We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
16 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

I have an extra day I need to allocate to one of these places. We are cramming alot in for one trip - right now the plan is 1.5 days is cuzco before hiking the inca trail, 0.5 days in arequipa before colca canyon and then a 4 day trip up the amazon from iquitos at amazonia jungle lodge. They recommend the 5 day trip at the lodge (since it takes 4 hours to get there and back from iquitos i think the first and last day are kinda shot for going out on excursions). i am thinking it might be better to allocate the extra day to arequipa or cuzco since we are there so briefly and stick to 4 days at the lodge. thoughts? (we are also doing titicaca for 1 full day, but feel that is enough)

Thanks!

Kamloops, Canada
Level Contributor
3,885 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

I would add it to Cusco as theres so much to see and do there 1.5 days isnt enough.

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

I think I'd put it in Arequipa, depending on what time you arrive in Arequipa and depart for Colca. Especially if you are flying internationally, then continuing on to Arequipa without a break in Lima, you may want an easy day in Arequipa to start your altitude adjustment. There is also quite a bit to see there.

Catalina Monastery, Juanita the ice maiden, and the San Camilo market (do that one in the morning). Lots of beautiful churches and architecture, different than Cusco in feel.

Edited: 14 November 2012, 22:42
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
16 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

thanks - we are actually flying straight to Cusco without a break in Lima. We would arrive saturday late morning then on monday depart for the 4 day inca trail. someone recommended spending the extra day is Cusco before leaving for the hike to help w altitude, but the company i wanted to do the trek with doesnt offer a tuesday departure, so now im shopping around for tuesday options with other operators..

our flight into arequipa is from cusco and would land around 10am i think - so we'd have a solid half day.

Sasolburg,South...
Level Contributor
411 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

I would add the 1 day to Cusco.This will give you time to acclimatize and visit the Sacred Valley.The last thing you want is altitude sickness on the Inca Trail.

Heinrich

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

In that case of flying straight to Cusco, I agree with DaySouth, you will want to add it to Cusco to acclimatize.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
Level Contributor
3,165 posts
179 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

Cusco's altitude is more than 11,000 feet, while the Sacred Valley is a little over 9,000 ft and Machu Picchu even less than 8,000 feet. I've not been to Peru, but I've been to the Andes in Ecuador and it's usually better to start at the lower altitude and adjust before going higher -- rather than the other way around. I've been researching for a trip next spring to Peru and one interesting option that some people have liked is flying into Cusco and going immediately to the Sacred Valley, perhaps Ollantaytambo, for the first few days, including a trip to Machu Picchu, and then doing Cusco. Some who have tried to do Cusco first, at such a high altitude, have spent their only day or two in that city feeling ill from altitude sickness. Not as likely to happen in the Sacred Valley.

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

kzdallas there is a difference between acclimatizing to visit Machu Picchu by train, and preparing to hike the Inca Trail.

If you are taking the train going Sacred Valley=MP=Cusco makes sense.

If you are hiking, most agencies recommend 2 or 3 nights at the higher elevation of Cusco before trekking. Most travelers do not allow enough time before the trek, if they did they could also do a night or two in the Sacred Valley, then 2 nights in Cusco, and then the hike.

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
Level Contributor
6,174 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

While I agree with kzdallas about making the acclimatization easier by starting in the Sacred Valley (that's what we did), I also think it is extremely important to have at least two full days & nights at higher altitude (Cusco) before the Inca Trail trek.

We spent 3 days in the Sacred Valley, then 2 nights & one day in Cusco before the trek. We weren't acclimatized enough for that 14,000ft pass on day 2, especially my husband. We did take Diamox & drink coca tea to help the altitude adjustment process. I also take Ibuprofen for arthritis, which is also helpful for altitude-related headache.

Definitely spend the extra day acclimatizing to altitude before your trek. Check with Llama Path regarding departure dates -- they told us they have treks starting every day. (We also thought they provided good service for our trek.)

Cusco, Peru
Level Contributor
4,325 posts
101 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

If the visit to Iquitos is simply to see the jungle, that can be done from Cusco and save yourself a few days of travel time, several tour operators in Cusco offer jungle tours.

As for the altitude adjustment, I believe the majority of people can handle coming straight to Cusco, while I am sure some people have difficulty adjusting, I have not yet meet anyone that has. Heck my mother in law and her 2 friends (all in their mid to late 70's), had no trouble when they visited last month.

10. Re: Arequipa vs Cuzco vs Iquitos for extra day

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 16 December 2013, 08:17