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Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Northwich, United...
Level Contributor
2,027 posts
95 reviews
Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Hi

Can anyone give me some advice on planning our Peru tour, including advice on months of the year to go. We are looking at anytime from end July, any of August or September. We would like to do no more than three weeks in Peru. So far this is what we have come up with.

Fly from UK via Madrid to Lima and straight on to Cusco, arriving in around 8am in the morning.

Day 1: Get our bearings and casually explore Cusco

Day 2: Sacred Valley tour or do it ourselves including markets (not sure how easy this is to do by ourselves. *Any advice here welcome*

Day 3: Depart with either Llama Path or Peru Treck on the Inca Trail. Still not decided on which tour company.

Day 4: Inca Trail

Day 5: Inca Trail

Day 6: Inca Trail/Arrive late back into Cusco

Day 7: Cusco

Day 8: Fly back from Cusco to Lima stay overnight in Lima

Day 9-??: Amazon Tour and Lodge **Unsure of who to book with, duration and tour. I looked at Amazon Explorer who have good reviews on here, but I'm not brave enough I think I need a lodge, but with the optional activities! Also, I'm sure I've read something about a monkey sanctuary, can anyone advise?

So this is where I reach a blank, from here would you go back to the UK. Does this make for a good trip or is there anything else I am missing out on?

Please if anyone has done something similar, could you advise. I don't want this thread to get bogged down with people posting details of their own companies, rather I'd like to hear from people who have done similar trips and personal experiences.

Thanks,

Rachel

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
1. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

If you have three weeks there is no reason to rush your acclimitization prior to trekking.

Spend a few days in the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo), then move to Cusco for a few nights before the trek.

You can also go via Arequipa through Chivay to Puno and then to Cusco, and by then you will be well acclimated.

Many people have done this trip and I think if you browse through the forums you will find detailed descriptions of other itineraries. I know JodoKast often posts his details.

Edited: 4:44 pm, January 12, 2012
Lima, Peru
Level Contributor
3,908 posts
120 reviews
2. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Would recommend securing your places with the Inca Trail company of your choice and from there work your itinerary around the dates confirmed.

The Inca Trail sells out pretty quickly

Happy Plannings!

Northwich, United...
Level Contributor
2,027 posts
95 reviews
3. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Thanks for the replies so far. Peru Treks on their website have plenty of availability July onwards. We are just trying to work out when is the best month. Flights from the UK are around £600 plus to Cusco. Is this normal? Apart from Llama Paths and Peru Trecks is there any other tour company you would reccomend for the Inca?

If we fly into Lima and go to Cusco first, would you spend a few days here, go to the SV, spend a couple of days here, then back to Cusco before doing our trek.... Its just that you go back on yourself and doesn't seem to make sense. I suppose it would make better sense to get a tour that picked up in SV. How easy is it to get to SV from Cusco on your own, without the aid of a tour? If we fly to IQ after the trail will be get any problems with sickness?

Cape Town
Level Contributor
694 posts
67 reviews
4. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

We flew into Lima from Cape Town (South Africa), spent 2 days there then flew to Cusco. The altitude adjustment was quite tough - we'd been at sea level for a long time. But 3 nights in Cusco was enough, and we did the Inca Trail after that with no problems. Full story (with pics) here -> http://www.paulkilfoil.co.za/2010.aspx

If you're not used to the altitude do not under estimate its effects. Believe me, you won't feel like being too active the first two days you're in Cusco! So I recommend flying into Cusco and spend at least 3 nights there. Relax, walk around slowly, drink LOTS of water, don't eat big meals. In any case Cusco is a very interesting place so the 3 days won't be wasted. When you're up to it walk up to Sacsayhuaman as a "test" to see if you're ready.

Enjoy!

Iquitos, Peru
Level Contributor
37 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Hi Rachel and Gromit. I am Hector of Amazon Explorer, a registered tour company in Iquitos, Amazon river.

Thank you for consider Peru and read about us. I suggest you write us with your interests and your available time for Iquitos, so we could help you. In any case, I suggest you contact with iPeru by PromPeru, the official tourism board, to ask for the reputation of the companies you are considering hiring, asking for maps and for lists of registered tour companies in Iquitos and the place you will visit in Peru, as well as activities. Contact them to iperuiquitos@promperu.gob.pe or their 24-hour line: (+51 1) 574-8000. Check the Peru official website: www.peru.travel.

For now, I could tell you that Peru is an awesome country with a lot to do and a lot to dishes to taste. Some places you could consider in our country are:

Lima: Historic centre; Museums (Museo Larco, Museo Metropolitano and Museo de la Inquisición are the most interesting for me); Caral citadel (the oldest civilization in America); Paragliding in Larcomar; Sea Wolf spotting in the Callao islands, and so on.

Cusco: The inca heritage, Machu Picchu, Choquequirao and more.

Puno: The Titicaca lake, the Uros Indians and their floating villages.

Arequipa: the Cotahuasi canyon (the world deepest).

Ica: The Nazca lines and the Paracas National Reserve.

Huaraz: the white Andes are here if you like to do a trek, Huayhuash is one of the best options in South America (best during the Peruvian winter, from June to September). Visit one of the first civilizations in America, Chavin de Huántar.

Chiclayo and Trujillo: The pre-inca heritage: pyramids, and Chan Chan the largest adobe-made citadel in the world. Museums.

Chachapoyas: Pre-inca heritage: Kuelap fortress and Karajia sarcophagi, more than 200 pre-incan mummies in Leimebamba. The tallest waterfall in Peru and the third in the world: the Gocta waterfall. Cloudly forest landscapes.

Moyobamba: The orchids capital of Peru.

• Iquitos: The River Amazon and the rainforest are here. The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is the largest government-protected are in the floodable Amazon rainforest in South America and one of the best places to experience the jungle.

Piura and Tumbes: The best beaches and waves of Peru are here. The mangroves forest in Tumbes is a must to see.

Taste: Cebiche (Lima and Chiclayo); Lomo saltado, ají de gallina, anticuchos, and escabeche (Lima). Seco de cabrito (Chiclayo); Picante (Tacna and Lima); Juane, tacacho, cecina, inchicapi, chonta salad (Iquitos), and much more.

I hope this info will be useful for you to plan your trip for Peru.

Northwich, United...
Level Contributor
2,027 posts
95 reviews
6. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Right OK, I think I have a clearer idea of what we want to do, and also because of the sickness, I think I was doing things in the wrong order. To be honest, if anyone can help in sorting out the order that would help me as I think I'm getting it all a bit mixed up.

So, instead of arriving into Lima and going straight to Cusco, I think this will work better. Arrive in Lima from the UK, spend a night or two here, go to Huacachina (where the sand dunes are) then over to the Nasca lines (now this is where I'm struggling), would you fly back to Lima to go to Iquitos and do our 2/3 night jungle tour or from Nasca would you head to Cusco from here to spend a few nights, then head to Olly/Sacred Valley then do Inca Trail and back to Cusco/flight back to Lima for UK or would at this point at Lima do Iquitos.

Also, how best to get to these places would help too, (the more comfortable the better)!

Is this a better plan and more likely to avoid sickness. Any help welcome. Also, suggestions on months, end July, any of August or September. What would you advise.

Thanks

Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
6,183 posts
15 reviews
7. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

The only areas that will help you acclimatize for the Inca Trail are the Sacred Valley & Cusco. Huachina, Nasca & Iquitos won't help with altitude -- they are near sea level.

So, you can see those areas either at the beginning or the end of your trip. Going to the Sacred Valley before Cusco (though you do have to transit through the Cusco Airport to get to the Sacred Valley) will help with your acclimatization before the trek.

A concern we had before the Inca Trail was getting sick otherwise -- perhaps by food or water contamination -- so, we were very, very careful with what we ate & drank before & during the trek. One woman who was supposed to be in our trekking group ended up being hospitalized with severe GI problems, so she & her fiance missed it altogether.

If it were me, I would do SV/Cusco/Inca Trail first, then follow with other sites later, just for those reasons. If you decide to visit Lake Titicaca/Puno, save it for after the Inca Trail, as it's higher altitude than Cusco.

Edited: 7:06 pm, January 14, 2012
Walnut Creek...
1 post
8. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Wish to visit Peru sometime between 1/27 and 2/15. I definitely want the amazon experience and want to visit an Indian tribe. I would visit the Matis if possible. There are two of us traveling we are not hardcore outdoor people, but willing to rough it and are trying to be conscious of budget. Can anyone recommend a tour company, guide, accommodations, ... anything helpful. We are very experienced travelers, but not so much in expedition travel. Thanks!

Freetown, Sierra...
Level Contributor
57 posts
41 reviews
9. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

Take care to plan time for acclimatisation. Alternative to going straight to Cusco by air is to take the so called gringo route - to Arequipa (via Nazca and other places you want to see on the way) then Puno then Cusco. That way I felt only a little effect in Colca Canyon on the first day, and was totally ok already in Puno, which is even higher than Cusco. Do not take land route that goes from Nazca to Cuzco trough Abancay - that's where you are more likely to see social unrest and armed groups.

As to Amazon - I think you can get a tour from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado.

Getting to sacred valley - not hard at all, you can take a minibus from Cusco (you will find them in calle Pavitos).

New York City, New...
2 posts
1 review
10. Re: Help planning our trip to Peru & Tours

I've used http://latindestinations.com for trips to Peru before, and they were quite helpful. They are a big company but are originally from Peru. I also found a new content site called http://perutravelsource.com that seems to have pretty extensive info.

Hope that is helpful.