4 flights (1hr); 3 road journeys; 2 rail journeys (longest 3.5hrs).
Here we use a mix of family-friendly hotels, choosing accommodation we think is very comfortable but also extremely well located and with some local character. Whether colonial in style or modern they have well-equipped rooms, private bathrooms and heating.
Breakfast daily, lunch days 2, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12; full board days 15-17.
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.
• Lima: Tour of markets and street life
• Arequipa: city tour with Santa Catalina Convent
• Lake Titicaca: Taquile and Uros Islands, Luquina Chico
• Cusco: city tour and surrounding ruins
• Ollantaytambo: Walking around Huilloc and Pumamarca
• Sacred Valley: excursion to Inca ruins and villages
• Machu Picchu: guided tour
• Puerto Maldonado: daily excursions in the Amazon jungle
Summary of nights
19 days, 18 nights: Lima 1; Arequipa 2; Colca Canyon 2; Lake Titicaca 3; Cusco 2; Sacred Valley 2; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 1; jungle lodge 3; Cusco 1.
Included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities
• International flights to Latin America.
• Meals other than specified• Optional excursions
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
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$45 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.
There are some early mornings and a couple of long days of travel (with stops) on this holiday.
This holiday is suitable for all able-bodied, reasonably fit families.
The streets in Cusco are cobbled and steep and you must be cautious walking at altitude (see “Altitude” below).
The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and March when there are showers most afternoons.
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). 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. Arequipa has a sunny and temperate climate and for most of the year it is warm enough to wear a shirt during the day and perhaps a light jumper at night.
The Amazon jungle is hot and humid (30°C) all year around, and heavy rain can be expected at any time.
Your stays at Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca 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 (or similar) 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. You should take swimwear for pools though most hotels don’t have them.
Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, arrangements will be made to transport the bulk of your baggage to 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.
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.