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Machu Picchu and the Peruvian Rainforests

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1. Posted by AdamURE (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I am planning a trip down to Peru and obviously want to visit Machu Picchu. I do not wan to take the traditional tour but rather backpack through Peru and visit places like Machu Picchu, the rainforests etc. I know their are obvious dangers and I had a friend who did something similar and hired local guides.

Any suggestions on gear to bring, not to bring. Places to go, not to go? Are hunting knives illegal to have there, etc?

Thanks for all your help

2. Posted by Rhmyers (Budding Member 50 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Recommended Scenarios are different for each differing sets of circumstances.

I would suggest you do some research and construct a list of pros and cons:

o You are a male - Pro
o You are traveling alone - con
o You are going someplace where many if not most will not speak English - con
o Bars and walls are a common occurrence... Do you have to ask why? - con
o You are in remote areas out of communications - con
o You are in a ghetto urban area. - con
o You are very experienced traveler in central and south America - pro
o In certain areas the people can be very down to earth and friendly - pro

I am not an expert on Peru, but have traveled there.
Lima is definitely not the safest of cities.

On the other hand there are much more dangerous places to travel.

Traveling with a sidekick was and would still be my choice.

This still gives you some leeway to be alone at times.

Don't forget you are in the Andes Mountains... very impressive.

3. Posted by Rhmyers (Budding Member 50 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

We had a mostly private guide(s).
70% of the time we had a guide and driver... they considered our preferences and modified
our days as required.
This semi tour was very very reasonable. Although booked out of Wash DC, we were really dealing with a local person who set it up as a part time job. I was neat because we had local people who really knew the territory. Like the wonderful guide who around Cusco who was Quechan, and who refused to use the term Conquistadors... she said the more appropriate term was Conquerors.
She also was realistic and not at all haughty, when she said that the Inca form of construction which had been covered over by the Benedictines , would stand after the eventual earthquake hit and destroyed the Benedictines' structures.

Spend some time in the Valley of the Gods. Buy a good quality sweater... 1 / 4 of what you would pay in the US ... So get best quality.
Food is good and cheap.

4. Posted by AdamURE (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the input.

I most likely will be traveling with a male counterpart so we are good there and I found this information on some of the transportation from another website? Can you offer any advice on this information as far as if it is accurate.

"By bus
Some main roads, especially along the coastal strip, are paved, but there are still a lot of dirt roads in very poor condition. In the rainy season, landslides may block even major roads.
Inter-city travel is mostly by bus, and some cities have train connections. In contrast to colectivos, buses, and of course trains, start from fixed points, either the central bus terminal or the court of the appropriate bus company. It is a good idea to buy your ticket one day in advance so that you can be relatively sure of finding a seat. If you come directly before the bus leaves, you risk finding that there are no more seats available. In most bus terminals you need to buy a separate departure tax of PEN1 or PEN1.5. If you are so unlucky as to be taller than 1.80m (5 ft 11 in), you will most likely be uncomfortable on the ride since the seats are much tighter than in Europe or some parts of North America. In this case, you can try to get the middle seat in the rear, but on dirt roads the rear swings heavily. In older buses, the seats in the first row are the best, but many buses have a driver cabin separated from the rest of the bus so that you look an a dark screen or a curtain rather than out the front windshield. In older buses, you can get one or two seats beside the driver, which gives you a good view of the passing landscape. In this case, don't be too surprised when the driver is chewing his coca leaves.
First-class express buses, complete with video, checked luggage and even meal service, travel between major cities, but remember to bring ear plugs as the video on these buses may be played extra-loud for the majority of the trip. You may need to present a passport to purchase a ticket.
Make sure that your luggage is rainproof since it is often transported on the roof of the bus when travelling in the Andes.
Peru Hop is a new tourist only hop on hop off bus transport system that covers the South of Peru from Lima to Cusco and vice versa and offer a comfortable, and safe way to see more of Peru as this bus stops between stops to take in the small local places only Peruvians know about.
Avoid bus companies that allow travellers to get into the bus outside the official stations. They are normally badly managed and can be dangerous, due both to unsafe practices or to highway robberies, which are unfortunately not uncommon. This should be heeded especially by female travellers going on their own. There are many shoddy bus services in Peru, and it's best to go with one of the major companies such as Cruz del Sur, Peru Hop, Linea, Movil Tours, CIAL, OLTURSA, Ormeño, TEPSA, and ITTSA. Get information at the hotel, hostal or tourist information booth before catching a ride. "

By Foot:
Beside the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu, you can do a lot of more hikes all along the Sierra, preferably in the dry season. The hiker's Mecca is Huaraz, where you can find a lot of agencies that offer guided tours and/or equipment to borrow. The thin vegetation in the higher Sierra makes off-trail hiking easy. Good maps are hard to find inside Peru. It is better to bring them from home. Make sure you have enough iodine to purify your drinking water. When hiking in higher altitude, good acclimatisation is absolutely necessary. Take a good sleeping bag with you, since nights in the Sierra may become bitterly cold (-10 °C in 4,500m altitude are normal, sometimes still colder). Beware of thunderstorms that may rise up very suddenly. Rapid falling temperature and hard rain falls are a serious danger in higher altitudes. Don't forget that the night lasts for 12 hours year-round, so a flashlight is a good idea. When hiking on higher, but not snow covered mountains, water may be rare. Getting alcohol for stoves is easy: Either buy the blue colored alcohol de quemar or, better, simply buy pure drinking alcohol. You can get this in every town for about PEN3 (USD0.85) per litre. (Don't even think about drinking it). It won't be so easy to find special fuel for gasoline stoves. Gasoline for cars can also be found in many hardware stores (ferreterias) sold by litres, but you can actually buy it directly on gas stations, provided you bring your own bottle."

We were thinking bus, foot and train were probably going to be the best bets? Any thoughts?

Is this information pretty accurate?- I found it from a Peru Travel Guide but I would rather ask people with experience.

5. Posted by AdamURE (Budding Member 4 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

And sorry for the long post. I am still new to this.