My husband and I are traveling from Chicago USA to Peru in November. We will be hiking the Inca Trail Nov. 28-Dec. 1. I've been trying to figure out our itinerary as well as the best way to fly there. My first question is, should we fly to Lima and stay overnight, then take a morning flight to Cuzco the next day or just fly directly to Cuzco? It looks like most (maybe all?) flights are overnight, so I'm thinking it might make the most sense to stay over in Lima and then go the next morning to Cuzco. It also seems like it might be more economical to fly to Lima, then purchase tickets to Cuzco through one of the Peruvian airlines. I would love any advice on this issue!
My other question is regarding whether to stay in Aguas Calientes after hiking to Machu Picchu. My main reason for staying overnight there would be so we could take our time at Machu Picchu and not be rushed to get back to Cuzco with our hiking group. Is this a good idea?
Here is our trip itinerary I've come up with so far. Please let me know any thoughts on this.
Night 1: Lima, then fly to Cuzco the next morning (or fly directly to Cuzco??)
Nights 2 & 3: Sacred Valley
Nights 4 & 5: Cuzco
Nights 6-8: Inca Trail
Night 9: Aguas Calientes
Night 10: Cuzco (or Lima?)
Night 11: Lima
Thank you so much for any advice! We're very excited about this trip!