Peru & Bolivia trip
Hey guys, it’s 2020 and here is our first trip of the year to Peru and Bolivia. A few month ago, my best buddy Josh asked me what was the plan for the winter break. We already went to Scorpion Bay this past summer for our surf trip and we wanted to go somewhere again for this break. I remembered that I simply answered Peru and Bolivia. These two countries had been in my mind for a few years already and I wanted to go there while I was in the US since it is closer than from Japan and this year might have been the last chance to go. Josh was like “okay” lol, and it didn’t take long for us to book tickets and plan for a trip. Seriously he is the easiest going guy I know and he is the only person that I can travel and be 24/7 for long terms. It was one of the most exciting trips for me and so epic. So here is our whole 10 days Peru and Bolivia trip, and hope you guys enjoy it 🙂
Flying from Tijuana to Peru
One of the big city we had to visit in order to go to Machu Picchu was Cusco which has a high altitude, and we were afraid to get a altitude sickness so we decided to go straight to Machu Picchu which has lower altitude than Cusco.
The pros of living in San Diego is we have an option to fly from Tijuana airport in Mexico. It was way cheaper to fly from there compared to San Diego. We paid only $500 for a round trip to Lima. The only thing was we had to cross the border through CBX and it cost us $30 for the round trip. Still reasonable.
Missed a flight…
We took a uber to get to CBX since I live already close to the border, and we just simply crossed the border straight to Tijuana airport. We had a layover at Mexico City and an overnight flight to Lima finally. We were supposed to get to Lima 5:30 in the morning, however our flight from Mexico city got delayed for an hour and we ended up missing a flight to Cusco… Immigration was really busy and there was a long line, which also made us miss the flight. We were only 15 min late
Unfortunately, the flight we missed from Lima to Cusco was not a connected flight, so we had to head over to Latam Airline office to change our flight. Fortunately, we got into the next flight and we only had to pay $50 for the penalty. The only thing we still had to figure out was Peru rail which we were supposed to take from Ollantaytambo to Machupicchu. We planned to take a local bus called collectivo from Cusco to Ollantaytambo, and take the train to Machu Picchu, however we were going to miss the train for sure since we missed the flight. The train ticket was $75 and we were scared to buy another $75 ticket.. We couldn’t do anything until we get to their train station or the office.
After 2 hours of delay, we finally arrived in Cusco. Although we were just passing by, we took a pill for altitude sickness just in case. It actually had a side effect and my feet and hands were kinda numb, but it was way better than having the altitude sickness.
Fortunately, there was a Peru Rail office at the airport, and they let us change the ticket to the next train with only $8 of penalty fee. They told us that this is exception and they usually don’t let people do this so we were really lucky. Thank god we didn’t have to pay $75 again.
Cusco airport to City by taxi
We grab a taxi to the city. The driver told us 20 soles, and I thought they were trying to steal money from us us because I saw it was supposed to be only 5 soles to the city. However, I was wrong and 20 soles was the right price. I’m sorry I tried to bargain…lol
But yes, the driver was really nice and he dropped us off at Claro, where we wanted to get a sim card. I believe it was 35 soles ($10) for 3gb and we were asked for our passport for the security reason. We heard it is $50 to get the sim card at the airport, so it was the move to get the sim card in town.
After that, we exchanged money and finally got to the collectivo station and our van headed to Ollantaytambo. If you guys are wondering where is the collectivo station, you can search on google map “Estacion de colectivos para Urubamba y Ollantaytambo” It takes 2 hours to get to Ollantaytambo and only 10 soles/ person.
Peru Rail (Ollantaytambo to Macchu Picchu)
Ollantaytambo is already lower altitude than Cusco, so if you ever have sickness, just move to Ollantaytambo and you should feel way better. Ollantaytambo was really pretty. It was a small town but there is a big ruin which we did not have time to check it out. We were dropped off right in front of the market and walked 5min to the Peru Rail station.
We had empanada at the station, and it turned out the best empanada we had in our life! lol It was really good and we got super excited. It was 1.5 hours ride to Machu Picchu. They served beverages and brownies, which we didn’t know. Seems like it was an upper-class seat, but we weren’t sure because we had to change the train and the office lady got us the new ticket. We didn’t get any services on the way back to Ollantaytambo, so I’m assuming that this must have been the upper-class.
Machu Picchu town (Aguas Calientes )
We arrived on time, and the weather was gloomy but still beautiful surrounded by mountains. We went through a souvenir market, and I ended up buying a cute alpaca beanie. I bargained and bought it for 40 soles.
Soon after that, we checked in to our hostel, “Hostel La Pacha Machu Picchu”. It was kinda hard to find the place, but we got our private room with two bunk beds for only $15 a night.
After we settled in, we walked around the little town to have dinner. We found a super local food market/food court, however, it was already 6pm and they told us to come back during the day. So we just ended up in some random restaurant and ordered Alpaca stake for the first time in our life! I thought it would smell like Lam meat, however it was similar to beef and it didn’t smell at all. It was delicious. We also enjoyed the local beer, and that was the end of the our first day in Peru.
We just traveled more than 24 hours all the way from San Diego to Machu Picchu. The next day is about our whole day in Macchu Picchu! Stay tuned!