Important ideas about traveling in Peru:
- If you are going to do tracking in Inca Trail, plan in at least month in advance. For a touristik season everything is reserved. The most important is get permit to enter trail. Travel agency will do this for you. For company recomendation check section of Cuzco below.
- If you travel by bus choose Cruz del Sur bus company, the only company where you can buy tickets by Internet (still need to get a real ticket in the offic before departure). And they are highest rated for reasons of security. If travel in the night it worth paying for VIP seats, really comfartable.
- Taxi and excursions in Lima. Tours are sold at high price motivating overprixing by reasons of security. You can normally visit the same places by yourself using taxi. Just remember to use white cars, which are a little bit more official than others.
- In Lima it worth visiting – city center, Museo Larco, Miraflores, Central Bank Museum, Museo de la Inquisición.
Nazca (Nasca) lines
- The best idea is to book a hotel first (Hospedaje Roma en Nasca is the best with family like atmosfer, swimming pool and good breakfast) and then contact hotel directly to arrange flight over lines, this will save you a lot of money.
- Visit cemetery, which is more than 2000 old still with mummies.
- It looks like you need to stay here only 1 full day, but actually there are places to see around, including the highest sand dune, so 2 days would be perfect
- Nice colonial architecture. Must see Monasterio de Santa Catalina. You can check sights of interest in one full day, but there are some interesting surroundings and tracking, so if you have more time allow yourself 2-3 days and take some organized tours from Arequipa. Also, it will help you to acclimatize to the altitude, if you are going to travel further to Cusco.
- Starting point to exploring the greatest Inca Site – Machu Picchu. You can get there by bus + train or you can do a 4 days / 3 nights tracking. They say that it is the best tracking in the South America.
- Take Sacred Valley tour – whole day – to visit more inca sights, including agricultural ones (they still allows to produce the best corn in the world) and cemetery in mountain.
- If you move to/from Puno do not just take a normal bus, take Inca Express, instead of covering the distance in 4 hours you will cover it in 8 hours visiting several Inca sights and old colonial churches on your way.
If you decided to do tracking to Machu Picchu…
- Tracking is not possible in February as they close it to clean up.
- You need to have permission to enter track, for high touristic season obtain it several months before, in low season 1 month before.
- Make sure you are in a good form, you will need to walk one day to the top at the altitude of about 4000 meters, this is hard as you will fill that you need more oxygen. Chewing mata leaves might help. Do not ignore the recommendation to stay at least 2 days in Cuzco to acclimatize.
- There are a lot of companies that do Inca Trail Tracking, I´ve used this one, they did everything accurately, accept payment via PayPal (no wire transfer fees), upload all documents online. Tents and food were of great quality.
- If you are doing tracking in rain season your biggest problem will be to keep your sleeping bag dry, so put it in plastic.
- You need not to have a lot of water with you as tracking company will provide you with boiled water for breakfast, lunch and diner. So it makes sense have just 1-2 small water bottles with you.
Puno (Lago Titicaca, Titicaca Lake)
- There are no much to see in Puno itself, but it is starting point for all Titicaca tours.
- Place to stay – Cordelius Turistico, not cheap one, but that is the place you want to stay after crazy days in Cuzco. When I was staying there there was a strike in Puno, so it was really hard to manage things to get out of the Puno to catch a connecting flights in Juliaca, family that runs the hotel helped a lot with arranging things.
- Visit – Isla de Uros and Taquile (another UNESCO listed site)
- Important – you are staying 4000 meters above sea level, so use sun protection when traveling by boat… it is long trip!