Peru (May 2016)
[Day 1] Home -> Mexico City -> Lima, Peru (Stay Hotel San Martin Exclusive, ++++, full buffet breakfast, convenient location in center of Miraflores)
[Day 2] Lima -> Cusco on Avianca -> Urubamba (Stay San Augustin Hotel, +++++, full buffet breakfast, marvelous gardens)
Caccaccollo Community: Women’s weaving community supported by G Adventure‘s nonprofit, Planeterra Foundation. The women use natural substances to create color on alpaca (similar to llama or lamb) wool and weave complicated designs
Pisaq: Incan ruins with terraces and a prequel to Machu Picchu. Explore the Incan tombs and ruins but be sure to take it slow. The elevation increase will leave you out of breath before you know it.
Parwa: Restuarant started by Planeterra Foundation, serving travelers and employing local cooks. Much of the food in Peru has a Chinese fusion twist due to the Chinese influence not long ago.
[Day 3] Urubamba-> Ollantaytambo -> Maras -> Moray ->Urubamba
Ollantaytambo: This small town features more Incan ruins, greater than those seen the day before. These ruins are more stone and dirt and less grass but the climb is greater as well. Be careful as you ascend or descend as the steps are uneven. The town is a huge souvenir area full of clay/stone buildings.
Moray Ruins: Incan ruins featuring architectural terraces in a circular fashion. The area as a whole has tens of micro-climates, each good for growing different crops, an example of the advanced knowledge the Incans had.
Las Salineras: Salt pans for collecting salt to be sold. Many families own around 5 pans, but richer families own up to thirty. Take a walk on the narrow paths between the “baths” but be careful not to fall inside.
[Day 4] Urubamba -> Peru Rail to Aguas Calientes (Stay Taypikala Machupicchu, +++, for sleeping, views of the path into town )
[Day 5] Aguas Calientes -> Machu Picchu -> Cusco (Stay Hotel Taypikala, ++++, luxury jacuzzi bath tube inside the room, full breakfast, nice garden, sitting area)
Plaza de Armas: As every colonial city has a town square, this is the main city center of Cusco. Around the area are many churches, restaurants, monuments, and other businesses.
Temple of the Sun: Big sacred building built back in the day. This temple was located right by the hotel.
Cusco Planetarium: A privately owned educational facility for tourists on top of the hill, this family business teaches both current and traditional Incan astronomy. View the different constellations and learn about the significance of each.
[Day 6] Cusco -> Lima
Magic Water Circuit: The biggest network of foundations in the world currently, this park gives the Bellagio fountains a run for its money. The park has around 15 fountains of different styles with a colorful light show every night.
[Day 7] Lima (Stay 1900 Backpacker’s Hostel, ++, old converted mansion turned into hostel located nicely by the old town, bugs and toilet broken)
Miraflores: This is the nice, rich part of town right next to the Pacific ocean. An apartment costs upwards of $1.5 million USD. Larcomar Mall is a small mall built on the cliff facing the sea. The Parque de Amor is one of many parks walkable along the ocean.
Historical City Center/Plaza de Armas: This is the city center in Lima, featuring many government and religious buildings. See the president’s dwelling or visit a church. Chinatown is a short walk from the square.
Iglesia de San Francisco: See the catacombs underneath the church but no photos are allowed.
Huaca Pucllana: This is a very well preserved archeological site within the city. Learn more about the people who lived here. The site resembles the Egyptian pyramids.
Santo Domingo Covent: Climb to the tallest place to see the city but do not ring the church bells on the way up.
[Day 8] Lima -> Mexico City -> Home