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Do I really need a train reservation for November afternoon?

Detroit, Michigan
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269 posts
15 reviews
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Do I really need a train reservation for November afternoon?

I'm a little unclear about train reservations, especially from outside Peru.

(We don't speak Spanish if this make a big difference)

We (2 of us) are arriving in Cusco via bus from Lima ~11am in the middle of November (week day). We would like to have lunch and bus to Olly and then doing some tourist things there and then catch the late afternoon/evening train to Agua.

For those who are experienced, do we really need to book way in advance? We would lose flexibility if we do that? Also, are there cheaper "local train/fare" that we can take if we just show up at the train station in Olly?

Similarly, we are leaving Agua 2 days later in the morning, so we don't have a deadline. Is pre-booking a train ticket out of Agua to Cusco/Olly required/recommended?

Edited: 2:21 am, October 05, 2012
Atlanta, Georgia
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848 posts
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1. Re: Do I really need a train reservation for November afternoon?

We had trouble with the peru rail online system, plus their live chat never worked.

they did not answer emails

Lima
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81 posts
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2. Re: Do I really need a train reservation for November afternoon?

book in advance if you want to get the expedition train (cheapest train for tourists) cheapest local train is only for Peruvian citizens

Eliu

Detroit, Michigan
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269 posts
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3. Re: Do I really need a train reservation for November afternoon?

Thank you Eliu. I will study the train schedule more closely and book the "expedition" train. I do wonder how they make the distinction between locals and tourists for the cheapest local trains... I guess it won't work for us since we look and sound foreign for sure...

I do have a similar and related question. From my research, I shouldn't need to make reservations for our bus from Lima to Cusco, Cusco to Puno, and Puno to La Paz, since it is low season, and there are plenty of choice when I get there. Similarly, I should be able to find cheap lodging (private rooms in Hostels) in Cusco/Agua/Puno/La Paz without reservation? (I will make a reservation for our first night in Lima). Am I wrong in this assumption? (Reminder that we don't speak a word of Spanish...even though I'm trying to build a list of important Spanish words I'll need to use when I get there).

Edited: 11:27 am, October 05, 2012
Lima
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81 posts
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4. Re: Do I really need a train reservation for November afternoon?

Locals carry a DNI and foreigners carry a passport, so when booking you must provide the information of your ID and when boarding the train the documents are checked.

I think buses are fine but any way try to book at least the one from Lima to Cusco, you can try Cruz del Sur. November is not very busy so i think you will find good hotel or hostel deals.

In Lima try to book your accommodation in Miraflores, it is very safe and there are plenty of hostels for different budgets. For the transport from Lima airport to your hotel try to book this service thru your hotel or use Taxi Green at Lima international arrival exit.

5. Re: Do I really need a train reservation for November afternoon?

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