Machu Picchu Explorer (Comfort) Trip Notes

Machu Picchu Explorer (Comfort)

Last Modified: 18 Jan 2016
Machu Picchu Explorer (Comfort)
Trip code: GGHT-C
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Table of Contents
StyleMealsWhat to take
ThemesTransportHealth
MapJoining point Travel insurance
ItineraryJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel
Culture shock rating Finish point A couple of rules
Physical ratingEmergency contactThe Intrepid Foundation
TippingEmergency fundsCarbon offset
Group sizeVisasFeedback
AccommodationIssues on your trip
Style
Comfort
  • ‘Comfort travel’ means encountering all that the real world has to offer, but with an added degree of, well… comfort. We use more private transport, the travel pace more relaxed, the accommodation a touch nicer. And by paying a little more up front, you’ll be treated to more included meals, more leader-led activities and get a greater immersion in all things local.
Themes
Short Breaks
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Itinerary
Bienvenido! Welcome to Cuzco.
For this Short Break Adventure you will be picked up on Day 1 from the Joining Point Hotel (see below), or from your alternate hotel (advised prior to departure). Pick-up will take place between 08:15 - 08:45am in the hotel foyer.
If you have any issues with your pick-up on Day 1, please contact your local Intrepid Travel representative on +51 9 9605 5559.
Head out to the Sacred Valley. Known as Wilcamayo by the Incas, this lush and fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.
The first stop is at Pisac ruins from where you will enjoy a lovely view of the Pisac valley and the town below. Explore the market and maybe barter for a few items yourself before heading out to cross the Valley. Leaving Pisac behind you find yourself driving through amazingly fertile lands that are one of the main agricultural areas in the surroundings and that played an important part during Inca times.
We have a stop along the way to enjoy our lunch and then continue some more minutes until we reach the town of Ollantaytambo, one of the few, if not the only, living example of a city plan that has remained the same for many centuries.
Here you’ll visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, and try to figure out how those terraces were build or the big boulders that are part of the temple of the Sun got to the place where you can find them now, the top of the mountain.
Your guide will point you at the train station where you will wait for the departure of your train that takes you to Aguas Calientes. A 1.5 hour train ride through the winding Urubamba Valley takes us to Aguas Calientes, nestled in the cloud forest (2040m above sea level) at the foot of the magnificent Machu Picchu.
Upon arrival a representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel and give you the last instructions for your tour the very next day.
Overnight at Aguas Calientes hotel
Day 2 Itinerary
After an early breakfast, catch a bus to Machu Picchu (approx 30 minutes along a winding road). The first bus departs at around 5.30am. Please note that you will need to check out and leave your luggage on storage at the hotel while you visit Machu Picchu.
A local guide will take you on a 2 hour tour through the ruins. While it is thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There is plenty of time to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters.
After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities it is time to return to Cuzco, travelling first by train to Ollantaytambo (approx 90 minutes) then a shared transfer to Cuzco (approx 90 minutes).
Upon your arrival to Cusco your tour comes to an end. Please contact us if you need assistance with extra accommodation in Cuzco.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
Leave your feedback here - www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback
      Culture shock rating

      At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
      Physical rating

      Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
      Tipping
      If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
      Restaurants: Tipping isn't expected in local markets and basic restaurants. However if you wish to tip, round your bill up to the nearest 5%. In more up-market restaurants we suggest up to 10%-12% of your bill. Some restaurants already include tipping on the final amount, which should be shown on the bill as: propina, servicio or cubiertos.
      Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD 2 per person per day for local guides.
      Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of USD 1-2 per day is generally appropriate.
      Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD 1-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
      In total, we recommend you budget approx USD 5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
      Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
      Group size
      Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
      Accommodation
      Meals
      1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
      USD 40.00
      Transport
      Joining point
      San Agustin Plaza Hotel
      Avenida El Sol 594
      Cuzco
      PERU
      Phone: +51 4249438
      Joining point instructions
      You will be picked up on Day 1 from the Joining Point Hotel (see below) between 08:15 - 08:45am. If you wish to be picked up from a different, centrally located hotel, please advise your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
      Finish point
      San Agustin Plaza Hotel
      Avenida El Sol 594
      Cuzco
      PERU
      Phone: +51 4249438
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Peru Operations Office can be reached on:
      Outside Peru: +51 99605 5559
      From within Peru: 996 055 559
      For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      PERU TOURIST VISA
      Australia: Not required
      Belgium: Not required
      Canada: Not required
      Germany: Not required
      Ireland: Not required
      Netherlands: Not required
      New Zealand: Not required
      South Africa: Not required
      Switzerland: Not required
      United Kingdom: Not required
      United States: Not required
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      Health
      Zika Virus:
      “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in parts of Central and South America. This virus is mostly concerning to pregnant women as recently in Brazil local authorities have linked the virus to an increase in babies born with microcephaly (smaller than normal skull).
      In addition to the risk mentioned above WHO have reported that Zika symptoms may include mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
      In line with the above, Intrepid recommends all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip to Central and South America.
      At this stage, WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to the Zika virus.
      More information on the Zika virus can be found at the following links:
      World Health Organisation: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/”
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Carbon offset
      Carbon Offset C02-e 35.00 kgs per pax.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.