a VirtualTourist member from Milpitas
Hello All "Real" Tourists, My wife and I are planning to visit Peru for 6 to 7 days. We will be reaching Cuzco on 09/07 and can stay in Peru till 13th or 14th of September. We want to visit Machu Picchu (by train and bus, no hike) and we also want to visit Arequipa (if possible), Lake Titicacca (it would be great if we can stay in one of those floating villages, we also want to sail on the lake), is Urubumba valley also worth visiting (should we add it in the list?). Can you please recommend how do we go for it?. Til' now we have the following plan 09/07 - reach cusco around 4p 09/08 - may be stay in cusco or go early morning to machu picchu 09/09 - stay overnight in MP 09/10 - leave for lake titicacca 09/10, 09/11 - stay on the lake (preferrably two different places) 09/12 or 09/13 - leave peru Can you please suggest a more concrete and a solid plan? Thanks.
Hi! It's an official website about Peru where you can get more information. Spanish is very important in Peru. Good luck!
I advise you to stay at least 2 days in Cuzco before taking the train to Machu Pichu, because you can get sick because of the altitude.( soroche)
And I would add the strong advice to spend a night in magical Machu Picchu, so as to be able to see it before the many day trippers from Cusco arrive.. I understand that the on-site hotel (which I'd otherwise recommend) is now absurdly expensive, but there are lots of alternatives in the valley below. Don't rush too much - both Arequpa and Lake Titicaca are very attractive, but you don't have time for both. And leave time for Cusco itself, which is also special.
Let me second the comment of Robin -- you are going to have to make some choices. You really only have 5.5 days. The less time you have the more money you need and if you maintain a long list of places to go you will be seeing Peru through a window. I have been to all the places you mention and have loved them all, so I know the difficulty of chosing. If this is your first trip to Peru I would strongly suggest you dedicate all your time to MP, Cusco and the Sacred (Urubamba) Valley. By your plan to spend a night a MP I surmise that you do want to savor the experience and not just check off places. There is plenty to see and do around Cusco to occupy a week or more. You may need a little time to adjust to the altitude. You need some time for Cusco itself. Maybe including a night at the cultural center for a dance performance. (It is not the same as naturallly occuring events as the audience will consist mostly of tourists like yourselves, but the dancing is great.) Then how about a half day or more bargaining or just exploring at an open market like Pisac on Sunday (attend mass if you can in Pisac). There are the ruins of Pisac and Ollanyantambo; the Inca salt cooperative, other towns and the countryside. If you are ready for some culinary adventure, I can give you the name of restaurant in the town of Urubamba which will prepare you the most dramatic presentation of a full Cuy (Andian guiny pig) I have ever seen. (One would be enough for two people.) If you are not ready for that, at least try the soups of Peru. You can do all this and more on your own, especially if you have time to make the arrangements, but you might find it more relaxing, especially if you do not speak Spanish, to go on a tour or hire a driver for at least part of the visit who speaks some English. bob
A further suggestion: I did meet a young man when on a 2 day trip on lake Titicaca who impressed me with his honesty and love of Peru who has an agency in Cusco specializing in custom arrangements including an appreciation of economy, to whom I would send my mother even though I have never used his services myself. One VT member seemed pleased with him. His name is Wilver Gamarra Salas of Discount Designer Tours Telephone 084-241298 E-mail [email] In any case have a great trip, bob
Short answer: This is nuts. First, coming from CA and "reaching Cusco around 4pm" you will have been traveling all night, and ending our journey at altitude. You will be shot, and your first night at altitude will likely be unrestful. Then, if you do indeed leave one of the prettiest cities I've ever seen without looking at it, the earliest you can get to Machu Pichu from Cusco will be around 11:00, after an early start and a long train ride/bus, you will again, probably, be tired. You then want to go from MP to lake T, which requires returning to Cusco, after having seen one of the most breathtaking, contemplative sites in the world for no more than six, bus tour-crowded hours to then, I presume, fly to Puno. I don't know the flight scheds, but this journey from MP to T, if it can even be done in one day, will be a minimum of six hours, ending at even higher altitude. I mention this again because the most noticeable effect is fatique. All this jumping around will, I predict, leave you drained, and less able to appreciate what you're seeing. And forget Arequipa. No way could you fit it in. My advice? Divide your time between Cusco and MP. Leave the rest for another time.
Bob ("Melosh") is clearly very well-informed, and gives good advice. But I have to disagree with him about eating guinea pig - I've had to do so, as guest of honour at an official dinner, but don't recommend it!
Hi, My husband and I are thinking of doing a very similar trip in April and I am wondering how you went on your trip. Did you manage to go to Lake Titicacca, and if so, did you spend the night on the lake. I would be interested in your plans as, never been to Peru before, I'm not too sure how easy it is to get around. Thanks Red