I will be flying into Lima on March 4th and flying back to the States on April 6 (34 days). What should I do? Where should I go? Any must sees (towns, museums, bars, restaurants,etc)?
How should I travel (bus, train, plane) ? Where do you buy plane tickets to and from cities in South America? A website? At a travel agency?
Thanks for any suggestions!
By bus is the way to go. Cheap, reliable (generally), comfortable (generally), less polluting, relaxed, and an ideal way to take in your surroundings. Tickets you can buy at each bus terminal; except for a few very densely travelled routes, turning up a few hours or an evening in advance will usually do the trick. Train is virtually non-existent, except on three or four touristy routes where there's always busses as an alternative.
I don't know the city well, but didn't think much of it. There's a couple of interesting museums, but nothing too fancy. Miraflores is nice, but just kinda. The hostels I know were a disaster. On the whole, I think your 34 days are better spent moving around, or in BsAs.
34 days is not a lot, so don't be too ambitious, it's no use just chasing the stream of tourists to all major sights and returning from your holiday exhausted. You might *just* make BsAs and back, but definitely not more than that. If you want to include Machu Picchu, as I suspect you do, time becomes an issue even more. Here's what you could do:
- Lima (3 nights)
- Lima - Cuzco (1 night)
- Cuzco / Machu Picchu (this will take you at least 4 nights)
- Cuzco - La Paz (1 night)
- La Paz (1 night)
- La Paz - Cochabamba (1 night)
- Cochabamba (1 night; daybus to)
- Sucre (2 nights; daybus to)
- Potosi (2 nights; daybus to)
- Tarija (2 nights; daybus to)
- Yacuiba / Pocitos - Buenos Aires (1 night + 1 day)
- Buenos Aires (4 nights)
- Buenos Aires - Mendoza (1 night)
- Mendoza (1 night; daybus to)
- Santiago de Chile (2 nights)
- Santiago - Arica (day)
- Arica - Nazca (1 night)
- Nazca - Lima (1 night)
Mind you, this is really pretty dense, and esp on the way back from BsAs this schedule would be too tight for my comfort. It would help to cut out the Argentina bit, and limit yourself to Peru and Bolivia, which offer more than enough already.
I noticed only now that you're the guy who also asked about treks to Machu Picchu. If you want to do that, no way you can get to Buenos Aires. Be realistic, and leave Argentina for another occasion.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 31, 2008, at 1:29 AM by bentivogli ]
Sorry for the misunderstanding, I am flying into Lima on March 4th and flying out from Buenos Aires on April 6th. So I won't be needing to head back to Lima...does this change your potential trip for me??? Can I do the 'back way' trek to Machu Picchu and still make it to BsAs in time to catch my flight? Thank you so much for you help!
Yeah, that obviously helps
It means you can take it a lot easier from Tarija; possibly include even a bit more of Argentina (Salta; Tucuman; Santiago del Estero, Jujuy; Cafayate; most of the northwest is beautiful, take your pick).
I think I also figured out what you mean by 'the back way to MP'. It's not a trail, but a less touristy train. We used to have a post on it in this forum (by ErwinNL), but it's too long ago to query; I found the same info here. Mind you, this is basically cheating, and imo rather immoral; part of your train ticket pays for restoration and maintenance of Machu Picchu, and for improving life of the peruvians in the Sacred Valley. Besides, I've heard that these days, the authorities are more and more strict about letting foreigners board this cheap train.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 1, 2008, at 6:58 AM by bentivogli ]