Majestic Peru Trip Notes

Majestic Peru

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 May 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Last Modified: 29 Sep 2016
Majestic Peru
Trip code: GGKP
Validity: 01 May 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to Peru in style, from the hot coastal plains to the high cities of Cuzco and ancient Machu Picchu. Uncover charming colonial towns, stunning Andean landscapes, Inca ruins, colourful markets and a fascinating local culture. Tour through Lima, Pisco, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. This majestic adventure will take you into the true heart of Peru, unveiling a fascinating culture that is sure to astound.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationAlternate finish point
ThemesAccommodation NotesAlternate finish point description
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionAlternate finish point instructions
Why we love itMealsEmergency contact
MapMoney mattersVisas
ItineraryGroup leaderWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyHealth
Physical ratingJoining pointTravel insurance
Included activitiesAlternate joining pointA couple of rules
Important notesAlternate joining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeAlternate joining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Is this trip right for you?
- Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.
Why we love it
- The giant desert inscriptions of the Nazca Lines are one of Peru's great unsolved mysteries. Scrutinise them up close on a viewing platform or from a bird's-eye-view on an optional flight
- Cuzco is a great city to explore on foot. Enter a bygone era as you explore the ancient Incan ruins dotted all over the city
- A trip through Peru wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour around the ruins as well as plenty of free time to discover it on your own
- Spend a full day exploring the floating islands of Lake Titicaca and Taquile Island, with the chance to meet the local Uru people

Day 1 Lima
On arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport you will be transferred to your hotel. You'll meet your tour leader and the other members of your group for a pre-tour briefing, which is usually held at 2 pm. Please check the noticeboard near the hotel reception for confirmation of the location of the meeting. Afterwards, your leader will take you on a brief walking tour within the Miraflores area. Your in-depth city tour will be on Day 14 of the trip.

This evening, you may want to go out for a group dinner. There are a number of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Lima has some of the most superb cuisine in South America and is especially renowned for its exceptional seafood. During your time here, you may wish to try ceviche, Peru’s national dish, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers. This culinary delight is a must for all seafood lovers!

Notes: Altitude sickness is a common occurrence in this part of the world. Anyone can suffer from the symptoms, so it's important to be prepared for it. Please see the 'Health' section of the trip notes for more information.
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition visit - Free
  • Lima - Pachacamac Tour (30 km from downtown) - USD37
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Paracas
    This morning your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral of Lima, which houses the remains ofLima's founder, Francisco Pizarro. Visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains.Continue onto the Central market where you'll take a walking tour.The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer, including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs. You'll also have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food. Next head away from the tourist trail and visit ‘Alameda de Chabuca Granda’ an area really only known to locals, it is a place wherepeople go as a treat to enjoy a variety local street food and authentic Peruvian desserts such as ‘Mazamorra Morada’ a sweet porridge made from purple corn or ‘Picarones’ Peruvian donuts made from local squash called Macre and sweet potatoes served with a sweet syrup, these are a must try whilst in Peru!
    Later, travel by minivan for around four hours to Paracas, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening.
    Included Activities
    • Lima - Guided tour of Catacombs
    • Lima - City tour including visits to the Basilica Cathedral of Lima and the Catacombs
      Optional Activities
      • Lima - Cathedral visit - PEN12
        Hotel (1 nt)
        1 breakfast
        Day 3 Nazca
        Awake early for an excursion to the Islas Ballestas and make your way to Paracas' port, where you'll board a boat bound for the islands. Often referred to as the Galapagos of Peru, Islas Ballestas are home to an abundance of wildlife, including pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos, sea lions and even penguins. You'll have the opportunity to see the wildlife up close on a boat tour of the islands (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Between June and September the port may be closed due to weather conditions, if this is the case, an alternative land tour of the Paracas National Reserve will be arranged.

        You will be driven in a private van from Paracas to Nazca next. This is a three hour drive, but we may stop at the oasis town of Huacachina on the way. Nazca’s origins date back to the 2nd century BC and here, in the dry desert conditions, mummies, textiles, ceramics and other relics have been remarkably well preserved to give archaeologists clear snapshots of this highly developed civilisation. Visit the viewing platform here or to get a bird's eye view of the lines, you can choose to go on a flight tour of the area. The flight is 30 minutes long and covers the 26 figures scattered throughout the desert.

        Notes: The flight can be bumpy and it is only recommended for those with a strong stomach. There have been safety issues with these flights in the past, so we have done our best to research the best operators in the area to recommend to you. Our tour leaders are prohibited from recommending or booking through any other operators. This optional tour (flight) costs about US$100 per person (price subject to change).
        Included Activities
        • Ballestas Island - Guided tour
          Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
          Day 4 Arequipa
          Today will be a long day of travel. You will journey to Arequipa by private van (approximately 12 hours including toilet and lunch stops) It is well worth it though, Arequipa is a beautiful Spanish colonial city, known as ‘La Ciudad Blanca’ (The White City) because the buildings have been built almost exclusively from a white volcanic material called 'sillar'. The city lies in a beautiful valley and at the foot of the 5822-metre-high El Misti volcano, a perfectly shaped cone.
          Arequipa is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Peru. Protected by mountains, its wild surrounding landscape consists of high altitude deserts, hot springs and abyssal canyons.
          Optional Activities
          • Nazca - Flight Over the Nazca Lines - USD100
            Hotel (1 nt)
            1 breakfast
            Day 5 Arequipa
            There will be a walking tour arranged with a local guide that will take you to visit the main square, the Santa Catalina Monastery, the San Ignacio Chapel with its colonial mural paintings and the suburb of Yanahuara. Otherwise, relaxing in a cafe in the main plaza is the perfect way to spend your time here.
            You will have some free time today. Perhaps visit the Juanita Mueseum.
            Included Activities
            • Arequipa - Walking tour
            • Arequuipa - San Ignacio Chapel Visit
            • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery
            • Arequipa - Cathedral Visit
              Optional Activities
              • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
                Hotel (1 nt)
                1 breakfast
                Day 6 Puno/Lake Titicaca
                Travel by minivan to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approx 6 hrs). On the way we stop at the Sillustani archaeological site.
                Tucked away in between the many small villages around Puno are the ruins of Sillustani. These ruined towers are set on a beautiful peninsula near Lake Umayo, built by a pre-Inca civilisation hundreds of years ago. The Sillustani Indians built several 'chullpas', funeral towers. Each tower would have contained the remains of noble men, buried together with offerings to secure their comfortable passage into the next life.
                Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.
                Included Activities
                • Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 7 Lake Titicaca / Puno
                  Tour the lake by slow motor boat stopping off to visit the floating islands. The Uros originally built the islands from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the lake's shallows to isolate themselves from the rival tribes. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 12 months.
                  We will also visit the Taquile Island, where knitting is strictly a male domain and women do the spinning. This is a great place to pick up some high quality, locally knitted goods. To reach the main part of the island there is a an uphill trek (approx 1 hour) with great views of the lake. There will also be an optional lunch consisting of a basic set meal where you can taste the nutritious quinua soup and enjoy a muna tea (Andean mint tea).
                  A descent of approx 500 steps brings us back to the boat which will take us all the way back to Puno (approx 3 hours).

                  Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation that works towards improving the living condition of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in this part of the world you have now come to know so well. Take a look at this short video for more information on this wonderful project:
                  Kusimayo is supported by the Intrepid Foundation which means you can donate to this project and your donation will be match dollar for dollar by the Intrepid Group. Please donate through our website:
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 8 Cuzco
                  Travel by local bus across the spectacular Altiplano to Cuzco (approx 10 hours including stops)

                  The Cuzco region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
                  Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city.
                  Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the Coca Musuem - where you can learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries - and the local San Pedro market.
                  The cathedral, built on top of an Inca palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco's picturesque heart. The cathedral is one of the city's greatest repositories of art and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a silver-covered Neoclassic altar.
                  There are several impressive Inca ruins within the city. The most easily accessible is Coricancha, which was the Inca empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its sturdy walls.
                  Included Activities
                  • Cuzco - Coca Museum
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 9 Cuzco
                    You have a free day to explore Cusco today.
                    For you to make the most of your free time in Cusco, your trip includes a “Full Boleto Turistico”, a tourist pass that gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in and around Cusco, including Qenqo, Tambomachay, Pukapukara, Saqsaywaman, amongst others.
                    For lunch or mid-morning coffee and cake head to Yanapay restaurant at 415 Ruinas St. This restaurant uses all its profits to support children in Cuzco through Aldea Yanapay and its social projects. For more info on Aldea Yanapay visit:
                    Included Activities.
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 10 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
                    You will drive on to the Sacred Valley on a private bus today.
                    The Sacred Valley, located between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, was greatly treasured because of its climate, fertile land and the presence of the Urubamba (Sacred) River.
                    At the Sacred Valley you will visit the stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an awesome picture of how highly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength.
                    You will visit a local community here, to gain a greater insight into the local lifestyle. If it happens to be market day, you will be able to wander the stalls and hunt down beautiful hand painted beads and ponchos. You will enjoy lunch with the local community.
                    Next you will head to the town of Ollantaytambo. Built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning, this is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas and the upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.
                    You will leave the majority of your luggage in Cusco while you spend time in Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, be sure to bring a small backpack that you can pack with necessary goods for the days ahead.
                    Included Activities
                    • Sacred Valley - Local community visit
                      Hotel (1 nt)
                      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                      Day 11 Aguas Calientes
                      Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today will be Aguas Calientas. You will travel by train for 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach town, where you can spend some free time exploring the natural hot springs after which the town was named.
                      Hotel (1 nt)
                      1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                      Day 12 Machu Picchu/Cuzco
                      Take a very early (5:30am) bus along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes) where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you've seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty.
                      MACHU PICCHU: While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters.
                      You will have a guided visit (approximately 2 hours) with plenty of free time afterwards. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour.
                      Included Activities
                      • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 13 Cuzco
                        Today you have a free day in Cusco to further explore this wonderful city.
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 14 Lima
                        Fly from Cuzco back to Lima (approx 1 hr).
                        The remainder of the day is free to further explore Lima. 
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 15 Lima
                        There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                        Itinerary disclaimer
                        ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

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

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

                        If it rains heavily for a number of consecutive days the terrain on the third campsite (Wiñaywayna) can become unstable increasing the danger of landslides. This particularly occurs during the wet season, December-January however could be any time of the year. If that is the case, and with your, your leader and porter’s safety in mind, your trek leader may make a decision for the group to descend and camp Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) for the night. You leader may offer you (if available) an option to upgrade to a hotel at your own expense. We can provide you an insurance letter in this case in order to lodge a travel insurance for any incidental costs.
                        Physical rating

                        Included activities
                        Lima - Guided tour of Catacombs
                        Lima - City tour including visits to the Basilica Cathedral of Lima and the Catacombs
                        Ballestas Island - Guided tour
                        Arequipa - Walking tour
                        Arequuipa - San Ignacio Chapel Visit
                        Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery
                        Arequipa - Cathedral Visit
                        Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
                        Cuzco - Coca Museum
                        Sacred Valley - Local community visit
                        Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
                        Important notes
                        PASSPORT DETAILS
                        Domestic airlines require passengers' passport numbers to issue their tickets. It is then very important that you provide this information at the time of booking.

                        SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
                        A single supplement is available on this trip.

                        ARRIVAL TRANSFER
                        An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.

                        Group size
                        Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                        Your fellow travellers
                        GROUP TRAVEL
                        As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                        SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                        Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                        Hotel (14nt)
                        The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                        TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
                        Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

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

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

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

                        DIET REQUIREMENTS
                        Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stools, markets, etc.

                        More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

                        Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

                        SIMPLE BREAKFAST
                        Some of the included breakfasts along this trip can be quite simple: toasts, spreads, juice and coffee or tea.
                        13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
                        Money matters
                        When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

                        Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).

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

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

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

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

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

                        EMERGENCY FUNDS
                        We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

                        CREDIT CARD & ATMS
                        Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

                        ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout this trip (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.

                        Traveller cheques have become less accepted and generally quite cumbersome to exchange. The best “Plan B” is to carry USD100 – USD200 in small notes in case of an eventuality (your bank card doesn’t work, you are unable to withdraw funds, etc.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
                        Group leader
                        All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                        Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                        Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                        We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                        Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                        For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:


                        PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                        While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                        MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
                        In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

                        Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                        SEAT BELTS:
                        Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                        LIFE JACKETS:
                        While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

                        FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                        Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                        LIMA AIRPORT WARNING
                        For safety reasons, we strongly recommend that during transfers in Lima all of your luggage, including hand luggage and valuables, is stored out of sight in the rear boot of the vehicle.
                        Joining point
                        Hotel Antigua Miraflores
                        Avenida Grau 350
                        Phone: +511 2012060
                        Alternate joining point
                        For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                        15 Oct 2016 (GGKP1610152), 26 Nov 2016 (GGKP161126)
                        Hotel El Tambo II
                        720 La Paz Ave - Miraflores
                        Phone: +51 12000100
                        Alternate joining point description
                        Alternate joining point instructions
                        Finish point
                        Hotel Antigua Miraflores
                        Avenida Grau 350
                        Phone: +511 2012060
                        Alternate finish point
                        For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                        15 Oct 2016 (GGKP1610152), 26 Nov 2016 (GGKP161126)
                        Hotel El Tambo II
                        720 La Paz Ave - Miraflores
                        Phone: +51 12000100
                        Alternate finish point description
                        Alternate finish point instructions
                        Emergency contact
                        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.

                        For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at

                        In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.

                        Intrepid Peru office:: +51 99605 5559
                        As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
                        Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                        Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                        Also remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.
                        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. 

                        Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although a small to medium suitcase with wheels is ok too. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even short walking distances (max 30 minutes).

                        In terms of weight, keep in mind that if you are flying domestically (either on this itinerary or during your personal time) airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage. Argentina is particularly strict on excess baggage and usually enforces a maximum allowance of 15Kg for check in luggage. 

                        Finally, you'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc. for day trips.

                        Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                        ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST

                        Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document
                        Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
                        Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
                        Money belt and small padlocks
                        Personal medication
                        Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
                        Torch/flashlight (your phone’s may suffice)
                        Electrical adapter plug (view
                        Toiletries/travel wipes
                        Insect repellent
                        Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
                        Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
                        Refillable water bottle
                        Phrase book
                        Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
                        Wind and waterproof rain jacket
                        Travel Towel
                        Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
                        Camera with spare memory card and charger/batteries
                        Swimwear (dependent on itinerary)
                        Emergency fund as mentioned in the Money Matters section
                        Clothes! Bear in mind that laundry facilities are widely available throughout this trip. The cost varies between USD1 to USD3 (approx.) per kilo and it can normally be dropped off and picked the same day.

                        SLEEPING BAGS
                        It’s not essential that you bring a sleeping bag for any of our trips however on some itineraries we will recommend either bringing one from home or hiring one on the ground. If this is the case it will be mentioned in the ‘region specific’ packing list.
                        All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                        You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                        WHO – WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
                        The World Health Organization has identified the following mosquito transmitted diseases in this region:

                        Dengue, Yellow Fever, Malaria and Zika (amongst others)

                        For more information, please visit

                        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, we recommend 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:

                        ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
                        Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

                        Before your trip:
                        Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

                        During your trip.
                        While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

                        Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:


                        YELLOW FEVER:
                        A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

                        It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
                        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.

                        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.
                        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.


                        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:


                        Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Peru include:

                        * Living Heart - Focuses on improving the education, nutrition and health of disadvantaged Andean women and children near Cusco. Currently they provide free breakfasts, assist local schools with educational supplies and organise visits by doctors and nurses. They are also raising funds to build homes for orphaned children and abused women and children.

                        * Kusimayo - Improves the living conditions of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in one of Peru’s poorest regions: the high plains of Puno. They provide daily nutritious breakfasts for a number of pre-schools in the area, as well as educational material, hygiene kits and basic kitchenware.
                        Take a look at this short video for more info - may melt your heart! -

                        *Project Peru - Aims to break the circle of poverty, offering opportunities through education, independence through responsibility, and dignity through employment. All of the staff in Peru are from the local community and are paid and treated with equality and respect.

                        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.