When one of my friends suggested a travel to South America as part of the yearly travels, all I could think of was the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. For me, the country Peru meant Inca trail and I wanted to see one of the natural wonders of the World Machu Picchu. I was super excited for the plan and I instantly started searching for the places to visit. But unfortunately, this friend of mine is known for cancelling the plans without informing anyone. Anyway, long story short, I had convinced two of my other friends to come with me so I was not left alone. And the three of us started looking at options and the places/ activities to do.
I spent most of my time in Cusco and Lima was just a stop over.
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PIN for later reference
Peru is a country in the western South America continent. It is a home to a section of Amazon rain forests and as I mentioned earlier, the country is home to the ancient Incan city, Machu Picchu.
Some amazing facts about Peru are:
- There are three languages spoken in the country. English is spoken widely and we did not have too many issues with the language.
- There are over 3000 varieties of potatoes grown in Peru.
- The Giant Andean Condor, the largest flying bird on Earth, is found in Peru.
- Peru is the third largest country in South America.
- Indians need to get a tourist visa to enter Peru, read Peru visa for Indians for the detailed process.
- Visa for Indian citizens having Australian permanent residency is On Arrival. At the time of me traveling, I had the Australian Permanent residency and because of which I did not have too many issues for visa.
- Australian citizens do not require visa to enter Peru. They are allowed up to 183 days in Peru.
How to get to Peru?
- Flights – As part of my South American travel, I had already entered the continent and was in Bolivia. I took a number of flights within Peru as well as part of my travels.
Tip: While researching for flights, I realised that the cheapest flights between Sydney and South America is through North America.
Flight 1: La Paz to Cusco
- Provider: LATAM Airlines.
- Route: La Paz to Lima and connecting flight from Lima to Cusco.
- Cost: AUD 235.10 (approx. USD 178.81) per person.
Flight 2: Cusco to Lima
- Provider: LC Peru.
- Cost: AUD 131.26 (approx. USD 99.83) per person.
Flight 3: Lima to Los Angeles
- Provider: AVIANCA.
- Route: Lima to San Salvador and connecting flight from San Salvador to Los Angeles.
- Cost: AUD 1571.18 (approx. USD 1194.99) per person.
Accommodation in Peru
All the accommodations were booked on Booking.com website.
Most days in Cusco were spent trekking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, but the first and the last night, my friends and I spent at the below hostels. The stay were comfortable and they were close to the city centre.
- Killaqente, Jr.Atahuallpa 454 Urb Tahuantinsuyo, Cusco City Center, Cusco, Peru 51 – AUD 42 (approx. USD 32.09) per night for 3 people.
- Sunset House Hostel, Tandapata 353B, San Blas, Cusco, Peru – AUD 51.24 (approx. USD 39.15) per night for 3 people.
- Hostal Iquique, 758 Jr. Iquique Brea, Lima, Peru – AUD 43.42 (approx. USD 33.17) per night for 3 people.
Note: All these tours except the Inca Trail are booked with Viator. It is easy and convenient to book the tours.
Day 1 & 2
- Activity planned: Cusco City Tour.
- We explored the city on our own without any tour.
- There are entrance fee to enter the landmarks. I bought a collective entrance ticket for 30 Sols per person that gave access to 6 landmarks in Cusco.
- Do not forget to take the audio set to listen to the history and information about the place.
Qori Kintu San Blas
One of the most prominent landmarks in the city is Qori Kintu San Blas. This beautiful church is definitely worth visiting.
- This was my first stop as part of the Cusco city tour.
Shopping at Ciudad Del Cuzco
Everything in Cusco is beautiful and colourful. The bags and the little souvenirs are definitely worth buying. I got home plenty of these tiny things.
The Museum Arzobispal has the most beautiful artifacts of Cusco history. My favourite artifact was a massive painting of Jesus.
Templo de la Sagrada Familia
The Templo de la Sangrada Familia is a Renaissance church in Cusco. The building was designed by Franscisco Becerra.
Templo de la Compania
The Templo de la Compania is a historic Jesuit church in Cusco. It is built on an Inca Palace and is one of the best examples of Spanish Baroque architecture in Peru.
Day 3 to 6
- Activity planned: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 4D/3N.
- Local tour contact: Inca Trail Reservations.
- Cost of the tour: AUD 1007.98 (approx. USD 770) per person.
- The tour is a return tour from Cusco.
- Tip: Ensure you get your permit first before booking anything else, as the permits get sold out pretty quickly.
Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca citadel on a 2430 metres high in the Andes Mountains in Peru. It is above the Urubamba River. The ancient site is located kilometres from Cusco.
- There is an entrance fee of 152 Sols to get into Machu Picchu. The best way is to buy tickets online as there are long queues at the ticketing office in Machu Picchu.
- There are trains that go between Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and buses that go between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.
- Activity: Rainbow Mountain Day Trip from Cusco.
- Local tour contact: Rainbow Mountain Cusco.
- Cost of the tour: AUD 63.84 (approx. USD 48.77) per person.
- The tour is a return tour from Cusco.
The Rainbow mountain is a mountain in Andes of Peru with an altitude of 5200 metres. The colours on the Rainbow mountain is due to weathering and mineralogy.
- I found hiking this mountain more difficult than the Inca trail. And unfortunately, I had to take a horse to go to the top of the mountain. The horse ride is an extra cost.
Peru remains very close to the heart and is my most favourite country that I have visited in South America. The vibes, llamas, people and the food were absolutely amazing in Cusco and I enjoyed traveling in this amazing country.