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It was just a few weeks ago when my wife and I came back from a trip to Peru. I have written quite a few entries leading up to this trip in my personal blog, Daddy Travels Now. Thanks to Points With A Crew, for giving me an opportunity to summarize our trip for all our readers and followers – an entry that summarizes my experience from the time that I booked this trip, to my final thoughts, my takeaways about our trip. We were gone for a total of nine days (flights included), and this was how we spent those nine memorable days.

Just a quick background about me, I started this points/miles earning hobby back in 2014. My wife and I have four kids, and since we began our quest in traveling for nearly free using points earned with credit cards, we have since traveled all over Europe, Asia, and numerous times to Hawaii and New York City. We go where the deal takes us. Whenever possible, we bring the kids along with us, and if not, it’s a trip just between me and my wife. We don’t have a defined set of travel dates, again, we go with whatever deals are out there.

Two Biz Class Seats at 87K Ultimate Rewards

Here’s a perfect example of us taking advantage of a deal when it presented itself. I woke up one fine December morning. We were a few days away from our family trip to Washington DC and New York City where we planned to spend the winter holidays. I saw quite a few blog entries of $659 business class tickets from Los Angeles to Peru. Honestly, other than Machu Picchu, I had no idea what else to do or expect in Peru. But I checked it out, however, I didn’t want to pay over $1,300 for two tickets. I have the points and found the deal available by booking directly with the Chase Portal for around 44,000 Ultimate Rewards per person. Click here for details.

Aeromexico Business Class

I actually had a great time blogging about this trip. For a change, I divided all my entries based on the different types of experience as we made our way to Peru.

Delta Sky Club (LAX) & flying Aeromexico Business Class

Call me weird, call me strange, but I look forward to going to the airport and hanging out at one of the lounges. My travel perspective had changed since getting in to the miles/points earning hobby. It’s given me access to Priority Pass (via my Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum Card), and also access to Amex’s flagship lounges, the Centurion Lounge. For this trip, we were able to use Delta Sky Club at LAX. However, it wasn’t because of my Priority Pass. Click here to find out how we got in.

Delta Sky Club, Los Angeles International Airport

American Express Centurion Club, Mexico City

For this trip, we had to stop in Mexico City (to and from Peru). But we didn’t mind. Why? I knew we’d be getting access to Amex’s Centurion Club in Mexico City. Yes, we didn’t mind. Check out the details. We were treated to a massage and manicure and pedicure services for my wife. That was a great treat. For more details, click here.

American Express Centurion Club Mexico City

Finally, Peru

After our journey that took us from LA to Mexico City, we finally made it to our final destination in Lima, Peru. We arrived late in the evening around 11pm. One thing I forgot to mention to you, whenever possible, we only travel with a carry on luggage and a backpack. With this Aeromexico flight, we were actually allowed to bring up to two checked luggage per person, however, we opted not to check our carry ons. This entry will show you how expeditiously we left the plane and on to Lima Customs. After standing in line for about 10-15 minutes, we made it to baggage claim, but wait, we had nothing to claim. We were done!

Lima Airport

Where did we stay during our first two nights in Peru? We stayed in Miraflores in a little boutique hotel Tierra Viva. I used my Chase Ultimate Rewards and only used approximately 7,000 points per night. We enjoyed our stay here. Details and pictures of this little boutique hotel are all here in this entry.

Checking in Tierra Viva Miraflores, Lima

Dined at 3 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

My wife and I are major foodies. We don’t confine ourselves to eating food that reminds us of home. After all, what is traveling to other countries without experiencing local food. For this trip, we actually treated ourselves by going to three of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – they were all located in Lima. It was many thanks to American Express Concierge service for booking our  last minute reservations to two of them, and the other one, I just worked my charm and got us late night seats. I wrote very detailed entries, and included vivid pictures that showed how we experienced dining in these restaurants. Click below to get to the entries:

 

Central Restaurante ranked # 5 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Maido ranked #8 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Astrid y Gaston ranked #33 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Explored the Sacred Valley

We left Lima and flew to Cusco and began making our way to Machu Picchu. Unlike many tips out there, which was to stay in Cusco and acclimate to the altitude change, we opted to make our way to Ollantaytambo, which gave us a chance to tour the Sacred Valley. Here’s the entry that shows how we spent our long day through Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, and our stay at the beautiful and peaceful, Hotel Del Pilar. Click here.

Visiting Pisac

Oh yeah, Machu Picchu

After a full day of exploring the Sacred Valley, we stayed the night in Ollantaytambo, and took a train to Aguas Calientes. From there, we made our trek to Machu Picchu. It was an unforgettable visit. The weather was perfect, no rain, no thick clouds, it wasn’t hot, and we got to enjoy our visit. Here’s my detailed account on what went down that day. Click here. This was How We Experienced Machu Picchu.

Just us and Machu Picchu

Thank you, PeruRail, for a great ride.

All things Cusco and beyond

Visiting Machu Picchu was a definite highlight . We had two extra days to explore Cusco. We did a city tour, visited a few more ruins, lots of churches/cathedrals. We did a combination of going with an arranged tour group on one day, and hired a cab driver to give us a private tour.  Here’s how we explored Cusco and beyond. – Moray, Salinas de Maras, Chinchero.

Chinchero

American Reps Travel arranged our excursions

I have to admit. I’m not one to normally rely on working with a travel agency. But our lives back home, with four kids, work, home improvement projects, Spring Break trip to Hawaii – just to name a few – we just didn’t have enough time to plan about Peru on our own. Our dear Peruvian friend and neighbor, Giovanna, came to the rescue. She got me in touch with Sandra Inti of American Reps – a travel agency located in Peru. We worked closely with Sandra, gave her our flight dates, and she customized our travel package for us. The price was extremely competitive when we added everything up. It was headache-free. All we had to do was show up wherever we needed to be each day of our trip. Here’s how American Reps helped with our travels.

Thanks to Sandra Inti of American Reps for arranging an amazing travel package for us.

My takeaways from our trip to Peru

As a traveler and a blogger, I make sure to write my takeaways. What were the things that I learned from our trip? What were my highlights, things I will never forget. I enjoy this part of my blog as it allows me to reflect on the days or weeks during our vacation. Was it the flights? The excursions? The food? The people? Each vacation, every destination has given me a different takeaway, a different perspective. But one thing remains certain, my zest to continue on traveling, no matter the distance or the destination, my aim is to grow, for my experience to be heightened, and be given the chance to share my adventures with my friends and family. Visiting Peru was no different. Here’s my link to my takeaways, and I hope that I was able to share the essence of our trip for you to read. Gracias, Peru.

 

 

 

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