Traveling is the best! Whether a far away destination or a closer weekend trip, exploring somewhere new is just fun. This past December my husband and I visited Peru, our first time in South America. We explored Lima, Cusco and Aguas Calientes. I’m sharing some tips, pics and highlights!
First, here’s what I loved most about Peru…Kids of all ages were being kids everywhere….playing, laughing, and doing silly kid things. It’s not that kids aren’t around at home, they just stay closer to their parents and are more reserved in public. In Peru, the sights and sounds of the awesomeness of being a kid are everywhere.
And, a few tips…
- We visited at the beginning of rainy season. Rates were super reasonable and we actually didn’t see much rain. It was often cloudy with the sun peaking out and an afternoon shower or downpour was common. I didn’t mind, this kept me from getting a super sunburn.
- Ladies, carry tissues that can be used as toilet paper, this saved me several times. Things are just different, toilet paper won’t always be there (more so in rural areas) and it’s not flushed to protect plumbing.
- Get altitude sickness pills from your doctor. My husband and I credit these for not experiencing any altitude sickness! We met a few people who couldn’t leave their hotel rooms due to extreme headaches, so we felt lucky.
- Leave the cute shoes at home! There are steep hills cobble stones everywhere. Wear some sneakers or hiking boots and enjoy the leg workout.
- If you’re in a pinch and need to exchange some money, most grocery stores will accept american dollars and give you change in Peruvian currency.
Lima often gets a bad rep, but we really enjoyed our time here. This was largely due to the area we stayed, Miraflores. Miraflores is right on the coast with amazing parks, views, restaurants and it’s generally just bustling.
Some of our Lima favorites:
- Casa Andina Select: well located, affordable, clean and modern hotel. Good breakfast to get your day started and happy hour to transition from a day of walking to dinner.
- Saqra: AMAZING food and nestled in an adorable area of shops and restaurants. We shared the ossobucco de seco and octopus in olive sauce with olive risotto. I wish we had gone back a second time!
- Tanta: We learned these are a chain, but we enjoyed the atmosphere and menu that had a little of everything. Really refreshing jugos and cocktails.
- Sangucheria la Lucha: I admit, we never went here because it was always packed and lines were long. But, I’d say those long lines must mean it’s worth the wait for what looked like some amazing food!
- Covent of Sanfransisco Catacombs: This is in the downtown area of Lima. It’s a typical tourist attraction, but the tour is interesting and worth it.
- Parque Kennedy: If you like cats, you’ll like this park. And, there’s often live music in the evening that everyone gathers for….lots of dancing!
These are some shots in Miraflores, along the coast where there’s a string of some beautiful parks…
From Lima, we went to Cusco. Cusco is much an old world town surrounded by hills and mountains that are dotted with colorful houses. It’s an amazing town for just wandering around and enjoying.
- Limo: Another amazing restaurant with a great atmosphere. We went for lunch and I’m guessing a reservation for dinner would be smart.
- Papachos: Nothing fancy, but a great place for burgers and drinks. We were stuffed from eating so much meat all week that we got veggie burgers. Their veggie burger selection is really creative.
- Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco: Stumbled upon this and glad we did! It’s all handwoven textiles and they actually do all the weaving right there — really cool to watch and a great place to get some gifts.
- Mercado de San Pedro: Every city has a market that’s worth a visit, and so does Cusco! Fun to aimlessly wander to see all sort of local food, crafts, plants, really anything you can think of!
And, some shots from Cusco…
Auguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
Our last stop was Auguas Calientes and our Machu Picchu hike! We did a 10 mile hike, with an overnight in Auguas Calientes. It was an amazing experience that’s difficult to truly describe…so I’m going to just share these pictures.
We did a guided tour, which I highly recommend as you learn so much! And, the tour group to with is Alpaca Expeditions. They were fantastic.
Be sure to bring bug spray and be ready for some real hiking! You’ll encounter many sets of stairs (so steep that you’ll practically be crawling up)…but all worth it for the breathtaking views along the way