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South America Bossa Nova, the Amazon rain forest, Machu-Pichu, Incas, Grazie Jiu-Jitsu, salsa dancing, exotic women...

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Old 06-20-2007, 10:24 AM   #1
 
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Default Ticket to Peru is finally booked

Finally after 4 hours of yelling at airplane ticket websites over the phone since they charged me 5 times for my ticket, i got my ticket to Peru.

im leaving july 10th and got around 35 days to have some fun. Since i didnt have the forsight all the inca trail hikes to machu picchu are booked. oh well, i still got the train but i do want to do some mountain and amazon trekking. Does anyone have any reccomendations on guides or trails to take???
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:29 AM   #2
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I just got back from Peru 2 weeks ago...I went to Machu Picchu through Santa Teresa, which doesn't involve a ton of hiking but has a fun local flavor to it (and its really cheap if you're on a budget). You use a local bus to Santa Maria, then find a collectivo to take to you Santa Teresa (the whole time you're on this really narrow dirt road switchbacking along the mountains with a 500m droppoff about a meter away). From there you hitchhike or arrange a ride to a hydroelectric plant on the Urubamba river, and then walk for a few hours down the train tracks to Aguas Caliente. It takes about 12 hours and costs 20-30 soles as opposed to the train which is about 200 soles. And its a lot more fun!

That route doesn't involve a lot of hiking though. There are 3 or 4 alternative trails to hike to machu picchu, and you can actually do some hikes within the ruins once you're there. Wayan Picchu is a mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu and is a really tough climb but totally worth it. They only let 400 people per day do it though so go in the morning. On the same trail there is a turnoff for a longer hike to the temple of the moon, which I guess is a cave on the other side of that peak but we didn't do that part (its hard to see everything in 1 day!).

Elsewhere in Peru...there's a lot of good hiking in the Colca Canyon near Arequipa. If you go to Lake Titicaca you can cross over into Copacabana Bolivia and take a boat to the Isle Del Sol, where the Incas believed the sun was born. The boat drops you off on one end of the island and there's a nice hike along a ridge for about 3 hours to the other end where you get picked up. You pass some ruins on the way as well, nothing spectacular though.

But the best hiking is supposedly around Huaraz, though I didn't get there personally...

If I ever get my pictures into flickr I'll post them to give you some ideas.
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:48 AM   #3
 
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Thanks for the info
that Santa Teresa route sounds cool. Were able to drop your pak off somewhere before hand or did u need to carry it the whole way??

any other reccomendations on hostels or cities??
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:13 PM   #4
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Awesome... ¡Buen viaje!
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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I don't have any good advice to give you, but I just wanted to wish you good luck and I hope you have an awesome adventure!
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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This all starts in Cusco, so what we did was just have our hostel store our backpacks and we took enough stuff for 2-3 days in a day pack...basically just a change of clothes, water, camera, toothbrush, etc. You probably could take your whole pack if you wanted to, the only actual hiking is on the train tracks and thats fairly flat for only 2 hours. Then in Aguas Caliente you'll need to get a hostel for the night and they'll probably hold your stuff during the day while you go up to machu picchu.

One thing I forgot to mention is it'll be nearly dark when you get to Santa Teresa, so you can either spend the night there or hike the tracks at night using flashlights. We went at night because the first busses up to the ruins are at 5:30 am and you want to avoid the mid day crowds of tourists that take the trains up. I got lucky, there was a full moon and we didn't even need flashlights to see the tracks after dark

The Loki hostels in Lima and Cusco are pretty cool if you like westerner backpacker type places. Really good hot water and lots of fun. They're about $8 a night for a dorm and they usually fill up so its best to call ahead...
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:10 PM   #7
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ohhh can you say jealous?

Have an awesome time and don't forgot to take heaps of pics to show us TPunks when ya get back! :D
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:14 PM   #8
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here's a good description of this whole thing from a blogger by the way. It has details I probably forgot, like you should get an early bus (preferable 8AM) to santa maria to make sure you can get to Santa Teresa without a big delay:
http://travelvice.com/archive/2006/1...shoestring.php
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:00 PM   #9
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Wow good info Maracle! Machu Picchu is one of those places I have to see before I die.

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Old 06-21-2007, 11:50 AM   #10
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Wow good info Maracle! Machu Picchu is one of those places I have to see before I die.

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Yeah, really. Mike... when are we doing this again? :D
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Old 06-21-2007, 02:27 PM   #11
 
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Thanks for that website maracle. It makes the adventure to Machu Piccu seem like a spy mission

"From Santa Teresa you've got to get to the hydroelectric power plant, several kilometers upstream, but first you've got to cross the Rio Urubamba."

AWESOME!!!

did you get to the AMazon at all? I really wanna catch a pihrana but all these guides i came across are way too expensive, and I duno about doing it myself cuz although itll be really cool, i dont think i wanna end up on an "I shouldn't be Alive" episode:eek:
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:16 AM   #12
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Yeah, really. Mike... when are we doing this again? :D
Dude...read your PMs! Seriously, I have the first two weeks of December off on vacation. You available for making "THE" trip...?

And Joe...? Rub it in, while you can...

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Old 06-24-2007, 08:40 AM   #13
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Actually they built a bridge across the river now so you can just drive over, rather than take the deadly steel platform thing....too bad, it sounded like the most fun part!

I didn't make it to the amazon, I actually had thought about spending most of my time in the jungle starting near Iquitos. But I don't really speak any spanish so I was a bit worried that it would be hard to get by if I got out in the middle of no where...next time though!
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:29 AM   #14
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And Joe...? Rub it in, while you can...
Haha, well glad it is finally coming around for you. I really need to find a way to get there the last week of November

Btw, Mike, are you going to Toronto?

--Joey
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:35 AM   #15
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I'd like to, but there are only four of us qualified to do my job here. So, that leaves only three folks I could drop my Sunday and Monday to (I already have Friday and Saturday off)...one of which who I'm not on speaking terms with. So, if A or B can't do it, I've got no way of getting it off work.

Hopefully, I'll know before the deadline date...there's a whole new crop of Tpunkers I haven't met up there....

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