Help needed with Peru Itinerary

Old Jul 24th, 2022, 09:33 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Help needed with Peru Itinerary

Hi everyone,

Looking to close my itinerary for late next month in Peru.

We are planning to use Peru Hop (except to Puno) from Lima to Cuzco and then fly back to Lima.

Not all of our group feels that they can manage the hike to Machu Picchu (even the short). As such, we are thinking about going by train. Should we go the night before and do it in the morning or just go in the morning and do it in the afternoon? Is it worth to do one afternoon and morning of the day after with 2 tickets?

Additionally, we feel that Paracas may be taking too long in our itinerary. Would it be better do go at lunch time from Lima on day 1 and do Paracas (Ballestas + Reserve and Huachina on the same day)? Where could we allocate that day?
We are considering 2 nights in Arequipa to prevent altitude sickness.

Thanks in advance.


1 Arrival in Lima at 4am Sleep in Lima

2 Bus Lima Paracas, Paracas Sleep in Paracas

3 Paracas to Hucachina by bus, Hucachina Sleep in Hucachina

4 Transport to Nazca, Nazca (including flight), night bus to arequipa Sleep in bus

5 Arequipa Sleep in Arequipa

6 Arequipa Sleep in Arequipa

7 Colca Canyon Sleep in Colca Canyon

8 Colca Canyon, trip to Puno Sleep in Puno

9 Lake Titicaca, night bus to Cuzco Sleep in bus

10 Cuzco to Ollantaytambo, Ollantaytambo Sleep in Ollantaytambo

11 Machu Pichu Daytrip Sleep in Ollantaytambo

12 Chinchero, Maras, and Moray Sleep in Ollantaytambo

13 Cuzco Sleep in Cuzco

14 Pisac and Sacsayhuaman Sleep in Cuzco

15 Humantay Lake Sleep in Cuzco

16 Rainbow Mountain Sleep in Cuzco

17 fly to Lima (arrival at 9:50 am), Lima Sleep in Cuzco

18 Lima, international flight at 10am Sleep on Lima
Fingolin is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2022, 04:06 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,706
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I thought I had responded to this but it seems to have gone missing (or maybe you asked the same question on Tripadvisor?)

Anyway, a few comments.

Peru Hop - Great if you are of that age group and need the reassurance of someone on hand to sort stuff out if things go awry. Possibly nice to have if in a group. Otherwise you could likely do it a lot cheaper using regular buses like Cruz del Sur et al.

Machu Picchu - Unless you want to climb one of the mountains I think a day trip from Ollantaytambo to MP would be fine for the majority of people. I don't like Aguas Calientes as a place to stay. Ollantaytambo is way nicer. we went for a day and ended up staying for 2 months. The other reason for doing two visits would be the weather but that will be fine next month.

Coastal Route - I confess I am not a fan of those places and would not include them but each to their own. I would carefully check bus times other than Peruhop as you will get more flexibility and may be able to shave a night there.



1 Arrival in Lima at 4am Sleep in Lima

2 Bus Lima Paracas, Paracas Sleep in Paracas

3 Paracas to Hucachina by bus, Hucachina Sleep in Hucachina

4 Transport to Nazca, Nazca (including flight), night bus to arequipa Sleep in bus

5 Arequipa Sleep in Arequipa

6 Arequipa Sleep in Arequipa

7 Colca Canyon Sleep in Colca Canyon

8 Colca Canyon, trip to Puno Sleep in Puno

9 Lake Titicaca, night bus to Cuzco Sleep in bus two nights sleeping on buses is not great. I would look at a daytime tour bus from Puno to Cusco

10 Cuzco to Ollantaytambo, Ollantaytambo Sleep in Ollantaytambo

11 Machu Pichu Daytrip Sleep in Ollantaytambo

12 Chinchero, Maras, and Moray Sleep in Ollantaytambo - no point in returning to Ollantaytambo - Those sights are on the road back to Cusco and are best done on a 6 hour taxi tour with www.taxidatum.com or similar- spend the night in Cusco

13 Cuzco Sleep in Cuzco make sure you allow enough time for Cusco itself - there is a lot to see!

14 Pisac and Sacsayhuaman Sleep in Cuzco

15 Humantay Lake Sleep in Cuzco one or the other , not both,

16 Rainbow Mountain Sleep in Cuzco

17 fly to Lima (arrival at 9:50 am), Lima Sleep in Cuzco - I think you mean sleep in Lima? Even so one day is not enough for Lima

18 Lima, international flight at 10am Sleep on Lima

​​​​​​​If you have not already done so I would check carefully the arrival and departure time of buses. prudent planning can make a huge difference to the amount of time you can spend actually doing stuff.
crellston is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2022, 09:54 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 22,974
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have not done that itinerary all in one go, but in pieces on multiple trips. I also can't comment on the benefits of Peru Hop vs the better bus lines such as Cruz del Sur (which I used for Paracas and Ica/Huacachina). I also speak enough Spanish to negotiate on my own, but you may need that added assistance.

I did Paracas as an out and back trip from Lima about 10 years ago but linked to another leg going to Ayacucho. I do believe I went to the Reserve first, I want to say it was an 11 AM tour, more or less. I spent the night and next morning went on the early Ballestas cruise, then continued on to my next leg.

Note that going to Colca Canyon and Puno will acclimate you the same as staying in Cusco.

For what it's worth, the whole thing looks a little fast paced to me, to each their own. I spent multiple nights in nearly every place on your list. The place you don't really need more than one night is Ica/Huacachina.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2022, 12:35 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,061
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We stayed the night before visiting Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes, and then took an early bus up to Machu Picchu the next morning. I liked arriving early before some of the crowds and watching the mist lift off the mountain peaks. However, a day trip from Ollantaytambo would work, as well. I don't think you'd need to visit MP more than once.

One caveat: it's good to build in a little extra flexible time into your itinerary. When we were returning from Machu Picchu back to Cusco, there was a problem with the train and we almost had to spend an unplanned night in Ollantaytambo.
KTtravel is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2022, 12:55 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 22,974
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know if you have your Machu Picchu tickets yet but a lot of dates are sold out for prime entry times into late August. It may be best to spend the night before in Aguas Calientes so you can grab one of the tickets for entry before 8 am.

It appears from the website that you can't hike up to the Sun Gate at this time.

www.machupicchu.gob.pe if you want to give it a shot on your own.
mlgb is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 11:08 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,848
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
Something to think about re: MP. I had two visits. The first was midday into the afternoon, the second was first thing the next morning. Almost none of my photos are really usable from the afternoon due to harsh light. The light for photography was so much better the next morning. And there were still some small clouds hovering around one of the peaks which really added to the overall scene. I don't know if you could get there early enough from Ollantaytambo for that light, if photography really matters to you.

I'm one who wishes I had another night in Aguas Calientes. I stayed at the Inkaterra there and didn't have nearly enough time to walk the grounds, photograph the resident hummingbirds, take the nature walks they offer (flora/fauna, birding, cloud forest exploration). The grounds are gorgeous and well worth more than a quick stop. I didn't care much for the rest of the town but this hotel was a gem, truly a bit of paradise. They also have spa offerings if that's your sort of thing. I really loved it and regretted having to leave after my second day at MP. It was totally my bad that I didn't research where my trip planner was putting me, but I was just so focused on getting two visits at MP.
amyb is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 09:58 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,706
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
amyb makes some very valid points re photography and the best light. However, the earliest train from Ollantaytambo leaves at 5:05 and arrives in AC @ 06:35. Even allowing an hour for the bus you would still get there in plenty of time for the "best light". Indeed, on many mornings the site will be shrouded in mist/fog for those first few hours and often you would find yourself waiting for this to lift before taking photos.

As for staying in Aguas Calientes. A nice hotel like Inkaterra (or, even more so, the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge) is one of the reasons to stay there otherwise most would prefer the stunning village of Ollantaytambo. We went there for one night and ended up staying for two months!
crellston is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2022, 09:44 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 22,974
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The problem is not so much with the train, but that entry tickets to Machu Picchu are oversubscribed. Unless the OP had gone ahead and bought ANYTHING, there may be no options left in "late next month" presumable that meant August, for morning entry at all. You now have to buy a circuit within a one hour window for entry. No more "morning" "afternoon" or, as in the past "stay as long as you want".
mlgb is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2022, 01:41 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for your comments.

We will stay two nights in Ollantaytambo as planned.

Already have train tickets and 2 tickets for Machu Picchu, morning (8am-9am)+ afternoon, for one of the days.
Fingolin is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2022, 04:46 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For what it's worth, I stayed in Aguas Calientes the night before busing up to Machu Picchu. We took the first buses up (got up at around 4am I believe) and it was incredible, we were the first ones up and were pretty much alone up there for the first half hour or so.
eltonj is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
brosis
South America
0
Jan 15th, 2017 07:41 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -