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Peru itinerary advice

Peru itinerary advice

Old May 30, 19, 11:17 am
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Peru itinerary advice

Going to Peru in November for 10 days and can't decide where to go apart from Cusco/MP. Amazon sounds hot and humid, Titicaca and Colca Canyon sound like a recipe for altitude sickness as the first stop after Lima (was in Bolivia a month ago and did not fare well with that - Colca seems to be similar scenery). Not too interested in tourist sights like museums and churches etc. but more into ambience, good food, luxury hotels (but not quite Belmond Andean Explorer prices), easy logistics (ie no long bus journeys, as few flights as possible), and some variation. Here's a tentative plan, where I would have two full days for a side trip, or alternatively an extra day in Lima and/or Cusco (but then I feel I might be seeing too little of Peru).

I would like to keep Cusco (or SV) for the end, just because there are plenty of connections to LIM, and since I arrive the first day at 7 PM I want to do the Lima part then, rather than stay at an airport hotel the first night or go in/out of the city twice.

Wed: Arrive in Lima in the evening
Thu: Lima
Fri: Lima & travel to next destination
Sat: next destination
Sun: next destination
Mon: travel to Sacred Valley
Tue: Sacred Valley
Wed: Sacred Valley & travel to Aguas Calientes
Thu: Machu Picchu in the morning & travel to Cusco
Fri: Cusco
Sat: Cusco & fly to LIM and connect to international flight
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Old May 31, 19, 12:08 am
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I would add an extra day in Lima and do 2 nights in Arequipa (you don't have to go to Colca Canyon).
but then again, my last trip to Arequipa was some time ago and have been recently thinking that I need to go back
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Old Jun 1, 19, 12:57 am
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I did my first trip as a week between Lima and Cuzco/MP and didn't feel bored. With MP there's also the Inca trail if u want to do, plus Ollya and other hertiage sites. There always seemed to be something going on at the Plaza de Armas in Cuzco (parade one day, big protest the next), but maybe I lucked out on the time I went.

The altitude DID get to me a bit and I noticed I'd be out of breath faster. My guesthouse was uphill slightly from downtown...I'd walk downtown but take the taxi back. I get to Denver quite a bit and don't notice anything there, but Cuzco is 2x Denver (Quito was also noticeable, though maybe not quite as much). Because of that my enthusiasm for Lake Titicaca has dropped quite a bit, even though it sounds like a real experience otherwise.

I liked Iquitos a lot. Stayed near downtown in a comfy hotel for around $25 (with air-con) and there was a nightly "Star Trek" movie marathon to come back to. Did the Amazon exporation on daytrips, including one to a budget-type resort several miles downriver that was really old-school, i.e. no refrigeration (every meal made from scratch) and just lights & fans at night.

The Amazon is really, really unique and can be memorable. People associate it with Brazil, but I think the Peru part is more accessible from the U.S. and can even be done on a budget.
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Old Jun 1, 19, 7:03 am
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Thanks both. I have been considering Arequipa, but wondering how "different" it really is than Lima and Cuzco. It does add some logistics, and there don't seem to be any luxury hotels there.

I was actually quite keen on going to the Amazon, initially, as it looks like a very unique experience. But then I have read a lot of reviews that it is humid, sticky, very wet in early November, and you don't actually see the most interesting wildlife (for me African safari is interesting wildlife, whereas frogs and birds and snakes I couldn't honestly care less). The nice lodges and cruises also seem to be prohibitively expensive - and even those don't have air conditioned rooms. For comparison I have stayed one night in Zanzibar, right on the beach, without a/c and basically couldn't sleep, so not sure how I would fare for three nights in the Amazon...
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Old Jun 5, 19, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by ung1 View Post
Thanks both. I have been considering Arequipa, but wondering how "different" it really is than Lima and Cuzco. It does add some logistics, and there don't seem to be any luxury hotels there.

I was actually quite keen on going to the Amazon, initially, as it looks like a very unique experience. But then I have read a lot of reviews that it is humid, sticky, very wet in early November, and you don't actually see the most interesting wildlife (for me African safari is interesting wildlife, whereas frogs and birds and snakes I couldn't honestly care less). The nice lodges and cruises also seem to be prohibitively expensive - and even those don't have air conditioned rooms. For comparison I have stayed one night in Zanzibar, right on the beach, without a/c and basically couldn't sleep, so not sure how I would fare for three nights in the Amazon...

The full moon over the river the evening of arrival was great

Other views from the Malecon in Iquitos also could be great

Boats pulled up at Belen market. Lots of exotic fruits for sale there.

I checked and I went during a May, though I don't think it makes too much difference (will always be humid and hottish). I'd really consider staying in the town for a first trip and doing daytrips, as it's cheaper and you can see enough to see if you want to go further. The plaza, guesthouses, historic buildings and most sites of interest are in a compact area right next to the Malecon. I took the tour from Dawn on the Amazon (used 3 different boats and ran 3 times weekly, IIRC), one from one of the lodges (daytrip with lunch where you go on their supply boats) and also had one of the boatmen-for-hire do one. A big thing is looking for the grey and pink river dolphins.

There are touristy things like the native village and the monkey-toucan place downriver, though there really wasn't a huge volume of outsiders and it only took 2 days or so before they were recognizing me walking by the guesthouses. At night there are often things going on at the plaza, plus some nightclubs and a few good restaurants, including rotisserie chicken ones like in Lima. Also really liked the paiche (river fish, usually boat to table) and drinking chocolate at Dawn on the Amazon or the Texas place.

That trip cost only $90 RT on Star Peru for the flight to/from Lima and $25 for the hotel room with the cable TV and air-con 2 blocks from the plaza. Though I guess I wasn't quite as much of a trooper as I could have been (didn't try the ayahuasca).
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Old Jun 12, 19, 9:35 am
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Consider northern coast, but just if you enjoy beaches. Cause it's mainly a beaches destination. And november would be a good season to enjoy Piura or Tumbes. But again, just if you enjoy sea and beaches cause there is no many things to do besides beach activities.
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Old Jun 12, 19, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Villavic View Post
Consider northern coast, but just if you enjoy beaches. Cause it's mainly a beaches destination. And november would be a good season to enjoy Piura or Tumbes. But again, just if you enjoy sea and beaches cause there is no many things to do besides beach activities.
Thanks! Not sure Peru is really where I would go to hit the beach, going to save that for Australia a couple of months after.

Right now my itinerary looks like this:
Wed eve - arrive in Lima and go to hotel
Thu/Fri - explore Miraflores, find some good food
Sat/Sun - to Arequipa on Sat morning, spend 2 days there
Mon/Tue/Wed - fly to Cusco and stay in Urubamba 2 days exploring sacred valley. Train to AC on Wed evening
Thu - first slot for visit to MP. Afternoon train to Olly. Collect luggage in Urubamba and go on to Cusco
Fri/Sat - explore Cusco. Sat afternoon flight to Lima. Approx 4 hrs transit and then fly to Europe in the evening
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Old Jan 31, 20, 11:52 am
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Hello FTers. Headed on the 4D/3N hike to MP in April, with 1 day in Lima and 3 days in Cusco immediately prior to the hike, and 1 day in Cusco after the hike. My travel partner is backing out of the trip. She was planning the remainder of the two week trip; now its on me as a solo traveler. I already have a ticket to return to Lima from Cusco, so I am not sure I want to change it.

Looking for ideas that allow few hour travel by place from Lima/2 full days of tourism/1 day travel back to Lima and then return to the US. Considering Iquitos, Juliaca, Paracas, Arequipa.

I would convenience in the final destination is not too far from the airport and has 3* or 4* accommodations - either hotel, bnb, or rental - just no hostels. Also, probably not likely to obtain a yellow fever vaccination for that short of trip.

Also, I found some really low airfares to Iquitos, but have read that those airfares are actually only for Peruvian citizens. Is this correct?

Many thanks!


Thanks!
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Old Jan 31, 20, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by lamphs View Post
Also, I found some really low airfares to Iquitos, but have read that those airfares are actually only for Peruvian citizens. Is this correct?
Thanks!
Probably yes. Depends on the airline it should ask your citizenship and then it will confirm if the airfare applies.
Iquitos is 1:30 hour just the flight, not including the airport checks. Trujillo and Pucallpa are 45 minutes. Paracis is 3 hours by car, aprox. No flights. If you are short of time and want a quick trip, look not only the flight time but the frequency, schedule, to get the maximum time, not all cities have the same quantity of flights.
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Old Feb 1, 20, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by lamphs View Post
Hello FTers. Headed on the 4D/3N hike to MP in April, with 1 day in Lima and 3 days in Cusco immediately prior to the hike, and 1 day in Cusco after the hike. My travel partner is backing out of the trip. She was planning the remainder of the two week trip; now its on me as a solo traveler. I already have a ticket to return to Lima from Cusco, so I am not sure I want to change it.

Looking for ideas that allow few hour travel by place from Lima/2 full days of tourism/1 day travel back to Lima and then return to the US. Considering Iquitos, Juliaca, Paracas, Arequipa.

I would convenience in the final destination is not too far from the airport and has 3* or 4* accommodations - either hotel, bnb, or rental - just no hostels. Also, probably not likely to obtain a yellow fever vaccination for that short of trip.

Also, I found some really low airfares to Iquitos, but have read that those airfares are actually only for Peruvian citizens. Is this correct?

Many thanks!


Thanks!
We flew from Lima to Arequipa last month, stayed three nights at the Casa Andina Select on the Plaza de Armas (there are three Casa Andinas, this one is excellent and has balconies facing the plaza and the beautiful cathedral). Arequipa is called the white city because most structures are built of sillar, a local white stone. There are many attractions, from the wonderful plaza de armas, beautiful and huge cathedral, very well known convent/monastery, museums, historical sites, colonial homes, shopping for handicrafts, typical clothing. There are also interesting bus tours (3-5 hours) to different parts of the city and the countryside--which I recommend.

If you want to also visit the Colca Canyon (which puts the Grand Canyon to shame!), you need to do it with an overnight stay--day trips leave at 3 a.m.!!

I highly recommend Arequipa.
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Old Feb 1, 20, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by lamphs View Post
Also, I found some really low airfares to Iquitos, but have read that those airfares are actually only for Peruvian citizens. Is this correct?
No. Resident fares were discontinued some time ago. Airfares are low sometimes because of recent competition and unbundling (low-cost style).

Also, if visiting both Arequipa and Cuzco, you should go from Arequipa to Cuzco and not to return to Lima.
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Old Feb 2, 20, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by Villavic View Post
Probably yes. Depends on the airline it should ask your citizenship and then it will confirm if the airfare applies.
Iquitos is 1:30 hour just the flight, not including the airport checks. Trujillo and Pucallpa are 45 minutes. Paracis is 3 hours by car, aprox. No flights. If you are short of time and want a quick trip, look not only the flight time but the frequency, schedule, to get the maximum time, not all cities have the same quantity of flights.
Thanks very much Villavic!

Originally Posted by catcher1 View Post
We flew from Lima to Arequipa last month, stayed three nights at the Casa Andina Select on the Plaza de Armas (there are three Casa Andinas, this one is excellent and has balconies facing the plaza and the beautiful cathedral). Arequipa is called the white city because most structures are built of sillar, a local white stone. There are many attractions, from the wonderful plaza de armas, beautiful and huge cathedral, very well known convent/monastery, museums, historical sites, colonial homes, shopping for handicrafts, typical clothing. There are also interesting bus tours (3-5 hours) to different parts of the city and the countryside--which I recommend.

If you want to also visit the Colca Canyon (which puts the Grand Canyon to shame!), you need to do it with an overnight stay--day trips leave at 3 a.m.!!

I highly recommend Arequipa.
Thanks very much catcher1. I'll check out Arequipa today!

Originally Posted by andreadbc View Post
No. Resident fares were discontinued some time ago. Airfares are low sometimes because of recent competition and unbundling (low-cost style).

Also, if visiting both Arequipa and Cuzco, you should go from Arequipa to Cuzco and not to return to Lima.
Thanks andreadcb. Good information re: resident fares. With regards to Arequipa/Cusco, good information to know. It is an award ticket through AV LM, and past experience is that those tickets are rather difficult to change. (Plus I did want at least a full day or two in Lima.)
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Old Feb 3, 20, 4:44 pm
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@lamphs,

Just to mention that Cuzco is at elevation 10,000+ feet. Need little time in Cuzco to acclimate before any vigorous hiking/trekking.
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