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After disembarking from the plane, we followed the rest of the passengers towards the immigration control.
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.
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.
After getting our boarding passes, we went up to the departure level on the first floor.
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.
We were allowed to enter the domestic departure area at 2am and we headed to Caral VIP lounge, a Priority Pass 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.
Flight: LAN Chile LA 2025
Depart: Lima (LIM) – 05:05
Arrive: Cusco (CUZ) – 06:25
Distance: 364 miles (586 km)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Once the passengers boarded, the crew would come around with the ubiquitously South American snack box.
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.
Once there was enough light, we could see that our plane was pretty near to the mountains.
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 actual flight time was less an hour and we reached CUZ by 6am.
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.
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.
At Calle Pavitos, we would take the collective to Ollantaytambo in the Incan Sacred Valley.
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.
Despite the ride being cramped, I soon fall asleep and didn’t wake up until more than halfway through. The scenery was pretty awesome.
Around two hours after departing Cusco, we reached Ollantaytambo, where we would be staying at Picaflor Tambo.