Review Trip Peru Bolivia

Today we want to share a recapitulation of our tour with the itinerary/cost, our thoughts on it all as it is still fresh in our memory. The itinerary we had put on paper with the help of our friends in the cruising community was close to perfection, and the route made it easy with the buses avoiding us to go to the same place twice.

For our hostels reservations we used the Hostelbookers website 90% of the time with great success, the travelers’ review were spot on.

If you want a more detailed day to day kind of report, the first post is here.

 

Budget:

Per day Per person $ 6.78 $ 10.09 $ 13.82 $ 10.13 $ 1.38 $ 42.20
$

Food

Lodging

Transport

Museum

Personal

 

 

We spent on average around $40 a day per person over the period of 43 days. Most of our meals came from street food or markets and whenever we were able to cook our own meal at the hostel we would from local markets. Not to worry we didn’t comeback skinny! For our lodging we always had private room with en suite, although dormitory would have saved us a few $$ that was not part of our compromise. We know that we could have save a few more $$ in our transport but keep in mind that if you these can also be more “rustic”, especially in Bolivia… and for that we wish you good luck. Museums: the main cost is pretty much our Machu Picchu day trip and the boleto we purchased in Cusco to visit all the main sites and exhibits.

In other words you can still visit South America economically, without trying too hard.

 

The itinerary;

Date

August-15-14

13/09/2014

Cusco Sumayaq Hostel

16/08/2014

Ttravel to Guayaquil Hostel Nucapacha Rena del Camino

14/09/2014

Cusco religiuos site

17/08/2014

Travel Lima Cruz Del Sur Lundi

15/09/2014

Cusco museum santa domingo

18/08/2014

Arrive Lima The House Project

16/09/2014

Cusco 4 local site

19/08/2014

Lima Plaza arma/church san franscico/san pedro/bario chino

17/09/2014

Cusco tipon

20/08/2014

Lima Museo national de archeologia/Larcos Museum/ night Barenco

18/09/2014

Cusco Pisac

21/08/2014

Lima

19/09/2014

Cusco cusco

22/08/2014

Lima to Arequipa Hostel Bothy Hostel not the best

20/09/2014

Ollantaytambo Janaxpacha hostel ollanta

23/08/2014

Arequipa Monastery Santa Catalina and city center

21/09/2014

6am train Machu picchu 6pm Machu Pichu ollanta

24/08/2014

travel Chavey Lundi

22/09/2014

Ollantaytambo local site ollanta

25/08/2014

condor to Puno

23/09/2014

Ollantaytambo Salinas moray ollanta

26/08/2014

Floating + Island

24/09/2014

Ollantaytambo
ollanta

27/08/2014

Island back ATTENTION HOUR CHANGE

25/09/2014

Travel Cusco Lima 14 11

28/08/2014

Travel La paz

26/09/2014

Lima gua 14.45 18.15

29/08/2014

La Pax Cruz de los Andes

27/09/2014

guya 18

30/08/2014

La Paz Tawanaku

31/08/2014

La Paz Lundi

01/09/2014

La Paz Death Road Bike Ride luna tour or vertigo extredownihill
Lundi

02/09/2014

Travel La Paz Sucre Traveler´s Guesthouse

03/09/2014

Sucre

04/09/2014

sucre

05/09/2014

Travle Sucre Potosi Eucalytus Hostel

06/09/2014

Potosi to tupiza La torre Hostel

07/09/2014

4X4 Lundi

08/09/2014

4X4 La torre Tours
Lundi

09/09/2014

4X4

10/09/2014

4X4 Uyini La paz

11/09/2014

La Paz copacobana La paz

12/09/2014

copacobana La paz

As mentioned before it was pretty close to perfection, but what we would do differently?

  • Stay one or two more days in Arequipa to get used to the altitude, the Colca canyon tour gets you really high, quickly.
  • Bolivia: if you do not plan to do a 3-4 days tour in the Salt flat. Skip it all together, colonial city are plenty in Peru and La Paz not very pleasant after a few hours.
  • We would only spend 2 Days in La Paz and spend more time in Sucre (Bolivia). La Paz is not the most attractive place and it is very busy whereas Sucre is absolutely charming, with a lot of history.
  • We think that visiting Machu Picchu in the end was the best, working our way up the sites crescendo.
  • Remember if you are interesting in visiting the Salars in Bolivia to start the visit from Tupiza not Uyuni.
  • And finally taking your time to visit the sites/ruins is definitely a bonus.

If you wish to have more details or information just contact us directly and we will answer you personally.


2831 KM in 63.5 hours with 8 modes of transportation.

We are back on Letitgo after a good ride, everything went smoothly, in other words we made it in one piece, catching every connection easily, on-time and with a sense of humor left at the end though admittedly pretty smelly! From Ollantaytambo in Peru to Bahia de Caraquez Ecuador it is rather simple, all you need is 8 different transportation for 2831 Km and time as it took us 63.5 hours. Well of course that is if you are on a budget, otherwise you can always take the plane and this is the end of the story…


Ollantay to Urubamba –Cost: 1.5 sole Time: 30 minutes-


Urubamba to Cusco – Cost: 6 soles; Time 1.5 hours-


A cab ride from the street terminal of Cusco to ” La Cruz del sur” terminal (note that it is not in the regular bus terminal) – Cost: 4 soles, Time: 10 minutes


Cusco-Lima $65 Full Cama 21 hours


Lima to Guayaquil (Ecuador) – Cost: $100 Full Cama Time: 28 hours-


Guayaquil- Bahia De Caraquez – Cost $7; time 5 hours-


It was somebody’s birthday today , so we splurged at Mc Donalds tonight.

We look cute only on pictures… desperately need a shower at this point!


Final stop: Terminal to Puerto Armistad – Cost: $2 Time: 10 minutes-


Our last ride, the panga to reach our sweet home and it was, Letitgo was exactly where we left her.

Priceless!

One last walk through the mountains, trekking Moray and Salinas.

Truly tomorrow we are on our way back to Ecuador and with two full days of bus hopping from one to another hence we need to get the troop tired! So here is what we came up with, we took the bus taxi combo up to Moray then walked down to Mara/Salinas/and finally Urubamba. Five hours of pure delight, with breathtaking views. To make it easy try and get your hands on the local book (hiking and biking Peru`s inca trails) though don`t fret the path is popular and well-worn out. Out of Moray walk back 500 meters after the dip you will see the path straight ahead, follow it to Mara. Out of Mara walk around the church, same think choose the path on the right in direction of the glacier and you will be in Salinas with little effort.

moray

Agriculture laboratory or sacred site, the question is still up in the air,

It nonetheless beautiful and impressive

peru nation

Official flower of Peru

strairt

We fell in love with those stairs, can you tell.

accidebt

Attention: Accident happen here, our Diva queen prickled his foot with a cactus we nearly had to call an “Wambulance“ (reference to the TV serie, modern family)

Glacier on the backdrop and green agava, yes it is possible! Well you witnessed it

The locals use the path with their animals.

A salted source comes out here and makes this wonder

Pink salt

And back in the valley.

Now that`s a politic sign.

Ollantaytanbo the site

With our eyes still filled with incredible images of Machu Picchu we recovered and allowed ourselves for a relatively easy walking. The site is just in the village and the only thing left to do is walk a few steps! Ok they are big ones but come on it’s worth it. We will spare you the effort for today; join us around this historic battle area.

 

oyant




The quarry is just 8km away, on the other side of the valley with a river to cross, picture this when there were no trucks back then…

How convenient to carry and bring back to the village a 60 ton boulder on your back!!!


Maybe the way they raised those monsters.





And one more Inca profile up in the mountain.

Our grand finale: Machu Pichu

And finally the day arrived for the Machu Picchu experience; it all started at 5 am with a train ride from Ollantay to Agua Calientes. Then a bus to the site itself, we took a personal guide this time for the first 2 hours and then “browsed” or rather immersed ourselves for the next 6 hours walking around and absorbing the master beauty of architecture.

The site itself is rather small compared to the others we visited, but the setting, the state of preservation and the variety of architecture all make it splendid. In a day you can climb all you want, observe every stone in sight and really have a great experience. If you don’t have a ticket or if it shows fully booked on the government website don’t panic, just travel to Agua calientes and purchase one for the first date available; then show up at the site they apparently don’t refuse anybody, even if it is not the right date printed! Good thing to know. For the train you don’t have only Peru rail, Inca rail also runs a service just in case.

In a small backpack bring snacks, water and food and if you are discreet enough and respectful with your garbages you can have a perfect picnic in a majestic setting. Of course Benjamin will tell you that this day was for him rather dramatic and he is now scarred for life! Indeed after a bit of confusion we left our sandwiches in the room and took the wrong bread without filling… Oh well! One more therapy session, for the poor young man.

Mystic with the clouds in the morning.

And then the curtains lift up and you discover Machu Picchu

Yes it’s that green all year long, we actually experienced 3 short showers.plaza np

And now for the fridge collection for the respective Grand-Mothers

side mp

mp site

\

wall mp

niche

sun temple

For you Jim: just like your wood cabinets, it is well built.

This is our animal whisperer in action.

mp 4The last good byetrain mp

The most pretty thing in Aqua Caliente, the train to leave.

Urambamba and the local politic

We took it easy today as Valerie was not feeling well; we have all had the bug so hopefully we are done for a little while now… We took the micro-bus to Urubamba on the recommendation of a good restaurant, we got transported back to the best vegetarian place ever, Emma!!!. But the real treat was to join the population of Ollantatay for the final presentation from the candidate. The atmosphere was warm and respectful; the only surprise was when they carried away their favorite on shoulders all across town,

pepper

Emma the vibe was exceptional, we recommend you coming here.

food

Followed by a delicious lentil burger on a bed of caramalized onions and guacamole!

candidate

candidate shoulder

And the guy is not elected yet, but his name is Elvis after all.

local dress

Every village came down for the event and some communities came all color out.

lady local

Ollantaytambo the isolated

race la paz

Before we could leave Cusco they had to parade a few kids for good measure, this time for peace. Also we never made it on time for Lechones or Cochon de lait, so this mid morning we got a little bite before the bus ride.

lechone

A bite of paradise for Laurent on a plate, a slice of heaven.

val love

Valerie’s love story with the old beetles never stops…

Just a short bus ride away we arrived in Ollantaytambo, time has regressed once more, the village is so quaint and it is easy to tell that without the mass tourism transiting through it for 45 minutes to visit the site it would be a peaceful mountain retreat.

We went to eat a trout at the local politic rally which was delicious, they offered us Chicha! But the fermented corn beer didn’t look appetizing to our sensitive stomachs. Let me try to describe it.

In a plastic tub (that one was a 55 blue gallon drum) you can observe a white liquid foamy mash bubbling, once in a while the caretaker mixes it to reveal an opaque liquid.

Now imagine the result on a non-local digestion track,  we won’t try this before Machu Pichu.

092114_2127_Ollantaytam10.jpg

ayant stre

inca poli

The Inca heritage in display for good politic.

Final night in Cusco, and Sumayaq Hostel.

Our week in Cusco is coming to an end, a city we truly enjoyed. Even if super touristy, you can still find and feel an authentic experience just by walking a few blocks of the Plaza de Armas. San Pedro market will feed you for a few soles, the bus will take you all over for two and walking around from luxury hotel to another will provide free tea forever…

While in Cusco we happily recommend and without hesitation the Sumayaq Hostel, it is perfectly situated, very clean with a personable welcoming team. They are always improving and make every effort to give you the perfect stay.

The more we travel, the more Valerie and I think that once we decided to stop this leisurely lifestyle. One of the very propable option will be to open a backpacker hostel, relax it’s not coming anytime soon but we are learning and picking idea at every opportunity, even reservation master spreadsheet. Damm it we never change always planning something……..

night cusco



Just to show Benjamin that luxury still exists we went to the J.W. Marriot, the coffees were take-out from next door.




Do you see the light, just as we did……

………………

……………..

………….…

…………….

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Yes! we are talking about the one on the right end corner… too much religious exposure in the last week…

Tipon the magnificent

We think Benjamin found the place he would like to get married, peaceful, beautiful and grandiose, there is only one little problem the site is a National treasure of Peru… Then again there were not too many foreigners so to give it a higher profile why not. The setting is perfect with the elaborated terraces, the natural water all around it is just spectacular.

If the invitations never come in the mail, here is how to get there: go to Plaza San Francisco in Cusco and take the Leone Bus to the village of Tipon. A taxi will await to whisk you to the ruins. If you can’t make it, just come for a walk with us today.

091914_2300_Tiponthemag1.jpg


The different view is to facilitate the planning, and this note aside is for you Benjamin don’t forget: you will need to get the planes re-directed for quietus.






The hills were full of students and local tourists, they like to keep the best for themselves…





The ingenuity and hard work keep amazing us.






Just so our parents are happy!!


That what I call a politic sign, lots of Inca reference with the candidates.


Just a local bus medley, this little one made our hearts melt away.


That one is for the youth of today. This is one liquor you will not get drunk twice on.

Milk liquor with 16% of alcohol.

Field trip to the sites of old stones.

Time again to head out of the city and see some old stones, feel Benjamin raising his eyes to the ceiling? We took the bus with the local wear salesman of the site; it’s always funny when you see them at work after. We visited four sites today, which gave us another vision of impressive development of this civilization. The more we visit and learn about it the more we are in awe with the herculean and ingenious work the Incas demonstrated so long ago; even after the conquistador invasions/destructions the foundations are still up and look incredible; it is a true masterpiece.


The water resort for the elite, demonstrating great hydraulic skills.





Now that’s dedication, this is a full on stone carving including subterranean altar dedicated for sacrifices.


This is not an optical illusion, this entire stone is actually carved.


And while we were enjoying our pique nique …

Modern lamb transport, how many can we fit?

Oh… about 6 tied up in your car.


This portion gave us a very Greek feel, but not an auditorium more like a water lagoon.



A jigsaw of stones, simply amazing!


Those are 5 meter high to give you a scale.