Showing posts from April, 2019

Peru #FoodPorn + dining at Maido, the 8th best restaurant in the world!

What is Peruvian food? I'd describe it as diverse, with signature dishes such as: Ceviche, lomo saltado, and guinea pig, ranging to simple cuisine such as quinoa, corn, and soups. One day, I ate a simple lunch of soup and trout, and the next day I ate at the world's 8th best restaurant in Lima. Below are some highlights of what I ate: Tapas: Cicciolina in Cusco. A Supervising Deputy Attorney General recommended this place to me, and although not traditional Peruvian food, this was a nice and not terribly expensive meal. A tapas sampler, extra scallops, and dessert was only $26 US total for lunch for two. The tapas sampler featured prosciutto, salmon, anchovies, scallops, and interesting sauces and flavors. The best was definitely the bbq'ed scallop (on the seashell)- the sauce was so good. I also tried this lemongrass ice cream and brownie dessert, which was beautifully presented with sugar art: Chicha : Peruvian food in Cusco. Overall, this was one of the bes

What it's like to do a homestay at Lake Titicaca

Short answer: humbling, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you are traveling from Cusco to Bolivia. Sunset from Amantani Island After hiking the Inca Trail for four days, finally seeing Machu Picchu, and a quick recovery day in Cusco, Godwin and I took an overnight bus with Bolivia Hop from Cusco to Puno to see Lake Titicaca. Our beds from 11 PM - 5 AM. I took a melatonin, but still had a rough time sleeping and it was not very comfortable. We stayed at a random place in Puno from 5-5:30, and then shuttles came to pick up people who were staying in Puno vs others headed to Bolivia staying on the main bus. We opted for the 2 day, 1 night tour where we would arrive in Puno, go to two islands, stay with a local family, see another island, and then return to Puno. Our schedule the next two days: We were shuttled off to a hostel a little earlier than scheduled- which was nice since we had extra time to use the bathroom, brush our teeth, and reorganize our bags/repack

How to Make the Most of a Machu Picchu visit

Machu Picchu is one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World," and getting to explore this ancient Inca city built over 500 years ago was definitely a highlight of my trip to Peru!  Taken by a random Spanish-speaking man. "Mira al cielo" (Look to the sky) Here are a few tips and tricks to make the most of a visit to Machu Picchu: 1. Go during dry season (late April through October), more likely to get a pic with blue sky, but perhaps less greenery- I'd suggest aiming for May. 2. If you prefer to relax/have more energy to explore, take the train. (Otherwise you can hike the Inca Trail for 1-2 days if you must hike, or do the 4 day or longer if you want to ignore my last post ) If you take the train and bus up to Machu Picchu, you'll arrive at the general entrance. There is a cafe, a bathroom with really nice toilets, backpack lockers, and a passport stamp station. 3. GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOU GO INTO MACHU PICCHU. There are no bathrooms inside,

Inca Trail: Do's and Don'ts

On March 30, I started the "classic" 4 day, 3 night Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. It spans 26 miles, with 20-24 hours total of hiking and reaching a peak altitude of 13,828 ft. Even though I hiked with Alpaca Expeditions who provided porters that carried our duffel bags, food, and set up camp, it was one of the most physically challenging things I've ever done. Below are my suggestions if you are considering trekking to Machu Picchu: Generally, I Don't recommend the Inca Trail unless : you have done an ultra-marathon or Olympic distance triathlon OR you really know what you're getting into. Just a snapshot of what I suffered on the trail: The trail was a lot harder than I expected, and 20-30 minutes of cardio 2-3 times a week was definitely not enough preparation.  I had altitude sickness the first night I was in Cusco, and 2 days was not really enough time to adjust- I was constantly out of breath on the trail even though I had Diamox. I got