Peru in a nutshell

(Disclaimer: the following is relevant mainly for the Sacred Valley and Lake Titikaka, as we spent the four months only in these two regions, so things are probably different in other places)

Daily budget: USD27 – 73 Soles

Actual daily expenditure: USD13

Cities visited

  • Puno – Lake Titikaka
  • Cusco
  • Pisac – Sacred Valley
  • Calca – Sacred Valley
  • Urubamba – Szent Völgy
  • Ollantaytambo – Sacred Valley
  • Quillabamba – the high jungle
  • Lima

Most expensive city: Quillabamba, Ollantaytambo, Lima

Cheapest city: Calca, Urubamba

Favorite city: Calca, Ollantaytambo, Cusco (although we wouldn’t mind if there were less tourists in the last 2)

What to do in the Sacred Valley of Peru

  • Meditate among the walls of the sacred Inca monastery, the Machu Picchu
  • Climb Wayna Picchu (behind Machu Picchu)
  • Visit Lake Titikaka and the Taquile and Uros Islands
  • Clean your soul with a dip in the lake
  • Walk around Cusco’s traditional streets
  • Visit the Coca Museum – Cusco, San Blas Square
  • Discover the Incan ruins in the Sacred Valley: Tambomaquay, Sacsayhuaman, Quorichanca, Moray, Pisac, Ollantaytambo
  • Visit the salt pools near Urubamba – Moran
  • Rest for a few days in the peaceful Full Moon Lodge – Ollantaytambo
  • Visit the high jungle cities and the waterfall on the way to Echarate – Quillabamba
  • Take a few Network Spinal Analysis sessions with Howard Levine in Cusco – Heart Nectar Healing Centre , San Blas Square
  • Rest in the Paz y Luz Lodge, Pisac, also a spiritual and healing center
  • Learn about Munay-Ki (the Reiki of the Incas) from Diane Dunn at Paz y Luz (or in Hungary on 1-3 June 2012 – for more information on tha please drop us an email at threebackpacks@gmail.com)

Most challenging thing: leaving the Sacred Valley… 🙂

ACCOMMODATION

Most expensive accommodation: 15 Soles person/night in Quillabamba, no internet and no breakfast

Cheapest accommodation: 7.5 Soles person/night n Cusco, San Blas, Casa de la Abuela without breakfast but with Internet

Favorite accommodation: Our favorite places were the ones we stayed in for weeks as guests, in places such as Calca, Cusco or Lima

FOOD

In Peru we mostly had the traditional Peruvian food, and our lunch was most often the Menu of the Day. Although it almost always contained meat, there was no problem for the nice people there to change the meat for egg or salad, or prepare an Arroz ala Cubana instead. Unlike in other countries, in Peru we cooked a lot at home, mainly because we stayed for long periods of time in the same location, and had access to a kitchen.

 

Favorite food: ceviche, pink trout from Lake Titikaka, fruit salad from the market, Churros, rice pudding, Arroz ala Cubana
 

What we didn’t like very much: the soup with the famous frozen potato

For a comprehensive description of Peruvian food, please visit the following articles:

https://threebackpacks.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/peruvian-delicacies-what-to-eat-and-where/

https://threebackpacks.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/peruvian-delicacies-ii/

TRANSPORT


Our experience with long distance transport varied a lot – from Puerto Maldonado, a town at the border with Brazil, to Cusco and from Puno to Tacna, at the border with Chile, we contemplated suicide on the night bus. The bus from Cusco to Lima was more than decent though, although not very cheap (the quality of the buses and the prices of the trips from Cusco to Lima are extremely varied, ranging from 130-185 Soles, and from normal bus seats to presidential seats with a recline of 160 degrees. From what we understood, the best company is Cruz del Sur, 180 Soles, and the second best is Tespa, 140 Soles. We chose Tespa, and we definitely recommend it). In Peru it’s worth buying “cama” tickets, as the seats are much wider and more comfortable, and the prices aren’t much higher. Between cities people usually travel in minivans, and the system is “we pick you up from anywhere on the road and you just scream when you want to get down.”There are big buses connecting cities as well, but you can only take them from the bus terminal and they’re not as frequent as the minivans. Within cities the most common means of transport are “autos”, as they call them here, a 2 people vehicle similar to the Thai tuk-tuk or Indian rickshaw.

The best thing in the country: the indescribably soothing environment, the wonderful people, the harmonious combination of mountains, lakes, rivers, blue sky and clouds that God painted so incredibly beautiful over there. Lake Titikaka, the traditions in the Sacred Valley, the Inca ruins … and, of course, the one and only magical Machu Picchu

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