im planning on travelling the southern gringo route of peru (i actually fly april 18th!) - lima down to Ica, Nazca, Arequipa, Cusco, Puno across to La Paz - but having real problems with deciding when to book the Inka Trail for. should i just head straight there so i dont have to worry about being in cusco on a certain date?
How long do you suggest staying in each place before moving on? Im only thinking in rough terms, im not one to stick to a plan! for example i know im going to love sand boarding near Ica so should i plan roughly for 4days or will i be bored after a couple?
any info would be great thanks guys!
Im currently living in Peru, (26, UK) and doing voluntary work and generally having a blast.
Try and stay in Lima a few days at least, it is really a fantastic place. Everywhere else is fantastic, too, but i guess it depends how much time you have! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I did the exact same route as the one you are describing, and it took me over 10 weeks, when i actually only planned about 5-6 for it... Actually, Cusco messed up my plan, because I eneed up staying there 5 weeks instead of 2!
Anyway, For Ica and Huacachina (wjhere you can sandboard and ride dune buggies), you only need 2-3 days... Sandboarding is fun, but it´s much hardeer than snowboarding, so you´ll get bored of it after a while. For Nazca, you probably only needd 1-2 days to do the plane ride if you want and see the other sites. Arequipa is a real cool city with a cool feel to it, but 2-3 days is enough (got to Forum at night!). There is not much to see in Puno itself, but on the Lake Titicaca, you should probably spend 2 days on the Peruvian side. And finally for Cusco, apart frfom the Inca Trail which lasts 4 days and is really amazing (do not miss it), you should spend at least a 4-5 days... and that´s if you don´t have much time. There are many amazing places around Cusco and within the city, including amazing nightlife every night of the week. And to be honest, I thought Lima was ok, but didn´t stay there so long because it´s just another big capital...
Concerning the Inca Trail, you probably should book it a few weeks in advance, because the high season starts in April-May, and it would really be a shame missing it!!! Anyway, enjoy your trip, and you won´t be disappointed!