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Peru & Bolivia

Let me start off by saying that this trip was in no way, shape or form a relaxing trip. This was a nonstop trip for 12 days, so if you are looking for something calm, this is not your thing. Either way, you can always use some of this information to help piece your trip together to best fit your vacation “wants”. If you want our daily itinerary plans and some tips, keep on reading. I only will link the Airbnb's/hotels that I would recommend. All others were strictly for sleeping and cheaper options. 

Day 1: Travel Day Into Lima, Peru

We got a taxi from the airport to our AirBnB (get ready to be bombarded with people asking if you need a taxi), but be careful when doing this, as many of them will try and trick you into a higher price. Make sure you confirm that the number they said is for the entire trip for everyone. We had someone try and say the trip total was per person, which we fought and he let it go, but I would avoid any situations like that and just make sure you are both clear on the amount you are paying.

Day 2: Day Trip to Ica, Peru

All tours on this trip were bought beforehand, so we didn’t worry about the up charge you face when trying to get them in the touristy areas of the larger cities.

The tour that we paid for included a driver and translator that picked us up from our AirBnb in Lima. We began driving down the Pan American Highway until we arrived at the Huacachina Oasis. The first thing we got to do was jump in a dune buggy with about 5 other people, or so. Changing speeds and taking on the hills was such a thrill and it felt like a roller coaster to me, as we climbed the dunes and sped our way down to the base. They drove us further into the oasis where we got to pick a sandboard and use it to go down a hill. Being someone who has never snowboarded, I easily chose to go down on my stomach for a safe, yet fun, ride down the dunes.

We ate lunch at a local restaurant and while my friends all got local beer, I went with a Pisco sour to start off with. After the meal they took us to visit the El Catador winery to learn about Pisco, which is Peru’s national drink. We were able to sample several of their flavors and if we wanted to purchase some, there was an entire store to look at. At that point, we started to head back to our AirBnb, where they dropped us off.

For dinner, we walked around the Larcomar Shopping Center and found a nice Asian spot in there to grab a bite to eat before we headed back for the night.

For the same day trip that we booked, click the button below and it will take you to the exact site where I purchased our tickets.

Day 3: Fly to Cusco/ Head to Machu Picchu

We got another taxi from the airport to our new Airbnb where we dropped off our things and headed to the Centro Historico, which was full of people enjoying the lovely weather. Here you will find tons of people trying to sell touristy trinkets, places to buy tours to all of the main attractions and people offering massages every other door. Any down time we had in Cusco, was spent in this area, especially when we were looking for things to bring home to friends and families- they had tons of cool knickknacks.


We stopped in to grab some lunch at Morena Peruvian Kitchen, which is a more up to date and trendy spin on Peruvian dishes and drinks. This was our fuel for the journey we were about to take to get to Aguas Caliente for Machu Picchu the next day. We bought a few things prior to taking on this overnight journey, so that we were ready and only had to worry about catching our trains/buses/etc:

  • The train ticket from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Caliente

  • The bus ticket from Aguas Caliente to Machu Picchu

  • The Machu Picchu entry ticket, so we just printed it out and followed the instructions of what they needed from us on their website

    • Note: We got the 6a-12p time slot

In order to get from Cusco to Aguas Caliente we did the following:

  • We got a taxi from Cusco to Ollantaytambo which was about 1 ½-2 hours away ($40)

    • Keep in mind your train departure time so you know when to leave Cusco, so you get there on time

  • Catch the train that departs from Ollantaytambo (we bought PeruRail- roundtrip times)

    • Ours departed at 9p and arrived at 10:45p

  • Checked into our hostel in Aguas Caliente for the night

    • There are a few hostels in the area to choose from and all are close to the bus stop

Day 4: Machu Picchu/ Back to Cusco

  • The next morning, you will walk to the bus stop 3 hours before your entrance time to Machu Picchu

    • We walked over to the bus stop area at about 3:30a and there was already a pretty long line

    • This was probably the best decision we made because when we got back later in the day, just before noon, there was a line as far as our eyes could see, that wrapped down and around the building

  • This is the final step to get to Machu Picchu- once you board this bus (about 30 minutes away), they take you there and you show your ticket and enter the area and are able to stay and walk around.

Once, in Machu Picchu we really took our time with taking it all in and just sitting there watching as the fog rolled in and then the sun peaked over the mountains causing a halo-like effect. After taking all of the pictures we could stand, we started making our way to the bottom where we got to walk within the ruins. In order to get back to our Airbnb in Cusco in time, we did the following:

  • We needed to leave by 11a and take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and check out of the hostel

  • We grabbed some food and relaxed until our 1:40p train departure back to Ollantaytambo

  • Taxi again from Ollantaytambo back to our Airbnb in Cusco (1 ½-2 hours)

Click the button below for the Airbnb we stayed at in Cusco. It was walking distance to Centro Historico, had a bunch of food around and a great view of the mountains for sunset. Not to mention the owners were incredibly helpful and even assisted us with things after we had checked out. They really went above and beyond to make sure our trip went well.

Day 5: Day Tour to Rainbow Mountain

The tour that we purchased came with transportation to and from our AirBnb in Cusco, breakfast and lunch prepared by a chef in a local community, and small snacks and water for the trek. They picked us up at 2:15a and we were dropped back off by 4p.


This trail is only a total of 7.5 miles (round trip), but with the elevation being from 14,600ft-16,520ft you will easily see that this is an insanely difficult hike. They let us do a 3 minute trial and I was seeing stars, so my friend and I bought horse rides to the top, which was well worth it. I will say that the horse ride was nerve racking, as you are on the edge of a cliff sometimes with your life in the hands of the horse. But if I had to choose again, I would choose the horse over trying to make that hike.

Once we made it to the top, we were some of the first people up there so we were able to really enjoy everything without the crowd of people being in the way. That was the best part about this tour. Although it started really early, there was no one but us out there until we started making our way down. The trek down wasn't difficult at all, but we did have to bob and weave through all of the people that were making their way up. Along the way there were some local younger boys that you can take a picture with, in exchange for some money (this is how they help their families).

For the same day trip that we booked, click the button below and it will take you to the exact site where I purchased our tickets. 

Day 6-7: SkyLodge Adventure Suites

The one mistake I made about planning this trip was not reading enough into Bolivia. We found out the week of our trip that you need a Visa for Bolivia, so I quickly began researching our options. I believe you are better off getting it prior to your trip and handled before you even travel out of the country, so definitely look into that option instead of doing what I did. Since we weren't able to do that, we went with plan B. There is a website that you go on to submit an application for it (everyone in your group needs to do this). It will ask for passport pictures, personal information, dates of travel, etc. You need to make sure that you completely follow these instructions to a tee.


We found that there was a Consulate of Bolivia in Cusco, so we woke up and got there a little before they opened to avoid a line, just in case. You need to print certain things and bring them with you, along with the total amount of cash require for each visa. This has to be cash, as we found out the hard way, they don’t accept card. They will go through each application and if you have any errors, you will have to pay a small fee for them to fix it. At that point, if everything goes as planned, they will fill out your visa information in your passport and you are all set to enter Bolivia for the next TEN YEARS.

If I could suggest ONE thing for you to do out of this whole trip, it would be the SkyLodge Adventure Suites. They book really quickly and months in advanced, so we planned our trip around when we could find available dates for this portion. You have the option of hiking or rock climbing up and hiking or zip lining down. You also are able to just do the adventure part and eat dinner in the pod and come down the same night for less money.


What we paid for included the following: rock climbing up, dinner and wine, sleeping in one of the pods, breakfast and then zip lining down the next morning. All in all, you get A LOT for your money in my opinion.

Things to note before you do this:


  • The rock climbing portion is on metal rungs that are secured into the rock and there’s about 1 ½ hours of this before you get to the top.

    • We didn’t take too many breaks, but it wasn’t strenuous like Rainbow Mountain or hiking, in my opinion. My arms started to burn a little but my adrenaline could have been rushing and making it seem less intense than it was.

  • There is a portion where you tight rope walk across two metal wires, but you are holding on to a top wire and you are hooked on to it as well.

  • There were 7 zip lines that zigzagged their way to the base of the mountain (all different speeds and lengths).

This was by far, the coolest experience. I mean, you are sleeping on the side of a mountain, in a glass pod, underneath all of the stars… It was rated #1 for most Unique Hotel Stays for Adventurers by RedBull. After we made our way to the bottom, we got dropped off in Cusco at our new Airbnb that was right next to the airport for our early morning flight.

For the same day trip that we booked, click the button below and it will take you to the exact site where I purchased our tickets.

Day 8: Fly to La Paz/ Bus to Uyuni

Our flight landed in La Paz, Bolivia around 10a. Because the overnight bus ride didn’t leave until 8p, we had the whole day to walk around and explore. We got a taxi to the bus station, so that we could store our luggage there until we boarded the bus later on that evening, which was really convenient.

After walking up and down the hilly city for the most part of the day, we headed back for the bus station to get our ticket for the bus. This was an overnight bus to Uyuni, Bolivia so it came with a blanket, pillow and the seats reclined, which was a life saver. The link below is where we booked our tickets, which ran about $25 each way. We chose the Trans Omar company, but feel free to do research on other companies listed on that ticket site. I just felt this had one of the better reviews of the overall experience.

Day 9: Salar De Uyuni Tour

I’ve never taken an overnight bus before, but for my first time, it wasn’t too bad. It definitely was slower than taking a flight but when we woke up the next morning, we were in Uyuni and in walking distance to our hotel. Although the city itself is very run down, they have rebuilt and refurbished all of their hotels mainly for tourist use. Here is a link to the hotel that we stayed in:

The main thing that brings people to this city is the Salt Flats, so that is what is keeping this city together and allowing the people to thrive. You will quickly see, when you walk around, how run down the overall area is, but hotels and certain restaurants survive solely on tourists. This in turn provides job opportunities for the local people of Uyuni, especially all of the tour guide companies and people working for them to show off the magnificent sites.

There are several different tours that you can choose from, but we went with the Sunset/ Stargazing tour, in hopes that we would be able to see the Milky Way. Depending on the time of year you go, can really alter your experience and what the salt flats look like. Our tour included transportation to and from our hotel (starting at 4p and ending at 10p), tour guides to show us around and give us some back story, a bottle of wine and dinner.

The tour began at 4p and we got to explore a small town, Colchani, that is located near the salt flats. Everyone in the town are salt miners and we got to go behind the scenes and watch how the process worked, from start to finish. We went out and got to enjoy the salt flats by taking some cool perspective pictures and then seeing the incredible mirror effect in certain areas, as we watched the sun set. They drove us to a salt hostel, Musium Hotel Playa Blanca, where we had some dinner and wine while we waited for it to get dark. This was the moment we had all been waiting for... we were able to see the Milky Way and every single star in the sky. It was such a magical night. 

For the same day trip that we booked, click the button below and it will take you to the exact site where I purchased our tickets. 

Day 10: Bus to La Paz/ Fly to Lima

In order to get back to Lima, Peru (since we bought round trip tickets from Orlando) we had to get on the overnight bus back to La Paz. We did have the whole day to relax and explore Uyuni as much as possible, since the bus didn't leave until 7:30p, so that was nice. From the bus station, we got a taxi to the airport and flew back to Lima, Peru.

Day 11: Lima, Peru

We spent our last day and night on this trip eating some really great food and getting some of the neatest drinks I have ever seen. Our AirBnb had a great​ view of the beaches in Miraflores, so we were able to take in one last incredible scenery before we headed home the next day.

I would highly recommend this Airbnb as well (link below). They had a driver that was able to pick us up from the airport and drop us off the next morning for a flat rate, which was far cheaper than you would find just getting a regular taxi. The view was incredible as well and the place was very clean. There is a rooftop pool that I was really sad we didn't get to check out, but it was too cold when we went.

Day 12: Travel Day

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