Things have been very quiet around here because I have been traveling seemingly nonstop for the practically the entire month of July. (There’s more travel ahead along with a big announcement, but that’s a post for another day.) My husband and I went on a very belated honeymoon trip to Peru. Unlike ordinary people, who go and relax on a tropical island, we are crazy and headed to South America (where it is currently winter!) on an active 11 day adventure.
We booked a tour via Gate 1 because I didn’t want to have to plan anything. I just wanted to show up. This was our first time using Gate 1, but our amazing tour guide, Edgard, was super knowledgable and made the trip go really smoothly. It was at first a little awkward to be spending our honeymoon with like 20 other people from around the world and aside from some microagressions (“I’m just going to touch your hair without permission because that’s not an invasion of your space or anything.” and “Hey, you’re a person of color, you know about gangs, right?” type shit.), we had a really great time getting to know our fellow travelers.
What We Saw
Machu Pichu, duh! We also saw the Pisac Ruins and the Uros Floating Islands. My favorite activities were actually when we got away from all of the touristy stuff like when we got to have dinner with a local family and spoke with local artisans. And because I’m a nerd, I loved going to Kennedy Park, a.k.a. the cat park to creep and take pictures of all of the cats chilling in the flowers and trees.
Where We Stayed
Because it was a tour, we stayed at a number of hotels. Two that stuck out to me were the Jose Antonio Hotels. We stayed in one in Cusco and one in Lima. Very different experiences. The Jose Antonio in Cusco was fantastic. I even got a massage there during a spare moment of down time. It was so relaxing after all of that running around! The one in Lima, however, was a different story. The front desk staff was hit and miss – some were nice and helpful and others were cold and unfriendly. Ugh. We actually stayed there in the beginning of our trip and at the end. During our second visit, they put my bag in someone else’s room and told me to go find it. Luckily, it was in one our fellow travelers’ rooms and not some stranger’s! Good thing I decided to use my travel lock. The bed in our first room was actually so hard, I lifted up the sheets to make sure we weren’t sleeping on a boxspring. We ended up putting the comforter down and sleeping on top of it for some relief.
One of the coolest features of this tour (that I didn’t register when I booked it, because, again, I just wanted to show up) was that we traveled using four different types of transportation – we flew, took a boat, drove (for 9 hours!) took the Peru Rail – a.k.a. the Hogwarts express.
A couple of years ago, we went to Argentina and while we realized that it would be winter, we thought it’d be like a Florida winter, where you could get by with a good hoodie. We were very wrong. I kept that lesson in mind when packing for Peru and packed my Uniqlo Ultra Light down jacket. It folds up really small and comes with a little much you can stick it in when you don’t need it. With one layer, I was all set to go. This is not and ad or endorsement, these jackets are just really great for travel.
Another tip is to try ALL the food. I think this is to be said when you travel anywhere, but Peruvian food is just soooo good. Eat all the ceviche, all the pollo a la brasa, and at least try the guinea pig. I’m not joking.