After 2+ years of the pandemic and the entire family being fully vaccinated, we decided to take a bucket list trip to Peru! We landed into Cusco on April 2nd, and after checking into the beautiful Palacio del Inka (a Luxury Collection property with a rich heritage), we strolled down the cobble stoned streets to the main square. We enjoyed a sumptuous dinner at Ceviche Seafood Kitchen which was recommended by one of my friends, and called it a night. The next morning, Ayaan arose to a broken tooth and was pleased to see that the tooth fairy visits in Peru as well. After a hearty breakfast, our first stop was the Cusco Cathedral, followed by a taxi ride to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. We rented a guide and were so pleased to see Ayaan really enjoying the history, culture and beauty of these amazing ruins. Our guide customized the tour for the kids, pointing out hidden stone formations of lamas, and the kids got to meet real lamas too. We then strolled back to Cusco, stopping at the San Cristobal church where we enjoyed amazing views of Cusco from the top of the tower. We enjoyed a Nikkei lunch of Tiradito and then retreated to our hotel for a tour of the rich heritage of our hotel and an Inkan performance. Gaurav and I then joined a Pisco Sour class while the kids played nearby in the bar. The next morning at breakfast, the kids got to pet a baby alpaca. We then went to the choco museum for a chocolate making class which we all thoroughly enjoyed and Ayaan bravely volunteered himself for a sacrificial ritual. Replete with bags of wonderful treats which we dropped off at our hotel, our next stop was Qurikancha or the Sun Temple. That afternoon, Ayaan and I had booked a cooking class at the hotel, where we prepared ceviche followed by lomo saltado. The art of cooking the meat over a large flaming wok was thrilling and gave us both a sense of pride. We then enjoyed the meal which I accompanied by a glass of Bordeaux.
The next morning, we ventured to the market enjoying some fresh mango milkshake. Our driver Richard then picked us up to stop at the Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary where we interacted with several rescued animals including lamas, condors and alpacas. Next, we went to the awe-inspiring Pisac ruins where a guide explained the 4 different townships. The drive was beautiful and the kids were in great spirits. Our next stop was the Maras salt mines followed by the agricultural terraces of Moray where the kids did really well climbing the steep terraces. Richard finally dropped us off at Tambo del Inka in the beautiful Sacred Valley where we enjoyed a special dinner by the fireplace. The next morning, we boarded the 360 Inka Rail train to Machu Picchu with incredible views of the valley, waterfalls, mountains and river. Ariana in particular really enjoyed going into the standing open cabin to take in the sweeping views. We then met our guide and travel companions and boarded a bus to Machu Picchu. Words cant describe the beauty of this seventh wonder (Gaurav’s final one and my 6th) and it was really gratifying to see how much the kids were in awe as well. At dinner that night, Gaurav and I decided to try the guinea pig which was cooked to perfection with a crisp skin, and we washed it down with a bottle of red. The kids enjoyed multiple courses of pasta.
The next day, we made our way to Ollantaytambo and hiked through the various terrain. After a quick stop at Chinceros, we boarded our flight to Lima. We managed to snag last minute reservations at Maido, which quickly became one of the best meals of my life! The fatty tuna or toro prepared tableside will be etched into my memory forever! After a short break strolling through the Cathedral of Lima, the main square and grabbing dinner for the kids, Gaurav and I made our way to Central, another unforgettable meal where we also had a chance to meet and interact with the chef, Virgilio Martínez Véliz. Peru, you were a true delight and I’m so glad to have enjoyed this experience with the family!