Lima To Huaraz, The Beginning Of Bill And Marmelita’s Peru Vacation

by Captain Bill

Lima to Huaraz, how we got there, how much it cost, what we saw and did to start our Peru vacation.

The Carmel Hotel picked us up at the Lima airport. That's me, Bill, not Willian

The Carmel Hotel picked us up at the Lima airport. That's me, Bill, not Willian

I don’t like a set itinerary and never want one. We were free to change our plans. So we did. Instead of going straight to the bus station, checking in our bags and killing time for 6 hours in Lima, before enduring a miserable 8 hour bus ride up the mountains to Huaraz in the dark, we decided to get a hotel room, relax around Miraflores, before enduring an 8 hour bus ride while sight-seeing up the mountains to Huaraz the next day.

We flew Lan Peru for $118 apiece, one way. We made a reservation at the Three Star Hotel Carmel in Miraflores for $75 plus $20 transport from the airport.

Marmeliat enjoyed our fresh seafood meal.

Marmelita enjoyed our fresh seafood meal.

We went to one of our favorite seafood restaurants, Alfresco, within walking distance of the Hotel Carmel. The best part of the meal, which we shared, was the Cebiche Langostino, (shrimp) for around $8. I did not get a photo of the cebiche appetizer because we dived in fork first.

Marmelita ordered Mariscos on rice, for around $7.50. I enjoyed delicious fresh tuna on mashed potatoes with spinach, for around $10, which I washed down with two glasses of the best wine I have tasted in months. In fact they were the only wine I have tasted in months. We were celebrating.

The meal included complimentary Pisco Sours, and three kinds of fancy bread with herb butter.

Fresh tuna, wonderful

Fresh tuna, wonderful

Usually I am a terrible tipper but we were being extravagant, at least by our standards. The two waiters that tag teamed our table were obviously life long professionals, and for some reason I left a $8.00 tip, around 15%. I am ashamed to say how much I usually tip, so I won’t. Maybe what I am about to tell would have happened with no tip, but after walking 5 or 6 blocks, we heard an urgent voice calling “Jefe, Jefe, Jefe…” I didn’t stop or turn around, I didn’t think on a busy sidewalk, in a strange city, anyone would be calling for me. The waiter from Alfresco finally caught us and with a flourish handed me my Captain’s hat which I had left hanging on the chair. That hat means a lot to me. I stayed in a good mood as we strolled hand in hand in the shade under mature trees in a park full of blooming marigolds and salvia, Captain’s hat and all.

The next morning we took a taxi for $4 to the Movil Tours Bus Station and caught the 8:00am bus to Huaraz for $10 apiece. The bus and driver were good, and the seats were comfortable, but 8 hours is a long time, no matter how interesting the scenery. The route was along the Pacific Ocean for 2 or 3 hours, through the desert for an hour, climbing above the tree line, then eventually above the shrub line. I was surprised we did not see a single lama or alpaca.

When we arrived in Huaraz it was drizzling a cold rain, visibility was less than half a mile, and my first impression was of cold and wet. We already had a reservation at the Santa Cruz Hotel for $43 per night. I felt better when Pamela, the hostess, served us hot Mate de Coca tea and I saw our room with the huge bed and the goose down comforter to stay warm under. The bed was so big I lost Marmelita under the covers. We couldn’t find each other.

Hotel Santa Cruz room with a giant bed and a goose down comforter to stay warm under

Hotel Santa Cruz room with a giant bed and a goose down comforter to stay warm under

The room opened onto a balcony with a view of the city lit up at night.

I am on the balcony that is attached to our room at the Hotel Santa Cruz, Huaraz Peru

I am on the balcony that is attached to our room at the Hotel Santa Cruz, Huaraz Peru

The balcony also offered a fantastic view of the mountains but we did not discover that until visibility cleared the next morning.

A big disappointment for me was when I discovered the hotel had wi-fi, but only in the public rooms downstairs. That was unacceptable.

I’ll report back in a couple of days to let you know about our activities in Huaraz.

Lima to Huaraz, how we got there, how much it cost, what we saw and did to start our Peru vacation.

Bill Grimes is president of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises, but is just a tourist in Huaraz.

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