This was our second amazing trip to Peru. Check out January Jubilee for our first trip! We only had a week this time but we packed in a lot of fun, thanks to the help of family and friends.
I am a bit late in posting this trip, we took it right before we became aware of the COVID outbreak in February 2020.
We booked an overnight flight and landed in Lima, Peru’s international airport. It was a good flight but I wasn’t excited about paying the extra fees to pick a seat. That didn’t happen a couple years ago. I’m not great at sleeping on planes but I ended up falling a sleep for 2-3 hours. The food was good but I’m also not good at eating on planes. So I eat before we get on and chew gum or drink tea and water while we fly.
The main reason for the visit was Piero’s, my partner’s, aunt’s wedding. It was beautiful, and in the church she always dreamed of being married in (Inglesia De San Pedro – image below). The party was hosted at the Sheraton in Lima and I highly recommend staying there. We stayed for two nights and had a very good experience. The staff was amazing, rooms were great and the food at the party delicious! Other than the cleanliness of the hotel, and attentiveness from the staff. There were traditional Peruvian dancers hired just for the wedding, they were just amazing. Outside of the hotel there is a small square. During our stay there were people dancing and different things going on in the square. It is separated from the hotel by a very busy road.
After a very memorable night, we went back to his family’s home about a half hour away. We stayed for a few fun nights of baby showers and birthday celebrations. It’s always nice to spend time with family, especially when you can party together!
During our time with the family, we were able to take two cars of people to Ica. It was a long drive but pretty when you catch sunrise/sunset on the way and watch the landscape change from city to hills. We went sand boarding bright and early the next day, next time I’d like to try it on skis. We rode around the dunes in the 4×4 and ate at the restaurant atop our hostel. Probably one of my favorite stops on the trip.
On our way to the next destination, we stopped at a winery for a quick tour and tasting. They brought us through the process for production and then to the area where they host the national grape harvest festival. It’s been celebrated since 1958 but they’ve been producing wine and pisco in the region since the 1500s. That’s when the Spanish first introduced grapes to the region, making Peru the first country in South America to make wine.
The next adventure took us from the desert to the coast, we visited Paracas. Paracas was a nice relaxed beach community, there are lots of activities to do in the area! We took a tour by boat for a viewing of sea lions and penguins, which was thrilling and highly recommended. The boat guide also points out some really awesome hieroglyphs done thousands of years ago. Nearby you can take many other tours, like helicopter rides to see more hieroglyphs. We didn’t get to go on all the tours, but we will be back to do so! There are also beaches with different colored sand, and in the Peruvian Andes you can visit rainbow mountains (yes literally rainbow). Visible after Glaciers melted away and a park was opened in 2013, they haven’t been a travel destination for very long. If you’re looking for something different, the Uros Floating Islands would be something to look into.
We were wiped out when we got back to his family’s home in Lima. We took it easy and enjoyed the summer weather. While back home in NY it was still very cold. We got to take advantage of the sunshine and hit Paraiso Del Sur, a fun little water park. I was envious of the food served at this water park, it made me wish adventure parks in America served ceviche, pollo a la brasa, and more, poolside! Everyone had a great time, eating, swimming and enjoying time together.
Finally, the highlight of the trip, we boarded a small airplane to head over to Cusco/Machu Picchu. When we landed, we got in a passenger van that took us to our hotel in Cusco. The area is very pretty and our hotel was just perfect! We booked the Machu Picchu portion of our trip through a tour guide in Peru. She did an awesome job and I appreciate the booking of the honeymoon suite! (See details on companies we used below) I would return to the hotel we stayed at, Xima Hotel in Cusco. We ate at the hotel restaurant a few times, it was called Kusiy Bar. The food was tasty, drinks were good and staff attentive. The hotel was right across from La Paccha, a small park with a large piece of beautiful artwork.
Our first day of the tour, we visited Plaza de Armas de Cuzco, Quikancha, and Saqsaywaman. My personal favorite was the temple, Quikancha. It had some amazing history, art and stories behind it. As well as a gorgeous garden at its center. We shared a churro filled with Manjarblanco after exiting the temple and kept moving.
On our second day, we started by stopping at the Altar Inca Hotel, then we went to Parque Arqueologico Pisac. We had lunch at Tunupa Valle Sagrado, and while I like our hotel I would go out of my way to stay here next time. The hotel is right next to a river, with gardens that were overflowing with flowers. The food we had, was the best we ate the whole trip and they had a flutist playing live music while we ate from the buffet.
The third day of the trip, we traveled to Machu Picchu. We took a van to a bus, a bus to a train, and a train to the first place on our stop. Where we met our tour guide and began the journey through the most awesome adventure. These views are unbelievable, and there was so much to do in just one day. One and two story homes that house families, their pets and livestock. Something that we are not used to eating here on long island, that they do eat in Cusco is Guinea Pig. We learned how that has been a staple in in Machu Picchu and how llamas are not native to the area. It was one of the best trips we’ve taken so far. After we toured the famous ruins for most of the day, we headed back by train.
We got to our meeting place and still had about two hours before we had to depart. We grabbed some food, stopped for bathing suits and made our way to Aguas calientes. I am so glad we were able to squeeze this in and if you manage to make it to Machu Picchu, I hope you can too. After a long day of walking (mostly up and down hills/ tiny stairs) the naturally heated pools felt so good. It’s nature’s spa decorated with colorful and vibrant art. It was an enchanting place that locals also enjoy. You can get food and drinks here too!
After such an amazing time, we had to fly back to Lima and meet up with the rest of the family. We were sad to have to come home not long after but will be back soon!
Travel Company, booked the Machu Picchu Tour –
Nuevo Mundo Viajes Express, Maria Katia Montes Phone: +51 (1)7457632 – 7457639
Tour Guide Company – Peru Sightseeing Machu Picchu +51 994413278