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Lima/Cusco/MP Itinerary

Lima/Cusco/MP Itinerary

Old Oct 20, 2013, 8:16 am
  #1  
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Lima/Cusco/MP Itinerary

Hi everyone,

I'm taking my family of 4 (wife, 2 teenage kids) to Peru this Thanksgiving, and I've got this itinerary sketched out. I'd appreciate some critiques about whether the scheduling is feasible and whether I'm missing out on something.

Tuesday:
Arrive in LIM at 11PM. Overnight in LIM

Wednesday:
See LIM. Overnight in LIM.

Thursday:
Fly to CUZ first thing in the morning. See CUZ sites. Rest/relaxation. Overnight in CUZ.

Friday:
See CUZ/Sacred Valley. Overnight in AC.

Saturday:
Go to MP. Overnight in CUZ.

Sunday:
Fly to LIM in morning (worried about delays). See a bit more of LIM. Fly out of Peru early Monday morning.

Some logistical questions:
How should I plan to get from CUZ to AC? Should I hire a car from CUZ to Ollantaytambo, seeing sacred valley on the way? Then I could take the train from Ollantaytambo to AC.

Are any parts of my schedule too packed?

I appreciate your help.
PVDtoDEL is offline  
Old Oct 20, 2013, 9:40 pm
  #2  
 
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some notes...

If your domestic air within Peru and international ticket to Peru are not on the same through ticket then sometime it create issue when CUZ-LIM flights are cancelled due to weather. (Note that there are many flights between CUZ and LIM especially LAN fly that route more than a dozen times a day)

In that case, I would recommend doing sight-seeing in LIM on the returm.

If you are reaching LIM at 11 pm (AA from Miami?) then you may want to stay at Ramada at the airport itself and take an early flight next day morning (flights start at 4:40 AM but you may want to take around 6 or 7 am to give you enough rest) Staying at airport takes LIM airport transfer out of questions. LIM airport and city transfers are not dangerous but several reports and guideboks warn you to be VERY alert.

Itinerary you described is what most travel agencies would advice as it works for them as most of their staff and equipment is CUZ based.

But many guidebooks will justifiablly suggest you to make CUZ your last destination (It is one of the three or four tourist towns in the world with such a high altitutde - 11,000 feet induces some form of altitude sickness in most people with effects varying considerably. Your being healthy or not having prior AHS in say Quito or Lhasa or Leh has no bearing)

Would prefer to arrange for private van (more comfortable than car for 4 pax) through reputable company or your hotel to pick you up at CUZ airport and take you to hotel in Olly or Urubamba. (you may want to arrange for half hour stop at either Pisac or Chinchero if desired)

Between that day evening and the next day morning/afternoon, you can visit Olly ruins, Pisac ruins, Pisac market, Chinchero or Maras/Moray

You can then spend another night in Valley or take evening train to AC (there are more train options to AC from Olly compared to Cuz and for family of four, cheaper too. Do not hesitate to take economy trains as having taken both expedition and vistadome trains recently, can confirm that difference between the two is not much)

What i strongly recommend is buying two days of admission (both park entrance and roundtrip bus transfer) for MC (yes, it is expensive but isnt MC the main reason for your visit and you do want buffer in case it rains exactly when you are visiting) It also helps you plan to visit MC for 2-3 hours with guide and another 1-2 hour on your own on the first day and use the next day for 7 am hiking to Huyana Picchu) So it will mean at least 1 or may be 2 nights in MC. El Mapi as well as La Cabana are reasonablyy good hotels. (El mapi is better - La Cabana is next to Govinda vegeterian restaurant)

On your return again, it is cheaper and faster to get off at Olly and return to Cuz by taxi. Any 3 or 4 start hotel (100 to 125 USD) around main square will do.

Buy the Boleto ticket (140 soles) (available at all major attractions) so that you can visit all important places using one ticket over 14 day period (google for details)

Olly, MC, AC are all 7k-9k feet in elevation but certainly much better than 11200 of Cuzco (your typical long haul over ocean has air simulating 7000ft altitude).

Spend a whole day and half in CUZ and take late morning/early afternoon flight to LIM. (Try to be safe after dark and if you take cabs, take only those called by your hotel or restaurant)

Transfer to hotel in Miraflores. Morning stroll from Larcomar to lighthouse with stop at Love Park is nice. (Lima is grey and depressing except in summer months) There is also double-decker from Larcomar taking you on 3-4 hour trip of Lima (Lima downtown and taxi scene has safety concenrs - you may want to do your own googling and guidebook referring to draw conclusions

Diamox (Acetazolamide) taken preventively after consulting your doctor as per dosage recommended on CDC website works nicely in preventing/mitigating AHS but you have to careful about not taking anything with salicylic acid in it (Aspririn, PeptoBismol, etc.)

Cuzco has plenty vegeterian restaurants and locals are big fan of SRK (Youtube has small documentary on King of Cuzco)

Peru is a wonderful destination with impressive inca culture/history and sad story of europeans exploiting it in very cruel manner.

Noticing the background listed in your profile, you may nor may not find Arts/Craft village market that impressive (For example, Pisac Sunday market was hyped so much as best in South America but to me it was pale compared to what I had seen growing up)

Feel free to PM with any specific question (just visited this wonderful country)
desi is offline  
Old Oct 21, 2013, 4:23 am
  #3  
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Thanks desi for the detailed insight.

My domestic and international tickets are indeed seperate - I'm arriving on UA and departing on TA. As it turns out, I'm more worried about UA's reliability than TA's (37% on time record with UA so far this year ^), which is why I don't want to take the early morning flight. I'm not confident in my ability to get myself to LIM before noonish, when most of the potential reroutes I'm seeing will get in. I'm traveling Thanksgiving week, which also means that availability will be tough to come by.

Given that I want a buffer of at least 12 hours in both directions, am I still better off putting Lima at the end? I would presumably need a late night airport transfer from my hotel at Lima (probably the Marriott) anyway, so does it make a big difference if it is on the inbound or outbound?

Do you have any hotel recommendations for Sacred Valley? El Mapi is looking good for AC, and I'll probably use points at the Marriott in Cusco.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 10:12 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Hi everyone,

I'm taking my family of 4 (wife, 2 teenage kids) to Peru this Thanksgiving, and I've got this itinerary sketched out. I'd appreciate some critiques about whether the scheduling is feasible and whether I'm missing out on something.

Tuesday:
Arrive in LIM at 11PM. Overnight in LIM

Wednesday:
See LIM. Overnight in LIM.

Thursday:
Fly to CUZ first thing in the morning. See CUZ sites. Rest/relaxation. Overnight in CUZ.

Friday:
See CUZ/Sacred Valley. Overnight in AC.

Saturday:
Go to MP. Overnight in CUZ.

Sunday:
Fly to LIM in morning (worried about delays). See a bit more of LIM. Fly out of Peru early Monday morning.

Some logistical questions:
How should I plan to get from CUZ to AC? Should I hire a car from CUZ to Ollantaytambo, seeing sacred valley on the way? Then I could take the train from Ollantaytambo to AC.

Are any parts of my schedule too packed?

I appreciate your help.
Hi,

Basically sounds like a "Take a week off to visit MP and a little of Lima along the way" trip! Certainly doable IMHO. Couple thoughts below :

- Weather is a factor this time of the year. It is starting to rain in Cusco/SV/MP. You may want to build in some flexibility because of it.
- Consider visiting Lima on the return instead. MP is the highlight and I would hate to miss is because of weather or timing issues. There are lots of flights from LIM to CUZ and if you miss one, they will likely put you on the next 1-2 hours later.
- I would suggest spending the night at LIM on the way there, then just catch the first flight to CUZ. No need for hotels if you are ok sitting around the cafeteria area. Brightly lit, some shops stay open IIRC. You have a larger group so ok. Just don't venture out.
- Watch for elevation related issues in CUZ. Unless you know how all in your party respond, consider taking things slow on day 1.

Cannot think of anything else for now.

Cheers,
SF
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 12:10 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
I'm arriving on UA and departing on TA. As it turns out, I'm more worried about UA's reliability than TA's
You don't happen to be taking UA854 to LIM? I took that flight last month and because of MX issues, the flight was delayed for 6.5 hours, which you can read here. If you are on that flight, I hope you don't get delayed.

Your schedule looks good and is pretty much the same as mine except I skipped the overnight in AC. I'd recommend staying the night in AC so things aren't as rushed and you can get up to MP early the next day.

I don't think there are as many flights to CUZ on TA compared with LA so it's best to take the earliest flight out to avoid any WX issues as SF said.

You can take the taxi from CUZ to Ollantaytambo but you'll need to negotiate the fare in advance. If you don't mind paying more for private car service, feel free to PM me and I'll send you the name of the company that I used.

I didn't have any altitude issues in CUZ but do take it slow. You may feel a little bit sluggish which is normal.

Enjoy your stay in Peru!
BayAreaTraveler is offline  
Old Oct 21, 2013, 12:14 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Thanks desi for the detailed insight.

My domestic and international tickets are indeed seperate - I'm arriving on UA and departing on TA. As it turns out, I'm more worried about UA's reliability than TA's (37% on time record with UA so far this year ^), which is why I don't want to take the early morning flight. I'm not confident in my ability to get myself to LIM before noonish, when most of the potential reroutes I'm seeing will get in. I'm traveling Thanksgiving week, which also means that availability will be tough to come by.

Given that I want a buffer of at least 12 hours in both directions, am I still better off putting Lima at the end? I would presumably need a late night airport transfer from my hotel at Lima (probably the Marriott) anyway, so does it make a big difference if it is on the inbound or outbound?

Do you have any hotel recommendations for Sacred Valley? El Mapi is looking good for AC, and I'll probably use points at the Marriott in Cusco.
If you have pouints, Marriott in LIma is a great location. Hopefully by Nov end, weather should be better too. It is located right at Larcomar. I do recommend trying out El Vegetariano at Cantuarias 285 (at the corner of Ave. La Paz). It serves authentic Peruvian food (all vegeterian). It is located about 10 min walk from hotel towatds Parc Kennedy.

I see your concern about being late for connection. But I hate to see you burning another day at LIM (like the other poster, I would recommend Lima on the return but you can always switch around) Marriot is CUzco is great too. (there are several good options in Cuzco).

I do not have any personal experience for Sacred Valley hotel. But it seems that more luxrious hotels are in Urubamba valley about half an hour from Olly station. We had one of our tour-mate get dropped off at coupl eof Olly hotels which looked nice from outside but I can not recall names. I again recommend two days for MC just in case it rains on your first day (you are going in off-season with rain a good possibility)

Usual recommendations apply: Carry strong DEET repellant, not drink anything other than bottled water/soda and eat only well cooked food.

BTW, contrary to what you hear frequently, coca leaves tea has no scientic support as relief for AHS. It is a good novelty but I would avoid if you are planning to take drug test upon return for employment or other purpose.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 3:43 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by BayAreaTraveler
You don't happen to be taking UA854 to LIM? I took that flight last month and because of MX issues, the flight was delayed for 6.5 hours, which you can read here. If you are on that flight, I hope you don't get delayed.
That's the one! So far, 19 out of my 30 UA flights this year have been delayed more than 30 minutes or cancelled, so your experience doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Sadly, the routes I fly make me a Star Alliance slave (LH group, TK, and TG are all essential in my travel patterns), so I am stuck using them. I really dread the day US Airways departs for oneWorld.

Originally Posted by desi
If you have points, Marriott in LIma is a great location. Hopefully by Nov end, weather should be better too. It is located right at Larcomar. I do recommend trying out El Vegetariano at Cantuarias 285 (at the corner of Ave. La Paz). It serves authentic Peruvian food (all vegeterian). It is located about 10 min walk from hotel towatds Parc Kennedy.

I see your concern about being late for connection. But I hate to see you burning another day at LIM (like the other poster, I would recommend Lima on the return but you can always switch around) Marriot is CUzco is great too. (there are several good options in Cuzco).
Currently, I am leaning towards Lima on the outbound and 12 hours in Lima on the return (to account for potential delays). My reasoning is that a) CUZ-LIM is a much more frequent route that IAH-LIM, so IRROPS will cause less of a delay, and b) Lima will seem crappy compared to MP on the return, and I want to enjoy everything as much as possible. Is there something notable I'm missing in this analysis?


Originally Posted by desi
Usual recommendations apply: Carry strong DEET repellant, not drink anything other than bottled water/soda and eat only well cooked food.

BTW, contrary to what you hear frequently, coca leaves tea has no scientic support as relief for AHS. It is a good novelty but I would avoid if you are planning to take drug test upon return for employment or other purpose.
Good to know Fortunately, I'm not expecting any drug tests in the near future
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Currently, I am leaning towards Lima on the outbound and 12 hours in Lima on the return (to account for potential delays). My reasoning is that a) CUZ-LIM is a much more frequent route that IAH-LIM, so IRROPS will cause less of a delay, and b) Lima will seem crappy compared to MP on the return, and I want to enjoy everything as much as possible. Is there something notable I'm missing in this analysis?
No, not at all. I buffered in a day in LIM upon arrival and was very happy that I did. My flight arrived 6.5 hours late and we ended up at the hotel at around 6AM. If I had went straight to CUZ, the overall trip would have been a bit unpleasant. Since there's only one flight on UA for IAH-LIM, if the flight gets canceled you're pretty much SOL. However, I think they will do everything possible to get you to LIM regardless of how long the delay will be.

The JW in CUZ is an excellent choice and I really enjoyed my time there. Some pics here. I haven't tried the JW in LIM but it looks to be an excellent choice as well - right next to Larcomar.

If you want to do something fun at night with the kids, you might want to check out the magic water circuit at the Parque de la Reserva.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 8:00 pm
  #9  
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Here's the revised itinerary I've got in mind, based on everyone's feedback. Critiques would be well appreciated


Tuesday:
Arrive in LIM at 11PM. Overnight in LIM

Wednesday:
See LIM. Overnight in LIM.

Thursday:
Fly to CUZ first thing in the morning. Travel to Sacred Valley. Overnight in Sacred Valley

Friday:
Machu Pichu. Overnight in Sacred Valley

Saturday:
Cusco/Machu Pichu rain date. Overnight in Cusco.

Sunday:
Fly to LIM in early afternoon. See a bit more of LIM. Fly out of Peru early Monday morning.

It looks like I'm going to be stuck between the choice of Sacred Valley and Cusco. Based on recommendations, it seems that Sacred Valley is a better choice because of the lower elevation.

I hate having to make these choices, but with such limited time, I guess I'll have to save something for next trip. I wanted to see Lake Titicaca as well, but that'll be saved as well.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 9:32 pm
  #10  
 
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If you want to stay in sacred valley to have easy train access to MP, consider staying at the Pakaritampu hotel in Ollantaytambo, just beside the train station. Good hotel 1 minute walk from/to train! And in deed sacred valley is lower than Cuzco and therefore preferable for acclimatization. Don't forget that you have to reserve your MP trip in advance for both train ride and entry to the site.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 9:33 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Here's the revised itinerary I've got in mind, based on everyone's feedback. Critiques would be well appreciated


Tuesday:
Arrive in LIM at 11PM. Overnight in LIM

Wednesday:
See LIM. Overnight in LIM.

Thursday:
Fly to CUZ first thing in the morning. Travel to Sacred Valley. Overnight in Sacred Valley

Friday:
Machu Pichu. Overnight in Sacred Valley

Saturday:
Cusco/Machu Pichu rain date. Overnight in Cusco.

Sunday:
Fly to LIM in early afternoon. See a bit more of LIM. Fly out of Peru early Monday morning.

It looks like I'm going to be stuck between the choice of Sacred Valley and Cusco. Based on recommendations, it seems that Sacred Valley is a better choice because of the lower elevation.

I hate having to make these choices, but with such limited time, I guess I'll have to save something for next trip. I wanted to see Lake Titicaca as well, but that'll be saved as well.

Friday night - why not EL Mapi or similar at Aguas Caliente?
(rather than coming all the way back to Sacred Valley)


Given your flight situation, LIM on the way makes more sense.

Pre-arranging transfers with reliable source make things much easier (and safer)

good luck!
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Old Dec 2, 2013, 8:57 pm
  #12  
 
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how did it go?

any tidbits/trip report?

regards
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 8:37 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by desi
how did it go?

any tidbits/trip report?

regards
Peru was absolutely fabulous. Definitely one of my favorite countries I've visited recently. Looking back, the only thing I seriously disliked was the food - everything else was pretty great. Going back to see Titicaca is now a priority.

Machu Picchu was pretty amazing, but the highlight of the trip to me was Cusco. The people were friendly, the sites were interesting, and the city had a great feel to it. In Cusco, we saw a Cumbia concert, a classical concert at the Plaza de Armas, and an opera, all of which were excellent (I'm do some work in the music biz, so any opportunity to sample local music is exciting). In retrospect, I would have cut out the overnight at AC and instead just done a day trip from Cusco.

I ended up visiting Lima at the end rather than the beginning, as suggested, because that's the way flight schedules worked out. Fortunately, all my flights were not delayed significantly, and priority bags worked - they were among the first 10 to be delivered on every flight. Kudos to TA and UA ^

Overall, we had an awesome time. Thanks for the detailed advice on FT, it definitely made planning easier ^
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 11:08 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Peru was absolutely fabulous. Definitely one of my favorite countries I've visited recently.
Good to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Peru. Would you kindly shed some light on hotels and transportation arrangement plus logistic?
How did you handle high altitude, any problem?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 5, 2013, 11:33 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Peru was absolutely fabulous. Definitely one of my favorite countries I've visited recently. Looking back, the only thing I seriously disliked was the food
You are in a seriously tiny minority

http://www.worldtravelawards.com/awa...stination-2013
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