Peru – Christmas on Machu Picchu

 

In December of 2016, me and my partner along with 2 mutual friends set forth to visit the country of Peru in South America. Obviously, the main purpose of this trip was to get to Machu Picchu  (5 days of traveling), but we also missed out on seeing the Amazon rainforest when we were in Brazil a year earlier. This was the perfect country to kill two birds with one stone.

Flights:

We paid cash for our flights for this trip to help accumulate more rewards points. GC also picked up the new (at the time) Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card so he used that card to purchase the flight and I used my older Sapphire Preferred card for my flight. Because GC signed up for the Sapphire Reserve credit card, he was immediately refunded $300.00 for the flight purchase because of one of the great perks on the card that will refund $300 as a statement credit for any travel purchases 1 time per year.

Hotels:

Because there were 4 of us traveling, we decided that we would put all of the hotel spending on one persons credit card, GC’s to maximize point accumulation. Everyone else would just Venmo or pay him back with cash. Awesome. Most hotels were around $40-$70 / night, so after 15 or so nights, we had received quite a large amount of points, especially because the Reserve credit card offers x3 points/$1 spent on travel. Our plan was to save points up so we could make our next planned trip to London, Barcelona & Amsterdam almost 100% free.

To explain the awesomeness of this trip is impossible. So, please take the time to watch a few of the videos from our travels. My partner, GC, is the editor for all of our travel videos. Also, take a look below the videos for the exact itinerary we used for our 2+ week adventure for inspiration for your own future travels.  Enjoy!

* I’d like to give a shout out to Maniti Expeditions for making our 4 nights in the middle of the Amazon rainforest absolutely a delight. Thanks so much to Edwin for being our host and guide throughout the experience. He also assisted the Shaman during our spiritual ayahuasca ceremony.

 

The Trip Itinerary

Saturday, December 17, 2016

6:20am Depart LAX

9:35pm Arrive in Lima

STAY IN: Padama Hotel, Lima

Sunday, December 18, 2016

10:00am Hired car from Padama Hotel to Airport (1 mile away)

11:30am Depart Lima by Plane

2:25pm Arrive in Iquitos

STAY IN: Stylus Hotel, Iquitos

Monday, December 19, 2016

8:00am Depart Iquitos & begin Day 1 Maniti Expeditions Tour

Arrival to camp / Monkey Island / Dolphin Spotting / Nocturnal Hike

STAY IN: Maniti Expeditions Camp

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

5:00am Sunrise over Amazon River

Animal Observation Excursion / Piranha Fishing / Ayahuasca Ceremony

STAY IN: Maniti Expeditions Camp

Wedmesday, December 21, 2016

6:00am Morning jungle hike

Day Excursions / Nocturnal Excursion

STAY IN:  Maniti Expeditions Camp

Thursday, December 22, 2016

7:00am Morning Jungle Hike

Visit with Natives / Belen / Depart Camp

STAY IN: Stylus Hotel, Iquitos

Friday, December 23, 2016

11:05am Depart Iquitos by Plane

1:45pm Arrive in Lima – Layover

2:30pm Depart Lima by Plane

3:40 Arrive in Cusco

STAY IN: Pirwa Posada del Corregidor, Cusco

Saturday, December 24, 2016

*Bus/taxi to Ollantaytambo from Cusco (2 hour drive)

11:15am Depart Ollantaytambo via Train ($55 per person)

12:45pm Arrive Aguas Caliente

STAY IN: Gran Paititi Hotel, Aguas Caliente

Sunday, December 25, 2016

MACHU PICCHU

STAY IN: Gran Paititi Hotel AGUAS CALIENTE

Monday, December 26, 2016

2:30pm Train Departs Aguas C. (to Ollantaytambo) ($63 per person)

4:04pm Arrive in Ollantaytambo

*Bus/taxi from Ollantaytambo to Cusco

STAY IN: Yabar San Plas, Cusco

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Day off in Cusco – DRINK THE TEA!

STAY IN: Yabar San Plas, Cusco

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

10:55am Depart Cusco by Plane

12:15pm Arrive in Lima

2:30pm Depart Lima to Ica by Bus ($115.60 Total)

6:45pm Arrive in Ica then Taxi to Huacachina

STAY IN: Mossone Hotel, Huacachina

 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Day off in Huacachina – SAND DUNES!

STAY IN: Mossone Hotel, Huacachina

Friday, December 30, 2016

6:30am Depart to Paracas by Bus to see Penguins

8:00am-12:00pm Islas Ballestas Boat Tour

1:30pm Depart Paracas to Lima by Bus ($117.64 Total)

5:20pm Arrive in Lima

STAY IN: Casa Wayra Miraflores, Lima

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Day off in Lima

New Years in Lima

STAY IN: Casa Wayra Miraflores, Lima

Sunday, January 1, 2016

9:10am Depart Lima

7:30pm Arrive at LAX

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