Wednesday, September 30, 2009

South America 2009

We are back from our first trip to South America :) Overall , I had a great time. I had excellent travel companions (my handsome hubby, my sister , mystery dude) and an almost perfect itinerary. CLICKY!! CLICKY!!

Mistake #1) I did not check Perurail.com 's timetables carefully. We were all looking forward to traveling from Cusco to Lake Titicaca via the Andean Explorer, a luxurious 1020's Pullman train. However that train did not run on Tuesdays. And since I had already booked all the flights and hotels, it would have been a big pain to rework the entire itinerary just to fit this train ride in.

In the end, it worked out - we ended taking the Inka Express bus to Lake Titicaca. It follows a route parallel to that of the Andean Explorer. We did not miss out on any of the scenery and we actually made quick stops to visit the Church of San Pedro in Andahuaylillas, the archaeological sites of Raqchi and the highest pass of Peru, La Raya. To top it off, we saved mucho $$$$. The bus ride costs 45$/person while the train ride would have been 220$/person!

(T:Andahuaylillas, B:Raqchi)

Check out the adorable alpacas at La Raya !



Mistake #2: For some mysterious reason, I had us staying in Lima for 4 days. OMG! We did Lima within 6 hours. We visited Plaza Mayor, La Catedral, San Francisco in the morning and then spent the afternoon in Miraflores shopping at Larcomar, having lunch at Rosa Nautica and walking through Parque Kennedy. We were bored to tears by 7pm.

Thank god for free internet at Duo Hotel. We spent the rest of the night reworking the 3 days in Lima. We opted to take a bus to Huacachina Oasis for sandboarding and dune buggy-ing fun! It was totally worth the detour. The bus ride was also amazing. We took Cruz Del Sur - it was first class all the way for 35$/person. The seats were like lazy boys!


Here are my favorite pictures of our trip :)

Buenos Aires


Iguazu Falls in Argentina & Brazil


OMG, were there BIG BUGS here - ick factor 10! And to top it off, after a long day at the falls - I was looking forward to getting back to the hotel for some R&R. But the hotel we booked, which was #1 on Trip Advisor was a step above camping. They had the weirdest bathroom. No tub, or shower stall. Just a shower stuck on the side of the wall. So after a shower, EVERYTHING was wet. We had to spend 10 minutes squeegee-ing the floor and drying the toilet. Yes, very annoying.


Lima


Miraflores - Lima


Cusco


Sacred Valley


Machu Picchu


Puno, Lake Titicaca: Uros


Taquille.


Walking up Taquille at 13K feet is extremely tiring. Everyone was gasping for air, by the end of the tour - not one person was able to stay awake on the boat ride back to Puno (except for moi:))



Huacachina


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