First, a brief note about cuisine.
Food (not for vegans): a good ceviche (ceviche is served many places, but be sure to get one that excels; Alfresco in Miraflores, Lima was the best we had); alpaca (again served many places in the Andes, but get a serving that is thick and tender with an Andean herb sauce; the best we had was at Inkaterra Hotel, where we stayed in Aquas Calientes). Cuy (guinea pig,) roasted or grilled is a specialty, but we preferred the seafood and the alpaca.
Food for vegans: potatoes are a staple and are often served with a local cheese.
Pisco sour: The national drink; if you drink alcohol, try one, which most hotels serve as a ‘welcome’ drink your first night.
High points that shouldn’t be missed:
Note that there are many others, depending on your tastes, including many art museums from colonial to contemporary. We are most interested in history, indigenous culture, and the outdoors. These notes are valid from our trip in April 2016, and are strictly our opinion based on our experience!
I’ve included fees in solas (S/) when I had recorded them.
Lima: Larco Museum; the walking/running paths along the cliffs above the ocean in Miraflores.
The Miraflores cliff park.
Nazca: fly-over of Nazca Lines and learning about them and Maria Reiche.
Most of the ‘lines’ at Nazca really are lines, but see my later post (on June 5) on Nazca for photos of the objects too, such as the hummingbird.
Lake Titicaca: Usos Islands and spending the night on Taquile Island (but arrange for a “home stay” where you get to interact with the family, which didn’t happen for us, although that was what we wanted).
Usos tribal member in his reed canoe by one of the floating islands in Lake Titicaca.
Cuzco: Tour of the Cathedral with the audio tour that is included with your ticket. A meal at Cicciolina (2nd floor, 1st block on Calle Triunfo, just SE, I think, of the Cathedral). Museo Machupicchu, a good intro before you go to Machu Picchu.
Part of the facade of the Cuzco Cathedral.
Ollantaytambo ruins: We found these considerably more interesting than Sacsayhuaman, which is mainly known for its massive zigzag walls.
One view of Ollantaytambo ruins.
Machu Picchu, obviously.
A view from Machu Picchu.
Alto Plano: For the scenery, the vicuna, slightly lower the herds of alpaca, but mostly this rather desolate high (very high) plains environment.
Alto Plano scene.
Colca Canyon: For the scenery and the condors.
Andean condor at Colca Canyon.