Today marks exactly 1 week until I head off to Peru and visit South America for the first time. It’s just been in the past few days that I’ve realized how little I know about Peru, and how much more I should have been preparing. My travels over the summer took me to a new country, but essentially the majority of the trip was to places I knew quite well, having visited Ireland a few times previously, and spending part of 2011 teaching English in Madrid. Below I’ll outline my itinerary for 1 week in Peru!
With our essentials booked in September, my friend and I sat down to book some of the details. It was easy in the sense that everything looks new and exciting to me, so I’m basically happy to go on any of the excursions or activities. On the flip side I was also probably not the most helpful as I continually forgot the name of the places we were already going, and towns we would already be passing through. I’m lucky Kelly is patient.
Our first two days in Ollantaytambo won’t have anything set in stone. Due to the increased elevation, we’re planning on traveling fairly slowly, stopping by the ruins in Ollantaytambo, visiting markets,and exploring the town. We’ll make our way to Cusco afterwards, but we started in Ollantaytambo as it should be easier to adjust to the elevation.
The main attraction for us, as with almost everyone traveling to Peru, is Machu Picchu. The entrance tickets have to be purchased in advance, and only a certain number of people are allowed to enter each day. Since this was our top pick, we booked this first as everything else is much more flexible. You’ll want to check the availability of tickets first if this is your main attraction. You can buy tickets through the official government website.
For our first full day in Cusco, we decided to book a day trip to a Quechua community. The trip centers around textiles, so we’ll see them being made, and have the opportunity to buy local hand-made items. This should be a good contrast to our Machu Picchu day, but also be really interesting.
We decided we’d like one more day with a planned activity, so we just browsed the tours offered through Viator. A lot of the trips travel to Ollantaytambo, and since we’ll already have been there prior to Cusco, we don’t want to repeat. We decided the trip visiting salt mines looked fun, and would be something completely different.
With those trips booked, we really don’t have anything else to plan before we take off! We’re planning on filling our additional days visiting markets, taking free walking tours, checking out the choco museo, and exploring the town.
What else should we check out on our trip?!
1 week to go!