This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Overview & Itinerary


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Cusco, Peru
Country
Peru
Style
Original
Theme
Family, Walking & Trekking
Code
GGFA
Travellers rating
4.5
Ages
Min 11, Max 0
Group size
Min 2, Max 16
Validity
01 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2017

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude (Cuzco is located at 3,450 m). Some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

  • Some of the Inca Trail is tough going, especially with the altitude. It's important to be patient as your body adjusts. With an experienced support crew, you'll be in good hands for the duration of the trek.

  • Tradition runs deep in beautiful old Cuzco, so a little homework will put you in good stead. Ask your leader about photography etiquette, and remember to order 'Cerveza helada' for a beer that's cold!

  • The weather can be unpredictable in the Andes. Be sure to bring warm clothes and prepare for all elements.

  • Staying with a local family in the Sacred Valley is a rewarding experience, but keep in mind that the facilities will be basic. Water is cold only, meals are simple, and bathrooms are shared.

Physical rating

Joining point

Hotel El Tambo II
720 La Paz Ave - Miraflores
Miraflores
Lima
PERU
Phone: +51 12000100

Joining point instructions

Intrepid offers a pre-arranged transfer service from Lima Airport at an additional fee. If you require this service please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting customs. As you exit please look for the Intrepid sign with your name on it. There is only one exit for international arrivals and there will be many signs so please look around carefully.
If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please phone our Intrepid Peru Emergency number, listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your essential information.
If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage please go the IPeru information booth located between the two
escalators on the left hand side of the building, they can help you to make a phone call.

Alternatively you may want to take a taxi or the airport shuttle bus.
Taxi: As you walk out from the customs area, you will find a small lobby to book a taxi. We recommend you use 'Taxi Green' taxi services. They will charge you approximately USD30 for a trip to the Miraflores district where your hotel is located. The drive to Miraflores district where the hotel is located is approximately 40 minutes depending on traffic.
Airport Shuttle: Please see https://www.airportexpresslima.com where you will find all information including ticket prices, bus route and departure times.

Problems and emergency contact information

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency Intrepid's Peru Operations Office can be reached on:

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/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.

PEAK South America: +51 9 9605 5559

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru. 

With colonial charm, ancient Inca history and llamas around every corner, this is a destination with a difference. You'll be met at the airport and driven to your hotel. If you arrive early, be sure to take a stroll around Miraflores. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue.

Alternatively, go to Parque del Amor (Love's Park) and check out its mosaics and El Beso statue. Pachacamac, home to the Temple of the Sun, is also well worth the trip (approximately 30 km from downtown Lima). Limenos (Lima's residents) are friendly, and there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes at which to sample delicious ceviche, a local seafood speciality.

Notes: Your airport transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking or a minimum 15 days prior to travel. Once you have provided your details, a representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Accommodation
  • El Tambo II or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Explore Lima with a guide today.

Your tour will take you through the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History – the largest and oldest public museum in Peru. Check out some of its 100,000 pre-Incan artifacts – there are ceramics, textiles, tools and ruins from as far back as 1,000 BC.

You will also visit the infamous catacombs underneath the San Francisco church. Here you'll find the bones of an estimated 75,000 bodies arranged in ornate patterns in stone pits. While it can get a little claustrophobic down there, it's a fascinating display. The church itself is also quite a sight, built in the boroque style of the late 17th century. Later on, catch a flight to Cuzco (approximately 1.5 hours).
Accommodation
  • Garcilaso Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Coca Tea
  • Lima - Archaeological Museum
  • Lima - Cathedral visit
  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Approach your day at a nice easy pace, taking time to acclimatise to the city's altitude (3,450 m). You will enjoy a half-day city tour in which a guide will show you some of Cuzco's excellent sights and activities.

This city is really 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, and it's a dream to walk around. Inca-built walls line the central streets, and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. 

While you're here, you'll visit the local Coricancha archeological site, Cuzco Cathedral, the ruins of the most opulent temple in the Inca Empire as well as the 4 main archaeological sites near the city: Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay.
Accommodation
  • Garcilaso Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Temple entrance fee
  • Cuzco - Cathedral Entrance Fee
  • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (Entrance to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The day is yours to explore the city as you please. Armed with a full boleto turistico (tourist ticket), you'll have access to almost all of the best museums and sights in town.

Perhaps start your day at the local market – a great chance to mingle with the locals, sample some street food or some pastries, and perhaps browse for some strange items such as 'Dragon's Blood' (medicinal tree sap). Some great museums to visit are The Pisco Museum, the Museum of Inca Culture and the Museum of Popular Art.

There are also many adventure activities on offer in the gorgeous surrounding hills, from trekking and mountain biking to via-ferrata climbing and zip-lining.
Accommodation
  • Garcilaso Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Venture into the Sacred Valley. With its warm climate and fertile soil, this valley was considered the greenhouse of the Incas, who built many towns and agricultural terraces along it. Small farming hamlets dot a landscape of patchwork fields, and many are still ploughed by oxen and other beasts of burden. En route you will reach the village of Pisac (2,950 m), where you can stop and browse the stalls of the traditional market. There are also some fascinating Inca ruins to explore – your first taste of Inca architecture. The ruins stick out on a pinnacle overlooking the valley while steep terraces sweep around the hillside. Your hotel for tonight is located in the heart of the valley (2,800 m) in a quiet farming village.

Today you will explore the Pisaq inca site and walk down to Pisaq town. Stop in the historic colonial town to browse the stalls of the traditional market.
Accommodation
  • Royal Inka Pisac Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Pisaq Site and Colonial Town
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will start to prepare for the Inca trail, with a walk up to the village of Chinchero. Leaving the Sacred Valley behind, follow a newly reopened section of Inca road up the Urquillos Valley, climbing 900 metres (approximately 4 hours) to reach the high-altitude plains of Chinchero (3,760 m). This route is rarely walked by tourists, so enjoy the ambience. You will take in amazing views of the Vilcanota range and, with some luck, spot some parrots and hummingbirds along the way. At Chinchero, the villagers are famous for their skills in weaving, and you might see them in their traditional dress, tending their fields. In the afternoon you can explore the village where the people of Chinchero offer their textiles at a colourful local market. You'll also check out the painted church and investigate the Inca ruins. Enjoy the hospitality of a local family who will welcome you into their home for the night.
Accommodation
  • Chincheros Homestay (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast you'll be collected from the homestay and taken to your private transport bound for Moray and its archaeological site. This was an experimental centre of agriculture in Incan times. From here you'll begin your cycling adventure, firstly riding along a mild–intermediate section before taking a break for a drink and a snack.

We start biking from here along a mild-intermediate section, pause for some included snacks and then continue onto the Salt Flats of Maras. The ride covers about 30-35km depending on the group and the pace.You will be provided with adjustable helmets (mandatory), full-fingered gloves, elbow and knee pads (mandatory on certain downhill sections). The group will have a support vehicle for those wishing not to ride the whole way.

The salt flats of Maras are a great spot to drink in the views and take some pictures. Then it's an intermediate downhill stretch that brings you to Pichingoto on the route to Ollantaytambo. Your bike trip ends at this point. Transfer to a private vehicle and head to Ollantaytambo. The town of Ollantaytambo, built over an ancient Inca city, is a traditional village laid out on a grid plan (one of only four surviving examples), overlooked by the magnificent fortress of Ollantay.
Accommodation
  • Pakaritampu Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today after breakfast you will set off to visit the archeological site of Ollantaytambo.

Next stop is KM 82, the starting point of the Inca Trail and your next few days of adventure. Here you will meet your trail crew and begin the trek. The first day includes uphill trekking to your first campsite which is at 3,100 metres about sea level. On the way you will you'll see the Inca sites of Huillca, Raccay and Llactapata as well as incredibl views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. Relax and unwind this evening at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

This is camping made easy; as you walk, you'll carry only a day pack while an experienced team of porters carries all the other gear. You will be provided with a duffle bag in which to put items needed for the trek. Anything you don't need is left behind in Cusco in your main bag. Tonight you'll camp in a spacious tent; porters, a cook and a helper will take care of all camp chores. A toilet tent is provided at camp and at each lunch stop (you'll find this is usually the cleanest option for nature calls).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Notes: You'll take your entire luggage with you to the Sacred Valley. At Ollantaytambo (Day 8), pack a duffle back (6 kg max) to take with you on the Inca Trail, while the main luggage is left at the hotel in Ollantaytambo. The group will stop off at the hotel to pick it up after completing the trail. Sleeping mats will be provided, and sleeping bags are available for rent (US$20 for regular ones; US$25 for feathered ones). These do not have to be pre-booked – your guide will check which passengers need to rent equipment after the briefing in Cuzco on Day 4.
Wake up to a hot drink and prepare for the most demanding climb of the trek. Set off along the course of the Cusichaca River, ascending a broad valley to the village of Wayllabamba (3,000 m). This is the last place of human habitation on the Inca Trail. Your porters will go ahead and prepare lunch, which will be waiting for you at a spot that's close to the summit. The trail steepens through fertile cloud forest and eventually onto high-altitude grassland. Finally you will reach the highest point of the entire trail, called Warmiwañusca (Dead Woman's Pass) (4,200 m). At this point you can pause to rest and enjoy the views, perhaps snapping a photo or two of the lush surrounds from this vantage. Then you will begin the steep descent into the valley below. Your camp is located at Pacaymayo (3,700 m).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
A second ascent leads past a fine set of ruins to Runkuracay Pass (3,998 m). From here, you'll be pleased to discover, the trail is mostly downhill! The vegetation gradually changes as you walk through part of the cloud forest. You'll be skirting the outer edges of the Amazon Jungle. Cross the Aobamba River, from where you can see the Sayacmarca ruins sitting on a rocky spur up above. A final, easy ascent over a lower pass takes you to the campsite, which is perched above the ruins of Phuyupatamarca. On this final stretch you'll take in many incredible vistas out across the vast mountains and jungle.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
The final day of the trek starts with an amazing view, and after breakfast you'll set off on one of the most scenic parts of the whole trail. It's all downhill for the first 2.5 hours until you reach your lunch stop at inca site of Winay Huayna. From here, it is just 2 more hours until you reach the highlight of today: Machu Picchu. The toil of the day is forgotten at a stroke as you are treated to an out-of-this-world view of Machu Picchu before you. After lingering to admire this panorama, catch a bus to Aguas Calienets Here you can check into your accommodation, stretch your legs and take a long-awaited hot shower.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
It's an early one this morning - head out on a bus to Machu Picchu at 5.30am. The journey will take 30 minutes. Once you arrive, enjoy a two-hour guided tour of this incredible site. You will then have free time to explore the ruined city by yourself.

While it is thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence that it had been a sacred site for much longer. Another school of thought is that it was an astronomical observatory. Decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters.

In the afternoon, take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then a bus back to Cuzco.
Accommodation
  • Garcilaso Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Machu Picchu - Guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in Cuzco to recover from the Inca Trail. If you have some energy left, take the time to walk around and immerse yourself in this delightful, vibrant town. Perhaps feast on some delicious Andean cuisine – you're sure to come across some cancha (roasted corn kernels), humitas (ground and cooked corn cakes), and papa a la huancaina (potatoes in a spicy cream sauce). You could practice your bargaining skills in the craft markets, or visit colonial Spanish churches. Perhaps treat the family to a cooking class or, better yet, a massage – the ultimate way to unwind from the rigours of the trail!
Accommodation
  • Garcilaso Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Finishing point

Garcilaso Hotel I
Calle Garcilaso 273, Cusco
Cusco
PERU
Phone: +51 084227951

Itinerary disclaimer

We've allowed plenty of room for freedom and flexibility in our trips. In fact, flexibility is one of the ingredients that makes each of our trips so exciting. This style of travel offers us some unexpected circumstances at times, for example, bad weather and road conditions, technical defects of transportation, inconveniences caused by local operators and authorities, and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the program may be required to make the best of the unique situations that we encounter.

Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group. Our described itineraries are to be used as a general guide only.

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 and are subject to availabilities. For our families we have priced an all inclusive package including entrance fees, transport and local guide where relevant to assist you with budgeting the exact amount required on tour. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. The optional activities listed in your itinerary are activities that are available to you as a guideline and have been checked locally.

The decision to partake in any activity not listed above is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about or problem with, any such optional activity your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to Intrepid Travel.

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.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Essential Trip Information

Important notes

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Minimum age for children on this trip is 10 years old.
A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel.
INCA TRAIL PERMITS
Inca Trail permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavour to secure a permit for you.

If Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Inca Moonstone Trek.

The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Inca Moonstone Trek.

Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

Passport and visas

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.

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

Medical and health information

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.

DRINKING WATER:
As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

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:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience a vast array of dishes, beverages, dining experiences, ingredients and produce.

To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, the trip price does not include all meals. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility – whether you wish to partake in budget, mid-range or high-end dining options. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. Generally, our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company, however there's no obligation to do this.

For travellers wanting to eat at a particular high profile and/or ‘fine dining’ restaurant, there will be specified free nights in certain locations where you can make your own restaurant reservations. It is recommended you make reservations for high profile and/or ‘fine dining’ restaurants well in advance of your departure, as there can be long lead times for booking in some instances.

Breakfasts are often simple (bread, butter, jam, coffee / tea and juice would be most common).

Meals on the Inca Trail are prepared by the trek cook.

All meals while camping are included.

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (8 nights)

Due to energy supply and timing provisions being limited in some places, please be prepared for some cold showers.
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.

Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.

Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Transport

Minibus, Plane, Train

Money matters

The official currency of Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN).

Peruvian banks are allowed to reject dollar bills which are old, torn (more than one centimetre) and which have too many stamps on them. Please make sure you don't accept bills in such conditions as you may not be able to use them.

MONEY EXCHANGE - LATIN AMERICA

ACCESSING MONEY
With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please 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.

It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US dollars is the most readily changeable currency.

VERY IMPORTANT:
USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

SPENDING MONEY:
When it comes to spending money 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 meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities 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).

If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is 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. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.

Restaurants: Tipping is not 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.

Porters (if applicable): While on the Inca Trail or Community Trek, we suggest PEN80-120 for all porters, assistants and cook.

Your crew: Tipping is entirely voluntary. The crew may be travelling with you for many weeks and usually they become good friends with most members of the group. It is sometimes easy to forget that they do work hard to ensure that you do have a great trip. If you feel you would like to tip them, they certainly would appreciate it. On a number of our trips, we also use a local guide as well as our own crew. These guides live and travel with you through their home country and it is usual to tip them when they leave. We recommend USD10 to USD15 per person

LATIN AMERICA

TIPPING
If you're happy with the service you receive, providing 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 destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.

The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers. We do however recommend that you tip in the local currency - Hold on to your smaller notes and coins to make tipping easier. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

- Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$5. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% of your bill.
- Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide. We suggest US$3-5 per passenger 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 US$3-6 per day for drivers.
- 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 USD$2-3 per day.
- 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 USD$2-4 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.

Please allow approximately US$4 for each domestic departure tax and US$31 for international departure tax from Peru.

Budget for meals not included, Per person:

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

Packing

CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. Please pack accordingly.

CAMPING EQUIPMENT:
Sleeping Bag - Check the expected climate en route. Nights in desert and mountain regions can be very cold in winter months. One that zips down all one side is useful for warm nights and a sleeping bag liner for cold nights.
Mattress or compressed foam - Compressed foams are the lightest, most convenient but probably the least comfortable. Self inflating mattresses are convenient, comfortable, light and small when rolled up; they are more expensive and do puncture so bring a suitable repair kit.

WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

While trekking, boiled or safe water is available for drinking. However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include:
- purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur.
- 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather.

HIKING IN PERU:
The evening before you start your trek, you will be given a small duffle bag to pack your clothes for the next four days. Your weight allowance is 6 kg max. While you hike, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel in Cuzco.

Your team of porters will carry your duffle bag for you, together with the food and camping gear. It's important to be aware that you will not have access to your items in the duffle bag until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group.

Please see our 'Peru Trek packing' list for detailed information.

FOOTWEAR FOR HIKING/TREKKING
A full day walking is included on this tour. Please ensure you pack comfortable shoes (preferably not brand new, as this can lead to blisters) that are fully enclosed and are comfortable for you to walk in for an entire day. Please note sneakers or runners should be fine, as long as they are comfortable.

Climate and seasonal information

The Inca trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Intrepid alternative trek.

DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS:
Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout Peru. 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.

Day 1: An early start as it's a very busy first day! We take a private minibus to the trailhead, stopping first to explore the nearby ruins from which the trek takes its name. This is a large site with several distinct Inca remnants, clearly of religious importance. As with the rest of the trek, we are most likely to have the site completely to ourselves. The Moonstone itself is a large carving on an enormous boulder, and its significance is not yet understood.
The trailhead is in a quiet, dusty valley and we soon climb high enough from the floor to enjoy some great views. At around lunchtime we stop to explore the imposing pre-Inca fortress of Wata that straddles the trail. The ruin has not yet been accurately dated and pottery can often still be found lying on the ground. The path then traverses along a green side valley as we make our way above a few tiny villages before entering the village of Chillipawa, where we camp.
Transfer by van from Ollantaytambo to Moonstone arcaheological site (02 ½ - 3 hours including visit)
Transfer by van to Mullinilloc where the trek starts (05 ½ - 06 hours) there is 1 ½ hours break for lunch.
Chillipawa campsite arrival around 17.30 hours.
(B,F,D included)

Day 2:
A long, steady climb with plenty of rest stops to aid acclimatization takes us above the villages and into the high pampas - rugged meadows of long grass. We normally stop for lunch shortly before the crest of the Accoccosa Pass (and the very rare Andean Flicker is sometimes seen (although often heard!). The last leg of the pass is on loose red scree, but the view from the top makes it all worthwhile: a broad, hidden valley surrounded by snowy peaks - the Huayanay Range on the left, the Urubamba Range straight ahead and beautiful, triangular Mt Veronica (5,800m) to the right.
We have time to explore this plateau and experience walking in the high altiplano before returning to our camp for a well-deserved hot dinner. The camp's isolation, well away from any settlements, resulting spectacular night skies when clear.
Second day starts around 7 am, walk up to the pass Acocasa (4400msnm) then it continuous down to the Chancachuco campsite. Today we expect to walk arund 5-6 hours ( including lunch beak)

Day 3:
We start after breakfast by following the stream from down this hidden valley into a narrow canyon. Rare polylepis trees grow here and we pass through a small grove as we leave the canyon. Our path then turns North and traverses very high above a deep and steep valley separating us from the Huayanay Mountains. This is probably the most spectacular section of the trek and we roughly follow a (now defunct) Inca aqueduct spectacularly carved out of the cliffs to take water from the hidden valley of our campsite to the Sacred Valley several miles away. At the end of the traverse we have a short but steep climb up to our lunch spot, a flat, ridge-top meadow facing straight across the Sacred Valley to the snowy Urubamba Range. After lunch we walk down to Huayrapunku. Meaning "Gate of the Wind", this is a ridge-top Inca shrine oriented to Mt Veronica, of which it has a simply incredible view. Finally a short walk brings us to our final campsite in amongst the granite stones of the Canchiqata Quarry. It was here that huge blocks were cut from the rose coloured granite before being dragged down the mountainside and across the river to the Sun Temple at Ollantaytambo.

Walk down to a small canyon that will lead us to the Sun gate, then down to Cachicata quarry camsipte (around 06 hours walk including lunch break)

Day 4:
Photographers are advised to wake up before dawn this morning, to watch the sun rise over the Sacred Valley from our campsite high above it. The sun's first rays catching the glaciers of Mt Veronica certainly makes the effort more than worthwhile. This is our last day on the trek and we descend from the pampas down into the lush valley floor along the enormous stone ramps on which the Incas dragged the stones. We cross the river and enter into Machu Picchu and and explore the huge Sun Temple complex to see where the stones ended and what use they were put to. Our trek ends as we board the train to Aguas Calientes,where we join the rest of the group at the campsite a short walk out of town and in the cloud forest
Morning breakfast around 8 am and downhill walk for 03 hours to Ollantaytambo where we catch the trail to Aguas Calientes. ( Overnight at Hotel)

Group Leader

Family Trips

All Intrepid Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see- for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.

Safety

HIKING IN PERU
In accordance with local laws governing tourism in Peru, trekking groups of up to and including 8 trekkers will be led by one local guide. The evacuation of an injured traveller in normal conditions may take more than 8 hours. For your own safety, it's crucial that you adhere to the local guide's safety instructions, particularly in regard to how to prevent trekkers getting separated or lost. Your leader will also conduct a brief safety discussion before our trekking activity.

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:

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 violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders, local operators or locals.

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.

Travelling on a group trip

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 SUPPLEMENT:
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.

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.

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.

Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

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:

http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

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.
www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/living-heart/

* 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.
http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo/
Take a look at this short video for more info - warning...it may melt your heart! - https://vimeo.com/154422813

*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.
http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/project-peru/