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Author meltwaterfalls
#1 | Posted: 25 Jan 2016 05:49 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
It may not be this year, but I am just scouting for logistics on a potential trip to Peru.

On initial planning it seems I'm going to have somewhere between 10 days and two weeks to play with. So I'm trying to maximise the experience and WHS count, but know I am a little tight on time.

So the Questions I have:
-Which of the WHS are really unmissable? Machu Picchu and Nasca Lines obviously, and Lima and Cusco logistically but which of the others are really must sees? (Just re-read Els review of Caral-Supe which looks promising)
-How long to spend in Lima? Will a day to see the historic centre suffice, or is it a place to linger over?
-Cusco and Machu Picchu, I'm just trying to wade into the logistics of getting up to MP, but realistically how much time would people budget for visiting the two of these?

Sorry, it is all very preliminary at the moment but any WHS based feedback would be really useful.

Author warwass
#2 | Posted: 25 Jan 2016 08:35 
I am going to Peru/Bolivia in April, and all the trip is already set up. Here you can see my plan - maybe it can help. In total: 7 sites in Peru and 3 in Bolivia:
days 1 and 2: Lima
day3: Paracas → Nasca
day4: Nasca and around, night bus to Arequipa
day5: Areqipa, night bus to Cuzco
days 6, 7, 8, 9: Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Inca Valley
days 10:→ puno, Uros
day11: → Copacabana, La Paz
days 12, 13: La Paz and Tiwanaku
day14: (flight to) Sucre
day15: Sucre and around
day16: Potosi
day17: long day bus trip to Puno
day18: (flight to) Lima
day19: trip to Caral, organized by Museo de la Nation
day20: back to Europe

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 25 Jan 2016 10:16 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Very tight.
Decision points for you
a. Are you prepared to fly whilst in Peru or do you only want land journeys to see the country? I would certainly do so Lima / Cuzco (or vv - though my "psychology" favours going out by air! Some people might say that the altitude problem is less if you go there by land). It is nice to go up to Huancayo on the Andino railway and then along the Cordillera but takes too long (I did this the first time i went to Peru) - I fear you will have to compromise and just see the mountains one way
b. Are you (and/or Mrs Meltwaterfalls!!) prepared to use overnight buses? Could save you a couple of days on a trip up to Chan Chan/Trujillo.
c. Do you need a jet lag recovery day - 1 day "lost" out of 10- 14 is a big %age!
d. Are you going to try to fit in anything on Bolivia? Tiwanaku is only 40 minutes beyond the Peruvian frontier and "could" be done with a hired car there and back in a day from Puno - but there (potentially!) lies madness. Once you go on to La Paz and then come back you are adding 3 days or more - too big a %age?
e. How much "non WHS" are you going to try to fit in? It seems a great shame to go to Cuzco/MP and not also see Ollantaytambo/Pisac etc in the Sacred Valley - but this will add 2-3 days on the minimum. Similarly you don't "need" to go to Puno but if you want to see Lake Titicaca etc.
f. Are you going to spend a full day at MP or do the day return? We did an afternoon train out from Cuzco, a really full day at MP and then back by rail and road through the Sacred Valley on the third day. If you are going that far to see MP I personally wouldn't give it less. It gets very crowded so you need time to find quieter periods, Also to climb Huayna P.
g. Are you going to go North at all (other than Caral which is just a Lima excursion). The majority of what is possible can be done via a "southern circuit". Once you go inland to Huascaran and Chavin you are adding quite a lot of time. Slow mountain roads and Huascaran needs time for walking etc. Just to go for Chavin seems excessive. However - Trujillo is relatively fast on the coastal plain and to get to from it as fast as possible (overnight bus each way??) gives you both Chan Chan AND Huaca de la Sol/Luna doable in a full day when there.
h. Historic Lima can be seen in half a day. You also need to include the National Museum (has the best from Chavin as well)
i. Arequipa is nice and is on the land route to or from Lima from the Altiplano but doesn't really need a full day unless dictated by timetables or need for R+R!
j. Nazca - when we went there was no Internet etc for bookings and we booked on the evening we arrived for a flight the next day. Only needs half a day really so better to get on an AM trip - if you can?
k. Cuzco - there are some nice sites near to Cuzco but you could do it and Sacsahuayman in a full day I guess - though nicer with more.

Author elsslots
#4 | Posted: 25 Jan 2016 11:19 | Edited by: elsslots 
An overland trip Barranca (Caral Supe) - Lima - Nazca - Arequipa - Cuzco - Machu Picchu will take about 10 days using buses. I did this on my RTW trip in 2011.

Depending on where you come from (I'm assuming an intercontinental flight), I'd focus on the Cusco-Sacred Valley -Machu Picchu area for a week and fly there from Lima. Cusco may not have many sights, but it's a good base and there are many interesting towns in the area. Considering the altitude and the new experience of being in Peru/the Andes, I would not rush around like a madman cramming in as many WHS as possible.

The remaining days I'd spend on Lima (1 day, plus possible another half-day for Pachacamac (Qhapaq Nan WHS)), Nazca (indeed half a day, but takes 2x half a day to get there) and possibly Caral Supe.

Author kintante
#5 | Posted: 25 Jan 2016 14:49 
I can only add some suggestions to minimize time. Last time I used Lima as a base for 3 domestic flights.

Chan Chan, Trujillo and the Huacas can be done in 2 efficient days, flying to Trujillo (LAN or Avianca).

We visited Huascaran and Chavin in 3 days, flying into Huaraz with LC Peru.

As mentioned, Caral is a day trip from Lima.

Shortest trip to Manu is 4 days. I will probably do that next time. Agencies are selling last minute empty slots for a lower price. Just check in Cusco.

MPcan be done in 2 days. cheapest way is by minibus. but it's more convenient in the expensive train. Be aware that now there is a limit of 2500 visitors a day. So book ahead.

There is no valuable short cut to visiting the Nazca Lines. There are day trips from Lima, but they cost around 600 USD per person. I went there on a bus trip from Arequipa via Paracas to Lima. You could probably do that and fly back from Arequipa.

In general:
· Domestic flights are affordable. Especially if you book ahead
· Go in (our) summer. In winter it's no fun in the mountains. Rainy and cloudy most of the time
· Don't fly with Iberia. They are horrible

Author meltwaterfalls
#6 | Posted: 25 Jan 2016 16:12 
Hi all. Thanks so much for this information it was exactly what I was after.
One thing that occurred when looking into details was that the costs start to mount a little with Machu Picchu and Nazca Flights, that train line from Cuzco even makes British rail fares seem reasonable.

I hadn't even thought of crossing to Bolivia until it was mentioned here, but I think that wouldn't be feasible within our current thinking.

I assumed internal flights would be our way to go, I've just been "skyscannering" (I'm disappointed in myself for using that word) and seeing which legs work well.

Author Jarek Pokr
#7 | Posted: 1 Mar 2016 13:55 
Stanisław, jak chcesz jakies rady daj znać - Twoją trasę zjeździłem 2013-2014

Author winterkjm
#8 | Posted: 5 Mar 2016 06:00 | Edited by: winterkjm 

While in the Sacred Valley, a jaunt to the outskirts of Cuzco is probably worth your time. Surely, you will visit Sawsaywaman? If time permits, a moderate hike beginning at Tambombachay (arrive by taxi) and ending at Saqsaywaman can be done in a bit more than 1/2 a day. For me its still a highlight I remember well from my trip in 2010. The walk is 12 miles, but its not too strenuous if you walk often. Besides the 4-5 historic stops along the way, the scenery on a pleasant day is pretty stunning.

Tambombachay to Saqsaywaman

Regarding Qhapaq Ñan, one site that's a bit off the radar, (but CLEARLY inscribed based on the dossier) is Raqchi which can be organized as a planned bus stop between Cuzco and Puno. I loved exploring the relatively modest site because the environment and structures are quite unique. As others have stated Pachacamac is also worth the trip while your in Lima.

Author nfmungard
#9 | Posted: 6 Jul 2017 17:43 | Edited by: nfmungard 
Pulling this up from the past... Ian... I think you never made this trip, did you?

Due to scheduling I have to go end of October for 3 weeks, so no need to discuss the season/the weather. My planned schedule looks as follows.

Sat Night - Lima
Sun - Lima
Mon - Cabal: It seems this can be done via day trip.
Tue - Qhapaq Nan / Buffer. Afternoon bus Nazca (6h).
Wed - Nazca morning. Afternoon bus to Arequipa (9h)
Thu - Arequipa. Afternoon bus to Puno (6h).
Fri - Puno and Lake Titicaca.

Sat - Puno -> Cuzco Bus (10h) with touristc stops.
Sun: Cusco Area
Mon: Cusco Area
Tue: MP Area
Wed: Cusco Area
Thu: Buffer
Friday: Buffer
Sat: Evening flight to La Paz.
Sun: Tiawanacu
Mon: Morning Flight to Potosi. Evening Bus to Sucre (4h).
Tue: Sucre. Afternoon flight Santa Cruz.
Wed: Day Trip El Fuerte
Thu: Day Trip San Javier by Train
Fri: Flight to Miami (private reasons, Everglades already done and US list a shame)
Sun: Flight home.

* I am not sure I want to see the Nasca Lines. Should I? General, not sure how much time to spend in Lima area.
* It seems a week is easily spent in the Cusco area. But I could also use the time for something else...
* E.g. I was looking into going to Uyuni.

Author elsslots
#10 | Posted: 7 Jul 2017 01:10 
Regarding these two parts, it seems you're missing out on the WHS of Arequipa and Sucre?
Thu - Flight Arequipa from Lima (early). Afternoon bus to Puno (6h).

Mon: Morning Flight to Potosi. Evening Bus to Sucre (4h).
Tue: Potosi. Afternoon flight Santa Cruz.

Author nfmungard
#11 | Posted: 7 Jul 2017 02:15 

Updated the post. No, I was not going to miss out on these. ;)

Author Solivagant
#12 | Posted: 7 Jul 2017 02:31 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I am not sure I want to see the Nasca Lines. Should I?

Would be a great shame to miss IMO. They are unique, iconic, interesting, even amazing and a "lifetime experience" to see. They cannot really be made out from the tower outside Nazca so a flight is essential.
Negatives are cost of the flight (only likely to be minimised by leaving purchase until you are already there) and all the hassle time to be added for what is essentially a short "visit" - really only half an hour plus an uncontrollable amount of time for getting on a flight which probably doesn't leave at your preferred or even the planned time.

Author elsslots
#13 | Posted: 7 Jul 2017 03:16 
Would be a great shame to miss IMO. They are unique, iconic, interesting, even amazing and a "lifetime experience" to see

I do agree

Author nfmungard
#14 | Posted: 7 Jul 2017 04:58 

I will trust your recommendations. After some digging I also found that booking the flight from Pisco seems really expensive, so I will probably swallow the pill and do lima -> nazca -> arequipa with two bus rides.

Author Kbecq
#15 | Posted: 7 Jul 2017 15:06 
We just got back from Peru with the following schedule - maybe it's useful for planning your trip:

Day 1: flight Brussels-Madrid-Lima
Day 2: Caral Supe (daytrip from Lima)
Day 3: Night bus to Paracas & Islas Ballestas / Paracas / Huacachina
Day 4: Transfer to Nazca & flight Nazca lines
Day 5: Night bus to Arequipa & Arequipa
Day 6: Colca Canyon & to Chivay
Day 7: Cruz del Condor & to Puno
Day 8: Lake Titicaca
Day 9: Night bus to Cusco & Cusco
Day 10: Cusco & Sacsayhuaman
Day 11: Sacred Valley & to Ollantaytambo
Day 12 & 13: (2 day) Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
Day 14: Ollantaytambo / Sacred Valley & transfer to Cusco
Day 15: flight Cusco-Lima & Pachacamac
Day 16: Lima & in the evening flight Brussels-Madrid-Lima
Day 17: arrival in Brussels

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