recent family trip to Peru

Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:00 PM
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recent family trip to Peru

We just got back from 10 days in Peru with our 3 teens-15, 16, and 18. It was a great adventure and I'd like to share a few tips and recommendations.
Day 1 DCA-Miami, Miami-Lima
spent a few hours overnight in the Ramada across from the Lima airport. Very expensive but worth it to be able to shower and sleep for a few hours.
Day 2 Lima-Cusco-Ollantaytambo
Percy Salas, our guide, met us at the Cusco airport. He gave us a tour of the Pisac ruins and the market. Then he took us to Ollantaytambo, where we spent the night.
Day 3 Ollantaytambo
We spent the day in Ollanta. Due to a strike which closed the roads, we were not able to spend the day touring additional Sacred Valley sites with Percy.
Day 4 Aguas Calientes
Day 5 Machu Picchu
late afternoon Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo. Percy's driver picked us up there and brought us to Cusco.
Day 6 Cusco
Day 7 Cusco-Puerto Maldonado
Day 8 jungle
Day 9 Puerto Maldonado-Lima
spent the afternoon in Miraflores and took red eye to Miami
Day 10 arrived at Reagan National Airport mid morning

tips:
The best thing I did was take a jar of peanut butter and some Ritz crackers from home. When we were at MP, this was our lunch. Also came in handy when we were hungry at the jungle lodge.

vaccines/meds:
We took diamox and drank the coca tea. No altitude problems.
Typhoid and yellow fever vaccines and malarone pills for malaria. Absolutely no side effects from anything.
We all felt great the whole time.

I did not get one insect bite, and the rest of the family got very few bites. We wore cheap gardening gloves from Walmart, especially for all our jungle hikes, and we all wore lots of insect repellent. Also, I brought OFF aerosol spray and sprayed our jungle cabins-under the beds, etc.

guides:
Percy Salas, who I found on this forum, is wonderful. His daughters are teens and he was great with our kids. His English is perfect and a pleasure to be with. I highly recommend him. ([email protected])

hotels:
Percy recommended the Ollantaytambo Lodge and made our reservations there for us. I was a little nervous because of some average reviews on Trip Advisor, but we all loved this place. It is reasonably priced, the location can't be beat, the staff is accomodating, and the setting is amazing. There is a grassy courtyard with lounge chairs and mountains on all sides. One of our favorite places. Its location is so much better than Albergue or Pakaritampu, which I had seriously considered. It is literally a one minute walk to the main square.

Aguas Calientes-Gringo Bills. This was average/adequate but a bit rundown. Again, our teens loved it and it is very covenient.

Cusco-Torre Dorada. This is the nicest place we stayed in Peru. Amazing breakfast and truly amazing staff. So clean and serene. I can't say enough good about the facility and staff. Free internet.

Puerto Maldonado-Eco Amazonia Lodge. I would NOT recommend this lodge. There are so many other lodges and we were disappointed by the food, facilities, and strange policies. We met really fun and interesting people but we were not "allowed" to eat meals with them because we had checked in at different times. The jungle is great but I wish we had stayed somewhere else.

Restaurants:
Inka Grill in Cusco-would not recommend. Very nice interior, but food was average and overpriced.

Cusco-roasted chicken and fries place –(Los Toldos Chicken) the best one is near Ave del Sol/Qera (green and white tablecloths) This was our favorite meal in Cusco. All locals. Very cheap and great food. I had to ask around but we finally found it. About 2-3 blocks off main square in Cusco.

Chez Maggy in Aguas Calientes-fantastic! Great pizza, great prices, great service. This is the only restaurant we went to twice. We loved it and wish we could have Chez Maggy pizza here!!!

Hearts Cafe in Ollanta-great food and all the money goes to poor children for medical care and education. Would have gone again if we had stayed longer.

Puka Rumi-attached to KB Tambo. Fabulous dinner.

Additional:

Machu Picchu-our regular running shoes were totally adequate. Machu Picchu is truly AMAZING. I have been to the Great Wall and the Taj Mahal, but MP is more unbelievable. We loved it!

Ollantaytambo Fortress-really interesting and impressive

Since we had 10 hours in Lima before our flight home, I arranged for a limo service to pick us up at the airport and bring us to Miraflores. They came back 5 hours later and brought us back to the airport. All for $50. I highly recommend them. (www.limo.pe) We chose not to do a tour of Lima because we were so tired. We walked around Miraflores and had a fantastic seafood lunch, including ceviche, at a restaurant which the staff at the Marriott recommended. That's where the limo had dropped us off. The restaurant was about a quarter mile walk from the Marriott, but I don't remember the name of it. (blue sign) The restaurant that juts out into the ocean is super expensive ($100 per person) so we decided to try the other one.

in Cusco, we enjoyed Sacsayhuaman. Make sure you go down the natural slide formed from the rock formation. Harldy anyone was there. The driver from Torre Dorada brought us there and then we walked down to the main square-about 30 minute walk- and then ate at the fabulous chicken place.

Peru is a great family adventure and we all loved it.
mtmckain is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Great report. What airline did you use to go from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado and what was the fare? I just checked LAN and it it prohibitive. I am going to contact Percy also.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:40 AM
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#1 check

www.traficoperu.com

www.starperu.com

better fares Cusco PM

OP awesome report great detail thanks...
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 11:39 AM
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We used LAN and yes it is expensive. Maybe Percy can get you a cheaper flight through the agency he works with in Cusco. It's worth a try.
Also, I forgot to put in the report how much we enjoyed Awana Kancha, the place with the alpacas, llamas, etc. They show you the dyeing and weaving process and you get to pet the animals. Great!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:11 PM
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Nice report.

I'm glad you were able to identify "my" chicken place in Cusco with the green/white tablecloths. It was also the best place I ate in Cusco, inexpensive, clean and delicious.

I also liked Hearts cafe in Olly. I was happy with Albergue but it's good to know about the alternative lodging in Ollantaytambo, since it's such a small place.

As far as internal airfares, if you use their "Peru Version" LAN now seems to be allowing overseas purchases, online, of their discounted Base and Base Plus fares. Also, if you enter South America using LAn, and have 3 or more internal legs, you can use the South America airpass which gives you discounted rates.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Do you think the Lima seafood restaurant was Pescado Capitales?

http://americaninlima.com/2008/08/14...dos-capitales/
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Old Aug 3rd, 2009, 11:37 AM
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No, that wasn't the Lima seafood restaurant. I think it had "Sol" in the name.
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Old Oct 5th, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Wow great report.
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