Peru: Lima & Cusco

When I first learned about Peru and Machu Picchu, I knew this was a place I had to visit! The Inca’s created an amazing community on top of a mountain without any modern equipment.  This is fascinating and I had to see it.  After reading Mark Adam’s book “Turn Right at Machu Picchu” I was more excited than ever to visit Peru!

On November 6th, 2015 we were off, embarking on an adventure of a lifetime! I was so thrilled to escort a group of 10 friends and family members on a private G Adventure trip! Over the next 17 days we would hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, visit the G Amazon Lodge, sight see in Cusco, Lima, and the Sacred Valley and for our last day, try sand boarding in Huacachina.

Upon our arrival into Lima we ran into some issues with lost luggage, this was quickly sorted out and we were en route to our Lima hotel where we would spend the first 3 nights. The Mira Flores District in Lima is very popular for tourists; it is relatively safe area close to the ocean. It is advised to be cautious walking alone after dark, try to stick with your tour group or a friend.

During our first full day in Lima, we did a free walking tour of the city centre; we saw the historic city square and beautiful churches. We arrived at the Government Palace just in time to view the Changing of the Guards ceremony. We walked along the Rimac river, which separates the beautiful downtown, and the poorest district of the city. The Rimac district lays on the opposite side of the river and is not recommended to walk through unless you are in a small group with a local guide. We finished our day with a traditional Pisco tasting. Most of the group found a new favourite drink, Pisco Sour! Yum!

The following day, once the remainder of our group arrived, we wandered through the Mira Flores district and on to the ocean. Many locals were surfing the large waves of the Pacific Coast, hanging out in the parks or enjoying the sun on a patio. Lots of tourists were trying to catch some wind and try out paragliding, however the wind was not strong enough for us to try. We met up with our G Adventures CEO and had a briefing for what to expect for our tour.

Our time in Lima came to a close as we headed to the airport for our flight to Cuzco. 1 hour and 20 minutes later, we stepped off the plane and could feel the change in the altitude. Most of us struggled carrying your luggage to the van and walking up 3 flights of stairs to the hotel. So
me common side effects of altitude are mild to severe headaches, nausea and loss of appetite; all hotels in Cusco offer cocoa tea to help ease the transition into higher altitude.

We took advantage of our short time in Cuzco; we went white water rafting and took a city walking tour.  We also had the opportunity to visit a silver factory and alpaca textiles factory to do souvenir or Christmas shopping. White water rafting was a thrill, an incredible day spent on the water with an amazing lunch served on the riverbank at the end.

 

Read Peru Part 2: Sacred Valley, Inca Trail and Machu Picchu coming soon