What We Paid: Peru

This is part of a series where I break down the costs for airfare and lodging for a specific trip, as well as how much PTO time was spent. I am not including costs for food and activities as those prices fluctuate based on traveler preferences. In general, you can assume that airfare and lodging will be the bulk of your costs. The below info is just to give you an idea of what is possible.

Lima airfare: A lot of my trips have revolved around visiting major historic sites. The Great Wall, the Pyramids, Angkor Wat – I’ve done a lot. But I hadn’t yet been to Machu Picchu. So I started researching airfare, playing around with dates, trying to find the best prices. I settled on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Lima, Peru at $638. I scheduled the trip for January so I had a few months to research, book lodging, and save up spending money. What I didn’t realize was how much planning (and money) is needed to get to Machu Picchu. If I’d known, I probably would have scheduled it for a bit further out to give myself more time to handle and pay for all the details.

Lima lodging part one: Most travelers to Machu Picchu apparently skip Lima, or so that’s what I read. I’m a big fan of cities though and wanted to spend some time here. I decided on an Airbnb only two blocks away from the ocean in the mid-range, bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. Two bedrooms, three bathrooms with a beautiful deck overlooking a quiet street: $72 per night


Cusco airfare: We paid $122 per round trip ticket for the Lima to Cusco flight on StarPeru. Cusco is the base airport for Machu Picchu. You can take a bus all the way there too for cheaper, which I might have done if we weren’t bringing our kid along.

Ollantaytambo lodging: I had read a book about the Incans and the battle they won against the conquistadors at a fortress in Ollantaytambo. When I found out that we could also catch a train from Ollantaytambo to the base town of Machu Picchu, I knew we’d be able to fit it into our trip. There were no good Airbnb options available there for our travel dates, so we went with a hotel. I found a room with one double bed and one single bed, the perfect setup for our family of three. La Casa del Abuelo Riverside $50 per night.


Cusco lodging: Almost everyone who goes to Machu Picchu winds up in the town of Cusco. I wanted to splurge a bit and get a room right on the central square, and if I could find one with a balcony – well, that’d be a dream come true. Sure enough, I got what I wanted. I found a huge room with in a historic building, two double beds and one single bed, and a beautiful balcony with all the original colonial woodwork overlooking the square. Everything I ever wanted. El Virrey Boutique Hotel at $117 per night.

El Virrey Boutique Hotel

Lima lodging, part 2: Our flight from Cusco landed us back in Lima in the afternoon – and our flight to head back to the States was just a few hours later at 2am. So we needed a place to crash for a bit while waiting for the final departure. We booked an airbnb close to the airport, an apartment on a high floor with a magnificent view of the Pacific. $50 per night

All prices are totals for a group of three:

Airfare Minneapolis-Lima on Delta: $638 per person, $1914 altogether

Airfare Lima-Cusco on StarPeru: $122 per person, $366 altogether

Airbnb in Lima for 3 nights: $218

Hotel in Ollanytambo for 2 nights: $100

Hotel in Cusco for 3 nights: $351   

Airbnb in Lima for 1 night: $50

Total for 3 persons: $2,999

PTO time: 5 days

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