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Peru

Hello! We just booked our flights for Peru in October! Hubby and I are super excited! We'll be there for 11 days. We only have flights booked now, in and out of Lima.  Right now we're thinking we'd like to visit Lima, Cusco, the sacred valley and Machu Picchu. I would love to hear your tips and recommendations!

Re: Peru

  • H and I did a lot of research for a Peru trip, and were also planning on October. We wanted to hike to Macchu Picchu, and because the Inca Trail permitting system seemed a bit much to navigate on our own, we were planning to book with a tour group. We liked G Adventures, though there are many options at all "luxury" levels. The tour package we planned on covered all the locations on your list. I wanted to make sure I had a full day or two to see Lima, and a day in the Sacred Valley to acclimate to altitude. Have fun!
  • We went to Peru last year, but we took a tour.  We wanted to see as much as possible with someone that knew the area and not have to worry about transportation.  We loved it! 

    One tip - we went to our doctor and got medicine to prevent altitude sickness.  It worked for us, we didn't get sick.  There were several people on our tour that didn't take the medicine and got pretty sick and were miserable.  Something to consider and look into.
  • Thanks for the tour organizer suggestions. We're planning to go on our own and not join an organized tour. We'll miss out on hiking the Inka Trail by doing this, but we're not sure we have time for it any way. 

    Right now we're thinking 2 days in Lima, 2 days in Cusco, 3 days in the Sacred Valley, and 2 halfdays/an overnight in Machu Picchu. Would you say that sounds like the right amount of time in each place?

    Thanks for the tip about altitude sickness medication. I would hate to get there and be sick and not enjoy it.
  • I think the amount of time seems good. I just looked back to see what we did and we had 2 nights in Lima, 2 nights Sacred Valley, 2 nights in Cuzco and 2 nights in Puno (which you're not going to).  Of course, travel time should be considered.  I'm not sure how you plan on getting around (though I hope you're not driving!), but we were able to see and do alot because we had a tour guide who knew where we were going and maximized our time.  We also had many very early morning starts and late nights.  I would just plan carefully for what you want to see and allow yourself travel time to get to where you want to go.


  • JoanE2012 said:

    I think the amount of time seems good. I just looked back to see what we did and we had 2 nights in Lima, 2 nights Sacred Valley, 2 nights in Cuzco and 2 nights in Puno (which you're not going to).  Of course, travel time should be considered.  I'm not sure how you plan on getting around (though I hope you're not driving!), but we were able to see and do alot because we had a tour guide who knew where we were going and maximized our time.  We also had many very early morning starts and late nights.  I would just plan carefully for what you want to see and allow yourself travel time to get to where you want to go.



    Why not drive?  We're considering a Peru trip next year.  I've driven in dozens of countries without an issue.  How would one get around if they didn't drive??  The only country where we didn't drive was India- insane drivers, terrible roads, and WAY TOO MANY CARS.  It was really the amount of cars on the few, badly maintained roads, that really made it impossible.
  • We're planning on flying between Lima and Cusco. We looked into driving because we've also driven in lots of other countries, but driving didn't really seem to be the best option. Its about a 15 hour drive from Lima to Cusco versus about an hour flight. Tourists must not drive a lot, because the rental car options weren't great. There are not many offices for pick up/drop off, it seems like they prefer round-trip rather than point to point rentals, and the mileage limits were incredibly low considering you would theoretically be driving across Peru to get to the major cities. Driving also seemed more expensive than flying, close to $900 when I estimated, where as two round-trip plane tickets were $400. All that combined with what we have heard about the quality and safety of the roads (bad, bad, and more bad) kind of put us off driving. Driving was our first thought too, seeing as how we have driven on almost all our other trips, but we decided against it as a main form of transportation this time.

    We are considering renting a motorcycle in the Sacred Valley and doing our own tour of some of the sites there like Pisac, the church in Andahuaylillas, etc. A one-day rental seems pretty reasonable and we thought it would be more fun to go at our own pace than hop on a tour.

    Other than that, we're thinking we'll arrange transport to/from airports/hotels before we go. The State Dept. has some not-so-great things to say about taking a taxi in Peru. =( We've been thinking a lot about transportation lately. 

    I'm glad to hear that our itinerary sounds good. There are so many things to see and do, and with the transportation issues, we're worried about having time to fit everything in. We're working on making our list if priority sites and activities now so we can put those at the top of our list. 
  • DZKathryn said:

    We're planning on flying between Lima and Cusco. We looked into driving because we've also driven in lots of other countries, but driving didn't really seem to be the best option. Its about a 15 hour drive from Lima to Cusco versus about an hour flight. Tourists must not drive a lot, because the rental car options weren't great. There are not many offices for pick up/drop off, it seems like they prefer round-trip rather than point to point rentals, and the mileage limits were incredibly low considering you would theoretically be driving across Peru to get to the major cities. Driving also seemed more expensive than flying, close to $900 when I estimated, where as two round-trip plane tickets were $400. All that combined with what we have heard about the quality and safety of the roads (bad, bad, and more bad) kind of put us off driving. Driving was our first thought too, seeing as how we have driven on almost all our other trips, but we decided against it as a main form of transportation this time.


    We are considering renting a motorcycle in the Sacred Valley and doing our own tour of some of the sites there like Pisac, the church in Andahuaylillas, etc. A one-day rental seems pretty reasonable and we thought it would be more fun to go at our own pace than hop on a tour.

    Other than that, we're thinking we'll arrange transport to/from airports/hotels before we go. The State Dept. has some not-so-great things to say about taking a taxi in Peru. =( We've been thinking a lot about transportation lately. 

    I'm glad to hear that our itinerary sounds good. There are so many things to see and do, and with the transportation issues, we're worried about having time to fit everything in. We're working on making our list if priority sites and activities now so we can put those at the top of our list. 
    Interesting info, thanks!
  • DZKathryn said:

    We're planning on flying between Lima and Cusco. We looked into driving because we've also driven in lots of other countries, but driving didn't really seem to be the best option. Its about a 15 hour drive from Lima to Cusco versus about an hour flight. Tourists must not drive a lot, because the rental car options weren't great. There are not many offices for pick up/drop off, it seems like they prefer round-trip rather than point to point rentals, and the mileage limits were incredibly low considering you would theoretically be driving across Peru to get to the major cities. Driving also seemed more expensive than flying, close to $900 when I estimated, where as two round-trip plane tickets were $400. All that combined with what we have heard about the quality and safety of the roads (bad, bad, and more bad) kind of put us off driving. Driving was our first thought too, seeing as how we have driven on almost all our other trips, but we decided against it as a main form of transportation this time.


    We are considering renting a motorcycle in the Sacred Valley and doing our own tour of some of the sites there like Pisac, the church in Andahuaylillas, etc. A one-day rental seems pretty reasonable and we thought it would be more fun to go at our own pace than hop on a tour.

    Other than that, we're thinking we'll arrange transport to/from airports/hotels before we go. The State Dept. has some not-so-great things to say about taking a taxi in Peru. =( We've been thinking a lot about transportation lately. 

    I'm glad to hear that our itinerary sounds good. There are so many things to see and do, and with the transportation issues, we're worried about having time to fit everything in. We're working on making our list if priority sites and activities now so we can put those at the top of our list. 
    This!  Roads were often in poor condition and poorly lit (if you do drive, it's definitely not recommended at night).  We also saw extremely bad drivers (no headlights!) and heard stories of corrupt checkpoints (make sure at someone in the car speaks Spanish!).  Sure, you can get this anywhere you go, but for me, I wouldn't feel comfortable driving in Peru.  

    And like DZKathryn mentioned, it's not very economical and can waste lots of time.  While we flew between cities, we also had a tour driver between certain points  What would've taken 45 minutes to drive in the US took 2 hours in Peru because of all the curvy, poor roads.
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