Dad Post: Budget Lima Layover Tips to Machu Picchu

This is Dad Post #5. Shout out to my three fans who wanted to see more Dad posts!

In August 2011, my son Anthony and I took our second trip to South America. We used AA miles to travel from NYC to Rio de Janeiro (don’t forget to get your visa, which is good for 10 years, I believe; the fee is $140 and is going up to $160 soon). We paid for a flight on TAM airlines from Rio to Iguazu Falls, and used BA miles from Iguazu Falls to Lima, and then to Cuzco.

One problem: the flight from Iguazu Falls to Lima arrives at 6pm, and the flight to Cuzco departs the next day. We had a couple of choices to make:

  1. Sleep at the airport
  2. Spend $150 for an airport hotel
  3. Be creative

Knowing “The Dad”, which one do you think I chose?

Option 3 lead me to discover Though Trip Advisor reviews were good, I was still a little skeptical. I had visions of being driven to and abandoned in a remote location without my money or dignity. However, after numerous emails, I felt comfortable enough to book it.

So what did I book? Bed and breakfast about 10 minutes from the airport, which included airport pick up and drop off and free breakfast for around $50.

For that price, would they really show up as promised? When we landed in Lima, our B&B host Kike was waiting for us holding a sign with our name on it. Kike doesn’t speak much English, but I was able to communicate with him my Spanish I learned on Livemocha. After a short drive, we were pleasantly surprised that we had a clean and modern room to sleep in. The next day we were given a fresh fruit salad, toast and coffee and were dropped off at airport. I highly recommend this option for short layover.

The flight from Lima to Cuzco is only one hour. It takes at least one day to get used to the high altitude (if you suffer from high-altitude sickness, drinking “coca” tea is a good remedy that has been practiced for centuries). Machu Picchu is a place that must be visited; postcards do not do it justice. After Machu Picchu, we flew from Cuzco to Lima at 10 am, and our flight to NYC did not depart until 11 pm. Another layover? Yup. 13 hours.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

When we visited Ecuador in 2010, we used the following website to land a great tour guide: We hired a college graduate, English-speaking architect that gave us a 8 hour tour for under $25. We used the same site for Lima and came up with Peruvian Local Friend.

We arranged a tour through Alonso and Sandra spoke good English; they did an internship in Aspen, Colorado and were two very nice young people. They provide customized trips, and their prices are very reasonable. During our tour we visited the Centro, saw the changing of the guard, San Francisco and catacombs, Park Kennedy, Love Park, Larcormar, Miraflores and Barranco. We had lunch and tasted lovely Peruvian food recommended by our hosts and were not disappointed. We even visited a local supermarket to view Peruvian specialties. Our trip with them concluded with a trip back to the airport. I would gladly recommend Sandra and Alonzo. Tell them friends Joe and Anthony sent you.Sandra and Alonso, our tour guides. Sandra and Alonso, our tour guides.

Beat these layovers, Anthony Bourdain, LOL.

On a serious note, If anyone needs any information, or has any questions about the places we have visited, please feel free to leave a comment here and I’ll be happy to email you.

Missed a Dad Post?: More Dad Posts.

Happy Travels!

The Dad.

PS – I still refuse to eat the cuy.


  1. D says

    Only wish I had seen this last month. My daughter and I were just in Lima and Cuzco, and would have really liked to have a guide for our layover in Lima, on the way back to the US.

  2. JD says

    Excellent information. I too wish that I would have had this info when I visited Peru last October. Instead I chose to “sleep” at the airport until my early morning flight to Cuzco. A tour of Lima would have been nice too as I didn’t really see much more than Miraflores.

    PS, I tried a bit of cuy and didn’t like it.

  3. Nathan says

    Great tips! For people that don’t know the ride from/to the airport in Lima to the popular areas is LONG (45 mins+) so finding that place 10 minutes away sounds ideal for the night layover. We just got back from a similar trip using our BA miles to go to Easter Island (with the cheap Avios hop to Cuzco).

  4. Dan says

    So noted. I met your wife at The Freddies in NYC. Since we’re heading to Lima and MP in the fall, your information is very useful!
    Consider myself fan #4.

  5. Dan says

    You can never tell from the pictures!
    Any info on short stays at EZE or AEP? We land EZE late at night, and fly out the following morning from AEP around 0700.


  6. the dad says

    @frugal travel lawyer.We enjoyed your company.You have a wonderful family.
    @D- Timing is everything.Maybe a future post will come in handy.
    @JD-Sorry you had to sleep at airport.You are a better man than me for trying cuy.
    @nathan-you are correct about 45 min+.Thanks for adding
    @Dan-not rich enough to have a wife as young as Angie.LOL

  7. Joe says

    Thanks for the post. I’m contacting both the B&B and the rent-a-friends for my upcoming trip!

  8. dhammer53 says

    Update just in case…

    The Dad recommendation of Sandra and Alonso was spot on. For $140 US Dollars for an 8 hour day, they took us to key locations. We did a combined car + walking tour. We were the third recommendation from Dad!

    FYI to anyone arriving AEP and departing from EZE the following morning… the city of Buenos Aires is on the way to EZE. We used Cash and Points from *wood to stay at the Sheraton Libertador.

    Thanks for the assist.

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