Read this this post if you're on the fence about booking a trip to Peru.
This in fact is not your cliché picture of Machu Picchu but don't worry there is one... possibly two in the slideshow below. Above is a shot from the top of Mt. Huayna Pichu (say: Wah-Nu Pee-chu). On the left you'll see the winding bus path that you can take or you can hike straight up which is absolutely absurd, but well worth the adventure. DISCLAIMER: I like to travel but I don't photograph my experiences very well. Thankfully I have friends who do a much better job than I do.
This post is very timely and only three months after I went Perusin' so I'm summarizing my experience. Also I'm already impressed you've clicked this far into the rabbit hole of my website so I'll just get to the facts.
Food poisoning is very real, even in nice restaurants in metropolitan areas. I ate some delicious (read: greasy) chicken in Lima the night before we flew to Cusco and the next 24 hours were so miserable I began to doubt whether I'd be able to go on our hike. It was hard to distinguish between the effects of the food poisoning and the effects of altitude sickness but I saw nothing but the inside of our hostel room the entire time were were in Cusco.
The Loki Hostel in Cusco is basically a frat house. Yes, that means everything you think it means, including people trying to come into your room in the middle of the night thinking it's a bathroom.
Walking gets boring, no matter how scenic your route is. Luckily we predicted this and did a 4 day Jungle Trek instead of the traditional Inca Trail. We rafted, mountain biked, zip-lined through the Inca Forest and got to hike part of the Inca Trail. We ran into a group that did the Inca Trail the night before our climb up Machu Picchu and they were so bored of walking they planned to take a bus up to the summit the next morning.
Vegan food is not a well understood concept in Peru. Shocker, I know. Some travel companions tried to stick to their guns and made it about 20 hours into the hike. By the end of it one of them was enjoying the Peruvian delicacy, guinea pig (actually pretty good!)
We went during what is considered the "rainy" season (read: flights are cheap) but since seasons are shifting we only got rained on once! Of course it was the morning we were hiking up Machu Picchu but we were prepared with rain jackets, head lamps, and massive full body size ponchos.
I will eat ice cream anywhere and everywhere... actually this is not a Peruvian Discovery. I already knew that, but now you know that too. Had some delicious gelato in Barranco, Lima at a place called Crem dela Crem.
Pics or it didn't happen...right?