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Peru on your own?

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
4 reviews
Peru on your own?

My brother and I are planning on going to Peru around the end of August this year and as usual we are trying to weigh up going it ourselves or doing a tour. I have done a lot of research into daily budgets for Peru versus the daily amount for a tour and it seems to be cheaper doing it independently. Having said that the Tucan tours are really well priced at the moment. Does anyone have experience doing Peru on their own and could offer any advice? We are used to sorting out our own accommodation, transport etc. It also looks like there are some well-priced and reputable hostels available in Peru. One of my main concerns is also whether it is safe for two people in their 20s to be going around on our own?

jersey
Level Contributor
1,018 posts
19 reviews
1. Re: Peru on your own?

Lots of young people are travelling Peru alone. I´d advise you to get a guidebook suited to solo travellers like lonely planet. it´s made for people in your situation. Do some reading first. Peru is extremely easy. As long as you use common sense, and have some basic understanding of things you should be fine.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: Peru on your own?

Thanks so much 450chris. Getting a lonely planet sounds like a good idea! So do you mean Peru is easy transport and accommodation wise? Also, do you think it's necessary to book most things in advance if we're going at the end of August? I realise for things like the Inca trail this is essential but for other activities like Nascar flights, Colca canyon should we book online? I have read some comments which said that a lot of the local (cheaper) tourist operators in these areas are not able to be booked online. Also do you think that local tourist companies in Peru are legit?

jersey
Level Contributor
1,018 posts
19 reviews
3. Re: Peru on your own?

Yes, peru is very easy travel wise, accomodation wise, activities wise. Decide what you want to do, then plan your budget, ativities, etc--- when your done, ask us again.

Freetown, Sierra...
Level Contributor
57 posts
41 reviews
4. Re: Peru on your own?

In my opinion arranging things for traveling in Peru was very easy; it is a tourist friendly environment. I did book my hostels and most bus rides and flights in advance, but it should be as doable already there, if you have more loose plans. The tours (except MP), in my opinion, you can book when you are there - I had no problems getting arrangements for Colca, Titicaca etc. within hours of arriving in a particular town. I used Rough Guide, but get one that is up to date, things move on in Peru, pricewise and other.

Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
5,097 posts
135 reviews
5. Re: Peru on your own?

I agree, doing it on your own is easy, and will typically save you at least 50%. Our trips prior to actually moving here were all done on our own and so far, all of our guests have traveled without the aid of an agency.

I recently helped a guest build an itinerary and the cheapest tour company quote was twice the amount.

Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
92 posts
257 reviews
6. Re: Peru on your own?

I travel solo quite often when I looking at package for Peru, the cost was esp high.

Since I've traveled to South America before, I knew that hostal were reasonable and low cost. I also knew that other items like food and touring around in the country is reasonable.

I booked my own hotels, plane tickets based on research. I had to book my Machu Picchu with an agency, but even with this, my cost was cheaper than the tour packages.

Houston
Level Contributor
785 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Peru on your own?

In planning, read through the last 3 or 4 months of posts and any from last year's month of travel that matches yours to get some good travel plan ideas. Trip reports will really give you a ton of information, as well.

When my now-husband and I traveled all over, we had a loose plan that we adjusted as desired. It was really nice to have the option to stay an extra day in one place and skip another altogether.

MP seems to be the only thing that should be booked in advance. We didn't because of our flexible traveling and were able to get a trip the day before that wasn't over budget. I'm not sure how easy it is to do that nowdays. It might be a good topic to start here.

Please do pay attention to the altitude when planning your destinations. You really do want to steadily go up and not bounce up and down repeatedly. IF y'all are sensitive to altitude, a steady climb will make the adjustment much easier to tolerate. (Don't freak out over this--so many people do and the majority of folks have little more than headache, mild shortness of breath, and fatigue from it- it is still a bummer to not feel at your peak so that steady climb will probably help you to have a better trip.)

The Lonely Planet book was the one we took with us but the recommendations weren't necessarily so hot. Before your trip, make a list of all the towns/cities you plan to visit with 4 or 5 accomodations for each town that are recommended on this site. The worst place I have ever stayed in my life was in the Lonely Planet book--so be aware that once a place is listed in there, they might turn to crap since the advertising is already done and they don't have to actually be any good to have people show up. If you do have to leave a place, it is much better to have a place to go than just to wander and pray.

Good luck. I am sure y'all will have a most excellent trip.

jersey
Level Contributor
1,018 posts
19 reviews
8. Re: Peru on your own?

The Lonely Planet book was the one we took with us but the recommendations weren't necessarily so hot.

The lonely planet is the EASIEST guidebook to use, and best for ORIENTATING oneself to the places. When it comes to hotels, its best to use the LP as a rough guide, hotels change, prices go up, you can always find better and cheaper alone. I also tried the rough guide- supposedly amongst the best of the peru guidebooks, and found it both lacking in hotel options and info, as well. Treat all guidebooks as just that- guides.

For example in Cusco, with a bit of searching off the main plaza you can get simple rooms fron 15-20 soles. You wont see that in them guidebooks.

Peru is pretty easy to tour alone, just watch out for your valuables, and take travel insurance.

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
9. Re: Peru on your own?

Actually the best guidebook is Footprint.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
13 posts
101 reviews
10. Re: Peru on your own?

After recent reports from the the US state department about potential kidnappings around Macchu Picchu and Cuzco, I've been really worried about travelling to Peru on my own to the extent I'm going to cut back on the time there and do an organised tour only.

Can anyone recommend a tour of the Sacred Valley for 3-4 nights?

It's a shame, but safety is the priority - it has to be.