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Andean Flamingo: Andes laid bare

17 days from £4,448pp

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Andean Flamingo: Andes laid bare

17 days from £4,448pp
 

Group Journey

 

Transport

3 flights (longest 2 hrs), 2 train journeys (3.5hrs), 2 boat journeys, 4 scenic road journeys (longest 8 hrs with stops). The journey from Cusco to Puno is by bus. If you would prefer to travel by train please contact one of our consultants for further information (only available until April 2017).

Accommodation

A mix of superior and mid-range hotels, with simple lodgings in the Uyuni area.

This journey goes to remote regions where the standard of accommodation varies according to what is available. We use a simple guesthouse on Sun Island and basic (salt) hotels in Uyuni. 

Hotels we use on the Andean Flamingo Journey include:
 
• Lima: Antigua Miraflores
• Cusco: Novotel
• Sacred Valley: Pakaritampu
• Machu Picchu: Casa Andina Classic
• Puno: Posada del Inca 
• Sun Island: Posada del Inca
• La Paz: Hotel Europa
• Uyuni area: Hotel Tayka del Sal
• Uyuni area: Hotel Tayka del Desierto
• San Pedro de Atacama: Hotel Poblado Kimal
• Santiago: Hotel Atton el Bosque 

These hotels are subject to change and are dependent on availability. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 9, 14, full-board days 8, 12 and 13.

Included excursions

• Cusco: city tour with Sacsayhuamán
• Sacred Valley: tour of the valley
• Machu Picchu: guided tour of the ruins
• Lake Titicaca: Sun Island
• La Paz: walking tour
• Uyuni salt flats: 2 night exploration
• San Pedro de Atacama: Valley of the moon

Summary of nights

17 days, 16 nights: Lima 1; Cusco 1; Sacred Valley 1; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 2; Puno 1; Sun Island 1; La Paz 3; Uyuni area 2; San Pedro 2; Santiago 1. 

Included in the journey price

• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions

Optional excursions

There are a wide range of optional excursions available which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $180 USD should cover participation in the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences. 

The list below is only a guideline, so please enquire with your tour leader for any further areas of interest:
• Re-entry to Machu Picchu 
• Machu Picchu: climb Huayna Picchu (this excursion must be pre-booked due to availability issues so please let the office know before travel). Please note that this is a vigorous climb, involving very steep steps and uneven terrain.  It would not be recommended for anyone suffering from vertigo.  For more information, please contact your travel consultant
• Sun Island: by boat and on foot to the ruins of Chincana
• La Paz: guided tour to the pre-Inca ruins at Tiwanaku 
• La Paz: guided tour to the Moon Valley
• La Paz: guided tour to the Cerro Chacaltaya 
• La Paz: Ride the Telefericos over the city
• San Pedro: tour to the El Tatio geysers 
• San Pedro: star gazing in one of the clearest skies in the world 
• Santiago: city tour

Travelling alone

There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with a same-sex member of the group who is usually also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to be sure of having their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available, which carry a surcharge.

Currency

The unit of currency in Peru is the sol, in Bolivia the boliviano, and in Chile the peso Chileno.

Budget

A budget of around $45 USD per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir, although prices do vary greatly from country to country.

How to take it

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so 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 you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by visitors who find them difficult to exchange as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).

Tipping

Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $2 USD (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.

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.

If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 USD and $6USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Journey grade

The pace of this trip is fast; there are early mornings and long days spent travelling (albeit with frequent stops and fantastic scenery). The Uyuni crossing involves long days of travel across often bumpy terrain. All walks are optional and you should consult your tour leader to make sure you undertake optional excursions that are best suited for you. Please note that if you have requested a double matrimonial room at booking stage this cannot be guaranteed on some parts of the tour such as on the Uyuni Salt Flats crossing due to most of the rooms have twin beds.

Climate

The rainy seasons in the Andes runs between December and March when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is May to September when the sun is strong during the day, but at night temperatures drop dramatically (to well below freezing), particularly in the south of Bolivia, where temperatures can fall below -10°C. April and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells. 

Lima is covered in a dull grey mist for much of the year, although the sun does break through between November and March. It almost never rains in Lima, and temperatures are moderate. The rest of the coast is sunnier than Lima and for most of the year it is warm enough to wear a shirt during the day and perhaps a light jumper at night.

Altitude

Many of the excursions are at high altitude. Symptoms of altitude sickness vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. 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 or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials also work well. It can get very cold at altitude, particularly after sundown and so warm clothes are essential as is a good waterproof jacket. Strong, comfortable footwear is also essential and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sunglasses. You should take swimwear for visits to thermal baths. A torch can also be useful during your time on the salt flats. Temperatures can drop well below freezing at night, so thermal underwear is advisable, as well as thick socks and gloves and a hat that will cover your ears. 

If you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might want to bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).

Owing to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, most of your luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 5kg per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended so that you can separate your luggage for the nights spent away from Cusco. 

A separate bag is also useful if you are planning a pre tour extension from Lima, as usually your main luggage can be left in the hotel.

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.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. A yellow fever certificate may be a compulsory requirement for onward travel and immigration purposes. The rules are complex and subject to change. We advise you check the most up to date information at www.iatatravelcentre.com. Please consult your GP for specific requirements. 

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 

Cases of Zika virus have been reported in parts of Latin America. If you’re pregnant, or planning to be, you should follow the advice of the  National Travel Health Network and Centre

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require visas for entering Peru, Bolivia or Chile although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Other nationalities should enquire or check with the relevant consulate. Even where visas are not required, there may be a reciprocity fee to pay (e.g. USA and Canada).

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.


17 days from £4,448pp

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About Group Tours

Our small escorted group journeys are led by award-winning tour guides and follow tried and tested routes that we have been refining for over 30 years. 

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Wanderlust

Food and Travel Magazine Readers' Awards - Tour Operator of The Year 2016

Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards - Best Tour Operator to Latin America 2016

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award 2013

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards - Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards - Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator 2016

Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2015

British Travel Awards - Best Small Tour Operator to Central and South America 2012

Latin American Travel Association - Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Specialist Tour Operator 2011

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