I am from Ireland. I am thinking of heading to Peru at the start of November, just to do the Inca trail, however after reading some stuff on the internet it seems pretty dangerous for tourists, especially taxis, also I will be on my own, also I have no Spanish.
I will be in Argentina the 2 weeks previously and will have to make my own way up.
Just wondering if any one has been there and if it is as bad as I have read...
Hi... Peru is as dangerous as any other country in the world when you not taking the usual precautions.
If you are travelling solely to do the Inca Trail, then it sounds like you will be doing the tourist route and not too much off the beaten track stuff where you would definately need a knowledge of Spanish.
With regard to taxi´s - always take a licensed taxi. Once again, the usual precautions apply, but you should not have any problems.
For the Inca Trail you need to book in advance to secure a spot! I went through Pachamama Explorers in Cusco, who did everything for me and were extremely helpful in planning an Itinerary for me. You can write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org and see if they have any advice for you, etc.
My experience in Peru was wonderful - so enjoy your trip and don´t worry about too many things..... All the best!
I agree with Peto, Peru is great. But here's a taxi tip for you. They don't have meters, so agree on a price BEFORE you get in the cab. Tell the driver where you are going, then counter by about 25 percent. You'll probably get a price a few soles below what he originally quoted.
Are you flying from Argentina to Peru? If not, it's a loooong bus ride. Good luck! The Inca trail is great, but like Peto said, BOOK EARLY!!!
Cheers for the advice. Looking into booking the Inca trail now, not sure if I can do it only 1 month in advance.
haven't worked out how to get from Argentina to Cusco yet, but it is 2000 miles so I need to find cheap flights. Can't seem to locate it on the web. The bus ride would probably take 3 days....
Try lan.com - I've managed to get some great online fares with them. I'm sure they fly between Buenos Aires and Lima.
There are A LOT of tour companies for the Inca Trail, so I'm sure you'll get a place with one of them, but as everyone else said book soon.
I'm doing it in January and I'm booking in the next few weeks.
If you need the names of any tour groups let me know. I've done a good bit of looking around.
I'm Irish too Travelling solo in South America also.
Cheers samsara2, checked out Lan.com and aerolineas but the prices are in the region of €400. I am on a shoe string budget so may try to find coach or train (don't mind the time it takes), however not have much luck finding them on line.
May just spend the 2 weeks in Argentina and rearrange Puru for next year...
You're going to find there are very few trains in S. America, the few that are left are mostly touristy, like the one that will haul you back to Cusco from Aguas Calientes at the end of the Inka Trail.
Most bus companies do not have info online, but the good thing is there is stiff competition and lots of buses from and to everywhere. But as you pointed out, it's a long trip. I understand you are on a budget, but would it be cheaper to fly from Argentina to Peru on this trip rather than return to S. America next year? Just a thought.
As you are budgeting for whichever trip, Inka Trail tours run anywhere between US$250 and $500. I booked with SAS online and paid $320, on the high end but I was late getting a reservation and they were one of the few with openings. Don't get stuck like me, whenever you decide to go, book as far in advance as humanly possible! (saying that, SAS was EXCELLENT, food, porters, guide, etc.)
If you are going to be in Peru to Inka Trail, you'll see than in Cuzco most of people are very conscious that tourist are they way of living, and they are very careful about take care of them. About the language, you don't going to have problems, in all places you'll find people who speak english and most of the public services had bilingual guides. I speak spanish, but many people talked to me in english first!!
You were originally just asking about Peru which is great and Machu Pichu is a MUST-SEE! However to only spend 2 weeks in Argentina seems a shame since it's such an amazing country. I would definitely reccommend that you save Peru for next year, that even gives you time to work on your Spanish!
Ushuaia - fantastic town, a bit out of the way though!
Trekking in Los Glaciers National Park, it's near Torres Del Paine in Chile so similar views, Fitzroy is beautiful!
The Lake District - anywhere but Bariloche is ever-popular
Buenos Aires - I spent 3 weeks there and still hadn't seen everything I wanted to see. Have to go to a Tango show, La Boca is fab (before dark), Recoletta market, La Casa Rosita... And so much more, galleries, pubs, clubs, museums etc
YOU MUST SEE IGUAZU FALLS!!! The most breathtaking place I've ever been. If you're keen to do everything then include the Brazillian side otherwise just DO THE ARGENTINIAN side, you'll never forget it!
Then you can head northwards, I only spent a bit of time in Salta but I've heard great things about Cordoba, Mendoza etc.
A few weeks will not be enough! Have a great trip!
Cheers for all the replies guys...
Looks like I will be heading to Peru after the 2 weeks in Argentina (and Chile). cheers hannahp, I will be doing Argentina:
Ushuaia, Moreno Glacier, Trekking in Los Glaciers National Park, and The Lake District. We won't be going to IGUAZU FALLS (person I'm with in Argentina has been there ;-).
It is a lot of flights over the 2 weeks and some short stays in each individual place but I don't mind.
I've always wanted to do the Inca trail so while I'm in the neigbourhood (so to speak) I decided to do it (also I have the time off). The good point is I will have 10 full days in Cusco without rushing to airports.