Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner

Archived Thread

NFT: Peru Travel Recommendations

justafan : 5/13/2019 7:20 pm
Landing in Lima, ultimately want to get to Machu Picchu at some point, but interested for some ideas in and out of Lima as well as good areas to stay.

Heading there in June, length of stay undetermined.
Let me know  
George from PA : 5/13/2019 7:21 pm : link
Heading down there in August
Was there for 2 weeks  
Giantimistic : 5/13/2019 8:25 pm : link
Lima was not my favorite but did have great food and the ceviche was amazing. Lima reminded me of many modern coastal cities. I loved Cuzco and Ollantaytambo near Cuzco. There were amazing Inca ruins every where. The elevation was so high you may get nausea but you can chew on cacao leaves to help.

The salt flats were very cool and the terrace farming in Moray was very impressive.

Pack extra bags to take home as many sweaters as you can. I wish I had bought so many moreófavorite ones I own.

of course Machu Picchu is a cant miss. It was just as advertised. We didnít do the 5 day in a trail hike. When you do get up to the top there are hikes you can go on to get great views looking down on the main area. The city you stay in before going up to Macchu Picchu is Aqua Calientes. About as touristy as you can get but I still thought it was cool and enjoyed it.

I will keep thinking about more things but what a great trip.
Peru Reccomendations  
louluigi : 5/13/2019 9:01 pm : link
I strongly suggest you plan to stay a day or two in Cusco which was the capitol of the Incan Empire.

Cusco is the traditional home base if one were to tour Manchu Picchu and the other sites along the Incan trail.

There are numerous tours from Cusco but assuming you aren't considering the 5 day uphill trek through the Sacred Valley I would try to visit either Ollantaytambo or Sacsayhuam as day trips

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ollantaytambo


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacsayhuam%C3%A1n

Most importantly plan on a day or so to get acclimated to the altitude and I would go to the doctor to get the altitude sickness medicine just in case ...

btw I didn't really need the altitude meds but several on the tour were happy that I was willing to share


Make sure to have the guinea pigs, hmmmm.....  
Jim in Hoboken : 5/13/2019 10:16 pm : link
Many travel companies have compact 7 to 10-day tours of Peru, you can use those itineraries as reference.

Lima is more of a gateway, probably one day in the beginning and one day at the end, as you'll be flying in and out of there. Unless you like food, two of the world's top 10 restaurants are located in Lima.

Cuzco would be the gem of the trip, so spend as many days there as possible. I wouldn't suggest Inca trail unless you like mosquitos, once you are on site there is enough hiking/climbing to test your endurance especially at the altitude. The harrowing drive up to the ruins makes Amalfi coast and Yosemite seem like a stroll in the park.

I'd suggest Puno and Lake Titicaca (Uros island) as well. And maybe Paracas and Nazca lines.

Find out when the rainy season is down there and stay the hell away.
RE: Was there for 2 weeks  
justafan : 5/13/2019 10:37 pm : link
In comment 14442432 Giantimistic said:
Quote:
Lima was not my favorite but did have great food and the ceviche was amazing. Lima reminded me of many modern coastal cities. I loved Cuzco and Ollantaytambo near Cuzco. There were amazing Inca ruins every where. The elevation was so high you may get nausea but you can chew on cacao leaves to help.

The salt flats were very cool and the terrace farming in Moray was very impressive.

Pack extra bags to take home as many sweaters as you can. I wish I had bought so many moreófavorite ones I own.

of course Machu Picchu is a cant miss. It was just as advertised. We didnít do the 5 day in a trail hike. When you do get up to the top there are hikes you can go on to get great views looking down on the main area. The city you stay in before going up to Macchu Picchu is Aqua Calientes. About as touristy as you can get but I still thought it was cool and enjoyed it.

I will keep thinking about more things but what a great trip.


Having worked in Park City for years I figured this was overblown, but I just checked its a full 1.2KM higher in elevation than Park City. Wowzers. Noted. Cusco is on the list.
RE: Make sure to have the guinea pigs, hmmmm.....  
justafan : 5/13/2019 10:41 pm : link
In comment 14442566 Jim in Hoboken said:
Quote:
Many travel companies have compact 7 to 10-day tours of Peru, you can use those itineraries as reference.

Lima is more of a gateway, probably one day in the beginning and one day at the end, as you'll be flying in and out of there. Unless you like food, two of the world's top 10 restaurants are located in Lima.

Cuzco would be the gem of the trip, so spend as many days there as possible. I wouldn't suggest Inca trail unless you like mosquitos, once you are on site there is enough hiking/climbing to test your endurance especially at the altitude. The harrowing drive up to the ruins makes Amalfi coast and Yosemite seem like a stroll in the park.

I'd suggest Puno and Lake Titicaca (Uros island) as well. And maybe Paracas and Nazca lines.

Find out when the rainy season is down there and stay the hell away.


November through April is the rainy season. Thanks for the head. Any reason not to check out Bolivia once I'm already down by Lake Titicaca?
*heads up  
justafan : 5/13/2019 10:41 pm : link
an edit post feature would be nice.
Thanks for all the great responses  
justafan : 5/13/2019 10:44 pm : link
so far. Its really appreciated. I rarely do much planning for trips so this is very helpful to me!
I think, or I was told, that Bolivia is the poorer country so there  
Jim in Hoboken : 5/13/2019 10:45 pm : link
is a lot of smuggling across the border down there. I don't know if Bolivia is a great country to visit.

Many combine the galapagos or the amazons with Peru, I'd do that before Bolivia.
RE: I think, or I was told, that Bolivia is the poorer country so there  
justafan : 5/13/2019 10:46 pm : link
In comment 14442587 Jim in Hoboken said:
Quote:
is a lot of smuggling across the border down there. I don't know if Bolivia is a great country to visit.

Many combine the galapagos or the amazons with Peru, I'd do that before Bolivia.


Plan was Ecuador then Peru, but all the flights from where I'm at in Mexico run through Peru to get to Quito. So I'm doing Peru first. Maybe Chile after. Not sure, just coasting.
Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu  
Frank from CA : 5/14/2019 11:50 am : link
Sounds like you have recognized the essence of your first trip to Peru should be based out of Cusco. Most would agree.

Rule #1. make your arrangements to Machu Picchu before you leave the USA. The city of Aguascalientes serves as access to Machu Pichu. You can only get there by Train or the Inca Trail (Hiking). There is a limit to the seats/tickets on the Train and it is difficult to make arrangements while there.

In your day or two in Lima people generally gravitate to Mira Flores. When I was there I visited the Plaza de Armas and the nearby Monastery de San Francisco. There is also the Museo del Oro which is collocated with a military history museum. The beauty of Peru is its variety in cuisine. Plan on partaking in cooked foods like seco, ahi de gallina, lomo saltado or tamarin. In South America in general I would avoid fresh foods as it is washed with the local water which invariably your stomach will not be ready.

Cusco the city is a confluence of four epochs: Pre-Inca, Inca, Colonial and contemporary. Just walking around the city is worth visiting. because it is an important tourist spot the police do a good job keeping it safe. There are Colonial Era buildings all around (Cathedrals) especially at their Plaza de Armas. On the fringes of the city are archeological sites worth visiting: sacsayhuaman is the most important. The Valley between Machu Picchu and Cusco is the Sacred valley and it is worth a day or two of visiting. The urabamba river flows through this valley on its way to Aguascalientes near M.P. The train follows that river. Someone earlier referenced the ancient fort of ollantaytambo which is worth seeing. The slopes of the Valley have many INCA era terraces and the Andes serve as a magnificent back drop. The Trucha (Trout) is very good should you dine in the Sacred Valley.

Rule #2 The first night eat lightly or nothing at all in order to adjust for the altitude. People get sick when they eat or over eat on the first night and it upsets their schedule. Do yourself the favor and head this advice.

It would be best to spend an entire day at Machu Picchu. Earliest Train in and latest train out. Read up on the place and investigate all the buildings and allow time to walk up the hill once on site. A bus takes you from Aguascalientes RR station to Machu Picchu up a series of switchbacks.

Between the sacred valley and cusco are little towns, lakes and a lot of scenery. You will see people dressed in indigenous clothing with their llamas and alpacas. Its a beautiful ride. If you can go at night to see the stars in altitude and with no smog. Its amazing. Of course that means you hire a trustworthy cabby to make that trip.

If you are an adventurer you may consider taking the Inca Trail into the site. That is a physical commitment.
Rule #2 applies to first night in Cusco  
Frank from CA : 5/14/2019 11:52 am : link
or any high altitude place you visit (i.e. Puno near Lake Titicaca)
We went with Kaypi tours  
Giantimistic : 5/14/2019 12:43 pm : link
It was a Groupon and they booked everything and drove like 4 of us around. It was more that they connected us from one place to the next but we had lots of free time to do as we wished. I didnít love all the hotel choices made for us but not worrying about booking each part or going from place to place was nice and a change from how we normally travel.

Definitely donít need a tour group for Peru but good to check out the itineraries.
Back to the Corner