Peru [Part 1] + 50 things to Do

Today's post is dedicated to my friend, Tunde who passed away as a result of a car accident. He was one of the few friends who asked me about my group trip when I first wanted to do it & re shared it on his social media. I still remember vividly that day last august  when we were all chilling at a friend's house & he began to promote my trip for me to his friends. That gave me the confidence boost I needed to keep it up. Thank you for being an example of friendship and selflessness. Tunde would randomly always check on me during my first year of law school. Literally just to see how I'm doing. Nothing more or less. He loved my travel experiences & always told me how exciting they were. Thank you for blessing me with your presence & your time.

 Oba Aseyiowu, grant us peace. 

Donate to the burial proceedings here:

Hello loves,

around this time last May, I spent a week in Peru. Thanks to my brother Femi & his girlfriend Cindy for inspiring the girl to go (their posts from their experience in Peru that year was magnificent, to say the least).

Peru was an adventure. Would I do it again? Not by myself. I had an amazing time, though. The capital city, Lima, had so much in common with my favorite city in the entire world - Lagos, Nigeria. From its coastal location to its sharp juxtaposition of low and high brow -- the miraflores (the ikoyi of Peru) next to really sketchy areas. The population density makes the resemblance uncanny. More on what I did in Lima, later. Anyway, I had a great time in Peru, & I would like to say it is travel friendly, and of course, adventure friendly.

The reason why I would not go again by myself is because navigating Peru requires planning on the front end. Like a lot of planning. You cannot wing it in Peru. Trust me. If I had do it all again, I wouldn't take away the rain... wait that's a song.... if I could do  it all again, I would go with a group whose tour leaders have expertise in navigating Peru. Any and every area of Peru is rich in history, and I feel like I may have missed out on a lot of things because I did not have someone telling me what I was seeing at every single point in time. I did not necessarily enjoy having to plan & literally map out my route - plus there were so many technicalities I had to know of if I wanted to do something - the bus routes are not readily available, so you have to make sure you have done your research well in advance. Plus, the routes are tricky. Also making sure you have enough cash is always important, as in Peru (especially the regional areas) cash is king.

What did I do?

Day 1 
[Lima, Peru]

I spent the first day exploring Lima, Peru. I started my day in Peru's capital with a nice view of the city from the apartment I was staying in. I had a mini photoshoot that morning. & I think I did a good job with the resources I had if I do day so myself

Later that afternoon I went to the Parque de la Reserva. This park is beautiful. It is home to 13 fountains and so much green space. There is so much to do at this park. It is family friendly and has water activities, a nice stage area for live bands, and food. 
I especially loved the area that I call the Love Garden. The massive heart structure is such a lovely touch to the park's overall aesthetic. It is also really nice and peaceful. There is an entrance fee, and it opens daily at 3pm. 

I would also recommend visiting this park at night. There's a fountain show three times in the evening, similar to the one at the Venetian in Las Vegas. This one though has beautiful colors and graphics displayed that gives attendees a brief history of Peru. I felt like it was a great start to my trip and all that I would eventually learn throughout my journey through Peru.

After leaving the park that afternoon, I went to grab some food while exploring the Miraflores. The Miraflores is an affluent part of Lima with all the nice shops and hotels. It is right along the coastline strip that is walkable. 
I walked along that coastline strip as well and took a few blogger pics! While the weather was not on my side, the coastline still looked dangerously marvelous.

I walked further down the strip and ran into some really nice areas whereby people were eating at the food stands, talking, and just having fun. There were also nice fixtures in the area as well. 

I then went to Barranco area to eat dinner. I walked along a bridge, visited a church, and then also bought some Inca Kola! The first time I had Inca Kola was in 6th grade. This was thus a full circle moment for me to have Inca kola in Peru! 

So that sums up my day in Lima! The next morning, it was time for me to hop on my flight to Cusco! 

Day 2 
[the road to Macchu Picchu]
I had one place in mind when I booked my trip to Peru & that place was Macchu Picchu. As a history buff, getting to experience Macchu Picchu I knew would be a dream come true. Thus, I planned my trip to do that first once I got to Cusco, then work my way back and spend time in Cusco after Macchu Picchu. Honestly what you decide to do once in Peru really and truly depends on you,  how much time you have and the route you want to take (more route/transportation options will be discussed in the tips section). 

I took a flight to Cusco & did not have a plan of how I would get to Macchu Picchu, as I thought it would just be a bus ride/stone throw away from Cusco. Do your research (or read this blog). 

Cusco and Macchu Picchu are about 75 km apart, but it can take up to 7 days by foot to reach there - this is because Urumamba Valley is ultimately inaccessible. So one would have to go around it on foot or by train/bus. 

I decided to take a bus to a nearby city Hydroelectrica.
(thankfully I met some people that were waiting on the bus and they told me of their plan and so I basically followed their lead)
The views from the bus were lovely, but trust me it was dangerous. The roads were so narrow and winding - at many different points I felt the bus could tip over at any moment. We were at an incline so the drop would be deadly. I took huge risk that I do not think I would ever do again. 

Finally, we made it to Hydroelectrica! 
From Hydroelectrica, the only option is to walk to the closest city to Macchu Picchu, which is Aguas Calientes. The walk is about a 2-3 hour journey, which is fine for normal backpacker. In my case though, I had the biggest luggage known to man. So I had a tough time getting there. This is an understatement. It was bad. One of the guys helped me with my luggage for some part of the journey but he eventually gave it back because it was too heavy for him (eleru gberu re hours).
This was me when the journey started 

This was me about 2/3rds of the way 
I looked so disoriented. 
At least I can knock it off my bucket list that I backpacked through Peru! 

Anyway we made it to Aguas Calientes - omo, the first hotel I saw I checked in. Did not waste time at all to go further up to see other hotel options. I was that tired. 
I knocked out & woke up early the next morning to get my ticket & thus began day 3 

Day 3 
[Aguas Calientes  - Macchu Picchu]
There are buses that take you to Macchu Picchu from Aguas Calientes. You can also choose to walk, but knowing the kind of Israelites Journey I had just been on, the bus was the only viable option for me. I believe my hotel's manager tipped me to get up early so I can get tickets in time, as the tickets are by time slots. The earlier your time slot, the better, to avoid the afternoon rush. I got to the ticket office at a good time. As promised, here's a picture of the ticket office. Make sure you show this to the town people so they can direct you. 

They sold me a ticket that's about $40-45 dollars in Peruvian money. They don't take card, but you can withdraw cash from the ATM next door. Make sure you take your passport with you as they require it to issue you a ticket to Macchu Picchu. I believe I got the 8am time slot.

The next thing was the bus ticket. I simply asked around and they showed me where I buy that, which is separate from the Macchu Picchu ticket office. 
Here, they take card and you can also choose to pay in dollars - It's about $25 for a bus ticket. 

After getting all my tickets, I was on my way to Macchu Picchu! 
The bus journey was less than 20 minutes
Once there, I joined a tour group and the tour began! 

It was so much fun! My tour guide Koko was the best. He took us down the Inca Trail, to the different institutions of the civilizations, and he made sure to explain everything. 
The views were stunning, I saw llama's and I had an amazing time with my group. There were Germans, Spanish, Americans, group travelers and solo travelers. 
We were an eclectic group. 
Here are all the pictures I took:

The whole time I was there, I had to keep pinching myself, wondering if this was real life. It was stunning. I was there for hours! 

By noon, I was ready to go. I made sure to get my passport stamp, got on the bus and headed back to Aguas Calientes. I was meant to be back in Cusco by that evening, but the trains were on strike, leaving me to have to spend another day in the city (I also couldn't go to Rainbow Mountain as a result).
Since I wasn't leaving that day as planned, I parked myself at a restaurant buffet in town and ate till my stomach was full. I deserved. 

Day 4 
[Macchu Picchu to Cusco]
The next day I was back on the road again, this time via train. Peru Rail is an amazing train to use. Its  wide windows on the top and sides of the train make the experience breathtaking. 
It was worth every (low-key expensive) penny. 

Stay tuned for my adventure filled final 2 days in Cusco! 

Are you enjoying my Peru recap so far? have you been? do you want to go? 

+It is cold in Aguas Calientes area. Bring a jacket and scarf. dress warm. You might not need it in Lima, but you will need it in the higher altitude areas 
+ closed toes shoes is very important
+buy your tickets online to avoid having to figure things out in person
+always have at least 100 Peruvian soles on you at all times 
+book your entrance tickets to Macchu Picchu in advance 

Transportation options:
+ Consider booking all your experiences and trips throughout Peru through Peru Hop 
+ Getting to Macchu Pichu from Cusco - Taxi to Ollayatanbo - Peru Rail Train Ollayatanbo to Aguas Calientes 
Bus to Hydroelectrica - walk from Hydroelectrica to Aguas Calientes (use caution) 
+book all your train tickets in advance as it is cheaper and better for planning purposes

No comments

Post a Comment

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig