Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Locked thread
DracoArgentum
May 29, 2011


I'm looking into going to Peru this summer but having some issues deciding what exactly to see. Machu Picchu is obviously a definite, but the rest I'm not sure about. I will only have about 10-12 days so time is also an issue. From the research I've done it seems lake Titicaca is pretty out of the way and not worth more than a day, but it's easily paired with Colca canyon and the Nazca lines. So that is theoretically one option, the other would be the Amazon. So my main question is, are titicaca/colca/nazca/the Amazon worth the trip to the point it's worth it to cut out the others. I've been looking at tours as well as peruhop bus matched with hostels but I need to narrow down my choices first. I like culture and ancient history, but my main goal is food to be honest. If I had to choose between visiting the Amazon and eating a capybara I would choose the latter. So, with that in mind...

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Saladman
Jan 12, 2010


DracoArgentum posted:

From the research I've done it seems lake Titicaca is pretty out of the way and not worth more than a day, but it's easily paired with Colca canyon and the Nazca lines.

Unfortunately for planning, the times that Google gives to drive between places is an incredible underestimate on time, at least if you're taking buses. Like I see Google Maps says Cusco–Nasca is a 11.5 hour drive. You won't get there in less than 15 unless your bus driver goes through two grams of coke while he's driving (he might).

Titicaca, Colca Canyon, and Cusco are only vaguely in the same vicinity as each other. Arequipa to Cusco is ~10 hours, Puno to Cusco is about 7 hours, and Puno to Arequipa is also around 7 hours. Nasca lines are a good 16–18 hour bus ride from Cusco. You can check the times on Cruz Del Sur's website (major Peruvian bus company). Estimate that your bus can and likely will arrive 5% to 15% late.

Since you're tight on time, there are some budget flight carriers you might look into. I flew from Cusco to Lima in November for instance, which was like $70 one-way and so much better than a 24 hour bus ride I can't even describe it. I flew with Aero Services Executive which is some sketchy rear end carrier that doesn't even have its own website as far as I can tell. It's a lot cheaper than StarPeru and I did not die, so there's my recommendation. Peru Hop / HopOnHopOff is a huge ripoff, it's almost offensive how much they charge for their routes. Flying is significantly cheaper than their near-scam-level tourist buses.

If you like good food, SPEND TIME IN LIMA. Lima is nice, it's great for 2-3 full days. Don't listen to people who tell you to not go there, they probably have never been or only went 10-15+ years ago. Stay in Miraflores district. There is so much good food, and it's so (relatively) cheap. Eat at La Mar. If you REALLY care about good food, reserve at Central ( http://centralrestaurante.com.pe/en/ ) now. Like actually literally reserver right now, it books up 3 months in advance. Expect to pay like $130 pp. Other high end restaurants are more like $25pp (like La Mar).

If you decide to go to Nasca, also check out Huacachina and you might spend a day or so in Pisco too.


Thinking about it I guess you're either committed to spending the ~10 days you have in Machu Picchu / Titicaca / Colca Canyon / Arequipa, or spending it in Machu Picchu / Cusco / Lima / Huacachina / Nasca / Pisco. I would not try to do all of those destinations in 12 days. I REALLY recommend Lima, you're already spending time in there, don't skip it. Spend at least 2 nights (inc. 1 full day) there.

Saladman fucked around with this message at Mar 9, 2016 around 14:50

DracoArgentum
May 29, 2011


Saladman posted:

Thinking about it I guess you're either committed to spending the ~10 days you have in Machu Picchu / Titicaca / Colca Canyon / Arequipa, or spending it in Machu Picchu / Cusco / Lima / Huacachina / Nasca / Pisco. I would not try to do all of those destinations in 12 days. I REALLY recommend Lima, you're already spending time in there, don't skip it. Spend at least 2 nights (inc. 1 full day) there.

Thanks for the info! I definitely want to spend at least two days in Lima, I've heard good things about the food there. I figured another 2-3 days around cusco with machu picchu. So basically I would only have 4-8 days beyond that. I've seen some 4-5 day Amazon excursions but wondered if I would be better off flying down south. I definitely want to avoid buses from puno to cusco as it's just a wasted day.

Per
Feb 22, 2006


Sugartime Jones

How feasible/advisable is it to rent a car in Peru and drive yourself?

DracoArgentum
May 29, 2011


Per posted:

How feasible/advisable is it to rent a car in Peru and drive yourself?

Theoretically possible, but I can't do drives of longer than two hours well and the last time I rented a car I ended up rolling it... So I would much rather have someone else behind the wheel.

Kase Im Licht
Jan 26, 2001


DracoArgentum posted:

Thanks for the info! I definitely want to spend at least two days in Lima, I've heard good things about the food there. I figured another 2-3 days around cusco with machu picchu. So basically I would only have 4-8 days beyond that. I've seen some 4-5 day Amazon excursions but wondered if I would be better off flying down south. I definitely want to avoid buses from puno to cusco as it's just a wasted day.

I kept meaning to write it up in the South America thread, but I did an Amazon excursion last year. Did Cuzco/Machu Picchu, a weekend in Lima to rejuvenate, then 5 days in the Peruvian Amazon near Iquitos. (You can either go to Iquitos in the North, or Puerto Maldonaldo in the south. I'm not entirely sure why we picked Iquitos, I think because it's on the actual Amazon, which I found pretty cool. Also, Iquitos is the largest city in the world that you cannot get to by road. That's also kind of cool.

I thought it was a great trip. Hot as hell but at least there was plenty of oxygen (didn't do great up in the mountains, I was not taking oxygen for granted at this point). We flew into Iquitos, then were driven an hour or so south to Nauta (the only place the road from Iquitos connects to) and then took a boat about 3 hours upriver. Stayed in a very simple lodge. There were 3 or 4 rooms, each holding 3 beds. A kitchen and dining room. A reading room, and a room with hammocks. All very simple. No fans. Electricity from a generator so you could have some light in the evening but it shut off around 10pm. Running water but not heated. Had toilets, not sure where the waste went....

Basically each day we'd get up, get on a canoe and they'd take us around the river to see different stuff. Saw a lot of cool animals. Played with some monkeys, a sloth (the sloth lived in a hut with this family). We did some hikes and the guides showed us various plants and animals. The guide was great. Didn't speak much English, but a pretty authentic dude. Was comfortable walking around the jungle in bare feet, didn't like "cities" (by which he meant basically any area with more than three people). He found us an anaconda, some caiman in the river, all of which we got to take pictures with. We drank water from vines, he cut us up some heart of palm straight from a tree, explained what trees they used for medicine, etc. We did a camping trip out in the jungle one night. We fished a few times, got some piranha (tasty but very little meat) and other fish which they would cook up when we got back to the lodge. Food was good but very simple. Got a little old since it all followed the same rythym.

There were a poo poo ton of mosquitoes, but I barely got bit thanks to going crazy with precautions. Lots of Deet, clothes sprayed with Permethrin, wore long sleeves and pants much of the trip. You got a good feeling of really being out there. Heat was terrible, especially at night when the mosquito netting and the walls blocked most of the air movement. Out on the river when the boat was moving it wasn't bad.

We were supposed to do 4 nights at the lodge and then head back to Iquitos to fly home, but we started feeling a little burnt out and needing some civilization. For me it really just came down to the heat, I wasn't sleeping more than a few hours each night since it was so hot. Only time I got bit bad was in the middle of the night when I felt really overheated and actually went outside the whole lodge with no shirt on to cool down. So we cut down the trip by one night and went back to Iquitos early so we could have one night and a day there with AC and could explore the city. Weird little town. Had some good food. Go to the butterfly farm (the original one, not the lovely imitation some rear end in a top hat made right next to it) and see a lot of cool butterflies, birds, monkeys, an ocelot, and some other poo poo they've rescued.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Positive Optimyst
Oct 25, 2010

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Gold is the money of kings; silver is the currency of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants and debt is the money of slaves.


DracoArgentum posted:

I'm looking into going to Peru this summer but having some issues deciding what exactly to see. Machu Picchu is obviously a definite, but the rest I'm not sure about. I will only have about 10-12 days so time is also an issue. From the research I've done it seems lake Titicaca is pretty out of the way and not worth more than a day, but it's easily paired with Colca canyon and the Nazca lines. So that is theoretically one option, the other would be the Amazon. So my main question is, are titicaca/colca/nazca/the Amazon worth the trip to the point it's worth it to cut out the others. I've been looking at tours as well as peruhop bus matched with hostels but I need to narrow down my choices first. I like culture and ancient history, but my main goal is food to be honest. If I had to choose between visiting the Amazon and eating a capybara I would choose the latter. So, with that in mind...

I went to Peru 2 1/2 years ago.

You have limited time so I cannot recommend what to specifically do or where to go.

But I was very happy with my experiences in Peru.

The bus transpo is superb: top-end buses with good seats, security, affordable, and they have night buses where you can sleep in large reclining chairs. I actually fell asleep on a Peruvian night bus.

My point is that you may be tempted to fly b/c of time, but a night bus ride can be worth doing depending on how far the places you choose to visit are apart.

I went to lake Titicaca. Interesting landscape, but in the end, it's a lake.

Enjoy your trip.

  • Locked thread