On to Peru. We booked flights from Guayaquil to Cusco with a layover in Lima through Taca Airlines. We would then fly them back from Peru to Quito, Ecuador for the third leg of our trip. I must say I was very pleased with Taca's professionalism, cleanliness, and overall service. The fleet is new and modern, the attendants bright and cheery and the flights always on time. They even gave us the cutest snack boxes even though it was only a two hour flight. Highly recommend them!
We arrive at Lima for our 9 hour layover before heading to Cusco. Yes, you read right. We had exactly 9 hours to explore the city before we jumped on a 5:30 a.m. flight to Cusco and the highly anticipated Machu Pichu. And explore we would. We hire two taxi cabs from the airport that serve as our chauffeurs and tour guides and they take us on a whorlwind tour of this great city. It's HUGE, at one point we are driving down a highway that made me blink twice because I thought I was on route 17 in Paramus, NJ instead of in the Peruvian capital. We ended up having dinner in a very posh and modern sector called Miraflores where your dining options consist of American-inspired restaurants like TGIF Fridays (isnt the grass always greener?) and Starbucks galore. All we really wanted was a nice dive where we could taste the Peruvian Ceviche and compare it to the one we had in Cevichelandia, albeit we already knew the Ecuadorian one was superior (wink,wink;) but alas that was not to happen due to the time and the safety issues. We did get to enjoy the Plaza De Armas with it's regal architecture and beautiful fountains as well as the view of the beach from Miraflores. Note: Peru in the middle of June is quite cold, the equivalent of a crisp November morning in New York. I'll make mention of the cold again in a future post;)
That being said, by the time we returned to the airport at 2 a.m. or so we were craving a nice little corner to nod off in, but alas all the other Cusco-bound tourist had the same idea and most of them beat us to it. Not to despair, after a few expressos from Starbucks and some internet-time, we were ready to jump on board and head to our next mission:
Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Pichu, Peru!