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PERU: What, When, Where and How?

Updated on December 11, 2013

Enchanting and Mystical Peru

Ever since my husband and I watched several episodes of Peru in Travel Channel (shows of Samantha Brown, Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain) I knew in my heart that I absolutely want to see and experience Peru. To visit the spellbinding Machu Picchu. A topographic point where you feel the calming of your soul...Of quieting your mind...

The train ride from Cuzco to Machu Picchu is approximately 4 to 4.5 hours. We left Cuzco at 6:30 in the morning and arrived in Macchu Picchu between 11:00-11:30 am. Below are the different classes of train:

A. Hiram Bingham is the first class. These are the services provided: (1) welcome aperitifs (2) gourmet lunch with wine (3) on board music entertainment (4) tour guide for every group of 14 passengers (5) entrance tickets & private transportation to Machu Picchu (6) afternoon tea at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge and (7) gourmet dinner on the return journey.

B. Vistadome is the business class. This is the train we rode. It has panoramic windows ideal for photography of the mountain ranges, scenic landscapes and stunning flora and fauna. Has leather seats with extensive legroom. Services provided: (1) breakfast & snacks (2) buffet lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge (3) on board Andean cultural dance entertainment and a fashion show of baby alpaca clothing.

C. Expedition is the priority coach class. It also has panoramic windows. They serve snacks.

D. Autovagon is the economy class. It has huge windows and they serve a light snack.

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is a hotel that is a few steps away from the entrance gate to Machu Picchu. Our hotel was in Aguas Calientes on the Urubamba River and also known as " Machu Picchu town ". It is again centrally located to shops, restaurants, stores and the train station. From our hotel, it's about a 30-min. bus ride to Machu Picchu. Buses will start running from Aguas Calientes as early as 5:20 am and stops from Machu Picchu at 5:30 pm.

***

Tour company : Monograms Independent Travel (Globus Family of Brands)

Airlines: LAN Airlines

Train: Peru Rail

Memorable Machu Picchu

Vistadome Section - On board entertainment

Best time to visit Peru

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
MACHU PICCHU
MACHU PICCHU

After reading numerous reviews online, my husband and I decided to travel during the month of May. Summer is over and the weather is just perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. Machu Picchu is less crowded. We did not suffer from insect bites. Sometimes, you can even have the whole place to yourselves for a good hour---like these photos of Machu Picchu :)

Where we ate in Peru

Tanta Restaurant Miraflores, Peru
Tanta Restaurant Miraflores, Peru
LA LUCHA SANGUCHERIA Miraflores, Peru
LA LUCHA SANGUCHERIA Miraflores, Peru
AL FRESCO RESTAURANT Miraflores, Peru
AL FRESCO RESTAURANT Miraflores, Peru

Our hotel was situated in Miraflores, Peru and it is centrally located. The list of restaurants below were within walking distance. Unfortunately, I could not suggest any restaurants in Lima since we only went there for a morning half day city tour.

1. LA LUCHA SANGUCHERIA (Miraflores, Peru) - There's always a long line. good news is the service is quick & friendly! Selling the best roasted crispy pork meat sandwich and remember to wash it down with granadilla fruit shake. Their sandwiches are to-die-for that we ordered from here 3 more times! Just writing about it makes me want to be transported back to Peru!

2. TANTA RESTAURANT - A restaurant owned by world famous chef Gaston Acurio. We loved their chicha morada (purple corn drink).

3. AL FRESCO RESTAURANT (Miraflores, Peru) - One of the best ceviches that we have ever tasted and this is where we fell in love with the yellow potatoes (fried or mashed).

4. LA ROSA NAUTICA RESTAURANT (Miraflores, Peru) - A charming Victorian building which has a spectacular view of the ocean. The grilled seafood was mouthwatering. The trio mousse dessert was blissful.

5. GRAN HOTEL BOLIVAR aka HOTEL BOLIVAR (Lima, Peru) - A historical hotel built in 1924 and was the first big modern hotel built in Lima, Peru. Attracting famous Hollywood movie stars, Presidents, kings & Queens. It is also famous for Peru's cocktail drink---PISCO SOUR.

Peruvian Cuisine

Peruvian Cuisine: one of the best in the world?

Places we visited apart from Machu Picchu - LIMA (PLAZA DE ARMAS)

Lima, Peru
Lima, Peru

Historical buildings are found here: Government Palace, Municipal Palace, Archbishop's Palace, Cathedral of Lima and Palace of the Union.

LIMA (LARCO HERRERA MUSEUM)

Lima, Peru
Lima, Peru
Lima, Peru
Lima, Peru
LARCO MUSEUM
LARCO MUSEUM

It houses the finest gold and silver collection from ancient Peru. Visitors can choose to enter the storage area with its 45,000 classified archaeological objects.

MIRAFLORES

Miraflores, Peru
Miraflores, Peru

Miraflores is an upscale suburb of Lima (Peru's capital). It is also a tourist and financial district. Known for its beaches, colorful gardens, parks, shopping, eateries and brand name hotels. Because it's a coastal district, the climate is mild and comfortable.

CUZCO (Santo Domingo Monastery)

Cuzco, Peru
Cuzco, Peru

Warning to all who wish to visit Cuzco. You may or may not suffer from altitude sickness (elevation of 11,200 feet). My husband and I suffered (not one but twice) from it and I assure you, it's not a fun experience. The symptoms are: nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, vomiting, and a severe headache (migraine-like). You do not know which one to attend to because they hit you all at once! The hotel we stayed in serves coca tea leaves (suppose to help/prevent altitude sickness) and stores nearby even sell coca tea honey candy. We tried both but to no avail. The altitude sickness continued for a few hours until we could not take it anymore and our local hosts ANDREA & TOM (bless their hearts) contacted the front desk and requested for an oxygen tank. Yes, an oxygen tank helped a whole lot! I guess hotels keep them due to the frequency of their guests getting sick from high altitude.

We made a huge mistake by joining a tour as soon as we arrived from the airport. Our bodies need to get acclimated to the sudden change of elevation.

Our advice: Rest for a whole day & eat lightly before going on a CUZCO tour.

SACRED VALLEY (in the middle is the snow covered Andes Mountain)

SACRED VALLEY
SACRED VALLEY

Pisac Market is located below and their known for: (1) alpaca and baby alpaca wools (2) mother of pearls and silver jewelry.

OLLANTAYTAMBO

OLLANTAYTAMBO
OLLANTAYTAMBO
OLLANTAYTAMBO
OLLANTAYTAMBO

Discovering Peru

Alpaca wool
Alpaca wool

What would entice you to travel to Peru?

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Guestbook comments are appreciated! - THANK YOU!

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    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 4 years ago

      @worldwidesouven: when we were leaving machu picchu we saw some hikers doing the inca trail :) i agree, you have to be fit to do this. thank you for squid liking my lens.

    • worldwidesouven profile image

      worldwidesouven 4 years ago

      In Peru is worth to visit authentic cities like Arequipa, Cusco, MP and other Inca ruins. If you are fit I would recommend to go to the Inca Trail - wonderful but a bit hard trail. Learning spanish in a language school is also a reason to come there a stop for a while.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 4 years ago

      @TreasuresBrenda: a million thanks for liking my lens :) you will absolutely have one of the most memorable experience in Peru!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      I'd love to visit Peru one day.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 4 years ago

      @norma-holt: another SQUIDANGEL BLESSING---thank you very much!!! i highly appreciate your generous compliment and liking my lens :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: an SQUID ANGEL BLESSING---thank you kindly!!! i'm super grateful for liking my lens too. your cousin must be having the time of his/her life now in Peru :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Lucky you to have seen all this wonderful country, Great pics and well done documentary. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on How to Interpret Archaeology

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      My cousin is visiting Peru right now. Thank you for publishing this beautiful article.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @anonymous: thank you so much for liking my lens and for the nice compliment :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful photo..

      I like machu picchu

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 5 years ago

      thank you very much for your visit and squidliking my Lens about Spain...

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @JoshK47: i thank you kindly for liking my lens! you will certainly enjoy the spellbinding machu picchu :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @DebMartin: thank you so much for liking my lens & for voting! i'm happy to know that peru is in your bucket list :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: a million thanks for liking my lens! i hope you get to visit this mystical place someday :)

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I'd very much love to visit here sometime - especially the ruins!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      You've just moved a visit to Peru up on my bucket list. Thanks, d

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I would love to visit here.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @pawpaw911: i thank you kindly for liking my lens & i appreciate your nice compliment!

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: i'm super grateful for liking my lens! so happy to know that you had fun in the virtual tour :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @anonymous: thank you so much for liking my lens :) i'm delighted that peru is on your bucket list, hope you'll get to cross it off very soon!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      I have never been to Peru, but I very much enjoyed taking the virtual tour with you :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Peru is on my bucket list so your interesting lens has certainly whetted my appetite. Thank you!

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @DrBillSmithWriter: you are my very FIRST SQUIDANGEL BLESSING---thank you kindly!!! i'm super grateful for liking my lens too & for your warm welcome to squidoo!

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: a million thanks for liking my lens, for your warm welcome to squidoo & for your kind compliment :)

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 5 years ago

      Peru is a very beautiful country...It is on my bucket list

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @poldepc lm: thank you so much for liking my lens :) i hope you can cross that item in your bucket list real soon!

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @iamraincrystal: we absolutely had a splendid time! thank you for your nice compliment & for voting :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @hntrssthmpsn: thank you so much for liking my lens! the above machu picchu photos were taken during lunch hours :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @CoolGamesOnline1: thank you for your warm welcome to squidoo, for liking my lens & for voting!

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @weakbond: thank you for your warm welcome to squidoo, for liking my lens & for voting!

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @Dressage Husband: thank you so much for liking my lens & for voting :) i hope you get to visit peru someday.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @PhotographicStu: thank you very much for liking my lens :) it is indeed a photographer's dream destination.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @PaigSr: thank you so much for liking my lens & for appreciating my photos :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @tanjunglesung: thanks for visiting my lens :)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Welcome to Squidoo! Thanks for sharing this adventure with us. Looking forward to lens #2 and #3... ;-)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Welcome to Squidoo, Thanks for sharing a beautiful place with us.

    • iamraincrystal profile image

      Rosyel Sawali 5 years ago from Manila Philippines

      Looks like you had a really good time in Peru! So lovely! ^_^ Thanks for sharing this!

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      Your pictures of Peru are gorgeous! Amazing that you got some pictures of Machu Picchu without a soul in sight.

    • CoolGamesOnline1 profile image

      CoolGamesOnline1 5 years ago

      welcome to squidoo! good lens, nice pics! thank you!

    • weakbond profile image

      Nnadi bonaventure Chima 5 years ago from Johanesburg

      Great lens ,welcome to squidoo

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 5 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      A really interesting lens about one of the places I have never visited but would like to.

    • PhotographicStu profile image

      PhotographicStu 5 years ago

      Love all the images, looks like a nice place for photography, great lens!

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      Thank you for the pictures. They are what usually draws me to a site.

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      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      What an incredible place to visit. Well done.

    • profile image

      tanjunglesung 5 years ago

      very interesting

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: thank you so much for liking my lens & enjoying the tour :) i'm sure your son have fond memories of his own about peru :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @flinnie lm: i thank you kindly for liking my lens & for voting :) the beaches in miraflores, peru are truly enticing!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      My son visited Peru during his extended South America trip and loved it. I enjoyed your tour!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love the photos, thanks for the info.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @PromptWriter: i'm super grateful for liking my lens! machu picchu is a mystical place---you would absolutely have a fun time :)

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 5 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Lovely photos. I think I would enjoy visiting Machu Picchu.

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @verymary: a million thanks for liking my lens and for your kind compliments on the content :)

    • malualhati profile image
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      malualhati 5 years ago

      @manutara69: thank you so much! love your 3 lens about easter island---it is a special place.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      great photos & info!

    • manutara69 profile image

      manutara69 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Peru is fantastic! Looking forward to seeing more.