GETTING THERE (Overnight)
When you think of Peru most people automatically think about dirty hiking boots, rain, hostels and generally a holiday that seems like a lot of hard work.
However what many people don’t know is that there is a very lazy, rather wonderful alternative – especially if you like 5 stars.
Most people would agree that long haul flights are probably the worst part of the trip when you’re heading somewhere fabulous. Well, don’t panic too much because British Airways currently have direct flights from Gatwick to Lima; taking no more than 13 hours direct. This completely avoids the alternatives that usually involve an overnight flight and any additional stops.
You can also fly with American Airlines, it has a short connection in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and by flying business class it gives you that extra bit of luxury when you’re traveling; a good alternative to British Airways.
When you arrive, you can prearrange private transfers with ‘The Travel Snob’ to whisk you from the airport straight to Lima itself. The journey takes around 30 minutes but the majority of the journey is spent hugging the coast, which isn’t a bad way to kick-start your trip!
To this day Hotel B is one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in, which is why it would be my top recommendation. The staff is quite possibly the most attentive people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Within minutes they will make you feel like part of the family.
Back to the hotel for a snooze – the beds were just so comfortable, the rooms so cool and the bathrooms so luxurious you just wanted to spend time in them!
A tour of Lima is a must during your stay, visiting many of the historical sites is fascinating. If you ask to be dropped off in the Art District you are in walking distance of the hotel. It takes a while, but if you don’t mind walking you pass some amazing museums and shops selling local handmade artisans.
Lima is far cleaner than you’d imagine, incredibly cultured with fine shops and great attention to detail on everything. People everywhere wave and smile at each other making it a genuinely happy place to be. Everywhere you walk there are areas that are steeped in history.
Just a short walk from Hotel B is an amazing restaurant for dinner – recommended by people who had lived in Lima for many years. The menu oozes culture and flavours; if you wanted to soak up the culture and try something new you can give Al Paccar meat a try, and maybe some Pisco Sours too.
If you’ve got a thing for luxury and culture you will fall completely in love with Lima. The people are a big part of making Lima as beautiful as it is. When you talk to the local Peruvians they are as interested in you as you are in them making it a holiday full of fascinating conversations and lots of laughter all around.
LIMA – CUZCO
When you travel to Peru, it’s likely that you will want to travel to more than one place on your holiday. So a top pick for the next stop would be Cuzco just a one hour flight from Lima. The spectacular scenery through the entire flight will distract you from having a conversation, never mind playing on your phone or any other devices.
When you fly from Lima to Cuzco you will land in one of the highest altitude airports in the world, and it’s a bizarre feeling. This means that there is almost no descent whatsoever, so as you fly through the air and the pilot announces that you are about to land you will notice a jolt, and with that, there are towns below. You don’t feel the descent and there is no pressure to make your ears pop or even feel funny. A flying experience like no other.
When your guide at the airport meets you, they are likely to tell you to avoid drinking alcohol, eat healthily and get lots of rest. This is for general safety reasons because people can react differently to the change in altitude.
A recommended hotel in Cuzco is called Palacio, it is supposed to be the best hotel in Cuzco and as it goes, the only hotel with a swimming pool. The hotel hosts a fine dining restaurant with the most amazing rooms and even its own church. Located one street back from the main square in Cuzco the location is ideal. The hotel is just simply stunning, air conditioning pumps oxygen into the bedrooms due to the high altitude ensuring you get a great night’s sleep and keeping you comfortable at all times.
If you choose the Junior Butler Suite right next to the four-poster bed, there is a bar with all the ingredients to make your own Pisco `Sours. Of course, if you’re not a bartender or happen to know how to make a Pisco `Sours, your butler will soon ring to see if you would like to be shown how to make them. So, sit back and relax in the garden and learn how to make the best Pisco `Sours you will ever try. Do try to remember what your guide said though because in the high altitude you won’t need many!
The hotel’s wonderful À la Carte restaurant serves both Guinea Pig and Alpaca. If you’ve not tried either before you will probably be surprised by how tender and delicious Alpaca meat is, it’s so tender and has barely any fat.
CUZCO – SACRED VALLEY
If you do go to Cuzco, a must see is the Sacred Valley, you can arrange to be picked up from your hotel and taken there. Make sure you stop by some of the cultural markets and farms on your way to get a taste of the Inca Lifestyle. It is incredibly interesting how they’ve formed towns and cities in mountains that are so high up. The views from the valley are breathtaking and you would be surprised with how easy the slow climb up is.
If you wanted to stay there and experience the raw culture at it’s best then stay in one of these: www.hotelsolyluna.com. The suites are simply huge and boast quite possibly the biggest bathroom you will ever see. The rooms come with the most amazing open fires and decks that overlook the ranch.
Next stop Machu Picchu, if you would like to read more about Peru and some of the most luxurious places to visit when you’re there then read part two here (Link).
Or if you would like to know more about how to book some of the incredible experiences you have already read about, please visit: www.thetravelsnob.co.uk. You will be able to book with absolute ease and get some incredible deals bespoke to all of your needs.