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PUERTO MALDONADO or Scared Valley

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1. Posted by mukatira (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

mukatira has indicated that this thread is about Peru

Hello,

My wife and I are looking at packages taking us on a 10 day trip to Peru. Our trip includes time in Lima, Cuzco and Puno. My question is regarding an offer I received about squeezing a trip to PUERTO MALDONADO (rainforest) by skipping the Sacred Valley and rafting tour near Cuzco. I am not sure about what would the best way to spend the little time we have there.

Any suggestions will be appreciated
Cheers

Suraj

2. Posted by adv3nture (Budding Member 49 posts) 10y

I've been to both Puerto Moldonado and the Sacred Valley, visited both in May and had a fantastic time. I love Peru, can't wait to go back.

What all is planned for the 10 day trip? Do you have an itinerary you could post? What tour company is it with?

The Sacred Valley was beautiful, and I would highly recommend it. The scenery is truely epic. Puerto Moldonado and the Tambota River was good, but it really depends on what you like to do.

I would have to say if I could only do one or the other, having been to both, I would choose the Sacred Valley and more time in that area over Puerto Moldonado.

3. Posted by lisasd (Budding Member 43 posts) 10y

I too am trying to plan an itinerary if you could make some suggestions. I am not traveling with a tour/group. I fly into Lima the last week of March on a Tuesday at 4:30am and fly out Sunday night from Lima. The only must see on my list so far is Machu Picchu of course. I don't know how long I should I stay in each city and how to get to each city yet. Fly? Bus? Any and all suggestions are appreciated!

lisa
San Diego, CA
[email protected]

4. Posted by mukatira (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

Quoting carlhancoc

I've been to both Puerto Moldonado and the Sacred Valley, visited both in May and had a fantastic time. I love Peru, can't wait to go back.

What all is planned for the 10 day trip? Do you have an itinerary you could post? What tour company is it with?

The Sacred Valley was beautiful, and I would highly recommend it. The scenery is truely epic. Puerto Moldonado and the Tambota River was good, but it really depends on what you like to do.

I would have to say if I could only do one or the other, having been to both, I would choose the Sacred Valley and more time in that area over Puerto Moldonado.

Hi Carl,

Our Itinerary is not finalized yet. WE are talking to SAS and Indiana-expeditions (heard of them?) to get a better deal. Here is a rough draft:
November : Arrival to Lima/Overnight in Lima
November : Trip to Cusco/Lunch/City Tour/Overnight in Cusco
November : Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4D/3N
November : Inca Trail
November : Inca Trail
November : Inca Trail/Overnight in Aguas Calientes
November : Back to Cusco/Overnight in Cusco
November : Sacred Valley Tour/Overnight in Cusco
December : Back to Lima/Free afternoon/Overnight in Lima
December : Lima City Tour /Lunch/ Museum Tour/Overnight in Cusco
December : Free Day & Day Use Room/Back Home

Thanks

Sm

5. Posted by adv3nture (Budding Member 49 posts) 10y

It depends on what you want to do, you have a variety of options for getting around once in Peru.

I would recommend:

- Cusco
- The Sacred Valley
- Ollantaytambo
- Pisac
- Machu Picchu
- Nasca Lines
- Colca Canyon
- Lake Titicaca
- Puerto Moldonado

I haven't been to the Huarez area yet, but the Cordillera Blanca is supposed to be spectacular for trekking.

From Lima to the Cusco area your best bet is to either take a bus (which is a long trip, and from what i've heard goes through Arequipa enroute to Cusco) or you can pay $100-200 for a flight from Lima to Cusco which takes 1 hour. A lot of people on here frown on the environmental impacts of such a short flight, but lets face it... if you don't have a lot of time available to travel, the flight will be necessary.

There are a ton of things to "see and do" in the Cusco area. It is a good base of operations for your trip to Peru. There are many guide and tour companies in Cusco that you can utilize for day trips, or treks (such as the Inca Trail).

If you have a limited amount of time in Peru, I would suggest getting to Cusco as soon as possible and go from there. If you fly in on Tuesday @ 4:30am, catch a flight to Cusco soon after you arrive. Checkout LAN Peru or STAR Peru online for airfare information, they are 2 of the larger airlines within Peru.

If you decide to do the Inca Trail, spend atleast 2 or 3 days in the Cusco area before you have to start trekking. The altitude is NOT fun if you aren't ready for it.

6. Posted by lisasd (Budding Member 43 posts) 10y

Thanks for the great advice and quick reply! From what I hear I should spend most of my time in cusco.

7. Posted by adv3nture (Budding Member 49 posts) 10y

Quoting mukatira

Hi Carl,
Our Itinerary is not finalized yet. WE are talking to SAS and Indiana-expeditions (heard of them?) to get a better deal. Here is a rough draft:
November : Arrival to Lima/Overnight in Lima
November : Trip to Cusco/Lunch/City Tour/Overnight in Cusco
November : Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4D/3N
November : Inca Trail
November : Inca Trail
November : Inca Trail/Overnight in Aguas Calientes
November : Back to Cusco/Overnight in Cusco
November : Sacred Valley Tour/Overnight in Cusco
December : Back to Lima/Free afternoon/Overnight in Lima
December : Lima City Tour /Lunch/ Museum Tour/Overnight in Cusco
December : Free Day & Day Use Room/Back Home
Thanks
Sm

One suggestion I would make is spending an extra day in Cusco BEFORE starting the Inca Trail. 2 days in Cusco acclimatizing to the altitude will better prepare you for the Inca Trail, which involves several high altitude mountain passes. A lot of people arrive in Cusco and immediately start their trek on the Inca Trail and aren't fully prepared for the altitude which makes the trek even tougher.

I'm not sure what kind of flexibility you have, but I would suggest something along these lines:

Day 1: Arrive in Lima/Overnight in Lima
Day 2: Fly to Cusco, free day in Cusco/Overnight in Cusco
Day 3: Cusco city tour, shopping, etc./Overnight in Cusco
Day 4: Inca Trail Day 1
Day 5: Inca Trail Day 2
Day 6: Inca Trail Day 3
Day 7: Inca Trail Day 4/Machu Picchu/Overnight in Aguas Calentes
Day 8: Train back to Cusco/Overnight in Cusco
Day 9: Sacred Valley Tour/Overnight in Cusco
Day 10: Fly to Lima/Lima City Tour/Overnight in Lima
Day 11: Free Day & Day Use Room/Fly Back Home

Basically I would recommend skipping the extra full day in Lima, and use that day to get used to the altitude in Cusco before starting the Inca Trail. You can get a morning flight from Cusco to Lima, and then when you arrive in Lima you could do a city tour that day.

I'm not sure how much flexibility you have with the tour groups you are talking to, but that is what I would suggest for the amount of time you have.

I would also suggest NOT going to Puerto Moldonado based on the itinerary you posted and the amount of time you have to utilize.

8. Posted by adv3nture (Budding Member 49 posts) 10y

Quoting lisasd

Thanks for the great advice and quick reply! From what I hear I should spend most of my time in cusco.

Not necessarily in Cusco, but get to Cusco as soon as you can (the same day you arrive in Lima if you arrive in Lima in the morning) and then from Cusco you will be able to travel areas such as The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, etc.

9. Posted by mukatira (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

Here is my revised itinerary:

Day1 : Arrival to Lima/Overnight in Lima
2 : Trip to PUERTO MALDONADO
3 : PUERTO MALDONADO
4 : Arrival to Cuzco/Overnight in Cuzco
5 : Inca Trail
6 : Inca Trail/Overnight in Aguas Calientes
7 : Back to Cusco/Overnight in Cusco
8 : Sacred Valley Tour/Overnight in Cusco
9 : Travel by INCA EXPRESS Class tourist bus to Lake Titicaca
10 :Puno/Titicaca overnight
11 :Fly back Puno-Lima and -->Back Home

Is this too ambitions?