Hi all! First time planing a trip to South America. We’re going to Peru and will be in Lima for a week (we’ll be visiting friends so that part isn’t flexible), but afterward we will have another week to spare. We plan to use that week to visit Cuzco for a few days (to adjust to the altitude), then on to Aguas for 2 nights (the night before Machu Piccu and the night after), then back to Cuzco. From there back to Lima and then home.
1) does anyone have any experience taking the bus from Lima to Cuzco? We have found several companies and we honestly don’t mind the 20+ hour ride as it would give us a chance to adjust gradually to the changes in altitude as well as see other places along the way.
2) if we do opt to fly out of Lima, how can I be sure the price is not for Peruvians only? I was on TACA and there was a small disclaimer saying that the prices listed were for Peruvian residents and anyone else would be charged $177 more. I happened to stumbled across that - and now I’m paranoid, especially to buy off a third-party site like Expedia or Kayak.
3) any other suggestions for a nice place to visit in Peru that wouldn’t involve all the multiple steps (and costs) involved in going to MP? I was really surprised after calculating everything we need (train to Aguas, hotel, site entrance tickets, shuttle but to MP, etc...)
4) as I said, there seems to be so much involved in getting there, and it’s kind of overwhelming me. Is Machu Piccu really worth all the trouble?