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Old 01-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #21
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Thanks for the tips on Chile. That sounds like the side trip I want.
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You could also combine the Galapagos with a trip to Peru including Macchu Picchu. I haven't been there, and I imagine one needs to be in fairly good shape to do both of those..
I have enough COPD in my left lung to pass on Macchu Picchu. I will just rely on the virtual tours. I hike the hills here in PV but I puff a lot.
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Would you fly south from Puerto Vallarta? Presumably it would be cheaper than flying from Canada to South America.
Yes the cost might be a factor but the more important issue is the weather. We are in Mexico from November until May so need to travel south owing to the better weather then.

We also plan a SA Cruise around the horn for another year. But preferably when we are older.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:33 PM   #22
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OP here. Our UNC Alumni trip had an option to extend the trip and go to Machu Picchu. We did not do it but a few people on the Galapagos trip did extend to Machu Picchu. The cost was significantly more to extend the trip. I have recently spoken to one of our fellow travelers on the Galapagos trip that did do the Machu Picchu extension and he said it was physically too much to do both trips together. He was exhausted by the time he got to the second part of the trip and could not really enjoy it.. I would think you would need to be in excellent physical shape to do both.

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:39 PM   #23
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OP here. Our UNC Alumni trip had an option to extend the trip and go to Machu Picchu. We did not do it but a few people on the Galapagos trip did extend to Machu Picchu. The cost was significantly more to extend the trip. I have recently spoken to one of our fellow travelers on the Galapagos trip that did do the Machu Picchu extension and he said it was physically too much to do both trips together. He was exhausted by the time he got to the second part of the trip and could not really enjoy it.. I would think you would need to be in excellent physical shape to do both.



Jo Ann

That's good to know, thanks Jo Ann.
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Old 02-01-2014, 03:13 PM   #24
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OP here. Our UNC Alumni trip had an option to extend the trip and go to Machu Picchu. We did not do it but a few people on the Galapagos trip did extend to Machu Picchu. The cost was significantly more to extend the trip. I have recently spoken to one of our fellow travelers on the Galapagos trip that did do the Machu Picchu extension and he said it was physically too much to do both trips together. He was exhausted by the time he got to the second part of the trip and could not really enjoy it.. I would think you would need to be in excellent physical shape to do both.

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I have been looking at the Road Scholar trip that does both Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. Seems like it would be a good idea to kill two birds with one stone, since you have already paid for your flight to the area. Do you have any idea how old your fellow traveler is and what type of shape he was in? (Was he obviously overweight or was he very fit?) I am currently 60 yrs old and would probably wait for a couple of years before doing the trip. I would love to do both, but not if I was so exhausted, I could not enjoy it. Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:29 PM   #25
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Dreamer, most everyone on the trip was 60s to 70s. The fellow who said he was too tired to enjoy the Machu Piccu portion of the trip was older than I am (age 62) but seemed to be in good shape. I think the main problem with going directly from Galapagos Islands to Machu Piccu is altitude, going from sea level to very high mountains in 24 hours. I think it would be better to have a few extra days to acclimate to the higher altitude. On our trip you had to go directly from sea level to Macchu Piccu and immediately start doing activities.. I think that would have been a problem for me.

There is also some rock slides blocking the road to Macchu Piccu right now and portion of that trip has to be walked and climbed over rocks from what I understand.

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Old 02-01-2014, 07:10 PM   #26
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Thanks for the quick reply. I was not even thinking of altitude and how that would affect me. Sounds like if one is going to do this trip, it would be better to do it sooner rather than later.

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Old 02-02-2014, 10:41 AM   #27
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Dreamer the key factor is your body's oxygen conversion efficiency. It will be naturally higher if you live in Denver rather than the lowlands. It is possible to train for low oxygen content survival. It has nothing to do with age, although being in good shape will demand less oxygen.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:33 AM   #28
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Think I would rather do Machu Picchu FIRST and then go to Galapagos
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:46 PM   #29
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Think I would rather do Machu Picchu FIRST and then go to Galapagos
This is how I was planning it. And spend a few days acclimating to the altitude before going to Machu Picchu
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:43 PM   #30
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Chile is awesome - we went there to go skiing in the Andes - loved it - we want to go to the Atacama desert next time and the Patagonia for hiking.....the Colchuaga Valley is their "Napa" and Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar are very nice. Santiago is an urban city that is affordable.

We thought about settling there....is one of the more beautiful countries in the world.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:07 PM   #31
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And spend a few days acclimating to the altitude before going to Machu Picchu
I would also recommend this. There are a number of interesting things to see around Cusco while you acclimate. The thing that really made the point for me was when coming in to land at Cusco, they had to bleed off the aircraft cabin pressure (usually about 5,000 ft equivalent) because the ambient pressure in Cusco is much lower (11,000 ft).

Machu Picchu is actually lower than Cusco, at about 8,000 ft, but if you're taking the Inca Trail to get there, you hike over a pass that's nearly 14,000 ft. I did fine, but DW had issues.
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