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My Recent trip to Peru

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 posts
15 reviews
My Recent trip to Peru

Thought of sharing our trip experience with you all


1. Get a copy of the latest edition of Lonely Planet

2. Plan the entire trip yourself. I was able to save around 1500 USD as compared to prices given by several tour operators. Moreover, you get to travel comfortably with your family at your own pace and not get ushered like cattle.

3. You don’t need a guide at all the ruins or cathedrals. You need one very much at Machhu Pichhu. We were lost at one point of time.

4. Most importantly, your kids should be capable of hiking. So I would suggest wait till they grow up a bit.

5. Book the hotels through booking.com before you leave US. Buy the tickets to the entrance to MP beforehand because they allow only 2500 visitors a day.

6. Book your domestic/international flights through LAN.com. We faced luggage problem though. The luggage arrived after 4 days.

7. Take train to MP. Book it through Peru rail much earlier during your plan. It gets filled up very soon. We had taken vistadome for going up to MP and expedition train for coming back. Vistadome is faster.

8. Little Spanish helps.

10. Peru visa is required for all green card holders.

11. We carried cash with us and converted to Peruvian Soles at Lima airport. That was a mistake. We should have done that at Cuzco. The exchange rate was higher.

12. Carry lots of pencils, candies and crayons for the kids in the Islands on Lake Titicaca. We will remember the smiles on their faces throughout our lives.

14. Pisco sour highly recommended. I got drunk almost every night.

DAY 01 -Dec 22 Saturday–5:35 am arrived at LIMA

Took flight to Cuzco at 9:45 am.

Lunch/Dinner recommended at Cicciolina (%23-9510; Triunfo 393,2nd fl; h8am-late). Drink Pisco sour (45% alcohol).

Visited La cathedral and Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha) One of the most famous paintings of the escuela cuzqueña is The Last Supper by Quechua artist Marcos Zapata, which is found in the northeast corner of the cathedral. Acclimatized and so we did not do any more tours on the first day.


Left early in the morning by taxi to Pisac and Ollantaytambo ruins. Pisac market is on Sunday. You can buy a lot of stuff here.

Recommended Lunch at Tres Keros Restaurant Grill & Bar (%20-1701; cnr hwy & Señor de Torrechayoc;) at Urubamba Valley. Argentine food.

Recommended Dinner and stay at El Alburgue at Ollantaymabo


Caught vistadome at 7:00am in the morning to Machhu Pichhu and toured the Citadel. We hiked to Intipunku (sun gate-2 hrs round trip and strenuous but very good view of MP) and Inca Drawbridge. Alternatively you can hike to Huyana Pichu (the tall mountain in the classic picture) for a breathtaking view of MP and the surrounding Andes. By 2 pm, there was less crowd and we had few people coming in the shots. Stayed in Aguas Calientes. We felt that we could have taken a late train back to Ollantaytambo.


Returned to Ollantaytambo by train and hired a taxi to visit these sites.

Moray: Is one of the most spectacular views where there are four circular terraces of different sizes. Maras and Salineras. The salt mines, consisting of platforms based on pools of salt water that comes from pre-Inca, Inca, colonial times, at present the people of Maras are still working on the farm of salt.

Visited the ruins at Q’enqo, Puka Pukara, Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman outside of Cusco.

Recommended Dinner at Jack’s Café (%25-4606; Choquechaca 509; h7:30am-11:30pm)


Had booked INKAEXPRESS bus, to Puno earlier.

The entire trip we enjoyed the beautiful views of Peru altiplano and visited important places like archaeological centers of Pukara, Raqchi, Sistine Chapel of Andahuaylillas.


We visited Uros Islands, there are about 40 scattered islands inhabited by families and are an important floating archipelago, even today some of them practice old traditions with a preponderant Aymara influence, their entire life is linked to the totora (reed) (aquatic plants).

We went to Taquile island after that and in the afternoon returned to Puno. Had dinner at Colores. Not at all recommended even though it was Lonely Planet’s recommendation. The food was horrible. You might try Tulipans (Lima 394) or Incabar (Lima 348).

DAY 07- DEC 28 Friday: PUNO -LIMA

On our way to airport, we visited the Necropolis of Pre-Inca origin; it is located on a small peninsular plateau in Umayo Lagoon, 32 Kilometers northwest from Puno. This is an interesting archaeological complex in contrast to the landscape, the majestic funeral towers of Kolla and Inca architectural styles.

Flight from Juliaca airport at 5:05 pm.

DAY 08- DEC 29 Saturday: LIMA

We had taken the city tour in the morning. In the evening we went to the Fountains and had a dinner show. Dinner show is a must. Highly recommended. The city tour was ok but the evening points of interest were awesome. Originally, we had planned to visit the Nazca lines and Paracas but by this time we were tired of ruins.

DAY 09 – 30 DEC Sunday: 12:50 pm Depart from LIMA

Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
5,097 posts
135 reviews
1. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

Thanks for the great report, lots of detail and good tips although I disagree with a few of them.

#5. While the many sights like Booking.com and Airbnb.com are great places to research places, once you find a place you like, it is often better to contact the property directly through their website, you may be able to get a better price.

#6. As airfare pricing is always changing, your best bet is to shop around I have used at least 4 different companies for my flights to and from the US and almost always use Star Peru for the domestic flights.

#7. There are a couple of companies providing service to AC, Machu Picchu Train should also be considered, There is the Hiram Bingham and I believe there is another but I can't remember the name.

Dunellen, New Jersey
8 posts
2. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

Hi we are planning to visit Peru in July for 11/12 days. We would like to know whether you took Vistadome or Expedition for MP. We would also like to include Inca lines and rainforest in our trip. Any suggestions? Where did you get your tickets for MP and Sared valley. Thanks in advance and BTW we are also crazy Bengalies who loves to travel.

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

Hi , we had taken Vistadome in the morning while going up to MP because it takes shorter time and took Expedition while coming down. For MP tickets, we got it from the site www.ticket-machupicchu.com. Sacred Valley tour -we did it ourselves. Just booked a cab and went on our own which was much more comfortable rather than being hushed around like cattle by tour companies. Didn't visit the rainforest because we want to include that in our Ecuador trip. Peru is a lovely country with lovely people. You will love it

Dunellen, New Jersey
8 posts
4. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

Thanks! Do you have recommendations for hotels? Do we need to get any tickets in advance other than train to MP ? We will stay overnight in Aguas Caliante...any hotel you can suggest? How much cash approximately we should carry? Thanks for your time.

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

Regarding hotels

Cusco - Hosteria de Anita - liked the hotel very much but the only drawback was that it had a long flight of steps from the road

Ollantaytambo- El Alburgue on the train platform -highly recommended

Aguas Calientes- Wachuma -nice location but the sweet hotel owners do not speak English at all and we had a tough time explaining what we need

Puno-Kuntur Inn

We had got the Inka Express bus tickets from Cusco to Puno earlier.

We had carried 5000 usd with us but we ended spending 2000.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

Dunellen, New Jersey
8 posts
6. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

Hi Thanks for all your helpful tips. We are planning to stay overnight in Aguas Caliante. What did you do with your luggage? Did you checked in your hotel first and then went to the citadel? Also how late in the day people can enter to see the citadel? Can you buy your MP ticket in advance from Cuzco or online? We are in our planning phase with lot of questions in mind. Thanks in advance for your advice. We will be there for 11 days and would like to add Puerto Maldonado in our trip. Can you pl suggest how to do it as we are trying to follow your trip plan. Thanks!

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 posts
15 reviews
7. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

We had left our luggage at the hotel at Ollantaytambo and just carried our individual backpacks with minimum things. I would advise you to get to the citadel as soon as you can. It is so huge that it would take almost the whole day. I think I mentioned earlier where you can buy the MP tickets online. We haven't been to Puerto Maldonado because we are planning to see amazon from Ecuador.

Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
6,183 posts
15 reviews
8. Re: My Recent trip to Peru


You will find many of the answers to your questions on this website: andeantravelweb.com/peru/…index.html

Also, a lot of your question have been previously asked & answered on the forum. Read back in the threads to find topics that apply to your questions. Also, read the "top questions" section on the Peru forum & also on the sub-forums.

Luggage -- even better is to leave it at your Cusco or Sacred Valley hotel & take only what you need for overnight in a small tote or daypack. The train has limits on size of luggage which amount to small carry-on, as there is no separate baggage car. (However, so far haven't heard of them enforcing it.)

9. Re: My Recent trip to Peru

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