Time: 37 days (4th July – 9th August 2013)
Budget: $74.73 (per day for two people)
Itinerary: 3 days Puno, 8 days Cusco, 2 days Nasca, 2 days Huacachina, 2 days Lima, 10 days Huaraz, 4 days Huanchaco, 5 days Chachapoyas, 1 day border crossing
At first glance, this daily budget seems expensive for such a cheap country. But when you consider that we got private rooms nearly everywhere, ate out almost all the time and did all the activities we wanted to, you can see why we spent so much and how Peru can be such a great budget destination.
If we hadn’t included Machu Picchu and a flight over Nasca, our budget would have been $8 cheaper per day. Outside of these two costly attractions, admission prices to archaeological sites are ridiculously cheap. Tours are usually quite economically priced, although touts can be quite pushy in trying to sell to you, especially in the south (which is also generally more expensive). I felt that Peru is what Bolivia could be if it developed its tourist infrastructure.
We were treated by Jon’s brother and sister to a couple of nights at the very nice Casa Encantada in Cusco. Thank you very much Chad and Jackie! And thanks for coming to visit us too!
Hostel Akilpo, Huaraz: Cheaper than some hotels, we got a private room with bathroom and cable TV. The owners are very nice and also have their own travel agency. If it’s anything like the hostel, it should be run efficiently and honestly (unlike some outfitters in Huaraz).
Chachapoyas Backpackers, Chachapoyas: It was like a nice hotel, but with a kitchen and very friendly owners. These guys are lovely and were full of concern and advice when I turned up with a terrible cough (and their folk remedy also worked). The only down-side is the cold showers.
Cafe Andino & Trivio, Huaraz: Both these resto-bars have similar menus, free wifi and comfy seating. They’re great if you want a break from Peruvian food, but it does come at a price. They also serve great beer.
Hearts Cafe & La Esquina, Ollantaytambo: These two cafes serve very similar food at similar prices. We’re talking home-made soups, sandwiches and cakes, as well as free filtered water so you don’t need to buy plastic bottles. Hearts puts all it’s profits back into the community through development programs. The owner of La Esquina didn’t charge us for the food that our friend ordered and then couldn’t eat because she felt ill. That’s beyond customer service.
The best ceviche we had was in Huacachina. On the left side of the lagoon, at the end past all the other restaurants and hotels, is a seafood restaurant. You want to eat here. Trust me.