In case you come to Peru, here are some tips:
-Hiking in the Colca Canyon is great…plan to stay at least three nights. Also, if you can afford it, visit the Colca either by private car with a driver, or in a spacious minivan rather than a big bus.
-Visit Machu Picchu; if I were to do this again, I would want to hike in or take the opportunity to visit some more obscure Inca Ruins…Choquequirao maybe?
-Best hotels: The Killawasi Lodge in the Colca, the Hotel Mercado in Cusco, the Tierra Viva in Arequipa.
-Puno is not the place to get a value hotel. Definitely spring for the fanciest place you can afford.
-Best meals: Tanta and Zig Zag in Arequipa, Huacatay in Urubamba, Hearts Cafe in Ollantaytambo (lentil soup!)
-Everyone here (including me) is wearing technical pants because it is dusty as hell and you’re going to want to at least rinse them off like every other night. Jeans are great if you’re going somewhere urban and not very sweat-making, but if you’re going to be doing any hiking or anything you would deem “adventurous,” jeans are nonsense. I got the kind with the zip-offs, and now I regret it, because I want to wear these pants every day for the rest of my stupid life, they are so comfortable and flattering and pocket-y. I might get a pair without the zips just to wear in life. So good. I might try these, also. Yes, between technical pants and a real walking shoe you will look like a tourist, but you’re probably doing a terrible job of blending in anyway.