Trip to Peru - Nov 17 - Nov 25, 2018
Our trip to Peru is one of our top 5 trips ever taken (and we have done a lot of traveling). In large part the reason this trip was so good is because of the excellent itinerary, seamless transitions and transportation to each of our destinations, and wonderful accommodations. We started our trip in Lima - we arrived in the morning after an evening flight from the states. We were picked up from the airport and taken to our hotel. From there we were on our own to explore the city which was easy to do. We stayed in the Miraflores neighborhood and explored that region on foot. We took a taxi to the historical part of the city. Taxis were easy to hail. On day 2 we flew from Lima to Puerto Maldonado where we explored the Amazon basin. We were met at the airport by our hotel greeting party and were taken by boat to our lodge - Inkaterra. Here we stayed in delightful cabins equipped with hamocks (as well as beds of course) where we could lay down and relax and watch the river flow by. From the hotel we were able to do several excursions led by our excellent guide, Michel. We saw all kinds of rainforest flora and fauna, walked across rope bridges in the rainforest canopy and learned about the food and medicinal gifts of the rainforest. We spent about 2 full days in the rainforest and one more would have been good but we were on a tight 9 day schedule. From the rainforest we headed to the mountains. We landed in Cuzco and then were taken down to our hotel in Urumbamba - lower elevation to help with adjusting to the altitude. The whole family took Diamox before getting to Cuzco and we all avoided altitude sickness. We stayed in a fabulous hotel called Sol y Luna. On our second day in the sacred valley we took part in the Llama pack project. This involved trekking and herding llamas up the side of a mountain. After a breathless but beautiful hike, we stopped for lunch with the llamas which was delightful and then trekked back down the mountain. This experience was incredible and I would highly recommend it to any travelers to the Sacred Valley. The local llama herders who were with us have some llama/alpaca wool souvenirs to sell. If you are interested, make sure you have plenty of cash for the larger items (the prices are a bit high). The next day was spent exploring the other wonders of the sacred valley to include Inka farming site at Moray and the salt flats of Maras. Our guide Danny did a fantastic job teaching us the history of the Inkas as well as modern Peruvian culture. From the sacred valley we took the trip to Machu Picchu. The train ride to Ollantaytambo was very scenic and a small snack and drink were served. After a night in the hotel we boarded a bus and headed up the death defying road to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu itself is indescribable and even more beautiful than pictures suggest. Danny again served as our guide through the site and let us take our time to take it all in all the while explaining to us one of the most amazing and mysterious civilizations of the world - the Inkas. That afternoon we made the trek back to Cuzco and spent the last day of our trip exploring this beautiful and culturally enchanting city. We were sad to leave this amazing country. All ground transportation was planned by Jesus. I bought the intra-country airline tickets (cheap) but Jesus helped me determine which flights to choose so the itinerary would work well. Reading the guide books, I found a trip to Peru intimidating but Kimkim and Peruvian Soul made it easy. The hardest part was deciding what we wanted to see - with only 9 days to see it.