Lima, Amazon to the Andes

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Lima, Amazon to the Andes

Postby chocolatebutton69 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:57 am

Hello everyone.

We have booked our trip "Amazon to the Andes" for this August 2013, and we have a few days extra before and after in Lima. I have backpacked independently before, but never in a group trek/tour like this. My questions are related to what to bring on the Trail/trek and on the nights in the Amazon Jungle lodge...


1) Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag?
If so what weight/climate is appropriate?
Can I buy/rent one really easily in Lima or Cuzco if I don't want to take my own international?

2) Mosquito nets - Do I need to bring one for Lima, the trek or the stay in the jungle lodge? Again, are they available over there at a reasonable price or provided free by the tour op?

3) We are doing the Larres trek, Macchu pichu and amazon lodge stay. How physically tough is it? How mentally uncomfortable/squeamish is the whole experience? I am a hardened male and will never cry. My wife however is not. Is she going to cry alot?

4) ANy other tips for this whole tour/trail? E.g. is it very rigidly organised and rushed from point to point? What are the must dos and the avoids-if possible? Any essential tips? Any great packing advice? I have spent hours on these forums and not finding all the info I need for this Lima-Andes-Amazon tour in one place. This could be a good opportunity to pull together alot of the info, so any and all help is appreciated!!!

Cheers guys,

Michael
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Re: Lima, Amazon to the Andes

Postby markmol » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:30 pm

hi Michael,
First up you can rent sleeping bags in Cuzco, when you have your group meeting, the Guide will bring these along, It may be worth packing a bag liner, you can also rent walking poles which are very useful on the trek.
I did the Inca trek not the Lares trek so i can only comment on that, it is quite steep at some spots, but you go at your own pace & stop when you want, the guides are great & if you fall behind will walk with you. Remember it is your trek & not a race.It is not rigidly organized, you do get up early & have breakfast, as soon as you have your gear out of the tents the porters start pulling down the tents so they can get to the next camp so the tents are ready for when you get there.
You don't need mosquito nets for the trek i did not see any mosquitos i think you are too high for them. At the lodge, the beds have nets on them.
Take hand sanitizer with you as there is not many spots to wash your hands, the porters will have a bowl of hot water at the tent entrance in the morning so you can have a bit of a clean up. Also pack toilet paper always handy. A torch or head lamp is a must, be careful in the Amazon when you go on your night walk with the head lamp as flying critters tend to fly into your face.
Enjoy
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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Re: Lima, Amazon to the Andes

Postby IndyGent » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:45 pm

Hi Michael,

I did this tour route back in 2008 but I think it was called the "Highlands and Amazon Adventure" and it went on to Bolivia.
I did the Inca Trail trek but some on the tour who booked late did the Lares trek which is supposed to be easier. Nobody had any horror stories to tell so I guess it was a fairly easy hike with none of them being trail hardened, experienced hikers. We had one person drop out of our group halfway through the first day on the Inca Trail. Sometimes apprehension can be your worst enemy and this person felt worse for not having tried. That will bring a tear to your eye more than anything.
I took a 25 litre backpack which was more than I really needed. You really only need to carry a change of clothes, light rain jacket or poncho, warm jacket or sweater with pockets or gloves as the nights can be very chilly, toiletries, flashlight, and a water bottle.
You don't need to take your own sleeping bag or inflatable pad as these can be arranged for by the guide before you start. The porters will set up the tents, inflate the pads, and lay out the sleeping bags. They will carry your extra stuff if you have any, and do everything but tuck you in at night.
The porters were the only ones with enough wind at the end of the day to blow up a Thermorest pad anyway.
You don't need to worry about Mosquito nets as the beds at the Amazon lodge come equipped with them. Just tuck them around the mattress when you settle in for the night.
I didn't like crossing the narrow, bouncy, planks from the riverboats to shore and someone would have to give me a hand across. Hey, I have a thing about bouncy planks. Why did it have to be planks? I hate planks.
I didn't find the tour rushed and found lots of time to do my own thing.

As for travel tips:

If you go out at night, always take a taxi no matter how safe you feel.
If you feel like exploring more Inca ruins you can get a ticket from the tourist office in Cuzco and take a public bus from the depot at the other end of the street the tourist office is on.
You go in the direction of Pisac to Tambo Mackay, Puca Pukara, Quenco, and walk downhill to end in Sacsaywamen overlooking Cuzco. You'll have to forgive my spelling of place names but I'm happy just to be able to pronounce them.
There are a lot of nice trendy restaurants in Cuzco and you'll feel like you never left home. Good shopping too.
No matter where you go someone will approach you to sell you something. A carved gourd, a doll, a painting, or offer to shine your running shoes.
A few words of Spanish will go a long way so maybe brush up a bit before you go.

I can't think of anything else off the top of my head. I would gladly do it all again.

Very best wishes,

IndyGent
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Re: Lima, Amazon to the Andes

Postby waca » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:38 am

1) Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag?
If so what weight/climate is appropriate?
Can I buy/rent one really easily in Lima or Cuzco if I don't want to take my own international?

Hi,

I completed the trip in June 2013 and have a few comments to your questions

2) As others have said you dont need Mosquito nets for Lima

3) Macchu pichu is tough. While you go at your own pace you still have to make the lunch stops and breaks with the rest of your group. the slower you are the less rest time you have before the group moves on. The guides are really good and encourage you all along the way. You should be fine as long as you have trained for the trip. The amazon lodge staywill be easy as there are a few walks but nothing too much.

4) Any other tips for this whole tour/trail:- In Lima it is worth going on one of the bus tours that goes from Kennedy plaza near the hotel. I chose to book the hotel transfers with Gadventures both at the start of the trip and when going home as these are not included in the package you book. In Cusco the wifi was not the best in the hotel but it was a lot better in Starbucks.
if you want to have a nice meal before you go on the Inca trail or after there is a nice place called the Inca Grill in the main square. One last thing is you might be surprised by the effect the altitude will have on you. Once in Cusco the stairs in the hotel are a challenge :D. The guide recommended taking some altitude sickness tablets which were worth while.
If you have any other questions just ask!!

Waca
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Re: Lima, Amazon to the Andes

Postby chocolatebutton69 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:22 pm

Honestly - the best response and help I have ever had from any travel forum.

Thanks you all very much.

I have been recommended to bring altitude sickness tablets, anti-diarrhoea tablets and strong mosquito/insect repellent with as high a % of DEET as possible.

Another tip I have had is to pack a small hand towel in my day bag.

When I get back I will update so this post will prove useful to others.

Michael
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Re: Lima, Amazon to the Andes

Postby waca » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:19 pm

Make sure you bring wet wipes with you. I'm not sure about the small towel as it will not really get a chance to dry. The other thing to keep in mind when packing is that once you take into account your sleeping bag and mattress you will only be able to give the porters 2.5 kgs of your things.

And last thing, all the shops etc take US dollars too

Waca
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