Just got home from a three week trip to Peru and Bolivia with my sister, and I’m still amazed at how smoothly everything went! While planning for this trip, many of the articles I read and friends I talked to emphasized how easily things could get delayed in South America, and how ambitious our itinerary was (What can I say? I’m an ambitious person).
Riding on my post-trip excitement, I’ve decided to jot down details of this trip, and hopefully it will help with your planning! Without further ado, here was our itinerary:
|Sept 13||Cusco||Arrive to Cusco||Marriott||3400|
|Sept 14||Cusco||Free Walking Tour||Yawarmaki Hostel||3400|
|Sept 15||Ollantaytambo||Sacred Valley Tour||Sumac Chaska Hostal||2800|
|Sept 16||Aguas Calientes||Train to Aguas Calientes||Joe’s Inn||2000|
|Sept 17||Aguas Calientes||5:30am bus to Machu Picchu||5pm bus to Aguas Calientes||Inka’s Wonder||2400|
|Sept 18||Cusco||Train to Ollantaytambo||Collectivo back to Cusco||Yawarmaki Hostel||3400|
|Sept 19||Cusco||Moray & Maras Salineras Tour||Yawarmaki Hostel||3400|
|Sept 20||La Paz||Flight to La Paz||La Posada de la Abuela||3500|
|Sept 21||La Paz||Red Cap Walking Tour||Bus to Uyuni (9pm)||Overnight Bus||3700|
|Sept 22||Salt Flat Tour||Start Tour (10:30am)||Tour included||3700|
|Sept 23||Salt Flat Tour||Tour included||3700|
|Sept 24||Salt Flat Tour||Arrive to Uyuni (~4pm)||Bus to La Paz (8pm)||Overnight Bus||3700|
|Sept 25||La Paz||Arrive to La Paz (6am)||Miradora Lookout||La Posada de la Abuela||3500|
|Sept 26||Copacabana||Bus to Copacabana (8am)||Stroll around Copacabana||Hostel Cupula||3800|
|Sept 27||Copacabana||Hike Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun)||Hostel Cupula||3800|
|Sept 28||Puno||Bus to Puno (9am)||Stroll around Puno||Quechua’s Backpackers||3800|
|Sept 29||Puno||Lake Titicaca Tour (Isla Uros & Taquile)||Bus to Arequipa (10:30pm)||Overnight Bus||3800|
|Sept 30||Arequipa||Free Walking Tour||Mango’s Hostel||2400|
|Oct 1||Arequipa||1 Day Colca Canyon Tour||Bus to Lima (8pm)||Overnight Bus||2400|
|Oct 2||Lima||Arrive to Lima (12pm)||Free Walking Tour (Central Lima)||Dragonfly Hostel||N/A|
|Oct 3||Lima||Miraflores||Taxi to Airport||Airport||N/A|
|Oct 4||Morning Flight (2am)|
Why this schedule?
If you jot down the cities on a map, you can see that our trip followed a clockwise tour throughout southern Peru and southwestern Bolivia. We scheduled the highlights of our trip, Machu Picchu and Salar de Uyuni, to the first two weeks just in case we run into any delays.
September to October was an amazing time to go. It’s shoulder season, and the weather was dry (best recipe for timely travel). Since it was shoulder season, we only pre-booked tickets and accommodations for the first week. Everything else we booked on the fly.
As professional number crunchers, we had a running budget for our trip. I would suggest everyone to have one since Peru and Bolivia could become expensive countries to travel. It’s not as cheap as you think! Here’s a rough breakdown of our three week spending (Converted to Canadian dollar at current rate, for one person):
International Flight (Vancouver > Lima): $1,133
Intercity Travel: $434
In-town Travel: $210
Tours & Entrance Fees: $538
- Intercity Travels includes both flight and bus rides between cities in South America
- Mostly made up of day tours, but the biggest bill in Tour & Entrance fees was our 3D2N Red Planet tour to Salar de Uyuni (CA$245). It was well worth it!
- We mostly stayed private double bedrooms in mid-range hostels. It was shoulder season, so we were able to bargain down some of the prices
- There are really cheap (sometimes fantastic) set menus in Peru & Bolivia.
- Miscellaneous includes souvenirs, health insurance, and toilet fees!
If I had an extra few days, I would have loved to join a tour for Manu National Park or challenge the four day Inca trail hike. But aside from that, I couldn’t have asked for more! For me, there was a perfect mix of culture and landscape. I’ll get around to going into details for each city, so hold tight!