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trip to Peru in March 2017

trip to Peru in March 2017

Old Dec 12, 16, 1:58 pm
  #1  
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Smile trip to Peru in March 2017

Hi - I'm new to this forum and am planning a trip to Peru w/ wife for our anniversary in March 2017. Below is my plan

- day 1: lima
- day 2, 3: machu picchu
- day 4, 5: cusco, sacred valley
- day 6: amazon rain forest

Below are my questions
- is this a good time to visit or will the weather be a huge let down?
- should i opt for package or plan the trip myself? which is better in terms of expenses, overall quality of trip, etc. if travel package is better, please advise any
- could you tell me if above itinerary seems practical and give adequate time to acclimatize and see the places, if not please suggest revision

Thanks a lot.
vidya
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Old Dec 13, 16, 1:47 am
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In terms of tour vs individual, it depends on your travel lifestyle.

What do you do in other 3rd world countries?

Macchu Picchu is well visited by tourists from all over the world. So it is not really an off-the0beaten path. In fact, it is a well travelled path with plenty of desis doing this. You even find Hare-Krishna restaurant in Aguas Caliente.

Having said that, an intermediate option might be advisable *use an agency to arrange things for you but travel individually as per your custom likings)

Would strongly recommend NOT going to cusco first. At 11000 ft, altitude sickness is not something to ignore. If you are lucky and it doesnt hit you then it is good but better to be safe, take AZT tablets and visit cusco after visiting MP. It is bit of logistics pain as tourism industry in centered in Cusco.

Here is what I recommend:

Avoid arriving at Lima late at night and trying to catch first flight to CUS. Jus

If you can arrive in the afternoon, transfer to JW at Miraflores
Spend two nights there (half day walking in Miraflores and half day standard LIMA sightseeing tour)
Day 3, fly to CUS and GO DIRECTLY to AC.
Spend a night in AC.
Pre-arrnage two day visits to MC.
First day afternoon, have a guide show you around and then linger after crowd has left.
On second day hike up Huyana Picchu and return to CUsco in the evening.
Day 5.6 (Cusco and Sacred Valley via standard tour that goes to Pisac, lunch at Hacienda in Urubamba, OLT and Chinchero))
Day 7 return from cusco via Lima

The alternative is to stay in Ollantaytambo upon arrival from Cusco on day 3. Make day trip to MC on day 4. Hire a car to show you Salt flatss and then take you to Cusco via Pisac. (Note on Pisac: After seeing sites at OLT and MC, Pisac may not appeal to you and so-called market at Pisac is a big let down if you have seen any in desh or any other 3rd world country)

Transfer arranged by hotels are typically very expensive.
If you are fluent in spanish and used to 3rd world country ways of doing things then it is much cheaper to do it personally at the last minute.

For most people, a customized routing with meet-and-greet and station/airport, transfer to aairport/station/hotel, bookings at hotel, train tickets, MC entrance tickets, HP special ticket, Ac to MC bus tickets, box lunch at MC, guide at MC- all these prearranged take a lot of hassle and uncertainity out of the picture. It still has flexibility and independence that conducted tour does not allow and is not as expensive as conducted tour.

Visiting MC was almost as easy as visiting Chichen Itza and nothing like visiting Petra or Giza or even Badaling Wall.
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Old Dec 17, 16, 4:09 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by viddu512 View Post
- is this a good time to visit or will the weather be a huge let down?
It's still rainy season, be prepared. Specially afternoons. Not necessarily a huge let down, cause I have friends that went to Cusco and MP on easter holidays (march, early april) and enjoyed a lot anyway. Dry and sunny days are more sure from may to early september.

The risk is that if there are/were those mud landslides called "huaicos", some roads (even train) are blocked. Blocked roads doesn't happen every year, but it's a risk.
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Old Dec 17, 16, 6:56 pm
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I am fast paced traveller myself, but, you seem to be packing a lot for 6 days. Especially the rain forest. What do you have in mind? Iquitos? Porto Maldonado is the closest but its a full day of sitting in bus. I am not sure how expensive flights are, but, LATAM does fly that route.

Where do you live? I live by the beach and was fine in Cusco. I did run upto Cristo Blanco 3 hours after I landed in Cusco, but then I am not wise by any standards. I, however saw people faint in Plaza de Armas.
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Old Dec 18, 16, 9:33 pm
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Dear members, thank you all for your replies and valuable advice.

@desi - thank u for suggesting the itinerary changes
@villavic - easter weekend seems like a better timing with respect to weather, i'll see if i can postpone it to april.
@dakav - you're right, i do feel like i'm packing a lot in 6 days. i'm planning to visit Iquitos rainforest. can this be covered in a day or does it warrant 2 days w/ overnight stay and then fly back to lima? thanks.
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Old Dec 19, 16, 10:22 am
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I haven't been to Iquitos myself. There doesn't seem to be any direct flight between CUZ and Iquitos. However, there are flights between CUZ and Porto Maldonado. You can do CUZ-PEM-LIM if you are inclined to rain forest.
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Old Dec 19, 16, 2:30 pm
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Hi Vidya and welcome to FlyerTalk!

- is this a good time to visit or will the weather be a huge let down?

I take a group every year in March. Always have a rain coat and a cap and you should be fine. On average, the rains tend to come and go fairly quickly however the rains will drop the temperature so be prepared for that.

- should i opt for package or plan the trip myself? which is better in terms of expenses, overall quality of trip, etc. if travel package is better, please advise any

For the two trips I lead to Peru every year we use G Adventures and if you opt for a package, I highly recommend them.

- could you tell me if above itinerary seems practical and give adequate time to acclimatize and see the places, if not please suggest revision

IMO, it's too much for 6 days. I think you need a minimum of 2 days for Cusco and Sacred Valley and a minimum of 2 days for the jungle. If you decide to go to the jungle, Puerto Maldonado would be my recommendation.
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Old Dec 19, 16, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by viddu512 View Post
Dear members, thank you all for your replies and valuable advice.

@desi - thank u for suggesting the itinerary changes
@villavic - easter weekend seems like a better timing with respect to weather, i'll see if i can postpone it to april.
@dakav - you're right, i do feel like i'm packing a lot in 6 days. i'm planning to visit Iquitos rainforest. can this be covered in a day or does it warrant 2 days w/ overnight stay and then fly back to lima? thanks.
Skip the rainforest entirely. You'd be doing a flyby at best; not enough time to see anything much different than had you been in a zoo, and the town of Iquitos itself has little going for it in the way that other places in Peru do. Running through Peru that quickly would not likely give you fond memories.

My daughter and I did a fast Machu Picchu trip a couple years ago, flying into Lima, overnight there, morning flight to Cusco, private driver who picked us up at the airport and drove to Ollantaytambo via various sites along the way in the Sacred Valley. Next morning we visited the nearby ruins in Ollantaytambo (short walk from our hotel), then later that afternoon took the train to MP. Stayed overnight there, took the first early morning bus to MP, did the 10am Huanay Picchu hike, returned to town (Aguas Calientes) and took evening train back to Ollantaytambo.

Next day we saw more sites, including Pisac, on our way back to Cuzco. Mid-day flight back to Lima. That evening saw the Larco museum, ate at the exceptional adjoining restaurant, overnight in Lima, flew back next day.

We did a *lot* but it never felt rushed, except that too-brief visit to Cuzco prior to our flight back to Lima. Would have been nice to spend a day there, I think. That extra day would be your "day 6" and result, I think, in a much nicer trip than trying to squeeze the Amazon into your adventure.
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Old Jan 29, 17, 5:29 am
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Last September, I went to Peru by planning and booking everything on my own. We were there for exactly 2 weeks. When we got back, my dad checked out tour group rates to Peru while he was at the Auto Club. They wanted $5000.00/person for 10 days in Peru.

We were there for 14 days flew there in Business Class, stayed at Starwood Hotel Properties, hired private drivers and tour guides, and even took the Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu roundtrip. Our grand total including tips and food, shopping etc, came out to $5000.00/per person. From my personal experience, by doing it yourself, you can either save a lot of money or get A LOT more for the same amount of money.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 8:40 am
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2 days at Macchu Pichu is too much, a full day is more than sufficient. See other sites, such as fortress at Olaytaytambo, Pisac and Sachsywaman in Cusco after.
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Old Feb 1, 17, 8:25 pm
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Personally, we could not get out of Iquitos fast enough. We did, however, enjoy our time we spent in the rain forest. The location was a boat ride, I think between 2-3 hours, just to get there. With your schedule maybe you can spend and extra day in Cusco.
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Old Feb 6, 17, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by David Beach View Post
2 days at Macchu Pichu is too much, a full day is more than sufficient. See other sites, such as fortress at Olaytaytambo, Pisac and Sachsywaman in Cusco after.
That really depends upon their fitness level - two days is perfect if they are not very fit for that altitude. Arrive at MP after 12 noon: the crowds begin to disperse so you are not mobbed while walking in the citadel and should be able to get some beautiful pictures in the afternoon golden hour light.

Arrive as early in the morning as possible the next day to make the hike up Huayna Picchu and then over to the Inti Punku and the Inca Bridge. then head back out to other places.
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Old Feb 13, 17, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
That really depends upon their fitness level - two days is perfect if they are not very fit for that altitude. Arrive at MP after 12 noon: the crowds begin to disperse so you are not mobbed while walking in the citadel and should be able to get some beautiful pictures in the afternoon golden hour light.

Arrive as early in the morning as possible the next day to make the hike up Huayna Picchu and then over to the Inti Punku and the Inca Bridge. then head back out to other places.
I mean you take a bus to the top. From there it's up to you how much you want to explore. I took my mom my second visit to MP who is 95 lbs and has lupus and she didn't have any issues. It's up to you if you want to hike up steps for certain views, but if you take your time they aren't bad.

If you are going to do two days I would highly recommend going after 1pm the first day where the ticket prices drop by 50%. Then maybe do a full day the next day and take the train back in the late evening.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 12:35 am
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Peru is such a wounderful country to visit in the holiday times with our loves one's. there are many iconic places to visit during your tour and you will be made some unforgettable memories. Best of luck to everyone.
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