We (my husband and I) decided to start our South American journey exploring Peru. Honestly beginning, we didn’t have much time for the whole trip (about 3 weeks) and, as we wanted to cover 3-4 countries, we had to prepare most of the things (like hotels and tickets) in advance.
We landed directly in Cusco, where our trip started.
Cusco is literally a gem at 3,400 m AMSL which totally surprised us.
Starting from our cute hotel to the food, everything is curated in the details like a time travel back to the colonial time!
Our home there was at the B&B EL RETABLO. Here, every room is hand painted from Peruvian artists to celebrate the vibrant Peruvian tradition and the rich culture heritage of Cusco. One of the cutest hotels we’ve ever been to!
We spent 3 beautiful days discovering the town, strolling through the small old streets up and down hill (yeah… lesson 1: never underestimate the altitude! :D). The city is not very big, so it is quite convenient to discover it walking.
The architecture is stunning: mostly colonial, it gives a beautiful old but, in the meantime, elegant flair to this small town lost in the Andes.
The city is full of Cafés, Restaurants and Bars, where we often stopped just to enjoy a cup of Mate de Coca and sit on the small colonial balcony and watched the people in their daily life. Often you have Live Music in the background and you really feel like to be back in the past! Amazing!
What we really enjoyed of Cusco was the food! We didn’t know much about the Peruvian kitchen and we were quite surprise about the great fresh food you can find there! Our personal favorite was a modern restaurant mixing traditional Peruvian taste with Japanese fusion. Limo Cocina Nikkei (www.cuscorestaurants.com/en/restaurant/limo/) – A Must for all travelers who wants to enjoy a modern kitchen fusion!
OUR WAY TO MACHU PICCHU
After our acclimatizing days in Cusco, we left for our Machu Picchu adventure to be back then in Cusco 2 days later.
We took the train to Agua Calientes (it’s a nice but very touristic experience…J), where we stayed a night before to start our adventure up the Machu Picchu. We recommend you, whenever you decide to go by train and not making any hiking treks, to book everything in advance. There are people literally from over the world and if you want to avoid unnecessary waste of time, you won’t regret a bit of pre-planning!!
While Agua Calientes is quite a touristic crowded stop over for all the people going to the archeological Site, The Machu Picchu itself is a real beauty, something magic to see and unique in the world. Lucky us we didn’t encounter rain but a slightly cloudy sky, which perfectly created the right mystic atmosphere up in the mountains.
A landscape we will never forget!
AN UNFORGETTABLE TRAIN RIDE
After our visit of the archeological site, we went back to Cusco by train for our last night in that beautiful historical town. The day after the best train ride of our life was waiting for us! (and obviously we didn’t know that!).
As we were on the way to Bolivia, we were thinking on a nicer way to reach Puno and the southern border without taking a bus (I am honestly not a fan of very long drives…). So, we went for a train ride taking us back in the 1920’s!
This was possible thanks to the well-organized PeruRail.
We had an unforgettable experience of crossing the Peruvian Andes while dining in 1920s-style Pullman carriages and absorbing breathtaking landscapes.
I have to say, this was for sure one of the best ways to end our adventure in Peru!
By Noemi from @noemi_diary