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.
The Plaza Mayor, in the heart of Lima?s historic centre, is an excellent place to begin explorations of the Peruvian capital. Nearby, the Museo de la Inquisicion offers an insight into the Spanish Inquisition and the beautiful Monasterio de San Francisco houses some fascinating catacombs and interesting art.
Please ensure you arrive in time for the important welcome meeting at 2pm. 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. This will be followed by a leader led walking tour of downtown Lima and an optional group dinner, a great time to try the local specialties.
For those who arrive early, we recommend you take a walk around Miraflores. Go from
Located in the cosmopolitan district of Miraflores, our hotel is comfortable and has ensuite rooms and a restaurant and bar attached.
•Gold Museum, Lima - PEN35.00
•Museo de la Nacion, Lima - PEN10.00
•Pachacamac Tour (30 km from downtown), Lima - USD37.00
Hotel (1 nt)
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.
Be seduced by the charms of Cuzco on a walking tour. Take the chance to taste coca tea at a local market.
An early morning flight takes us to
In the afternoon your leader will take you on a a walking tour of
Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,400m (11,150ft) and explore the many baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. The cathedral, built on top of an Inca palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas,
There are several impressive Inca ruins within the city, the most easily accessed being Coricancha, once the Inca Empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spaniards built a
We stay in a hotel in the heart of
•Leader-led walking tour
•Boleto turistico (full ticket), Cuzco - PEN130.00
•Cathedral, Cuzco - Free
•City tour, Cuzco - USD10.00
•Coricancha, Cuzco - PEN10.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Travel through the Sacred Valley to learn about the local lifestyle. Browse colourful markets for traditional handicrafts and pick up a few words of the Quechua language during a community visit. Spend the night in Ollantaytambo - a magnificent example of geometric Inca urban planning.
We will head to a community in 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 the visit to the community we drive to Ollantaytambo, the biggest town in the Valley, situated at 2,792m above sea level. Depending on arrival time, you may be able to visit the local Inca terraces and fortress (optional).
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.
•Sacred Valley community visit
•Ollantaytambo ruins, Ollantaytambo - PEN30.00
Hotel (1 nt)
Slip into hiking boots and trek the iconic trail that once linked the Inca Empire. The ancient paths wind around mountains, across high plateaus, through dense cloud forest and past temple ruins. Climb over challenging mountain passes - including the 4,198 m Warmiwanusca (Dead Woman?s Pass). Camp out in the evenings under a blanket of stars. On the final day of the trek, climb the steps to Intipunku - the Sun Gate - and watch Machu Picchu appearing through the mist. Rest for a moment before heading down into the site to further uncover the secrets of the mysterious ruins. This is an unforgettable experience to be savoured. Return to Cuzco and perhaps visit to the Aldea Yanapay restaurant to support local underprivileged children - eat up for a good cause!
Hiking across the Andes before
Accommodation on the trek is camping (3 nights). 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.
The trail is part of a series of Inca highways that linked the Empire, all the way from
Classic Inca Trail Itinerary:
Day 1 - We catch an early bus (approx. 1.5 hrs) to the 82km marker - the starting point of the trek - and are joined by a crew of local porters, cook and guide. Day one is fairly relaxed trek which includes short sections of uphill trekking. The campsite is located at about 3,000m above sea level.
Day 2 - The second day is the most challenging of the trek as we ascend a long steep path (approx. 4 hours) to reach the highest point of our trek, Warmiwanusca, or Dead Woman's Pass, at a height of 4,200 m (13,779 ft), before descending to the Pacaymayo Valley (3650m above sea level/2 hours downhill). Depending upon what has been established by the Government, you might camp here today, or may need to continue across the second pass. From the second pass, Runkuracay (3,980m above sea level) we can enjoy views of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending to the ruins of Sayacmarca (1.5-3 hours downhill). From here it is only a few more minutes to the Chaquicocha campsite (3,620m above sea level).
Day 3 - We continue over the third pass and soon reach the beautiful ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the 'Town above the Clouds' (3,850m above sea level/90 minutes uphill). Start descending Inca Steps (2 hours) to reach our final night's camp by the Winay Wayna, or 'Forever Young' ruins (2,750m above sea level), with panoramic views of the valley below.
Day 4 - The fourth day on the trek consists of a short hike (1.5-2 hours) to
The trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but do come prepared: the trail is 45km (28 miles) long and often steep. Generally the days consist of 7 hours walking on average (both uphill and downhill), plus stops for snacks and lunch. Normally trekking starts at 7am (except for the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 4-5pm. There is always the possibility of rain, even in the dry season and temperatures may fall below freezing at night. The trail traverses three passes, the highest being 4,200m (13,779ft).
Accommodation on the trek is camping (3 nights). Double tents (twin share) and foam camping mats will be provided. Meals are prepared by the trek cook.
If Inca Trail permits are unavailable at your time of booking, you will be offered to hike the Inca Quarry Trail instead. With spectacular and diverse sceneries the Quarry Trail is an exceptional alternative to the very busy Inca Trail.
This trek is also within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. It is 23km long in total. The trail's highest pass is at almost 4,500 m which is higher than the Classic Inca Trail's highest pass.
The first two nights of the trek are spent camping and the third one at a simple hotel.
Inca Quarry Trail Itinerary:
Day 1 - We leave Ollantaytambo early in the morning and drive approximately 30 min. to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place were Incas used to venerate the moon. A further 30 min. drive takes us to the community of Socma, the starting point of our trek and where we meet the horsemen that will join us during the hike.
After approximately one hour hike we reach the Perolniyoc cascade lookout. This is a perfect photo stop and a great excuse to stop and grab a snack. From here we continue walking to our campsite, located at 3700 metres, where we arrive right in time for lunch. 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.
Day 2 - This is the most challenging but most rewarding day of the hike. A 4 hour hike takes us to the top of the first pass known as Chancachuco (4400 metres). After a well deserved rest we descend about 100 metres for a light lunch. After lunch we continue walking up hill to Kuychiccasa, at 4500 metres, the second and last mountain pass of this trek.
From this point we walk mostly downhill to the small archaeological site of Inti Punku or Sun Gate. This site offers spectacular view of the
Day 3 - After breakfast we visit the quarry, its tombs, storage rooms and the locally called 'tired rocks' which are rocks the Incas didn't finish carving and transporting due to the Spanish conquest.
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. From here we walk to Ollantaytambo train station where the expedition's cook will provide box lunches for our train journey to Aguas Calientes.
Once in Aguas Calientes we meet our fellow travellers who opted to take the "Train Option" of this trip. The natural
Day 4 - Today we take a very early bus (5:30am depending on weather conditions) along the winding road to
For those travellers not interested or unable to hike the trail it is possible to spend an extra 2 extra days in
While it is thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Inca 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. After a visit with the trekking guide (approx. 1.5 hours) 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, it is time to return to
•4-day Inca Trail trek and Machu Picchu guided tour
Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)
Depart Cuzco at your leisure. In need of a top lunch spot before heading off? Then why not pay a visit to the Aldea Yanapay restaurant, part of a sustainable organisation that provides the underprivileged children of Cuzco with health and education facilities. Be sure to eat up for a good cause!
Check out time from the hotel is 10:00am. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel reception. There may be a small service fee. 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.
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
For the trek on this trip the general rule is you will need to be fit and the more preparation you have done for it, the more you will enjoy it. You will be walking with your day pack, with the possibility of extreme variations in temperature.
On day 2 of the Inca Trail you will be walking uphill from 3000 to 4200 metres above sea level before descending steeply through big steps and difficult terrain. While this challenging walk is the main difficulty our passengers face on this trip, it is also one of the highlights and worth every minute of it.
We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.
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 Lima
Flight from Lima to Cuzco
Leader led tour of Cuzco
Sacred Valley community visit - enroute to Ollantaytambo
4 day Inca Trail trek with porters - Inca Trail
Machu Picchu - Inca Trail
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.
If while on the Inca Trail you are happy with the services provided by your local guide and porters a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you along the trail. An appropriate amount for the 4 day trek would be between PEN65-100 (US$20-40) per person, which will be distributed by you (or one or your fellow travellers) amongst all porters, assistants and cook.
City tour, Lima - US$25
San Francisco Church and catacombs, Lima - US$2
Pachacamac tour (30 km away from downtown), Lima - US$30 (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)
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.
If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Imaginative Traveller destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Tipping is not expected in local markets and basic restaurants. However if you wish to tip, round your bill up to the nearest 5%. In more up-market restaurants we suggest up to 10%-12% of your bill. Some restaurants already include tipping on the final amount, which should be shown on the bill as: propina, servicio or cubiertos.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2 per person per day for local guides.
Porters (If applicable): While on the Inca Trail, we suggest PEN80-120 for all porters, assistants and cook.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$1-2 per day is generally appropriate.
Luggage loaders (Argentinean bus stations): it is common in Argentina to tip AR$1 for someone to load your bag onto a bus.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$1-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout Peru. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. 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 of, or the entire, emergency fund. Please read below for more information on this trip's emergency fund.
Inca trail permits are sold on a request basis only. Once your deposit is paid and passport details provided, Imaginative Traveller will endeavour to secure a permit for you.
In order to obtain an Inca trail permits, it is vital that you provide the correct and most up to date passport information at the time of booking (date of birth, passport number, expiry date and name spelling exactly as it appears in the passport that you will travel with). Inconsistencies and/or changes between passport details provided at the time of booking and the passport you travel with will most likely result in you not being granted access to the Inca trail.
If for reasons outside your control you must change your passport (your passport gets stole) after your Inca trail permit has been purchased, please contact your booking agent immediately to attempt arrange an alternative permit (fees may apply)
Amongst other restrictions, Inca trail permits are dated. Should you request a change to your original trip or travel day, a new permit will need to be purchased (subject to availability) at an extra cost.
In the event that Inca trail permits can't be secured, you will be offered the following options:
-Change to another trip or departure
-Hike an Imaginative Traveller alternative trek (Machu Picchu visit still included) or
-Stay in Cuzco for 2 nights, travel to Aguas Calientes by train for a 3rd night and visit Machu Picchu before returning to Cuzco.
The Inca trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Imaginative Traveller alternative trek.
In order to maximise resources such as porters, cook, local guides, etc, the maximum group size while hiking (Inca trail or Imaginative Traveller alternative trek) may extend to 16 travellers.
Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Please note if you choose this option you will be unaccompanied by your group leader. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.
The wet season in this region is from December to March when heavy rains can cause disruptions to ground transport. Imaginative Traveller will monitor any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to natural weather occurrences.
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 4-6 Inca Trail
Maximum of 16 travellers per group
Hotels (4 nts), camping (3 nts)
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 $90 for meals not included.
7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Please note breakfasts are often simple (bread, butter, jam, coffee/tea and juice would be most common).
Plane, train, minibus, local bus
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.
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 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 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 Tika Wasi
Calle Tandapata 491(corner with Siete angelitos) San Blas.
Phone: (0051) 84-242627
Fax: (0051) 84-231609
Trips departing on Mondays will finish at the Buenavista Hostel.
Hotel Buena Vista Cuzcol
Phone: +51 84 255672
Located only three blocks from the Plaza de Armas in the historical centre of Cuzco.
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our local Peru Operations Office can be reached on Tel: +51 99605 5559. For all other enquiries please contact our UK 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.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. The visa requirements for your trip may vary depending on where you are travelling from and where you are going (ie in which order you are visiting countries).
All passengers with passports from Australia, Canada, United States and Mexico must pay a reciprocity tax before entering Interpol control. The amounts are as follows:
Australia - US$61
Canada - US$132
United States - US$131
México - US$23
This tax applies only to travellers entering Chile via its international airport in Santiago. This tax doesn't apply to those entering Chile by another form of transport.
The Argentine government has recently introduced a reciprocity tax which applies to Canadian, US and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows:
Australians - US$100 (multiple entry)
Canadians - US$70 (single entry)
Americans - US$131 (multiple entry - valid for 10 years)
This tax is payable in US$ or the ARS (Peso) equivalent. At the moment this tax is payable upon arrival at Ezeiza International Airport only, however this tax may apply from other entry ports at no notice.
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 note domestic airlines allow a maximum of 20kg check in luggage 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: travellers' 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
Travel plug/international adapter
Refillable water bottle and water purification method - No disposable plastic water bottles are allowed in the Inca Trail. Hard plastic bottles sold on camping stores are OK.
Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
Lightweight travel towel
Ear plugs/eye mask
Comfortable walking shoes
Local language phrasebook
Camera, film and/or memory cards with spare batteries
Personal audio player with spare batteries
Day pack (30-50 litres capacity) or big enough to carry your personal belongings for an overnight stay (a change of clothes, toiletries, warm jacket, camera, water, etc.)
Sunscreen and snacks while hiking.
Inner sleep sheet (for sleeping bag)
Warm hat and gloves
Waterproof jacket or rain poncho (can be purchased in Cuzco for a couple of dollars)
Sleeping bag for temperatures of at least -5 degrees. (this can also be hired locally for approximately US$16)
During the trek the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel in Cuzco.
The evening before you start the Inca Trail, you will receive a small duffle bag to pack clothes for the next 4 days (6 kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you will not have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group.
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.
All Imaginative Traveller 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 Traveller chooses 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.
In accordance with local laws governing tourism in Peru, trekking groups of up to and including 8 trekkers will be led by 1 local guide. The evacuation of an injured traveller in normal conditions may take more than 8 hours. For the above, and for your own safety, it is crucial that you adhere to the local guide's safety instructions, particularly in regard to how to prevent trekkers getting separated or lost.
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. 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 email@example.com
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 travellers. Imaginative Traveller's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
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