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Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

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OC,CA
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Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

I have 2 weeks to spend in Peru from the end of March - April. Dates Flexible.

When is Semana Santa? Is the country on holiday the week prior to or after Easter? With Easter being 3/31, should I try to be in Cuzco to enjoy that from the cultural perspective.

After 5 - 7 days in the area (how many are recommended???) of Cuzco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu I would like to go to the Puerto Maldonado Tambopata Manu area.

How many days do you recommend for the jungle?

Are there any companies that are recommended to plan a lower budget trip? We are fit and open to jungle cruises, eco-lodges, camping or combination of the above.

Thank you in advance for your knowledgable advice.

Cusco, Peru
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1. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

While you can do most of the main sights in the Cusco area in 5 days, I would recommend 7, this will allow you to see the sights more thoroughly and will provide you with the opportunity to see some of the less visited locations as well.

As for tour companies, there are several that are frequently recommended on TA, but if you are concerned about price, I would recommend planning the trip yourself. Even the cheapest company that I have looked into, will cost you double what you could do the trip for on your own. For example I worked up a 10 day itinerary that could be done for $750 USD (This included everything except airfare) when sent out to several companies the best price I got back was $1400 which did not include meals (my price did) or airfare.

With a few exceptions I say use the resources on TA to plan your own trip and save the money, or use the savings to extend the length of your stay. The instances where I usually recommend using a tour company is if you are short on time and for a few locations where you can get a package for so close to the cost (if not less) of doing it yourself, that it becomes is worth it.

Cusco, Peru
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2. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

I'd go a lot with what was said by Lyle. For Tambopata though it is worthwhile ot go on a organised trip wher your quality of guiding, food & accommodation is guaranteed - there are a lot of unscrupulous operators around. Try for at least 5 days in Tambopata to get deep into the reserve & have great wildlife viewing. Manu would need a minimum of 9 days and is much more expensive due to the cost of travle by road & boat over long distances. Tambopata is easier ot get to by regular flights form Cusco or Lima. To save time in airports you could put Tambopata on the beginning or end of your trip flying in from Lima or out to Lima - this saves you a flight. I cannot advertise here and am based in Cusco, so please feel free to pick my brain for any more travel details, especially regarding the Tambopata rainforest.

Cusco, Peru
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3. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

And that would be one of the exceptions to my normally not using a tour company. Some of the Jungle trips, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca are some of the places I occasionally would recommend using a tour company.

OC,CA
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4. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

Thanks for the advice! Do you think the 8 hour (or so) bus trip from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado would be a nice way to transition from the cooler to hotter weather? For the scenery?

Cusco, Peru
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5. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

While I have never taken that route, I am sure the scenery would be great. We take a similar ride when we visit family in San Ramon. There are a few things to consider when planning a trip by bus, aside from the time factor. Bus travel is not the safest way to travel in Peru, due to poor maintenance, long routes, and the typically windy roads, it is not uncommon to hear of a bus crash once a month or so. Second thing is you should always be prepared for delay's, not only could the bus brake down, but on occasion roads may get blocked by people protesting something. There can also be issues with mud slides or roads washing out but as you are traveling at the end of the rainy season, this should not be a big concern. If you do decide to take the bus, do a search for bus safety on the forums for info on companies with the better safety records.

OC,CA
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6. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

Thanks for your good advice! You brought up a number of things I hadn't considered.

Cusco, Peru
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7. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

The bus trip from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado is a night trip, so only worth it if you want to save money & have lots of time & energy on your hands. I'd rather take the 30 minute flight, sit on the right side of the plane & view the incredible transition from high Andes to lowland forest from the plane - and have more time in the rainforest. The heat & humidity of the Amazon rainforest can take it out of you, especially on arrival, so for a more enjoyable trip get there the easy way. Star Peru is the most economical carrier for foreign citizens, others have fares for Peruvian residents & different fares for foreign residents.

8. Re: Cuzco Puerto Maldonado Tambopata 14 days

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