For our trip we did not only get tips from friends but were also professionally consulted by Globetrotter. Their input was great and it gave us an impression about e.g. how much we could fit in less than one month and what transportation made sense.
We arranged our route the best way we could in order to acclimatize to the altitudes coming up in Cusco and Uyuni.
The four countries have four different time zones while the Chilean one was a little confusing as it was ahead of Bolivia and Peru, and they change times in summer/winter.
Our luggage had to include clothes for very different climates: some items for the hot and humid Amazon rainforest, other ones for dry, windy and cold areas like the Uyuni desert. As our trip was in May we were lucky to enjoy sunshine almost everywhere and we never had to use an umbrella. Instead strong sun screen, sunglasses and a hat covering the neck were needed. And while traveling it was always good to have tissues/toilet paper and some coins with you – you pay for toilet paper. Speaking of money, it was useful to have US Dollars, which sometimes could be used directly or changed easily.
For minor problems with the altitude we used painkillers and drank Coca tea as well as a lot of water. For stomach problems Gatorade was good to rehydrate. Mosquito spray was only needed in the rainforest and Machu Picchu.
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2 nights: enjoying Peruvian cuisine and museums
Lima – Puerto Maldonado: Flight with LAN Airlines
Puerto Maldonaldo – Rainforest
3 nights: relaxing in a lodge with exciting tours
Puerto Maldonado – Cusco: Flight with LAN Airlines
2 nights: having arrived at the airport of Cusco we directly drove down into the Sacred Valley to acclimatize.
The first full day was for Machu Picchu, the second for a tour by car through the Sacred Valley to Cusco, passing by the sights of Maras and Moray.
3 nights: acclimatizing and strolling through the pretty city as well as adding a tour to Pisaq.
Cusco – Puno: Bus ride with Transzela. (30 Soles)
1 night: it might be good to add a second in order to have time for Titicaca lake.
Puno – Copacabana: Bus ride with Titicaca Bolivia. (15 Soles)
1 night: also here it might be good to add a second night in order to visit Isla del Sol.
Copacabana – La Paz: Bus ride with Vicuña Tours. (33 Soles)
1 night: taking a ride up to El Alto with the Teleferico.
La Paz – Uyuni: Flight with Amaszonas (was shifted by 5 hours)
1 night: bring warm clothes...
Uyuni desert– San Pedro de Atacama:
Car tour with Creative Tours including 2 nights in Tayka hotels
2 nights: visiting Valle de la Luna.
S. Pedro d. Atacama – Salta: Bus ride with Andesmar.
3 nights: first Argentinean steaks :) maybe do a tour to Cafayate
Salta – Buenos Aires: Flight with LAN Airlines.
4 nights: enjoying urban metropolitan culture and more steaks.