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Cusco & Surrounds Itinerary Questions

Cusco & Surrounds Itinerary Questions

Old Jul 5, 13, 9:39 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4
Cusco & Surrounds Itinerary Questions

I am planning to be in Cusco for 9 days this August and have a few questions! My proposed itinerary is as follows (though nothing is set in stone yet except the departure and return dates):

Monday: Fly from Lima 9am flight. Spend the day in Cusco/Sacred Valley
Tuesday: Cusco/Sacred Valley
Wednesday: Cusco/Sacred Valley
Thursday Monday Salkantay Trek finishing at Machu Picchu, spending Monday at MP. Return to Cusco that night.
Tuesday: fly out of Cusco around 3-4pm. Return flight to USA 11:50pm.

My questions are:
1. For the return flight, Id like to spend as much of the day as possible in Cusco (Ill have had a day in Lima at the front end of the trip), but dont want to risk missing my USA flight. Im thinking of taking the third-to-last flight out of Cusco (LAN) to mitigate that risk (14:55, arrives 16:15). Does this sound like enough time? Would the second-to-last flight be ok?
1a. Any thoughts on what I can do in LIM for 7ish hours? Worth it to try to go into Lima? Im on two separate tickets CUZ LIM LIM IAH will I have to check in in person at LIM or can I check in online? I will be checking a bag.

2.How to best split up my time between Cusco and the Sacred Valley area? Go straight from the airport to someplace in the SV (Ollantaytambo?), spend one night there, then head up to Cusco? Base out of Cusco and do SV as a day trip (or two) from Cusco?

3.Id like to do the trek, but the more I read about things to do in the SV area, the more I wonder if I should instead do a two-day trip to Machu Picchu and spend the rest of the time exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help!
makiki is offline  
Old Jul 5, 13, 9:53 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SFO
Programs: UAL SPG Hyatt
Posts: 564
Originally Posted by makiki View Post
I am planning to be in Cusco for 9 days this August and have a few questions! My proposed itinerary is as follows (though nothing is set in stone yet except the departure and return dates):

Monday: Fly from Lima 9am flight. Spend the day in Cusco/Sacred Valley
Tuesday: Cusco/Sacred Valley
Wednesday: Cusco/Sacred Valley
Thursday Monday Salkantay Trek finishing at Machu Picchu, spending Monday at MP. Return to Cusco that night.
Tuesday: fly out of Cusco around 3-4pm. Return flight to USA 11:50pm.

My questions are:
1. For the return flight, Id like to spend as much of the day as possible in Cusco (Ill have had a day in Lima at the front end of the trip), but dont want to risk missing my USA flight. Im thinking of taking the third-to-last flight out of Cusco (LAN) to mitigate that risk (14:55, arrives 16:15). Does this sound like enough time? Would the second-to-last flight be ok?
1a. Any thoughts on what I can do in LIM for 7ish hours? Worth it to try to go into Lima? Im on two separate tickets CUZ LIM LIM IAH will I have to check in in person at LIM or can I check in online? I will be checking a bag.

2.How to best split up my time between Cusco and the Sacred Valley area? Go straight from the airport to someplace in the SV (Ollantaytambo?), spend one night there, then head up to Cusco? Base out of Cusco and do SV as a day trip (or two) from Cusco?

3.Id like to do the trek, but the more I read about things to do in the SV area, the more I wonder if I should instead do a two-day trip to Machu Picchu and spend the rest of the time exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Couple quick responses. I'm here right now.

1. Your return trip should leave you with enough time to catch your return LIM-IAH flight.

2. The airport is right in Cusco. There is lots to see in both places. IMHO, I think 3 days is too short to split staying between the 2 places. I would stay in Cusco and then maybe on the 2nd day take a day trip to explore various points of interest in the Valle Sagrado.

3. Never been on the Salkantay trek but been on the 4D Inca Trail. I would not swap that for the 2 day or 1 day trip to MP. But I tend to like outdoorsy stuff and camping. Depends on if that appeals to you.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
SF
SometimesFlyer is offline  
Old Jul 6, 13, 8:51 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Greater CDG Area
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With regard to take a hotel in Cuzco or in SV, if you're arriving from sea level, going first to SV is probably better as it is about 500m lower in altitude than Cuzco, thus somewhat easier to adapt. For the trek, albeit I have never done it, if you feel fit enough, I would go for it, you will see the area in a way you could not by car or bus.

As for pm flights out of Cuzco, if weather is bad pm flights are more prone to cancellations than am departures and if wx is bad they cancel them all. However August should be fine, but if you can't afford to miss your evening flight to IAH, especially on two tix, I'd spend the last day in Lima. There are quite some worthwile areas to visit. You can easily fill two days in Lima.
MarLim is offline  
Old Jul 6, 13, 7:04 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tampa, FL & Guanajuato, Mexico
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Posts: 152
To each his or her own, but I wouldn't cancel the trek for more sightseeing. Seeing the Andes from a trail over several days of vistas is far better than seeing it in passing on a quickie.
globetrots is offline  
Old Jul 6, 13, 10:23 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 4
Thanks everyone, this is very helpful feedback! It's easy to get overwhelmed with options... I'm definitely an outdoors-y sort of person though, so I think the trek is for me.

SometimesFlyer - I saw your musings post that you posted about the same time I did! Very helpful, thanks!
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