Hi. I have been doing a bunch of research on this forum and other sites (i.e. go2peru.com, etc.) and I still haven't found answers to some questions that I need to plan my trip to Peru this summer:
a. Is it necessary to book a flight from Lima to Cuzco in advance of the trip? I have a fear that my flight into Lima could be delayed or something, so I'm not sure if I should do this.
b. I definitely want to do the 4-day hike...my question is this...I checked the suggested sites on the Macchu Pichu site and I'm trying to figure out the best service...I am a 33 year old woman and will be going by myself. Would I be "out of place" on a SAS tour (I'm not sure if they just take students)?
c. My plan is to get into Lima on the 1st of July and then leave on the 13th or 14th. If I grab a plane to Cuzco and stay 2 days to acclimate to the altitude (I live in Michigan), would this be an okay itinerary:
1st - fly right to Cuzco
2nd - hang out in Cuzco
3rd - hang out in Cuzco
4th - Inca Trail
5th - Inca Trail
6th - Inca Trail
7th - Inca Trail
8th - Aguas Calientes
9th - back to Lima and surrounding area?
I know this might be a bit detailed of a ?, but I've gone to Europe many times alone and never to South America and I am a bit nervous. If anyone can offer some help, I'd be very appreciative.
I've just travelled around in SA, and my route went through Peru and Cuzco.
I booked my ticket from Lima to Cuzco 2 days in advantage, so don't worry if your flight is delayed. And also, there's about 7 or 8 flights a day to Cuzco from Lima and starts around 6:00 am.
2 days of acclimate is probaly a bit risky, but you feel right away if there's any problems. i would suggest about 3-4 days depending on how you feel.
LAN.com can help you with booking a flight from Lima to Cuzco, it's a great company with really nice service.
It's quite expensive to do the Inca trail. If you choose to take the train will it cost you around 60 dollars and that's only for the train ticket then you've to pay the entrance fee also.
you can also choose to take an organised tour, and that's no problem ordering that while you're in cuzco. Actually i think you could save some money.
i don't rememeber the name of the agency but it's on your right looking away form the church, it's a good organised tour agency.
Be precautious in dark periods in Cuzco, and do not take a cab on your own. There is several good hostels in Cuzco, so you don't have to worry about that.
I'll hope that you will have a great trip, and don't forget to visit Ecuador. My favorite!
a) there are loads of flights form Lima to Cusco every day, do not worry about it being delayed as I am sure you will be bumped onto the next flight if the worst came to the worst.
b) SAS are good, but their itinerary is a slight different to United Mice who i went with. Comparing the two, I would rather do what united mice do and walk more on the second day, meaning that the third day night you can chill out at the camp for longer and appreciate it, rather than getting in 2/3 hours later and being knackered and not wanting to be bothered. they are the main 2 companies that are recognised as the best.
c) itinerary looks good, but i wouldnt bother with spending a day in agua calientes, you will get the afternoon of the 4th day of the trek there anyway. Its really small and other than the hot baths there is nothign to do. I would go back to cusco rather than spend a night in agua cal.
if you need any more help reply.
I think I am going to do the United Mice trip...it seems best for what I want to do (and I agree on the 3rd day 'rest' period)...another question...for my trip to Peru I plan on taking my big backpack and day pack. However, this will contain more clothes than I will actually need on the hike...is there anywhere to store stuff that you won't need on the hike, but need as a traveler?
Also, I know there are no ATMs on the trail to Maccu Pichu, however, what about the rest of Peru?
Thanks again for all of your help - I really appreciate it!
You will be safe in Peru, especially with the route you are taking because there are lots of other tourists all doing the same thing. As long as you´re not wandering around late at night, you shouldnt have any problems.
I booked a flight from Arequipa to cuzco at 7 oclock in the evening for 12am the next day - no problem. So, thats something you can definitely leave to the last minute if you want. The plane was an Airbus and there were loads of free seats.
United Mice are a great company to do the trail with. One of the advantages of their programme is taht they get the worst of the trek out of the way on the first day - its tough but you are very glad of it by Day 2. They are a very reputable company, the food is outstanding and the guides are very good. They also treat the porters very well. If you are very unfit, I wouldnt recommend doing the hike, get the train instead because it isnt easy!
If you are flying from Lima (sea level) directly to Cuzco then you will need more than 2 days to get used to the altitude I´d say. It differs for everyone, but most ppl find the first few days here tough.
Lots of ATMS in Lima and Cuzco. Bring some money with you on the Inka Trail.
Hope that helps!
you normally leave your stuff at the hotel where you are staying, most have lockers available, as many people are just there to do the trail so they have the facility.
One thing i would say is take as little as you can on the trek, either pay for a porter to carry your stuff or do what i did and grin and bear the weight and take a full day bag with the stuff that you really need.
One MAJOR thing, have a crap just before you go, the toilets are minging on the trail and the longer you have to leave it the better!
there are loads of cash points all in the towns of paru, obviously more in cities, get all the cash you need for the trail in cusco cos as you said, the inca trail is just mountains! Make sure you have smaller change cos its not like they have a lot of it on a mountain too!
I'm 34, not a student, did SAS, loved it. Can't comment on the itineraries, but I found the SAS itinerary just fine. All depends on personal preference. My only bit of advice is to bring, or rent, a very warm sleeping bag. It gets cold up there!
Has anyone taken Llama Path for the Inca Trail? I wanted to go with United Mice, but they didn't leave on the day I needed. I want to leave for the trail from Cusco March 16th (which only gives me two days to acclimate).