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How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

Chicago, Illinois
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How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

Couple of questions please. We are flying from Lima to Cuzco and then going directly to our hotel in the Sacred Valley where we will spend 4-5 nights and visit MP during our visit there. Then, we would like to go from SV to Puno via Cuzco to visit Hayu Marca and the Floating Islands. My question is, how many nights must we spend in Cuzco before heading out to Puno via the train to avoid altitude sickness? And do we need to spend an extra day in Puno to acclimate before spending a day sightseeing there?

My second question is - how many nights are needed in Sacred Valley/MP area to have a relaxed visit and take time to acclimate to the altitude...is 5 nights too many?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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1. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

Everyone adjusts to altitude differently so there's no answer to that question. Just from a sight seeing standpoint, Cusco has a lot to offer so I'd try to spend at least a couple of nights.

I can only tell you our personal experience doing a similar route to yours. We started with 3 nights in the SV, one at MP, two in Cusco, then two in Puno and had no altitude issues.

2. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

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california
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3. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

Pretty much what wes said. For a first visit if you have the time I would suggest 3 nights in Cusco. Also, if taking a bus or train to Puno it takes most of the day, 2 nights would be a minimum and I would consider 3 if you want to more than just one day's sightseeing.

Check one of the local agency websites such as All Ways for ideas around Lake Titicaca.

No one can predict how you will do, take it easy especially when you first arrive at the airport. For me it takes several hours seemingly for my system to get over the initial shock. So I always recommend to go straight to the hotel and relax for a bit before attemting much in the eay if sightseeing.

Try to work your schedule so that Sunday is free for visiting Pisac and/or Chinchero markets. Flying in on a Saturday and spending two nights in Pisac worked well. Monday I went to Olly for several nights and ended in Cusco.

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4. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

Thanks so much - I've followed your posts and respect your opinions. Can I please ask a follow up question?

We booked a hotel in Olly for 5 nights immediately upon arriving from Lima/Cusco and plan to visit MP after 3 nights (on the 4th or 5th day). Would you recommend staying in AC one night to visit MP - or would you just take the train roundtrip back to Olly? (We are only interested in visiting MP - no additional treks or climbs. We're not interested in the hot springs, but would also like to see Aguas Calientes too (markets, restaurants, etc).

Also, would you recommend adding one more day in Cusco, Puno or Lima, given the choice? We have 10 days total and want to see SV, MP, Cusco, and Amaru Muru. I figured that I could fly back to Lima from Juliaca at the end - but if we don't spend too much time in Lima - we can add another night to an earlier leg of our journey.

Any thoughts? How would you divi up 10 days in Peru for a first visit? thank you.

Edited: 4:54 pm, November 04, 2013
London, United...
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5. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

I don't understand why you've booked 5 nights in Olly, once you land at the airport you would have to find a route to Olly from there passing through Cuzco which is an amazing city. I would have spent 3 nights in Cuzco, 2 in Olly to do MP and train it back to Cuzco. Depending on your time constraints if you leave Olly early you could catch a flight to Juliana for Lake Titicaca. Personally I would skip Lake Titicaca, it really isn't that great I would fly to Arequipa, much nicer a city than Puno which is rough around the edges.

Edited: 5:24 pm, November 04, 2013
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6. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

Thank you Kinith -

We booked 5 nights in Olly because we were told that we would need to spend a few days in the Sacred Valley to acclimate to the altitude - rather than spending time in Cusco first. We plan to visit the ruins and MP during those 5 days. We only want to go to Lake Titicaca because we want to visit Amaru Muru - and that's where it is. We really aren't interested in touring Puno. So maybe 5 nights in Olly is too much, huh?

california
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7. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

Four nights might be okay in Olly, see MP between nights 3&4, do a tour/transfrer back to Cusco (you can visit Moray/Salineras/Chinchero then).

You may need 3 nights in Puno to visit the doorway site. Have you researched how to get there? I've never been, looks interesting .

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8. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

"Would you recommend staying in AC one night to visit MP - or would you just take the train roundtrip back to Olly? (We are only interested in visiting MP - no additional treks or climbs. We're not interested in the hot springs, but would also like to see Aguas Calientes too (markets, restaurants, etc)."

Either way works. There's nothing worth seeing in Aguas Calientes outside of Machu Picchu. The town itself is tiny. There's no restaurants or markets that are worth the stop. So it really only matters how much time you want to spend in MP.

If you do not want to do any hikes, I'd suggest doing MP as a day trip. It's cheaper that way and if you take an early morning train up and evening train down, you should have plenty of time. And you only have 10 days, so this leaves more time for other things.

There's two big advantages to staying overnight in AC. The first is you can go back a second day for hikes. The second is you can be in MP before and after the day trippers when the place is practically empty. The best part of our visit was from 3-5 in the afternoon. By then, the city almost felt like a ghost town. We really had the place to ourselves and we could linger without any crowds.

california
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9. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

There are trains back to Ollantaytambo in the evening, so that you can stay until the park closes at around 5:30 pm and still day=trip.

10. Re: How Many Nights in Cusco after SV, MP enroute to Puno?

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