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Tours or DIY?

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Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 9
reviews: 5
Tours or DIY?

My husband & I will be in Lima for one month in January/February. Should we book tours to Machu Picchu and Puno or just do it on our own. We are not doing the Inca trek.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7,447
reviews: 74
1. Re: Tours or DIY?

Either way. It's easy to do on your own but there are lots if tours available. DIY is cheaper and gives you more flexibility to go where you want when you want. Tours are easier if you don't want to do as much research. All you have to do us show up.

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
posts: 16,413
reviews: 318
2. Re: Tours or DIY?

Do you speak spanish ? If not, it will be quite difficult to DIY.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7,447
reviews: 74
3. Re: Tours or DIY?

We speak very little Spanish and had no trouble visiting puno and MP on our own. In fact, peru is one if the most tourist friendly countries I ever visited. The language was less a barrier than in Spain, for example.

Edited: 11:21 pm, August 07, 2013
Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 9
reviews: 5
4. Re: Tours or DIY?

We don't speak Spanish. Would u suggest we book our tours before we leave home or do it once we are in Lima?

Kamloops, Canada
posts: 3,516
reviews: 27
5. Re: Tours or DIY?

My wife and I barely spoke any Spanish and we managed to plan 2 weeks in Peru just fine. We had a phrase book and attempted to use it when necessary but most people working closely in the tourism industry will speak better English than any Spanish you will learn before going. You will be fine DIY and you will save a ton of money. From Lima you just need to get to Cusco first. The bus www.cruzdelsur.pe takes close to 20 hours while its only an hour+ flight with LAN www.lan.com , TACA www.taca.com , STAR PERU www.starperu.com , PERUVIAN www.peruvianairlines.pe , or LC BUSRE www.lcperu.pe Just be careful as LAN and TACA have fares which are for Peruvians only so stay away from BASE, BASE PLUS, and PROMO fares. Once in Cusco you can easily sign up for tours to the Sacred Valley and Machu PIcchu or just use local buses or taxis to get around and DIY. You will need to take the train to Aguas Calientes either from Cusco or from Ollanytambo with www.perurail.com or www.incarail.com You should think about securing train and entrance tickets before hand so you get the days you want for sure but other than that you can wing it.

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
posts: 16,413
reviews: 318
6. Re: Tours or DIY?

You can book several tours once in Cusco.

Jan/Feb is low season so you should have no booking problems.

Unless you are experienced travelers and have plenty information, I recommend you book some kind of tour .

Lima, Peru
posts: 19
reviews: 1
7. Re: Tours or DIY?

Meh do it yourself I say.

I've just booked 4 nights doing cuzco and machu picchu in early Jan for myself and 3 friends that will be visiting. Got a quote from the tour company at the hotel, same thing would've cost us $500 bucks more each!

I'm booking everything ahead though as we're only there for 4 nights. But if you have a few days in cusco etc, you can always shop around when you get there for a few tours of city or the sites etc.

PS - the perurail tickets for 2014 are not on sale till mid/end Sept. I rang them up yesterday.

And I also noticed on the machu picchu web site to buy the tickets to enter, they're not showing any availability for Jan 2014. Maybe they're not released yet.

Edited: 4:31 pm, August 29, 2013
Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 9
reviews: 5
8. Re: Tours or DIY?

Thanks for the info. Are you doing the trek? My hubby and I do not want to do the trek, we just want to visit the Sacred Valley, Machu Pichu and whatever points in between. We have a condo in Lima for a month (middle of January to middle of February). During our month there we plan to fly to Cuzco and spend 4-5 days and thought we would book a tour to Sacred Valley and Machu Pichu once we were in Cuzco. Are we making a mistake? Should we be booking earlier? I understood tickets are limited for the trek, are they also limited for entry to Machu Pichu? We are also planning on going to Puno.....probably a tour from Cuzco to Puno and then fly back to Lima.

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
posts: 6,049
reviews: 14
9. Re: Tours or DIY?

Janfromcanada,

You will probably be fine going to Cuzco, Machu Picchu & surrounding areas in January & February, as it will be "low season" as far as tourists are concerned. You probably will not have any problems getting tickets, demands will be low. However, take note that this time will be during rainy season in the highlands, so be sure you have rain gear with you -- even a lightweight poncho will do.

The limit for the Inca trail is 500 per day, including trekkers, guides & porters. For Machu Picchu, it's 3000 per day. I think the only time they reached the max was during the special anniversary celebration of Hiram Bingham's discovery of Machu Picchu (plus it was during the high season for tourism).

I doubt if you will find any problems at all in booking tickets, hotels or tours you want during January & February.

Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 9
reviews: 5
10. Re: Tours or DIY?

Thanks...I love this website, it makes traveling so much easier.