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Andes and Altiplano: Cusco, Lake Titicaca and La Paz

14 days from £2619pp

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Andes and Altiplano: Cusco, Lake Titicaca and La Paz

14 days from £2619pp
 

Private Journey

 

Transport

1 flight (1hr); 4 scenic road journeys (longest 6-7hrs; 2 rail journeys (longest 4hrs). 

Accommodation

This holiday uses a mix of fairly small, good quality mid-range hotels, colonial or modern in style with well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and heating;  and superior class properties - these are small or mid-sized with special features or in stunning locations.  

Although it’s a unique experience, please note that the night on Isla del Sol is in very simple accommodation.

Meals

Breakfast daily; lunch day 4, 9, 10, 11; dinner day 5, 10.

Guides

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.

Included excursions

• Full day exploring street life and markets in Lima with guide.
• Full day guided excursion to Pisaq ruins and the Sacred Valley.
• Guided tour of Machu Picchu.
• Guided Cusco city tour and visit to Sacsayhuamán ruins.
• Lake Titicaca crossing to Uros Iruitos islands with overnight on Sun Island.
• Guided La Paz city tour and trip to the Moon Valley.
• Guided visit to Tiwanaku Inca ruins.

Summary of nights

14 days, 13 nights: Lima 2; Urubamba 2; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 3; Puno 1; Isla del Sol 1; La Paz 3.

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.

Currency

The unit of currency in Peru is the sol; in Bolivia it’s the boliviano.

Daily spend

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 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 (American Express are the most widely accepted), though these are gradually falling out of use. 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.

Tipping

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.

Insurance

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

Airport taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey grade

There are some early mornings and long days of travel on this trip, although punctuated with occasional stops. 

The streets in Cusco are cobbled and steep.

Climate

The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and March when showers can be expected, frequently in the afternoons. The dry season is from June to September, when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing to 10°C). April, 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, 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 part of the year it is warm enough to wear a shirt during the day and perhaps a light jumper at night.

Altitude

Your stays in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca and La Paz are at high altitude (2,800-4,000m). 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 and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sun glasses. 

 Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, main luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 10kgs per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended to separate your luggage for the night spent away from Cusco. 

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 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. 

Visas

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.

14 days from £2619pp

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Wanderlust Reader's Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015

Latin American Travel Association – Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine – Specialist Tour Operator 2012

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Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award2013

British Travel Awards – Best Small Tour Operator Central & South America 2011, 2012

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