Toward the end of the trip, we made a strike mission to Cuzco to get a sense of the mountain life in Peru. Cuzco sits at a thin air altittude of about 12,000 feet making it a completely different climate and culture than the coast, so much so that you could believe you were in a different country. The dusty and monochromatic views of the coast are a world away here where it rains often making everything colorful, vibrant and clean. Everyone was enamored by this area, and yes, Machu Piccu is breakthtaking in person.
Lima, Peru's biggest city has areas as ritzy as beverly hills and then just a short distance away, ghettos that rival the favelas of Brazil. At first glance you may see a crowded, monochromatic desert city, a collage of tan covered with a thin layer of dust. But then take a second look and you notice the Easter egg like buildings give a frequent burst of color that offer the same refreshing zing as the food of Peru. Ceviche all the way!
And though you don't hear much about surf in Lima since it is overshadowed by better breaks up north and down south, you can easily have a fun session just a 5 minute drive from downtown on beaches named after Hawaii's most famous, like Waikiki. The people of Lima also know how to do Christmas proper...you've never seen so many fireworks cover a city!