Adventures by Disney Peru – Day 1

Derek and I recently returned from our trip to Peru.  We traveled with Adventures by Disney on their Sacred Valley and Incan Cities trip.  It was an amazing trip – one of the most memorable that I’ve been on – the scenery, the ruins, the resorts, the activities, the food, and the company.

Day 1

A full day of travel.  We had to get up before dawn to leave our house and drive to JFK for our flight.  Here are my bags ready to go (and the chippies who managed to stowaway!)

And – my uber-conservative husband made me get up so early and on the road, that we arrived at the airport, before the ticket agents even started working…

Oh well – at least we knew we wouldn’t miss our flight!  We flew Copa Airlines from JFK to Panama City.  Then we had a very long layover in Panama City (3.5 hrs) – we used some free coupons to hang out in the Copa club (affiliated with Continental/United) and watched highlights of the Wimbledon semi-final match between Federer and Djokovic (yay Federer!).  We then purchased some of the most expensive sandwiches ever ($30 for two sandwiches and a drink) – man, should have just stayed with the snacks in the Copa club (trail mix and cheese).  Oh well.

Next up – a flight from Panama City to Lima, arriving at 10:30pm.  After a relatively smooth trip through immigration, baggage, and customs, we met up with the Adventures by Disney shuttle guy, Jose.

The Jorge Chavez airport was lively – there were a ton of people milling about at that hour – not just arrivals, but tons of people waiting at gates for flights out.  Outside – there was a band playing – we pretended it was a welcome band for us, but we don’t really know what it was for.

Jose was very friendly and shared with us various facts about the area – 9M people in Lima, another 1M in Callao which is the city where the airport is.  That blew me away – somehow I hadn’t had it in my mind that Lima was that large.  And our first sights and impressions of the city and Peru were just energizing.  The people – so many people – so much life, late at night.  A ton of buses full of people going by.  Everything looked all higgledy-piggledy, mixed-up together – stores, gas stations, residences – all in the same block.  Three-story fast food enterprises.  Construction seemed to be mostly of the square, cement building type.

Then we drove along the coastline for awhile and I was really struck by the sheer sea cliffs on the Pacific Ocean.  Beautiful.

Our hotel for the night was Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores.  Casa Andina appears to be a chain in Peru that has several different “levels” and I think that the Private Collection is the top-end.  It was very nice, luxury hotel.  We met our guides – Ernesto and Tina – who gave us a brief welcome and introduction (including a lanyard and our first Disney pin).  And then we headed straight to bed.  The next morning was an early start to head out to Cusco!

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