Peru Pt II: LA 2025 LIM – CUZ

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Sunrise over the Andes

After disembarking from the plane, we followed the rest of the passengers towards the immigration control.

The sterile corridors of LIM

There was no mention of the onward ticket at the immigration and we were welcomed into Peru. After retrieving our bags, we exchanged a small amount of USD for Peruvian soles at bad exchange rate (1 USD = 2.56 PEN). This would be the worst rate that we got during our time in Peru.

After clearing the customs, we would need to exit the terminal first before re-entering the check-in area.

Land-side LIM

Although our flight wouldn’t leave until 5am next morning, we were still able to check in. There were many ground staff at the counters but they seemed more interested to chat amongst themselves than assisting the passengers.

LAN counters

After getting our boarding passes, we went up to the departure level on the first floor.

Domestic arrivals

Funnily the domestic departure area was closed for cleaning until 2am and we would need to wait till then before we could enter it. Shops on the landside were still open but most of the dining options were already closed.

Waiting for the domestic departure area to be open

Magazines for sale

We were allowed to enter the domestic departure area at 2am and we headed to Caral VIP lounge, a Priority Pass lounge.

Entrance to the lounge

The lounge was pretty small; there was a bar and limited food offerings in the form of biscuits and chips. Many passengers had the same idea as us to rest at the lounge and it was quickly filled up. Luckily Ying managed to secure the last set of towel and toiletries for shower and we had to share them. The satisfying showers justified our decision to use one of our two complimentary Priority Pass visits at the lounge.

The staff kept themselves awake by turning the volume up on the TV which was playing Spanish MTVs. Despite that, we managed to get some rest and have a bit of breakfast before leaving for boarding.

Early morning departures from LIM

Flight: LAN Chile LA 2025
Depart: Lima (LIM) – 05:05
Arrive: Cusco (CUZ) – 06:25
Duration: 1h20m
Distance: 364 miles (586 km)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Registration: CC-BFK
Seat: 11A

View from 11A window

Once the passengers boarded, the crew would come around with the ubiquitously South American snack box.

I think it said something like 15 years in Peru

Snack box content

Boarding still ongoing

The inflight magazine that I didn’t get to read

I managed to fall asleep at take-off and only woke up when the crew was doing the drinks run. Outside of the window, we got to witness the best sunrise ever.

Horizon lighting up

Once there was enough light, we could see that our plane was pretty near to the mountains.

Andes just below us

The view outside was so beautiful and even our seat mate on the aisle asked us to take pictures of the sunrise with his camera.

The mountains are as high as 5000m

The actual flight time was less an hour and we reached CUZ by 6am.

Landed at CUZ

Thanks for the ride

Cusco was pretty chilly in the early morning and the temperature was probably less than 5 degrees. There was a queue to use the washrooms after arriving in CUZ and the cold water was a shock to the system.

Waiting for our bags

We were amongst the last passengers remaining at the airport from our flight. One of the guys from the ‘official’ taxi (I wasn’t sure how official it was) approached us and asked where we were going. After some bargaining, we got a taxi to Calle Pavitos for 12 PEN. I was also asked to pay (5 PEN) for the taxi’s parking at the airport.

Cusco Airport

Inside the taxi

At Calle Pavitos, we would take the collective to Ollantaytambo in the Incan Sacred Valley.

Calle Pavitos – where collectivos to Ollantaytambo depart from in Cusco

Despite having no common language between us, the taxi driver still tried to direct us to the right collectivo to Ollantaytambo (10 PEN). There were also shared taxis available at double the price but we decided to go for the cheaper option. Didn’t take long before our Hyundai van was full and soon we were on our way.

Outskirt of Cusco

Despite the ride being cramped, I soon fall asleep and didn’t wake up until more than halfway through. The scenery was pretty awesome.

Between Cusco and Ollantaytambo

Between Cusco and Ollantaytambo

Between Cusco and Ollantaytambo

Coca cola factory

Almost there

Around two hours after departing Cusco, we reached Ollantaytambo, where we would be staying at Picaflor Tambo.

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