Introduction: South America On Points & Miles

I figured my first trip report should be the trip that sort of started this whole website. One of my friends was getting married down in Buenos Aires (and WHAT a wedding it was!), so my girlfriend and me decided to make a trip out of it (like I really needed an excuse to travel more). Neither of us had ever been to South America so we figured it was best to hit up Lima before going to Machu Picchu and then down to Buenos Aires.

I love seafood and am all about experiencing the local culture wherever I travel. The ceviche in Lima was the absolute best I have ever had and the pisco sours were pretty spectacular as well.

Introduction

Review – Delta 767-300 DeltaOne: Atlanta to Lima

Review – Hilton Lima Miraflores

Review – LAN A320 Economy Class: Lima to Cusco

Review – LAN Boeing 767-300 Business Class: Lima to Buenos Aires

For this trip, I decided to use a combination of Delta miles, British Airways Avios, Hilton HHonors points and cash. Here’s how I booked everything.

Flights

Atlanta to Lima – Delta (DeltaOne)

We actually flew Jacksonville to Atlanta and then from Atlanta on to Lima, but the 737 we flew on that route was nothing to write home about so I decided to exclude it.

We were originally planning on using Delta miles for the trip down, but the cash ticket prices were ~$600 in DeltaOne, while Delta wanted 90,000 miles + $20.60 for the trip. While I generally try to use my miles when I travel, I think this flight was a great example of why it is important to look at the cash prices for flights as well.

Since we had saved so much on the trip as a whole, we decided to earn a few miles on a paid flight for this segment instead of redeeming miles. I credited my miles to Alaska Airlines and received a 100% mileage bonus in addition to a 25% class of service bonus by doing so.

Lima to Cusco – LAN (Economy)

For the trip into Cusco, we decided to redeem British Airways Avios. There are a TON of flight options into Cusco on a number of airlines including LAN, TACA and Avianca.

Avios availability was fantastic with at least 5 seats open on every flight. LAN’s A320s on the route do not offer a business class cabin, though for the ~1 hour flight, it is really not that big of a deal. Both of our flights on this route were relatively empty and because we are both One World Sapphires we were able to select exit row seats for a little extra legroom.

The cost was 4,500 Avios + $10.64 in taxes and fees per person each way.

Lima to Buenos Aires – LAN (Business)

After getting back to Lima from Cusco, we used British Airways Avios again for business class seats to Buenos Aires. The flight options from Lima to Buenos Aires are generally pretty limited and we were looking to avoid Aerolineas Argentinas. Surprisingly, one-way flights to Buenos Aires were running ~$900 one way for coach. In light of this, utilizing Avios for the ~ 4.5 hour flight was a no brainer.

The cost was 20,000 Avios + $30.74 in taxes and fees.

Hotels

Hilton Lima Miraflores

While the hotel prices were somewhat reasonable in the Miraflores district (~$150 per night), I had around three quarters of a million HHonors points, so it was worth it to me to burn some off on this trip. There are only two Hilton properties (a Hilton and a DoubleTree) in Lima and the Hilton was more centrally located to where we wanted to be. It turned out to be an exceptional choice.

The cost was 50,000 HHonors points per night.

Final Thoughts

I was very excited to take this trip as Machu Picchu was a bucket list item for me. Unfortunately, as this was my first trip report, I did not take as many pictures as I would have liked to. I promise that the future trip reports will be much more comprehensive, but in the meantime enjoy the reviews and thanks for reading!

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