I hope to travel to Lima, Peru next week from Chicago and I would love some help with the following questions:
What are the modes of transportation from Lima to Cuzco and when do these arrangements need to be made? How much are RT flights and where can they be booked?
What arrangements need to be made prior to my departure regarding the Inca Trail? Is it necessary to book a tour or can one travel independently? What are your recommendations for a more independent trip? How much do guides cost and must I really book this 30 days in advance?
What other places in Peru should I visit? Do you have any further advice regarding transportation? Accommodation? Any informaion about vegetarian diets and restaurants?
Warmest regards and thank you,
Thick in the research here so might be able to help. Caveat: I haven't done this yet (I leave in Feb) but this is what I have found out:
You fly from Lima to Cuzco.
Check out http://www7.lan.com/ for flights but its around $200 for a return ticket. This is the Chilean Airline. There are other carriers too I think.
You can book online or at the airport.
There are tour operators a plenty. Check out:
I was going to book with an overland company from here but I'm told it's much cheaper to do it on your own. The prices range from $200-$300. If its low season, you don't need to reserve but plan on spending a couple days acclimatizing in Cusco. There is a limit the amount of people they take each day, so there might also be a wait. It's also wet season now, but I'm still trying to find out what that means. Only need to book 30 days in advance in mid-high season.
I'm on a RTW, so from Cusco I'm heading down to Lake Titicaca, then into Bolivia and down to Chile. There is some great advice on this site about Peru and things to do and see.
Hope this helps...perhaps I'll see you down there.
Concerning transport you can make a bus trip Lima, Paracas, Nazca, Arequipa, Titicaca lake, Cuzco and you flight back to lima.
This is a typical tour if you have time you can flight to iquitos in the jungle at north or go to cordillera blanca (mountains).
For inca trail you can arrange when you arrive in cuzco usually you must wait at least 3-4 days or may be you can book it in a travel agency in some townbefore arrive there. Prices are around 200-300 USD.
I suggest you to keep warm thing and they don't have heater in budget hotel ...
Also if you go to canyon del colca close to arequipa, is really high 5.000 meter so you could be not used may be take some medicines or you'll find the coca leaves.
You dont need to book ahead when flying from Lima to Cusco, especially if youre travelling in the near future (low season). I just showed up at the airport, bought a ticket at the counter and boarded. Very easy. There are alot flights btwn Lima and Cusco.
My suggest for traveling around on buses is the following companies:
Ormeno: Royal Class service, not the cheap service, those buses suck. The Royal class buses are double decker with very confortable seats.
Flores: Super Dorado class service. These are double decker buses also, cheaper than Ormeno but still good.
To fly, check TANS first, usually cheaper than LAN.