 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 08:24 AM
  #14  
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Incidentally, I just got an email from the hotel in SV we're considering letting us know that they can arrange a pick up from the airport to their hotel and they are willing to stop in Moray,Maras & Salinas on the way. I remember you mentioned in your previous post to not to do Moray/Maras/Salinas right away until we've adjusted to the altitude as it's higher than SV.

Do you recommend we just do Moray/Salinas/Salinas another day instead of the day we land in Cusco?
grace_cortez_9678 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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The problem is that you never know how you feel first time flying in to Cusco. Your body will naturally react to the altitude by speeding up your heart rate, and it can take a few hours for the full effects to make themselves known, so pushing it by walking around at that altitude can mess you up for the balance of the day, and if you are really sensitive it can put you in bed for the next day.

So I don't see the advantage, when you can just as easily book the transfer back (Olly to Cusco) with the stop included then. You will be adapted to altitude, and you have more choices to train back to Ollantaytambo (where you've left your luggage) and spend the night there. Then on Weds morning you can see those sights on the way back to Cusco by taxi. Thurday you will have all day to see sights in &/or around Cusco if you want to use a guide that day.

Friday you can either spend another day in Cusco or fly back to Lima. I really like Lima, btw.
mlgb is offline  
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