I've always wanted to visit South America. Machu Picchu was forever on the list of place that I want to go. 2 years ago my friend informed me of sale flights to South America but I already made plans with another friend for travel so I let it slide. I made up my mind that I will make this trip to Peru happen, even if I would be travelling by myself.
As I have not been to South America, it is very foreign to me (still is) and during my last holidays to Europe I felt that I should learn a new language, a non Asian language. Even though Spanish language is pretty much only spoken in Spain in the European continent but many Latin American countries speaks Spanish. So I signed up for Spanish lesson sometime this time last year. My Spanish level is very negligible and I am sure they gave me a lot of allowance but it was so rewarding when I managed simple, brief conversations with the locals.
There are a few people who commented that I am brave to travel to South America by myself, and some gave me the "are you sure it is safe?" look. I can't say for the rest SA countries but I have not once felt unsafe during my travel in Peru. In fact Peruvians that I met along the way are friendly. I was surprised that it was really easy to go around. Taxi drivers and peddlers are not pushy. A taxi driver even told me where to catch a colectivo (public transport in the form of a van) when I told him I don't want taxi but wanted to take a colectivo. People returned me money when I overpaid them (because of my poor Spanish, haha), and I don't feel ripped off because I am a tourist. Of course, travel like how you would anywhere, be vigilant, don't do stupid things and be safe :)
LATAM operates direct flights to Santiago on certain days from Sydney and Melbourne. When I bought my flight tickets, Machu Picchu was the only item in my itinerary. So I bought a ticket that get me to Cuzco.
|M: Morning; A: Afternoon; E: Evening, MN: Midnight|
26/10, Day 00 - On flight*. Transit in Santiago enroute to Lima. Domestic flight to Cuzco.
27/10, Day 01 - Landed in Cuzco. Taxi to Chinchero, Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo* (Ollantaytampu Hostel Patacalle)
28/10, Day 02 - Ollantaytambo, day trip Pisac, train to Aguas Calientes* (El Tambo Machupicchu)
29/10, Day 03 - Machu Picchu, train to Cuzco* (Hotel Royal Frankenstein)
30/10, Day 04 - Cuzco*
31/10, Day 05 - Cuzco*
01/11, Day 06 - Flight to Puerto Maldonado* (Green Diamond Amazon Lodge)
02/11, Day 07 - Puerto Maldonado*
03/11, Day 08 - Puerto Maldonado*
04/11, Day 09 - Puerto Maldonado. Flight back to Cuzco. Overnight bus* to Arequipa
05/11, Day 10 - Arequipa*. Early bus to Cabanaconde (Vallecito Backpackers)
06/11, Day 11 - Trek to Llahuar* (Llahuar Lodge)
07/11, Day 12 - Back to Cabanaconde* (Backpacker Hostel Pachamama)
08/11, Day 13 - Back to Arequipa. Overnight bus* to Ica.
09/11, Day 14 - Arrived Ica, taxi to Huacachina* (Hospedaje Dulce Estancia)
10/11, Day 15 - Day trip to Islas Ballestas and Paracas National Reserve. Bus to Lima* (The Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast)
11/11, Day 16 - Lima. Night flight out of Lima
*referring to where I overnight
Side note: Going to watch Fantastic Beast...