Peru was the second place we tried Airbnb out again and we truly loved it. We were going with my parents and wanted them to experience what Airbnb had to offer. We had so much fun on our trip and I’m glad we had the chance to share it with them.
The first place we stayed at was in Cusco, Peru. It had a Spanish style/feel to it that we loved. The host was really nice, although we never really saw her or her husband. They did have other rooms in the house and we would occasionally see other guests in the middle patio area. It was also very centric from all the things we wanted to do.
The best place to stay at, to then visit Machu Picchu, would be Cusco unless you ‘d like to stay in the town of Aguas Calientes (Aguas Calientes is the closest access point to Machu Picchu). The only thing is that it’s hard to get a place there because it books fast and I think it’s also expensive (I don’t really remember though), so make sure to book with time. It is definitely worth staying in Cusco in my opinion because the city has so many more places to see than Aguas Calientes. Don’t get me wrong, Aguas Calientes is incredibly magical and worth checking out for sure, but you can easily finish seeing it in a day so I would suggest looking for a place to stay at in Cusco rather than in Aguas Calientes (if you’re only going for a week or less) and just visit the little town instead of staying the night. If you’re staying for longer than a week and can fit Aguas Calientes in your trip, then, by all means, stay a night at least.
Charming Apartment in City Center (click link for more pictures and for booking)
I don’t have any pictures of the inside because I only took video of it, but you could click on the link above and there will be pictures of the inside on their page. Everything did look just like the pictures, so definitely recommend!
Our second Airbnb was in Puno, Peru. Puno is located on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, and they aren’t kidding when they say that because to me it looked like an ocean. It’s located at such a high elevation (12,556 ft) that if you’re from Florida, which is at ocean level, or any other lower point you would definitely have trouble breathing. My husband and I did get a little out of breath when we would run or walk fast, but my parents had a really hard time, so we would really recommend drinking lots of water, drinking coca tea, and/or buying oxygen cans before making your way up to Puno.
When we arrived at the place I thought it was so cute and castle-like on the outside. It’s pretty much located in the middle of nowhere with no wifi, which I honestly didn’t mind, and right next to Lake Titicaca. We were not too pleased to find out that there was no hot water. I blame ourselves for not doing so much research about the place and not preparing ourselves for what we would be getting ourselves into. It was really inconvenient because we were all wanting to take a shower so bad. They were pretty new at Airbnb and were still making repairs, so the shower was under construction. I felt like I was in Cuba again having to take a “shower” with a bucket full of warmed up water. They had to warm it up for you and take it to you. Also, it was extremely cold, so you can only imagine the experience we had. We also didn’t like that the bathroom was outside. We didn’t mind or even think about it when we booked the place until there was a thunderstorm the next day and my husband and my dad both REALLY needed to use the bathroom. Extremely scary stuff! We laugh at it now and tell people that at least we have a story to tell. The hosts, a couple with a really cute baby girl, were the sweetest and humblest people and were so hospitable. They barely spoke with us, even though we speak Spanish, they had someone else that also helps them with all the bookings, not only speak with us but also give us the tour of the place. We thought they were just a little shy, but they were definitely welcoming and we loved that they made breakfast, lunch and dinner for us and everything was so yummy and different from what we are used to eating. Also, worth mentioning is the fact that EVERYTHING was spotless and approved by my OCD mom lol. We would think that by now they should have hot water and the shower should be finished so that more people can book this place because aside from that everything was wonderful.
Huencalla Lodge (click link for more pictures and for booking)
They had us try Totora Reeds that grow from Lake Titicaca and they reminded me of sugar canes, except for they are not sweet at all (does that make sense? lol). If you are willing to try one, I would suggest just having one bite and that’s it. Don’t keep eating them even if they insist. I ended up eating most of them because my husband didn’t really like them and to not seem rude gave them to me to eat them for him. I’m lucky I have a pretty strong stomach, unfortunately for my husband and my dad they weren’t so lucky. We later found out that Totora Reeds can cause diarrhea…I won’t go on lol.
At night, they took us to an open area in front of the house where they set up for a bonfire and had roasted marshmallows and wine.
After Puno, we headed to Ica, Peru a place with one of the driest climates in the world. Located on the border of the Atacama desert we weren’t going to pass up on going sand boarding and riding a dune buggy (amazing experience & definitely recommend). We rented an Airbnb RIGHT next to a sand dune and although we didn’t get to do it, you can go up the dune whenever you’d like and take amazing sunset views. We will never forget our amazing host Luis! We were lucky the first few days of our stay there were no other guests in the other rooms in his house and got him to give us a tour of Ica and take us to some of his favorite local eats. He was such a sweetheart and we appreciated him giving us his time to give us a taste of his amazing city. He took us to a winery (click here to go to Tacama Vineyard’s website) and to his favorite chocolate shop (click here to go to Helena Chocolatier’s website) to buy their famous Peruvian chocolates. Another thing we are grateful for was for all the tips about safety he gave us and advice on where to go and cheapest places to buy things and get the best deals. The room was clean and although the bathroom in our room could use some repair, it was a beautiful place to stay at and they also included breakfast. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone wanting to visit Ica!
Vacation Getaway in Gorgeous House! (click link for more pictures and for booking)