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How to start my trip: arriving noon Christmas Day (Dec 25th)

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Edison, New Jersey
posts: 12
How to start my trip: arriving noon Christmas Day (Dec 25th)

Hi Dear TA folks,

While excited about the upcoming trip to Peru, I have been scratching my head really hard recently, particularly about how to start our trip in cusco area after we arrive at the cusco airport on Dec 25th just before noon, and would greatly appreciate your input.

Basically, we are a couple in 20-30s, speak no Spanish, both are relatively fit and well traveled, have been to higher altitude before and should be able to handle at least 2800m pretty well.

We think it's a good idea to head directly toward sacred valley and spend the first night in Ollantay, based on what most TA folks suggested. So the question would be:

1. How much would it cost to take a cab from cusco airport to Ollantay on Christmas day? Do anybody have recommendation as to pre-arrange a driver to pick us up?

2. Since we are taking an overnight flight from US to lima then directly transfer to Cusco, we'll probably be kind of tired and sleepy upon arriving, would you recommend stopping by Maras and Moray on our way to Ollantay? This will be the most efficient way for our itinerary, but I don't know whether we want to push ourselves to do this on Day 1.

3. This alternative way is seldom mentioned, but should we consider taking the cab to Poroy and ride the train to Ollantay instead? We plan to take the train on this section once (Poroy-Ollantay or vice versa) because we want the experience, so I am evaluating this option. Question is, for this section, do we have to reserve our train ticket before hand, or can we go to the station and buy the ticket there; will there be any risks doing so? (And I hope there is no luggage restriction on this section?)

As you can see there are like thousands of ideas bumping in my head right now, so I definitely need your experience and knowledge! Thanks a ton!

I am attaching a draft of our itinerary for your information (again, I am still moving thins around ^_^)

Dec 25th, Arrive in Cusco; Go to Ollantay for the night

Dec 26th, Tour in and around Ollantay; Go to AC later in the day for the night

Dec 27th, Machu Picchu and Huanya Picchu, stay in AC

Dec 28th, (probably) Visit Machu Picchu again in the morning; Go to Ollantay for the night

Dec 29th, Split the day between Ollantay and Cusco; Tour in and around Cusco

Dec 30th, Go to Pisac for market and ruins; Go back to Cusco and continue touring the city.

Dec 31th, Morning in Cusco, flying out after noon.

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
posts: 16,475
reviews: 375
1. Re: How to start my trip: arriving noon Christmas Day (Dec 25th)

Do not take the train from Poroy to Olly, it is slow and expensive as the ticket is to Aguas Calientes with a stopover at Olly.

Take a bus or better a cab.

Cab price will be expensier than normal so be sure to pre-arrange it.

Depending on how are you feeling, you an tell he cab to take you to Maras and Moray.

Check for recommended hotels on this forum for the Sacred Valley as you will find alternatives for all budgets. Two of the top 10 hotels in South America are located in the SV.

Edited: 6:59 am, November 16, 2012
Glasgow, United...
posts: 46
reviews: 3
2. Re: How to start my trip: arriving noon Christmas Day (Dec 25th)

I am going to be controversial here (just from experience) and ask why not just stay in Cusco and then go from there! Christmas is a great time to spend in Cusco and having spent a year there, if you take it easy for your first day or two and just enjoy the place rather than going crazy you may well get adjusted better than with a hectic schedule and worrying how to get everywhere on your first day! Also Peru, Christmas = taxi driver, drinking??

So how about:

Dec 25th, Arrive in Cusco; stay and enjoy Cusco

Dec 26th, Explore Cusco - leaves big bags in Cusco as 10Kg weight limit on train

Dec 27th,Go to Pisac for market and ruins, Tour in and around Ollantay; Night in Olly

Dec 28th, Machu Picchu and Huanya Picchu, stay in AC

Dec 29th, (probably) Visit Machu Picchu again in the morning; return Cusco

Dec 30th, Moras and Moray

Dec 31th, Morning in Cusco, flying out after noon.

Minneapolis...
posts: 2
reviews: 34
3. Re: How to start my trip: arriving noon Christmas Day (Dec 25th)

I have been to Ecuador last year. Interestingly, I am traveling to Cusco but arrive there on the 26th as we will spend Christmas in Lima. The best suggestion that I have for you is to learn some Spanish before going. You will especially want to be able to converse with the taxi driver and with the workers in restaurants. Personally, I like the Pimsleur CDs -they have some specifically for Latin America. Have a great time!

Edison, New Jersey
posts: 12
4. Re: How to start my trip: arriving noon Christmas Day (Dec 25th)

Thanks so much guys for the wonderful input!

After communicating with hotels, it looks that we'll be able to have a cab arranged to pick up at the airport for $45 on Christmas Day, same price as usual days. With this peace in mind, I think going directly to Ollantay will be convenient. Now I only have to figure out whether we want to make side stops on our way, or just head directly to our hotel.

And yes, I'll try to get some Spanish into my brain--don't know how it'll work out, but will try:)

5. Re: How to start my trip: arriving noon Christmas Day (Dec 25th)

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