I never would have thought I’d have the chance to set foot anywhere in South America.
As it turns out, I have an adventurous friend who had Machu Picchu on her bucket list. This friend heard of a buy one get one free sale from Acanela and we decided to go!
In Peru, the money is the Peruvian Sol. We called several different banks in Hilo and found that Hawaii National Bank was the only one who would exchange sol for us.
From Hilo, we flew on United Airlines to LAX and then connected to Houston where we had time to get a burger before leaving the United States. We also took our altitude medication there while making sure to hydrate well. We did not want to suffer from altitude sickness medication while on this amazing adventure.
I’d highly recommend doing a package tour for Machu Picchu unless you are knowledgeable about the different tickets you need to visit the amazing sites. Most tickets sell out 6-8 months ahead of time so it helps to have a local tour guide assisting you through the process. More about Acanela’s planned hotels and activities for us in a future post.
Our first stop in South America was at Lima International Aiport. We arrived at around 11 p.m. and stayed at the Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport hotel. You might find some cheaper options away from the airport but this was so convenient for us. It is connected to the airport and we didn’t have to find any transportation to take us to our hotel. We just walked over to the hotel, redeemed coupons for free Pisco Sours and snacked on octopus bruschetta and then went to our rooms and got to sleep before our morning flight to Cusco!
In the morning, we enjoyed our free breakfast at the airport hotel, which may or may not have included alpaca stir-fry. Whatever it was, I thought it was delicious. We walked over to the airport terminal, caught our quick flight to Cusco and arrived in Cusco on a beautiful day.
As soon as you arrive at Cusco Airport (elevation 10,860 ft), you will see free coca leaves to chew and help you acclimate to the high elevation.
We got our luggage, found our way out of Cusco Airport and found our guide! Ready for our adventure! Living Hilo Style in Peru!
*Much more to come in future posts.