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Peru Encompassed

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days 21 From US$ 3,780 US$ 3,052
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highlights
  • Lima’s grand colonial facades, Spanish houses and endless culture make it one of the prettiest cities in Latin America. Adjust to the altitude with a pisco sour and some ceviche
  • Seeing the enigmatic Nazca Lines is an incredible experience, whether they’re the work of ancient civilizations or something more supernatural
  • Whether you trek the classic Inca Trail, the Inca Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are a majestic destination, no matter how you get there
  • The floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are a marvel of concept, construction and history. Take a boat tour on the lake and spend the night with a local family in a traditional island community
The Peru Encompassed tour starts and ends in Lima. The Peru Encompassed is an Explorer tour that takes 21 days taking you from Lima, Peru and through other destinations in South America.

Visit Peru and discover its highlights from Lima to Cusco on an exciting journey that encompasses modern cities and ancient worlds. Explore Peru's lush Amazon Jungle, the epic Lake Titicaca and the vast Colca Canyon. Enjoy local homestays, hike the famed Inca Trail and be immersed in fascinating Peruvian culture while discovering its history buried deep within the walls of lost cities.
Welcome to Lima, Peru. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

One of the most beautiful cities in South America, there's plenty to do and see in Lima. You’ll get to see downtown Lima and the historical centre on your walking tour tomorrow, but we also recommend arriving a few days early to see more of the sights. There’s the famous suburb of Miraflores, Central Park and Lovers’ Park, and the 16th-century monastery of San Francisco with its catacombs of some 10,000 remains. There are also plenty of museums including the Museum of the Inquisition, the National Museum and the Gold Museum. Be sure to have a bite of Peru's national dish of ceviche.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN 10
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN 35
  • Lima Home Cooked - Urban Adventures - USD 74
  • Lima Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventures - USD 45
  • Lima Discovery - Urban Adventures - USD 34
On the second day of your trip, you’ll be introduced to downtown Lima’s historical centre with a guided tour. Here the streets are flanked with colonial mansions, palaces and churches. You’ll also get to see the iconic Plaza Mayor with its imposing Cathedral. After the tour, take a local bus from Lima to Pisco for about four hours. The bus will stop about three or four times along the way until you reach your destination. Once you’ve arrived, you might like to have a drink of Peru’s national drink – the Pisco sour, made from Local Brandy of the same name.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
This morning you may choose to head to the nearby Ballestas Islands, which are sometimes referred to as the ‘Galapagos of Peru’. Weather permitting, take a one-and-a-half to two-hour boat tour of the islands to see pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos and even penguins.
Later on you’ll make your way towards Nazca during a three hour drive. Along the way, stop in the town of Huacachina. This little settlement sits beside a small lake with dramatic sand dunes. Perhaps go sand-boarding or simply enjoy the photo opportunities.

Arrive in Nazca, the city famous for its mysterious pre-Inca civilization. You’ll visit the Nazca lines, enormous geoglyphs representing animals drawn into the sand thousands of years ago. Climb to the viewing platform, or if you’re feeling brave, take an optional flight over the lines for the best experience.

Notes:
- Between June and September, the port to Ballestas Islands might be closed due to weather conditions. If this happens, you’ll be offered an alternative land tour of the Paracas National Reserve instead.
- Flights over the Nazca lines are not recommended for those with a weak stomach. Planes turn sharply to facilitate viewing of the lines. Several local operators offer flights over the lines and there have been safety issues in the past. While Intrepid cannot guarantee the safety of any of the flights, your tour leader can recommend some operators that are safer than others according to our assessment. Your leader is specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting booking this activity through any other operators.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Ballestas Islands - Guided tour
Today we visit the Chauchilla Cemetery, where you can see the tombs of people of the ancient Nazca civilisation, dating from 100AD to 700AD. It is something of an eerie sight to see the skulls, bones and even hair of the dead, preserved in a remarkable state thanks to the dry desert air.

There will be free time for you to take an optional flight over the Nazca lines.

Early in the afternoon we travel from Nazca to Arequipa by local bus (approx 9hrs). Standing at the foot of El Misti Volcano and oozing the best of Spanish colonial charm, Arequipa vies with Cusco for the title of Peru's most attractive city. Built out of a pale volcanic rock called sillar, the old buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname - the 'White City'. The main plaza, with its cafes and nearby cathedral, is a lovely place to while away the day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Nazca - Flight Over the Nazca Lines
Spend the day in stunning Arequipa. Perhaps wander the main plaza with its lovely cathedral, many cafes and eateries. You may like to visit the Juanita Museum, which houses Peru’s famous ‘Ice Maiden’, the Inca mummy of a girl who died in the 1440s. There’s also the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a 16th century monastery which only accepted women from well-to-do Spanish families. These nuns grew infamous for their luxurious lifestyles, each one having her own servant, splurging on fine products and enjoying frequent parties.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery - PEN 45
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN 20
Today we travel by minivan to the town of Chivay - approx.5hr trip. Along the way, you’ll see llamas, alpacas and vicunas and learn a little about the differences between them. You’ll also stop for breaks and photo opportunities near these adorable creatures. At the second stop you’ll get to try some local coca tea. The third stop takes you to the highest point on the tour at Patapama (4,800 metres above sea level) before descending to your destination of Chivay. The town will be your base for exploring the Colca Canyon in the coming days.

Break for lunch in town and then go on a short trek in the area which will take you to the local thermal baths. From here you can either spend the evening soaking in the baths, dining on llama steak at a nearby restaurant or seeing some live Andean music at a pena (local bar).

Notes: When stopping off at Patapama, you’re likely to experience some shortness of breath. This is nothing to worry about as it’s a short stop and the bus will quickly descend to lower altitude. Remember to prepare for altitude sickness before the trip. The accommodation in Chivay is very basic, has no heating and can sometimes be noisy. There are, however, en suite toilets and you may request extra blankets on a chilly night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Colca Canyon - La Calera hot springs
Wake up early to visit the Colca Canyon. More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca has some breathtaking views. Here you’ll see terraced crops that have been cultivated since pre-Incan times by local villages. Perhaps the stars of the show are the Andean condors. See the world’s largest flying birds from a viewing point above the canyon and watch them soaring above and below you.

In the afternoon, visit a Colca Canyon community and meet your host family for a homestay. You might like to offer to help your host family with their daily activities such as planting, collecting water, peeling potatoes or preparing the family meal.

Notes: While the homestay has very basic facilities, it’s a great opportunity to meet the locals. You’ll be sharing a toilet with the family and have no access to a shower. There is however a proper bed with plenty of blankets and breakfast in the morning.
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Say goodbye to your host family take an approx. five-hour bus ride to Puno. Although it’s a long day of driving, you’ll enjoy dramatic views of the Altiplano (Peru’s highlands). Your destination of Puno is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which you’ll be exploring in the coming days. The town is also known as Peru’s folklore capital for its thriving Indian cultures, including the Aymara and Quechua. If you’re lucky enough to arrive during a festival, you’ll be treated to an elaborate parade of costumes and dances.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Start the day with a tour of Lake Titicaca (3,820 metres above sea level), the world’s highest navigable lake. You’ll take a motorboat across the lake and learn about its spiritual significance for the ancient and modern-day Quechuas. During your tour, you’ll stop off at the Titinos Islands, floating man-made islands made entirely from reeds and home to several families. Later, you’ll be taken to another homestay in the Lake Titicaca region to take a closer look at daily life here. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities or try chatting in the local language, Quechua. A game of soccer is also a great way to make local friends. You’ll be staying in a mud brick house for the night.

Notes: The homestay at Lake Titicaca will be very basic accommodation, but a rewarding experience nonetheless. Be prepared to use shared drop toilets and have no access to a shower for the night. There will be plenty of blankets to keep you warm.
Accommodation
  • Homestay
After breakfast, take the boat again to Taquile Island for about an hour. The locals here make their livelihood out of textiles, with the women doing the spinning and men doing the knitting. Browse the handmade goods sold here including warm, high quality items. Next, take an uphill trek for about an hour to visit the main area of the island. After a brief stay, the boat will take you back to Puno (about three hours).

Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation that works towards improving the living condition of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in this part of the world you have now come to know so well. Take a look at this short video for more information on this wonderful project: https://vimeo.com/154422813
Kusimayo is supported by the Intrepid Foundation which means you can donate to this project and your donation will be match dollar for dollar by the Intrepid Group. Please donate through our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo/
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Take a long and scenic bus ride across the Altiplano towards Cusco, which should take about six hours.
Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city and here, colonial buildings are built upon foundations remaining from Incan times. Spend a little time acclimatising to the high altitude (3,450 m) and then head out on an orientation walk with your tour leader. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally you’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There’s a small store where you’ll find various handicrafts and a variety of artisanal chocolate products. Tonight is free, perhaps head out for dinner your fellow travellers. Your leader will be able to recommend some good place sot eat!
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple entrance fee
Enjoy a free day in Cusco, the heart and soul of Peru. You may like to visit the city’s many museums and archaeological sites with a boleto turistico (tourism ticket). This includes the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum, Qosqo Native Art Museum and the Inca ruins of Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The most easily accessible among these sites is Coricancha, which was once the Incan empire's richest temple until the Spanish built a Dominican church on top of it.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Via Ferrata & Zipline - PEN 265
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking - USD 120
  • Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD 36
  • Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding - USD 75
  • Cusco - Art Trail workshop - USD 59
Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be doing one of the following: hiking the Classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum).

Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and only travel with the necessary items during the excursion by train.

Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Today travel by minivan to the 82 km marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 km long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and inflatable camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Notes: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 km long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and inflatable camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 3 Train:
For those travellers disinterested in hiking the trail or who are unable to, you will spend an extra day in Cusco.
Please note: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Inca Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cusco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN 135
  • Cusco - Half Tourist Ticket Pass, which gives you access to selected archaeological sites in/around Cusco (transport & guides are not included) - PEN 75
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3 Train:
We'll head to a community along the valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities, and if our visit coincides with market day, we can spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practising a little bit of the local language, Quechua. Your leader might also suggest an optional local meal or an Andean picnic with the locals.
The town of Ollantaytambo has been built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning. This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish.
Please note: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Inca Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3 Train:
Travel by train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (approx 90 mins).
Sitting at the base of Machu Picchu in a picturesque valley, Aguas Calientes takes its name from the numerous hot springs that are dotted throughout the area.


Notes: Included lunch on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Optional Activities
  • Machu Picchu Site Museum
Route 1 Inca Trail:
This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over Machu Pichu ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists).

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Route 3 Train:
Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cusco.

Visiting Machu Picchu:
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

For all options - After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well-deserved shower and a pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.

Notes: Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Enjoy your last free day in Cusco. You may like to use this time to rest up and regenerate after your hike or go exploring in and around Cusco. If you’ve got any energy left, perhaps go on a bike ride through the hills that surround Cusco.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - City tour
Take a flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle, where you'll be staying for two nights. Upon your arrival, the lodge staff will take you to their office in town. Here you can leave most of your luggage in safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for your next two nights in the jungle. You’ll then take a motorised canoe upriver to your jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area. There will be time to unpack and unwind once you get there. The next two days are packed with activities. Your full day in the jungle includes a trek which lasts approximately half a day. At times the paths can get quite muddy and some people can find the trek a little exhausting. Along the way there will be regular stops, and you'll encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. You might spot everything from macaws and monkeys to peccaries, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach you about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants. For lunch you will return to the lodge.
For your night-time excursion, you will venture out in the dark on a night jungle walk!

Notes:
We stay at two different lodges in the same area. The activities may vary slightly according to which lodge you are at. Depending on which lodge you are staying at, the included night excursion may be on the night of Day 1 or Day 2. As both of our lodges are in the same area of the jungle, you will see the same wildlife and your overall jungle experience will be the same in either lodge.

The Amazon accommodation is simple but comfortable, with en suites, flush toilets and mosquito nets. There is no power here, kerosene lamps are used for light, and showers run cold water only.
Accommodation
  • Jungle Lodge
Travel back to Puerto Maldonado today and then take a short flight of about three hours to Lima. On arrival, spend your time seeing any of the sights that you missed at the beginning of the trip. In the evening, perhaps go for dinner with the group and reflect on your Peruvian adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Archaeological Museum - PEN 15
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition visit - Free - PEN 15
You've reached the end of your adventure. There are no activities planned for today and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you feel like you didn’t have much time in Lima at the start of your trip, perhaps stay on for a few extra days to see more of the city. We’ll be happy to assist with booking accommodation (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Lima Home Cooked - Urban Adventures - USD 74
  • Lima Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventures - USD 45
  • Lima Discovery - Urban Adventures - USD 34
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (13 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights)
Meals
  • 20 Breakfast, 6 Lunch, 7 Dinner
Transport
  • Plane , Taxi , Public bus , Private Vehicle , Canoe , Boat , Train
Included Activities
  • Chauchilla Cemetery Tour
  • Colca Canyon Tour 3d/2n
  • Colca Canyon -Guided tour
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
  • Amazon Jungle - Activities as mentioned in trip notes
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Lima are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Peru Encompassed tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 21 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 16 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Lima/ Lima
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Peru Encompassed
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 17 January 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Peru Encompassed tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Peru Encompassed tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Peru Encompassed tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    19 Nov 2018

  • Trip title

    Peru Encompassed

  • Trip code

    GGSA

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018

  • Introduction

    Visit Peru and discover its highlights from Lima to Cusco on an exciting journey that encompasses modern cities and ancient worlds. Explore Peru's lush Amazon Jungle, the epic Lake Titicaca and the vast Colca Canyon. Enjoy local homestays, hike the famed Inca Trail and be immersed in fascinating Peruvian culture while discovering its history buried deep within the walls of lost cities.

  • Style

    Original

  • Transport

    Plane,Taxi,Public bus,Private Vehicle,Canoe,Boat,Train

  • Physical Rating

    4

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

    Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

  • Visas

    PASSPORT:
    Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months' validity remaining. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

    VISAS:
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The below country specific information was correct at time of writing, however please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Also remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.
    If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document. 

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more important information on this.

    This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you do the Inca trail, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness but there are also a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable for hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more information.

    For many of the stops along the tour, you'll have very basic accommodation. This includes the two homestays in rural Peru, the amazon eco-lodge and camping along the Inca Trail (if you do this option). There'll be no power in these places, some won't have showers and hot water.

    The Amazon Rainforest can be hot, humid and sticky. While travelling in this region, it's best to wear light cotton clothing, and don't forget your insect repellent.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
    Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
    Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.
    More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

    SIMPLE BREAKFAST
    Some of the included breakfasts along this trip can be quite simple: toasts, spreads, juice and coffee or tea.

  • Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). 

    The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

    CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    MEALS NOT INCLUDED:
    For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

    Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

    Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

    Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

    These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

    CREDIT CARDS & ATMs:
    ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

    Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.
    If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.


    DEPARTURE TAX:
    In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

    Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.


    TIPPING:

    Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier. The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers.

    Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.


    South America - General Tipping Guide:

    To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

    - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

    - Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day.

    - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

    - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    Peru Trekking - General Tipping Guide:

    We recommend you carry the below suggested amounts with you during the trek and that you carry small bills as this makes splitting the tip an easier process. The last day of the trek the tipping will be broken down into envelopes – one per porter, assistant guides and guide.

    Inca Trail: While on the Inca Trail we suggest a total tipping amount of PEN120 to PEN180 per person (approximately USD 37 to USD 55). This is generally the tipping breakdown:
    Porters, cook and assistants PEN 80 to PEN 120
    Assistant guide: PEN 12 to PEN 20
    Guide: PEN 27 to PEN 40

    Inca Quarry Trek: For the Inca Quarry Trek the suggested total tipping amount per person is PEN 120 to PEN 135 (approximately USD 37 to USD 42). This is generally the tipping breakdown:
    Porters, cook and assistants PEN 90
    Assistant guide: PEN 9 to PEN 15
    Guide: PEN 20 to PEN 30

  • A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

    Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

    The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

    By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

    If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

  • Accommodation notes

    Due to limited time and energy supply in some places, please be prepared for some cold showers.

    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

    Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.


    HOMESTAYS IN LAKE TITICACA
    As a responsible travel company, we believe in facilitating positive and meaningful exchanges between our travellers and locals at the places we visit. Homestays are a great vehicle for us to facilitate this!

    What will you do during a homestay? Well…it’s hard to tell. As you know a day in a family’s life varies from day to day. We don’t want this experience to feel forced (on you or on them) so we ask families to simply carry on with their lives and that, if there is anything that you may be interested in being part of, they ask you to join in. As such you may be invited to help cook dinner, or to go to the local market for groceries, or to join a soccer game with the kids! While your leader will give you some tools to interact with your family (such as some simple words/phrases in Quechua and/or Spanish) big smiles and lots of sign language can go a long way!
    That said, it’s also important that you understand that you are not obliged to participate in these activities. We believe that the more you put in the more you get out of an experience, but we also understand that you may just want to chill out, grab a book or your camera and go for a wander – and that is fine too.

    Ultimately, we believe that by simply being there, observing family and friends dynamics is a step forward towards understanding the local way of life.

    In terms of facilities, the rooms are clean and comfortable (or as comfortable as they get in this part of the world!) however quite basic. Plenty of blankets are provided. Ask for more if you are cold. Layering up with thin thermals and a fleece material will help during very cold nights too.

    Lastly, be aware that some homestays in Lake Titicaca have shared drop toilets and no showers. So mind your step!

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights the single supplement is not available:
    - Days 18 & 19: Amazon Jungle

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS:
    Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout South America, however Peru in particular. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. Intrepid does everything possible for these changes to be at little or no extra cost; however in such circumstances we find that travellers need to access part of, or the entire, emergency fund. Please read below for more information on this trip's emergency fund.

    HEAVY RAIN ON THE INCA TRAIL
    If it rains heavily for a number of consecutive days the terrain on the third campsite (Wiñaywayna) can become unstable increasing the danger of landslides. In such instances, the number of safe camping spots is outnumbered by the number campers. This could occur mostly during the wet season (December to March) although it could also happen at any time of the year. In those instances, your trekking guide may assess that it's safer to spend the third night in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town). Our preferred option will be to camp at Aguas Calientes campsite. Should this camping site be unavailable, you will be required to stay at a local hotel instead. If that's the case, you may requested to make use of your "emergency funds" (as explained under the money matters section in this document). We can provide you with an insurance letter in this case in order to lodge a travel insurance claim for any incidental costs.

  • Accommodation

    Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts),Homestay (2 nts),Hotel (13 nts),Jungle Lodge (2 nts)

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Physical preparation

    PERU TREKKING:
    The physical rating on this trip is based on you selecting to trek either the Inca Trail or Quarry Trail. Should you wish to take the train option instead of trekking, please downgrade the physical level to a 2.

    On Day 2 of the Inca Trail or Quarry Trek you will be walking uphill from 3000 to 4500 metres above sea level before descending steeply through big steps and difficult terrain. While this demanding walk is the main challenge our passengers face on this trip, it's also one of the highlights and worth every minute of it.

    We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

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