If you go in a group of up to 5 this is better. It is about a third of the price this way. Sit on the side of the bus that bags are loaded. This way you can watch at every stop to make sure no-one is taking off with your bag. It does happen every now and then, but luckily it’s not very common.
Wear good footwear for Machu Picchu. Don’t forget your tourist stamp from Machu Picchu in your passport. Got mine! If you’re fit, Huayna Picchu is absolutely worth the hard slog. If you want to post a parcel home from Cusco take a photocopy of your passport with you. They provide boxes and tape.
Try guinea pig and lama. Let’s face it, you probably won’t have the chance to again so go for it. It’s not bad actually! They will take your top brand Nike shoes if the opportunity is there for them. Young youths on the streets at night are only a problem in Lima.
Sad but true is also the fact that you will see men urinating in the street. If you urgently need to go the toilet just ask in a shop or restaurant. Sometimes it may require you to buy a cup of tea or coffee. I don’t mind this as they are only trying to make a living.
I found it interesting with amazing scenery. This train ride also gives you lots of photo opportunities and a chance to meet people.
Lima itself was not so appealing to me and from all accounts a little dangerous. When picked up from the airport, the first thing my hostel driver did was lock the doors. When I gave a startled look it was explained to me a that at the traffic lights young men in groups with open the doors and try to either remove your bags or remove you from the vehicle and beat you up in order to obtain money, cameras, more or less everything you have with you. I only stayed in the city for a day and headed to Nazca. All the coast of Peru is desert but from the ancient aqueducts, there is a fresh water supply from the Andes.
Apart from the Nazca Lines which you view from the air, there are also pyramids and old burial grounds that are being excavated on the plains next to the Nazca plain. The puzzling thing is that the sand does not reach the Nazca Plain which is only separated by a dried up river ( until the rains and snowmelt in the Andes ). The distance between the two plains is approx. ½ km. My guide and no one else to date have been able to explain this.
Arequipa. It has some interesting history along with very old buildings and museums. Most of the travelers I met here were doing the same as me.
Puno was the next jump up in altitude to 4000m above sea level. It is right on the edge of Lake Titicaca.
Cusco is where, obviously, everyone heads for to see Machu Picchu or to do the Inca Trail. Machu Picchu left me with more questions than answers. It is an amazing place. On average it will take an hour. Its hard slog though! Cusco has lots to see and do. You can stand in front of the sun temple and look down on this whole ancient site but when you put your head around the corner it nearly gets blown off. The wind whistles past here at 40kmph ( or thereabouts ). It is like this day in and day out. How? Why? Who knows, just another of those unanswered questions that fascinates me.
I finally got sick of rice in Peru. It’s served up with everything. Peru grows acres of rice and also potatoes but for some reason, you don’t get potatoes with your meals. My first thought was how sad as it is such a beautiful place. But that’s progress for you. They hadn’t started moving in the machinery when I was there. The other thing which tests your patience here is the people right in your face trying to sell you things. I haven’t found any other place in my travels where the local people do this. Keep walking and say no. You have to because you can’t buy from everyone.