The heartmate had a week off for Mardi Gras so we decided to go on a little vacay. We researched several countries and basically narrowed it down to Peru because plane tickets were just under $500. We spent a total of six days (definitely not enough time) splitting two days each in Macchu Picchu, Cusco, and Lima. Am I crazy for wanting to plan another trip back already?
First, we flew to Lima then hopped on another flight to Cusco. From there we took a taxi to Ollentaytambo for about 150 soles ($42). I've read a few reviews that you can get one for cheaper but I was fine with the price since the ride was over 1.5 hours. Ollentaytambo is where you take the train to Aguas Calientes aka Machu Picchu Pueblo. Make sure to plan ahead and reserve your train tickets via Inca Rail, Peru Rail or the uber fancy Belmond. There are different tiers for each. After traveling for over 24 hours, we spent a night at the oldest hotel in Ollentaytambo called El Albergue. It's right next to the train tracks so it was very convenient. The next morning, we got on Peru Rail's Vistadome to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Check out those breathtaking floor to ceiling windows! Once we got into town, we went straight to the line for bus tickets for the real Machu Picchu, which is about a 40 minute drive up. Also, make sure to reserve your tickets online and print everything out in advance for Machu Picchu because tickets can't be purchased up there.
Even though it's summer in Peru, it was cloudy and rainy. I was worried about visibility but the clouds added another layer of mysticism to the sacred Inca ruins.
I almost died climbing up Huayna Picchu mountain. The stairs were steep and it went on forever. My legs are shivering just thinking about it. They only allow 400 people up there per day and it was worth it.
The spectacular views when you're high up on Huayna Picchu looking down at Machu Picchu.
After the long trek, we were famished and had dinner at Inkaterra. Love those bowls built into the walls! We did some shopping here and I bought a couple pillows for 60 soles each ($17). Textiles are definitely a little more expensive here than in Cusco and Lima but not like outrageously expensive. Be prepared to bargain it up!
The drive back to Cusco from Ollentaytambo has beautiful sweeping views of the Sacred Valley.
Our cab driver pulled over because he knew I'd be down for a photo of this precious girl with her Llama Del Rey.
The city of Cusco is beautiful! These narrow cobblestone streets are lined with some of the best shops for Peruvian handicrafts and souvenirs.
We stayed at Quinta San Blas. Love that blue window! This is where my love for pom poms grew out of control!
Alleyway to more Peruvian treasures aka more pom poms!
Our last leg was Lima and it didn't start off too well. The heartmate ate something bad and had a fever and stomaches so we stayed in and rested. Thank god it only lasted one day though. We spent the next and last day catching up on some last-minute shopping at a cluster of shops by the Indian Market. Yes, more pom poms!
I was really impressed by the Peruvian food scene. It's pretty diverse. I definitely need to come back to try everything! This was at La Verde which is an organic vegetarian restaurant. Come back tomorrow for more fleeting moments of Peru and I still have to show you all my Peruvian textiles!