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ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:43 pm

The Gem of South America: Peru
 
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Machu Picchu Panorama

Hello and welcome to my latest trip report. This one takes us back in time to this past summer. To be exact, the dates of July 2 through July 9, 2012. During this time period my mother and I took a trip of a lifetime to Peru. I hope you all enjoy this report as it did take me quite a bit of time to go through these pictures. I'm also trying out a bit of a different layout to this report. I will be splitting it up by days, however, I won't be including the usual arrival at one airport, departure from another, etc, as I'm veering towards more of a photo report with this one. So sit back, relax and enjoy!

Days/Features Breakdown

Day 1 - Flights to Lima from Tampa through Atlanta.
Day 2 - Flight to Cusco from Lima.
Day 3 - Cusco city tour and surrounding areas.
Day 4 - Sacred Valley of the Incas tour.
Day 5 - Train to Machu Picchu and Machu Picchu.
Day 6 - Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu.
Day 7/8 - Flights back to Tampa via Lima, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta.




Day 1 - Flights to Lima


Day 1 pictures will include the flights to Lima and pertaining information along with some brief descriptions.

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Delta Air Lines Flight #2091
Tampa, FL (TPA) - Atlanta, GA (ATL)
Equipment - 757-200
Seat Assignment - 1A, First Class, Window
Departure Time - 1:29PM
Arrival Time - 2:47PM
Flying Time - 1 hour 18 minutes
Departure Gate - E62
Arrival Gate - B29
Aircraft Registration - N668DN
Status - On Time
Date - July 2, 2012

Our flights out to Lima included one to Atlanta then continuing onto Lima. Luckily, we got upgrades on both legs of the trip putting us in First and Business class cabins. I gotta say, the difference between Delta's older J product and their newer one (as seen in the 747) are astounding. The old ones aboard the 767's are like comparing Y to J...

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Our DL 752 to Atlanta.


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Boarding gate E62 for Atlanta.


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Looking back at Airside E.


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Climbing into the clouds.


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Lake Tarpon (near where I live).


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Descending into the Atlanta area.


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Welcome to Atlanta!


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Looking at an Atlanta concourse.


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Our flight to Lima on the departures board.


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The new F concourse in Atlanta.


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Departure area near the gate.


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Delta Air Lines Flight #151
Atlanta, GA (ATL) - Lima, Peru (LIM)
Equipment - 767-300ER
Seat Assignment - 1E, Business Elite, Aisle
Departure Time - 5:19PM
Arrival Time - 10:52PM
Flying Time - 6 hours 33 minutes
Departure Gate - E30
Arrival Gate - 17
Aircraft Registration - N152DL
Status - On Time
Date - July 2, 2012

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Gate E30 for Lima, Peru.


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The 763ER we were on for Lima.


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Immigration papers.


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The appetizer.


The meals provided were excellent. I can't remember the exact names of the dishes so if anyone has any information on these then let me know! During the flight I watched a few movies on my laptop. I gotta say, it didn't feel like seven hours.

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Passing back over Tampa.

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:44 pm

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The main course.


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The dessert.


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Passing over Cuba.


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Entering South America.


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Over Peru.


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Walking to customs at LIM.


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The hotel lobby.


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A bit quiet on the Lima streets...


After arriving at the Lima airport we were escorted to the Hotel Britania Miraflores where we'd be staying the night. The flight to Cusco was the following morning at 8AM so lets just say, there wasn't much time for sleeping. Needless to say, we were both excited and nervous about the next couple days to follow.


Day 2 - Flight to Cusco


Day 2 includes our flight over to Cusco. The rest of the day was used to relax and adapt to the altitude change. This gave us time to experience some Peruvian cuisine and get a feeling for Cusco.

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Outside the Lima Airport.


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Inside LIM.


Star Peru Flight #1181
Lima, Peru (LIM) - Cusco, Peru (CUZ)
Equipment - Bae-146
Seat Assignment - 6A, Economy Class, Window
Departure Time - 8:30AM
Arrival Time - 10:02AM
Flying Time - 1 hour 32 minutes
Departure Gate - 7
Arrival Gate - 1
Aircraft Registration - OB-1943-P
Status - On Time
Date - July 3, 2012

This was obviously my first time flying Star Peru. I think I expected too much though. Seats were assigned, but after boarding people were in our seat so we sat in other seats and ended up getting yelled at and told to move since we were in other peoples seats. We then proceeded to stand in the aisle in confusion because now we had no seats... They continued to yell at us until they finally got someone that spoke English to help us. They finally figured our that the people in our seats weren't even suppose to be on the flight, they were suppose to be on the one an hour later. Needless to say, we ended up in our assigned seats. The flight itself was quite exciting, we had some great views of the Andes. However, it was very hard to get pictures due to the wing. One thing I didn't like though was that they packed that plane 3-3 with very little legroom, so for someone like myself at 6 foot, it was very uncomfortable. After a short hour or so inflight we landed in the highlands city of Cusco.

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The two Star Peru Bae-146's sitting on the tarmac.


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Boarding gate for Cusco.


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Our plane.


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View from one of the seats we were kicked from.


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View on takeoff.


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View over the Andes.


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The meal. Just a sandwich and Sprite.


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Approaching Cusco soon.


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On approach to the airport.

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:45 pm

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Making the turn for the runway.


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On final.


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The Cusco terminal.


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Looking back at the plane.


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Inside the terminal.

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Outside the airport.


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Coca Tea. It's used to help your body adapt to the altitude and prevent altitude sickness.


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The busy street outside our hotel.


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Dinner. I believe (IIRC) it was beef with some potatoes.





Day 2 - Cusco City Tour and Surroundings


Day 2 was the day we did the city tour and the surrounding areas. The first destination of the tour was La Plaza de Armas, where the two main churches are located. Due to respect I didn't take any pictures inside the church we toured, but I will say, it was beyond belief. Everything was gold plated (or silver) and in perfect condition. The second destination was the Korikancha which is where the Spaniards built over an Incan Temple. Afterwards, we visited the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. That had to be my favorite part of the day as it was astonishing how large these rocks were they moved up there. Following Sacsayhuaman we moved onto Qenko, then Tambomachay. On the way back to the hotel our group stopped at an alpaca factory where the store owners described and showed us the differences between real alpaca products and fake. Overall, this was an extremely busy day.

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The Korikancha.


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One of the churches.


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Women with goats.


Same church as before.


A tree in La Plaza de Armas.


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Temple of the Sun.


The rocks of Sacsayhuaman.


Sacsayhuaman.


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Panorama of Sacsayhuaman.

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:45 pm

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Overview of Cusco.


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Qenko.


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The Sacrificial Altar.

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Some houses near Qenko.


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Entrance to Tambomachay.


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We are rather high up.


An Incan canal.


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Another canal.


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Tambomachay.





Day 4 - Sacred Valley of the Incas


Today would be the tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The tour would begin early in the morning (around 5AM) and go through about 7PM. The first stop on the tour was an alpaca farm out in the mountains. At the farm they showed us how the hide is weaved, cleaned and colored. Following the farm would be the Pisaq Market. The market is world famous and still practice bartering. I chose to walk around, visit the ruins and do some quick shopping. After the market, it was time for lunch. The small restaurant we visited was located in an awesome locations. It was right on the river with a huge garden in the back with wild llamas and chickens roaming around. The next and final scheduled stop on the tour was the town of Ollantaytambo. During our stop we walked up the entire ruin and were given details about what we were seeing. By this time it was about 4PM so we needed to make our way back to Cusco. Since we were making good time we decided to stop in Chincerro for another demonstation on how the alpaca fur is weaved. We finally arrived back in Cusco at around 7/8PM. We quickly had dinner and went to bed as the next day, our trek to Machu Picchu, would begin very early.

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An alpaca.


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Demonstrating how the hyde is colored.


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And how it's weaved...


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An astonishing view of the Sacred Valley.


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Thought this was a necessary picture.


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A street in Pisaq.


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The Pisaq ruins.


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The famous Pisaq Market.


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The stang I bought the hats I now have at.

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:46 pm

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The town of Pisaq.


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The restaurant we had lunch at.


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My meal.


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Some chicks at the restaurant.


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Llama vs. Chicks.


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Looking up at the restaurant from the river.


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The ruins of Ollantaytambo.


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Pre-Incan ruins at Ollantaytambo.


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Walking around the ruins.


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The precision of the rock placement is ridiculous.


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Looking over at Ollantaytambo.


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The valley near Ollantaytambo.


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A glacier viewed on the ride back to Cusco.


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A building in Chincherro.


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Two children in Chincherro.


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Guinea Pigs. A delicacy in Peru. Known as "Cuy".


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My dinner. Cuy (not as a whole) and a Pisco Sour.


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Our room in Cusco.





Day 5 - Machu Picchu


Today would be the day we travelled here for. We'd be visiting Machu Picchu. In order to get there one must take a four hour train ride from Cusco to Aguas Calientes then transfer to a 30 minute bus ride up the side of a mountain to the ruins. The train left at 6AM so that got us there by 10:30AM. After checking into our hotel we got on the bus and headed up to the ruins. The first time you see the ruins you are left in awe. The view from up there is so extraordinary that I have no words to describe it. We began with a guided tour around the main attractions on the ruins. After the guided tour we were allowed to roam freely around the ruins. A couple hours later we headed back down to Aguas Calientes to get some food and prepare for the long day tomorrow.

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The train station in Poroy (Cusco).

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:47 pm

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The meal onboard the train.


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About an hour into the ride.


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View of some landscape.


Some last minute research.


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View of a glacier.


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Arrival station at Aguas Calientes.


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The Urubamba River going through Aguas Calientes.


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More of Aguas Calientes.

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The bus arrival area on Machu Picchu.


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First view of Machu Picchu.


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The ruins.


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The guide explaining the history.


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Some of the terraces.


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The Temple of the Sun


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The Compass Stone. Points directly North.


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Another view.


More of the terraces and a view of the surrounding mountains.


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The Intihuatana Stone.


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A small flower growing from a rock.


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The Temple of the Three Windows.

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:47 pm

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Used this as a background for a while.


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The postcard picture!


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Our hotel lobby.


View from our room.





Day 6 - Huyana Picchu and Machu Picchu



The day began very early as we wanted to get to the top of Machu Picchu before sunrise. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very good so it wasn't good for pictures. I had a reservation to climb Huyana Picchu though at 7AM. Any of you planning to go to Machu Picchu, do this. Don't listen to people that say its not worth it because it is. The view from up there is something else. I doubt anything I do in my life will be more crazy than that though because the stairs to get up there are ridiculous. After I got down I walked around for some pictures on Machu Picchu. Our train left for Cusco at 5PM out of Aguas Calientes putting us back in Cusco by 9PM. We had to proceed to pack up and prepare for our long trip home.

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I told myself I'd get a picture next to a llama before I left. I succeeded.


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The map for Huyana Picchu.


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The stairs... Dear god.


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The stairs of death. There's a video on YouTube of a guy climbing these.


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The tunnel I had to crawl through towards the top.


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The ladder at the top.


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And behold... Machu Picchu!


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Machu Picchu as seen from Huyana Picchu.


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The summit.


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Not sure I'm going to continue.


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Just taking a nap on the summit of Huyana Picchu.


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People coming up the descent trail...


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This was some sort of a viewing post for Machu Picchu.


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View from the top at Machu Picchu. This is where the postcard picture is taken from.


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View from the Intihuatana Stone.

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:48 pm

View of a trail on Machu Picchu.


Just another view.


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A lizard.


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And a chinchilla.


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The ruins.


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Temple of the Three Windows.


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Another view of Machu Picchu.


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A llama laying down.


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The train to Cusco passing through Aguas Calientes.


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The town of Aguas Calientes.



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Our hotel in Aguas Calientes.


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Onboard the train back to Cusco.





Day 7 and 8 - Flights back to Tampa


The flights back home were... interesting to say the least. We started with a 1PM flight back to Lima, the last Star Peru flight of the day. We then had a very long layover in Lima as the flight was leaving around 11PM. After eating multiple times and walking around it was time for our flight to Atlanta to board. We ended up boarding about 15 minutes late, the beginning of the end. The captain announced there would be about a one hour delay due to engine problems so I reclined the seat and passed out. I ended up waking up three hours later, at about 3AM, as we were pushing back. I was curious why we left late, but happy we left so I went back to bed. As I woke up I was surprised with the announcement "Ladies and gentlemen, we are now beginning our initial descent into Fort Lauderdale." What!? Well, apparently the crew chose to fly to the US landing in FLL and switching crews then continuing onto Atlanta, instead of canceling in Lima. In the end it worked out and we got to Atlanta and made a connection for our flight to Tampa.

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Check in for Star Peru at Cusco.


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Headed into the terminal.


Inca Kola. Something you have to try, but only once.


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Inside the terminal in Cusco.


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Star Peru Flight #1130
Cusco, Peru (CUZ) - Lima, Peru (LIM)
Equipment - Bae-146
Seat Assignment - 1F, Economy Class, Window
Departure Time - 1:15PM
Arrival Time - 2:50PM
Flying Time - 1 hour 40 minutes
Departure Gate - 2
Arrival Gate - N/A
Aircraft Registration - OB-1877-P
Status - On Time
Date - July 8, 2012

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Boarding gate for Lima.

ChiefNWA Nov 15, 12 8:48 pm

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Departing Cusco.


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Pulling onto the runway. It's a long run at 11,000ft in altitude.


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Liftoff!


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Climbing out of Cusco.


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Still climbing...


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Landing in Lima.


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Taxiing in Lima.


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Deplaning.


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Delta Air Lines Flight #150
Lima, Peru (LIM) - Atlanta, GA (ATL) Diverted to Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL)
Equipment - 767-300ER
Seat Assignment - 1B, First Class, Aisle
Departure Time - 3:36AM
Arrival Time - 10:14AM
Flying Time - 5 hours 38 minutes
Departure Gate - 15
Arrival Gate - H8
Aircraft Registration - N152DL
Status - Delayed and Diverted
Date - July 9, 2012

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View while in FLL.


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Delta Air Lines Flight #150
Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) - Atlanta, GA (ATL)
Equipment - 767-300ER
Seat Assignment - 1B, First Class, Aisle
Departure Time - 10:42AM
Arrival Time - 1:00PM
Flying Time - 2 hours 18 minutes
Departure Gate - H8
Arrival Gate - F10
Aircraft Registration - N152DL
Status - Delayed and Diverted
Date - July 9, 2012

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Leaving FLL.


Bad picture of our seats.


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Our plane after finally getting to Atlanta.


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After customs.


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The gate for Tampa.


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Delta Air Lines Flight #2376
Atlanta, GA (ATL) - Tampa, FL (TPA)
Equipment - MD-88
Seat Assignment - 35A, Economy Class, Window
Departure Time - 6:07PM
Arrival Time - 8:32PM
Flying Time - 2 hours 25 minutes
Departure Gate - B14
Arrival Gate - E64
Aircraft Registration - N993DL
Status - On Time
Date - July 9, 2012

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The MD-88 we were on back home to Tampa.





Well guys, that's it. Hope you enjoyed the report. I'll have some others up in the near future but for now, enjoy and thanks for reading!

Thunderroad Nov 16, 12 9:21 am

Wow, those are really wonderful photos! My wife and I will go to Peru in the first half of September. This is an excellent introduction. Thanks so much for posting this.

A few questions about your trip:

1. Given the high altitude, did you find yourselves very winded in walking around Cusco? Did the altitude limit what you felt you could do there?
2. If so, did the coca tea help much?
3. What were your favorite and least favorite places to visit in the Sacred Valley?
4. Same question for Cusco itself: favorite and least favorite?
5. That climb up to Huyana Piccu does indeed look steep! About how long would you say it took you to climb to the top? And at about what pace were you going compared to most other folks - slow, average or fast?

Thanks for any information you can provide!

ChiefNWA Nov 16, 12 10:15 am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thunderroad (Post 19694693)
Wow, those are really wonderful photos! My wife and I will go to Peru in the first half of September. This is an excellent introduction. Thanks so much for posting this.

A few questions about your trip:

1. Given the high altitude, did you find yourselves very winded in walking around Cusco? Did the altitude limit what you felt you could do there?
2. If so, did the coca tea help much?
3. What were your favorite and least favorite places to visit in the Sacred Valley?
4. Same question for Cusco itself: favorite and least favorite?
5. That climb up to Huyana Piccu does indeed look steep! About how long would you say it took you to climb to the top? And at about what pace were you going compared to most other folks - slow, average or fast?

Thanks for any information you can provide!

1. I myself didn't. I exercise quite regularly and I'm 19 so that may have something to do with it. My mom however did occasionally run out of breath.
2. Honestly, I don't think it did. Locals swear by it but I noticed nothing.
3. I'd say my favorite was Ollantaytambo. It was the first place we actually saw ruins at. Lots of hiking up and down as well.
4. Cusco is great. My favorite part was Sacsayhuaman, its just unbelievable. The city itself is fairly small so walking around you can find lots of things to do.
5. The climb was indeed very steep, and at many times there's nothing to hold onto. If you're afraid of heights, don't go. I made it up in 48 minutes (I timed it) and was the 3rd of maybe 100 or so people to get up there so I'd say I was going fairly fast. The majority of people take about 1.5 or 2 hours to get up.

Hoep this helps you. If you have any questions or anything before you go just PM me!

Thunderroad Nov 16, 12 3:11 pm

That's great info. Thanks, Chief! I'll pm if I have more questions.

Happy trails!

halfcape Nov 16, 12 4:23 pm

Wow, wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing them!! It looks like you had a great trip.

Bretteee Nov 16, 12 4:30 pm

I heard they control how many people can visit Macu Pichu daily.

How do you book for this problem? Thanks.

miikkak Nov 16, 12 5:56 pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bretteee (Post 19697187)
I heard they control how many people can visit Macu Pichu daily.

How do you book for this problem? Thanks.

Unless travelling during Fiestas Patrias (independence day), Easter or New Year, it's not very complicated to buy the tickets. Of course you should buy them before buying the train tickets either in Cusco or online at http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ .

As reminder, Wayna Picchu tickets cannot be bought separately, they can only be bought with MP entrance. Unlike MP, Wayna Picchu is sold out almost daily, buy your WP tickets at least a couple of weeks in advance!


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