Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Travel with Teens : Peru

The Amazon, Machu Picchu, and Sacred Valley

This is a picture my daughter took
My husband went to Peru right after he graduated from college.  He did a tour with his friend and a bunch of bug doctors into the Amazon.  Well..he and his friend were having such a great time partying in Cusco that he missed the trip to Machu Picchu.  Twenty four years later he's back.
Flights from the US arrive in Lima...very late at night.  We stayed at the Hotel Costa Del Sol Ramada here.  Walk across a walkway and you are there.  A bit pricey but we paid for convenience because the next morning (early) we were on a plane to the Amazon.  All flights were on Star Peru (more Affordable than LAN).

We stayed at the Inkaterra Amazonica Reserva here for 4 days/3nights.  You were greeted at the airport and taken to their Butterfly House for bathroom, paperwork, refreshment, and to store any unneccesary luggage.  From there you go to your boat for the 30-40 minute ride to the hotel.  All food (not liquor) and activities are included in the price.  It is a beautiful place.  I was surprised that the cabanas were rather close to each other.  The food was very good.  The service was excellent.  The activities were a lot of fun.  You are assigned a guide and with him and any others in your group, you decide which activities you want to do in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  We were a group of six (our family of 4 plus a couple from California).  We had a lot of fun. Breakfast at 7:00AM, half day tour, lunch at 12:00PM, siesta/alone time, half day tour, happy hour, dinner at 7:00PM.  A lot of trail walking and therefor a lot of quality time with the teens.  Mine loved it.
Canopy Walkway
Giant River Otters
Back on the plane for a very short trip to Cusco.  Okay, I struggled with the altitude here.  I had a bad headache for most of the evening.  They did bring me an oxygen tank and that did help.  We ate at Map Cafe and had one of the best meals ever.  It was very expensive!  We also went to Cross Keys Pub here and met the guide that led hubby so many years ago.    Next morning to the train station and on to Machu Picchu.
I made all my travel plans to Machu Picchu through the Hotel Monasterio here in Cusco. They took care of  getting us to the train station, getting us the train tickets, Machu Picchu tickets and Wayna Picchu tickets, getting our extra luggage to Sacred Valley where we would be going after, getting train tickets to Sacred Valley, and getting us to the hotel in Sacred Valley. Everything was perfect.
Hiram Bingham
Wayna Picchu in the background.  We climbed that mountain!!!!
 We stayed on site at the Sanctuary Lodge for 2 nights here Although convenient it was VERY pricey for what you got.  I would stay in Aguas Calientes next time and just take the non stop buses up the road.  Price does include all meals and drinks (including alcohol).  This is all about the Incans.  It is everything you thought is would be.  Best times to avoid crowds are early morning and late afternoon. 

With the Hiram Bingham here train, a tour is included.  Again, there were six of us (our family of four and a couple from England this time).  The guide did a great job and a buffet at the lodge afterwards was included with the Hiram tickets.  I was surprised how many people did a one day turn around trip.  And also how many ladies walked around in heels and Channel loafers.  Not I, typical American.  The next day we all hiked, yes it is a hike, to the Sun gate.  We had 10:30 AM tickets to climb, yes it is a climb not a hike, Wayna Picchu.  Hubby opted out of the latter.  The three of us did it and it will always be in my top ten of accomplishments....just wait.  One more nights sleep and then on the train to Sacred Valley.  This time we were on the Vista Dome here (which saves a bunch of money).  The food was a boxed lunch, not the three course meal on Hiram, but the ride was smooth and the view was wonderful.

We stayed at Hotel Rio Sagrado in Urubamba for 4 days/3nights here.  It was beautiful and we saw it from every angle.  We went rafting, via ferrata, zip lining, atving,  to the market, lunch everyday outside by the stream.
Baby alpaca and baby llama we got to feed everyday with bottle.  Too cute.
I hated this part.  Haven't cussed so much since labor.

Yep, we started from the road down below

Bless his heart, hubby just can't keep those legs closed.

Atving to Chinchero.  Kids down below with two yogi's meditating.

Salt Mines

This was action packed.  My hubby asked when we were taking a relaxing vacation with lots of wine and maybe a gondola ride.  The Via Ferrata and Ziplining was quite an adventure.  Again, a memory we will all share fondly.  We mainly ate on site but did eat dinner one evening at Tres Keros.  Very good food.  

 Then, it was in a car back to Cusco and another night at Hotel Monasterio.  This time they upgraded us into a suite with oxygen. My hubby thinks Cusco has become too touristy and it was.  We did eat lunch at Pizzeria-Cafe Dinos.  Sometimes you just miss pizza and burgers. 

On a plane back to Lima for the day.  Our plane left Lima for home late in the evening so we got a room for all four at the Ramada again and decided to kill time by taking a food tour with CAPITAL CULINARIA Lima Gourmet Tours.  The guide, who happened to be the owner, took us on a private tour of Lima.  We went to the food market, a wonderful place for lunch (wish I could remember-right on the beach)and learned how to make Pisco Sours, around the city with a few stops to walk and tour, and then Huaca Pucllana herefor drinks and a view of the ruins. This tour was a great way to end our trip.  Highly recommend and on return trip to Peru I would stay at least two nights in Lima.  The city is spectacular. 

I would love to go back to Peru.  I would definitely spend time in Lima.  I would also vist Colca Canyon and that area.  I would even look into doing an Amazon River cruise.  There are so many choices and so little time.


  1. Oh wow,I went here when I was 28, and going through my Latin American phase, what magical place it was.
    Just saw that you live in Ten.....there's no way I can spell it without googling, I'd love to visit there some day.

  2. I am still in my Latin America phase. Loved this trip. Tennessee is beautiful- we've lived here 20 years. Came up from South Florida when son was born. You are always welcome.