Our son is studying in Peru this summer and fall so we’re gathering some string in plan for a trip to see him, perhaps in November. Below are suggestions from my aunt in NYC who was there last December, my friend S. who went there on her honeymoon 12 years ago and some info from Fodor’s and other websites:
– Lima – famous Peruvian restaurant ASTRID Y GASTON. This is the flagship restaurant of Peru’s most famous chefs – Gaston Acurio and Astrid Gutsche) Peruvian food is supposed to be among the world’s best. They offer a culinary tour of Peru that looks fantastic: http://taste-of-peru.com/culinary_programs/programs.php;
Hidden discreetly behind a nonchalant facade (though one of an antique colonial house), on a busy side street leading to Parque Central, is this warm and chic modern colonial dining room and cozy bar. It continues to be my favorite restaurant in Peru. Gastón Acurio is the celebrity chef of the moment, with a burgeoning empire of fine-dining restaurants not only in Lima but also a handful of other cities on the continent (one opened in San Francisco in spring 2008) and a cooking show on TV. His signature restaurant in the capital is warm and elegant, with high white peaked ceilings and orange walls decorated with colorful modern art. In back is an open kitchen, where Gastón can be seen cooking with his staff, and a secluded wine-salon dining room. The place is sophisticated and hip but low-key, a description that could fit most of its clients, who all seem to be regulars. The menu might be called criollo-Mediterranean: Peruvian with a light touch. Try spicy roasted kid or the excellent fish called noble robado, served in miso sauce with crunchy oysters. The list of desserts — the work of Astrid, the other half of the husband-wife team — is nearly as long as the main course menu, and they are spectacular.
They are featured in the 2011 documentary about Peruvian food/chefs/farmers and the September gastronomic fair in Lima – Mistura: the power of food.
– for Lima lodging: Second Home Peru in Barranco neighborhood looks like good place to stay, judging from Fodor’s. http://www.secondhomeperu.com/location-second-home-peru.html
Lilian Delfín runs this extraordinary, and unique, small inn in the longtime, coast-hugging home of her father, the well-known Peruvian painter and sculptor Victor Delfín. The place is perfect for the relaxed and still slightly bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. This is no bland B&B; the idiosyncratic 1913 home is replete with artistic flavor — and multiple works by Delfín, who recently turned 80 and continues to paint every day (the artist’s studio and living quarters are apart from the main house, tumbling down the cliff). Though the house overlooks the ocean and the rooms are exceedingly spacious and elegant, the rambling two-story house — something like a Tudor-Craftsman — is probably not for everyone. But many, especially those interested in the arts or spending a few days in town, will find it a magical home away from home in Lima. To my mind, it’s one of the coolest and best-value places to stay in all of Peru. My large room had a beautiful wood floor and beams, a huge picture window framing the misty gray Pacific, deep claw-foot tub, and what felt like the most luxurious linens in Lima. If you ask politely, Lilian may take you to visit her father’s fascinating studio, where a giant puma-head fountain spouts water into the swimming pool (open to guests). But at a minimum, you’ll get to have breakfast at Delfín’s funky, Gaudí-style, neo-medieval kitchen.
– Cusco – spend at least two days there, first night that arrive stay in Sacred Valley which is lower altitude (to avoid altitude sickness; My aunt stayed at Sol and Luna Hotel and ate at Hacienda Huayoccari. Also visited the salt mines?
While a large part of this valuable cultural legacy is to be found at museums in the City of Cusco, the mansion today houses a vast collection of folk art, with pieces dating back to the seventeenth century. Colonial paintings, ceremonial goblets known as keros, pottery, porcelain, and Huamanga stone relics are just part of what you will discover during your visit. A blend of Spanish traditions with indigenous customs inherited since the dawn of time, this plantation manor is a perfect spot to sample life in the country, learn about typical locally harvested products and admire the colourful flora. This visit culminates with a superb meal prepared with fresh produce of the plantation. The current inhabitants of the house, the Lambarri-Orihuela family, will be your hosts
Hacienda Huayoccari ***
Homestay / Best available
There are two double bedrooms available in this lovely secluded Hacienda, built in the Fifties by one of the most prestigious families in Cuzco: landowners and art collectors. It is located 2km uphill from the main Cuzco Urubamba road, very near the village of Calca, approximately 1 hour drive from Cuzco.
Huayo Ccari is a private home. The price reflects the privilege of staying in a private home and not the hotel-type facilities of lodging in this category. It provides beautiful surroundings, amazing garden and views, antiques and folk art throughout and delicious food. Electricity goes out when the last person retires and there is no television or international direct dialing. Hot water and electricity 24 hours.
The house is lived-in by its owners and receives guests to private luncheons by appointment only. One of our favourite spots in Peru.
They hired driver to get to ruins. Fantastic huge market in Cusco. Spend more time here than Macchu Picchu. They stayed at Hotel Monasterio in Cusco. (beautiful, pricey – gets high praise in fodor’s. Another option: La Casona. I like the idea of the Ninos Hotel – not only cheap but proceeds from our stay at this “children’s hotel” provides medical and dental care, food, etc. for 250 disadvantaged chidlren who attend day care on the premises. Very popular. Need to reserve way ahead. http://www.ninoshotel.com
There’s also a Second Home Cusco: a a Bed and Breakfast located in the historic district of San Blas. Second Home Cusco offers 21St-century comfort in a Colonial house conveniently situated. Second Home Cusco features three junior suites, furnished in an eclectic style. Each Suite has a private bathroom, queen-sized –bed, cable TV, telephone and other amenities to ensure an enjoyable stay. A continental Breakfast is served each morning in the sunny patio.
We also have two sisters locations:
stay in Ollantaytambo/Cusco: www.elalbergue.com
– Macchu Picchu – can do day trip, don’t need to stay overnight.It’s a lower altitude. My friend S. was in Aguas Calientes.
– Amazon – Everyone seems to leave from Iquitos, historic Amazon port city in northeastern corner of Peru. from Lima spent three nights on a boat. limited hotels.(Fodor’s recomends three-day cruise to Pacaya Samiria Reserve.)
Here’s my friend S’s account: In the rainforest, took a boat along the Amazon and then the River Napu to some jungle lodges. We had our own guide there, hiking every day and enjoying really great meals. No hot water, outdoor showers, cots with mosquito netting, a great adventure . The highlight of the rainforest part of the trip was the ability to go up to the canopy on catwalks that ran from platform built around a tree to another. We were quite high, and the catwalks were quite scary at first. We launched our trip to the rainforest from Iquitos. At that time, you could only arrive by air or by boat (no roads into the place).
– Lake Titicata – my cousins went there. lots of birds, big canyon. Aqua something. Fodor’s says the lake is the highest navigable lake in the world.
– My aunt mentioned pills you can take three days in advance to ward off altitude sickness.