Doing Peru in Style

You have to give it to Ed Droste; when he travels, he does it well. Recently, the US-based indie rocker and a handbag designer/photographer friend KT Auleta decided they needed to visit Peru.

So they made arrangements to stay in five-star hotels, travel to Machu Picchu aboard the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham passenger train and even dine at Virgilio Martinez’s remarkable restaurant, Mil.

Droste and Auleta began their Peruvian journey in Lima. They first stayed in the trendy, cliffside neighborhood of Miraflores. The next day found them in the equally exciting neighborhood of Barranco. Here they dined in Cantarana, and Droste commenced his love-at-first-bite relationship with ceviche. Initially, the idea of raw fish, “cooked” in lime juice and flavored with onions, cilantro and garlic held no appeal, but like so many visitors to Peru, Droste became hooked, and ordered ceviche whenever possible for the rest of his trip.

The next day, the travelers flew to Cusco, where they were breath-taken by both the altitude, and the light. After a few nights, Droste and Auleta boarded the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham for an old-fashioned, sophisticated rail journey to Machu Picchu. They explored the lost city of the Incas with their guide for four hours, with every minute leaving a lasting impression.

Moving through Peru’s Sacred Valley, the pair stopped at the salt mines of Maras, developed by the Incas, yet still in use today. They them visited the mysterious ruins of Moray, a series of terraces in concentric circles, burrowing their way into the ground. Just above Moray sits Mil Centro, Virgilio Martinez’s widely acclaimed restaurant. Droste and Auleta were fortunate enough to dine there, and savored the meal of the trip.

Droste and Auleta had several other adventures before ending their two-week adventure.  They rode horses through the Andes, strolled a canopy walkway high above the Amazon jungle floor, and learned the hard way that a little pisco goes a long way at high altitudes.

Droste recounts his whirlwind, two-week trip for Vogue, and it’s worth a read.