Hi there, was just looking for some advice into whether 6 weeks would be long enough to see everything I want to in the three countries. This will be my first backpacking trip and I'm planning on doing it on my own next summer from the start of July onwards. I'm just at the very start of planning but again would be very grateful if anyone could offer some advice.
My very first idea was to fly into Quito and do Ecuador, go through Peru and fly back from La Paz.
In Ecuador I'd like to see Quito for around 3/4 days, visit Otavalo and also spend a few days in Guayaquil. In Peru I want to spend a few days in Lima before doing the same in Cuzco with also the Inca Trail. I then want to go and spend a few days in Arequipa then move on to La Paz. From La Paz I want to go and see Lake Titcaca and Isla Del Sol for however long I need to see it all properly. I'd also like to go and see Salar de Uyuni and maybe spend a couple of nights in Oruro and Sucre or other cities around that area. The probably the dreaded flight home!
So I was just wondering if this is being over ambitious with regards to time restraints and also with it being my first trip, it may take me a little longer to get about the countries than other travellers...
Any feedback and/or tips would be much appreciated. Thankyou!
If I were you I'd shorten your time in Lima. We have just returned from there, and with the smog/fog, traffic and feelings of being unsafe - the amount of razor wire/broken bottles/electric fencing/spikes used on building balconies was really surprising - I was really quite glad to leave. There are some lovely historic buildings and nice parks, but these can be seen in a short time.
Of course others will probably disagree with me - it all depending on what you are looking for. I think extra time is better spent in Cusco.
I at least totally agree. One day is already too much for Lima, imo. Additionally, Lima is at sea level, so staying there for several days means you'll lose the altitude acclimatization from Quito, and will have trouble adjusting to the altitude in Cuzco again. (Then again, Guayaquil might already have done that.) In general, I suspect the proposed itinerary completely ignores altitude, and needs to be reshuffled to take it into account. (Look up altitude sickness; in short, if you go above 2000 meters, you need 2-3 days (without strenuous activity) to acclimatize, and from there on at least one night per 1000 meters that you go higher (e.g. don't go from 2000m to 4000m straight away, but spend a night at 3000m first). You can go down to sea level, but after roughly 4 days there you'll have lost most of your acclimatization again.)
Thanks very much for the replies!
So there's not too much to see in Lima? That's ok, I'd probably just stay for a day then to see the things I want to see and then move on to Cuzco. That'd probably give me another couple of days to play around with at some other point in the trip, such as in Cuzco or getting acclimatised like you advised.
Do you think that I'm leaving myself enough time in each country to get a decent feel for the place and is there anything or anywhere else from experience that you'd advise I not miss. Or is there anything that I've mentioned that's worth missing out?
Also I was thinking around £250 a week for travel, hostels and food while I'm away. I'm planning to pre-pay for the flights obviously but also machu picchu and a trip to salar de uyuni (or is this not worth doing?). Do you think this is reasonable?
Thankyou again for your help!
Ok I cant tell anything about Ecuador, but Peru you can shorten the Lima thing like the others said. Cusco and the surrounding area are really nice. And for the Inca Trail you have to sign up early enough in order to get a place.
La Paz is totally ugly. You can just visit the Valle de la Lúna, which is quiet nice and buy cheap and beautiful leather bags.
Uyuni is definitly worth it and you can do lake titicaca on your way from arequipa to La paz. would make more sense...
Hope I could help you....
Yeh I'm planning on booking the inca trail at least 3/4 months in advance especially due to the time of year I'm going.
I really fancy La Paz, looking through the guidebooks there looks like a fair bit to do and a couple of trips which sound quite fun. Apparently there isn't much to see in the town of Uyuni itself but I'm definitely wanting to do the 3/4 day trip to te salt flats and surrounding areas.
The itinerary is definitely coming on quite well but I'm appreciating everyones input, thankyou!