My girlfriend and I are starting to plan a 2 1/2 week trip to Peru in July or Aug of 2010 and need some help with what to see. We both traveled to Guatemala in Aug of 2008 and LOVED it but Guate was so much smaller. I know that Machu Picchu is a absolute must and I have read that Lake Titicaca is a must see but I would love some help on where we should start the trip, ideal itineraries(that are most cost and time effective) and what sights to see. We love to travel and dont need a lot of rest during the trip but it is always nice to have 1 or two days to relax when traveling hard. Huacachina looks like a really neat place to visit for relaxation and sand boarding, is it worth the trip?
Anyway, I would love any insight on what people are enjoying most when they travel to Peru and what can be missed.
Thanks in advance for all of the ideas
I have written about this trip a few times so you may have already read about it in other peoples Qs.
You can bus from Lima to Moyabamba ,Civa Buslines.At Moyabamaba stay at "Country Club Hotel, around US$10pn, and they will organise a collectivo ,shared taxi $15pp or I paid $50 to have it to myself ,was able to stop for photos ect when I wanted ,to take you to Tarapoto and Yurimaguas.From Yurimaguas you get on a ferry ,Eduardo ferries are the safest, up the Maranon and Amazon rivers to Iquitos.Iquitos is the biggest city in the world that is not accessable by road,half a million people just plonked in the middle of the jungle.When I got to Iquitos I stayed in nice hotel "Maranon Hotel" $25pn and airfare back to Lima was $106.Apart from these 2 costs this whole adventure cost me $180 ,cheaper than 1 day trip from Cusco-Machu Picchu.You spend 3days 2nights on the river and it is just as you imagine with villages of grass shacks and Indians paddling out ,in dugout canoes, to meet the ferry.This trip was 1 or the biggest adventures in my adventure filled life.I am hoping next year to continue from Iquitos to Leticia ,Colombia.Enjoy Peru ,it is an incredible ,friendly country.
Oh and on the ferry the 2nd deck is around $20 and 3rd deck around $40 "PAY THE EXTRA".You will understand why as soon as you board.
Wow that sounds like a great trip! Is that all of the travel that you did in Peru?
No. I have been all over Peru but all the other places are well known.The Iquitos trip is 1 of Sth Americas best kept secrets.Puno/Lake Titicaca is a lot of travel to see not much ,unless you're going to Bolivia anyway ,so if you don't go there it isn't a great loss.Its hard to advise you for 2.5weeks.I have spent 11months in Sth Am ,so far, and there is still alot I haven't seen.I will be returning for at least another 2 years before I start on Asia or Africa.Having said this ,2.5 weeks is ALOT better than nothing.Maybe fly straight to Cusco ,see Machu Picchu ,bus to Nasca ,see the Nasca lines and bus to Lima.Bus to Trujillo ,maybe stopping at Hauraz on the way,depending on time.In Trujillo stay at district of Haunchaco.Maybe bus to Mancora then return to Lambayeque ,depending on time ,or go straight from Trujillo to Lambayeque then Moyabamba ,do the Iquitos trip then fly back to Lima.I think this will easily fill your time without any backtracking ,except if you go to Mancora
The places we liked in Peru were - Machu Picchu, Arequipa, Canon del Colca, Nazca lines, Cuzco, Chiclayo for the Museo Tumbas Reales De Sipan.
The places we thought were OK were - Trujillo, Zorritos
The places we were disappointed were - Puno (Lake Titicaca), Lima
Are the Nazca lines worth the stop, I have read some people say that its a must and other say to skip it. If we had to choose between the Lines and the Colca Canyon which should we do?
Also, sandboarding in Huacachina just outside of Ica looks great for a relaxing day, any thoughts on that?
It's worth the stop. We managed to time it so we arrived in Nazca in the evening, went to the airport for the flight over the lines the next morning, then left in the afternoon. Other than the lines there is nothing to see in Nazca. If you do do it go to the airport and book your flight directly with the companies there, don't use the agents in the town. We flew with Alas Peruanas who were great, 4 seater plane, good pilot, reasonable price.
Ok great, thanks for the info! I am starting to read through your blogs on Peru and Im picking up some great stuff!
There are a lot to do in Peru. I recommend you to travel to Cusco, Machu Pichu, Arequipa, Ica and Huaraz. In Ica you can go to Huacachina if you like sand board or you might better go to Galapagos Island if you like nature. I recommend to take a look at www.totallyperu.com is easier if you know what to do.
It's possible to stay in Ica n bus to Nasca and do the flight in the morning and go sandboarding in arvo.This is what I did.
Hi ElAustraliano. I'm heading to Iquitos next summer when i fly into Lima. Your comments really helped out. Any other tips/advice??
Eduardo ferries are by far the safest.Buy your Hammock in Lima.If you buy in Yurimaguas you will pay 3 or 4 times as much.And make sure you have a massive memory stick in your camera
We went to;
Mancora - great beach town where there's good surfing and kite-surfing and almost guaranteed sunshine!
Lima - we really enjoyed Lima, but many people don't!! Lovely old colonial part of town.
Huanchaco/Trujillo - awesome place for surfing. Chan Chan is here, as well, but it wasn't very impressive.
Paracas - nice little town and it's from here that boats trips go to see lots of seals and birds!
Huacachina - a gorgeous little oasis in the desert where we did some fun wine testing and had an awesome trip in sand buggies and sandboarding. Brilliant but be careful with your camera!
Cusco - Macchu Picchu, of course!
Arequipa - we did the two day Colca Canyon trek, which was really good - especially the condors! Three days would be too long!
Finally, Lake Titicaca, which was a real letdown on both sides of the border!!
See our blog for more details!!
If you're choosing between Nazca and Colca Canyon I'd definitely choose Colca Canyon. Travel from Arequipa to Cabanaconde in bus, stay at the Kuntar Wasi hotel, and hike down into the canyon from there. It will take you a few hours to go down, and then pay around $10 for a burro ride back up. The views were breathtaking. On the way back to Arequipa if you go early in the day you can see the famous condors flying out over the canyon at a stop along the road called Cruz del Condor. The city of Arequipa is beautiful with lots of interesting architecture and good food.
Huaccachina is definitely a lot of fun. I had a blast sandboarding and riding around in the dune buggies. If you don't have a chance to visit Nazca, you can take a half day trip out to las Islas Ballestas (close to Pisco). Most people go to the islands to see the seals, penguins, and birds, but on the way out to the island you get an ocean's view of a huge symbol that's very similar to the ones you'd see if you fly over Nazca. Its nice because Pisco's on your way back to Lima too (its only a few hours from huaccachina).
Regards cities in Peru, Arequipa is my favourite. It has a beautiful centre and some excellent cheap restaurants. When you see the square lit up at night it is spectacular. We did the colca cqnyon tour from here which was also one of my favourite things in peru. If you like trekking I would forget the mule on the last day and trek up. It is very hard but rewarding.
Be careful with Pisco - it was devastated by an earthquake recently and is still a right mess and, some people have said, a little dangerous. we stayed in Paracas, which was really nice.