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TRL Helpdesk: Visiting Peru

Anyone been

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#1 gazza77

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

The wife and I are currently looking at going to Peru in a "once in a lifetime" style trip, either in 2014 or 2015 subject to funds. Having done a little research so far, we are looking at going for 2-3 weeks, with the intention of doing some travelling around the country, followed by the obvious Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu. All of this will pretty certainly be done as an organised tour.

Has anyone ever been to Peru? Any tips/advice? Prior to looking into this trip, the only thing I knew about the country was that it was where Paddington Bear came from, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

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#2 Futtocks

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:33 PM

10 things to do in Peru, apart from Macchu Picchu.

7 things NOT to do in Peru.

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#3 Futtocks

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

I believe the catacombs under the Monesterio de San Francisco in Lima are definitely worth a visit.

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#4 Wolford6

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

Years ago, a colleague and his wife went on some kind of adventure holiday to Peru. He was on a river-paddling trip when he got "stung" by a bot fly that left its larva in his shoulder. A local doctor killed the larva with a lotion, but he had to wait till he got home until his own doctor could remove it under local anaesthetic.

I don't know how you can prevent this happening but it would seem sensible to use plenty of insect repellant, sleep under a mosquito net and avoid a river-paddling trip.

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#5 tonyXIII

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

We went to South America in 1994, but it wasn't what you'd describe as an 'adventure' holiday. We flew from place to place and stayed in hotels. I booked flights to and from Caracas and used a Bolivian travel company (Transturin of La Paz) to book all the planes, trains and boats as we travelled around South America. They arranged for guides at every stop (Lima, Cuzco, Puno, La Paz and Sucre) where we needed one (I had a mate who lived in Quito, so he was our guide to Ecuador) and I would suggest you use guides rather than wander about on your own, as you're likely to get lost and you won't really know what you should be looking at and why. We did the catamaran across Lake Titicaca and I got to fulfill a lifelong ambition of dipping my hand in the lake - it was freezing cold! We saw the hydrofoil overtake us, but it was totally enclosed and it seemed to be bobbing around very uncomfortably! Transturin organised our day trip from Cuzco to Macchu Pichu and that was an experience never to be forgotten. They also booked our train ride from Cuzco to Puno (cold in August) where we stayed overnight before getting a bus to the little town (village) of Copacabana where we caught the boat across LT. All in all, it was a truly fantastic holiday (we even won the raffle on the plane back from Sucre to La Paz) and I would love to do it, or a variant, again.

I don't know if Transturin are still operating, but I found them very helpful (all arrangements done by fax, except payment of deposit, which was a funds transfer to a New York bank, with balance paid while we were in La Paz) and would recommend them. However, my mate from Quito (now Santiago) reckoned they had totally screwed up a business trip for him, so he wouldn't recommend them. You pays your money, I guess. What I really would recommend is to do your homework well in advance. We used the Lonely Planet guides and they were brilliant! There's a lot of similar stuff out there now which wasn't available in '94. Good luck. I'm sure you'll love it. If you want any more info, I'll see what I can remember about our stays; we did a few days in each of Caracas, Lima, Cuzco, La Paz, Sucre and Quito, plus a fortnight on Tobago to round it all off and relax.

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#6 Red Willow

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:18 PM

Recently used the services of Audley Travel based in Oxford to arrange a trip for us They provided a purpose made itinerary just for us, no obligation. Worth visiting their web site

#7 gazza77

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:23 PM

Cheers for the advice so far. The ones that have caught our eye are with Explore Travel, particularly the one that heads from Lima to Lake Titicaca, then on to Cuzco to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Plenty of other companies to look at yet however, and plenty of cash needed to be saved!

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#8 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:10 AM

I've used Exodus to go other places and they seemed good. Explore do very similar, so they should be ok.
With the best, thats a good bit of PR, though I would say the Bedford team, theres, like, you know, 13 blokes who can get together at the weekend to have a game together, which doesnt point to expansion of the game. Point, yeah go on!

#9 flyingking

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

I have not visited yet, but that will have changed by the end of April, so PM me then and I will pass on anything useful I have discovered.
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#10 shaun mc

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:14 PM

Also look at KE Adventure, very similar to Explore and Exodus.
Did the Peru trip about 6 years ago - all self-booked from the UK.
We flew with KLM via Amsterdam to Lima. One of the benefits of this airline is that they go via Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles, making it an ideal place for some R and R on a small tropical island on the return home. Ideal if you,ve been trekking and travelling around.
We immediately went from Lima to Cusco to allow some acclimatisation time before the Macchu Picchu leg. There are many ways to do MP, but the 4-5 day trek booked with a local company was ideal. They get you up about 3.30am to be at the park gate early to be hopefully at the Sun gate for 6am or so to be able to see MP before all the daytrippers arrive.
We then caught the train to Puno, did Lake Titicaca, then onto Arequipa, a lovely colonial city. Then booked another trip for a few days to the Colca Canyon which was a real highlight.
Let me know if you want me to dig any of the operators info out that we used in Peru, but of course things may have moved on in 6 years.

#11 Saint Billinge

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:40 AM

My nephew spent a couple of years as a tour guide in South America and China and just loved the experience. I'm not too sure if it was with Exodus but it does come to mind.

#12 marklaspalmas

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:17 PM

I was there for about six weeks back in 1999, part of a year back-packing around South America. By bus. And river boat.

I went to Chiclaya, Tarapota, Yurimaguas, Iquitos on the Amazon, then down to Lima, Huancayo, Huancavelica, Santa Ines, Ayacucho and on to Cusco. Then we did the Inca trail. Down to Arequipa, the lines at Nasca, on to Puno, Colca Canyon, Chivay, Achoma, Cruz del condor, Juliaca and onto Lake Titicaca to pass into Bolivia.

Im not sure my advice would be worth too much as it is out of date, and my trip was on a different budget with a different intention. However, I found it an amazing country. Macchu Picchu was an incredible highlight, despite the hype. Nasca too, incredible.Lima has little to recommend it. Peru's also a very poor country and was the only place on the whole trip through South America where I was a victim of crime.

Edited by marklaspalmas, 26 January 2013 - 12:17 PM.

 

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#13 tonyXIII

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

Im not sure my advice would be worth too much as it is out of date, and my trip was on a different budget with a different intention. However, I found it an amazing country. Macchu Picchu was an incredible highlight, despite the hype. Nasca too, incredible.Lima has little to recommend it. Peru's also a very poor country and was the only place on the whole trip through South America where I was a victim of crime.


Agree with the bit I've made bold.

When we went, the Shining Path (?) mob were still very active and some of the places you mentioned were not exactly 'off-limits', but not recommended, either.

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#14 Saint Billinge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

My nephew went on two six-month tours round South America with Exodus. The pay was very basic, although the tips were most generous from wealthy trekkers. Only when he had finally finished did he tell my sister about the near encounters with bandits and undesirables.The guides took turns driving the large vehicles as well as cooking.




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