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Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

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Irvine, California
posts: 77
reviews: 6
Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

I read tons of messages on the forums. I still cannot figure out what would be the best plan:-)

I am looking to come up with the plan for 10 days trip.

Preference:

1 - Visit Cuzco - Hidden Valley and Machu Picchu

2 - Visit Amazon Jungle/River(Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado )

Prefer to get wilderness lodge.

Any suggestion on

1 - Where to find a good deal for airline ticket in/out of Los Angele to Lima

2 - Get the full package or get the airline and fine local tours for both plans.

Any other advice?

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
posts: 6,049
reviews: 14
1. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

I think you are almost always better off booking your own flights. Sometimes agencies will give you really inconvenient times and/or multiple layovers, with long flights. I generally check many of the various flight search agencies like Kayak, Mobissimo, Sidestep, Bing, etc., plus Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, and now Trip Advisor. I actually found a great fare to Peru on Orbitz, one I couldn't find elsewhere, though I generally prefer to book directly with the airline after finding the fare through these searches. LAN has direct flights to Lima, found one at <$900RT, less than 9 hours.

Recommend you also look at alternative airports you could travel a couple hours to, and fiddle with the dates to find best rates.

Then, find local tours or book your own itinerary online.

(BTW, I think you mean "Sacred Valley")

california
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Palm Desert
posts: 11,436
reviews: 156
2. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

Keep an eye on LAN and American Airlines as they fly nonstop from LAX. They also fly from SFO, I guess because this is a new service the fares tend to be cheaper at the moment from there (like $190 less r.t).

If you have to fly around the holidays it will be more expensive. For the domestic flights check with Peruvian Airlines, Star Peru or TACA as well as LAN.

Depending on when you are going you might get a better rate at a lodge around Iquitos by calling them directly. I got a rate at about $100 per day including meals, transport, guides and all activities, including the lodge's own zipline at the Tahuayo Lodge. If you going to Iquitos I'd suggest at least 5 days.

Kamloops, Canada
posts: 3,517
reviews: 27
3. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

When I flew to Peru I booked through www.travelocity.com and flew LAN direct from LA to Lima. As you are planning to go to Cusco I suggest you plan to go their directly and look into building the Lima-Cusco portion of your flight into your international ticket. My wife and I did this and after landing in Lima changed planes and flew onto Arequipa for almost the same cost as just flying into Lima.

Save any time you plan to visit Lima for the end of your trip as you will have to fly out of LIma anyways. That way if there are any delays or cancellations in your travel plans you will have a bit of a buffer.

My wife and I planned and booked everything ourselves which included the flight to Peru, 3 domestic flights within Peru, and our lodging. We used local buses or taxis to get around and joined up with a couple organized tours when it became a necessity. Not only was it really easy but it worked out to be much less expensive and probably just as good if not better than some of the organized tours Ive heard people have gone on.

To save yourself some time try combining a visit to the Sacred (Hidden?) Valley with the journey to get to Machu Picchu. Either join a Sacred Valley tour, which can be easily arranged in Cusco, or use local buses or taxis to get you to Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Take a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes as it will be much cheaper, faster, and have more times to choose from.

www.perurail.com

www.incarail.com

www.machupicchutrain.com

We took a late train and stayed in Aguas Calietntesthe night before so we could be in Machu PIcchu first thing in the morning which I totally reccomend as it gets super crowded and noisy when the train loads of tourists arrive between 11 AM and 3 PM. We stayed all day and unless you plan to hike Huanay Picchu you can totally see Machu Picchu in 1 day. We stayed overnight again in Aguas Calientes so we could stay in Machu PIcchu right until it closed and also so we would have some time to spend in the Sacred Valley the next day.

On your return trip take the train back to Ollantaytambo and hire a taxi to take you back to Cusco with stops to visit Maras and Moray. You can easily cover the both Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu in 2-3 days this way and you will maximize the time spent at each as well.

For your Jungle trip, since you are going to Cusco anyways, then it might make sense to go to Puerto Maldonado or Manu rather than Iquitos. Im sure you could easily arrange a tour once in Cusco and it will probably be a better deal than arranging one online. Check out www.starperu.com for flights to PM.

This website has great info on Peru including places to stay and info on tours....

www.andeantravelweb.com/peru

San Miguel de...
Destination Expert
for San Miguel de Allende, Central Mexico and Gulf Coast
posts: 4,322
reviews: 97
4. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

If you book all your flights on the AA or LAN websites you could find that you will get the LAN domestic sectors a lot cheaper than booking them separately, and maybe even cheaper than opting for the LCC carriers like Star Peru.

If using the AA website, select multicity and all oneworld carriers.

You'll earn miles too if you are signed up for the AA FFP.

california
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Palm Desert
posts: 11,436
reviews: 156
5. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

You might actually find the airfareLima to Iquitos cheaper than flying Cusco to PM and certainly cheaper than flying to Manu. Since you are going in and out of Lima you are also going to be in Lima.

So the convenience factor is not a big difference for me with respect to jungle areas. In Iquitos you do get to see the actual Amazon River.

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 12,946
reviews: 56
6. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

www.spiritair.com

www.lan.com

www.taca.com

www.farecompare.com

for best LAX LIM

do www.manuadventures.com from Cusco for best wildlife to save

www.peruforless.com good custom tours if you do not want to DIY

www.gotmyfare.com best for price budget packages from $999

with air tour food hotels if you can make that work..

Happy journey,

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 12,946
reviews: 56
7. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

www.otorongoexpeditions.com

best for true Amazon experience out of Iquitos

fly there via www.starperu.com cheaper than LAN

Irvine, California
posts: 77
reviews: 6
8. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

Thanks everyone for the comment. I am shopping around:-) excited!

california
posts: 360
reviews: 7
9. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

The fares I saw doing the multi-city think for LAN flights on the AA site were so low I was worried if it's possible they could turn out to be the Peruvian only prices... ? Has someone done this and flown them to be sure?

Irvine, California
posts: 77
reviews: 6
10. Re: Looking for advice on 10- days itinerary

it gives you the total price as far as I know. I am still shopping around. It is kind of pricey for the Xmas time.

AA --> Multiple City for me is ending up around $2100

LAX --> LIM --> CUZ --> LIM---> IQT --> LIM -->LAX

I called LAM directly and got a little bit better price such as $2050

I also find out that I can book from LAX to LIM round trip for $1640 with LAN and AA and use the other sites that everyone recommended here for domestic flights. Such as Starperu.com. but the domestic prices difference between LAN airline and the local ones is around $150. ($410 LAN vs. around $250 others) so I am still debating how reliable the others are and worth splitting the airlines.