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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 02-02-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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Peru

Anyone been? I'm planning to do the Lima, Cuzco, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and Arequipa for 2 weeks in May. Anything else I should put in my itinerary? Anything to drop off? What should I look out for? Buy?

I know at least one RS member has gone to Peru from viewing the photography thread.
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:08 AM   #2
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Thats a dream vacation I want to go on!!!
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivicBlues View Post
Buy?
Inca Kola!
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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I am based in Peru now for business and can give you a few tips. Incidentally I went to Cuzco and Machu Pichu for the first time last December since a friend came from Canada to see Peru...

Two weeks is going to be a pretty packed schedule for all that you want to do. Especially since you want to hike the inca trail (3 or 5 day version?). Cuzco is a write-off the first day because you WILL get altitude sickness (buy Soroche Pills to combat this) and can be comfortably done (Cuzco, Inca Trail, Machu Pichu) in 5 or 6 days. Then you can take the train to Puno where lake Titicaca is, or fly back to Lima and fly to Puno.

Im not much for ruins so we flew in on a Thursday and did the Cuzco Ruins tours (take the pills to avoid sickness), did the train to Machu Pichu and Machu Pichu tour (3hours) and back to Cuzco on Friday, went clubbing Friday night (great!), and left Saturday afternoon to party in Lima saturday night.

There are major ruins within a 10 minute drive from Cuzco (Sacsayhuman, Coricancha etc.) The Cuzco ruin tour should be $10 - $20USD including transportation and an English speaking tour guide. The tour is about 5 hours long an includes 4 ruins and a stop to buy souvenirs at the end.

A family member is managing partner and part owner of Peru's biggest private equity fund which is the owner of both Cuzco's best hotel (Google "Hotel Monasterio" No. 1 hotel in South America) and Peru Rail (the train from Cuzco to Machu Pichu and Puno) so I got everything for free and can't tell you regular prices. I do know the hotel was $700/night and the train from Cuzco to Machu Pichu was about $110USD return in the second-highest class. If you stay at a hostel and ride backpacker class on the train then Cuzco is quite cheap. If you have your old UBC ID bring it to Cuzco as you can save on ALL the ruins entry fee by getting the student price.

Arequipa I've never been though I hear it's nice.

I would fly Lan inside and/or to Peru (from LAX). Their fleet is about 2 years old and they have excellent service.

DO NOT TAKE INTER-PROVINCIAL BUSES. Too many crash or get robbed in the middle of the night. Fly Lan. It's cheap, safe and efficient. Remember that most of Peru is very mountainous and roads are not great.

Lots to do in Lima. Forget the National Geographic image of Peru that you may have in mind. Upper-class Lima is as nice and fun as anywhere in Canada or Asia. If I'm not travelling when you come I could show you around. AMAZING restaurants (Peruvian cuisine is No. 1 in South America), good wine, nice lounges and crazy VIP oceanside clubs full of hot tall white and asian-latino mixed Peruvian girls where a bottle of Moet is $50 and a bottle of Grey Goose is $120... Lima is sweeet for those of us who have the money.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:57 AM   #5
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Thanks RTS, i'm planning to fly LAN all the way. Incidently I've read that the LAN USA/Canada website offers the same exact flights as LAN Peru, but at a 50% premium.

In Lima i've heard Miraflores is the place to stay. Any recommendations? I'm only planning a day in Lima before I jet off to Cuzco so I know i'm going to have to pack alot in.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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The LAN website issue is true, although I don't know if it's 50%. I have heard there is a difference...

Miraflores IS the place to stay. Most short term visitors stay there. It's a nice and safe seaside district. My office is actually in Miraflores.

Recommendations? For 1 night in Lima? The Marriot in Miraflores. It overlooks the ocean and is right across from Larcomar and the sea wall. Larcomar is a mall/entertainment centre which is the current nightlife hotspot. It is built on cliffs overlooking the ocean so it's quite picturesque. Staying at the Marriot you would be around 8 blocks from the center of Miraflores (Kennedy Park) where you can take the Mirabus double decker tour bus which will take you to Lima's historical Plaza de Armas among other touristy places. If you don't want to get tired from walking and just take pictures of the "tourist Lima" this would be the way to go.
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:58 AM   #7
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So what are you doing in Lima? do you speak Spanish? How easy is it to get around the city with little to no Spanish skills?
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Old 02-05-2009, 02:40 PM   #8
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I am managing partner for Peru's biggest private brokerage house and investment bank. I have been based in Peru since late November 08', but during the past couple months I have been in Miami, Beijing and now am back in Vancouver on business.

I should be heading back to Beijing or Lima next week. However, I will be travelling back in Vancouver mid-May for my gf’s UBC graduation. Do you have exact dates yet?

I was born in Peru and moved to Canada when I was 7, so I have native level Spanish. English among the lower classes is not that great, so in Lima and Miraflores you will be alright, but outside of Lima it can get sketchy.

A couple tips:

don't take just any taxi. some can rob you. especially at night. stick to older drivers in hatchback cabs where you can see no one is hidden in the trunk (seriously)
negotiate your cab fare before you get on
don't walk around Lima with exposed jewellery or cameras
don't carry your wallet in your back pocket
don't go to ATM at night in isolated places

I'm sure you have been to 3rd world countries before but Lima CAN be dangerous for tourists. If however you take the right precautions it's a great place to visit.

Ohh yes, and take some pepto bismol because you might get an upset stomach!
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:48 PM   #9
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Thanks, I'll watch out. What about Ceviche? is it safe to eat? I have a pretty weak stomach for some things.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:45 PM   #10
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hmm... ceviche is raw fish marinated in lemon. I would eat it but only in an established restaurant where you know it's clean (fish/chef). I would recommend "punta azul". There is one about 10 minutes walking from the Marriot.

Will you be in Lima after cuzco and arequipa? I think spending at least a couple days in Lima would be worth it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:16 AM   #11
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I haven't finalized any plans, but I'm definately spending the first full day and a half in Lima. Do LAN domestic routes get booked up fast? I was considering winging it for the tail end of the trip after Cusco (puns not intended).
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:31 PM   #12
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w0w seems like fun
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #13
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Nice Trip CB....
Be sure to let us know how your trip went.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:05 PM   #14
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Right now it's low season (rainy season in the andes) for Cusco etc., so you should have no problem getting LAN tickets. However, you will pay a premium for last minute bookings.

BTW, if you don't want to pay too much by staying at the Marriot there is nice Peruvian hotels in Miraflores which are cheaper. The problem is I don't know them, and their websites are probably in Spanish. There are also foreign short stay apt. which are about $50 - $100 USD/night all inclusive.

Something you should try is "Tanta Restaurant". It's an upscale Peruvian chain restaurant owned by our most famous chef Gaston Acurio. Google these two items...

Have fun in Peru
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:29 PM   #15
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I will thanks for all your advice!
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:33 PM   #16
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Dude did you ever come?
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:22 PM   #17
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yeah man, went back in May. It was awesome, especially the Inca Trail Hike. Cusco is like no other city i've been to. Arequipa was also very a very nice European-like city. Lima and Puno I didn't enjoy as much though.
Here are some pictures:

Cusco


Girl with Alpaca in Ollayntaytambo (near Cusco)


The Inca Trail


Along the Trail


The Cloud Forest


Machu Picchu



Lake Titicaca Floating Island


Reed Boat on Lake Titicaca


Arequpia's El Misti Volcano


The Colca Canyon
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:29 PM   #18
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Food

Ceviche in Lima (Punto Azul in Miraflores)


Washed down with a bottle of Inca Kola


Cuy (Guinea Pig) in Cusco


Alpaca Steak in Cusco


Lake Titicaca Trout
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:08 AM   #19
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sweet pics man
that boat is cool
food look interesting
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Old 12-08-2015, 01:00 PM   #20
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heading down to peru in about 3 weeks. in columbia right now and doing a bit of ecuador. pretty excited for peru.

i can't help but laugh at the recommendations for places like the marriot etc.....do i ever wish i could stay at those places but when your trip is 9+ months long your budget is generally $30 USD a night (my wife and I, or it would be dorms, which it still sometimes is)
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Old 12-08-2015, 02:08 PM   #21
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also can't help but laugh at the no taking busses....i've bused all the way down from cancun....can't imagine peru is really going to be that much worse, i've actually heard the opposite that the busses get better the futher south, so far they've been pretty damn good in columbia

chicken buses in central america, now that's an experience
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:34 PM   #22
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LOL I sure as hell didn't stay at the Marriott either, mostly backpacker places and hostels. Can't really remember the names exactly, but I found them pretty much on par with ones in SE Asia albeit a bit more expensive. Buses...I only took a few, but because of the high altitude the rides were quite long but comfortable (i.e. no chicken buses). Flew around mostly as I was short on time (2 weeks)
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:53 PM   #23
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ya hostels for sure, private rooms when we can and when they aren't ridiculously expensive (privates 95% of the time)
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