PDI
River Deep, Mountain High, Jungle Very Jungly

This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with us.

We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.

your-trip

Nuts and Bolts

  • Expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour, a specialist trekking guide, assistant trekking guide, and local guides at some sites.
  • Local flights Lima to Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado to Cusco and Puno to Lima.
  • Trek on the ‘Classic’ or ‘Quarry’ routes to Machu Picchu with full service camping including porters, cook and equipment (tent and inflatable sleeping mat).
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu, including entrance and park fees.
  • Cusco walking tour.
  • Return boat trip on the Tambopata River to/from Amazon jungle lodge.
  • Two nights in the Amazon including jungle activities with a local native guide, a visit to a parakeet clay-lick, a traditional boat excursion and a visit to the indigenous Indian farmlands.
  • Boat trip to the floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca.
  • Homestay on Amantani Island including meals with host family and an exploration of the island.

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

  • Boat
  • Bus
  • Plane
  • Public bus
  • Riverboat
  • Taxi
  • Train

Accommodation

  • 3 nights Full service camping
  • 2 nights Jungle lodge
  • 1 night Island homestay
  • 8 nights Hotel

meals

  • 13 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 3 dinners

not-included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

optional-extras

  • Cusco - Inca Museum
    US$4
  • Cusco - City tour
    US$10
  • Lima - City tour
    US$25
  • Lima - Inquisition Museum
    US$4
  • Lima - National Museum
    US$3
  • Lima - San Francisco Church and Catacombs
    US$3
  • Puno - Sillustani
    US$15

preparing-to-travel

Visas and Permits

Peru

Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Peru. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.

government-travel-advice

Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
U.S. Department of State New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Medical---prep

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended

Vaccinations

Yellow Fever: These days the only compulsory vaccine is for yellow fever.  It should be done at least 10 days before travel and must be recorded in an official certificate book. You may need to show this certificate book when entering the destination, and also to immigration/customs on returning to your home country. 

Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return.

For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at
www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.

Malaria: There is no vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in many less-developed tropical areas in Africa and Latin America. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations. Where malaria is considered prevalent in mountainous regions we prefer that trekkers to altitude try to avoid the use of mefloquine (Lariam) if possible.

copies-of-key-docs

We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy, traveller’s cheques and credit card. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you in case of additional visas, permits or other unforeseen paperwork.

preparing-to-travel

For the Amazon

Luggage: It is not necessary to take all of your luggage with you to the Amazon Lodge, in fact, it is rather difficult to do so. Instead, your main luggage will be stored at the local office in Puerto Maldonado during your Amazon visit, so you will need to have a day pack available.

On the riverboat: For the ride to the lodge, the boat is covered against sun and rain, but a light jacket can be useful for the wind and spray. Be sure to wear sun protection, even in overcast conditions, as the sun’s reflection off the water can sometimes cause significant sunburn.

Weather: In the tropical rainforest it is best to be prepared for all kinds of weather. A common question we receive is about the “dry and rainy seasons” of the Amazon, but it is best not to trust such generalisations to plan a trip. At times it can be hot and sunny, but a cool rainstorm may appear at a moment’s notice during any time of the year. Take appropriate clothing.

Clothing: Lightweight pants and long sleeved cotton shirts are ideal for walks in the forest. However, if you are more comfortable wearing short sleeves, remember that exposed skin may need a light dousing with insect repellent. Guests should arrive in clothes which they do not mind getting slightly dirty or wet, and should wear footwear that is suitable to walk on a rain forest trail. Sun cream, insect repellent, hat and waterproof clothing should be carried in hand luggage and kept accessible for the journey to the lodge. During the rain, full waterproof clothing can be uncomfortable as it often gets wet with sweat instead of water, but rain ponchos are recommendable for tropical cloudbursts. Rubber boots are supplied for walks in the forest interior and a large seletion of sizes are available.

Comfortable shoes (or sandals): are fine for walking on boardwalks and around the Lodge during meals and free time.

Power: is available for a few hours each day. Be sure to charge your camera batteries before you head to the Amazon where possible.

fitness

Altitude Warning - Inca/Quarry Trail

This trip ventures over 3500 metres, so there is a potential risk of being affected by altitude sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable travellers to acclimatise to these altitudes, but it is still possible for you to be affected. Your ability to acclimatise has little to do with fitness or health, and most people travel without problems, as long as they take the time to acclimatise properly. We take this very seriously; have over 30 years experience and one of the best safety records in adventure travel.

Our leaders are experienced trekking guides, and will brief you fully, prior to the start of your trek. The general consensus is to drink plenty of water as soon as you reach altitude, avoid alcoholic drinks for the few days prior to your trek, walk slowly rather than hurrying and enjoy the scenery, wear sunglasses during the day, avoid sleep during the day, and wear adequate warm clothing.

When we first arrive at altitude it is common to feel a little short of breath and experience headaches, so it is best not to rush around too much on your first day. Other symptoms of altitude sickness may include general lethargy and a reduced appetite. In most cases a good night's sleep and plenty of water will help you feel better. We recommend that you seek medical advice prior to booking. In addition, if you plan to take any medications during your trek, you need to let us know before you depart and it is a good idea to discuss this with your leader before you begin the trek.

Our itineraries ensure that you have time to acclimatise in Cusco (3249m), before you commence your trek to Machu Picchu. Most days begin around 7am and you can expect to trek between 5-8 hours for the first three days, with many rest opportunities available. Day two is generally the longest and most difficult day, as the highest passes are reached on both the Classic Trail (4200m) and Quarry Trail (4450m). You can expect to trek over well defined paths and Inca stone pathways, so properly worn in, waterproof boots are essential.

To prepare for the trek, full-day hikes with a weighted pack are a great idea. Whilst our porters will be carrying your kitbag, you will need to carry your day pack (camera, water, waterproof/windproof jacket and pants, sun cream etc). Although you may start the day in full sunshine, you can experience rainfall a few hours later, so it is essential to prepare for all kinds of weather.

For those travellers completing the Classic Trail, we recommend taking the stairs as often as possible, leading up to your trek, as this will assist with the challenging Inca stone pathways. It is also possible to hire trekking poles in Cusco, to assist with your treks (US$7 for 1/ US$14 for 2). We recommend adjustable, metal poles, with a rubber stop on the end to protect the stone pathways.

what-to-take

General Packing List

Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel or sausage bag is the ideal form of luggage. It is recommended that you keep your luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option, but preferably one without a frame.

When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Keep in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

  • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, travel itinerary and this document
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
  • Spare passport photos
  • Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
  • Money belt and small padlocks
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Daypack
  • Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
  • Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes/ tissues
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
  • 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) and dry bags
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Phrase book
  • Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
  • Wind and waterproof rain jacket
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
  • Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
  • Binoculars

During your trek

During the duration of the trek, we will provide a bag and inflatable sleeping mat. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping sheet  with you, but please note that you can hire a sleeping bag in Cusco for approximately US$20 for the duration of the trek. There will be time to arrange this with your tour leader at your group briefing in Cusco.

Please note - you may also wish to purchase locally a plastic poncho – approximately US3, which are lightweight, and good for protecting your clothing and day pack during the trek.

Porters will carry your Gecko's bag (maximum: 5 kg (3kg for personal gear and 2kg for sleeping bag/sheet) during the trek although we recommend you pack as light as possible and store your additional luggage at our Cusco hotel. On the other hand, you will be trekking to fairly high altitude and possibly encountering cold conditions, especially at night, so you must be adequately equipped for the trek. You will be responsible for carrying your day pack during the trek. At the end of the trek, the Gecko's bag will need to be returned at the Cusco hotel.

During the day, conditions may be quite warm while you are walking, but you must be prepared for possible cooler temperatures. This is especially the case from late afternoon until morning when it can be decidedly cold at high altitudes.

In addition to those items suggested in our packing checklist above, we suggest you consider the following:

  • Strong, waterproof boots or hiking shoes, properly worn in for trekking warm socks
  • Comfortable, lightweight shoes to wear around camp in the evenings
  • Wind and waterproof rain jacket
  • Acouple of mid-layer shirts/pullovers  (Polartec 100, 200)
  • 2 pairs of thermal long-sleeved singlets and long johns (quick drying)
  • Warm trekking pants
  • A pair of water-proof/windproof over-pants
  • Warm gloves and warm hat or beanie
  • Wash kit and small towel
  • 400-500 soles (only to be used in case of an emergency during your trek. This can be obtained during your time in Cusco, and is the local currency of Peru)
  • Swimwear for the hot springs at Aguas Calientes (time permitting)

Medical Kit

It is a good idea to take a small medical kit with you, and you should consider packing the following items:

Antibiotics, Lip-balm, moisturiser, sunscreen, headache tablets, antiseptic (e.g. Betadine), anti-diarrhoea tablets (for changes in diet and water), laxatives, band-aids/moleskin/dressing strips for blisters, small scissors/tweezers. Note that moleskin is particularly good for blisters and can be obtained from any pharmacy.

It is also recommended to carry a letter from your doctor explaining any less common prescribed medications that you may be carrying.

Diarrhoea

Stomach upsets are not uncommon when travelling through new destinations (usually a 24 - 48 hour 'bug') and this may cause diarrhoea, leading to dehydration. Should you develop a stomach upset you should eat only in moderation and drink plenty of fluids. It is a good idea to carry a couple of sachets of rehydrants with you (such as Gastrolite). We also suggest that you carry one of the common anti-diarrhoea tablets such as Imodium.

Sunstroke

It can be quite easy to get sun burnt when you are not accustomed to the sun in new climates. You should take sensible precautions such as wearing a hat and using a good UV sunscreen. Finally, drink plenty of fluids - preferably water.

Water

In general, water is not safe to drink in the areas through which we travel. Bottled Water is widely available and most travellers prefer to drink this. Your guide can assist you in regards to the relative safety of tap water and the availability of bottled water on each tour. When walking, or in hot conditions, you must make a conscious effort to maintain your hydration, drinking as much water/tea as possible to offset fluid loss.


money

Currency

Peru

The unit of currency is the nuevo sol (S/). The sol is divided into 100 centimos.

Exchange rates

Check out www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Accessing Money

Peru

Traveller's cheques can be changed at banks and at exchange bureaus. Cheques are best in US dollars, issued by American Express. There are ATMs in Lima and Cusco and if you have a Visa card, Mastercard or any card compatible with Cirrus or Plus you may be able to draw cash from this service. This service is not always available so you should not rely solely on this method of receiving funds. A mixture of US dollars traveller's cheques and a small amount of US dollars cash is still the best way of carrying money, however, the change rate for cash dollars is usually better than the rate for traveller's cheques. At Lima Airport, there are bureaux de change in the main hall of the international zone and a post office on the 2nd level. ATMs are available throughout the airport.

Personal Expenses

South America & Central America

You will need to take money with you to cover any additional meals/drinks not included in your tour cost. You will also need to budget for bottled drinking water plus such things as tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing, optional activities and excursions, and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies that can happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and reimbursement is made later by the insurance company. This is a situation where a credit card can be useful.

Spending Money

On this trip all breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included. We suggest that you allow approximately US30 in Peru, per day for your additional lunches, dinners, snacks and drinking water where necessary. Allow approximately US$15 per day for souvenirs and shopping, more if you are a big spender.

Shopping is a personal thing that, again, varies enormously. On average, people spend anywhere between US$150 and US$350 on souvenirs, art, tailor-made clothes etc.

In addition you should carry sufficient funds for extra sightseeing and optional activities.

Airport Taxes

Peru

There are no departure taxes to be paid at Lima airport.

Tipping

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

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 S/5. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest S/10 per passenger per day.

Inca Trail Crew: If you trip includes the Inca Trek or Quarry Trek, we recommend budget for approximately S./140. Your leader and guide will assist determining how best to divide the total amongst porters and cooks.

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 S./3 to S/6 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 US$2-US$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 US$5-US$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 don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

 


while-you-are-travelling

On arrival

Please refer to your itinerary for the joining hotel name and address. Your final itinerary is provided approximately two weeks prior to departure.

If you have confirmed and paid for an airport transfer with us, please look for your driver in the arrivals area outside the customs hall. They will be holding a sign with your name on it and our company logo. Please ensure you see our logo on the sign. A scam has started recently at Lima Airport whereby touts have copied client names on to a piece of cardboard and then try to deceive the client into believing that they are the transfer driver. If you cannot see our driver, it is essential that you please call our local operator for assisstance:

Peru: PEAK Adventures

Office hours:

(511) 4772676

(511) 2499211

After hours:

+51 99605 5559 or +51 97009 4823

If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer you will find taxis available on arrival. On exiting the baggage claim area, look for the staff wearing green ties, and take one of the official airport taxis. Ask for the rate to Miraflores, the location of our joining hotel. Expect to pay US$20/50 soles.

Hotel Check In / Check Out

Generally, your room will be available from around midday. Sometimes it may be available mid-morning but this is in no way guaranteed. If your flight is scheduled to arrive in the early morning you may have to wait until your room becomes available. Alternatively you can book one night's pre-tour accommodation that will ensure that your room is ready whenever you arrive. Rooms must generally be vacated by 12 noon unless you have made prior arrangements with the hotel reception. If you want to keep your room for longer you may have to pay an additional charge.

Photo etiquette

Please ask first if you want to take someone's photograph. This is just a normal courtesy and if you are refused permission please abide by that person's wishes. At certain ancient sites, and in most museums, photography (video or still) may be forbidden, or may incur an extra charge for camera-use. Do not take photos of buildings, structures and personnel of potential military significance (including airports, bridges, and police stations).

Flexibility and patience

Travelling with us can provide you with some really rewarding travel experiences. Our tours visit countries where travel modes and lifestyles are often not as sophisticated as our own. There is also a laid-back attitude amongst workers and there will often seem to be huge amounts of red tape and bureaucracy when doing the simplest things. You will enjoy your trip much more if you slip into the rhythm of local life and are prepared to take things as they come.

A word on drugs

In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.

Local Prices

Peru

Costs in Peru are lower, on average, than those in developed countries, but higher than those in many neighboring countries. Lima and Cusco are the most expensive parts of the country. 1 litre of water US$1 30cl bottle of soft drink US$0.70 50cl bottle of beer US$1.70 Budget meal – US$2 to US$5


other-important-information

Amazon Jungle Leader - please note that your main tour leader will not continue with the group to the Amazon Jungle. Instead you will have the services of a specialist jungle guide, to assist with the jungle activities.

TREKKING IN PERU:

Very Important - Correct Passport Details: In order to obtain your permit to trek the Inca Trail it is vital that you provide Gecko's with accurate details of the passport you will be travelling on in Peru. If you are travelling on a different passport from what is shown on your permit, you will be refused entry at the entrance to the trail.

Sister Companies- Please note that if there are less than four people schedules for your trek to Macchu Picchu it is likely that you will be trekking with clients that have booked through one of our partner brands.

Book Early: The Peruvian Government has introduced strict quotas on the number of permits issued for hiking the ‘Classic’ Inca Trail route. These can often be sold out months in advance. To apply for your group’s permits, we will need your deposit, passport details and date of birth, so we ask that you book your holiday early. In the event that we are unable to obtain permits for the ‘Classic Trail' we will use the alternative 'Quarry Trail', an equally challenging trek culminating in a visit to Machu Picchu.

Meals during trek: Please note that we are unable to cater for those with a gluten intolerance (Coeliac) during the trek. Food labelling standards vary quite dramatically from country to country so it is not always safe to rely on ingredient labels in another country. Secondly, due to the remote nature of the trek and available cooking facilities, cross-contamination cannot always be fully avoided.

Typical meals during the trek: Breakfast (toast, fruit salad, ground corn tortillas, vegetable omelette, fried plantains), Snack (biscuits, tea, pop corn, chocolate bars, hot chocolate), Lunch (Vegetable soups, steamed trout, roast beef, quinoa grained, mashed or scalloped potatoes), Dinner (Chicken, rice, goulash, rosemary potatoes, chicken wrapped in tomato sauce)

Public Holiday Inconveniences: Please be prepared for the inconvenience of sights such as museums and churches being closed to tourists on public holidays (ie. Christmas Day and New Years Day). Throughout Latin America, quite a few museums are closed on Mondays.

Hotel Breakfasts: Breakfasts in Latin America are simple affairs. They consist of tea or coffee, fruit juice, bread rolls, butter and jam. Eggs and fruit are sometimes available on request, for a small charge.

Meal requests/ allergies: Please note - any special meal requests must be noted on your booking form when making your reservation. We may not be able to cater for any late requests advised on arrival.

 

Alternative Itineraries for this trip - Machu Picchu

Quarry Trek

In the event that trekking permits for the 'Classic' Inca Trail route are unavailable, we will use the 'Quarry' route. The Quarry Trail, is an exceptional alternative to the 'Classic' trail.

This trek has all the components you expect from an Intrepid operated hike in the South American Andes: it’s safe, landscapes are breathtaking, there are opportunities to interact with local communities and to visit smaller and less known Inca archaeological sites.The overall distance hiked on this trek is approximately 26km, the maximum altitude reached is 4,450 metres above sea level. Since permits are not required for this trek, there are no restrictions as when you book your trip.

INCA QUARRY TRAIL: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. It's 26km long in total. The tail's highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level.

Throughout the trek your gear (and camping gear) will be carried by horses (as opposed to porter).

The first two nights of the trek are spent camping and the third one at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. Tents are set up by the porters. Meals are prepared by the trek cook.

Day 1 - We leave Cusco early in the morning to drive to Ollantaytambo and onto Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas used to venerate the moon. A short drive from here takes us to Rafq'a, the starting point of our trek and where we meet the horsemen that will join us during the hike. After an approx. 1hr walk we reach the small community of Socma.

A further 60min walk takes to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout. This is a perfect opportunity to stop for photos and a snack.

From here we continue on to our campsite, at 3700 meters above sea level. All going well, we should reach our campsite by lunch time. After lunch we set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which used to serve as a check point during the times of the Incas

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Day 2 - This is the most challenging but most rewarding day of the hike. A 3hr walk takes us to the top of the first pass, known as Puccaqasa (approx 4370 meters). After enjoying the views of the valley below we walk down for 30min to our lunch spot.

Rested and full of energy again we take on a 2hr hike to the highest pass of the trek: Kuychicassa (4450 meters).

From here we head down for 2hr to a site the Incas called Inti Punku, (meaning Sun Gate - this is not the Sun Gate where you enter the Machu Picchu site) with imposing views over the valley bellow and the Veronica mountain raising over the horizon.

Our campsites is a stone throw away at Choquetacarpo (3600 metres)

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Day 3 - Day three is all downhill hiking. The first stop is at the Kachiqata quarry, where we witness the work the Incas could not complete due to the Spanish conquest.

Approximately at midday we finally arrive to the town of Kachiqata - the end of this challenging and fascinating trek.

From here we visit Ollantaytambo and in the afternoon we travel by train to Aguas Calientes. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to
spend a late afternoon/early evening. Tonight we overnight at a simple but comfortable hotel.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Day 4 - Today we take a very early bus (5:30am depending on weather conditions) along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes). In Machu Picchu we join the travellers who opted to hike the Classic Inca Trail option of this trip before taking on a guided walk of Machu Picchu.

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Non trekking Alternative – Machu Picchu by Train

The Inca Trail is a highlight of any visit to Peru and it is highly recommended to anybody who is up to the physical demands of a Moderate trek. For those people joining a trip who do not wish to join the four-day hike, we can make alternative arrangements that allow additional time in Cusco and return transport and accommodation to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Should you choose these alternative arrangements, the price for your holiday remains the same.

You must notify us at the time of booking if you wish to take this option, which replaces the 4 Day Inca Trail.

Day 1 & 2: Cusco

Your time in Cusco is your own. Accommodation will be provided for these two nights and breakfast is included. Your tour leader will not be available during this period as he or she will be trekking to Machu Picchu with the rest of the group.

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Day 3 & 4: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Your tour leader will have provided you with your return train ticket to Machu Picchu and your accommodation vouchers for your stay in Aguas Calientes. Please make your own way to the station to depart on the early morning train to Machu Picchu. The train trip will take approximately four hours to reach Aguas Calientes. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes you should check into your hotel. Please refer to your accommodation voucher for the hotel details. All of the hotels are a short walk from the railway station.

In order to visit the site of Machu Picchu, you will take a bus up the steep zig zagging road to the entrance of the ruins. The buses depart regularly. The ruins are open from 7am to 5pm daily and we will cover the cost of your return bus fare to the ruins and the entrance fee. The vouchers can be used the afternoon of Day 3, or the following morning on Day 4. If you wish to visit the ruins twice, the second visit will be at an additional cost of approximately USD $70 (paid locally).

Those in your group who have trekked the Inca Trail will arrive at the site around 7am on day 4. It is possible to arrange to meet up with the other members in your group at the ruins, to join a fully guided tour of this ancient and mystical Inca City. Before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, there is free time to explore the ruins at your own pace, soaking in the atmosphere. For the adventurous, you can climb to the top of Huayna Picchu, where you have the opportunity to see Machu Picchu from a unique vantage point. You can also make the short hike up to the Sun Gate for that classic photo of Machu Picchu.

In the afternoon of Day 4, we have time for lunch, before catching the train back to Cusco with your fellow trekkers.

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

 

daily-itin

River Deep, Mountain High, Jungle Very Jungly

Trip Length

Trip Code

15 days

GSAI

 

Countries Visited

Peru

 

Start City

End City

Lima

Lima

 

DAY 1: LIMA

Meals included: 1 breakfast

You've got two days to see Lima. Try to find a chifa restaurant - a fusion of Peruvian and Chinese food. It's delicious.

Day 1

  • Arrive in Lima, pre-departure meeting is at 2pm.
  • Orientation walk with tour leader.

DAY 2-3: PUERTO MALDONATO- AMAZON JUNGLE

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Take a boat down the Tambopata River to our jungle lodge. Your local guide will point out the weird and wonderful, like the lipstick tree, voodoo lily and misshapen penis plant.

Day 2

  • Fly to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the Peruvian Amazon
  • Take a two-hour boat trip to the jungle lodge
  • Head into the jungle with a guide and learn about the Amazon's wildlife, jungle food and flora and fauna

Day 3

  • Wake early and take a boat ride in search of giant river otters, caimen, hoatzin and wading birds
  • Journey to indigenous Indian farmlands
  • Optional evening presentation on the Infierno Ecotourism project

DAY 4-5: CUSCO

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Treat yourself to a bit of "me time". Make friends with the juice ladies at San Pedro market, get a massage, or find a bakery that sells borrachitos - chocolate cupcakes soaked in pisco (maybe wait until after breakfast for this one).

Day 4

  • Flight back to Cusco
  • Trek briefing with guide

Day 5

  • Take a walking tour of central Cusco
  • Explore Cusco and see the local sights during free time

DAY 6-10: INCA TREK- MACHU PICCHU -CUSCO

Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Imagine the look on Hiram Bingham's face when he stumbled across Machu Picchu in 1911. Old Hiram was an academic and senator from America so it was probably the single most exciting thing that happened in his life.

Day 6

  • Gaze upon massive Inca fortifications in Ollantaytambo 
  • Begin the Inca trek
  • Hike past the ancient hilltop fort of Huillca Raccay and the archaeological site of Llactapata
  • Stunning views of snow-capped Veronica Peak
  • Camp near the village of Wayllabamba

Day 7

  • The most difficult part of the trek - Dead Woman’s Pass
  • Panoramas of the Vilcanota and Vilcabama mountain ranges, and ruins in the valley below
  • Camp with a view over the cloud forest

Day 8

  • Climb up to the ruins of Runkuracay
  • Continue up the Inca staircase 
  • Spectacular views of Pumasillo and the entire Vilcabamba range
  • Enter the beautiful cloud forest

Day 9

  • The final, and most spectacular, leg of the trek to Machu Picchu 
  • Arrive at Inti Punku, the Gateway of the Sun
  • Experience a panoramic view of Machu Picchu at sunrise
  • Explore Machu Picchu on a guided tour
  • Return to Cusco by train

DAY 10: CUSCO

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Just relax and rest your weary legs, which should be looking quite svelte by this stage of the trip. Bonus.

  • Relax or spend free time exploring Cusco's many markets, museums, eateries and local sights

DAY 11-13: PUNO- LAKE TITICACCA- PUNO

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Take a bus to Puno on the shoes of Lake Titicaca. Stay with a local family on the island of Amantani. This is one of the more remote islands so prepare yourself for a 'real' house with a lot of mod-cons (ie no hairdryer).

Day 11

  • Take a bus to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, arrive early afternoon

Day 12

  • Take a boat across Lake Titicaca to the Uros' floating reed islands
  • Enjoy a homestay on Amantani Island

Day 13

  • Indulge in a breakfast with your host family
  • Board an afternoon boat back to Puno

DAY 14-15: LIMA

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

  • Fly into Lima and make the most of stacks of free time. Head to the Plaza de Armas for culture and treat your eyeballs to some Inca ruins, then why not head to the Larcomar, a food, shopping and entertainment complex. It's disgustingly commercial, but those ocean views make it for it. Tell us we're wrong.
  • Fly back to Lima, transfer to hotel
  • Explore the Peruvain Capital further
  • Trip ends on Day 15 after breakfast, no activities planned so departure flights can be at any time

 

about-this-re-departure-inf

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

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Your feedback is important to us and to our tour guides and helps shape the quality of our trips. It tells us what we're doing right, what you believe could be done better and what improvements you feel could help future travellers choose and enjoy Imaginative Traveller.Just go to http://on.fb.me/16wYISa for our easy to fill out form. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

Last Updated

7 April 2014

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