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:
- Sleep at the airport
- Spend $150 for an airport hotel
- Be creative
Knowing “The Dad”, which one do you think I chose?
Option 3 lead me to discover http://www.lima1night.com/. 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.
When we visited Ecuador in 2010, we used the following website to land a great tour guide: www.localyte.com. 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 www.peruvianlocalfriend.yolasite.com. 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.
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.
PS – I still refuse to eat the cuy.