LAD Tour - July, 2011
5 July - San Juan Costa Rica
8 July - Quito Ecuador
11 July - Bogata Columbia
13 July - Lima Peru
16 July - Sao Paulo Brazil
19 July - Montevideo Uruguay
21 July - Santiago Chile
Homeward Bound
The trip to Latin America begins 2 July in Seattle, returns on Sunday the 17, and includes a side trip to Darwin Station in the Galapagos Islands
Date / Airline - Flight Depart Arrive Duration
Saturday 2 July      
Virgin America to LAX SEA 00:00 LAX 00:00 0:00
TACA 511 to Guatemala City LAX 00:22 GUA 06:07 4:45
LACSA 641 GUA 08:00 SJO 09:35 2:35
Wednesday 6 July      
LACSA 661 SJO 10:20 UIO 13:30 2:10
Saturday 9 July      
Avianca 7372 UIO 11:23 BOG 12:53 1:30
Tuesday 12 July      
Avianca 25 BOG 13:40 LIM 16:45 3:05
Saturday 16 July      
LACSA 7032 (Costa Rica) LIM 14:15 SJO 16:53 3:38
LACSA 670 (San Salvador) SJO 17:25 SAL 18:40 1:15
Continental  CO 0667 SAL 19:30 LAX 23:40 5:10
Virgin America LAX -> SEA LAX 00:00 SEA 00:00 0:00
Date / Airline - Flight Depart Arrive Duration
Saturday 9 October      
LAN Peru LP075 LIM 08:10 CUZ 09:25 1:15
Sonesta Hotel Cusco      
Sunday 10 October      
Vistadome Train $71 CUZ 06:53 M. Picchu 10:38 3:45
Sunday 10 October      
Vistadome Train $60 to S.V. M. Picchu 15:20 Sac. Val. 17:28 2:08
Taxi Sacred Valley to Cusco Sac. Val. 05:10 CUZ 06:25 1:15
Sonesa Hotel Cusco      
Monday 11 October      
LAN Peru LP394 CUZ 15:20 LIM 16:45 1:25
The road to Cuzco and Machu Picchu starts here ... so if you are planning to go ... get in line
They stuff may not be romantic ... but then neither is an untreatable disease.
Your first stop is going to be at a travel medicine clinic. It is one thing to go to Peru. It is quite another thing to bring something back. By reputation, the docs at 1200 116th Av NE, Suite D, Bellevue, (425) 455-8248 are as good as they come. Say hello to them, get the Yellow Fever injection ... get something to cut down the risk of malaria only if you are going down from Cuzco and Machu Picchu into the jungle: At these altitudes it is a complete waste and my experience is Malarone, one of these drugs, left me thinking Malaria couldn't be that bad. Well it is but the side effect experienced at 37,000 ft. were indescribable (at least in polite company). When it comes to Typhus go for the oral not the injectable. The injection is all pain and far less gain. The result will be that you get a yellow card that no one in any immigration location will ever ask for: A complete waste of time. But you do this for yourself ...not for them ... so do it any way. Who knows ... maybe one of them will wake up some day and ask you for the document in which case you'd better have it.  
CDC on Malaria
CDC on Typhus Fevers
CDC on Yellow Fever
Your next stop should be at a mountaineering store. A place that outfits backpackers. That is where you will find insect repellent, 30% and 100% DEET, that will help keep mosquitoes, ticks, mites, and lice, from calling you breakfast. That is where you will find sunscreen capable of keeping skin and lips from sucking up high-altitude UV. That is where you will find water purification tablets, straws, etc. of value if backpacking but of no value if using trains and buses. That is where, too, you will find many of the other things that will make your trip more enjoyable,.

Your doctor can also help you with Cipro, Diamox for altitude sickness, and other pharmaceuticals ... don't be shy.
And finally, of course, you need to make reservations, planes, hotels, trains, buses, taxis, etc. Planes are easy and you can arrange them via the normal channels: For example Oracle Travel. Hotels are a bit more of an issue as there are hotels that are overpriced, and do not deliver, and hotels that are under-priced and provide little more than a bed with linens of unknown providence. In Lima we stayed at the Double Tree El Prado and were very happy. There is internet, a fitness center, and a swimming pool on the 11th floor. Pretty much what you would expect of a Hilton property [click here]. In Cuzco my recommendation for a reasonably priced hotel with very nice rooms, internet, a good location, and a decent restaurant is Sonesta at 954 Sol Av Cusco, PE 00000 [click here]. There is another Sonesta hotel in Cuzco but I can not speak for its quality or anything else about it.

To get from Cuzco to Machu Picchu requires a train and that means Peru Rail and every scam artist on the planet is right there to "help" you. Ignore everything else you see and go direct to Peru Rail [click here]. What you want is a ticket from Cusco to Machu Picchu but in fact no train actual does that. The trains all leave from a city east of Cuzco name Poroy Station which you will get to by taxi across roads and a route that will leave you knowing, for a fact, you aren't in Kansas any more. Or for that matter in any first or second world country. And it is at this point ... the taxi to Poroy, the bus to take you from Machu Picchu Station up the mountain to Machu Picchu the Peruvian national treasure, through the gates at the sacred city, back on the bus to the train station, and back from Poroy to your hotel that you need to just throw in the towel and hire someone reputable to do it for you. And I have just the person to recommend in that regard. Contact Karen Buleje Lazarte with Inka's Treasures. You can contact her by email at [click here]. From our experience she hit 100%. If she arranged it the price was reasonable and it worked.