Activities did in Lima, PERU:

  1. Miraflores outdoor shopping mall - Larcomar, with a view of the ocean
  2. Peruvian food @ Tanta
  3. Walked along Parque del Amor - Landscaped park overlooking the ocean with a huge kissing sculpture & mosaic walls
  4. Huaca Pucllana - Ruins of a pre-Incan pyramid

Highlight(s) of this portion of the trip:

Huaca Pucllana was amazing. Having the ruins of pre-Incan pyramid in the middle of the city is quite an interesting landmark to preserve. As described by our tour guide (free) at the site, the clay pyramid was built by hand, in which the worker used adobe bricks that were made one by one by mixing water with clay and laying them out to dry by the sun. The finger prints that are still present in some of the bricks are just fascinating to see.    

Activities did in Cusco, PERU:

  1. Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu
  2. Free tour in Cusco City
  3. San Pedro Market
  4. Museo Inka - Museum about the Incas

Highlight(s) of this portion of the trip:

Huayna Picchu was challenging but super fun. You will be rewarded with the view of Macchu Picchu when you get to the peak. The total hike took us 4 hours, and we stopped a lot along the way for pictures and rest. If you like to hike, then you should definitely add Huayna Picchu to your itinerary when you go to Machu Picchu. Huayna Picchu only allows 400 people a day, so you should plan ahead when you know you will visit.

Another pleasant surprise is the city of Cusco. The city has great Peruvian food, and the ambiance in this city just gave me a very comfortable feeling. A free tour with Free Tours by Foot Cusco gave us a lot of information and history about the city. I suggest that you stop at Cusco for a day or two if you plan to check out Machu Picchu!   

How was I able to get the points & miles needed for the trip?

As mentioned in the beginning of the trip report, we used 333K miles & points total for this trip. While that is a lot of miles, we are see that anyone can achieve this kind of luxurious trip without breaking the bank (saved over $16K!) if you earn miles in your daily activities, including credit card sign ups, credit card referrals, and take advantage of the bonus points offered by various credit card promotions. Here is how I did it to pay for most of this trip: 

Signed up for 3 credit cards (175K miles & points total) and met the spending requirements over 3 months:

  • 100K AA miles that was used for 2 JFK-SCL business class flights, 1st year card fee @ $450
  • 50K DL miles for SCL-IGR, IGR-AEP (2 of each) economy class flights, 1st year card fee waived 
  • 25K SPG points for 2 hotel nights, 1st year card fee waived

Rest of the miles & points are accrued from the following activities:

  • 10K SPG points from 2 referrals of the credit card to friends 
  • 8K Chase UR points from spending on 2 Chase Freedom credit cards at the 5X rotating category (restaurant) bonus 
  • 9K BA miles from bank points transfer (4K points) & utilizing online shopping portals (5K miles)
  • 131K LM miles was bought through the airline promotions at $1,730 USD (or 1.32 cent per mile)

 

Want to get started in the miles & points game for your 5-star vacation? Reach out to us today!