I have to say that one of our favorite restaurants in Raleigh ended up being Brewery Bhavana. I actually found them thanks to an awesome foodie Instagram from the Raleigh area. I asked them if they could recommend places to hang out and drink and they recommend this place, among others, to start.
It reminded me of our trip to New York with the really high ceilings and the brick walls, except that what makes it different is that it’s a brewery, dim sum restaurant, bookstore AND a flower/plant shop! We thought it was such a unique place and such a great hang out spot. Not only was the place really nice though, but the food was amazing!
It looks empty, but that’s because we were REALLY early lol
The flower/plant shop is right in the middle section of the restaurant along with the book shop
Love this picture I took of this lady reading a book while waiting on her lunch
My hubby reading the longggg list of drinks and menu options
After going around the restaurant taking a billion pictures, I finally sat back down for our drinks and ordered a few appetizers as well.
Starting from right to left: Till (bright & tangy farmhouse ale), Dig (chocolate rye stout), Bloom (dry cardamom tripel) and Glean (mango peppercorn saison)
Char Siu Bao-steamed buns stuffed w/ Cantonese barbeque pork. These were my fave appetizer! Price: $8.80 USD
Jiaozi Chicken Dumplings-pan fried chicken, ginger, bok choy and water chestnut dumplings. So yummy! Price: $7.80 USD
Pai Gu Spareribs-steamed spareribs w/ boiled peanuts, jalapeño peppers and black bean sauce (if you look closely you can kind of see the steam). These were really good also! Price: $7.80 USD
I think it was on the expensive side, but definitely worth it for a special day/night out.
I had heard about Noble Crust and knew it was a must try. There were a couple times I wanted to go but for some reason on Yelp it said it was closed and it was during normal eating hours. I wasn’t too sure why or if it was a glitch. Anyways I was finally able to go on a Saturday with my hubby.
When we arrived the place looked super cute! And there was plenty of parking. We could see it was busy and people kept arriving. We were very excited. The outside has very nice landscaping and greenery. I also loved the front and the sign.
We were greeted and sat next to the window. I sat right next to the window as I love to soak up the sun. Husband, on the other hand, tries to avoid the sun at all cost. He sat on the other side of the table where no sun hit. Kind of a funny crisscross form.
Our waitress was very friendly and gave us recommendations as we glanced the menu. They had many options. Breakfast, brunch, and lunch of course. Also, some starters, salads, and pizza on the front side of the menu which I have heard is really good.
First, we started with Deviled Eggs. They had pickled mustard seeds and chives. They were really good. I like chives but didn’t personally care for the mustard seeds. It was a unique taste and were pretty much just little hard seeds. Not interested. Other than that it was yummy and I liked the paprika. The plate had a beautiful presentation with beautiful colors.
I had the Fried Chicken Biscuit. With sausage gravy, fried egg, and a choice of side. I picked potatoes which were great. The portions were very big and everything looked good too. I absolutely love biscuits and gravy for some reason, so I knew I would like it.
Husband had the Short Rib Benny. Poached eggs, caramelized onions, on a buttermilk biscuit with a little extra. He also liked it very much and was very full. He couldn’t finish it all.
We absolutely loved Noble Crust and it’s on our list to go back. Check it out!
We booked our Peru trip through Expedia.com. It ended up being more expensive than what we initially wanted to book for because we waited till last minute and we wanted to get to Peru at a certain time and of course, time is money, so we had to pay more for that. It is definitely possible to travel to Peru at a much lower price, but you will probably need to exclude some things from this itinerary since we did also try to fit as much as possible in just 8 nights.
We departed on a Saturday from Miami with LATAM Airlines
Miami (MIA) > Lima (LIM)
Depart: 2:05am Arrive: 6:40am
Duration: 5 hrs and 35 min
Lima (LIM) > Cusco (CUZ)
Depart: 9:10am Arrive: 10:45am
Duration: 1 hr and 35 min
Total Duration: 9 hrs and 40 min
When we arrived we just hung out around the city and explored the neighborhood we were staying at. At night we went out to eat at a really yummy restaurant and went to bed early since we had a big day the next day going to Machu Picchu.
Total price for flight only (no hotel): $1,566.10 (for 2 people)
NOTE: Keep in mind the total price for flight included 4 flights total, which is the reason for a higher price than the norm, plus we booked late & we were picky about flight times which bumped the price even more. The flights included in the price were MIAMI-LIMA, LIMA-CUSCO, JULIACA-LIMA and LIMA-MIAMI.
We took a taxi from Cusco to Ollantaytambo station to take a train to Aguas Calientes (the closest town to Machu Picchu) and from there the bus that would take us to Machu Picchu.
Train type: Vistadome (food & drinks included plus entertainment)
From: Aguas Calientes
Departure Time: 3:20pm
Price: $91.00 USD per person
Total for the day: $212.00 USD (690 Soles) per person (not including taxi drive or food and drinks)
About 1 hr and 30 min from Cusco
About 1 hr and 50 min to Aguas Calientes
About 20 min from Cusco
About 3 hrs and 50 min to Aguas Calientes
We decided to take a day tour of Saksaywaman Inca ruins in Cusco and also enjoy what the city had to offer. The ticket was a one day ticket and included Saksaywaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay Inca sites/ruins. There are other tickets for more days you could buy which include more, like museums and other Inca related sites, but we really didn’t have time and we aren’t really the “tour guide” type (we like to explore on our own).
Private tour guide (which honestly overcharged us but we were so tired we didn’t even try looking for someone else): $40.00 USD
One day ticket for 4 Inca site/ruins: $21.00 USD (70 Soles) per person
Total for the day:$31.00 USD per person (we were 4 people in our group). This is not including food or drinks.
On day 4 we headed to Puno, Peru on an overnight bus (where you can sleep because the seat lean really far back like a bed). This company deserves a review of its own because they were horrible! I’m only including them in this list because they were, unfortunately, part of our trip and I won’t bore anyone with what would’ve been the longest negative review for a company. But I can assure you I will be posting my review elsewhere.
Turismo Mer (click link if you want to book the worst bus company ever)
Price: around $21.00 USD (65-70 Soles)
Our Airbnb host had sent someone (who owned a hotel in Puno) to the station to pick us up and take us to their hotel to wait for them. After a few hours of resting & waiting we were finally picked up by our host with Lake Titicaca as our destination. Our host had a place right next to Lake Titicaca. Click here to check out our reviews on all the Airbnb places we stayed at in Peru. After taking a little nap (it was really early & we hadn’t slept anything on the overnight bus) they took us on a little tour of the lake in 2 little boats owned by 2 really nice brothers.
After the fun outing, we went back to the Airbnb and took a shower to then go to a bonfire our hosts were setting up for us (also something you could check out on our Airbnb in Peru post).
These activities, plus breakfast, lunch & dinner, were all included with our stay at our Airbnb house. Click here to go to their page on Airbnb.com.
Total for the day:around $21.00 USD (65-70 Soles) per person
After breakfast, which was included with our stay, our Airbnb host drove us to where our tour would be for the Uros and Taquile Islands. We booked it through our Airbnb host, so I’m not sure if they have a discount or a special set price with the company. While browsing online I found the full day tour of Uros + Taquile Island goes around $90-$100 and we got it a bit cheaper, so try to book with your Airbnb host or hotel if you can and just compare with online prices because you might get it cheaper through them.
Price:about $80.00 USD per person (lunch was included in price). Price does not include souvenirs.
When we finished the tour we took a taxi all the way to Juliaca, where we took a flight to Lima and a bus to Ica.
On Wednesday we departed from Juliaca with LATAM Airlines
Juliaca (JUL) > Lima (LIM)
Depart 9:30pm Arrive: 11:10pm
Duration: 1 hr and 40 min
I have to say Oltursa was our favorite bus company we traveled in because of comfort and cleanliness. We only took it once though, so I’m not sure if we were just lucky with that one bus lol. Regardless we recommend you try them!
Total for the day: $100.00 USD (325 Soles) per person. Total does not include souvenirs or other expenses.
When we got to our Airbnb in Ica we then rested a little and then went out to eat. Afterward, we went to a bodega where they have all kinds of pisco sour. There, they gave us a tour around the place & showed us how the pisco sour is made. This all took about 45 min to 1 hr.
I don’t remember if we were charged for this small tour of the place, but I do know our Airbnb host personally drove us there and we did buy some souvenirs there as well.
Our Airbnb host then took us to a famous winery in Ica where they also gave us a tour and we were able to taste some piscos and different types of wines. There are different types of tours that they offer, but we chose the Traditional Tour.
Tacama (click link to visit website for additional info on tours)
Tour Type: Traditional Tour
Includes: Wine & pisco tasting as well as show the process of how they make their wines & Pisco.
Duration: 1 hr
Price for Mon-Fri:Free
Tues-Sun for groups of more than 20 people: $3.00 (10 Soles) for adults and $2.50 (5 Soles) for children 12 & under.
Price for Saturday’s, Sunday’s and holidays: $3.00 (10 Soles) for adults and $2.50 (5 Soles) for children 12 & under.
When we were done with all the wine and pisco tasting our Airbnb host took us to the Dune Buggy tours to really have a blast!
I can’t recommend our tour for the dune buggies because our Airbnb host was the one who arranged everything and I can’t find anything about the company we did it with. I will put info on prices and times though.
They recommend taking the 4pm tour because of the heat (I think that’s the one we took and it was amazing since you get to see the sunset.
* During some months of the year, the last tour of the day is at 4:30 PM (usually Dec-Feb).
Tour Duration: 1 hr
Group (non-private tour) Dune Buggy & Sandboarding price: $8.00 USD (25.70 Soles) per person. Price includes entrance fee of 3.70 Soles.
Total price for the day: about $15.00-$20.00 USD (49-65 Soles). Total not including food/drinks. I’m not sure of certain prices or if we were charged for the first tour, so I’m giving an estimate of the cost.
The day after we headed towards Nazca, Peru where the famous Nazca Lines and Cantalloc Aqueducts are located. This time we used yet another bus company. This one was ok, but Oltursa was still better.
We were extremely excited and initially booked a normal tour (non-private), but after looking at the prices, although not cheap, we decided to book a private tour because we’d get a tiny plane just for us and we’d get to see the lines with a better view. Our Airbnb host booked this tour for us, so we don’t know what company he used. Regardless, the price will be different if you book it by yourself because our host had some sort of deal or friendship with them.
Includes: Private tour of the Nasca lines (in a small Cessna plane) and after, a private tour of the Cantalloc Aqueducts.
General Tour Price:about $75.00 (24 Soles) per person
Private Tour Price:about $100.00 (40 Soles) per person
Total price for the day: $122.00 USD (396 Soles) per person. Not including food/drink or other expenses.
The last day we booked with Cruz Del Sur once more and headed towards Lima. We stayed the night in Lima’s gorgeous neighborhood of Miraflores to head back home the next day.
We stayed in a hotel the last night in Lima & it was perfect for what we needed, which was shower and sleep!
On Sunday we departed from Lima back to Florida with LATAM Airlines
Lima (LIM) > Miami (MIA)
Depart: 8:25am Arrive: 3:25pm
Duration: 6 hours
Total price for the day: about $15.00-$25.00 USD (49-81 Soles) per person. The reason I’m not sure of the exact price is that I don’t remember the price of the pretty fountain park. Not including food/drink or other expenses.
Hope my itinerary helps with the planning of your trip to Peru!