The Tour Price displayed here is for the tour only and does not include international flights. Our flight prices are very competitive, please ask for a quote when making your bookingAll departures for this trip are guaranteed.
This trip is an overland trip run in an overland truck. In addition to paying for your trip, you're require to make a separate payment to your tour leader at the start of the trip, usually in USD. Kitties are flexible and change as prices are updated. Therefore you should check the latest kitty amount on this website before you depart.
A kitty is a group fund which covers all accommodation, meals while camping (not in hotels) and activities listed as included. It's a system unique to overlanding to provide the maximum flexibility and best value on the road (you get everything at cost price!). The kitty is your money, not ours, so any amount left over is divided among the group as a refund.Close
|Trip Code||Start Date||End Date||Currency||Kitty|
|Saturday 22 Jun 2013||Saturday 29 Jun 2013|
|Saturday 06 Jul 2013||Saturday 13 Jul 2013|
|Saturday 17 Aug 2013||Saturday 24 Aug 2013|
|Saturday 31 Aug 2013||Saturday 07 Sep 2013|
|Saturday 14 Sep 2013||Saturday 21 Sep 2013|
|Saturday 28 Sep 2013||Saturday 05 Oct 2013|
|Saturday 12 Oct 2013||Saturday 19 Oct 2013|
|Saturday 26 Oct 2013||Saturday 02 Nov 2013|
|Saturday 09 Nov 2013||Saturday 16 Nov 2013|
|Saturday 23 Nov 2013||Saturday 30 Nov 2013|
|Saturday 07 Dec 2013||Saturday 14 Dec 2013|
|Saturday 14 Dec 2013||Saturday 21 Dec 2013|
|Saturday 21 Dec 2013||Saturday 28 Dec 2013|
|Saturday 04 Jan 2014||Saturday 11 Jan 2014|
|Saturday 18 Jan 2014||Saturday 25 Jan 2014|
|Saturday 01 Feb 2014||Saturday 08 Feb 2014|
|Saturday 15 Feb 2014||Saturday 22 Feb 2014|
|Saturday 01 Mar 2014||Saturday 08 Mar 2014|
|Saturday 15 Mar 2014||Saturday 22 Mar 2014|
|Saturday 29 Mar 2014||Saturday 05 Apr 2014|
|Saturday 12 Apr 2014||Saturday 19 Apr 2014|
|Saturday 26 Apr 2014||Saturday 03 May 2014|
|Saturday 10 May 2014||Saturday 17 May 2014|
|Saturday 24 May 2014||Saturday 31 May 2014|
|Saturday 07 Jun 2014||Saturday 14 Jun 2014|
|Saturday 21 Jun 2014||Saturday 28 Jun 2014|
Peru is home to some of South Americas most glorious landmarks, and the opportunity to partake in an activity seem endless.
The capital is Lima and it is known of the City of the Kings, it was founded by the Conquistador Pizarro in 1535. The elegant architecture runs through the capital and the cultural effects of the museums are all tucked away in this classic city.
Any introduction to Peru wouldn't be complete without the Inca civilisation. Cusco is the ancient capital of the Inca empire. Even today, many of its buildings have original Inca stonework as part of their structure. The Incas had a highly organised and labour intensive society. They managed to conquer vast tracts of land and, through strong central and regional government, retained control over an empire that spanned South America, from mid Colombia in the north, to the middle of Argentina in the south and lasted for over four centuries.
The most famous Inca legacy is undoubtedly the Inca Trail the ancient set of pathway in the Andes that include the route up to the fantastic site of Machu Picchu. You can trek through the countryside making your way through the unspoilt land and view the breathtaking scenery that carries on to the horizon and beyond. When you reach Machu Picchu you will realise what a beautiful place it is, no photograph can really do the site justice. The long forgotten site was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and is simply awe inspiring and is a must visit place in South America.
Peru is flowing with fabulous landscapes and this continues at Lake Titicaca. On the border of Peru and Bolivia it is the highest navigable lake in the world. In the culture of Lake Titicaca, comes the sound of panpipes. An Andean music form, this woodwind instrument plays tranquil sounds and is a nice form of relaxation. The Charango is the national instrument of Peru. This stringed instrument was from a Spanish influence and has a distinctive sound. The taste is as distinctive as the sound and the national dish of Ceviche. This is a fish based dish where the fish is 'cooked' in lemon or lime juice.
The history and sites of Peru are outstanding, but also the friendly welcome visitors receive make Peru one of the most enjoyable countries in the world to visit.
Wander through Miraflores, an upscale district of Lima known for its shopping malls and gardens.
Please ensure you arrive in time for the important welcome meeting at 4pm. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information.
Tomorrow your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima so there is no need for you to visit downtown prior to the trip.
For those who arrive early we recommend that you take a tour to Pachacamac (30km from downtown Lima), or visit the Museo de la Nacion, Museum of the Inquisition, Gold Museum, or Archaeological Museum.
Located in the heart of cosmopolitan Miraflores, our hotel has comfortable rooms with private bathrooms, hot shower, cable TV and minbar.
Lima is a city of hidden beauty. Dive in and explore the Peruvian capital's streets, parks and plazas and you will discover a real gem of a city. Infact there's so much to see here, a city tour is a great opportunity to find out about more about the rich history of Lima itself and Peru as a whole. The city was founded by Conquistador Pizarro in 1535 and was originally the administrative centre for Spain’s Vice royalty in South America, making it the continent’s most important city for nearly three centuries. It became a city of great wealth financed by the massive quantities of gold and silver that were mined in the area.
Whilst you are here there are many museums you can visit, such as the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum, which showcase the finest artefact's from the country's many ancient civlisations. You can also visit the finely preserved catacombs at the Church of San Francisco, and take in a bit of local culture at an evening folklore show.
Stroll around Lima before heading down the coast to Pisco.
An important port town, Pisco is the gateway to the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas National Reserve. Sometimes called the 'Galapagos of Peru', the islands are a haven for wildlife and hundreds of pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos, sea lions and even penguins.
After the earthquake of August 2007, the town is in the process of reconstruction and getting its lively spirit back, starting with the main pedestrian avenue. Look for a restaurant in which to sample Pisco Sour, Peru's famed national drink, or for some local food specialties head to the Plaza de Armas where the locals hang out and munch on tejas, small sweets made from nuts and dried fruits.
Take an optional boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, then view the enigmatic Nazca Lines. Visit the desert cemetery of Chauchilla to see mummified bodies.
The Ballestas Islands are reached by speedboat and a visit lasts approximately 1-1.5 hours. Between June and September the port may be closed by the Peruvian Navy due to adverse weather. In thise case an optional land tour to the National Reserve of Paracas will be offered instead.
After the optional excursion we continue on to Nazca by tourist bus (approx. 3 hours), stopping en route at the oasis of Huacachina. Here, sand dunes are at their most dramatic and offer endless photography and sandboarding opportunities.
We stay overnight in Nazca in a hotel with fan cooled ensuite rooms. The hotel has a swimming pool and a restaurant and is about 5 blocks from the main square.
Your afternoon on day 4 is free before we take an overnight bus to Arequipa (approx. 9-10 hours).
Nazca is home to the famous and enigmatic Nazca lines, enormous designs inscribed in the Desert on the arid high plateau between Nazca and Palpa. Many of the lines form stylised depictions of animals, for example you can make out llamas, monkeys, sharks and spiders, as well as trees and other designs.
Archaeologists believe the lines were created between 200BC and 700AD by three successive, different civilisations. The global importance of the region is reflected in UNESCO's declaration of the Nazca lines as a World Heritage Site in 1994. You can view the lines from viewing towers or take a flight in a small plane to see them from above.
Important - Flight over the Nazca Lines - As of November 2010 some western countries' travel advisories advise against this optional activity due to concerns around proper aircraft safety and maintenance standards not being reliably adhered to. For more information please refer to your country's travel advice website. Please note that due to Dragoman's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
Close to Nazca is the Chauchilla Indian Cemetery, where you can see the tombs of people of the ancient Nazca civilisation, dating from 100AD to 700AD. It is something of an eerie sight to see the skulls, bones and even hair of the dead, preserved in a remarkable state thanks to the dry desert air.
Explore this attractive town, nicknamed the 'White City'.
The overnight bus arrives in Arequipa about 8am. Hotel check-in is not until noon however they can store our luggage for us.
After a wander around town with your leader, he or she will suggest a Picanteria (local restaurant) where you might like to sample a typical lunch.
Situated on the Peruvian Altiplano, Arequipa sits at almost 3500 meters above sea level and is the second largest city in the country. Set against the stunning backdrop of the snow-covered volcano "El Misti", salt lakes, thermal springs and high-altitude deserts, the landscape of the area around Arequipa truly unique. If you have time, it's possible to arrange mountain-biking and rafting trips in the area as day tours from the city - and at certain times of year you can even try for an ascent of El Misti itself, though it's not an easy trek at these altitudes, so not for the faint hearted.
The city itself is very beautiful, full of beautiful colonial buildings built out of the soft white volcanic rock that is found in the area. As a university town, there is always a lively buzz about the place and there are plenty of good bars and restaurants to discover.
No trip to Arequipa would be complete without paying a visit to Juanita, the "Ice Maiden." This mummy of a young Inca girl has been described as one of the 10 most important historical discoveries of recent times by Time Magazine. Because the body was frozen at such low temperatures and high altitude, a really extensive study into the physical health of ancient Peruvian civilisations has been possible, with fascinating results. You should also try to visit the Santa Catalina Convent, which is almost a city within a city in the centre of the town. Not only are the buildings of the convent stunningly beautiful, with brightly painted walls and shady courtyards, it also has a fascinating history which you can learn about on a guided tour.
Soak in the thermal baths of Chivay, then try and spot a majestic Andean condor while exploring Colca Canyon. Learn about local life during a homestay.
Starting after breakfast, we travel by minivan to Chivay (approx. 5 hours). Along the way you'll see llamas, alpacas and vicunas and will be able to stop for pictures. At our second stop you will also have the option to try coca tea. Our last stop is at Patapampa (4,800m above sea level and the highest place on the tour) before descending to Chivay town (3,600m above sea level) and head to the hotel to check-in.
More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon provides some breathtaking views. The Incan and pre-Incan terraces that are carved into the walls are still cultivated and traditional Indian villages are dotted throughout the canyon.
In the afternoon, after an optional lunch, your local guide will organise a short trek, finishing at the local hot thermal baths. You may like to spend the evening soaking in the local hot thermal baths of Chivay, or dining on llama steak or listening to live Andean music at a pena.
Tonight's accommodation in Chivay is in a basic hostel. There are en suite toilets, however there is no heating (extra blankets can be requested) and some rooms can be noisy.
The main star of the canyon is not the amazing scenery, but the Andean condor, the world's largest flying bird, and this is the best place in the world to spot one. After a very early wake-up we take a bus from Chivay to a viewpoint where you will be able to see the condors. After viewing the condors the guide will organise a short trek to explore the magnificent canyon.
In the afternoon we will meet our host family for a one-night homestay. You may wish to offer to help your host family with their local daily activities such as planting, collecting water, peeling potatoes, or preparing the family meal.
The Colca community homestay is also very basic with shared family toilets and no shower. There is however a proper bed with extra blankets and a basic local breakfast included.
Chivay is a small town nestled in the hills at the base of the Colca Canyon. The River Colca runs from high in the Andes right down to the Pacific, and between Chivay and Cabanaconde it flows through the bottom of a deep gorge, often claimed to be the deepest in the world. It is certainly spectacularly beautiful, the vast Andean terraces tower up over the canyon, dotted by tiny villages that haven't changed in centuries. The canyon is also renowned as a haven for condors and they can often be seen here at quite close range as they float on the rising thermals and scan for carrion far below. Catching a glimpse of these magnificent birds as they rise from their nests, gliding high above you is a truly magical experience and one you will never forget.
Chivay is also home to some natural hot springs that provide a welcome relief from the cold night air high up here in the Andes. The springs are known as "La Calera" and are located just a short distance outside the town.
Travel to Puno, on the shores of magnificent Lake Titicaca. Take a tour of the lake, visit the Uros floating islands, buy handmade woollens on Taquile Island and be welcomed by locals on a homestay.
On day 8 we say goodbye to our host families and may take an easy morning trek from the community back to Chivay along an old Inca trail (2hrs, from Canocota only). Travelling by bus we head to Patahuasi (approx. 4 hours) and there change to a bus to Puno (approx. 5 hours).
Travel through the dramatic scenery of the high Altiplano to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The town of Puno is also famous for its traditional dances and if you're fortunate enough to be here on a Catholic feast day, watch as the locals perform one of the 100 styles in a street procession.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820m (12,562ft) above sea level. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored. We have the opportunity to tour the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros built the islands from many layers of totora reeds to isolate themselves from 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.
Boarding the boat again, this time we travel to our homestay at a lake community. Play soccer with the locals, help out with their daily activities or try to have a chat in the local language, Quechua. Basic lunch and dinner are provided today.
Our homestay is a mudbrick house. Rooms have beds and many blankets, there are shared drop toilets and there are no showers.
A short distance away (1 hour by boat) is Taquile Island, our excursion on day 10. Here knitting is strictly in the male domain and women do the spinning. This is a great place to pick up some high quality, locally knitted goods. A trek uphill (1 hour) will bring you to the main area of the island. After the visit we descend about 500 steps to board the boat back to Puno (approx 3 hours).
Explore Cuzco, the continent's oldest, continuously inhabited city. Sample the unique-tasting coca tea.
This morning travel by local bus to Cusco (approx. 6 hours). Upon arrival in Cusco city, we transfer to the hotel.
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. Incan-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Incan foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for optional explorations into the Incan world and a range of outdoor activities.
Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,400m (11,150ft) altitude and explore the many baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. The cathedral, built on top of an Incan 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 gold-covered Renaissance altar. Also worth visiting are the churches of La Compania, La Merced and San Blas.
There are several impressive Incan ruins within the city, the most easily accesseible being Coricancha, which was the Incan Empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spaniards built a Dominican Church atop its sturdy walls. The stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman is also worth a visit. 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.
Your leader will take you on a a walking tour of Cuzco including the Coca Muesum as well as a visit to the San Pedro market.
Days 12 and 13 are free to explore and get to know the city. Some recommended options are a visit to the ruins of Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo or Tambomachay in the area surrounding Cusco, or for lunch or mid-morning coffee and cake head to Yanapay restaurant on 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 http://yanapay.facipub.com/
Learn about local traditions at a community in the Sacred Valley and visit Ollantaytambo, a magnificent example of Inca urban planning.
We travel by private bus (approx 1-1.5 hours total driving today) through the Sacred Valley, on the outskirts of Cuzco. Known as Vilcamayo by the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.
We will head off to a community along the Valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities, and if our visit coincides with market day we can spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practising some of the local language, Quechua.
After our visit we will continue our journey to Ollantaytambo, the most popular town of the valley, situated at 2,792m above sea level, where houses have been built over an ancient Inca town and that still has the remains of an Incan fortress popular in historical Incan stories.
We spend the night in Ollantaytambo at the far end of the valley. This geometrically perfect town is a magnificent example of Incan urban planning. It is especially admired for the huge terraces that guard the great temple-fortress that clings to cliffs. This is one of the few places the Incas defeated the Spanish. You may take the option to visit the Ollantaytambo ruins.
Soak in the natural hot springs that gave Aguas Calientes its name, then be overwhelmed by the unforgettable sight of mystical Machu Picchu.
On day 15, after a train ride (approx. 90 minutes) through the winding Urubamba Valley, we spend the day in Aguas Calientes, nestled in the hills at the foot of Machu Picchu. While away the afternoon in the natural hot springs that give the town its name.
Early in the morning (5:30am) of day 16 we take a bus up to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes) and are joined by a guide who will take us through the ruins. Looking down 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.
While it is thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There is plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities the enormous stone walls provide, it is time to return to Cuzco. We travel by train back to Ollantaytambo (approx. 90 minutes) and then minibus to Cuzco (approx. 90 minutes).
The ruins of this forgotten city are stunningly located, perching high in the Andes surrounded by verdant cloud forest, with the river Urambamba running through the gorge far below. Hidden away on a ridge between the mountains, Machu Picchu is invisible from below, so it's no surprise it's ruins remained a secret for so many years. Historians believe the city was probably completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed all it's inhabitants and watered by natural springs. It's thought that the city was the location of a royal palace and estate, home to the Inca emperors, or possibly a sacred religious and ceremonial sight.
Discovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham, although the ruins were heavily covered by dense jungle foliage, many of the buildings were well preserved and in excellent condition. The city consists of more than 200 buildings, from houses to temples, storage buildings and public spaces. It's fascinating to be able to gaze down on the city from above and imagine how it would have looked during the height of the Inca empire.
Check out the sights of atmospheric Cuzco.
Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cuzco's sights. Relax at a cafe on Plaza de Armas. For those who can't get enough active adventure there are plenty of opportunities to go mountain biking, horse riding or white water rafting on the Urubamba River.
Explore the jungle on a guided walk through the Amazon.
We take an early 30 minute flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take us to their office in town where you will leave most of your luggage at a safe storage and continue traveling with a small pack with he necessary items for the next 2 nights in the jungle. We then take a motorized canoe up river to our jungle lodge.
Depending on our flight arrival time, we will have lunch on board the canoe as we travel to our lodge in the Madre de Dios Area.
We head out into the jungle with our local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. The guides can also teach us about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants.
After exploring the wilds to your heart's content, it is time to jump back on the canoe and return to Lima.
The lodge is eco-friendly and combines low-impact architecture with traditional native style. Rooms are simple, but comfortable with flush toilets (en-suite), showers (cold water only), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps for light.
Head into Lima's centre to discover more of the history and traditions of old Peru.
We return to Lima by plane (approx. 2 hours) for a final night on the town.
Depart at any time on day 21. Check out from the hotel is at noon however you can ask at reception if they will store your bags.
The itinerary attached is correct at time of printing. Please note: occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. Our brochure is usually released in November each year. As such the information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It is 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. For the latest updated trip notes please visit our website: www.imaginative-traveller.com
This is a list of included activities on this trip. All other activities are optional and at your own expense. For a list of optional activities and sightseeing available on this trip, see the optional activities section below. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Leader led tour of downtown Lima
Huacachina - enroute to Nazca
Chauchilla desert cemetery - Nazca
La Calera hot springs - Colca Canyon
Andean condor viewpoint - Colca Canyon
Homestay - Colca community
Boat trip including Uros Islands and Taquile Island - Lake Titicaca
Homestay - Lake Titicaca
Leader led tour of Cuzco
Sacred Valley community visit - enroute to Ollantaytambo
Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes
Flight from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado
2 night excursion - Amazon Jungle
Flight from Puerto Maldonado to Lima
We list the following optional activities for your information. This is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only.
They are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Imaginative Traveller nor included in price of this trip. If you do any of them, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and does not form part of your contract with Imaginative Traveller.
City tour, Lima - US$25
San Francisco Church and catacombs, Lima - US$2
Pachacamac tour (30 km away from downtown), Lima - USD30 (plus PEN7 entrance fee)
Museo de la Nacion, Lima - PEN7
Museum of the Inquisition, Lima - Free
Gold Museum, Lima - PEN35
Archaeological Museum, Lima â“ PEN11 (guide fee PEN15)
Ballestas Island tour, Pisco - PEN35 (plus PEN1 pier tax)
Sand board rental, Huacachina - PEN5
Flight over the Nazca Lines, Nazca - As at November 2010 some western countries' travel advisories advise against this optional activity due to concerns around proper aircraft safety and maintenance standards not being reliably adhered to. For more information please refer to your country's travel advice website. Please note that due to Imaginative Traveller's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
Convento Santa Catalina, Arequipa - PEN30
Juanita Museum, Arequipa - PEN15
Sillustani archaeological site, Puno - US$10
Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket - full ticket), Cuzco - PEN130
Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket - half ticket), Cuzco - PEN70
City tour, Cuzco - US$10
Horse riding around ruins, Cuzco - From US$35
White water rafting, Cuzco - US$25
Mountain biking, Cuzco - US$35
Museo Inka, Cuzco - US$4
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout Peru. National strikes can be called in at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. Imaginative Traveller 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 or the entire emergency fund. Please read below for more information on this trip's emergency fund.
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information. On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
Days 6-7 Colca Canyon
Day 9 Lake Titicaca
Days 18-19 Amazon Jungle
Maximum of 12 travellers per group
Simple hotels (15 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts), homestay (2 nts), overnight bus (1 nt)
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we are arriving prior to normal check in time. However this is not always possible which means we will not be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
If you have purchased pre or post trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
Due to energy supply and timing provisions being limited in some places, please be prepared for some cold showers.
While travelling with us you will experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialties so you don't miss out. 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 together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Please check the 'meal inclusions' section of these notes for details of meals included.
Allow USD $360 for meals not included.
19 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Please note breakfasts are often simple (bread, butter, jam, coffee/tea and juice would be most common).
Plane, train, overnight bus, minibus, boat, canoe, local bus
Our overnight buses have reclinable seats (usually more comfortable than plane economy seats!). You may be offered a simple dinner on board or stop at a service station to buy snacks and drinks. Before boarding an overnight bus, it's always a good idea to have music, a book, water and some snacks ready.
All Imaginative Traveller Latin America group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, an Imaginative Traveller representative or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Imaginative Traveller endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. They 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Please note, there may be an alternative joining point location depending on your date of departure as we are occasionally unable to confirm all departures at the same hotel. Please carefully read the details about your joining point below and note any alternative joining point details for your particular trip.
Hotel Buena Vista Lima
202 Grimaldo del Solar St
Trips departing on Thursdays will start at Hotel Buena Vista Lima.
The best way to get from Lima's International Airport Jorge Chavez to Lima city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxis counters. We can recommend you to take Taxi Green services. They will charge you 40-45 soles for a trip to Miraflores. The following will be useful in getting to the hotel:
Por favor lleveme al Hostal Buena Vista, que se encuentra en la Calle Grimaldo del Solar 202 en Miraflores, a una cuadra del cruce de Avenida Benavides con Via Expresa.
Trips departing on Saturdays will depart from Hostel Inka Path.
Hostel Inka Path
654 Jiron de la Union
Phone: (+51-1) 426 1919
The best way to get from Lima's International Airport Jorge Chavez to Lima city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxis counters. We can recommend you to take Taxi Green services. They will charge you 40-45 soles for a trip to Lima’s downtown. The following will be useful in getting to the hotel: Por favor lleveme al Hostal Inka Path, que se encuentra en Jiron de la Union 654 con Avenida Emancipacion en el centro de Lima.
Trips departing on 23rd and 30th April 2011 will begin at Hostal Los Girasoles.
Hostal Los Girasoles
Av. Diez Canseco 696
(near the corner of Av. Larco c.7)
Phone: (51 1) 446-6075
Fax: (51 1) 241-1119
Located in the heart of Miraflores, one of the most traditional quarters of Lima, this hotel presents a modern architecture. It counts with 23 carpeted and comfortable rooms with private bathroom, hot shower, cable TV and minbar.
Other services are:
- Laundry service
- Safe box (at front desk)
The best way to get from Lima's Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chavez to Lima city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxis booth, which will charge around US$30 for a trip to Miraflores. Cheaper taxis can be found in the inside the parking lot but the drivers may not speak English. The following will be useful in getting to the hotel Por favor lleveme al Hostal Los Girasoles, que se encuentra en Avenida Diez Canseco 696, cercano al cruce de la Vía Expresa y el Puente Diez Canseco, en Miraflores.
The trip departing on 14th May 2011 will depart from Hostal El Faro Inn.
Hostal El Faro Inn
857 Francia St.
Phone: (+51) (1) 242 0339
The best way to get from Lima's International Airport Jorge Chavez to Lima city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxis. We recommend you take the green taxi (Taxi Verde) services. They will charge you 40-45 soles for a trip to Miraflores. The following will be useful in getting to the hotel: Por favor lleveme al Hostal El Faro Inn, que se encuentra en Calle Francia 857 en Miraflores, a dos cuadras del Faro de Miraflores.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you!) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your trip leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in the Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Please note, there may be an alternative finishing point location depending on your date of departure. Please pay close attention to the alternative details listed below.
Hotel Buena Vista Lima
202 Grimaldo del Solar St
Trips departing on Thursdays will finish at Hotel Buena Vista Lima.
Trips departing on Saturdays will finish at Hostel Inka Path
Hostel Inka Path
654 Jiron de la Union
Phone: (+51-1) 426 1919
Trips departing on 23rd and 30th April 2011 will finish at Hostal Los Girasoles.
Hostal Los Girasoles
Av. Diez Canseco 696
(near the corner of Av. Larco c.7)
Phone: (51 1) 446-6075
Fax: (51 1) 241-1119
Located in the heart of Miraflores, one of the most traditional quarters of Lima, this hotel presents a modern architecture. It counts with 23 carpeted and comfortable rooms with private bathroom, hot shower, cable TV and minbar.
Other services are:
- Laundry service
- Safe box (at front desk)
The trip departing on 14th May 2011 will finish at Hostal El Faro Inn.
Hostal El Faro Inn
857 Francia St.
Phone: (+51) (1) 242 0339
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our local Operations Office can be reached on Tel: +51 99605 5559. For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open during normal office hours Mon-Fri on 01728 885561.
We also have a dedicated 24hr telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.
If your flight is delayed or cancelled please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked.
Please also make sure you have access to an additional USD$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself.
A visa is not required by British, Canadian, USA, Australian and Irish nationals entering Peru for a period of up to 90 days.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
Laundry facilities are available in most cities we visit. It's normally charged per kilo (around $3 per kilo). There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you will not be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes) we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg/22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for daytrips.
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. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by bringing and using a water purification method. Some of the options are:
Water 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.
Please be aware the maximum luggage allowance on domestic flights is 20kg check and 5kg hand luggage. Any excess luggage expense will be your own responsibility.
As a multi-geographical country, Peru can have very diverse weather. The wet season (approx November to March) is characterised by rain and average temperatures in the highlands; heat and humidity in the central coast; and rain, heat and humidity in the jungle. The dry season (April to September) can be freezing in the highlands, cold in the coastal zone, and could present some cold fronts in the jungle. It is recommended that you bring thermals, scarf, gloves, and a warm jacket for travel in the dry season. Most of our guesthouses do not have heating, as this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and local towns.
During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live.
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 following checklist is to be used as a guide only and is not intended to be a complete packing list. Any other items that you wish to pack are at your own discretion however you should attempt to comply with the suggested luggage weight limit.
Travel documents: passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, Imaginative Traveller voucher
Health requirements arranged
Any Vaccination Certificates required
Money: traveller's cheques/cash/credit card and money pouch
Day pack to carry your personal needs during the day
First aid kit
Medication/prescriptions (it is a good idea to have a doctors letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication), travel sickness tablets if required
Prescription glasses and contact lens solution if required
Torch/flashlight. Some nights are spent at sites without electricity, such as home stays, Inca and Lares treks, Amazon jungle, Salar de Uyuni, etc. We recommend you to take a proper outdoor/camping type of flashlights, as opposed to regular house type of flashlights.
Travel plug/international adapter
Refillable water bottle and water purification method
Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
Lightweight travel towel
Ear plugs/eye mask
Comfortable walking shoes
Local language phrase book
Camera, film and/or memory cards with spare batteries
Personal audio player with spare batteries
Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money - 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 US$100 per day.
It is also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US dollars are the most readily changeable currency.
US$100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.
Peruvian banks are allowed to reject dollar bills which are old, torn (more than one centimetre) and which have too many stamps on them. Please make sure you do not accept bills with these problems as they are hard to use.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US$ since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency.
Please allow approximately US$4 for each domestic departure tax and US$31 for international departure tax from Lima.
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend email. Email cafes are generally available throughout the regions we visit, although it is possible you may be without email contact for several days on some itineraries. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact your local booking agent, or refer to our emergency contact details. We don't recommend that family and friends try to contact you through hotels, as they are subject to change and the reception staff may not speak English.
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 partner 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 if you may 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.
All Imaginative Travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in the group travel experience. If in the opinion of our group leader or company representative any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Imaginative Traveller reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. We therefore ask that you read the itinerary in these trip notes thoroughly and then realistically self-assess your physical ability to complete the trip as described. Please consult with your doctor if you have any doubts.
You should consult your doctor with a complete list of countries you intend to visit to get up-to-date information regarding vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements or medications for any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst travelling in Latin America.
Proof of Yellow Fever inoculation (Yellow Card) is a mandatory requirement for citizens of some countries when entering Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru.
This card may be required by your airlines before allowing you boarding a flight to above mentioned countries.
Customs officials may require you to provide a valid Yellow Card on your way back home.
Yellow Fever vaccination must be applied at least 10 days prior to your departure date.
The World Health Organisation has countries in Latin America registered as zones affected by Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Cholera, Rabies and Malaria.
We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons leaders/guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
If you have a pre existing medical condition, please make sure you discuss it with your doctor and be aware of the way altitude may exacerbate your condition.
**Please note that this trip spends time above 2800 metres/9200 feet where it is possible to experience some adverse effects on your health due to the altitude, potentially including Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).
Because of this it is very important that you make yourself aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude and monitor your health during this 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.
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 will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group 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 Imaginative Traveller itinerary, and Imaginative Traveller makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Please be aware that while travelling there is the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy areas. 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, including keeping an eye on any luggage that is put underneath the seats or on overhead racks. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware on the roads and even small streets and alleyways. Vehicles find their ways into impossibly small passages leaving no room for both you and the traffic.
In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.
The availability of seat belts in vehicles (both privately chartered and public transport) is not a legal requirement in this region/country and is therefore not guaranteed on the transport that we use. Where possible Imaginative Travellerchooses transport with seat belts however this is not always possible.
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities differ from those in the western world and not all the accommodation which we use on this trip has smoke alarms, balconies that measure up to standard dimensions, fenced pools or an easily accessed second exit in case of fire. Please consider this issue when booking your trip
Your leader will conduct a brief safety discussion before our trekking activity.
Altitude sickness has the potential to affect all people from 2500m and higher. Please see the Health section of these trip notes for more information.
While life jackets are available on water craft, there may be occasions where child size life jackets are not readily available.
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 group trip, you will not 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 tour leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the Bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
We highly recommend the Imaginative Traveller insurance which is tailored specifically for adventure travel and covers ALL activities featured in any of our tours. For more details please go to www.imaginative-travellert.com/travel-insurance.
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.
Please note that 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.
Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 12
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip, in accommodation ranging from twin to multi-share. Please note some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis - where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of trips you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you will have your own room (where available). Please refer to the important notes if this trip has a single supplement and any accommodation on the trip that the single supplement will not apply to. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour, pre- and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
• It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
• We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
• Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Imaginative Traveller. Our 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.
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