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Peru side-trip: Lake Titicaca or Amazon rainforest?

Peru side-trip: Lake Titicaca or Amazon rainforest?

Old Aug 18, 2011, 10:46 am
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Peru side-trip: Lake Titicaca or Amazon rainforest?

I want to go to Machu Piccu this November (good time? bad time? Apparently it's rainy season) and wanted a side-trip. Both the Amazon rainforest and the Lake sound interesting. I'd like to spend only maybe 3 days on this sidetrip and of course would be willing to fly intraPeru to do so.

Also, if you recommend the Amazon rainforest, have a lodge to recommend? It's my understanding people book the lodges and then they have the treks within the rainforest.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 12:47 am
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I have never been to the Peruvian Amazon region but Lake Titicaca I went to on a whim with Mrs Johnny and it was the best capricious moment I have ever had. You don't need 3 days there, overnight buses from Cusco in both directions and a full day tour of the Uros and Taquile is definitely possible so maybe you will have time to do both. Puno itself isnt a particularly pretty city.

If you are fancying going to Iquitos in the Amazon then the BBC's Lonely Planet Thorntree forum has bags of info on it
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 6:29 am
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When combining rainforest and Cuzco/MacchuPicchu, you would probably go to Puerto Maldonado or the Manu region rather than Iquitos. Be aware that for jungle regions, you need additional vaccinations (you may be asked for the certificate at the local airport).

Personally, I would combine Cuzco with Titicaca to take advantage that once acclimatized to the altitude, you can take better advantage of this trip than making it another time and arriving in Puno directly from Lima suffering "soroche" for 1-2 days (or maybe more). November is probably at the end of the good weather period for that whole area, but you should still be fine.
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Old Mar 2, 2018, 8:53 am
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All plans in here looks very good, I'm looking for some recomendations to travel to Titicaca, actually I'm about to do kayaking, sounds perfect to me but I little afraid about the weather.
How can be the weather on Titicaca? It might be cold or not really? I found this travel company top things to do lake titicaca tours I'll visit the rainforest as well but there are not a lot of options to choose I'll visit lake Sandoval, looks very good and I'm exiting to do this adventure with my dad.
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Old Mar 2, 2018, 9:48 am
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I recommend the Inkaterra Amazonica lodge, which is reached through Puerto Maldonado. We stayed there in March, last year. They have lots of rain-forest hikes and other Amazon activities. Three days/two nights is fine. If you go, I would recommend yellow fever & typhoid vaccines (typhoid for anywhere in Peru) & taking Malarone for malaria (just to be safe). It's very interesting there.
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Old Mar 5, 2018, 2:31 am
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I did the obligatory MP trip on my first Peru trip and it was great overall, but the altitude in Cuzco was definitely noticeable. And I've been to Denver numerous times and have no problem with that, but somewhere around 8-9K I start to notice stuff and with CUZ I had the noticeable easier fatigue and getting out of breath, as well as the minor headaches. I took the tea and didn't push myself as much about walking as usual. YMMV, but even though Titicaca sounded interesting I wasn't eager to pile another 2K on top of that (also noticed some effect in Quito, though that's more like a 9K-er).

I did go to Iquitos on the cheap as a sidetrip out of LIM and it was great. StarPeru was only $90 on the RT. I stayed in one of the hotels a block from the Plaza de Armas at $30/night (good private room with air-con and cable TV) and subsisted on daytours and hiring boats and the like, which worked out well. Dawn on the Amazon had the best single-day tour with 3 different boats to go through Belen, the canals, out to the river to look for dolphins, and then that zoo (the hire boats can't go through the narrow canals).

Also did a daytrip package from one of the lodges that must've been 10 miles downriver or so. The trip over and back was a real highlight, they stopped for touristy things like the native village, and you got a fresh lunch and a glimpse of lodge life. This one was old school with car batteries and no air-con or freezer, so all meals were from scratch and at night people would lay in hammocks and curl up with books. Lots of enveloping darkness, the stars and all the sounds.

The town has lots of good food choices, like paiche (river fish) or the thick traditional chocolate at Dawn on the Amazon, lots of stuff at the Texas place and quite a few locals places, including competition in the pollo a la brasa category. Plus all the unique fruits from the market. There's also nightlife, especially on Friday and Saturday, with the malecon (riverfront) a center of things,

I didn't feel quite up for the ayahuasca bit, but that's a real thing for some people. It felt like there might be 50-100 foreigners staying in town around the time.

The sunset and then moonshadows over the river from the malecon on the first night were borderline breathtaking. You can definitely get a lot out of time in Iquitos.



Moonlight over the river from the malecon


The best I could do on a dolphin photo. They come in grey and pink.


What my knees had to endure on the 5.5-hour LIM-FLL flight on Spirit.
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