Jessica Journeys to Peru

Jessica Griscavage takes you through her trip to Peru!

Day 1

Off to Peru I go… how to get there? I took the overnight flight (2:00AM) from Miami to Lima arriving at approximately 6:40AM. I spent my morning at the Belmond Miraflores Park which is an outstanding hotel. Taking my own advice I arranged a spa appointment to relax and get over jet lag. After a wonderful lunch I had a private tour of Lima to learn as much about the city as I could in such a short amount of time. Money and time well spent.

Day 2

After an early (and short)  flight from Lima we arrived Cusco. This is where the adventure begins. I have the pleasure to be traveling with our Virtuoso partners G Adventures and learn about their Planeterra initiative. This is a global movement to make tourism sustainable, to minimize impacts on the environment, local people and cultures and offer economic benefits to local businesses and communities. Click here to learn about this amazing project. The second stop was for lunch at Parwa which is another Planaterra project. This is a community run restaurant to provide access to the tourism market for the first time to a small village. Learn more here . Our farm to table lunch was delicious. Fun fact – did you know there are 3500 varieties of potatoes in Peru? Our day ended with our first glimpse of the Sacred Valley – all I can say is WOW!

Day 3

Today I had a full day of touring the amazing Sacred Valley. The three major highlights included the pre-Inca salt pans of LasSalinerasOllantaytamboand Moray Ruins. In this area there are two fabulous Virtuoso hotels to consider – Sol Y Luna and the Belmond Rio Sagrado.

Day 4

We were up and ready to go very early to the Ollantaytambo station to board the train to Aguas Calientes or “Machu Picchu” town.  This town is the closest access point to the historical site of Machu Picchu.  The only way to get to here is by train. There are a few options including the Peru Express or for a more upscale and interactive experience the Vista Dome and the famous Hiram Bingham. The rest of the day we spent wandering the town, took a lovely walk to a butterfly farm and tasted the local cuisine which of course including sipping on Pisco Sours!  Here you have two amazing hotels to consider – the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge  andInkaterra. Just ask… I will tell you all about them.

Day 5

Today was the day I was waiting for – Machu Picchu. We were ready to go for an early morning start – 6:00AM. Here you get in the que for the 25 minute bus ride to the entrance. Having a guide was well worth learning all about this spectacular destination. I would definitely recommend a hike up to the Moon Temple and Sun Gate. I have been very fortunate to travel the globe and this will always stand out as one of the most breathtaking, spiritual and “awe” moments of my travels.  If you considering a trip to this spectacular destination I recommend you start thinking about traveling to Peru sooner than later.  There is talk in the next couple of years that parts of Machu Picchu will be closed and you will not be able to explore it in it’s entirety.

Fun Facts: 

– Machu Picchu is built on 2 fault lines. However, the construction protects itwhenever Peru suffers an earthquake. The stones of Machu Picchu are reputed to “dance” or bounce during an earthquake and then fall back into their rightful place.

– Most visitors race to arrive before dawn to be one of the first 400 people eligible to climb the famed Huayna Picchu peak. But lesser known is Machu Picchu Mountain, which lies at the opposite end of the site and is twice as tall at 1,640.

– In 1911, Hiram Bingham was a history professor intent on finding the last place where the Incas of Vilcabamba were. Guided by a young boy from Mandorpampa, Bingham arrived at the ruins and thought this is the place where the Incas were established after losing their territory. It wasn’t until after his death in the 1950s that the real Vilcabamba was discovered further west of Machu Picchu citadel.

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