Posted by Beth and Caleb | January 18, 2016
As we kick off the new year, you will see Peru on many travel writers lists of places to visit in 2016. Add us two to that crew as the historic ruins, adventure activities, budget friendly everything and general approach to life have made us believers. Below is our recap from the three weeks we spent there, as well as the budget breakdown on how we only spent $51 USD per day.
Days in the country: 19
Cities visited: Paracas, Ica, Huacachina, Arequipa, Puno, Cusco, Lima
Favorite Lodging: Banana’s Adventure Hostel in Huacachina. Lots of fun things to book, food was amazing and we met some nice people. (We also stayed at one of the supposed best hotels in the world at the Palacio del Inka our last night in Cusco. We never got around to reviewing it because we just weren’t really that impressed with it. Felt it was not worth the 10,000 SPG points).
Favorite food: Lomo saltado—steak with peppers, onions and tomatoes, served with French fries and rice.
Favorite drink: Pisco sours and mojitos. Almost all the bars did 2×1 happy hours.
What we enjoyed most: All of the affordable adventure activity options.
What we enjoyed least: Visiting a winery in Ica. It was a beautiful estate but we had to wait a long time, the wine was terrible and we got terrible bug bites from there. Skip it if you’re ever in Ica!
What surprised us: Probably that the Machu Pichu Inka Jungle Trek we did was much better organized than we thought it would be. We expected to rough it quite a bit more, but the rooms were nice, the food was great and all in all a fabulous experience.
What we would have done differently: We would have scheduled Lima on the front end of our trip instead of doing it last. We flew in to Lima but then quickly left for Paracas, knowing we’d be back at end. It was a cool city, but by the time we got back we were ready to head home and felt like we’d already fully experienced Peru. Would have saved some points also if we’d flown directly home from Cusco than Lima.
Favorite people we met: We had some great guides on our tours. Our favorite was Jessica, our chocolate class instructor. She picked on Caleb and nearly had us all convinced she was going to take a drop of blood from his tongue for our Incan hot chocolate.
Currency: Peruvian Soles
Hotel Points Redeemed: 17,00 SPG points and 41,800 Hilton points
Airline Miles Redeemed: 47,000 American Airlines miles
Flexible points spent: 6,486 Citi Thank You points and 34,178 Barclaycard Arrival points
Total Out-of-pocket expense: $1,962.45
Daily Average: $51.64
Total Expenses- 19 Days, 2 people:
Accommodation: $234.86 *
*(Accommodation costs are included in total out of pocket above because we used Arrival points to wipe away all these costs)