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First time traveller - help me be realistic

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean First time traveller - help me be realistic

1. Posted by Jordan C (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

hey guys

I'm a first time traveller planning to be away over christmas and new year. I've done some research and know roughly the direction I want to go but there are a couple of things I need help planning please.

Basically day 1 fly to quito from london or europe.
Days 2 - 5/6 stay quito.
Day 5/6 - Fly to galapagos
Day5/6 to day 12/13 - stay galapagos island hopping and doing day boats etc.
Day 13 fly back to quito

I will chance finding accomodation on arrival, apparently the secret something hostel in quito is amazing. At galapagos I will simply turn up on day and ask for rooms. Excluding accom and food etc (so flights only and local payments) I guestimate about 1300GBP for this section of holiday. Add accom and food and we are prob lookin 1600 to this point.

Days 13-15/16 stay quito and organise onwards to Peru
Day 16 Arrive Peru

Now this is where we get into where timing is essential. I want to do Nazcar, cusco and the inca trail. So what's the best route from quito to take things in starting southerly and working your way back northwards towards ecuador again?

It is essential for me that I arrive on the final day of the inca trail and see machu picchu on christams day.

research suggests I should get to cusco first and venture out from there whilst acclimatising and then after a few days take on the inca trail.

Now after the inca part I want to spend time in the amazon. Should I bother getting the journey back from the trail to cusco and start out again from cusco or should I stop off at Aguas Calientes and move northwards from there?

After this part of the trip it's all about heading northwards to ecuador but seeing as much as I can safely as a solo traveller.

So how to best plan this trip[ so A: I arrive at mnachu picchu on xmas day and B: then head up to ecuador essentially for a return flight from quito to uk/europe.

Where should I avoid as a solo traveller.

If I am to be at machu picchu for xmas day where should I be for new years eve? Practically.

All in all I expect to be away for 4-6 weeks but other than the obvious large expense of getting to galapagos and flying internally I want to do it as cheap as possible whilst maintaining a good level of comfort. I'm not one for travelling in rickety buses etc that are very full and would rather fly or train it between places in relative comfort.

So guys, help me out please. Realistic guestimate of costs for travel and accommodation for a reasonable round trip. Realistic leaving date from uk to achieve the above. Best place to book inca trail making sure I arrive xmas day. Organising an amazon excursion after machu pichhu. then where best to go after working back towards quito!

I'm a culture vulture. whilst I don't mind spendning a couple of hours on the odd afternoon on the beach lazing all in all I want to be learning and exploring.

Epic request no doubt but as a first time traveller I siomply must get this right realistically!

2. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jordan.
I will try to help you with a part of the Ecuador trip.

there is the KLM direct flight Amsterdam to Quito with 2 stops.
first stop is Bonaire/Netherlands Antilles,second stop is Guayaquil/Ecuador.
Guayaquil is at the coast of Ecuador,Quito is about 2800 mtr.high.
I recommend always for Galapagos visitors to fligh to Guayaquil,from there to Galapagos and go to Quito at the end of the trip.
flights from Guayaquil to Galapagos are around US $ 350.00
check for flights
Entrance to Galapagos US $ 100.00 to pay in cash

3. Posted by El Boot (Full Member 106 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

re: hostels - Before you leave a location just go onto any hostel site and book something, unless of course that you get a recommendation from other travellers on the way...

re: Cusco/MP - Cusco is the base camp for people going to and from MP so then likelyhood is there your tour will start and finish there..Spending a day or two there before and after the trail is advisable

re: Itinerary - You could go Quite - Lima - Ica (Huacachina) - Nazca - Arequipa - La Paz - Rurrenabaque (flight/amazon) - La Paz - Santa Cruz??

Do you really have to go back to Quito? You fly from Santa Cruz or Lima to Madrid for cheap with AeroSur and CometAir respectively...

You should have enought time to fit in these places....

Theres no need to take flights, the long distances buses are generally ok. If you are worried about expenses you cant be too picky about comfort but I can tell you that the semi cama (half-bed) are generally fine, Take overnight buses, these will save you money on hostel costs. Also, theres are many beaches on the coast of Peru so maybe try googling it...

Hope this helps

4. Posted by Jordan C (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Oh now I'm confused lol!!

re your suggested itinerary when would I need to leave to ensure I am at MP on xams day?

Is flying one way to guyaquil advisable then flying back from quito maybe...

what's the cheapest way to do it?

5. Posted by El Boot (Full Member 106 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

it depends, if you are going as part of an organised tour then maybe you should ask the company. The last day of the treck is MP...

If you are doing it alone you can get a train to Aguas Calientes from Cusco. You might wanna go the day before and stay in AC so that you can get up early and make it to the top of MP