Peru Trip Report

Report with Photos of Our Trip to Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Amazon

Author: The Traveling Professor/Thursday, April 26, 2018/Categories: Peru & Machu Picchu

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The Traveling Professor has been bringing small group tours to Peru for almost 8 years now and this trip was the best. We visited a new and vibrant Cusco with outstanding food, we had wonderful hotel throughout the tour.  We saw and did some great things.  Mother nature cooperated by providing great weather and doing a stellar job of showing us more wildlife than we have ever seen in Peru.

Travelers flew from the U.S. into Lima and transferred to Cusco.  From there we stayed at the 5-star Aranwa Hotel, in the center of vibrant Cusco.  Besides being a luxury hotel, the big difference with the Aranwa is that it has an “intelligent” oxygen system.  In other words, it counters the problems traveler have with altitude sickness by pumping additional oxygen into the rooms.  Since we have been using hotels with these intelligent oxygen systems, we have not had one case of altitude sickness on our tours.

With our professional guide, we did two days of touring in Cusco.  We did the famous San Pedro Market, the local cathedrals, and ruins like Sacsayhuaman.  But new to us was the San Francisco cathedral, monastery, and catacombs.  It is a terrific attraction in Cusco.  By the way, the food scene in Cusco is one of the best in the world.  See my blog post on Cusco food scene.

Despite being the end of the rainy season, we avoided the wet stuff practically our entire trip.  Our trip into Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) by train along the roaring Urubamba River is always stunning as we head from 12,000 foot altitude of Cusco down to 7,500 feet in Aguas Calientes.  We did a 3 hour guided tour of stunning Machu Picchu that afternoon.  Withe the scenery at Machu Picchu, even the worst photographer looks like a pro!  The next morning, we did a more than stunning walk up to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, to watch the sun rise over the Citadel – there is nothing like it in the world. What I like about our visit to Machu Picchu is we stay at the wonderfully modern El Mapi Hotel for 2 nights to get the full Machu Picchu experience. 

On our way back to Cusco we stopped at a Sacred Valley hacienda for a relaxing lunch before getting back to our hotel.
The next morning our small group took the 50-minute flight to Puerto Maldonado into the Amazon Jungle.  After an hour-long motorized canoe ride we arrived at the Inkaterra Amazonica Lodge, voted by National Geographic as one of the top eco-lodges in the world.  A big misconception people have about staying in “the jungle” is that they will be roughing it.  Far from it – it is luxury with top meals and facilities.   The nature programs are outstanding with guided evening jungle walks, medicinal plant walks, bird viewing, and more.   For me, this was the best jungle trip ever – we saw all types of wildlife including monkeys, caimans (alligators), wild pigs, birds of every size and color, and more.

See our photos of our tour HERE.

For information on our 2019 small group tour to Peru, click HERE.

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