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Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

Hi guys!!!

I need some help with my itinerary! One important thing is that I have problems with altitude.

[On my last trip to Chile I've stayed for some days in San Pedro de Atacama - 2400m - to adapt but when I started to go higher I had a big problem. I couldn't control my breathing and some muscles were completely contracted. This started 15 minutes after stopping in Socaire - 3200m - when I was in a bus at aprox. 3700m. The following day I went higher - 4500m with no problems... Now I am very aware of altitude sickness (soroche) and I know well what do I have to do minimize its effects. But... Who knows what can happen...]

So... I'm trying to choose the best route.

I'll be arriving in Cusco on MAY 03 (11:20 AM) and I'll leave the town on MAY 07 (09:05 AM).

Any suggestions? The only thing I know for sure is that I'm going to visit Machu Picchu. I also know that Aguas Calientes is located at 2050m above sea level and Cusco is located at 3400m. So it may be better not to stay in Cusco in the first day. Right?

I won't try the Inca trail!

With the time I have which tours should I do?

Thanks!!!

Salem, Oregon
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1. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

I would go directly to the Sacred Valley from the airport and stay at a lodging that has oxygen. Also I found chewing coca leaves helped much more than drinking the tea. Good luck!

california
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2. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

Have you checked with a doctor about taking Diamox?

You might also be able to catch a late train from Ollantaytambo and spend the first few nights in Aguas Calientes.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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3. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

EGA2000,

Sacred Valley is a good idea! Coca leaves saved me when I was above 4000m! They really work!

mlgb,

Yes! I checked about Diamox and I'll be taking it!

I don't know if the late train from Ollantaytambo would be the best idea because I would like to see some views on the way to Aguas Calientes.

If I go directly to Sacred Valley, I'll be arriving there around 2PM. What do I do on this day?

So here is my itinerary till now... What do you think?

MAY 03 - Arrive in Cusco; Go directly to Sacred Valley; Some activities there (which?); Sleep there

MAY 04 - More activities in Sacred Valley in the morning (which?); Vistadome train in the afternoon; Aguas Calientes (what to do there?); Sleep in Aguas Calientes

MAY 05 - Machu Picchu (How many hours should I spend there?); First Vistadome train to Cusco in the afternoon; Sleep in Cusco

MAY 06 - Cusco (What to do in a day? City tour?)

MAY 07 - Depart from Cusco (Early morning)

Oh! I don't think that I'm 100% satisfied! Maybe I could go from Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu early morning and I could catch the last train to Cusco. All in the same day! This would give me an entire free day to spend at some place (where?). Is it suitable?

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

We have a similar plan. We arrive in CUZ at 10:00 am and will arrange for a guide and driver to take us to see some sights en route to the Sacred Vally, staying in Olly that night. The next day we take the train to Machu Picchu coming back late that afternoon again overnighting in Olly. The next day a guide again to see more sights en route to the CUZ airport for a 3:30 pm flight to Lima.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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5. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

Yeah! It seems you have one day less!

I'd like to know if it's suitable to to go to MP and come back to Cusco in the same day!

Lima, Peru
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6. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

You can leave with the earliest train and return with the last train if you wish.

The altitude was an issue for me the first time I went to Cusco, now I only have a kind of headache.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

I will suggest make Olly your base for MP and Sacred valley.

MAY 03 - Arrive in Cusco; Go directly to Olly; Visit the town and the Olly Ruin(perfectly done in 2-3 hours) Sleep there

MAY 04 -Take early morning train. (first one is around 6:00) Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. Visit MP and either stay at AC or take a late train out to Olly. (olly is onli 1:30 hrs from AC so you can spend more time at MP). Night at Olly

MAY 05 - Hire a Taxi at Olly and on the way back to Cusco visit Pisac, Maras, Moray, Chinchero

MAY 06 - Cusco take a city tour, Sacsayhuaman

MAY 07 - Depart from Cusco (Early morning)

Edited: 20 March 2012, 04:49
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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8. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

FalcoG,

Since I don't plan to climb Wayna Picchu mountain I think I'll have enough time at MP. So I could take the first train and return on the last one!

desert_bird,

I think I'll stick to your suggestion! It seems really good for me!

Anyone have anything to add? =)

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

Except for the extra day that you have we are doing this same itenerary. We have contacted a few guides and are about to settle on one.

california
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10. Re: Itinerary ideas for Cusco and Region - Considering Altitude

I have done desert bird's itinerary and it worked out fine for me. Except that on the first day of arrival all I did was lunch and a walk around the Inka Town. The second day I visited the Ollantaytambo ruins (which is nicer to do in the morning before the tourist busses arrive). Third day was train to and from MP (first and one at about 3 or 4 pm).

I saved Moray and Salineras for the return trip to Cusco.

Sunday is the day to go to the markets so switch your days around to do the touring of Pisac on that day, you can also easily do it from Cusco.

I found three nights in Cusco to be about right. Same for Ollantaytambo.