Most amazing train ride: Front seat on the train to the Sacred Valley. (on the way home, there was a fashion show on the train…)
Most dazzling monastery: Santa Catalina, Arequipa
Best old world/Inca village with most intense cobble stoned lanes: Ollantaytambo
Most bizarre landscape: the salt pans of Salinas and terraced circles of Moray
Best religious site with skulls and boxes of (human) bones: San Francisco Monasterio in Lima
Best church: That’s a tough one, in Cusco – the Cathedral and the Iglesia de Compania de Jesus and the church in San Blas. or the Iglesia de la Compagnia in Arequipa.
Best market: Also a hard call. Pisac, Arequipa (below) and Cusco are strong contenders
Best folk art: Artesanias Las Pallas in Lima’s Barranco neighborhood
Best contemporary crafts gallery: Dedalo in Lima’s Barranco neighborhood
Best quality Andean Textiles: Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cuzco, on Av. El Sol or Shop of the Weavers of the Southern Andes on Tullumayo in Cusco.
Best hidden museum: Museo de Arte Popular, Cusco
Most spectacular site/ruins: Machu Picchu, hands down
Grandest plaza: Toss up between Cusco and Arequipa
Best service at a hotel: Apu Lodge, Ollantaytambo
Best art at a hotel: Second Home Peru, in Lima (below)
Most ancient-feeling hotel: La Casa de Melgar, Arequipa
Best hotel to bring earplugs: Ninos Hotel in Cusco, lovely courtyard but carries sound especially people wandering through at 5:30 a.m.