The first day of the trip was dedicated to flying into Lima. When we arrived at the concourse we noticed we were on the Delta pink plane! The flight was good, just a little turbulence, and they fed us three times – snack, dinner, and then a sandwich! Funny, since the time spent on board is not much longer than a U.S. snack only flight. The only bad part was the cranky baby. But she went to sleep and I watched movies to drown her out.
When we got to the airport, we went through customs and then turned the corner to find our ride. Oh my goodness, there were 50 million people with little signs! Mom spotted the one with my name and we were off.
The hotel in Miraflores (Lima) was about an hour drive. The hotel room is sparse but clean. The room is cold (there is no heat) so we slept with hats and fleeces over our pjs. Oh, and no face cloths! Just hand towels and towels.
Reflections and tips
- Allow time for travel – The first day of most international trips is purely a travel day. Even though Machu Picchu is in the Eastern timezone like Atlanta, it is still long enough to where I would recommend dedicating some time for the flight and most importantly to being to acclimate to the increased elevation. When you are planning your trip you might be tempted to dive right in the first day, but you will enjoy the sights if you are rested.
- Fly comfortably – Even though there is no change in timezone from Atlanta to Lima, the flight is about 6 hours. It is important to make sure that you are comfortable on a flight of this length, so that you arrive ready to go. For tips of having a comfortable flight check out this post.
- Use a reputable tour company – Due to the rise in popularity, there are many tour companies ready to take you to Machu Picchu. These companies range from small mom and pops to large tour companies. It is important to work with a certified travel professional like me when planning your trip to assure that the tour company that you are using has been held to the highest standards.
- Dress for the weather – Peru is a country of many extremes. The seasons are extreme with a wet season that can cause the passageways to Machu Picchu to be closed. While Machu Picchu is in a tropical region, Lima is in the desert and is hot during the day and cold at night. Many hotels do not have heating or air-conditioning, like the one we stayed in. It is important to have layers for day and night, in addition to rain gear, to make sure that you are comfortable during your trip.
- Bring linens – Many hotels outside of the United States do not have towels smaller than a hand towel. If you a particular about having a face cloth, make sure to bring your own.