It looks like a trip to Peru is in the cards. In February for about 15 days.
I'll Fly into Lima and I'll be spending some time in Cusco to visit an old traveling partner.
I'm not big on bouncing all over the place and cramming in a lot into short trips, but I would like to make one other stop in the area...
any suggestions on where to go? any great beach towns perhaps...anything really
also, are any vaccinations required to go to Peru. from the looks of it, they don't seem to be required but I haven't looked to much into it
I'd skip spending much (or really, any) time in Lima; I found it a noisy, dirty city, mostly devoid of interest. (It wasn't all bad, but the rest of Peru was way more worthwhile to spend time in.) Altitude is your main constraint, as heading straight from sea level to the 3300 meters of Cuzco means you won't be able to do much at all for the first few days there. Arequipa makes a great halfway destination, altitude-wise (at 2350 meters), and is one of my favorite cities in Peru. IIRC it also doesn't suffer from the rainy season which will be in full swing in Cuzco in February. The Colca Canyon is a great sidetrip from Arequipa once you've acclimatized, or the Nazca lines would be on the way if travelling to Arequipa overland from Lima.
As for vaccinations: Hep A/B is as always recommended, and typhoid might be worth getting. Definitely avoid icecubes, uncooked vegetables, and anything else which has been in contact with unboiled water. (No matter how great that salad with lettuce and tomato looks like, your intestines will thank you for not partaking of it!)
hmmm interesting. My friend was saying Lima is definitely worth visiting... I'll definitely research it more to see if I'd be interested.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean about the change in altitude. Is it going to be that rough on my body? I'm pretty healthy. I think 7500 feet is the highest I've been though, but I don't remember it bothering me.
thanks for the info
No one can say for certain how you'll handle the change in altitude, but I personally, being completely fit and healthy, experienced quite a few effects of altitude sickness when going up above 3000 meters before I'd finished acclimatization. The very strong recommendation is to never go up more than 2000 meters at a time, and to take at least one night of acclimatization for every 1000 meters you go up. You will almost certainly experience dizziness and lack of breath / bad condition for a day or two if you'd go up straight to 3000+ meters, and generally not be feeling like doing much of anything during that time. (You might think a little dizziness isn't too bad, but trying to hike while continuously dizzy is not fun!) If you're unlucky, that could be much worse, leading to headaches, vomiting, etc, in which case you are very strongly recommended to descend by at least 1000 meters as soon as possible (the only "cure" for altitude sickness). Best to avoid the possibility altogether by following established procedure and going up in height slowly.
Once you're acclimatized to a certain altitude, you stay so for 3-4 days (so you could safely descend to sea level and then go all the way back up), but after that you start losing acclimatization again.
Do not miss out Lima. Lots to see there:
The Arms museum is far better than the so so Gold museum above it. I liked the National Museum. It's what you expect a museum to be. The Larco Museum has to be seen to be believed. Not just the few odd bits of ceramics but they are piled floor to ceiling everywhere. Other museums, an art gallery, Chinatown, I found a market, etc. It's worth at least a few days. I certainly don't recognise the description in post 2 as it was not noisy and it was clean. Perhaps it is another Lima somewhere else he is writing about?
Nearby Miraflores is the best place for accommodation. Taxis in Lima are often public cars with a bit of cardboard with the word TAXI written on them. I used these guys a number of times and they were cheap and no hassle.
Cusco has quite a number of travel agents so you can book day trips and onward trips there. The city itself is worth a walk around. Get a multi-ticket for all the attractions.
After five days, on my last day I had a little altitude sickness (a minor headache, but that could be because I am a shallow breather so would not get as much oxygen as some others) but otherwise I had no trouble there (even though I had flown there from Lima), even when we visited a market at 13,000 feet on a day trip. And I would not call myself fit.
If you want to avoid uncooked foods, you might try the chicken and chips in Cusco in one of their cafes. It was cheap, hot and excellent, being served within minutes of ordering.
I am going to tour around Peru from January 24th to February 8th. I have a loaded itinerary I can share if you wish from Lima to Cusco to Machupichu to Puerta Maldonado in the Amazon jungle. How have you been able to travel so much as it is damn expensive?
Hey yeah that would be great. I have to be honest though I'm kind of rethinking my timing of the trip since sander pointed out that it's the wet season there in February. I might delay it a little, and that will give me a little more time to get my spanish up to par.
I don't think I travel that much. For the past few years I've had a full time job with a few weeks of vacation time, so that helps. Being single doesn't hurt the bank account either, haha.
Lima stay in Miraflores, (check out the catacombs in downtown Lima at the covenant)...north head to Trujillo and the ruins of Chan-Chan, very impressive!...South head to Ica/Paracas, Nazca Lines, and Cuzco of course Macchu Picchu. Arequipa is decent, very cheap and some good tours....also, a tip, if you go to macchu picchu take your passport and ask for the stamp, it's pretty cool and not many people get it.
no vaccines needed unless you're heading into the Amazon.
Hi Cool Paul,
I have just recently been in Cusco and it was fantastic, of course as you know Machu Picchu is a must! I am not sure if you are thinking of trekking to machu Picchu. I did some calculations and doing the 5 Day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the same price for the 1 or 2 Day train trip to Machu Picchu
Instead of doing a 1 or 2 Day trip with costs $270+ you should do the 5 Day Salkantay Trek which costs the same amount! Including al meals, tickets transport and accomodation For 5 DAYS!! A great way to save money see Peru and meet new people.
I went with Dos Manos Travel Agency and was super impressed with the organisation and knowledge of the guides. You should definatly check them out if you like to trek!
All the best,