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Travel has been on my mind lately, and even more so after seeing an advanced screening of Eat Pray Love last night. It was over 2 hours of travel porn The scenery was amazing and it made me want to pack my bags and leave on a jet plane.
Since travel has been a big part of my life for the past few years I figured why not start a Best Of Series of things to do and places to see in a few exciting countries. Pack your bags and get ready to head to…Peru. A 9 day trip to Peru is the perfect foray into seeing a lot of the sights and major cities in Peru. You start with a flight into Lima, most likely connecting through Atlanta, Chicago or Houston. 2 days is plenty of time to see the major sites of Lima.
Lima (2 days)
Viewing the historic old city with the colonial buildings, walking around, stopping at the market, and just finding a neighborhood bar to enjoy dinner at and a trip out to Miraflores to see the ocean.
From Lima most people head to Cusco, the launching point to see Machu Pichu. The one difficulty in the travel from Lima to Cusco is that the planes are quite small and the flights are often cancelled due to fog. It is very important that you take the earliest flight out in the morning. Often 5 or 6am! We ended up getting stuck in Lima for an extra day and spent time in Miraflores enjoying the scenery and watching college football.
Cusco (4 days, plus extra time if you want to hike to Machu Pichu)
Cusco is the launching part for the train or the hike to Machu Pichu but it is worth spending a few days walking around the town. It takes at least a day to get acclimated to the altitude because it is over 12,000 feet and without proper acclimation you can become seriously sick.
The town square and all the shops are definitely worth checking out, just wandering around a city is a great way to meet other travelers and the locals. We were in Peru over Thanksgiving and even managed to find a traditional American Thanksgiving. We headed to a British pub with two other travelers that we had meet from Australia and Portugal. The pub had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and even the Cowboys Football game.
In order to save some time, we took the train from Cusco to the base point of Machu Pichu. It took quite a few hours because of all the switchpoints on the tracks. The train would move forward and back just to cover a small area of a mountain. All of the start and stop was worth the amazing views!
You spend the whole day at Machu Pichu and hike the area and enjoy the small town and have a bit of relief from the altitude since it is quite a bit lower than Cusco. We traveled back to Cusco for 2 more days and just enjoyed being on vacation and staying at the great little hotel we choose from the guidebook. Unless we are using hotel points we pick local hotels that can range from anywhere from $30 and $100 dollars a night depending on where you are in South America.
Favorite Part: Feeling a sense of awe and spirituality while on Machu Pichu
Less than fun Part: Being stock in Lima for an extra day because of fog and weather!