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Trip Report Pisco Dreams; Nine Days in the Sacred Valley, Cusco and Lima

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My husband and I spent 9 days/8 nights in Peru in April 2014 during the week before Easter (Semana Santa). We had 4 nights in the Sacred Valley based in Urubamba, 2 nights in Cusco and 2 nights in Lima.

A little background; we are in our mid-forties and try to travel as much as we can, usually one or two international trips a year. This was our first time to Peru and our first time in South America, but we have traveled extensively in Europe and Asia. Our travel style tends to be mid-range with some splurges; we like to eat and sleep well, but always look for value.

I maintain a long running travel blog (, started in 1998) and will be posting links to the related blog posts here so if you're interested, you can see the photos which accompany the text. Not all of the text from my blog will be re-posted here, so if you're looking for more detail, make sure you click over.

Planning the Trip

We’ve wanted to visit Peru for over a decade but while it’s always been in the top five of places-we-want-to-go, it never made the cut until now. Perhaps we thought we needed to have two full weeks so we could include the Amazon and Lake Titicaca as well as Machu Picchu. In the end, we decided we were willing to go for only nine days and stick to the Sacred Valley, Cusco, and Lima for this trip and we’re certainly happy we did.

Booking the Flights:

One of the things which helped us decide to go on the trip was the availability of a non-stop flight from LAX to Lima on LAN Airlines. This cuts the travel time from a minimum of 12 hours with a layover somewhere like El Salvador to 8.5 hours. The fact that it was a red-eye meant that we could leave after work on a Friday night and be in the Sacred Valley by early Saturday afternoon after a change of planes in Lima to Cusco.
Oh, the best laid plans…

While researching airfare, I learned that LAN usually does a Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) sale so I waited to buy. Indeed they had a sale and this saved us 10% on our four flights which were LAX to Cusco (connecting in Lima), Cucso back to Lima, and then Lima to LAX all on LAN Peru for about $1100 per person all in. Things were made more expensive because we were traveling during Easter week. Tickets just to Lima can often be found for a few hundred less (outside of holiday periods), but tickets to Cusco rarely seem to go on sale.

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