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> Itinerary advicce for single female traveller in Peru?
racie23
post Apr 5 2010, 04:00 PM
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Hi Everyone!

I am going to Peru on May 9th to do a 3 week internship in Cuzco. Following my internship I am doing the Inca Trail Trek to Macchu Piccu. After my trek I have 2 weeks before I fly back to the states. Below is my tentative itinerary for the two weeks. I would love suggestions about how to do these things...solo? tours? if so know of particular ones? best way to travel from place to place?

I think that instead of trying to do Lake Titicaca or Nasca on the weekends during my internship in Cuzco, I will make them part of my two weeks after wards so I can really take in everything that Cuzco and the surrounding areas have to offer in my three weeks there. After the Inca Trail I'm thinking I will head to the Southern Amazon, then go to Puno and see Lake Titicaca etc..,then go to Arequipa and see Colca Canyon, from there head north and hit the Nasca Lines, Ica SandBoarding, Pisca and the Islas Balletas and then up to Lima and then back to California.

Does that seem doable in two weeks time?
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durnadupa
post Apr 8 2010, 07:14 PM
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I spent two weeks in Peru and I only really got to see Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. And even then I felt like I didn't really have enough time.

Lima - I wouldn't spend much time there at all. Outside of the odd museum and nifty architecture it struck me as a typical overpopulated and polluted South American city. But the people are incredibly friendly, just be careful about who you trust. No more than two days is really necessary here though.

Cusco - Incredible city. There is so much to see in the city proper and surrounded areas. Since you are doing your internship here spend the weekends exploring the surrounding ruins and sites.

Inca Trail - There have been alot of rains and floods on the Inca Trail recently, and last I heard the trail was actually closed till repairs are finished. I would definitely check if they are once again open. Also you need to book the trail in advance, and that's another thing you should look into.
If you can't get on the Inca Trail proper there are a variety of other trails to Machu Picchu...including the trail I did. It was cheaper and instead of hiking up high in the mountains we hiked in the jungle along the river all the way to Machu Picchu staying in jungle villages along the way.

Hope that helps!



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laorfamily
post Apr 9 2010, 12:26 PM
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Sounds hectic, I believe you can take some internal flights that will make the itinerary more manageable. Are you doing the 4 day trek to Macchu Picchu?
Because you might want to schedule a rest day in either Cuzco or Aguas Calientes before continuing.

Be aware that as a tourist the Peruvians will look at you as an ATM machine. That's how it was in 1992 when I visited and from what I understand it hasn't changed much.

Also, if you land in Lima and have to spend the night, make sure you know where you're staying and see if they can send a car - also make sure you're not landing in the middle of the night.


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racie23
post Apr 9 2010, 12:51 PM
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QUOTE(durnadupa @ Apr 8 2010, 07:14 PM) *

I spent two weeks in Peru and I only really got to see Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. And even then I felt like I didn't really have enough time.

Lima - I wouldn't spend much time there at all. Outside of the odd museum and nifty architecture it struck me as a typical overpopulated and polluted South American city. But the people are incredibly friendly, just be careful about who you trust. No more than two days is really necessary here though.

Cusco - Incredible city. There is so much to see in the city proper and surrounded areas. Since you are doing your internship here spend the weekends exploring the surrounding ruins and sites.

Inca Trail - There have been alot of rains and floods on the Inca Trail recently, and last I heard the trail was actually closed till repairs are finished. I would definitely check if they are once again open. Also you need to book the trail in advance, and that's another thing you should look into.
If you can't get on the Inca Trail proper there are a variety of other trails to Machu Picchu...including the trail I did. It was cheaper and instead of hiking up high in the mountains we hiked in the jungle along the river all the way to Machu Picchu staying in jungle villages along the way.

Hope that helps!



Thanks for the info. Everyone says amazing things about Cuzco. I'm excited. Now if only I could find a good airfare...
Thanks for the caution on the Inca Trail but it was opened on April 4th and I made my reservations about a month ago for the end of May.
I think that after that I will head to the Amazon (North of South I am not sure). Then to Puno and Lake Titicaca, then to Arequipo and Colca Canyon, then to Nasca, Pisca, Ica and then to Lima for only a day or two before flying back to the US on the 15th.
How's that sound for a plan? Do-able? Anyone recommend expedition/tour companies for parts of that trip? I've heard it is good to take a 2 day tour for Lake Titicaca and good to find a tour for Colca and also for the Pisca/Islas Balletas.
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racie23
post Apr 9 2010, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE(laorfamily @ Apr 9 2010, 12:26 PM) *

Sounds hectic, I believe you can take some internal flights that will make the itinerary more manageable. Are you doing the 4 day trek to Macchu Picchu?
Because you might want to schedule a rest day in either Cuzco or Aguas Calientes before continuing.

Be aware that as a tourist the Peruvians will look at you as an ATM machine. That's how it was in 1992 when I visited and from what I understand it hasn't changed much.

Also, if you land in Lima and have to spend the night, make sure you know where you're staying and see if they can send a car - also make sure you're not landing in the middle of the night.



Yea I've been noticing that most the flights land in the middle of the night which is horrible. I would prefer to move directly to Cuzco and not have to spend a night in Lima just to come back to the airport in the morning. I have found one flight that would allow me to land in Lima at 430 am and then fly to Cuzco at 6am 9S*$#ty but better than landing in Lima at 12am and having to decide between trying to get a hotel or trying to sleep in airport. Of course that flight is super expensive...sooo we'll see....

I am doing the 4 day trek to Macchu Piccu and you are right scheduling a day or rest is probably a very good idea...especially if my next stop is the Amazon.
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durnadupa
post Apr 13 2010, 09:59 PM
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Manu National Park is part of the Amazon I believe. I remember this because every I hostel I stayed in advertised various tour companies that would take you. From looking at the map it doesn't seem to be too far from Cuzco...I think about 45 minutes by plane. For more information I found this for you:
http://wikitravel.org/en/Manu


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Ivealis
post Apr 26 2010, 08:46 PM
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Manu National Park is a really beautiful place to go. Flights into there are not going to be cheap. From Cusco you could take a bus, its an 8 hour trip. Then, a short boat ride and you're in. Although, by law the buses only come and go from the park on M-W-F so visiting Manu would probably require a week and with your list you're better off coming back to visit this on another trip. Another idea in the future would be to plan a eco-volunteer trip, I have looked into it and I plan on doing such a trip myself this July. You can get packages for 1/3 of what you would pay as a regular tourist if you go volunteer-if you like that sort of thing.

From Cusco you can take a night bus to Puno and then spend 2 days visiting Puno + Floating Islands (Lake Titicaca). I'd recommend not doing any tours to lake Titicaca. When your in Puno make your way to where the boats set out to the different islands and you can go yourself without having to overpay. Just look at the times for the different Islands and you can just get there yourself. Its unfortunate that the islands are somewhat exploited- But they survive on tourism and I am happy to support them.
From Puno you could bus it to Arequipa, again, and spend 2 days there. Arequipa is a beautiful, beautiful city. Be sure to check out the Monastery de Santa Catalina. Wonderful views to the volcano from the top of the monastery. Maybe at this point you could fly from Arequipa to Lima or to Nazca. I flew Arequipa to Lima. You could check LAN & TACA airlines for tickets. TACA , I have found, is almost always cheaper than LAN. The Nazca lines is a one day trip-2 if you need time to arrive and then plan the flight over the lines for the next day.. The flight over the lines might leave you in need of a day's recuperation though!
Ica-the sandboarding in the desert is very fun. Plan a night stay in Huacachina, right next to Ica. Tons of hostels there. There are some places to sample Pisco nearby-Ask your locals. Other than the sandboarding and Pisco tasting, not much else to do in Ica. A day or two, tops.
Islas Ballestas- Arrange a trip there maybe through your hostel, or ask around when you're there. You speak spanish so it should be easy to shop around for a good price. Bus there, then a 2-3 hour boat ride. The islands are very nice if there is alot of seals/ other birds - when I was there just lots of seals and birds....And at the end, a wonderful pod of dolphins right next to our boat. Made the whole thing worthwhile.
Of course you'll be tired from the buses-and check the weather in Puno because on the bus ride over from Cusco to Puno we froze our butts off!! It was so, so cold. Bring a blanket on the bus-we really underestimated the cold that night. It will be cold though.
If you can't afford the planes, you'll coordinate your buses best you can to take you through. Make a list of the 3 things you must see and keep your mind on that-don't worry if you can't squeeze it all in. This will just give you an excuse to keep going back to Peru!!

Have a wonderful trip!!


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mcurtin
post May 12 2010, 02:38 PM
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I did a really great tour of the Floating Islands and Taquile and I went with a locally run company in Puno. They have a building in the city called "Edgar Adventures" and it was a great price and an easy way to see the Islands. The same company also does tours to the local site of Sillustani, which is really neat as well. Also just from my experience of being a girl and traveling it is always a good idea to not carry a purse around but a small backpack instead. Buy a little combination lock to put on the backpack too to avoid pickpocketing. I felt people trying to reach into my bag a few times on crowded streets so having the lock was always a good feeling! Good luck! If you have any specific questions about busses or planes, etc. I can give you some advice on that too, just send me a message smile.gif
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