Lima and Cusco

casa_andina_mirafloresIt’s about midnight and we’ve just arrived at the Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel in Miraflores, one of the upscale districts of  Lima, Peru.  It’s been a long day of travel after a 7:45AM departure from Denver, a quick plane change in Dallas and an even quicker plane change in Miami.  We landed at Lima’s Jorge Chavez airport around 10PM, cleared immigration, collected our luggage and were quickly met by our Abercrombie & Kent host and driver.  Unfortunately at 11PM on a Friday night, downtown Lima’s traffic looks a lot like rush hour in any major city in the world.  What could be about a 40 minute trip turns into just over an hour as we crawl through stop and go, bumper to bumper, honking traffic nearly all the way from the airport.

And worse yet – we’ll have a 6AM wake-up call in the morning for a quick breakfast and yet another endurance test as we transfer back to the airport for our short flight to Cusco.  This really isn’t the way to start a vacation.  An early recommendation: come into Lima a day or two early, OR, plan to stay at one of the airport hotels.  There really isn’t any reason to mess with 2+ hours of late evening and early morning traffic across Lima when all you’ve done is slept for about 5 hours!

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Miguel & Franklin A&K Director and Guide © Photo by K. Cain

After meeting our A&K Tour Director, Miguel, we’re off to the airport and an uneventful short flight to Cusco.  In Cusco we’re quickly shuttled to an awaiting coach and introduced to Franklin, our A&K guide that will be with us during our entire visit to Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.  Our group of 10 will be very well watched after with Miguel, Franklin and our coach drivers.  After a short drive into the central old-town of Cusco we arrive at  Santo Domingo Convent and Church, built on the massive walls of  the Inca Qorikancha, or Sun Temple.  It’s great to stretch our legs, get a quick introduction to the city and opportunity to enjoy some of the Peruvian sunshine.  Before leaving Cusco we enjoy lunch at the Inca Grill located on the main Cathedral Square.

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