Panama City

Peru 2022

Travel Day. Our long awaited trip to Peru began with flights from Whitefish to LA to Panama and on to Lima, Peru.

A very comfortable overnight flight on Copa Airlines.

As we were coming into Panama City I saw well over 100 ships waiting to enter the canal.

Panama City Airport, clean, bright, spacious, huge sections of airport under construction. \240I think Mark walked well over a mile to get our morning coffee. \240If construction is a sign of what they expect in the future: Panama expects a lot of flights. \240


Lima, Peru

Click on the following images for video.

First views from airport. \240Sky was overcast, our driver said this will be normal through November. \240Temps were mid 60’s. \240

City scape is typical of many Latin countries. A cacophony of commercial and residential buildings with multi lane traffic, people, horns, and energy. \240A place that doesn’t sleep. \240

First night we called for an Uber to take us to the “magic water show”. \240A park with multiple illuminated fountains. \240An attraction filled with Peruvian families. \240This boy wanted to be in the picture with us - we told the kids at home we may adopt him! \240

Driving in Peru is an experience. \240Drivers fight for position with horns, courage, testosterone and lunacy. \240More than once I held my breath as I was sure a fender bender was imminent, yet, none occurred.

Fuente MΓ‘gica

Our driver from the airport encouraged us to visit the Magic Fountain Park in Lima. Home to the largest water fountain park in the world. \240Strolling past the 13 fountains was a delight.


Ever changing water, lights, and sound made for quite a show.

Click for video.

Click for video.

The tunnel walk was quite unique - huge attraction for families and us too!

Click for video.


The Fish Market - Chorrillos

A guide took us to the local fishing village. \240By 9 am the fishermen were back and all the catch was cleaned and ready for sales.

Fishermen were tending their nets and some were selling fishing line with a weight and a couple of hooks on a peice of wood. \240That is all that is needed to actually catch a fish. No rod required.

The catch of the day ready for sales.

Can you get any fresher?

The pier.

So many colorful wood fishing boats.

The boats back from their morning catch. \240Our guide shared that all the boats are rowed to the fishing waters and may use a motor on their way back. \240A challenge is on the way back the sea lions are waiting for the fishermen with their nets full of breakfast for them. \240The sea lions cause much of the damage to the nets requiring constant repair.

Below is picture of some wood with fishing line wrapped around it, a weight and some hooks. \240That, along with some sand crab as bait, is all that is needed to catch fish off the pier.


Fisherman’s Breakfast

Our guide took us to where the fisherman have breakfast. \240Booths that serve hot coffee and a fresh bun with sliced onions, a vinaigrette and lightly fried fish or fish eggs (cavier like). Mark and I took hesitant bites and then ate the whole thing. Delicious and the coffee was the best!! \240

Couldn’t resist getting a pic of the fisherman and his pup.


Chorrillos Market

Peruvians eat fresh. \240The food, the colors, the flavors are all so appealing. \240

I asked our guide how there are so many booths and which one she goes to. She says that everyone has their own “casada” a shop keeper they are loyal too. \240A “mom”. The shopkeeper does favors for you and the more loyal you are the more favors.

Families will keep the same shopkeeper for generations. \240Our guide shops at the same booths her mom shopped at. \240Loyalty and honor is very important in the market culture.

Everyone needs a Yoda in their garden.


Peruvian Lunch

Second story from the market our guide took us to an authentic Peruvian lunch. \240We had seafood soup with crab, fish and seaweed and a triple plate of seafood. \240A rice dish, \240cervichi and some breaded fish and sweet potatoes. \240

Again we took hesitant bites and then ate it all. \240So fresh and so delicious.

Our guide said that lunch in Peru is the large meal. \240Dinner is light; bread and jam but lunch is significant. \240She said everything we had would be a single persons portion for lunch. \240All the soup and the triple fish.

The staff.

The rice, cerviche and battered fish. \240

Roasted Corn Kernals to eat and add to the soup.

Watch your step.



Art is celebrated in Barranco.

Let’s create a Peru we all love was the message on the yellow bridge.

The single mother by Bronik artist was really telling. \240The rise of women in Peru has been a recent emphasis. \240Our guide said most women do not marry and they carry the responsibility for raising the children.

Click the video above to see the view.

Jade Rivera famous art. \240Children and birds are characters in his global work.

Our fantastic tour guide Yahaira. \240She brought her city to life for us.

Bronix art on The Single Mom



Sights around the city this afternoon. \240Traditional moms with babies selling wears. \240Lovers park with many couples, and the incredible cliffs to the ocean providing spectacular views and flying opportunities.

And tons of dogs. \240This one on particular has great character.

Wind surfers and ocean surfers in the same view

Adorable baby.

Lima is perched atop a stunning cliff.

Character pooch.

Mark couldn’t resist finding a soccer game in a park.

Popular sport. \240Quite a crowd gathered to watch.


Our pose

Lima Main Square

Peru #8

Lima City Historical Tour

including a parade with

a dancing table 🤨,

catacombs ☠️,

neat architecture

and a library 📖📕📚

New meaning to table dancing.

Catacombs under the church. \240

Stairwell to the crypt.

Amazing library.

So many beautiful things to see, so many reasons to be on a phone! 🤣

A man out standing.

Enjoyed the experience of being in the historical part of the city. \240

Once a year in the square behind me they fill the fountain with liquor and everyone can come fill a bottle. \240Now that’s a party! 🍾


Peru #9 Cooking Class

Had a blast 🔥 literally, at a cooking class of Peruvian food.

So delish!

Estadio Monumental "U"

Peru #10 Sent Mark to Soccer ⚽️ game

An opportunity came up for Mark to see a game. There was only one seat available.

Mark had to get himself to the town square, meet up with “Carlos”. Carlos was a arranger and had a group of 10.

A family of 5 from New York, a lawyer and his daughter from Edmonton, a single woman from New Jersey, Mark, \240Carlos and the driver.

They piled into a Volkswagen van and headed, at blistering pace, over an hour away to the stadium.

Marks passport was needed to secure a ticket. The name on the ticket has to match the name and number on his passport. \240 Mark had to leave his belt behind.

There were 3 checkpoints to get into stadium. \240First two were checking tickets and passports and the last was the police line with the body search (😳) Mark said it wasn’t bad. 🤣.

He was told to lose the hat 🧢 but it was a Whitefish Bulldog hat! \240He backed up in line, hid the hat under his shirt and took a different line!! Hat saved!! ✅

The game was between two premier league teams in Peru. \240The Universitario from Lima against the Ayacucho FC at the Momumemtal Stadium.

The stadium seats 88,000 but only about 25,000 were at the game. \240Mark said the stadium was built decades ago and seats hadn’t been cleaned ever.

The atmosphere was electric. Many fans stood the whole time and cheered for 2 solid hours. \240Mark noticed the a scoreboard didnt keep time. \240 No one but the ref knew the time. \240That was likely done for fan control.

Good game. \240Home team University wome 2-1. \240 Happy fans.

Then Mark squished back into the van, drove lightening fast back to city and then had to get his own Uber back to hotel. \240The last video is his return home!

Awesome night. \240He never feared for his life more than 10 times during the drive 😳🏎🏎🏎🏎🏎🏎

Marks pics below. \240Note there is none of him - he forgot to take a selfie!!

Hotel sweet hotel. \240

What a night!


Peru #11. Lima to Cusco

Today we were up at 4 am for flights to interior of Peru to the city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

We landed at 11,000 feet elevation, drove out of Cusco and tonight we are staying at the quaint place in town of Urubamba at 9,000 feat. \240

We were told to eat light today, rest, no exertion. \240We followed that advice until we stumbled upon an oasis with a Peruvian Buffet. \240Like a heavenly spread of delicacies. \240Needless to say, we ate a bit more than we should but it was all so delish. 😋

Today included getting friendly with Lama’s, seeing more Peruvian culture, incredible vistas as we prepare for tomorrow. \240Machu Picchu. 😳

The views of Cusco as we headed out of the city. \240

Coca tea for helping with altitude issues.

Peruvian weavers.

So beautiful.

Their fingers move so quickly.

Our quaint villa

Beautiful at night.

The buffet was delicious. \240

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Peru

Oh what a day. \240An experience not for the faint of heart.

There are two ways to the site. \240Hike in or bus/train/bus. \240Mark and I opted not to hike! 🤣

Day started with leaving villa in Umubramba by 6am. \240Drive to Ollantaytambo to then catch a 90 min train to go to Machu Picchu Pueblo (town). \240There transfer to another bus for a 30 minute “going to the sun road type experience (very steep, many switchbacks, single lane 😳)” to the upper village. \240From there, enter gates to the famous ruins. \240We entered the site just after 11:30 and were nearly instantly hit with the vastness of the site. \240The views in all directions were amazing.

Add on that at each transport both tickets and passports were checked and everything was time stamped to limit tourists at the site per hour. \240It made for a very tedious but thorough process.

At the site every person must be with a guide and there are several routes to tour. Some choose to do more than one route in a day to see more sections of the ruins.

We lucked out and had lamas on the path at a couple places. Kind of like a visitor to Glacier wanting to see a bear. \240Pretty neat actually.

We spent close to 3 hours walking, learning and exploring. \240Amazing.

Then the long process to retrace all the transport back to our villa (bus, train, bus).

Machu Picchu hosts nearly 5,000 people a day. It’s an engineering and orchestrated feat to roll so many people through a significant process 365 days a year.

From a Montana perspective we think that both the logistics on the ski hill and Glacier are a process but each of those only have a limited season. \240This experience is everyday. The Peruvian government, the staff, the tour companies and the Leruvian people \240need to be commended for making the process run as smoothly as it does.

Mark kept seeing soccer pitches!

Lamas on the trail.

Montana Machu Picchu!

Lamas checking out the crowd. Click on above arrow for video.

What I was seeing click on above arrow for video.

Here is an image I found on the internet of the switch back road that goes between the Pueblo (village) of Machi Picchu and up to the ruins. The image is taken from the top of the famous mountain. \240The ruins are below the people in white. \240

An intense “going to the sun road” type of experience on a bus with a single road. \240The drivers of these busses are very skilled. \240

Machu Picchu

Peru #12. Saga of Marks Whitefish Bulldogs Hat

A vendor selling postcards at Macchu Picchu wanted Marks #whitefishbulldog hat. \240He came up and offered some postcards in trade for the hat. \240Mark was so taken back he said “sure”.

So a couple nights ago Mark saved the hat from being confiscated at the Lima soccer game, to now barter it for some postcards. \240

We hope the new hat owner cherishes his new hat and the Whitefish Soccer legacy that goes with it!!

Pic of them with their new trade!!


Peru #13 Ollantaytambo

Spent the morning meandering a city with modern touches and an ancient past. \240Nestled at the center of three valleys coming together. \240

The people, the views, the ruins, the lunch, all 👍

A travel blog I read before the trip talked about this town. One woman from the US said it was her favorite place in the world. \240So glad we were able to spend some time soaking it all in.

A blend of old and new.

Ancient town with modern touches.

The beautiful colors.

Three valleys come together

When you are already at 10,000 feet that is some climb.

Stairs down the ruins. Click for video.

Salineras de Maras

Peru #14 Cusco City, Maras Salt Mines and ATV in countryside.

Picked up at 6:30 am for a drive about an hour out of the city where ATVs and a private e guide were waiting. \240Much fun enjoying the countryside.

Then on to the Maras Salt Mines. \240The salt laden water flows from the mountain and onto layered plots. \240Once the water has evaporated, approx 30 days, the salt is harvested from the plots. \240Pretty amazing engineering feat.

The evening was spent enjoying the city sites and doing a walking tour of bascillcia.

Another amazing day.

Never expecting to be riding Peruvian countryside on ATV.

Click above for video.

Salt mine. An engineering feat

Water comes down from the mountain

And is separated into tiers. \240 Each tier owned by a family. \240The water takes about 30 days to evaporate and then the salt is harvested.

The top layer of salt is table salt.

The second layer is pink Himalayan salt

The third layer is like Epsom salts and scrubs.

They said they do approx 6 harvests a year.

Some sites of Cusco City below:

Astrid y GastΓ³n

Astrid&Gastón Restaurant Lima Peru

When I was researching the trip I learned that several of the best restaurants in the world are in Lima. \240One of restaurants; Astrid & Gaston, was close to our hotel and I was lucky enough to secure a reservation for their tasting menu.

So last night, our last night in Lima, we enjoyed a 14 course, 3 hour, delight of tastes!

When we were seated we were given an envelope which had the nights menu. \240We referred back to the menu as each course was brought and described. \240The menu was a designed to reflect the tastes and culture of all parts of Peru.

(I couldn’t say the following paragraph better; it is from a review of the restaurant).

“Dining at Astrid & Gaston was all about the entire experience from the time that you set foot on their lot, to the time that you leave. We knew we were in a for a superb treat. There was nothing miniscule at this restaurant. It was all about grandiosity. The flavor, the freshness, and the service – bar none! The ambiance alone was a work of art. We didn’t get to explore the entire building, there was just no time. We sat in our dining room the entire time, not because we were stuck in the room, but we had simply enjoyed being in our little corner. Our server, Junior and his assistant Panlo, took care of us from start to finish. They made sure that we had enough drinks to get through our meal, refilled our glasses without being asked. We weren’t rushed by any means. We had the the entire evening to enjoy our last night in Peru.”

Simply delicious.

Adios Peru

The restaurant had a grand entrance. \240Felt like entering a 5 star hotel. \240The bathrooms were blue lit, circular and so unique. \240The atmosphere was elegant, calm and welcoming. \240Place was full of people in the dining rooms and in the lower bar.

Some of the 14 courses. \240Goat, pigeon and guiney pig were all unique tastes.

The 14 course menu. \240

The was the Sweetwater Crayfish, egg tempura and pumpkin. \240

This was the best. \240They called it Sweet Potato, Porcon Mushroom toffee.

It totally looked like a plate with a potato on it. \240Nothing interesting. \240Then we were told to crack the shell with a spoon. \240The shell was like a toffee and opened up to the most delicious creamy center of sweet potato filing. \240Then they drizzled 10 year whiskey over the cream filling. 🥃😊


Wonderful evening. ❤️😋😊

Panama Canal

Peru trip 2022 final day - Panama

Our trip ends where my first post began; Panama City.

When I realized we had an 8 hour layover in the city on our return from Peru, I coordinated a private tour to pick us up from the airport and take is around the city and the Panama Canal.

Sharon, our guide, picked us up from the airport and showed us her city. \240She was born and raised in Panama and is a professional guide.

Mark and I were taken around the city, the causeway, over the bridges of Americas, stopped for some shopping and then toured the canal all the while learning from Sharon the rich history of her country.

Sharon timed our visit to coordinate with a ship going through the locks. (Check out video).

I asked Sharon what she loves most about her country. \240She answered that she has both the Packfic Ocean and the Caribbean as her playground, she loves the rainforest and her favorite is the birds. \240She also said she was proud to be a part of an up and coming country globally.

Panama built a second, larger set of locks, and opened them on 2016. \240Their airport is completing a major expansion, a new cruise ship port opens later this year and their enormous convention center opened last year. \240Panama will simply grow as a major destination in the years to come.

Fun fact: did you know there is no road between Central and South America? \240There is no way to drive from Panama south to Colombia. \240Only way is to put your car on a ship. \240I didn’t know that.

The few hours flew by and now we are back at the airport, final destination Montana.

Peru and also Panama was a trip beyond our expectations. \240Incredible sights, lovely people.

A beautiful part of the city with ocean at your feet and views in all directions.

A unique building locals call “the screw”

A YouTube video showing how the locks work. \240 Then check out the following video for the real thing. \240

Check out the time lapse of a ship going through the locks to the Pacific. Amazing to watch.

One more lock and on its way to the Pacific Ocean.

Peru 🇵🇪 Trip Video

So hard to capture all the sights, the people, the markets, and the colors in just 150 seconds.

We had a wonderful time. \240Adios to an exceptional place with generous and kind people. \240


Recap video of our incredible trip

Photo dump. 😊

So many things to share. \240Enjoy.

Peru 2022

Machu Picchu joy.

Peruvians we’re kind, generous and hard working people.

Sights of Cusco, Peru

The sights on the train to Machu Picchu village.

Beautiful flowers.

Sights from the fishing village.

The art in Barranco, a section of Lima Peru

What a precious child and loving mom. ❤️

Can’t get enough Lamas in Peru.

Lamas on the trail in Machu Picchu. Click on image above for video.

Pups of Peru

Hotel Arte Lima Peru

Andes Wings Lodging in Urabamba, Peru

San Fransisco Hotel in Cusco, Peru

The beautiful sights of Panama.

A sign of a great trip!