I am (still) planning my 2-week peru trip this september.
I need to organise :-
Lima to Nazca
Nazca to Ariquepa
Colca canyon trip
Ariquepa to Puno
Puno to Puerto Maldonada trip
Puno to Cuzco
Cuzco to Lima
Can anyone advise the best travel options for each leg of this trip please?
2 weeks isn't long, and I have got lots of information from Cruz Del Sur buses but some of these routes take hours, despite being cheap. What are the best websites to use etc. to book internal flights from the UK before going ? Is the train an option (particularly the last leg from Cuzco)
I did the bus ride from Lima to Cuzco, and MAN that was a hard ride! LAN and Star are the popular inter-country airlines; used LAN without any problems. There were trains, but I am not sure they cover all the destinations you wish to visit. I do remember a couple of Aussies used the trains to travel from Cuzco to Machu Picchu, because they did not want do the 3 day hike. Realistically; flights are your best option due your time period. I was there for 2 week as well, and I barely scratched the surface.
I did a three day tour into Colca Canyon with a company called Inka Fest: it was great! We did trekking for two days from Cabanaconde down into the canyon on the first day, staying in one of the villages at the bottom. The stars at night were indescribable. Then we walked round the canyon to the oasis and climbed out again in the afternoon (1.2 vertical km in afternoon tropical sun is no joke, although I did see a condor at closer quarters than at Cruz del Condor). On the first day we went to Cruz del Condor (A tourist parade - annoying for anyone with a real interest in animals) and then returned to Arequipa, passing by Chivay on the way. Had a ball!
Oh man! I wish I had read this thread before I went on my trip to South America last year. Instead of doing independent travel, I took a tour through Tours4Fun (http://www.tours4fun.com/south-america-tours/). I thought that it would be easier for me, as I am no longer twenty-something with the ability to be "flexible" with my time time or comfort. Tour was okay, I had fun. However,those long bus rides were murder on my back. So take some sort of travel pillow with you, it'll save you, promise. Looking back, I wish I could have done all the travel planning myself. Oh, well. There's always next time.