Our trip to Peru, organized for us by the wonderful Inkaterra, was phenomenal and included:
- Lima, the exciting capital on the Pacific Ocean
- Cuzco, the exquisite and enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Center, developed under the Inca ruler Pachacutec into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions, stayed at Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel, run by a marvelous Peruvian hotel company
- Macchu Picchu, UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the great wonders of the world, in the Peruvian Andes, stayed at the charming Inkaterra Macchu Picchu Hotel, short ride to the archeological site
- Sacred Valley
- Lake Titicaca, with its manmade islands and indigenous people, Casa Andina Private Collection hotel in Puno
LIMA: Large museum: Museo Larco, extensive collection of pre-Columbian ceramic figures in a beautiful setting; Small museums: Fundación Museo Amano, small but impressive collection of pre-Columbian ceramics and an amazing collection of pre-Columbian textiles; Museo de Arte Colonial Pedro de Osma, in Barranco, an interesting neighborhood, a beautiful mansion with stained glass (collection itself so so): Casa de Aliaga (have to have a guide take you in); Dining: Restaurant Huaca Pucllana, Nouveau Peruvian cooking, within an archeological site, La Mar, a cebicheria for outstanding ceviche, very contemporary setting (open for lunch only), T’anta, in San Isidro, a beautiful suburb, chic, casual place for scrumptious sandwiches, La Rosa Nautica, elegant, traditional restaurant on the Pacific Ocean, delicious food.
CUZCO: For beautiful textiles, pillow covers, Nilda Callañaupa Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco, Avenida Sol 603, excellent selection and dedicated to “fair trade” practices, with 70% of sale price going directly to the six communities and individuals with whom it works; Galeria Latina – very nice tapestries, contemporary ceramics using ancient symbols, motifs; For pre-Columbian ceramic reproductions: Juan Garboza, no shop, call his cellphone number and he comes to the hotel with a sack of his beautiful figures (people and masks); extremely low prices, e.g., $10 per small figure or mask: (084) 963-6119; San Blas (artist district)– numerous stores for ceramics, etc. A very good assortment of ceramics and other stuff at Artesanías Mendivil, Plazoleta San Blas 619; Pre-Columbian Museum, Museo de Arte Precolombino (MAP), small, exquisite museum with beautiful collection (also fine restaurant, see below); Restaurants, Inkanto, Inka Grill, MAP Café, restaurant in pre-Columbian Museum (All three may be owned by the same couple.); Very casual for a quick lunch: Moni Café.
SACRED VALLEY: Don’t miss Awana Kancha—on road to Pisac, Sacred Valley, from Cusco. Km. 23 Autopista—outstanding tapestries and other handmade crafts; Chinchero Sunday outdoor market, wide variety of handicrafts
LAKE TITICACA: If you get to Lake Titicaca, great lunch and handwoven colorful textiles on Taquile Island. Also both north and south sides of Sun Island. There is a wonderful catamaran cruise starting in Puno, known as the “capital folklórica del Perú.” A local troupe boarded our catamaran to provide delightful entertainment. See excellent New York Times article about Lake Titicaca, A Country House Amid a Magical Lake, July 5, 2015.
MACHU PICCHU: Walk to Sun Gate if possible. Consult your physician about precautions for altitude sickness before your trip.