2 flights (approx 1hr); 2 scenic road journeys (2hrs); 1 rail journey (3.5-4hrs).
On this tour we use good value budget hotels. They are generally small, friendly establishments, colonial or modern in style with well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and heating. You spend 5 nights under canvas.
Breakfast daily, lunch day 3, full board days 5-7, 11,12.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
• Guided walking tour of Lima.
• Walking around Huilloc and Pumamarca.
• Guided biking in the Sacred Valley.
• Inca Trail hike (shared departure; subject to availability of permits. If unavailable, an alternative trek will be offered of similar grade in the same region).
• Guided tour of Machu Picchu.
• Tour of the city of Cusco and nearby ruins.
• Apurimac river rafting (private departure).
Summary of nights
15 days, 14 nights: Lima 1; Sacred Valley 3; Inca Trail camping 3; Cusco 2, Apurimac camping 2; Cusco 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified
• International flights to Latin America
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions
Please enquire if you are travelling alone and would like to join a group: shared departures are available on selected dates between May and September.
The unit of currency in Peru is the sol.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$35 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax and taxes on internal flights are usually included in the ticket.
This holiday is suitable for all able-bodied, fit visitors, including families with reasonably strong older children (minimum 16 years, however for younger children, the itinerary can be adjusted with an easier rafting tour). Experience of outdoor activities is an advantage.
The Inca Trail hiking is moderately challenging, especially on the second day which has a steep climb at high altitude, reaching over 4,200m. You should be able to walk over undulating rocky terrain for several hours.
The rafting involves negotiating some rapids which are considered challenging, up to class 4: you will need decent physical strength to operate the paddles. No previous rafting experience is necessary as full operation and safety instructions are given so even novice crews will be sufficiently trained.
This tour does not operate during the wetter Andean months, November to April. The dry season is in June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.
Lima is covered in a dull grey mist for much of the year. It almost never rains in Lima, and temperatures are moderate.
In Cusco and the Apurimac region, whilst June to September can be very cold at night, days are usually extremely clear with sun. The Apurimac canyon (3,000m deep) region is arid.
Your stay in Cusco and the Sacred Valley is at high altitude (2,800-3,500m). A small minority of visitors may suffer temporarily from altitude sickness. Symptoms vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will
minimise your chances of suffering any symptoms.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier
for further information.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a Gore-Tex outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate.
Strong, comfortable footwear is essential.
For the camping on the Inca Trail (and rafting expedition) you will need a minimum 3 season sleeping bag. Bring your own or hire one locally (we can order one in advance for you. You may wish to bring your own sleeping bag liner).
For the Inca Trail you should bring a back pack to carry the personal effects you will need on the Inca Trail. Bring comfortable and adequate clothing to protect you from cold (and possibly wet) weather. We recommend you layer with synthetic clothing as synthetic fabrics are the most effective barriers against the cold. We discourage the use of cotton garments in cold or wet mountain conditions. The innermost layer should be long underwear. The middle layer can be a synthetic turtleneck or woollen shirt, and shorts or trousers. The outermost layer should be a synthetic or down jacket, and/or a good quality Gore-Tex wind/rain parka and over-trousers. You will also need a bag in which to store the gear you aren’t taking on the trek. You should limit your luggage for the trek to 10kgs per person, with the remainder left in Cusco.
For further details about what to bring on the Trail see our Briefing Dossier.
For the rafting expedition the following are provided: state of the art self-bailing rafts, Hi-flotation life-jackets, helmets, spray jackets, dry bags for personal gear, wetsuits, wet-suit boots and special containers for cameras. Camping and cooking equipment including Therma-rest mats and 2 man tents.
You should bring:
- Sleeping bag / Sheet (0ºC) - Small Towel
- Long-sleeve Thermal top for under wetsuit - Old trainers / socks
- Insect repellent (High DEET) - After-bite cream
- Sunglasses with attaching string - Peaked cap
- Water bottle (with attaching string) - Book, pen, paper
- Swim suit - Head torch
- Suntan lotion factor 15+ / after sun - Lip balm
- Camera, spare battery and memory card - Sleeping clothes
- Personal toiletries - Spare contact lenses /glasses
For cycling you may wish to bring padded shorts, and be sure to have a pair of trainers or other footwear appropriate for the pedals. You’ll have a choice of TREK bikes in three different sizes, with front and seat suspension, and protective helmets are provided.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.