Author Topic: Peru Master Thread  (Read 9055 times)

Offline Fan of Dan

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2013, 10:58:02 PM »

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2013, 11:16:05 PM »
I started my summer trip with the wife flying from EWR to ASU, Paraguay and we went from there to Iguazu falls. We then flew to Buenos Aires. After that is when we went to Peru.

We flew out Sunday morning from EZE to LIM using BA points on LAN, which was 20K points for flatbed business. Was an amazing flight considering what it cost us. We were scheduled to have an hour and a half layover in Lima and then we were going to fly to Cuzco, Peru.

Our connecting flight to Cuzco was with an airline called Peruvian Airlines. My wife was a bit worried about using them but as we got the tickets for $105 per person we went with it. There was no mileage availabilty on the Lan flight to Cuzco. Our flight into Lima got delayed by about 50 minutes and our luggage took a while to come out. By the time we got to the Peruvian counter they did not allow us to check in. We tried everything in the books but they were not hearing of it. We were so frustrated being stranded in Lima, not really speaking that much Spanish, and being unable to get to Cuzco. The next flight was Monday morning but we already had reservations in Cuzco and had no interest in going into Lima. We went over to the LAN counter in the airport and bought on the spot 2 tickets to Cuzco for 300 a piece. Just like in the movies. Was upsetting, but did not want to throw off my vacation over 600 dollars. I ended up winning a dispute with Peruvian so at least we got that money back. We had to run to catch the LAN flight but fortunately we got into Cuzco by 3 PM.

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2013, 12:42:53 AM »
Before I go into what we did after landing I just want to explain a little bit what there is to do in the Cuzco region. Cuzco is in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, and the scenery is really pretty. That comes with a price. The altitude in Cuzco is really high, and therefore a lot of people choose not to stay there. There is an area called the sacred valley, which is around an hour out of Cuzco. The sacred Valley has a lot of really nice hotels, and is therefore a great place to be based out of. The sacred valley is in a lower elevation than Cuzco and that helps you get used to the altitude. The theory is that if you go to a lower elevation to sleep than you will have an easier time. We stayed in the Sacred Valley and had no issues whatsover.

Cuzco is this huge city, although different than any city I have ever seen. A large percent of the local population goes around wearing colorfull robes and hats. The women carry their kids in sacks on their backs. They all wear these really interesting long braids, and are a lot of fun to watch. The sacred valley has a lot of these people as well and in the valley there are different ruins and other tourist attractions. When you drive down the road you will see sheperds on donkeys, etc. There are many different locals markets and they are not to be missed. The cream of the pie though, is Machu Picchu of course. Machu Picchu is located in the Sacred Valley as well. Machu Pichhu is an Inka fortress built in the clouds. Nothing can prepare you for seeing it in real life, it is just very cool.

Now I will go into what we did while in the area.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 12:59:04 AM by Fan of Dan »

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Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2013, 12:55:07 AM »
Some people get altitude sickness in cusco..... Just saying

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2013, 12:59:46 AM »
Some people get altitude sickness in cusco..... Just saying
Agreed, that is why I was saying it may be worth staying lower down in the sacred valley.

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2013, 09:25:47 AM »
Thanks alot! Please do continue and don't forget pics!
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2013, 09:31:43 AM »
Thanks alot! Please do continue and don't forget pics!
It's a deal!! You do deserve it I must say. :)

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2013, 09:32:24 AM »
So we landed on Sunday and needed to get to our hotel located in Urbubamba, Peru. This is an hour drive however as it was Sunday we wanted to make a stop in a place called Pisac first. Pisac has this huge market on Sunday where all the locals trade local produce as well as livestock etc. People are grilling lamb and lamma meat all over the place and it is quite a sight. So we asked around at the airport for different prices until we made up with someone for 40 dollars to take us to the market, wait for us there for as long as we want and then drive us to the hotel. Pretty cheap for what we got. On the way our driver stopped at all the scenic lookouts until we got to Pisac. When we got there I was nervous to leave our luggage with him, however he did not want to visit the market with us. I made him give me his drivers license to guarantee our stuff. He did not seem to mind that I didn't trust him. We got to the market and spent around an hour there and we then went to the hotel.

We stayed for the 3 nights we were there at the Tambo de Inka resort. It is an SPG cat 4 and well worth it. The grounds are reallly nice, with great views of the mountains, and a river running right behind the rooms. We had this magnificent suite, along with a personal butler who made all of our travel arrangements for us. He even emailed me before we came, asking if I wanted extra pillows or towels in the room. I asked for an extra fridge as we brought along all of our food. On tripadivsor it is rated as one of the top 10 hotels in the world, and if you stay there you will see why!! So we arrived Sunday night at the hotel, had our butler get all our luggage into the room while we sipped tea and called it a night.

More to come.. Just only doing piece by piece when I have a minute.

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2013, 01:53:34 PM »
Market at Pisac

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2013, 01:54:53 PM »
Cuzco Peru

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2013, 09:43:27 PM »
Thanks! Machu Picchu is one of those things which were on my bucket list as a Bochur which will probably have to wait now till my mid-life crisis :))
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2013, 10:34:55 PM »
Trip report continued.

Monday morning we decided to take a tour of the sacred valley. We used the driver we had met in Cuzco, as he only charged us 40 dollars for a full day from 10 am to 4. Keep in mind that he was coming from an hour away... We went to many different ruins, of which some were cool others required some imagination to appreciate. What I enjoyed was watching the locals get around, riding their donkeys, cutting their wheat by hand etc. We went to Moray, Moras and Salinas. Moray and Moras are different structures built into the mountain and Salinas is this really cool salt field. Hard to describe but very cool. We then called it a day and went back to the hotel. We wanted time to enjoy the resort as it isn't worth wasting. We walked around the town we were staying in (which you would never know existed if you did not leave the resort grounds). We were nervous at first as it is really poor, and people make in a month there what you pay for a coke, but everyone was nice. People were putting whole pigs (dead) in the back of bicycles to eat. They had a local market and everyone was dancing, though I was not sure why.

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2013, 10:38:52 PM »
Sacred valley

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2013, 10:39:25 PM »
Moray and Salinas

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Re: Chile And Peru Master Thread
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2013, 12:25:55 AM »
Tuesday we went to Machu Picchu. In order to get there you need to buy an entrance ticket a few weeks in advance as they sell out. You will also need to buy way in advance train tickets as you can only get there by train, or the Inka trail (which sells out even faster and takes a few days to hike). Trains leave from Cuzco and take about 2.5 hours I think, but we went from the Sacred Valley, where we were staying. It is closer and cheaper this way. The train leaves from Ollytatambo, which is my favorite city in Peru. Huge mountains and a lot of fun people watching. There are several ruins there as well. We hung out there for 2 hours until our train was scheduled to leave.

We arrived at Aguas Calientas, which is where Machu Picchu is located around 1 pm. You then need to buy tickets in town for the bus to Machu Picchu. Don't try walking it is really far and uphill. Buses run every ten minutes. We got to Machu Picchu and gave in our tickets. We then went into the park and were blown away by the ruins. They are surrounded by these huge mountains and cliffs, and are really spectacular. The ruins are in great condition and you really get a feel for what it was like. I really enjoyed it even though I am not a history guy. There were llamas roaming around, which just added to the experience that was worth coming to Peru for. We then took the bus down to and hung around Aguas Calientes until our train left. There are lots of great places to buy souvenirs and it's fun to hang out there (like everywhere in that part of Peru). Our train ride home was quite an experience. We were waiting for our train but it wan't coming. All of the sudden a train from a different company came and everyone just got on. We just followed the crowd and boarded after realizing our train was cancelled and our company had rebooked us with their competition. No announcement or anything just utter chaos. Peru style I guess.

Wednesday was our final day. We had a red eye flight to Rio de Janiero which we booked on TACA at 20K UA points a piece. This gave us the day to tour Cuzco before flying to Lima for our connection. We hired a driver to take us to Cuzco and then toured the city, We then went to the airport and enjoyed watching part of the ceiling fall onto the head of the Lan employee helping us. Only in Peru. Our flight from Cuzco to Lima we booked with Avios which was 4.5K IIRC. We had a 3 hour layover in Lima airport but there is a great lounge there which has shower facilities etc. There is even a machine which you put in oranges and you get freshly squeezed OJ. That was the end of the Peru part of our trip!!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 01:21:14 AM by Fan of Dan »