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Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

London
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Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

I'm just sorting out this leg of our Peru trip in September, we will arrive into Lima and spend a couple of nights there before flying to Arequipa.

The current plan is to spend a couple of nights there [possibly at Los Tambos] and then do a 2D/1N Colca Canyon tour and go straight on to Puno [for Lake T] rather than return to Arequipa.

Please could anyone advise:

1) Will 1.5days will be enough exploring Arequipa? Will we also struggle with altitude?

2) Do the Colca tours give a good view of the Canyon or mainly the Condors - we would like both ideally! Do all the tours pretty much take the same route?

3) Could we wait until we get to Arequipa to book our Colca tour, hotel and onward travel to Puno? Though I'm nervous about doing this as would like to have it all planned!

4) Any suggestions for staying in Puno - the chioce seems pretty limited! looks as though we'll have to have 2 nights there to so that we can do a Lake Titicaca tour and then get the bus to Cusco the next day.

Thanks in advance!

Kamloops, Canada
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1. Re: Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

#1 I guessit depends on what you want to see and do but I would say you can hit the highlights in the time you have allotted!

Arequipa is at an altitude of 2380 meters. According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude_sickness altitude sickness commonly occurs above 2400 meters so you may or may not start to feel its effects. It all depends on the individual response! Its good that you are stopping in Arequipa for a day or two cause Colca Canyon is about 3600 meters and Lake Titicaca is at 3860 meters so you will most likely feel some effects of the altitude there! You might consider talking to your doctor about DIAMOX http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetazolamide which can help you cope!

#2 The first day of the Colca tour is spent getting to Chivay which is just at the Eastern start of the canyon. You spend the night and the next morning (very early) drive through the canyon to Cruz Del Condor to see the Condors for an hour or so. Some tours include a little walk along the canyon rim but mainly you then drive back to Chivay for lunch stopping at a couple little towns along the way for photos and whatnot. Most tours all do the same thing with a few exceptions. Check out www.pablotour.com for example. Its quite expensive compared to the other tours but it sounds like an awesome trip! If you really want to see the canyon you may want to either do more days which includes a hike into the canyon or you can still hike with just 2 days but the itinerary changes. It all dpends on who you book with and what they offer! Regardless of who you go with or what you do you will want to arrange tranportation with www.4m-express.com who has a daily departure to Puno from the main square in Chivay leaving at 1:15 PM. It costs about $40 and you arrive in Puno around 7:00PM.

#3 You could easily arrange a Colca tour when you arrive in Arequipa or you could have your hotel help you with it! Here are a couple tour operators to check out...

www.southamericareps.com/

www.acuariustravel.com

www.helloarequipa.com/colonial_tours/

www.inkafestravelperu.com

www.casadeavila.com/index-2.html

#4 It all depends on what your budget is! You can find many places by searching hostel booking websites www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/peru/puno/

but if you budget is higher then I'd reccomend doing a generic search http://lmgtfy.com/?q=hotels+in+puno+peru for hotels in Puno.

This website has a good list of places to stay in Puno for you to check out!

andeantravelweb.com/peru/…index.html

Tours www.titicacaperu.com to the islands of Titicaca leave from the Puno dock between 7-8AM and return to Puno around 7PM so yes you will need at least one full day on Titicaca and another if you plan to take the bus www.inkaexpress.com to Cusco!

Long Island NY
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2. Re: Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

All of the Colca tours pretty much take the same route, there is only really 1 road. With a 2 day 1 night you won't have time for much. It is a good 1/2 plus trip each way. We did this by booking independently and hiring a driver from 4 M and stayed for 2 nights. They also have bus service from Arequipa to colca and then on to puno.

You may want to move your Lima nights to Arequipa. Not only will it help with acclimation, it is just an nicer city.

We stayed at the Pukara Hotel in Puno. Simple but clean and well run. Some of the reviews on this site mention noise from a bar. I think the bar must be gone, we had no issues.

Pensacola, Florida
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3. Re: Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

1) allow a minimum of 2 days at Arequipa

to see things and adjust to altitude..

2)You see the canyon and the Cruz Del Condor

routes are the same 2 day works fine unless

you are trekking.

3)always wait book my tour through my hotel

2 day with nice lodging xport $35 is standard

price.Internet prices lots higher.

4)www.casa-andina.com in Puno nice Plaza from $70

or private collection on its own island better a bit more.

Have fun,

London
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4. Re: Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

Thank you all for your helpful and thorough replies! I think we are settling on staying at Casa de Avila in Arequipa for 2 nights which will give us 1.5 days to explore and acclimatise. Case de Avila looks like a good budget choice so will hopefully be ok and not too far out of the main town centre!

I looked at the Pablo tours and contacted them for a quote - the tours look brilliant but are way over our budget unfortunately so we will stick with the more standard Colca Tours...we are erring on the side of booking this in Arequipa - would you advise that we also wait until then to book our onward travel with 4M from Chivay to Puno or to book that in advance?

Still looking into Puno accommodation but will keep you posted!

5. Re: Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

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Chiclayo, Peru
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6. Re: Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

No problem booking when you arrive in Arequipa. The standard two day tour costs about S/.100 per person depending on which hotel you decide to stay in.

7. Re: Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Puno/Lake Titicaca

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