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#1 Posted : Monday, June 27, 2016 8:07:53 PM(UTC)

Posts: 48

Does anyone have any thoughts on doing the 7 day Macchu Pichu trip versis the 9 day trip? I was trying to keep expenses down for my next trip but I just read what is included in the 9 day trip and wondering if I would be kicking my butt afterwards if I didn't spend the extra money and do it.

#2 Posted : Monday, June 27, 2016 9:04:53 PM(UTC)

Posts: 0

Unless you get severe altitude sickness, you might kick your butt if you don't go to Puno. It is much higher than Macchu Pichu. Hubby did have very bad altitude sickness but still thought seeing Puno was worth it. The islands are truly unique. One man on our tour went back to Cusco instead of going on to Puno due to his altitude sickness. I know now to check the altitude of where ever we may go in the future.
#3 Posted : Monday, June 27, 2016 10:15:57 PM(UTC)

Posts: 685

I am with kay on this one. Actually, as great as MP is, I think I enjoyed the trip to Puno and the stay there just as much if not more. The Uros islands and their inhabitants are beyond interesting. You see some good sights on the way from Cuzco to Puno as well. If it is a school day, you will visit one of the Gate 1 sponsored elementary schools, which you will remember forever. It is a tour favorite for sure!

If you want to save a few dollars, for skip the Silustani Tombs option. This is the least favorite optional outing I have ever done with G 1. First, there is the hike - about 300feet vertical climb ending at over 13,000 feet. It is a difficult climb for most, and the tombs themselves are not very interesting. The view of the lake below is spectacular though, the one redeaming value.

If it is a matter of going on the 7 day or not at all, obviously go on the 7 day.

Don't even think about going to Peru without altitude meds. Doctor will likely prescribe Diamox (acetazolamide is generic, and it is really cheap.) Cuzco is 11,200 feet, and you cross 12,000 feet on way to MP. MP itself surprisingly is only just under 8,000 feet. If you go to Puno, it is 12,300 feet, and you go as high as 14,350 feet driving there from Cuzco.

Some people will say they did nothing or drank coco tea there and did fine. That is true, but I have seen people who only took the tea so sick they wish they could die. It is not worth the risk. My wife did fine there on meds, and then got sick in Tibet on meds at lower altutude. Success once is not a guarantee of success the next time. Cover your bets and take the meds.

Randy and Deanie
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#4 Posted : Friday, July 1, 2016 4:29:14 AM(UTC)

Posts: 14

I would recommend the 9 day - really enjoyed Puno and the floating villages and wandering around that area.
#5 Posted : Friday, July 1, 2016 1:00:10 PM(UTC)

Posts: 10

I'm in agreement with the others. I took the "10 Day Affordable Peru" tour last December, very similar to the 9-day tour. While my favorite parts were Machu Picchu, the Urubamba area, Cusco, and Lima, I also enjoyed my visit to Puno and the Uros Islands. It provided an opportunity to experience additional flavors and views of the country. The tour of the Uros Islands was the highlight of my time in that area.

I also enjoyed the optional tour to the Sillustani tombs. While the burial structures are not so numerous and certainly not on the "amazing" level like MP or the Saqsaywaman site, I still found them interesting as it is a pre-Incan site. I did not find the walk strenuous (I'm in my early 60s); the incline is relatively gradual, and the guide makes a number of rest stops along the way while he describes info about the site. If that optional tour is not to your liking, you could just spend that free afternoon walking around the small town of Puno.
Mary F  
#6 Posted : Friday, July 1, 2016 7:06:00 PM(UTC)
Mary F

Posts: 40

I'm afraid I am going to be the dissenter here. Maybe it's because we did 7 days in Ecuador prior to the Peru trip and we're getting a bit weary, but neither my husband nor I were wowed by Puno. The bus ride was REALLY long--10 hours?-- and the hotel was far away from the town itself. We found the Uros Islands interesting, but somewhat inauthentic. It gave us a glimpse into how they used to live, but they now have solar power and many of the inhabitants do not live there full time-- they return to the mainland each night. It sort of reminded me of Colonial Williamsburg, as they have kept their way of life alive for tourism.
Even our tour manager, who is highly regarded and a native of Cusco, became ill from the altitude with a nosebleed that would not stop. The highlight of the trip for us was the Sacred Valley-- so beautiful!
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