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Machu Picchu/Puno/Cusco trip

Los Angeles...
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Machu Picchu/Puno/Cusco trip

Does anyone have current recommendations for lodgings or other tips for travelling in Cusco, Puno-Lake Titecaca, and Aguas Calientes?

We are planning to go to Peru in November this year, 2010. I'm thinking of going to Puno first, then taking the train to Cusco, then we want to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. As a special treat I think I want to stay at the Inkaterra Pueblo hotel in Aguas Calientes, but does anyone know how to find a deal there or if not, is it worth staying there a couple of nights?

What advice does anyone have for us? I'm travelling with my husband and 2 friends with their husbands, possibly meeting up with another 1 or 2 folks. But we aren't necessarily all doing the same thing except for hiking the Inca Trail together. I'd say our budget is moderate to inexpensive, but we've saved up for special treats. We like good food, wine, nice hotels, interesting sights and history.

Pensacola, Florida
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1. Re: Machu Picchu/Puno/Cusco trip

…worldnomads.com/destination/…23.aspx

Gringo Trail to Cusco Classic Inka Trail to MP

www.pmexplorers.com good value providers for trek and hotels

www.perucontact.com also good hotel website

Deals if any on upscale hotels like www.inkaterra.com will be there.

Deluxe bus www.inkaexpress.com cheaper better

than long lurchy expensive train Puno Cusco

www.andeantravelweb.com good general info

Happy Planning.

Chiclayo, Peru
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2. Re: Machu Picchu/Puno/Cusco trip

You may get altitude sickness if you go to Puno first, as it´s significantly higher than Cusco. I second the recommendation to take the bus; the train is nothing special, longer and ten times as expensive.

Yorktown, Virginia
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for Machu Picchu
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3. Re: Machu Picchu/Puno/Cusco trip

Save Puno until the end of your trip, when you will have somewhat adjusted to the altitude. Otherwise, you may well be sick with altitude sickness the entire time you are in Puno.

I recommend going directly to the Sacred Valley from the Cusco Airport. Stay there a few days, then go to Cusco before your trek.

Read this before booking a trek agency: cuscoguides.com/ingles/choosing--a-trek-agen… . We used Llama Path & thought they were great. Other agencies often recommended on this forum include Peru Treks, Q'ente, Pachamama Explorers, Yure Chavez.

In Aguas Calientes. We stayed at the Inkaterra & took a full-board special they were offering at the time, but still pricey. I don't know if they list with any discount booking agencies, or if you can get a cheaper rate through a Peruvian agency. It was definitely worth it after that hike! And I think it would be even better with a group.

If you stay in the Sacred Valley, look at the Kuychi Rumi, www.urubamba.com . You could have your own little house -- each accommodates 4 or 5 people, with kitchen, patio, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room (one or two could sleep here) with fireplace. It was only the two of us (DH & myself), and we still appreciated having all the room of the casita. Beautiful gardens on the grounds, and wonderful personal attention. Claudia (owner) and Rodrigo (her son) arranged our Sacred Valley tours & drivers, and even a Peruvian cooking class for us at El Huacatay in Urubamba.

We stayed at the Sonesta in Puno, and I can't really recommend them. They were helpful with drivers & setting up islands tour, but they are a taxi-ride away from restaurants in town, and the food at the hotel was not good at all. Plus, they charged very steep rates for bottled water -- and no shops nearby to buy cheaper! Rooms were chilly & in need of refurbishing, but the lake view was great.

Washington, DC
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4. Re: Machu Picchu/Puno/Cusco trip

In the SV, we stayed at Casa Andina Private Collection in Yanahuara, which is about 10 minutes from Urubamba. It's moderately priced (about $150/night) and the service and accomodations were excellent. I thought it was an excellent value. In Cuzco we stayed at Casa Cartagena. They are pricey, but because of the service we received, it was worth every penny. Internet special is $300/night. I highly recommend both properties.

5. Re: Machu Picchu/Puno/Cusco trip

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