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Peru with teen. Please advise on our itinerary

Peru with teen. Please advise on our itinerary

Old Mar 15th, 2022, 02:36 PM
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Peru with teen. Please advise on our itinerary

I am planning a trip with my 15 year old son in April (arrive in Cusco 4/16, leave Lima 4/23 on a late night flight). I would like to come up with an itinerary that will be fun and memorable for a teen and would greatly appreciate your advice. I figure with only 8 full days, I should just stick to Machu Picchu and environs. I am a strong independent traveler but since I will be with a teen, would like to preplan as much as possible.

Here are some preliminary questions and general itinerary. Please advice and chime in with suggestions!!!
  1. I am not sure how to how much time to allocate to Sacred Valley and Cusco
  2. How to find a good tour guide/cars that can describe history behind the ruins/sites.
  3. Re Machu Picchu, are we assigned a guide for the citadel tour or do we need to hire one before hand?
  4. What is the best time of day to visit Machu Picchu?
  5. I have a morbid fear of heights. I feel faint just looking at photos of the stairs of death. Should I skip the hikes?
  6. Thinking of doing a) horseback riding tour b) weaving demonstration in Chinchera c) Planetarium in Cusco d) Pachamanca
  7. Any tour operators of above experiences you'd recommend?
4/16 Sat

Fly to Cusco
Tour some ruins or go see weaving demo at Chinchero
Overnight in Sacred Valley (what area?)

4/17 Sun

Sunday Market at Pisac
Pisac Ruins
Overnight in Sacred Valley

4/18 Mon
Horseback riding in Sacred Valley ( See Salt, Morey, Maras)
Overnight in Ollantaytambo

4/19 Tue
Early morning Macchu Picchu
Lunch at hotel
Overnight in Ollantaytambo or AC

4/20 Wed
Early morning tour of Olla with a driver/guide and drive to Cusco.
OR a pachamanca tour with Awamaki.org
Overnight Cusco

4/21 Thurs
Tour Cusco with walking tour guide
Cusco Planetarium
Overnight Cusco (near San Blas)

4/22 Fri
Cusco
Late afternoon flight to Lima (or stay extra day in Cusco and leave for Lima next day)

4/23 Sat
Tour lima and leave late night back to US

Any advice appreciated!!!
Thank you!





kandco is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2022, 12:51 AM
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Firstly, to answer your specific questions;
  1. I am not sure how to how much time to allocate to Sacred Valley and Cusco Essentially, eight days is really only enough time for Cusco and the Sacred Valley. you will need to end your stay with night or two in Lima before your flight home just in case of flight delays from the high altitude airport. Depending on your arrival time in Lima , you may need an overnight there too.
  2. How to find a good tour guide/cars that can describe history behind the ruins/sites. I donít really feel that a guide is needed in Cusco and the Sacred Valley but if you really do want one then this is a good starting point Andean Travel Web Guide to Peru. For drivers to get around the SV over many years I have used https://taxidatum.com , a very reliable and reasonably priced outfit. They are not guides though. At all of the sites local guides will be available for hire though most of the info they impart can really be found in most guidebooks. There used to be really good guide in cusco named Percy Salas but havent heard of him in years. you could always try asking on Tripadvisor.
  3. Re Machu Picchu, are we assigned a guide for the citadel tour or do we need to hire one before hand? You will need to hire a guide at the gates. Not a fan of guides generally but this is where they can really add value.
  4. What is the best time of day to visit Machu Picchu? Difficult to say. covid has turned everything on its head. Many get the first bus up to the citadel hoping to see the sun rise only to find that it rose before they get there and everything is shrouded in mist. It usually clears, sometimes quickly , sometimes by mid morning. MP can either be done as an overnight in Aguas Calientes or, if you are not hiking a mountain, then as a day trip from Ollantaytambo , in which case you will likely get there around 10-11 which would be my preferred option. Imo Ac is a bit of a dump if not staying in one of the destination type hotels.
  5. I have a morbid fear of heights. I feel faint just looking at photos of the stairs of death. Should I skip the hikes? Me too! Cant say I enjoyed it but I have never let my fear stop me doing anything. Was it worth it? I am not sure..
  6. Thinking of doing a) horseback riding tour b) weaving demonstration in Chinchera c) Planetarium in Cusco d) Pachamanca Horseback riding can be done from a number of places, usually Ollantaytambo. there is also a weaving collective in a nearby village. I can't recall the name but if mlgb sees this post , I think she would be able to provide the name
  7. Any tour operators of above experiences you'd recommend? KB Tambo in Ollantaytambo might be able to source some of the activities

As far as your itinerary is concerned, there are a number of ways you could do this. Basically, I think it is a good idea to head straight for the Sacred Valley on arrival in Cusco. My choice would be to stay in Ollantaytambo as it is the main station from where the trains to MP depart. it is also a stunningly beautiful village with its own ruins that are second only to MP. Nowadays it has some very nice accommodation but does lack any luxury properties. if you want five star, then you need to go to Urumbamba 20 mins along the road.

You have already nailed most of the good stuff to do. But i did look at my notes of what we did when some friends joined using Cusco for part of one of our trips around South America for around a week and it was something like this;

Day
  1. Depart a.m. from Cusco. Taxi tour of the Sacred valley starting in Cusco, ending in Ollantaytambo . We stopped off at Chichero for the market, plaza and Church, Moray for the crop terraces and Maras for the Salt Pans. Takes 4-6 hours depending upon how long you spend at each place. On arrival in Ollantaytambo you may have enough time to explore the ruins in the late afternoon before they close - early morning and late afternoons are the the best time.
  2. Early morning train to AC for MP. they got to the citadel by late morning and got a late PM train back. O/N in Ollantaytambo (NB if you want to hike the mountains then you need another night.
  3. Explore the ruins and/or village before getting a taxi or collectivo back to Cusco (you should experience at least one collectivo ride!)
  4. Use what is left of the day to explore some of the sights of Cusco
  5. Cusco - exploring - Donít miss the markets. San Pedro is the biggest but Wanchaq is also worth a look. The main sights will be covered in any guide book but you will need an boleto touristico to get into them and additional tickets for others. You could easily spend 3-4 days or longer in Cusco and not see everything so be selective. Just wandering the streets of san Blas and the plaza is a great way to get the feel of the place and costs nothing.
  6. Take a taxi or bus to Pisac in the morning. Explore the market (Sunday is the best and busiest but it runs all week these days)Best way to explore the ruins is a taxi to the top and walk back down through them. Taxi datum also run tour there or arrange through your accommodation. That should take half a day so have lunch in Pisac and get a taxi/bus back towards Cusco but get off at Tambo Machay and follow the old Inca paths back via Qíenka, Pucca Pukara and Sacsayhuaman and finally down into Cusco. Takes around 3 hours. Alternatively a taxi will drive you to all these place and it is easy to walk back down through San Blas from Sacsayhuaman. The views from Sacsayhuaman over Cusco are stunning. O/N cusco
  7. Fly back to Lima
Hope this helps, rather than confuses. if anything needs clarification, do please ask.

Some more detail and photos of our time in some of these places can be found on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/peru/ you will need to scroll down to some of the older posts.

Happy planning



crellston is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2022, 11:04 AM
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It seems that the OP already knows about Awamaki. Their day tours are listed on their website.

The other site that may you may want to contact re weaving is the CTTC. I think they are the ones that help the Chinchero weavers coop.

https://www.textilescusco.org/commun...il/chinchero/6

Last edited by mlgb; Mar 18th, 2022 at 11:06 AM.
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Old Mar 21st, 2022, 05:26 PM
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I was delighted with all the arrangements made through Aaron and his associates at Tour Guide Peru. I had already made my flight reservation into / out of Lima; he elicited my interests and arranged everything for visits to Cusco, Sacred Valley, Aguascalientes, Ollantaytanbo, Macchu Picchu including internal transportation, driver and great guides in all places.

Not sure where you will be coming from but please keep in mind adaptation to altitude. Check with your health care provider for a prescription for acetazolamide (brand name Diamox) which you can start taking a day or two before ascending to minimize symptoms.
Seamus is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2022, 08:46 AM
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Thank you so much for this!!! Apologies for slow response but I read your post in great detail!
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