Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

Peru?

Options
  • 25-07-2005 4:49pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 20


    hey,
    thinking of heading to peru for around a month .i'd be heading around sept/oct with one friend.trying to keep it cheap enough.

    want to find out aronud how much to spend over there,
    where to go ,
    what you need to book in advance and what you can organize over there ,
    and any other helpful info that you may have on the place?

    thanks


«1

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 255 ✭✭full forward


    BBC holiday program had a thing on it last night. It looked great and Im thinking of going myself early next year.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/holiday/destinations/peru_road_best/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    Where do you want to start?

    I've been going there since 1995 and when David Bellamey said it was the world's most bio-diverse place, he missed 99.9% of the attraction.

    Flights?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 240 ✭✭humbleCounty


    hey,

    im looking to go as well, as part of a round the world trip. We were originally going to be in South America for 2 months in October, but we've reversed the direction of our trip so will arrive late february early march.

    Is this still an ok time to go with rainy seasons etc, we want to do the Inca Trail, and maybe some other trekking too. Most places i've found online say its the tail end of the rainy season, but that trekking is still ok?

    Any other highlights? We'll be coming in at Lake Titicaca, then Cuzco and the Inca Trail. Flying out from Lima, but no strict timescale on that.

    All the best,
    D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,002 ✭✭✭bringitdown


    Just back from Peru
    DO NOT MISS THE INCA TRAIL - well worth it. Best of my knowledge they use an alternate trail if the main one is too wet but the main one is unbelievable. Book in advance (i.e. now!) as there are limited numbers and the last minute local companies are not of a great standard. You can trek if over 2/3/4(most opt for this)/5/6 days. 4 is standard but if you are an experienced hiker, 3 is possible. Watch for altitude sickness - allow plenty of time (2 days if possible) to acclimatize in Puno / Lake Titcaca. Bring a platypus(drinking bag with hose) if you can I found it invaluable.

    Did a homestay on Lake Titicaca's Amantani Island - super fun and really immerses you into island life.

    Cuzco is great if a bit full of tourists. Party here if that is your bag rather than in Lima. Plenty of sights in and around Cusco too.

    Lima - not the nicest place to be honest - a day or two at most is all that is needed - Gold Museum and the museums near Plaza de Armas are worth a visit.

    I missed a trip into the Amazon (Madre de Dios) but all reports say that this is a must do.

    Money wise:
    Hotels / accomodation were arranged for me in advance, hostel - cost me €7/8 in Lima.

    Food - you can eat for as little or as much as you want. In Cuzco there are people fighting over your custom and will throw in free drinks and such if you can bargain with them. As such they can cost - from €1 to €?

    Transport is reasonable - buses come in various classes, tourist class is decent but for an experience get on a bus with the locals (just not a long journey) and expect to make room for an animal or two.

    Try the anticucho (beaf heart kebab) and guinea pig (Quy) if you have the stomach - well tasty if done nicely (perhaps in a more expensive place for those two!)
    Empanada's are very cheap on the run snacks - beef or chicken with veg, and egg all wrapped up in pastry - mmm.

    South America on a shoestring will teach you anything else you need to know.

    Have fun.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20 Bonaparte


    hey bringitdown,

    what was the cheap accomadation like ?

    how long would you recommend on staying in peru and how much would you say is needed for that time including accom ,food ,travle ,tours (excluding the trail)?

    thanks -thought accom would be more expensive.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,002 ✭✭✭bringitdown


    The yoof hostel I stayed in was grand, I have seen much worse in Europe - maybe use a sleeping bag liner but tbh you didn't really need it. Hot running water, free brekkie, medium sized dorms.

    Hotels I stayed in were part of a tour, generally rates ran from US$40-$100 for a room with 2 single beds and they were of excellent standard. You can stay in cheap hostales (cheap hotels) also.

    In the two and a half weeks I was there I spent about €300 (food, beer, etc) the tour I took was €900 - (including the inca trail, internal flights, transit, accom.) but you'll easily beat that price I was short on time so had it all organized for me in advance rather than try it on the fly.

    I only hit the major spots, missed Arequipa region, missed north coast of Lima, missed the Amazon but 2.5 weeks was enough for the major spots. Although I wouldn't have minded an extra day or two here or there.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20 Bonaparte


    thanks for the info


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    DO NOT MISS THE INCA TRAIL - well worth it. Best of my knowledge they use an alternate trail if the main one is too wet but the main one is unbelievable. Book in advance (i.e. now!) as there are limited numbers and the last minute local companies are not of a great standard. You can trek if over 2/3/4(most opt for this)/5/6 days.

    Agreed the Inca trail is quite special I came down on the 30th of December 1999 and landed in Cusco just in time for the Millenium which was a once in a lifetime experience.

    Book the trail (4 day is the route of the marathon) when you arrive there are 150 local agencies who charge c $US175-350 (4 days; 1 day admission is $125) if its cheaper elsewhere ask what level of food you are being provided with (cooking on this Unesco world heritage site is forbidden)

    There is one distinction you must make in Peru you are not a tourist you are a mochilero/a a backpacker, if you have a valid student card there are significant discounts.
    Hotels I stayed in were part of a tour, generally rates ran from US$40-$100 for a room with 2 single beds and they were of excellent standard. You can stay in cheap hostales (cheap hotels) also.
    Money wise:
    Hotels / accomodation were arranged for me in advance, hostel - cost me €7/8 in Lima.

    The following weblink links the Sol (Peruvian Currency) to the majors

    http://www.marketprices.ft.com/markets/currencies/opqrs#p

    Never negotiate prices in FX it makes you a tourist
    4 is standard but if you are an experienced hiker, 3 is possible. Watch for altitude sickness - allow plenty of time (2 days if possible) to acclimatize in Puno / Lake Titcaca. Bring a platypus(drinking bag with hose) if you can I found it invaluable.

    I'll come back to this but very careful with altitude sickness it is horrific

    Did a homestay on Lake Titicaca's Amantani Island - super fun and really immerses you into island life.

    Best done in Bolivia at Copacabana (2 hrs from Puno)
    Cuzco is great if a bit full of tourists. Party here if that is your bag rather than in Lima. Plenty of sights in and around Cusco too.

    Cusco is the nightlife capital of the Andes, the food, the drinking, the dancing and the sheer number of other Europeans, I've never been to Cusco without meeting someone from Ireland.
    Lima - not the nicest place to be honest - a day or two at most is all that is needed - Gold Museum and the museums near Plaza de Armas are worth a visit.

    Agreed that Lima is not a tourist destination but it is facinating, the population in 1922 was 144,000 today it exceeds 10m

    http://www.archiseek.com/content/showpost.php?p=34414&postcount=7

    I missed a trip into the Amazon (Madre de Dios) but all reports say that this is a must do.

    The Manu packages are too expensive typically $100 per day, I'll comer back to this
    Food - you can eat for as little or as much as you want. In Cuzco there are people fighting over your custom and will throw in free drinks and such if you can bargain with them. As such they can cost - from €1 to €?

    Typically breakfast costs 5-10 soles, lunch (ask for menu del dia) costs 5-15 soles and a good dinner 10-50 soles, the specialties are Seafood in the North and Steak in the South.
    Transport is reasonable - buses come in various classes, tourist class is decent but for an experience get on a bus with the locals (just not a long journey) and expect to make room for an animal or two.

    Flores and CIVA are recommended for long distance busses, if going from Lima to Cusco direct fly, Lan are recommended, do not take a direct bus from Lima to Cusco on the Abancay route it climbs from 600m to 5000m in 2 hours you'll be in bits for 3-4 days, go via Arequipa

    Try the anticucho (beaf heart kebab) and guinea pig (Quy) if you have the stomach - well tasty if done nicely (perhaps in a more expensive place for those two!)

    I've only eaten the 5 soles version, if you like liver it is cuisine if not :eek:
    Empanada's are very cheap on the run snacks - beef or chicken with veg, and egg all wrapped up in pastry - mmm.

    If your broke they make the perfect breakfast 1-2 soles

    South America on a shoestring will teach you anything else you need to know.
    Lonely Planet is very good on infrastructure and accomodation



    missed Arequipa region,

    Sucre in Bolivia is similar but superior

    missed north coast of Lima,

    Fatal mistake, real Peru ends south of Trujillo the rest excluding Lima is a package tour.

    missed the Amazon but 2.5 weeks was enough for the major spots. Although I wouldn't have minded an extra day or two here or there.

    Minimum trip is 4 weeks I would happily go through Northern Peru and how to link it to Cusco and Bolivia and onward to Chile.

    If I could offer one piece of advice fly Iberia or Air Madrid and fly into Guayaquill in Ecaudor and out of LaPaz. Peru is 2000 kms long it is easy to lose a lot of time going around in a circle.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20 Bonaparte


    hey whats the cheapest filights in peru , i get around 90 dollers with tax
    any better to be found??


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    Thats about right, but the trick is to keep flights to a minimum, I generally do Iquitos - Lima or Lima -Cusco, there are enough attractions in between to sustain 2-3 hour buses.

    Have you got your International Flights yet?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭theCzar


    Thomond Pk wrote:
    Thats about right, but the trick is to keep flights to a minimum, I generally do Iquitos - Lima or Lima -Cusco, there are enough attractions in between to sustain 2-3 hour buses.

    Have you got your International Flights yet?

    Thanks, Thomond.

    Hopefully getting them organised today. Probably through USIT... I can get €866 including taxes using ebookers though for Dublin-Lima-Dublin


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    Before you do pay the 866 check out www.worldtravel.ie and www.atlas.ie as outside bets, also if you are going October - April (excluding holiday times) Continental do good deals and give a free stop over in Newark.

    I'd also consider flying into Quito if you are flying KLM and head south, Ceunca in Ecaudor is one of the nicest places I've ever been to a little like an Alpine town and surprisingly has a row of shops that include Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuiton.

    If you select the Northern route it is much more rewarding as there are no decent beaches between Lima and LaSerena in Chile and Andean and Jungle costs are a fraction of what you would pay on the gringo trail. The only drawback is that there are less tourists but this is compensated by a much more accessible ex-pat community, the 16 euro Jameson at Schipol usually sorts that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20 Bonaparte


    would anyone have the names of good tour operators that are cheap ?, i know your talking 250 for the trail but for other tours they're coming in expensive as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭theCzar


    The current plan is to start in Lima, and do the southern loop through Arequipa and around to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. (allowing two weeks) Ideally we would then fly from Cuzco to Tumbes on the ecuadorian border and move south along the coast back to Lima, and fly home (another two weeks)...

    but I can't find any details of such a flight. The Alternate is to fly from Cuzco back to Lima, and then work our way north to Quito, and fly out of there instead. I want to fly internally as little as possible, but I don't want to backtrack.

    I'm going to look into the airlines you mentioned Thomond, cheers :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭theCzar


    It's a good deal more expensive to fly home from Quito, one website has a cheapest one-way Quito-London at £1179... Stirling!

    ebookers are offering €1296 for Dublin-Lima and Quito-Dublin, including taxes, but it would still be cheaper to to fly back to Lima internally. i'll keep looking...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    theCzar wrote:
    It's a good deal more expensive to fly home from Quito, one website has a cheapest one-way Quito-London at £1179... Stirling!

    ebookers are offering €1296 for Dublin-Lima and Quito-Dublin, including taxes, but it would still be cheaper to to fly back to Lima internally. i'll keep looking...

    The internet doesn't work for this it has to be done through agents as they can sell you a return based on the price of the most expensive single leg. KLM to Quito is generally cheaper than Lima for two reasons, firstly the stopover (Free) is in Aruba as opposed to Bon Aire (much nicer) and secondly there are more long term bookings to Lima than Quito. The 866 fare you quoted should be available.

    Re Cusco to Tumbes flights they don't exist,(its like looking for a flight from Kerry to Donegal) I think there is one internal flight between regional cities of scale and that is from Arequipa to Trujillo but I'm not sure if Lan moved into it when Aero Continente scaled back.

    My advice on the southern leg would be to Fly from Lima to Cusco because the altitude at Cusco is only 3100m whereas if you go by bus or rail you will go from 2650 at Arequipa which is no problem to 4000m in about an hour heading for Puno or Cusco; this hurts. :eek: Altitude sickness once you take it easy for the first day or two and drink mate tea will not really affect you below 4000m, 5000m leads to the twilight zone if you aren't used to it.

    How much time do you have in total? At month you'd go one way or at 6 weeks another at two months you would need to do one principal and two to three excursions to the other countries.


    Bonaparte,

    You will pay roughly $200 for the inca trail, Do not book this outside cusco if you are price conscious. Also you'll probably meet a few people in your first days in Cusco that you can do it with or meet up there. The Four day trail is the best option 1 to 2 days aren't long enough and 6-7 days is too long for most and if your an avid hiker Hauratz in the Cordillera Blanca has much better trails and facilities and critically more serious climbers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭theCzar


    Thomond Pk wrote:
    You will pay roughly $200 for the inca trail, Do not book this outside cusco if you are price conscious. Also you'll probably meet a few people in your first days in Cusco that you can do it with or meet up there.

    What's availability like when booking on arrival? e.g. we'd prefer not to have to wait for a week and a half or something when we get to Cuzco. I've been looking around the internet and most operators are booked up already.

    Is there an operator you would recommend?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    I've never tried in the peak summer season which finishes mid September but generally you are talking about book today travel tomorrow. I got a booking on the 26th of December for the 27th with the 28th available. It is a bit like morning prices between bookies you just have to shop around but I wouldn't anticipate anymore than two days wait. For activities like bungi jumping off waterfalls and whitewater rafting and overpriced jungle tours it can take longer. The trick is to find an agency with 6-10 already booked on the trek that way the fixed overhead is already covered.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 316 ✭✭callmescratch


    hi i´m in huacachina at the moment. near ica in the west. been here 3.5 weeks already. just a week to go. heading up to iquitos in a few days.

    i haven´t read any of the above posts, sorry. not much time.

    the only thing you have to pre book is the inca trail. well worth it and very rewarding.

    just get yerself a lonely planet and see what tickles your fancy.
    also, you will definitely need a bit of room to fit in things you hadn´t planned on. we ended up going to bolivia as well, and found it well worth it.

    i´ll check this thread again when i get a chance, and i´ll read the other posts, and see if i can help at all.


    bye for now


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    I was in Cusco in May and it was fully possible to book the Inca Trail on spec, Haucachina is a good spot for sand-boarders (which is great it is a lot softer and warmer than snow/ice) although there is little to do after 10pm apart from the hostal bar at the end of the dune.

    With a week left I really wouldn't bother flying return to Iquitos I'd head for the jungles east of Hauncayo only 8 hours by bus at $7 vs $90.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭theCzar


    We're not booking the trail before we go, we're going between seasons so I think it should be alright.

    Thomond, Is Cuzco an international airport? We'd like to fly from Cuzco to Ecuador if it were possible (and thence work our way south).

    Also, as regards Amazon basin east of Cuzco, is there much to see in a few days to justify the trip? We won't have more than a few days, and indeed a few dollars to spend. I haven't bought my Malaria tabs yet, i'd prefer not to since it'll come to about €70.

    I'm feeling like crap at the moment because of the Yellow fever jab. I had no side-effects for 5 days after, then wham.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    Czar,

    Have you booked your flights yet? There are no flights I know of from Quito to Cusco, the only int flights go to LaPaz I think and the departure tax is $28.41US The trick if you are under pressure for time is to Fly KLM to Guayaquill which is 10 hours south of Quito by Bus. It is three hours to the border.

    There is an excellent beach resort 7-8 hours south of here which I can give you contact details for. From here a 10 day to two week excursion inland will take you to

    1> The Senor Los Sipan Gold Collection/ Tucame Pyrimid complex (Coastal Culture)
    2> www.chaparri.org Dry forrest
    3> Chachapoyas & Keulap A sleepy colonial andean town and excellent one day hike to a 1000 year old fortress with 500m backdrop and 60ft front wall.
    4> Alto Mayo Cloud Forrest (highest reaches of the amazon)
    5> Yurimaguas frontier jungle town (end of the road system)
    6> River boat from Y to Iquitos 3-4 days on the Haullaga/Maranon rivers
    7> Iquitos A city with no external road connection (The centre of the peruvian amazon)
    8> Direct flight to Lima 80 minutes pre-book www.lan.com well in advance, other airlines can have mixed safety records.

    If you want to send me a pm and I'll give you some contact details for some of the quieter Amazon reserves where you can do tours by english speaking guides who are qualified zoologists and it costs a lot less than East of Cusco.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭theCzar


    Already booked the flights arrive/depart Lima, we'll work around that. We're currently planning on spending the second half of the holiday touring the north coast, we'll probably make our way north from Lima and see how far we go.

    I'm going to try and book a place to stay for the first couple of days in Lima, can you recommend an area or guest house?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    Czar, my advice on Lima is simple it is an amazing place but is not the place to start your holiday it is simply too intense and is best done at the end of the holiday when you have the perfect opportunity to get your presents and are on top of the way the place works.

    Some of the better restaurants are on this:
    http://www.archiseek.com/content/showpost.php?p=34414&postcount=7

    My advice would be to spend the first night in Lima possibly Miraflores or San Isidro and fly to Cusco the next morning, allowing two to four days at the end of the trip for Lima.


  • Registered Users Posts: 274 ✭✭macgabhs


    Hey I'm also travelling to Peru in October. Flying KLM via Amsterdam to Lima and back again the same way. I have a month and the only thing organised is the inca trail 3 weeks in. Thomond can you recommend a good route from Lima to Cuzco that takes 2.5 - 3 weeks?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    Get a direct flight the next morning and work back bear in mind no beach South of Trujillo is any good due to water quality concerns.

    If I had 19 days

    Day 1 Arrive hostal Miraflores (few beers in Barranco/a I always mix these up the near one) Day 2 Fly to Cusco Book inca trail for Days 4-7 (Take it easy altitude)
    Day 3 Pisac and the museums, buy the boletto turistico (entry to all the sites)
    Days 4-7 Inca Trail Bring loads of munchies you need lots of sugar; the inca trail is a scruffy experience only bring what you really need Do not miss Haunapicchu Go to the thermal springs at Aguas Calientes when you leave M you should have 4 hrs before the train
    Day 8 Relax museums crafts there is a large crafts market beside train station which does the best deals in Cusco. Have a few well earned beers in the club the used to be called the Eco club it is good and is frequented mostly by local students and is free of unwanted advances from predatory females (thailand type stuff)
    Day 9 Cusco - Puno night bus
    Day 10 Puno - Copacabana (Bolivia) best place to do titicaca
    Day 11 Islands of the Sun Tour returns 4pm go directly to Puno arrive 8pm Overnight bus to Arequipa
    Day 12 Arequipa magnificent if not a little conservative Colonial
    Day 13 Colca Canon tour worlds deepest canyon, Late flight to Lima if on a budget stay at Hostal Machapichu Jiron Calloma opp Gran Hotel Savoy (2 blocks from the Plaza De Armas in the Old Town.
    Day 14 Flight to Iquitos or Pucalpa experience life on the frontier
    Days 15-17 Do a pampas tour which involves a river tour with limited visits to the shoreline or a three day jungle excursion, I would favour Pampas because you really need 7 days to get really off the beaten track into the most pristine areas.
    Day 18 early flight to Lima; Shopping for clothes La Gamara in La Victoria, cd's dvd's cigs behind the DNI office on the Aveneda Abancay, in both these places be very very careful no electronics and limited cash. If you forget any crafts presents there are a few cheap crafts markets close to the junction of La Marina and Brazil.
    Day 19 take one of the group taxis from the Plaza San Martin to Callao have a look at typical Lima life, take one of the little blue & White buses marked Tacna back again very careful with the valuables.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    Thomond Pk wrote:
    8> Direct flight to Lima 80 minutes pre-book www.lan.com well in advance, other airlines can have mixed safety records.

    From http://news.ft.com/cms/s/565f602c-1469-11da-9df1-00000e2511c8.html

    "LIMA, Peru, Aug 23 (Reuters) - A Peruvian passenger jet crashed during a severe storm in Peru's northeastern jungle on Tuesday, killing at least 40 people, police said. State-run airline TANS said its Boeing 737-200 plane with 100 people aboard made an emergency landing without its landing gear in swampland 1.8 miles (3 km) from the remote Pucallpa airport, 490 miles (785 km) northeast of Lima. It was the third major accident involving a passenger airplane in less than two weeks, after crashes in Greece and Venezuela. In January 2003, a TANS aircraft slammed into a hill in Peru's northern jungle, killing all 46 people on board. "

    Never take cheap flights anywhere in the Andes, the best airline is Lan, with operations in Chile, Ecaudor and Peru and in Bolivia LAB. Also worthy of consideration is Aero Continente in Peru and for crossing the Continent LAN or Aerolineas Argentina


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭theCzar


    we're off next week, looking forward to it though i'm apprehensive about the inca trail. Thomond, could you tell me the operator you've had success with so we have somebody to try first when we get there?

    I'm booking a room in the Flying Dog Backpackers ( :rolleyes: ) in central miraflores for the first 2 nights. our itinerary is very fluid because we don't when we'll be able to do the inca trail for.

    I'm off down the bank to get my $$$, thanks to the exchange rate, this holiday has gotten about 10% more expensive :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 316 ✭✭callmescratch


    agreed with previous posters about LAN. they have nice new planes, and you get excellent toasted sandwiches on board :D
    oh, and they also show "just for laughs" prank style comedy on board, which is actually very funny

    i made it up to iquitos for almost a week. loved it, it's completely unlike southern peru. the ppl tend to be much nicer and less pushy when trying to sell you crap.

    went to the jungle on the yarappa river about 200k upriver from iquitos and stayed with a local family and guide for 4 nights. had an amazing time and paid $40 per day.

    got pics


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 449 ✭✭Thomond Pk


    theCzar wrote:
    we're off next week, looking forward to it though i'm apprehensive about the inca trail. Thomond, could you tell me the operator you've had success with so we have somebody to try first when we get there?

    I'm booking a room in the Flying Dog Backpackers ( :rolleyes: ) in central miraflores for the first 2 nights. our itinerary is very fluid because we don't when we'll be able to do the inca trail for.

    I'm off down the bank to get my $$$, thanks to the exchange rate, this holiday has gotten about 10% more expensive :(

    Czar you must be in the eye of the storm at this stage send me a pm with any questions you have; if you plan to head North I can be of particular help.

    TP


Advertisement