We picked a lucky window to travel for our last minute trip to Peru following all mandated COVID protocols. What a delight to be in this beautiful country during the holiday season.
To maximize our time in Peru, we organized our trip through a travel agent who had been on the same trip recently and was able to quickly organize something for us. With a few little adjustments, here was our daily itinerary.
Day 1 : Sacred Valley
We flew Miami-Lima-Cusco and drove to the Sacred Valley, our resting place for 2 nights at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, a good middle ground in between Cusco and Machu Picchu. We were the sole guests in the entire property so we had the entire hacienda to ourselves...and the 2 resident Llamas. Our beautiful suite had a fireplace and sweeping views of the lush valley.
Day 2 : Moray
The GM Joaquin at the Hacienda was able to secure a table for us at the famed MIL, Virgilio Martinez’s unique gastronomique concept in Moray. Situated on ancient grounds which were possibly an Inca agricultural laboratory where cultivation experiments were carried out on their various circular terraces. The different micro climates at the multiple levels allowed them to study wild vegetation. The hour drive up to Moray drove us through the Maras Salt Flats, a collection of 3,000 salt ponds created by the Incas in the 1400’s.
Day 3 : Machu Picchu
Our day started before sunrise with a drive to the Ollantaymbo train station where we began our 90 minute journey to the entrance point of the days hike. We disembark at 104 km, the beginning of the Inca Trail. You can take the train the rest of the way up (my preference) but my adventurous partner James set up the trip with this hike as the highlight so I sucked it up and mentally prepared for adventure. Normally the mountain is full of hikers (maximum 500 a day) but during Covid, we barely encountered 10 people.
The hike was not for the faint of heart, it was a grueling 6 hour hike which ended at the Sun Gate with sweeping views of Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca Citadel built in the classical Inca style around the 1450’s. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was worth the hike to see, it was truly breathtaking.
Once at the top, there was another hour hike down to go into the ruins. Exhausted from the day hike and tour of the ruins, we head into the Andean Village for the nights stay at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. We were greeted with delicious Pisco Sours as we made our way to our meticulously appointed suite with a beautiful (much needed) bathtub, outdoor plunge pool and fireplace, an oasis in the middle of 5 hectares of lush gardens. If you can, book suite 40, it was the perfect place to end the day with a romantic fire lit evening of room service and lights out.
The next morning prior to our departure, I was given a tour of their exquisite orchid gardens with over 372 native orchid species, some so small you could hardly see them with the naked eye. The orchid pictured here is in the image of a hummingbird which they also have in abundance on their property.
Day 4 : Cusco
We arrive midday at Inkaterra La Casona in Cusco. We were greeted with beautiful smiles at the 11 room, all-suites boutique hotel in a 1500’s manor house. Again the only guests at the hotel, it was as if we had this magnificent home to ourselves. Our exquisitely appointed suite with fireplace and a bath tub were exactly what was needed for my very sore body. We went into the center of town and observed the town square by night, a vast mountain of lights from the center square, it was beautiful.
Day 5 : Cusco
Today was a day to check out some local artisans and source some of that beautiful baby alpaca the Peruvians are known for. Success. The evening we dined at the hotel, we ate a lovely dinner of risotto, and trout by the fire and called it an early night. I highly recommend you book all three Inkaterra properties on this trip. The service, the accommodations, the food were all 5 star.
Day 6 : Lima
From Mirasflores to Barranco, imagine Venice Beach/Malibu perched atop the artsy, bohemian mountain top overlooking the pacific ocean filled with surfers trying to catch a wave.
What a perfect way to end our spur-of -the-moment trip. Each part of this beautiful country is rich in culture, unique in its landscapes and climates and truly a feast for the senses.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba
Sacred Valley of the Incas
KM 63 of the Cusco-Urubamba-Pisac-Calca Highway
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Aguas Calientes 08681, Peru
Inkaterra La Casona
Next to the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art
Plaza Nazarenas, 211
Cusco 08002, Peru
Belmond Miraflores Park
Av, Malecon de la Reserva 1035
Miraflores 15074, Peru
MIL (experiential fine dining)
Moray, Maras, Cusco
Calle San Martin No. 399
Miraflores 15074, Peru
Av Hipolito Unanue 203
Miraflores 15074, Peru
MAYTA by Jaime Pesaque
Av. Mariscal La Mar
Miraflores 15027, Peru
I highly recommend if you’re traveling to Peru for the first time that you book through an agent to maximize your time and experience.
Don't pay attention to weather.com, they never get the weather right, pack layers. The temperature is completely different from the Scared Valley which is cooler and wet to Lima which is mainly dry and much warmer throughout the year.