We flew to Lima from Miami on American Airlines. The flight was about five hours. On arrival we transferred to a flight to Cusco, the jumping off point for the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. We stayed at a hostel called Los Aticos, located down a small alley near the center of the town. After resting and getting acclimated to the 11,000 foot elevation, we explored the old square and found a restaurant in one of the Spanish colonial era buildings. Our travel the next day to Machu Picchu entailed a five hour train ride from Cusco and then a 20 minute bus ride up the mountain to the ruins. Machu Picchu was spectacular. Our guide and the clear weather made the day magical. That night we stayed at a hotel at the base of the mountain called the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. It was a beautiful eco-friendly lodge, although there were many mosquitoes. We visited the marketplace in town and enjoyed looking at all the woolen handicrafts. After the train ride back to Cusco and another night at Los Aticos, we flew to Lima and then on to Brazil. Many Peruvians thought Lauren was a local and spoke to her in Spanish. All of our in-country was arranged by Enjoy Travel, SA, an online travel agency specializing in Peru.
Kona Moment: Take-out Chinese food for dinner our last night in Cusco; Hawaiian pizza at a restaurant in Cusco.
Starbucks: No, the main drink is coca tea, supposedly to help counter altitude sickness.
Weird McDonalds Menu Item: No McDonalds in Cusco
Cultural Moment: Male and female train conductors dressed up and put on a fashion show during the return trip to Cusco.