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Peruvian Paradise: A Solo Journey

A woman standing in the grass near some buildings.
Cusco Peru

Peru was my first trip to South America. Deciding where I could travel was the first hurdle. Where could I go solo, enjoy the architecture, culture, food and shop as well as find cost-effective flights and exchange rates? Peru rose to the top of the list.

LIMA: Where Art Meets Luxury in the Heart of History

A woman is posing in front of the lima sign.
Downtown Lima

My Peruvian adventure began in Lima. Lima is a sprawling metropolis, with diverse neighborhoods each offering different atmospheres and attractions and a city where modernity coexists with a rich history and a vibrant arts scene.

Lima Neighborhoods

I stayed in San Isidro, at the traditional colonial style Country Club Lima Hotel. Its lobby bar has won prizes for its Pisco Sours, the quintessential Peruvian cocktail; a must try. The area is a green and residential area with upscale neighborhoods, parks and golf courses, and functions as the upscale business district. The best feature of this area for me is the 100 year-old olive trees that seem to be everywhere.

100 year old Olive Trees

I hired a tour guide and we explored Lima’s Historic Center, home to Lima’s colonial landmarks, grand plazas and the impressive Cathedral of Lima. The historic center is adorned with ornate balconies. The captivating blend of colonial and baroque architecture is so unique, it’s one of the reasons Lima is marked as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mira Flores is a trendy and upscale district known for its seaside cliffs, parks, shopping centers and vibrant nightlife. The Mira Flores district is also home to Huaca Pucilana, an adobe and clay pyramid archaeological site built by the Pre-Inca Lima culture. The 360 view from the top of structure is worth the venture alone!

A view of many buildings in the city.
Mira Flores

My favorite section of Lima is the Bohemian Barranco district. It’s characterized by colorful architecture, art galleries, coffee shops and a lively cultural scene. The place to stay is Hotel B, a captivating boutique hotel that effortlessly blends luxury with art. Housed in a Belle Époque mansion, Hotel B pays homage to the city’s cultural heritage. Its commitment to preserving the building’s historic charm and architectural splendor is evident in every corner.

A living room with a couch and two lamps
Hotel B in Barranca

Cusco: Gateway to Inca Splendor

From Lima, it was a quick flight Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, where history, culture, and luxury converge. The city’s architecture is a testament to its rich heritage, with Incan stonework coexisting alongside Spanish colonial design.

A large building with a clock tower in the middle of it.

My stay in Cusco was at the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, which is housed inside a restored 16th century convent with modern amenities. It’s easy to acclimate to the high altitude of Cusco at this hotel as they offer Cocoa tea 24/7 and oxygen-enrichment systems. The boutique hotel combines local experience with a sumptuous stay including the Qespi Restaurant and Bar, its spa and two exhibition halls filled with ancient Peruvian artifacts. Its proximity to the Cusco’s historic district with multiple restaurants serving traditional Peruvian dishes like trout ceviche and lomo saltado plus lots of shopping can’t be beat.

A restaurant with many tables and chairs in it
J.W. Marriott Cusco Hotel Bar

Agua Calientes: Inkaterra Machu Picchu – A Retreat in the Cloud Forest

A I ventured deeper into the Andes, I arrived by Bi-Modal (bus and train ride) to Agua Calientes, a charming town nestled in the cloud forest. My retreat here is Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, an eco-luxury oasis that captures the enchantment of its surroundings. This resort immerses guests in the lush cloud forest, offering a unique opportunity to connect with nature. Guests can learn about local birds and plants, including the magnificent local orchids. The culinary experiences here are equally remarkable, with a focus on authentic Peruvian flavors that showcase the region’s diversity.

A painting of a house in the middle of a forest
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel Eco Center. Photo courtesy of Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

Machu Picchu: The Ancient Wonder of the World

My Peruvian journey culminates with a visit to the iconic Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” This archaeological marvel needs no introduction, as its breathtaking beauty and historical significance are renowned worldwide. I explored these ancient ruins with a guide from my hotel. This magical experience with panoramic views of the Andes captivates the sense of wonder and awe that travel continues to bring.

A person standing on top of a hill near some rocks.
Machu Picchu

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