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Peru Trip Lessons Learned

Machu Picchu under clouds with text at top stating Peru Travel Podcast with smaller text below stating Peru Trip: Lessons Learned
Welcome back to the Peru Travel Podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, TuneIn, or listen in the media player above.

The guys just returned from a trip to Peru and continue to learn new tips and tricks everytime they take a visit.

If you get a little homesick while in Cusco and you just want a little taste of home. Be wary of the pizza in the city square. There is only one spot they have been able to find that uses pizza made with mozzarella cheese.

Acclimating once in Cusco is advised. Especially, when hiking at 16,000 feet. The guys didn’t take their own advice and allow two days to acclimate before attempting Rainbow Mountain. Listen to hear how much they struggled.

When using taxis, they found out that Uber is likely the best option to get from place to place whether in Lima or Cusco.

They got to meet some of the travelers that went to Machu Picchu with their company.

And finally, they take a return trip to Central. Be sure to listen to see what they thought of their second trip.

Be sure to visit us at our homepage or email us at [email protected] for any questions or topics that you want us to cover.

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Below is a transcript which has been modified for your reading pleasure.

Need a community of like minded travelers? Check out this Facebook group dedicated to Peru Travel.

If you have questions, shoot us an email below


David Kosloski: 00:03 What’s going on everyone? Welcome back to the Peru Travel Podcast. I’m your host, David Kosloski and alongside me, Charlie Thompson. We just got back from Peru and today we’re going to break down our top six tips on things that we learned from Peru.

Charlie Thompson: 00:16 And if you’ve been listening to the show for any length of time, you know that this was my first trip to Peru, so it was absolutely unbelievably incredible, but you’ve got to listen to these six tips. Dave, kick us off here.

David Kosloski: 00:28 So before we get started, there are six things. There’s a ton of things that we learned in Peru. But there’s just not enough time in the episode so we might come back to this in the future. But right out the gate we’re gonna go ahead and hit a couple of top things that we think are notable facts that maybe you should maybe consider when you’re going to Peru. The first one on my list. It’s pretty silly, but the pizza sucks.

Charlie Thompson: 00:50 The pizza, absolutely is atrocious.

David Kosloski: 00:51 And you’re thinking, “why would that matter? Why would that matter?”

Charlie Thompson: 00:55 Actually you’re thinking “How does someone screw pizza up? How do you literally screw pizza up?” Because I don’t think anybody in their right mind could actually do that. But there’s actually a reason why that the pizza does suck. Why is that?

David Kosloski: 01:08 Well, most of the places don’t typically have real mozzarella, So that’s traditionally kind of the issue that we’re running into there. But that being said, I think it’s weird….. Well, I’m not going to go to Peru to eat pizza. And I get it there are so many cultural people out there who are like, “I would never go to Peru to eat pizza. Trust me 10 days of Peruvian food, you’re going to want to eat some American food and pizza is one of those things that just tastes like garbage. Even the burgers though, most American foods don’t really taste that great anyways, but the pizza was God awful.

Charlie Thompson: 01:35 And so we were there and I remember it was like eight days in. And I was like, I literally just want a taste of home, just a little taste of home. And I’m like, guys, let’s go get some pizza. I mean, you see the pictures down there, they all look amazing. All the pizaas. They look great. And David and Kevin were both like, dude, no the pizza sucks. I’m like, yeah, right. Like look at it, it looks amazing. And lo and behold, they’re like, well let’s go try it. And it was terrible.

David Kosloski: 02:03 Yeah, it definitely doesn’t make your stomach feel good after. And really the tastes kind of like a salty texture to it. Almost like the cheese, it’s just not that good. I don’t really know how to describe it. Try It, I guess. Right? Like go give it a shot, but definitely, don’t expect it to do wonders for you.

Charlie Thompson: 02:18 Try to prove us wrong, but you won’t be able to.

David Kosloski: 02:20 Yeah, there is one place that you can go that we had pizza though, that is good. Only in Cusco did we have pizza that was good. And it’s a Starwood Preferred Guest hotel.

Charlie Thompson: 02:31 It’s like 300 bucks a night.

David Kosloski: 02:33 Yeah. What is the name? Do you remember the name of it?

Charlie Thompson: 02:36 I don’t remember, but it was a former like conquistador castle.

David Kosloski: 02:40 That’s right. Why don’t you take a quick second to look that up while we transition to the next one and then you can jump in and tell everybody what awesome hotel it was that actually cooks legitimate pizza with mozzarella cheese. We’ll get back to the hotel. And then the next one on the list is again an interesting one. It is Rainbow Mountain is overrated. I know all you Instagram followers out there are going to hate me saying this. You’re going to absolutely despise the fact that I’m preaching it. Rainbow Mountain is not as cool as what everyone thinks it is and it blows my mind how many people are like posting photos on Instagram? “Like, oh my God, it’s the most beautiful thing ever.” Yeah. You know, it’s kind of cool because the rocks are different colors, but really at the end of the day, it’s a mountain.

David Kosloski: 03:19 It’s highly touristy. Tons of people are there. The hike in is God awful. I don’t recommend it to anybody. And for what it is, it’s not that great. You’re at a high elevation, you’re sucking down wind to get up there and I guess I’ll have Charlie kind of explain a little bit of his experience because he was struggling. And mind you, another mistake we made, which we’ll definitely talk about coming up next. Rainbow Mountain definitely overrated. And give me the reasons. This is why you think it’s overrated, Charlie.

Charlie Thompson: 03:49 Well, first of all, it’s kind of a little bit of a boring hike. You start, first of all, you start at 14,500 feet somewhere around there. Like you mentioned you’re sucking air and then you’re climbing up over 16,500 feet. The second reason I would say is it’s not really that spectacular. It’s a mountain that has a little bit of color to it, but honestl,y the photos you’re seeing online are very photoshopped. I mean they are putting the color in there. It’s cool to see, but it doesn’t blow your mind like you think it should.

David Kosloski: 04:24 Yeah, I think. I think that’s a true testament to what you say, It’s kinda what we see in life in general as we see like all these famous people and their life is very glamorous. That’s something that even you said before we started the show, you said: “oh, this person’s life looks amazing.” And I was like, “yeah, all the cool kid’s lives look amazing.” And really at the end of the day, I think this is one of those moments where people want to go for the Instagram photo or they want to go with that nice selfie. And really at the end of the day, this is not something that I would say… Hey, we sell this trip. If you want to do it, we’re gonna make sure you have the best time going to Rainbow Mountain. There are a couple of things that we incorporate in it to make it a better experience. Unlike the rest of the companies out there, you will have a good time. But I think you might be wasting your day going to see it because there’s so many other cool kick ass things to see.

Charlie Thompson: 05:10 I could 100 percent agree with that. And the other point is it’s a very hard hike. It doesn’t look like it, but it is extremely tough and especially for those people that are out of shape. I mean not everybody is in immaculate shape when they go on hiking trips. And I’m one of those people that was not in great shape.

David Kosloski: 05:28 “This rock right here….. I’m going to sit on this rock right here.”

Charlie Thompson: 05:33 I literally, “If I could just go 10 steps, I can rest again.” And then, finally. So I’m a giant. All you guys who have listened to this show know that I’m a giant and so it took me a long time to find a horse that they would let me ride on because a lot of the horses in Peru are really tiny. And everybody kept looking at me like, “Nah, too grande.”

David Kosloski: 05:54 It’s funny how that actually worked out towards the end. We ended up getting Charlie to the top of the summit, of this particular mountain to overlook the Rainbow Mountain, but he didn’t want to. But literally, at one point it was two steps, break. Can you imagine in your day to day life? Think about yourself right now. I get up, walk two steps, pause and wait for about 15 seconds and then take two more steps. If you’re trying to get a burger or a cookie bar or something like that out of the fridge and it takes you that long to get there, man, you might as well just have to think about life for a second, right?

Charlie Thompson: 06:28 Exactly, but hey, I mean you can attest to. It’s not even. It’s not easy for people who are in great shape.

David Kosloski: 06:34 That’s right. It wasn’t and it was very, very difficult. I wouldn’t say that I’m in amazing shape. I work out on the regular, but it was definitely very difficult for me. So that being said, before we get to the next one, Charlie, did you find the hotel that serves delicious pizza?

Charlie Thompson: 06:46 I found that hotel, it has the Palacio, which is palace. I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that correctly. Palacio del Inka in Cusco.

David Kosloski: 06:55 That’s right. Just go. Yeah man. Check it out. David our main guide or our owner, if you will in Peru, his brother works there. And we actually went there to go see him and that’s how we found out they had that great pizza.

Charlie Thompson: 07:06 It is. It’s a five-star hotel and the room rates I see here are $311 a night.

David Kosloski: 07:11 So if you’re a big spender.

Charlie Thompson: 07:12 Feeling fancy.

David Kosloski: 07:13 Yeah, go throw some dough on the table and get some, get some nice rooms and nice pizzas.

Charlie Thompson: 07:17 You can eat pizza every day.

David Kosloski: 07:18 That’s right. Next on the list, which is potentially another reason why we hated Rainbow Mountain. The tip is acclimating is very important. So let me break this down. The date that we did Rainbow Mountain, we flew in from Peru the day before. So we have this advice that’s on our site, basically says if you’re going to do anything strenuous, spend at least two days in Cusco getting acclimated before you go on this hike. Well, we didn’t take our own advice. We got there. We’re like, Oh man, we’re good gravy. No big deal. It’s a day hike. Nah, it was the worst experience ever in terms of breathing. Now granted I got it done and I felt fantastic and I don’t know how that is or why that happened. I don’t know if it was the meds I was taking, but Charlie took the meds. He didn’t feel good. In fact, he was delirious as all get out. Kevin was miserable, didn’t take any meds but he’s used to climbing and backpacking and things of that nature and he was awful shape.

Charlie Thompson: 08:16 Three of us. I mean Kevin was the runner and he’s the guy that’s done the most amount of mountain climbing. So you would think he would be the one least affected. And actually, I think he was probably one of the worst. I was probably really close behind him if not worse. It really didn’t take a toll on me until the next day because I had the altitude medicine, which does reduce swelling, but there’s actually like scientific dangers to this. You can look it up. So we were here to tell you don’t do what we did basically.

David Kosloski: 08:45 Yeah, it was awful. I mean, Kevin was in rough, rough shape and as you said, like to give you a funny… I’m not a runner by any means. But he texted me last night and he said, yeah, my, my three miles down to 15 minutes or 20 minutes. My 5k is down to 20 minutes. Isn’t that horrible? And I’m like thinking in my head like, man, that’s faster than 10-minute mile miles still pretty fast. Pretty good for me. That’s fast. I mean, I don’t know about you. So that somebody who’s in really good shape and he was in rough, rough shape. But he was forcing food down because one of the side effects of elevation sickness is that you’re not going to be hungry but you have to eat to make it feel better. So he was literally shoving food down, a mad amount of calories after coming down from the Rainbow Mountain.

David Kosloski: 09:24 I might want to plug in there too. I said that we were different, right? We offer something a little bit different of Rainbow Mountain. So Rainbow Mountain is now offered on our form sheet. It’s not something that we’re advertising on the website, but when you go to book now, you’re going to see it as an option in our new a la carte menu that we’re so happy to roll out because we see everyone’s got a trip that they want to have. You know their own experience. You’re going to get a customer service rep. We call them a tourist experts. They’re basically going to reach out to you. They’re going to help coordinate with your trip. But along that you’re able to select individual options, Rainbow Mountain, no matter what you do with us, you instantly get a horse. There’s no way around it. You get a horse because it’s so hard. We’re like, there’s no way we want people to enjoy this. You’re on vacation, I mean, unless you just absolutely want to hike it, go ahead, but it’s still included like no matter what, you get a horse.

Charlie Thompson: 10:11 And you’re not winning a prize here. This isn’t a race as we’ve said it once we’ve said it a million times, you are on vacation, so we want to do these things for you to include a horse or a donkey on any of our trips. Whatever we do to make sure that you’re taken care of and you can really, really enjoy your experience.

David Kosloski: 10:29 Definitely. That’s the biggest thing we could push, right? We love taking care of people in Peru, love taking care of the people that work with us and work for us and at the end of the day, we love taking care of our travelers. Which are you guys who are listening. Super pumped. We actually got to meet. I don’t want to go on a tangent here. We went to meet some travelers, which was so cool. People who actually booked through us when we were in Peru. They just so happened to be there. We had to go to orientation, meet them. Lindsay and Joe. Yes. Awesome. Awesome. People we’re gonna get them on the show. They’re so much fun. Literally looking at them and talking with them just made me smile because they loved everything that we had to offer. They loved the passion. They’ve got great stories. I’m not going to spoil him. We’re going to let them tell their stories on their experience with Cachi. But that being said, we can move onto the next one before I. before I keep talking about how great they are.

Charlie Thompson: 11:14 Wait, wait, wait. Let me finish Rainbow Mountain with one quick thing is we may not be the best salesmen, but we’re honest.

David Kosloski: 11:20 That’s right. We are very honest, very honest. So true. So true. We don’t want to sell you something that you’re going to hate. Right? And I don’t honestly know if you’re going to hate Rainbow Mountain, but it might not be the best experience. And so if you have a limited time in Cusco, do not make that your top priority. Skip it. Fine. We have plenty of other tours that are awesome. Rayan Community. We’re going to do an episode on that. We’re going to break that down in some marketing. That is literally our golden nugget. We love the community tour. Love everything about it. That being said, I do want to brag. When I got done with Rainbow Mountain and Kevin was dead, the guy who runs a 5k in 20 minutes and that’s slow. I was doing squats. Just want to brag a little bit about that.

Charlie Thompson: 11:59 You were and I was like, is the trip over yet?

David Kosloski: 12:03 Just what is wrong with you? I don’t understand.

Charlie Thompson: 12:06 And we hiked like another 40 miles after that day.

David Kosloski: 12:09 We need to do an episode coming up soon about what it’s like being a smoker and somebody who’s out of shape and then going to Peru and doing these trails in and how you can accomplish it, right?

Charlie Thompson: 12:19 Yes, and we can now say former smoker.

David Kosloski: 12:21 That’s right. Former. He quit smoking in Peru. Another episode. We’ll touch on that. That’s a good one. We’ll write that down. We do. We have a ton to get to. All right, so next on the list is use Uber in Lima and Cusco. We’re going to talk about the taxi costs, what they are. So Uber is great, right? It’s a great app and actually, people told us to use Uber Black. We used Uber Black. We used Uber regular. Just to let you guys know what that experience was like and really I didn’t really notice the difference to be honest.

Charlie Thompson: 12:51 There wasn’t much different and really the black cars were a little bit nicer but not much. You’re getting a Hyundai Elantra as your black car.

David Kosloski: 12:58 So to go far places maybe it would cost you 8, maybe 10 soles even. It wasn’t much. It was really low.

Charlie Thompson: 13:07 Well, let’s talk about Lima. So when we went from our Airbnb in Lima to the hotel and ended up costing $15.

David Kosloski: 13:16 That was for the airbnb to the hotel, you mean the airport to the airbnb?

Charlie Thompson: 13:20 That’s right. Correct. And that’s costing. It was $15.30 which is 45… 50 soles.

David Kosloski: 13:27 Okay. But now, let’s talk about the mistake that we made and how much that cost us. So it’d been a long time since I’ve been to Peru. I was comfortable but at the same time, I didn’t think this guy was trying to screw us over. 90 Soles. What is that?

Charlie Thompson: 13:42 Paint the picture though. Paint the picture for them. When you arrive in Lima and you go out the exit doors, you have at least 100 people screaming at you. “Taxi, taxi, taxi, taxi. I want to take you, I want to take you.” And finally, we’re, “how much for you?” And he was, “90 soles.” And we’re, “okay, let’s get in.”

David Kosloski: 13:59 Yeah. So, that being said, with the 90 Soles. So that’s way over price. You should be paying usually paying 40-45 soles from the airport to Miraflores. Keep that in mind. I want to state that for the record, do not get hustled. If somebody says 90 soles, laugh and say 45 or 40. And then if they say 50, yeah, you can take it, you’re helping somebody out. But do not sit there and say, Oh yeah, 90 soles. I’m going to pay for it. It’s not a better cab ride. It’s the same damn car that you would take anywhere else. That being said, the second that you’re getting to the car, be looking in either, the back seats, the two front seats or in the front on the dashboard for a picture or photo of the driver and some sort of certification that says it’s a taxi cab driver.

David Kosloski: 14:46 This is the only time that I would say you don’t need to take or that you probably shouldn’t take an Uber because finding an Uber from the airport is very difficult. I would go the route of just getting a taxi cab paying the 45 soles and getting to your hotel in Miraflores. Unless you’re not staying in Mira Flores. If you’re not staying there, I don’t know where the heck you would be staying. That’s like a nice place. And I’ve never been anywhere else really. But Miraflores is like the big touristy place where most people stay. When you’re in Cusco, the same thing though. If you’re traveling with us, more than likely we’re going to pick you up in general. But if you’re taking a cab, Eight soles, five soles, four soles is literally a very minimal amount of Soles. And same with an Uber. Sometimes uber’s like a sole higher. So if you want to take a cab, my recommendation to you would be to pull up Uber, type in the location that you’re going. And if you can’t get the Uber within a certain amount of time and there’s cabs around, just grab a cab and say, “hey, this is how many soles I’m going to pay you. And they’re going to try to ask for more. Just laugh them off because they’re hustling just like you are. And just say, no, I’m going to pay you this.

Charlie Thompson: 15:49 And because of the safety aspect like David mentioned and really the hassle. When you walk out of the airport, it’s one of the reasons why we’ve added the airport pickup to the website to make it easy for you guys because trust me, when you get there. I experienced this for the first time. It was unbelievable. You walk out the doors and you have so many people. Really, it’s madness. Especially as a brand new tourist, if you’re visiting Peru for the first time, you’re just overwhelmed and a little bit of anxiety sets in and you’re like, okay, whatever. Charge me whatever, I’ll go anywhere. And you have to be careful of those types of things. It’s one of the reasons why we, why we added the airport pickup.

David Kosloski: 16:28 That’s right. Yeah. He’s talking about Lima is obviously insane and Cusco has got some aggression as well in terms of there’s a lot of cab drivers. We don’t pick up in Lima, but we do pick up in Cusco. And once you guys are there in Cusco, if you need an airport pickup, we can definitely do it. And you know, that you’ll get picked up by an awesome guide and awesome, nice clean van that’s going to take your right to your hotel. You ain’t got to worry about any issues. The next on our list, it’s our last one on the list. It’s so sad. We’re going to say goodbye, but it is Central restaurant is…. meh. It’s like, it was really cool the first time I did it and I told everybody the food was weird. So we decided to go again and it may be ranked the sixth best restaurant in the world right now. I’m not gonna lie, I can’t stand it. And the drinks weren’t even that good this time.

Charlie Thompson: 17:18 So last year it was the fourth best restaurant. This year, the sixth best restaurant, I will say probably one of the coolest restaurant experiences I’ve ever had. But the food… There were two dishes I couldn’t even eat. Like it was absolutely atrocious.

David Kosloski: 17:34 I think that that’s the fancy food. Kevin may have a different story. He seemed to really like it. Here’s kept saying “oh my God, this is so delicious.” And in my head I kept thinking, is he saying this because he’s at a really fancy restaurant and he’s like super pumped to be here. Or does he genuinely like it?

Charlie Thompson: 17:49 The second dish I was like…… I’m a foodie too. Obviously, I’m the guy that’s the least amount of shape you can tell that I’m a foodie. it was a second dish that I was like, “Yeah, this potato sucks. It just really sucks.” I couldn’t even. It was this little tiny potato you could probably eat one bite and I took half a bite and I couldn’t even finish it. I put it back on the rocks that it came on and I was like, “Nope. Not for me.” It’s funny. The experience was really cool. I mean, the way they explained everything. I think we’re gonna do a couple little promos with some of the stuff. We took a little bit of video, cell phone, video, and stuff. We might put it out for you just so you can kind of see the experience of it. So the experience is really cool and it’s like $122 was the tasting menu. So a little steep. But for the experience, it’s kind of worth it to go say: “Hey, I’ve been to the fifth best restaurant in the world.”

David Kosloski: 18:42 I mean we got to eat piranha. That was pretty cool. It tastes like hell. And I’d rather be eating Taco Bell with worms in it or something like that. I mean it’s a weird, weird, weird deal.

Charlie Thompson: 18:56 I will say there was one fantastic dish. It was the third from the last one. I wish I could remember what the name of it was. I’d have to pull out the menu, but it was octopus and squid and something else and it was a warm hot meal dish and it was unbelievable. That was the best thing on the menu. I wish I could have had a whole plate of that.

David Kosloski: 19:19 Yeah, that’s the funny thing about those restaurants like that that are super fancy. They don’t give you a whole plate. There’s a guy, I want to say in Italy, he does like three tortellini and it’s like 50 bucks to the plate. Three, and they’re like the size of your pinky finger. Anyways. That being said, we can go on all day about food and how crazy expensive it is for what it is. But we are done with this episode. We are finished, completed. Thank you guys so very much for listening in. You know, it’s been great to get feedback and hear, get emails and get questions and people just kind of reaching out, just asking simple things. So don’t be afraid to do that. Shoot us an email, add us on Instagram. Hit us up on And just keep in touch man. We love having awesome viewers and awesome travelers. You know, we don’t want to stay just in Peru. Eventually, we’re going to reach out to the other spectrums of the world. So keep in touch with us as we progress because we definitely don’t want to stay locked into one country. Want to keep growing.

Charlie Thompson: 20:12 And somebody asked me a question before we end this. They said, how do you spell Cachi? So I just want everybody out there to know. Okay, she didn’t know Cachi is C.A.C.H.I. So Hit us up.

David Kosloski: 20:25 What if they don’t know how to spell life?

Charlie Thompson: 20:26 Hey, I think you got other problems.

David Kosloski: 20:30 Awesome. Thanks so much guys and we’ll see you in the next episode.


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  1. Anna

    I just found this podcast as I was looking for more information about traveling to Peru, and I’ve already listen to most of their podcasts. They have great advice and seem like a good company that actually cares!

    • Kevin Groh

      Thanks Anna! We really appreciate that! We do our best to help out the community and locals! 🙂


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