FAQ

Accommodations

WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION DOES LUXURY MACHU PICCHU USE?
We use bed & breakfast style locations or three, four and five star hotels. All of our Peru hotels have private bathrooms, hot water and clean, comfortable rooms. For certain packages, homestays are available as well.

HOW DO I CHECK IN TO THE HOTEL? WILL YOU SEND ME MY VOUCHERS FOR THE HOTEL ROOMS?
All vouchers will be handled by your guide so you never have to worry about keeping up with the documents. We’re there to make your vacation relaxing and worry-free. Once at the hotel, your reservation will be waiting for you and you will only need to check-in. The receptionist will ask you for your passport in order to make a copy, which is a requirement by the Peruvian government.

WHERE ARE THE HOTELS LOCATED?
All of our hotels are located in secure, easily accessible areas. You will find yourself within easy walking distance of main attractions as well as restaurants and shopping.

WILL THE HOTEL STAFF SPEAK ENGLISH?
Yes, most primary hotel staff (reception, restaurant, management) will speak English. And remember, your English speaking guide is always available to assist should the need arise.

IS THE HOTEL SAFE?
We have carefully selected our hotels with a number of factors in mind, including your security. We have never had any incidents with our travelers. Regarding your personal items, we do still recommend that you utilize the hotel´s safe deposit box for storing any of your items of value.

WHAT TYPE OF BREAKFAST IS SERVED?
B&Bs and 3-star hotels typically offer a standard continental breakfast of breads, jam, juice, coffee, tea and fruit. Four and five star hotels will typically offer a breakfast buffet, including hot items such as eggs and breakfast meats.

WILL I HAVE A PRIVATE BATH?
For the exception of homestays, all of our hotels offer private baths.

WILL I HAVE A HEATER IN MY ROOM?
Most of our hotels offer heat or portable heaters in all of the rooms.

WILL I HAVE AIR CONDITIONING IN MY ROOM?
While most B&Bs or 3-star hotels only offer fans for ventilation and cooling, all of our 4- and 5-star hotels have air conditioning units in each room.

ARE THE HOTEL ROOMS SMOKING OR NON-SMOKING?
All hotels with whom Cultural Immersion works only offer non-smoking rooms.

WHERE ARE THE HOTELS IN MACHU PICCHU?
Sanctuary Lodge is the one and only 5-star hotel located at the entrance of the ruins. All other hotels are located at the base in Aguas Calientes.

Air Travel

ARE THERE LOCKERS OR AN AREA WHERE I CAN STORE MY THINGS AT THE LIMA AIRPORT?
Lockers are near the domestic departure exit. The airport staff will point you in the right direction. Lockers cost 7 soles per hour and 28 soles for the whole day. There is also a left-luggage area where you can leave your suitcase for 3.50 soles per hour per piece or 14 soles for the whole day per piece.

ARE THERE HOTELS WHERE I CAN STORE MY EXCESSIVE LUGGAGE TEMPORARY?
In case you are going to the Amazon, Paracas or Machu Picchu, it is easy to store your excessive luggage at the hotel you are staying at the day before you leave to the above mentioned places. Always confirm this with Luxury Machu Picchu.

ARE THERE ANY DEPARTURE TAXES THAT I WILL HAVE TO PAY?
All departure taxes are now included in the ticket price. There is no longer a need to pay separately.

HOW WILL I FIND MY GUIDE IN THE AIRPORT?
A Luxury Machu Picchu representative will be waiting for you with a name sign as you exit customs and will lead you to your transportation. Keep a look out for our logo and your group name.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY FLIGHT IS DELAYED?
For your international flight, it is best to email or call us if you know of any delays. However, by using your flight number we can keep track of everything. Our team keeps track of airline changes for you so you can count on our representatives to be there at the correct time, even if your flight is delayed. If one of your domestic flights is delayed or cancelled, you are automatically on the next flight and we will coordinate everything from there. Our team also confirms your flights for you so you don’t need to bother with the details. If there are any changes, you will be notified wherever you are by our representative in each destination.

HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY TICKETS?
We arrange everything via e-tickets so there is maximum flexibility for you. We will have your boarding passes already printed off for you to make things as easy as possible. In certain instances, you will be able to check-in for your flight 24hrs ahead of time from the comfort of a computer.

CAN I USE MY FREQUENT FLYER NUMBERS FOR MY FLIGHTS IN PERU?
If you are registered with any of the airlines we use, please pass us your frequent flyer numbers so we can automatically credit your miles with them. Please, make sure when you check inn, to pass this information to the airliner as well.

ARE DOMESTIC FLIGHTS WITHIN PERU INCLUDED IN THE COST OF MY PACKAGE?
All domestic flights are included in the cost of your tour, unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. All internal flight tickets are electronic so you will not receive any physical tickets. We will be able to provide you with your booking reference number and electronic ticket number. You will only need to present your passport at the airline counter in order to check in. We arrange your pre-check inn and during your trip your personal tour guide will hand you the printed boarding passes.

WHAT AIRLINE COMPANIES DO LUXURY MACHU PICCHU USE AND ARE THEY SAFE?
We select our airlines based on availability, pricing and schedule. We use all four domestic airlines with great frequency (LAN, Avianca, Viva Air, Sky Peru, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines). All are quality airlines that provide great services. Should you have a particular preference as to which airline we use, please feel free to make your request.

WHAT TYPES OF PLANES ARE USED FOR INTERNAL FLIGHTS?
Most internal flights use 727s or similar size jet planes with a capacity of 80-120 passengers. Manu tours use smaller 10-15 passenger propeller planes typically.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITS FOR LUGGAGE ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS?
On domestic flights within Peru, carry-on luggage is limited to 8kg/18lb and checked baggage is limited to 23kg/50lb.However, Star Peru maintains different regulations, it is allowed to take 4 kilos of carry-on luggage and 23 kilo’s in total.

WHAT AM I ALLOWED TO BRING IN MY CARRY-ON ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS?
Generally, it is best to follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids and for everything else, you can find the best guidelines on what is permitted and prohibited, by visiting here. In general, flight restrictions in Peru are not as strict as in the USA. Whatever you can bring from the US, you will be able to carry on your flights within Peru.

CAN I BRING COCA LEAVES HOME WITH ME?
The straight answer is no. Coca leaves are not permitted, nor is the mate de coca; however, some people have had success in taking the teabags home as long as it’s only a small amount for personal use.

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON WHAT I CAN BRING IN OR TAKE OUT OF PERU?
You may bring 2 liters of alcohol and 400 cigarettes into Peru duty free. Items for personal use including cameras, laptops, and travel gear can be brought in for personal use. It is illegal to take any pre-Columbian art out of Peru and it is usually illegal to enter into most countries with these artifacts. If you are going to buy reproductions, do so from a reputable dealer and obtain documentation from the National Institute of Culture Vendors to show to customs officials. In the jungle vendors also sell live exotic birds and animals. It is illegal to take these endangered species outside of the country. Bags of cocoa leaves are sold in Peru and are legal, but they are not legal in most other countries. Although it would be impossible to produce any significant amount of cocaine from one of these bags, it's not worth the risk in bringing them back home.

Altitude

WHAT IS ALTITUDE SICKNESS?
Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that compare with this susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can climb up to 2,400 meters (8,000 ft) normally.

ARE THE TOURS DESIGNED TO ASSIST WITH ALTITUDE ACCLIMATIZATION?
Yes, absolutely. We design our tours so that you are able to acclimatize gradually. For all of our trips from Lima to Cusco, we will take you to the Sacred Valley first (Altitude: 2900m, 9500ft), then to Machu Picchu (Altitude: 2000m, 6500ft) and finally to Cusco (Altitude: 3400m, 11150ft), giving your body plenty of time to adjust gradually.

CAN ALTITUDE SICKNESS BE AVOIDED?
While altitude sickness affects everyone differently, the best way to try and prevent altitude sickness, or soroche, is by following the next steps:

- Do not exercise too much on the first day
- Eat lightly during the first two days
- Drink plenty of water and Gatorade
- Keep coca candies at hand
- If you have any heart problems, please consult your doctor
- We highly recommend drinking lots of coca tea. The consumption of coca tea, as well as chewing the leaves, increases the absorption of oxygen in the blood

WHAT IF I GET ALTITUDE SICKNESS WHILE DOING THE INCA TRAIL?
Our guides will be evaluating each trekker through the first day and observing any signs of altitude sickness. Generally speaking, once you make it through the first day, most hikers are fine. In the unlikely event that you have a severe case of altitude sickness a porter will carry you back to the closest populated area. Not to worry though, this is extremely rare.

Amazon

IS MALARIA A SERIOUS ISSUE IN THE AMAZON?
While malaria is present in the Amazon, it is not a serious problem for travelers. Cases of malaria are well confined outside of the touristed areas, so there is no need to worry about any risks. However, it is wise to take repellent with you and to wear long sleeves. It will protect you against the mosquito bites.

HOW MUCH LUGGAGE IS ALLOWED ON THE AMAZON TOURS?
All packages allow 10kg of luggage per person, but not to worry, you can take your entire luggage with you. Upon arrival into the jungle, a representative from the lodge will take your extra luggage and securely store it in their main facility. You will want to have your separate pack of 10 kilos with you for the nights you will spend in their lodge. On your final day you will go back to their office to collect your luggage and take your flight.

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SHOULD I PACK FOR THE AMAZON?
Here is a packing list that we recommend for your Amazon jungle vacation:

- Long sleeved, tight-weave, light colored cotton shirts
- Tight-weave, light colored, long pants
- Broad brimmed hat
- Binoculars
- Camera
- Flashlight with batteries
- Ankle-high hiking boots
- Sun block lotion
- Sunglasses
- And of course, mosquito repellent

IS THERE ELECTRICITY IN THE LODGES?
Many of the lodges have electricity, but often times it is limited to the evening during dinnertime. At night, candles or lanterns are used in the rooms and hallways. This creates a beautiful ambiance while conserving energy.

IS THERE HOT WATER IN THE LODGES?
While only Inka Terra provides hot water, after spending a day in the hot and humid jungle, a cool shower is usually a welcome moment.

REGARDING THE DAY OF RELAXATION IN THE RAINFOREST, IS IT POSSIBLE TO WANDER AROUND ON ONE'S OWN OR ARE WE CONFINED TO THE HOTEL PROPERTY?
You will be able to go around and near the hotel, but we do not recommend you going any further because you can easily get lost. There are many trails and they all look the same, so it is always better to be with someone from the area. The guides are always available and they are happy to accompany you to wander around for few minutes or hours.

Ecoturism

IS LUXURY MACHU PICCHU A 'GREEN' TOUR COMPANY?
We are a sustainable travel operation company that care about our environment and our local people. We are involved in a number of social projects within the communities, we give a percentage of our profits to our social projects, we hire local people for a number of services, and we limit the size of our groups to minimize environmental and social impact and will endeavor to ensure that our traditions and environments are preserved.

HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOUR SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES?
- Learn a few words of the local language (Quechua)
- Try to leave as much excess packaging at home (film boxes, anything plastic) - so your hosts do not have to deal with your garbage
- Throw your garbage into bins and not onto the streets
- Throw your garbage into bins and not onto the streets
- Please bring rechargeable batteries rather than disposable batteries. Batteries are incredibly toxic and may not be disposed of properly. If it is not possible to bring rechargeable batteries, we recommend that you take any used batteries back home for proper disposal
- Try to be conservative with resources such as water, food and energy, as you may be depriving local people of these very valuable resources or making a negative impact on their environment Please do not throw any toilet paper down the toilet. There is usually a basket/ bin located next to the toilet, where you can dispose of your toilet paper.
- Please buy locally made crafts and other products, so that your money goes directly to the community
- Do not be tempted to buy souvenirs made from wild animal products
- Please ask before taking pictures, especially of people. People will usually ask you for some money. We recommend that you give something else instead of money such as a souvenir from your country (nice pencil, calculator, a toy, tooth brush etc.) By doing this, you will be putting in practice the Inka trade system - ´giving something and getting something´.
- Please do not give candies to children as the dental hygiene in the Andes is not very good. Instead of candies bring tooth brushes, which is a perfect gift for them.
- When you get back home please send us a feedback and let us know how you think we can reduce environmental impacts and increase benefits to our local communities.

Food

IS THE WATER OK TO DRINK IN PERU?
Drinking only bottled water is a good idea. There are two types of water you can buy: sin gas meaning un-carbonated, “normal” water, and con gas which is carbonated. Make sure to eat in good restaurants and buy fruits from quality supermarkets. If you buy fruit from a street market, take extra care to wash it very thoroughly before eating it. Important note: Peruvian tap water is not potable. It is fine to use for teeth-brushing and cooking (provided it is boiled) but should not be ingested directly from the tap.

WHAT TYPE OF FOOD IS TYPICAL OF PERU?
Staple foods in the highlands include potatoes, corn, rice, and meat dishes, often with a spicy sauce. In jungle areas, fresh fruits, fried plantains, and other vegetables are also common. Though vegetarians can be easily accommodated in all areas, options typically leave out the meat rather than adding vegetarian mainstays such as tofu, beans, or nuts. Vegetarian restaurants are easily found in the larger cities.

WHAT FOOD AND DRINKS SHOULD BE AVOIDED TO KEEP FROM GETTING SICK?
To keep from getting gastrointestinal infections, we recommend you do not eat any raw foods, drink only bottled or boiled water and do not eat food from street vendors. Alternatively, you do not need to worry when eating in restaurants specially selected by Luxury Machu Picchu. We use only restaurants of the highest quality for our clients.

Guides

DO YOU USE YOUR OWN GUIDES AND TRANSPORT FOR THE ENTIRE ITINERARY OR DO USE OTHER COMPANIES?
For fully private tours, answer: For fully escorted packages we use our own drivers and guides for the entire trip. When the package includes a shared tour, answer: As noted in your itinerary you do have some shared tours. Luxury Machu Picchu has carefully selected our travel partners and can confidently tell you that they share our high level of service and comfort.

DO YOUR GUIDES ALL SPEAK ENGLISH?
Yes. We have all professional, expert English-speaking guides. We also have guides who speak French and German as well.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP THE GUIDE?
Tipping is obviously a personal preference, but we recommend the basic guideline of $10-40USD daily per group. Drivers - $10-30USD daily per group.
WILL OUR GUIDE BE WITH US THE WHOLE TIME?
If you have booked a private tour, then yes, your guide will be available to you 24hrs a day, through the length of your trip. Should you have some shared portions to your itinerary, you will have guides with you at all locations, but may be on your own during the transportation portions of your trip. We are confident you will always feel cared for and aware of all details of your vacation. In addition, the shared groups consist of a small amount of people, for the reason you will feel more comfortable during your shared tour.

Health & Hygiene

WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE NECESSARY?
Currently, the only required vaccination or medication is for Yellow Fever – and this is only required if planning on traveling to the Amazon area. There are not any other diseases in the areas where you will be visiting. This particular vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before your trip in order for it to be effective.

IS IT DIFFICULT TO BRING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS TO PERU?
It is no problem to bring your prescription medicines with you as long as they are in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. As a precaution, you may also want to have an official note from your doctor. Be sure to bring enough with you for the entire trip as well. Be sure to follow security guidelines if the medicines are liquids. We also recommend that you bring some Immodium-AD, or other anti-diarrheal medication with you on the off chance that you experience any digestive discomfort.

WHAT FOOD AND DRINKS SHOULD BE AVOIDED TO KEEP FROM GETTING SICK?
To keep from getting gastrointestinal infections, we recommend you do not eat any raw foods, drink only bottled or boiled water and do not eat food from street vendors. Alternatively, you do not need to worry when eating in restaurants specially selected by Luxury Machu Picchu. We use only restaurants of the highest quality for our clients.

WHAT IF I GET SICK IN PERU?
Peru generally maintains good health care. Hospitals and clinics provide adequate services, especially in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and the other main cities. Doctors are also often available to make house calls when necessary.

IS THERE HOT WATER AT ALL OF THE HOTELS?
All hotels we provide will have hot water available. On occasion, for instance homestays and in the Amazon, hot water may not be available, but hygienic services will be adequate and clean.

DO WE HAVE CHANCE TO WASH CLOTHES AT ANY OF THE HOTELS?
If the hotel itself does not provide a laundry service, you can usually find one near the hotel. Usually these outside services are quite affordable and require 24 hrs for turnaround.

Insurance

IS TRAVEL INSURANCE NECESSARY?
We always highly recommend travel insurance for your own benefit and protection. Life has a habit of throwing us curveballs, and it’s nice to know you’re protected. Should you be interested in purchasing your own travel insurance, we work with Squaremouth and can offer very competitive rates. They can cover you for trip cancellation, medical expenses and other important insurance elements, which in turn, give you peace of mind.

Lake Titicaca

IS IT POSSIBLE TO STAY OVERNIGHT ON ONE OF THE ISLANDS?
Yes, homestays are available on Uros, Amantani and our personal favorite, Taquile. Homestays offer a great experience to enjoy the daily life of the Andean people. All of the accommodations are very basic, but comfortable. Bedrooms will have single beds with many blankets and a shared bathroom and limited electricity – all adding to the romance of experience. While the accommodations are simple, the host families are happy to make you as comfortable as possible, serving you deliciously prepared food all while sharing their lives with you.

IS IT APPROPRIATE TO BRING GIFTS TO THE FAMILY?
Pencils, coloring books & crayons are great. The kids really appreciate simple things. Most important to them though are staple foods-a nice surprise would be sweets, granolas or cookies- even fruits & vegetables (which don’t grow on the island). Postcards from your home town are all warmly welcomed. Careful not to be over generous because then the locals grow to depend on the fluctuating generosity of tourists (not all of whom are as generous as you may be).

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN LAKE TITICACA?
During the dry season, April to October, most of the days are sunny and warm, but the nights will get cold. During the rainy season, the days can be warm and have periods of rain but also periods of sunshine. Sunscreen is highly recommended here, even on cloudy days.

Luggage

WHAT KIND OF LUGGAGE IS BEST FOR THE TRIP?
Whatever you are most comfortable with. Most people do bring big bag packs, or if they are travelling light, they have a small, hard suitcase and a small bag pack. Should you be travelling where luggage is limited, e.g. the Amazon or Machu Picchu, you will be able to leave your larger luggage in a secure location at your hotel and you will want to have a backpack or similar for the shorter overnight journeys.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LUGGAGE AS WE MOVE FROM PLACE TO PLACE?
Your luggage will stay most of the time at your hotel, while your day pack can stay in the van. Our drivers are always there taking care of your belongings and we never had any incidents. So, not to worry, you are in good hands.

HOW MUCH LUGGAGE IS ALLOWED ON THE AMAZON TOURS?
All packages allow 10kg of luggage per person, but not to worry, you can take your entire luggage with you. Upon arrival into the jungle, a representative from the lodge will take your extra luggage and securely store it in their main facility. You will want to have your separate pack of 10 kilos with you for the nights you will spend in their lodge. On your final day you will go back to their office to collect your luggage and take your flight.

ARE THERE LIMITS ON LUGGAGE FOR THE TRAIN TO MACHU PICCHU?
All passengers travelling on the train to Machu Picchu only have a limit of 7kgs (15.5 lbs), so please leave any unnecessary items in your hotel as your driver will be sure to transport your luggage to your hotel in Cusco where it will be waiting for you upon your return.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITS FOR LUGGAGE ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS?
On domestic flights within Peru, carry-on luggage is limited to 8kg/18lb and checked baggage is limited to 23kg/50lb.

Machu Picchu

ARE THE RUMOURS TRUE THAT THEY ARE CLOSING MACHU PICCHU IN 2014?
Sort of. Since UNESCO named Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site, plans have been put in place to close the archaeological site to foot traffic. However, they will be building miradores, or overlooks, so that the site can be viewed from above, but not disturbed. All of this is an effort to conserve the ruins at the highest level possible. However, these are still rumours and remain unconfirmed.

ARE THERE LIMITS ON LUGGAGE FOR THE TRAIN TO MACHU PICCHU?
All passengers travelling on the train to Machu Picchu only have a limit of 7kgs (15.5 lbs). The morning of your trip to Machu Picchu, you will need to leave your luggage in the hotel as your driver will be sure to transport it for you to your hotel in Cusco, where it will be waiting for you upon your return.

Money

WHAT FORMS OF CURRENCY AND PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTED?
The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). The U.S. Dollar is accepted at most major stores, restaurants and hotels.
The average exchange rates for the Nuevo Soles as of 17 May 2011 were as follows:
USD 2.82
GBP 4.58
EUR 4.00
CAD 2.91
AUD 2.99

WHERE CAN I EXCHANGE MONEY AT THE AIRPORT WHEN I ARRIVE?
Money exchange houses and ATMs are all very accessible throughout the airport, open 24hrs and generally have fair rates.

ARE CREDIT CARDS, ATM CARD, AND TRAVELERS CHECKS GENERALLY ACCEPTABLE IN PERU?
The most widely accepted credit card in Peru is Visa. Mastercard is also popular, but American Express and Diner's Club are not as widely accepted. We find ATMs the best way to get money. Most of them work on the Plus system, although you can find ATMs that accept Star, Cirrus and Interlink. The downside of credit and debit cards is that stores, hotels and restaurants will often add an 8% commission to the final bill. Your best bet is to take money from the ATM and pay for your purchases in cash. Travelers checks are usually good to take as "insurance,” but they are often difficult to change and the exchange rate is not as favorable as if using cash.

WHAT IS A REALISTIC AMOUNT OF SPENDING MONEY PER PERSON?
While everyone is different regarding personal spending habits, on average you can expect costs such as these:

- Lunch/Dinner US$15.00 per person
- Beverages US$2-4.00 per drink
- Cocktails US$4-10.00 per drink
- Spa Days US$30-60 per treatment

Please note that here in Peru, the meals at lunch are quite substantial, so often a lighter evening meal is more appropriate, and as such, will cost a bit less as well. Gifts and souvenirs can be obtained for very good prices. Our guides will be more than happy to show you the places to get all your souvenirs depending on what you want and how much you want to spend on each person.

ARE THERE PROBLEMS WITH COUNTERFEIT MONEY IN PERU?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes; however, if you know what to look for, spotting fake bills is fairly easy. Usually, you can be confident in the bank to give you real bills, though it is still wise to check, especially when taking money from ATMs. The more common culprits are taxi drivers and sometimes street vendors.

Nazca

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF CONCERN OVER THE SAFETY OF FLIGHTS IN NAZCA. IS IT SAFE TO DO THESE FLIGHTS?
Of course we are aware of accidents that have happened in the past; but as the government has put in strict regulations for companies, only fully-licensed companies are now allowed to operate. Not to worry, we use Aeroparacas, a fully licensed company, who has an excellent safety record, so you can feel completely comfortable enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THE PLANES?
Five total, On these planes, four people get to sit by the window and one person must sit in the middle.

HOW LONG DOES THE FLIGHT LAST?
The flight time is a total of thirty minutes.

ARE THE FLIGHT TAXES INCLUDED IN MY TICKET PRICE?
No, the taxes for these tours must be paid separately and will cost 25 soles.

ARE THERE OTHER TOURS IN NAZCA BESIDES THE LINES?
Yes, we also offer land tours of the Chauchilla Cemetary, an incredibly interesting burial site and the Cantalloc Aqueducts, a 2000 year old irrigation site that is as beautiful as it is functional.

WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN NAZCA?
In this area of Peru, the weather is nice all year around and hardly ever rains. Most of the days are warm and sunny. During the nights it stays warm. However, in the winter, the nights can get a little chillier, so you may want to bring something warm.

Tours

WHAT DOES A PRIVATE TOUR MEAN?
A private tour means that it is fully private just for you/your group. This means that you will have your own transport, driver and guide (when applicable) just for you. Of course, for elements such as the domestic flights, you will be sharing with other people.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK?
Generally the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (4 months or more recommended) is especially important for travelers visiting during the height of the dry season, June to August, as many of these departures fill up months in advance. Also, when booking the holiday far in advance, chances increase for us to arrange domestic flights with a better price, within Peru.

Travelers visiting outside of these busy months can often book a bit more last minute, though 2-3 months notice is still recommended. Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available. We are often able to accommodate last minute travelers as well, so give us a call and we will do our best! For last minute bookings, it helps to be flexible and organized. Your first choice Amazon lodge may not be available for your selected dates, but your trip coordinator can probably recommend some other similar options that would be equally interesting!

CAN I CREATE MY OWN PACKAGE?
Yes, absolutely. Every one of our packages is highly customizable to suit your preferences and desires. However, you may also just let us know where you want to visit and for how long and we will create the perfect trip just for you!

Time

TIME (-5 HR GMT)

Lima 12:00 h London 17:00 h
New York12:00 h Berlin 18:00 h
Buenos Aires14:00 h Paris 18:00 h
Santiago 13:00 h Tokyo 02:00 h (*)
México City 11:00 h Sydney 03:00 h (*)

Tipping

WHAT IS THE PROPER AMOUNT TO TIP SERVICE PROVIDERS?
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, here is an average guideline:

- Waiters (10%)
- Local tour guides (10 to 40 USD daily per group)
- Drivers (10 to 30 USD daily per group)
- Transfer driver (5 USD)
- Porter (Inka Trail) ( 5-10 USD each daily per group)
A number of the superior hotels include a 10% gratuity in the cost of your room.

Transportation

ARE YOUR DRIVERS PROFESSIONALLY QUALIFIED AND TESTED?
All of our clients travel via a new, safe and comfortable van with one of our professional drivers. We trust them 100% and put them through a series of tests before allowing them to become our drivers. We understand safety and security is important and we take it very seriously. Please do not worry about road travel while travelling with us, you will be in safe hands.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN TAKING A TAXI IN PERU?
When taking a taxi in Peru, it is important to negotiate the price for the ride before getting in as the taxis here do not have meters. You should also make sure the taxi is official before getting in. It is best to always ensure that you take a secure taxi, especially at night by either asking your hotel or restaurant to call you one.
Some registered and reputable taxi companies in Lima include:

Taxi Amigo - Tel. 01/349-0177 Taxi Móvil - Tel. 01/422-6890,
Taxi Line - Tel. 01/330-2795 Taxi Seguro - Tel. 01/275-2020)

Taxi costs in Lima vary from 5 to 50 soles depending on the distance. A taxi from Miraflores to the City Centre should cost around 15 soles. For the other cities, please take taxis with phone numbers on top of the vehicles. In Arequipa, it is a good idea to phone a taxi rather than flag one, simply as it is the safest option. The price of a taxi in Cusco, Arequipa and Puno ranges from 3 to 5 soles.
WARNING: A common type of rip off has been detected for tourists in Lima but can happen in any city. Some taxi drivers may switch a bill you give them for a fake one and then tell you that was your bill. To avoid this situation from happening, use coins for taxis or mark your bills before handing them over.

Travel Requeriments

IS A VISA REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO PERU?
Citizens from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not require visas to enter Peru. Bolivians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and Chileans may enter determined regions of the country just by presenting their national identification documents. The maximum authorized length of stay is 183 days. Information on Peruvian consulates and embassies abroad found at www.rree.gob.pe.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS OR ADVICE ON PASSPORTS FOR TRAVEL IN PERU?
Your passport needs to be valid for at least 90 days after your departure date to Peru. However, we recommend travelling with six months validity on your passport. If you are receiving a renewed passport prior to traveling to Peru, it is required that you bring either your old passport or a copy along with your new passport.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE EMIGRATION PAPER ( TARJETA ANDINA DE MIGRACION) I RECEIVED AT THE BORDER?
It is very important to keep this paper until you cross the border again to go back to your home country. Preferably, keep this paper safe together with your passport. All the hotels where you will be staying at make copies of this small document, and upon return you have to show this document at the border in order to leave the country. Therefore,a strongly advice not to lose it.

WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE NECESSARY?
Currently, the only required vaccination or medication is for Yellow Fever – and this is only required if planning on traveling to the jungle. There are not any other diseases in the areas where you will be visiting. This particular vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before your trip in order for it to be effective.

IS IT DIFFICULT TO BRING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS TO PERU?
It is no problem to bring your prescription medicines with you as long as they are in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. As a precaution, you may also want to have an official note from your doctor. Be sure to bring enough with you for the entire trip as well. Be sure to follow security guidelines if the medicines are liquids. We also recommend that you bring some Immodium-AD, or other anti-diarrheal medication with you on the off chance that you experience any digestive discomfort.

What to Bring

WHAT DO I NEED TO PACK?

CLOTHING - GENERAL
Because of the diversity of weather of Peru your best plan is to dress in layers. Due to the diverse activities we always recommend that our passengers bring light clothes such as shirts, short pants, sandals and swim suits but also bring warm clothes, such as a warm jacket, raincoat (in the rainy season Nov to Mar) and comfortable shoes for hiking. Please see our weather information for details.

OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS

- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash and travelers’ checks, credit or debit card
- Cultural Immersion Itinerary and ‘Pre-Travel’ information
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing materials
- Binoculars
- Sun protection cream
- Insect repellent
- Sun hat
- Sport sandals
- Sunglasses
- Watch or alarm clock
- Purification tablets or filter (optional)
- Ear plugs
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, charcoal tablets(carbon), anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder(Gatorade), and any extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

TREKKING CLOTHING & ITEMS
If you are doing the Inca trail, the Salkantay trek or any other trekking excursion; it is important to bring:

Equipment

- Sleeping bag (can be rented locally for approx. $10 USD)
- Cover for backpack
- Inner sheet for sleeping bag
- Basic first aid kit
- Refillable water bottle
- Hiking stick
- Small towel
- Wet wipes and pocket tissues
- Sunglasses
- Sun cream or block
- Lip balm
- Flash light
- Strong plastic bags to help keep gear dry
- Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen)
- Camera

Clothes

- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Shirts / t-shirts
- Sun hat
- Pair of shorts
- Hiking / track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Light sandals (not for hiking)
- Wool hat
- Mitts or gloves (can be bought in Cusco)
- Socks
- Underwear
- Rain poncho
- Swim wear (hot thermal springs)

All other camping equipment for the trekking excursions is provided for you and included in the cost of the excursion. Porters carry the gear, so you will only be responsible for carrying your daypack. But please be aware there are weight limits on what the porters can carry, thus every passenger is limited to 7 kg (15.5 lbs), including sleeping bags. All other items may be stored in your hotel in Cusco.

Travel Safety

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL AROUND PERU?
While traveling with Cultural Immersion you are always in good hands; however, we realize we can’t be with you 100% of the time. With this in mind, we know that visitors will probably have seen on the news, read on websites or in the newspapers about terrorism, crime and political and economic instability in Peru in recent years. But we also know that several years ago Peru managed to put down terrorism and today the country is at peace. The country is now working hard to build a stable democracy. All travelers have to do is to take the same normal precautions as when traveling to any tourist destination

In the cities:

- Take the normal precautions to guard against purse snatchers.
- Carry a copy of identification documents. Keep originals and your valuables in the safety deposit box of your hotel.
- Carry valuables discreetly. Do not carry large amounts of cash.
- Keep an eye on your bags and luggage.
- Do not exchange money out in the street.
- Never wear flashy jewelry.

Prohibitions:
It is terminally prohibited to photograph airports, military bases, areas near electricity pylons and police stations.

Weather

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PERU?
Lima is temperate all year, so other destinations are often the determining factor. On the other hand, the Amazon is hot and humid all year, with the heaviest rains falling December through April. Cuzco, at 11,600 feet altitude, and Machu Picchu (at only 8,000 feet) are generally cool to cooler, depending on cloud cover, winds and seasons: on a cloudless day in July, the coldest month, shirt sleeves may well suffice but on a cloudy windy day in January, a light jacket might be needed. The weather in Peru varies from region to region. Please see below of a short description of what you can expect in the different tourist areas:

LIMA
Lima tends to be rather humid and warm all year round. For travelers staying in Lima, they should pack loose, cotton clothing if travelling during January to March. Between March and April, travelers may need something a little warmer to wear at night. During December and April is the best time to visit Lima, as the weather is mild and the sun is out. It hardly ever rains in Lima, so travelers wanting to visit need not worry about an umbrella.

CUSCO
The area of Cusco also includes weather information about Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The rainy season is between November to March, thus the dry season is between April until October. However, do not be put off from coming to Cusco in the rainy season as it does not rain all day but usually only an average of 3-4 hours per day and you will often get to see some sun. The average temperature fluctuates between 11°C and 13°C and during sunny days the temperature can reach up to 20°C. During the night in May, June and July, the temperatures can drop down to 7°C.

PUNO/LAKE TITICACA
During the dry season between April to October, most of the days are sunny and warm, but the nights will get cold. During the rainy season, the days can be warm and have periods of rain but also periods of sunshine. Sunscreen is highly recommended here, even on cloudy days.

AREQUIPA
The weather in Arequipa is generally nice all year round. It is sunny during the day and is warm during the night. Even during the rainy of November to March, it hardly ever rains, thus is a good tourist destination all year round.

THE PERUVIAN AMAZON
All year round, the Peruvian Amazon has temperature betweens 15°C to 30°C, but rains heavily during the rainy season. During the rainy season, the Amazon features some heavy periods of rain but then may be dry for a few days before continuing the cycle. If you are going to the Peruvian Amazon during the rainy season, make sure you take waterproof clothes with you.

NAZCA & ICA
In this area of Peru, there is nice weather all year around and hardly ever rains. Most of the days are warm and sunny and stay warm during the nights. During the winter, the nights can get a little chillier, so you may want to bring something warm.

NORTH PERU
In this region of Peru, it is warm all year round (between 18°C to 28°C) and hardly ever rains. During the summer, it can reach temperatures of between 25°C to 35°C. We advise you to dress lightly for this region of Peru and make sure you take sunscreen with you.