Essential Peru - Inti Raymi Festival Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Peru
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
APDA
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

17 Days Flight Inclusive
16 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

A spectacular journey through Peru's varied landscape encompassing coastal desert, snow-capped Andean peaks, the high altiplano and lush cloud forest. The most famous sites are all visited including the mysterious Nazca Lines, awe-inspiring Machu Picchu in its incredible mountaintop setting, Lake Titicaca, where the night is spent in an island homestay, and the remarkable 3000m deep Colca Canyon. On the way we encounter traditional culture, condors, llamas, and a warm welcome from the Peruvian people. 

At a Glance

  • 15 nights hotels, all en suite, 1 night homestay with basic shared facilities
  • Travel by train, boat, private minibus/coach and one internal flight
  • Time spent at altitude
  • Several long drives and early starts
  • Countries visited: Peru

Trip Highlights

  • Attend 'The Festival of the sun' (Inti Raymi), when Cuzco is awash with dancing and processions
  • Iconic Machu Picchu by train with guided tour
  • Homestay on traditional Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca
  • Colca Canyon and its soaring condors
  • Beautiful colonial city of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Convent
  • Drive deep into the Andean highlands and the Apurimac Valley

Is This Trip for You?

These departures have been scheduled to coincide with Inti Raymi in Cuzco. Translated as 'Festival of the Sun' it is the most important of all Andean festivals. During this time Cuzco is filled with colourful processions and other festivities include traditional dances and even animal sacrifice. Cuzco itself will be very busy during the festival season.

This is a busy itinerary encompassing the main highlights of southern Peru. You should be aware that the size of Peru means that this holiday involves some long drives and early morning starts. The longest drive is between Nazca and Abancay and takes in the region of 9-10 hours. The private buses used are comfortable and the scenery is outstanding. There will be several stops along the way to help break up the long journeys. The road between Nazca and Cuzco becomes increasingly winding as we climb higher into the mountains, and this, combined with the increase in altitude, may affect you if you are prone to travel sickness.

Although graded Leisurely/Moderate (level 2), the altitude can make physical activity feel more tiring than at sea level. As this trip spends considerable time at altitude we ask you to refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for more information and advice on how to limit the effects of altitude sickness. The tour allows for gradual acclimatisation, visiting Abancay (2,400m) before moving on to Cuzco (3,400m), then Lake Titicaca (3,800m) and Colca Canyon (3,635m). Although we do not linger there, the maximum altitude visited on this trip is 4,910m (Patapampa Pass) which we drive over near Chivay, Colca Canyon - please ensure your travel insurance covers you up to this altitude. 

It can be cold at these altitudes, particularly from May until August (although these months benefit from lower rainfall), and you will need to bring appropriate clothing.

Cuzco, Arequipa, and many of the Inca sites (including Machu Picchu) are built on hillsides and sightseeing often involves walking up and down steep streets or on uneven steps or terraces. As such, you should have a good level of mobility and a reasonable level of fitness.

Strikes are not uncommon in Peru and whilst these are generally peaceful protests, they can result in roadblocks and disruption to travel. In this event, your leader will amend your itinerary if necessary to minimise the impact.

List of Regulations for visiting Machu Picchu:

The main points impacting your visit are the following:

  1. The tickets are valid only for one entry which means that you cannot leave the site and re-enter.
  2. Once you have done the chosen circuit with your guide, you cannot walk back to view anything already visited and once you finish the circuit, you will have to leave the site. You can no longer explore the site further after the guided tour.
  3. The two visit times for visiting the site, either 6am-12pm or 12-16.30pm.
  4. The local authorities have restricted the temples which can visited at Machu Picchu depending on the time of the visit to the site.

These regulations will affect how long you are able to spend at Machu Picchu and which temples you can visit.  In the past, after the guided tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site, this is not possible anymore. The alternative that we are implementing on our visits to allow you further time, is to explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun Gate and Inca Bridge) before starting the guided tour.  The guided tour will be about 2 hrs in duration, and unfortunately at the end of it, you will need to exit the site. You will be able to visit the Sun Temple, but not the Sun Dial Temple or the Condor’s Temple on this itinerary.

 Schedule of visit to Machu Picchu on this itinerary:

  • 12pm access to Machu Picchu and explore upper part with the tour leader
  • 2pm start the guided tour
  • 4.30pm passengers leave Machu Picchu

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
5
Max group size:
18

Itinerary

APDA Trip Map

Land Only

Start City:
Lima
End City:
Lima

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Lima.

    Those travelling on the group flights and those who have booked a transfer through Exodus will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima. There will be a notice board in the hotel reception with details of where and when the group welcome briefing will be held.

    Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Drive south along the coast and sail to the Ballestas Islands, home to the highest concentration of marine birds in the world; overnight in Ica.

    We set off very early this morning (around 5.30am) and drive south from Lima until we reach the port of Paracas (4-5 hours' drive). The Ballestas Islands lie a short distance off the coast here and are home to one of the highest concentrations of seabirds in the world - we visit them by boat.

    On the outward journey we pass the curious pre-Inca Candelabra geoglyph, a huge (over 150m high) three-pronged trident shape etched into the sandy hillside, the origin and purpose of which remains unknown (although there are many theories). Upon reaching the islands we explore the caves and rock archways by boat, and observe the Sealion and Fur seal colonies as well as Humboldt penguins and an array of birds such as cormorants, pelicans, tendrils, and Peruvian Blue-footed booby birds.

    The boats are open-top motorised boats and are shared with other non-Exodus clients (occasionally the sea is too rough and the boats can't operate). Take heed of seabirds above - it is advisable to wear a hat! The boat trip lasts around two hours.

    Once back on dry land we drive for an hour or so to Ica, in the heart of Peru's wine-growing region. At the Huacachina oasis just outside Ica there are high sand dunes where we may have time to try 'sand-surfing' and ride in dune buggies (optional). 

    Hotel Vila Jazmin (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    On to Nazca; see the Nazca lines; optional scenic flight.

    We drive towards Nazca, stopping to visit the viewing platforms overlooking the Nazca Lines. These are one of the world's great archaeological mysteries, consisting of enormous drawings and patterns etched in the desert sand.

    In the afternoon, for those who wish there is usually time to take a scenic flight over the Nazca Lines (additional cost), weather permitting. Due to the small planes used, this is not suitable for those with a fear of flying or who suffer from travel sickness. Alternatively, your leader can help arrange optional visits to the nearby burial grounds, Antonini Museum, or the Planetarium.

    Casa Andina Hotel / Alegria (or similar) 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Turn inland from coastal desert, climbing high into the Andes.

    We turn inland from the coastal desert today, climbing high into the Andes on today's long (9-10 hrs) but spectacular drive. Vicuñas (a smaller wild relative of the llama) can be seen along this road, as this area is Peru's largest vicuña reserve. This region has only recently become easily accessible to tourists due to an upgrade of the Abancay/Chalhuanca road. The altitude here can make physical exertion difficult (the highest point we reach today is Negro Mayu, a high pass at approx. 4600m). It is recommended to rest in the evening. We overnight a couple of hours before Abancay on the road to Cuzco.

    Tampumayu Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to Cuzco (3400m) visiting Inca sites on the way.

    We set off towards Cuzco this morning, stopping to visit the unique Inca Saywiti stone and Tarawasi ruins. The glaciated summits of the Vilcabamba Mountain range and the descent into the Apurimac River valley demonstrate the dramatic contrasts of the Andes Mountains, and we should expect stunning scenery throughout today's 7-8 hour drive.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3400m).

    Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day to explore Cuzco.

    Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America's most beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people watching, and the Koricancha Sun Temple located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery is worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. A combined entrance fee (Tourist Ticket) for these sites and many others is recommended - please see the Optional Excursions section below for prices. Sightseeing excursions to places outside Cuzco, including the Sacred Valley of the Incas, are also available. Please ask your tour leader.

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Attend Inti Raymi Festival in Cuzco.

    The 'Festival of the Sun' is held in Cuzco on 24th June each year. During this time Cuzco is filled with colourful processions and other festivities include traditional dances and even animal sacrifice. In the morning we will walk to Qoricancha Temple (The Sun Temple) to see the beginning of the most important Andean religious festival in the country. Afterwards, we continue on to the Plaza de Armas (main square) to witness the first offerings to the sun while people from the four traditional Inca regions (Suyos) perform ceremonial dances. Around mid-morning we make the short journey by bus to Sacsayhuaman archaeological site, located on a hillside above Cuzco. The atmosphere is particularly evocative here, amidst the Inca ruins, as we see the most traditional Andean worship rituals in honour of Mother Earth. The ceremony finishes in the mid-afternoon, after which we will return to our hotel.

    There can be quite a bit of waiting around for the festivities to kick off today and you may want to buy a packed lunch to take with you - your leader can help arrange this if you request it the night before. 

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Train to Aguas Calientes; tour of Machu Picchu.

    For most people, the highlight of the trip is the visit by train to the greatest ruin in the world, the lost city of Machu Picchu. This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.

    We transfer to Ollantaytambo train station and catch a train to Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu). The railway line follows a beautiful route through the Urubamba River Valley. In the afternoon we take a short bus ride up the winding road to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the ruins. 

    Having been trialled in 2017, new regulations for visiting Machu Picchu will be fully enforced for 2018; you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. Please note that exploring the ruins involves a reasonable amount of walking, including up and down steep and uneven stone steps. 

    Visiting in the afternoon tends to be quieter than the mornings and the mist which shrouds the ruins at dawn has usually dispersed. 

    Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free morning or optional second visit to Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    A free morning to enjoy the buzz of this little town in the jungle below the ruins. There are some hot springs nearby, however, they tend to suffer from overcrowding and therefore poor water quality, so are not recommended.

    Should you wish to visit Machu Picchu again this morning, your leader will help you to purchase a second entrance ticket (subject to availability) which will allow you a further four hours to explore the 'Lost City' - for the second visit it is not mandatory to have a guide. At the time of writing a morning ticket costs PEN152 (approx. US$47).

    In the afternoon we board the train back to Ollantaytambo and then continue by minibus to Cuzco, arriving in the late evening.

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Free day for optional excursions.

    A final chance to enjoy the sights and shopping of this beautiful city. If you fancy something more active then there is an array of optional activities available from Cuzco that your leader can organise. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Drive to Lake Titicaca (3800m), with stops en route; boat to Amantani Island for homestay.

    Today we travel for 8-10 hours along the Vilcanota River and onto the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungle. Although it is quite a long drive, it is interesting and often spectacular. There are scheduled stops at interesting sites to help break up the day and we will get to appreciate the immensity of the Andean landscapes. This afternoon we arrive at the shores of Lake Titicaca (3800m) and board a boat for our trip to Amantani Island. Hiking around the island offers great views across the lake, whilst the night spent with a local family offers fantastic cultural insight into lives very different to our own. (A packed lunch is included today).

    Amantani Island homestay (Basic)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Explore the island; afternoon boat to Puno visiting the floating reed islands.

    We explore the island in the morning before boarding our boat for the three-hour journey to Puno on the lakeshore. On the way, we visit the Titinos Indians, who live on islands of floating reeds and, save for a few modest concessions to the modern world, still live as their ancestors would have done centuries ago. Most tours visit the Uros islands closer to the shore but we visit the more isolated Titinos Islands for a more authentic experience.

    Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Drive across the altiplano to Colca Canyon.

    Today we head off across the altiplano again. This time we cross to the south-west, heading back towards the coast to the high Colca Canyon (5-6 hours' drive). En route we have opportunities to see vicuñas and possibly flamingos before descending into what is considered to be the second deepest canyon in the Americas (the deepest, the Cotahuasi Canyon, is also in Peru). There is time in the evening for a visit to the hot springs near the main town of Chivay (3635m) - a warming pleasure after the chill of Lake Titicaca.

    Hotel Pozo del Cielo (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Morning condor viewing; afternoon drive past huge volcanoes to the 'White City' of Arequipa (2350m).

    An early start to view condors soaring on the morning drafts rising out of the canyon. Extensive terraces, stunning colonial churches, and burial tombs are viewed before we ascend out of the canyon and cross Patapampa Pass (4910m) on our way to Arequipa, known as the 'White City' due to the pale volcanic stone used to construct many of its colonial buildings.  The picturesque city enjoys a year-round pleasant climate and is surrounded by 6000m volcanoes, including the near-perfect cone of El Misti.

    Ensueño Hotel or Su Majestad Hotel (or similar) 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Morning visit Santa Catalina Convent; afternoon fly to Lima.

    In the morning we visit the huge and serene convent of Santa Catalina. Built in 1580 and only opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it offers a rare insight into the lives led by the nuns and has changed little through the centuries. There are still around 20 nuns living in the northern corner of the complex. In the afternoon or evening we fly to Lima where will transfer to our hotel in Miraflores.

    Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 16

    End Lima.

    The group flights usually depart in the afternoon, allowing time for optional sightseeing in Lima in the morning. You may wish to visit the Gold Museum or the historic downtown area. The group flight is an overnight flight to London. For land only clients, the tour ends after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (Pre-tour, from Lima)

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Price from: £659 (compulsory supplement of £110 for single travellers)

Post-trip Extensions

Amazon Rainforest extension (Post-tour, from Lima)

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Price from: £659 (compulsory supplement of £110 for single travellers)

Accommodation

Hotels & Homestay

This trip spends 15 nights in hotels, all of which have en-suite facilities.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary, however, accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. Throughout this tour we stay in carefully selected 3-star hotels with en suite bathroom facilities throughout, with the exception of one night on Amantani Island. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at reception.

In Lima we stay at Hotel El Tambo 1, located in the upmarket Miraflores District - Larco Mar shopping mall is within walking distance as is the trendy Barranco District, where you'll find a wide variety of restaurants and nightlife. We usually stay in Villa Jazmin in Ica, which offers large rooms and an outdoor swimming pool. Near to Abancay we stay at Tampumayu, which is a hacienda style property - a little rustic but full of character and there's a pretty little church within its grounds. In Cuzco, we stay at one of the well-known Casa Andina properties, Casa Andina Koricancha, which is ideally located within walking distance of the main square and the Koricancha 'Sun Temple'. For our Machu Picchu visit we spend a night at Inti Punku El Tambo in Aguas Calientes; a simple yet contemporary hotel. The most basic accommodation is in Chivay and Arequipa but it serves its purpose for a night. Casona Plaza Hotel in Puno has a local 4-star local rating, is centrally located, and has a lovely restaurant area. 

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug-in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

On Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca, the group will split up overnight to stay with local families. There will generally be a few of us in each house and we may have to share rooms en masse - single supplements do not apply for this night. The rooms are basic but clean and your beds will have sheets and plenty of blankets. There are outside toilets and washbasins. The lack of electricity or road noise (there are no roads!) and the starlit sky on clear nights makes for a truly peaceful and serene experience.

Single rooms can be booked for single supplement, subject to availability, at the time of booking. This supplement covers single rooms throughout the trip, with the exception of the homestay on Amantani Island. We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post tour accommodation.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £480.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner are included in the price of the tour.

The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink. Drinking water will be provided in large containers free of charge; please bring a refillable bottle with you.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dish, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we can not guarantee that wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food from home.

Where lunch and dinner are not included we'll visit a variety of local cafes and restaurants.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), Alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Transportation

A variety of transport is used during this tour and vehicle types may vary depending on group size: travel is by train, boat, private minibus/coach and one internal flight.

Airport transfers are by private car or mini-bus. The main road journeys are by private mini-bus or coach with heating/air-conditioning and may or may not have a toilet onboard.

We travel by train (with Peru Rail/Inca Rail) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu) and back in Expedition/Executive Class. Seating is four seats to a table and the carriages have panoramic windows and there is air conditioning/heating.

The boat on Lake Titicaca is private to our group, and there will be a local guide from one of Lake Titicaca’s island communities. The boat is enclosed as it can get cold at this altitude but there large windows on all sides and an outside deck to the rear. Life jackets are provided.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate between different regions.

Lima and Paracas fall within the coastal desert region of Peru, with a mild climate and very little rain all year. From April to November the sky is almost always grey and cloudy and the air humid. Average day time temperatures in Lima remain between about 18 and 24 degrees Celsius during this period, with July and August typically being the coolest. Nights are also mild - typically 15-18 degrees Celsius. From December to March the skies in Lima are clear and temperatures at their warmest but elsewhere in the country this is the rainy season.

Cuzco and the Andes have a temperate climate. December to March is the rainy season in Cuzco/the Andes and April to November is the dry season; characterised by clear skies and strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. Daytime temperatures are usually pleasant (approx. 20 degrees C on average) but night times only 5-10 degrees C, except for May, June, July and August when days are cooler and nights are often close to, or a few degrees below, freezing. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! 

Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon are high, and at 3,800m and 3,600m above sea level respectively, the sun is strong but the air can be cold, and nights can be close to freezing. You will need to bring some warm layers and a waterproof or wind-stopper. 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged. Cold fronts sometimes occur from July-August.

Peru is affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon whereby warming of Pacific Ocean surface water off South America drives a shift in the atmospheric circulation resulting in abnormally high levels of rainfall over parts of South America. These events occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and last nine months to two years. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2014-16. In El Niño years, temperatures in Lima can be much warmer than described above but it still rarely rains in Lima.

Weather Charts

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Lima

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 17 Days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways or KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 16 days starting and ending in Lima

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Lima in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions sent approximately two weeks before departure.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Should you decide to make your way independently there is also an airport shuttle bus, which runs a direct service from Lima Airport to the Miraflores District of Lima every 30-60 minutes for US$8 one way or US$15 round trip. Tickets can be bought online or at the counter in Lima Airport. Visit the website and select your hotel to find the nearest stop and see a map of where it is in relation to your hotel: https://www.airportexpresslima.com

Location start:
Lima
Location end:
Lima

What to Take

Essential Equipment

A daypack or other smaller holdall - you will be asked to pack a smaller overnight bag for the trips to Machu Picchu and Amantani Island whilst your main luggage will be kept in a secure location.

Water bottle
Daypack (for Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca homestay)
Good sturdy shoes or walking boots
Warm fleece jacket
Layers of warm clothing
Hats (for sun protection and also for warmth)
Waterproofs
Sunglasses
High SPF sunscreen
Insect repellent

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Optional Equipment

Swimwear (for hot springs)
Hand sanitiser
A small sewing kit with safety pins
Torch (head torches are ideal)
Cold water detergent or laundry soap (biodegradable)
Personal music player / books etc. for the long drives
Sandals

You may wish to take some souvenirs from home for your hosts on Amantani Island as these are always appreciated. You leader can help organise this is you wish - practical and utilitarian items such as donations of clothes, ropes, shovels, cutlery are most useful.

Donations for porters 

The porters we work with on the Inca Trail and other Andean treks are mostly from rural farming communities. If you have any old walking gear or warm clothing that you no longer need, or any unwanted warm children’s clothing, these would be much appreciated by the porters and their families. Please leave any donations with your leader in Cuzco.

Internal Flights Weight Limit

Internal flights in the destination country are subject to a weight limit of 20kg.

Practical Information

Passport

Peru

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Peru. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

If you are travelling via the USA and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Programme (most British and western European citizens with a machine readable passport are), you are now required to register in advance for an Electronic Travel Authority (ESTA). There is a US$14 charge for the ESTA, which is only payable online with a credit card. Please see our website www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa for further information. All other nonresidents passing through the US must get a visa in advance. Check with your local embassy or consulate for more details on how to obtain a visa.

Vaccination

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Altitude warning

This trip includes one or more nights over 3500m above sea level, where there is a genuine risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If left untreated AMS can be life-threatening. We expect most clients to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headaches and shortness of breath while walking or sleeplessness. Our leaders are trained to identify symptoms of severe AMS and if a client requires extra care, arrangements such as rapid descent will be made immediately.

On some days this trip climbs faster than commonly published ascent rate recommendations. Based upon an assessment by our external safety and medical advisors and our risk assessment process, we consider the ascent rate is acceptable due to the additional safety measures that are in place for our customers. All our trips operating at high altitude meet our internal altitude safety standards that minimise the risk of serious incidents occurring whilst travelling at altitude.

A number of medical conditions or medications can reduce your body's ability to acclimatise. This may affect your performance and make you more susceptible to AMS. If you are worried about any pre-existing conditions, such as heart conditions, or your overall physical ability, you must seek medical advice prior to booking. The drug Diamox (also known as acetazolamide and normally only available on prescription) has been shown to aid acclimatisation in some individuals, and therefore may reduce the risk of AMS. Clients considering using Diamox should speak to their doctor about the drug, its side-effects and a prescription. Please note that while we endeavour to assist all our clients in achieving their goals, there may be times when your leader decides to delay or stop your ascent based on your overall condition, or the onset of AMS.

If you are not taking out Exodus Travel Insurance, make sure that your policy covers you up to the maximum altitude on this trip (if trekking in the Himalaya your policy should also cover the use of a helicopter for emergency medical evacuation).

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Peru's Timezone:
America/Lima -05 (GMT -05:00)

Electricity

Peru's Electricity:

220 Volts/60hz. Most sockets will take both European round pin plugs and flat U.S. plugs. On camping treks, spare batteries or a solar charger may come in handy. If staying in an Amazon lodge there is no mains electricity; a generator will provide power for a few hours a day only in the main lodge/dining area, whilst lanterns, torches or candles will be provided in the bedrooms.

There are no charging facilities available on Amantani Island, so we recommend you charge batteries before travelling to the island or take a spare.

Money

Peru's Currency

The national currency of Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2018) of approximately 4.24 to the GBP, 3.31 to the USD, 2.54 to the CAD, 3.81 to the EUR, 2.43 to the AUD and 2.208 to the NZD.

Most major currencies including Sterling, Euros and US Dollars can easily be changed into local currency (Sol) at all bureau de change in Peru, although US Dollars usually attract the best exchange rates. Torn, damaged or marked foreign bills are often refused in Peru.

ATM Availability

ATMs are available in the larger cities and towns and often allow you to withdraw either Dollars or Soles, and exchange rates are generally good. Most international credit and debit cards are accepted, but you should inform your bank you are travelling to Peru and check if your card will work in the local ATMs. There are several ATMs in Aguas Calientes, but they do sometimes run out of cash so it is a good idea to take your spending money for Machu Picchu out prior.

Credit card acceptance is increasing, but generally they can be used only at the large (and more expensive) restaurants, shops and hotels. You should check with your card provider to ensure your card can be used in Peru.

We do not recommend taking travellers cheques as these are becoming increasingly difficult to exchange.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

It is a good idea to take enough money with you to last the first few days because you set of early on day 2, however the bus can stop at an ATM en route if needs be.

Food, drinks and similar incidentals can vary in price enormously in Peru and are relatively expensive compared to other developing nations. Allow about US$15‐20 per meal not included to eat at good restaurants. Cheaper food is abundant at small local cafes, although sanitary conditions at these places cannot be guaranteed. Bottled water and soft drinks are readily available for around US$1‐2 each.

Please note that there is a possibility the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism may increase entrance fees to archaeological sites at any time. If this happens, we will inform you of the increase and the additional amount will be payable locally.

Peruvian airport taxes are included in the price of your flight ticket, and there will be no need to pay these locally.

Peruvian Passport or Identity Card Holders

Please note that the cost of Exodus holidays in Peru is based on the assumption that you do not hold a Peruvian passport or resident's card. If you are officially resident in Peru or are a Peruvian passport holder, you will be liable to an additional 18% tax on the majority of services, and this extra sum will be payable locally to our local partner. Other nationalities are exempt from this tax. Please notify us at the time of booking if you are legally resident in Peru or hold a Peruvian passport so that we can advise you of the total cost of these taxes.

Optional Excursions 

Your tour leader will be able to tell you about the full range of optional excursions available throughout your holiday however the most popular ones are as follows:

Prices of excursions vary depending on the number of people taking part. The prices given within these Trip Notes are based on 4 participants and are intended as a guideline only. Actual prices will be more for smaller group sizes and less for larger group sizes. All tours use private transport and there will be an English-speaking guide.

For some activities a minimum number of participants may be required. Some activities may not always be possible due to weather, seasonality, national holidays, or unforeseen circumstances.

Lima: City tour (half day – 3 hours): From US$40 per person (based on 4 participants)

Visit ‘Pucllana Pyramid’, the colonial centre including Lima's Plaza Mayor (Main Square), the Government Palace, the City Hall, and other important monuments. Later, visit the Convent of San Francisco with its catacombs (entrance included) and continue to the modern Miraflores District.

Nazca: Nazca Lines Scenic Flight (approx. 35 min. flight*): From US$100 (plus PEN25 airport tax). *Please be aware that there can be up to 4hrs waiting to board your scenic flight. Please also note that anyone over 90kg might be charged for a second seat due to weight restrictions and regulations. Please note that PEN is the preferred currency for this payment.

A Partial Tourist Ticket (BTG) is required for entrance to the sites in and around Cuzco and the Sacred Valley – this is not included in the excursion prices below but can be purchased locally From PEN70 (approx. US$21).

Cuzco: City tour and 4 ruins (half day – 5 hours): From US$45 per person (based on 4 participants), excludes BTG.

This includes visits to the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucará as well as a tour of the city itself, including the Plaza de Armas, where the Cathedral is located, Koricancha ‘Sun Temple’ (entrance included) and San Pedro Market.

Cuzco: Sacred Valley tour (full day – 8 hours): From US$55 per person (based on 4 participants), excludes BTG.

Drive to the Sacred Valley, stopping at El Mirador viewpoint en route. Visit Pisac Market and fortress and Ollantaytambo; return to Cuzco.

Cuzco: South Valley tour (full day – 7 hours): From US$63 per person (based on 4 participants), excludes BTG.

Visit the little-known valley to the south of Cuzco, including the terraces at Tipon, the pre- Inca ruins of Pikillaqta and the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Americas’ in Andahuaylillas (entrance included); return to Cuzco.

Tipping

Exodus encourages customers to tip local support staff if they would like to. In Peru, it has become customary for local staff to receive tips and these tips can be an important source of extra income for hard working crew. Whether to tip and how much to tip should be a personal decision. As customers often ask us for a suggestion of how much is appropriate for different individuals, we have prepared some guidelines together with our local partner - your leader will provide a handout which we hope will be useful to your group. Please note that PEN is the preferred currency for tips.

Tipping Kitty: On this trip we recommend running a tipping kitty. A tipping kitty means we tip as a group, and individuals don’t need to worry about giving out small tips to various people who have helped during the trip (i.e. drivers, local guides, boatmen, hotel staff). The contribution per person per day we suggest is US$5 (PEN 15). 

Tour Leader: Leaders are fairly paid for their role but are of course always grateful for recognition of their skills and hard work. Tips for your leader should be based on their performance and engagement with the group, and if you are happy with the leader’s work, we recommend somewhere around US$5 (PEN 15) per person per day, but customers are encouraged to contribute what they feel happy giving - either less or more than the amount suggested above. 

 

 

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the nights in small locally owned hotels as well as a night with local families in Amantani Island for a homestay experience. This ensures that our visit directly benefits the local community. All of the hotel managers also signed a sustainability contract which ensures that they employ locals and endeavour to reduce waste. There is also an optional excursion to the Sacred Valley which includes eating a traditional meal in a rural village.

We adhere to all Machu Picchu regulations. There are limited permits in order to reduce overcrowding and damage due to footfall, but our guides and porters are still very mindful of how we treat the environment. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all waste back to a proper disposal place.

The free day in Cuzco is a good chance to visit Cafe Daria, the first vocational training site for young adults with disabilities in Cusco, creating employment opportunities for youth in their own community. In 2018, Exodus funded £5,000 where during the first three months of operation has directly benefitted 15 youths as well as 52 other community members indirectly. Having a meal there is a great way to interact with the locals while also supporting a cause that gives those who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.