Private Journeys

Peru: Drive across the Andes

16 days from £4,990pp

Peru

PERU SAFARIS ©

Essentials

Transport

Self-drive, as a passenger with driver, in Toyota 3.0 Diesel Hi Lux 4WD vehicle, accompanied by support car. Solo passengers (up to two) can travel in the support car.

  The vehicle will have the following features: underbody steel protection; uprated OME heavy duty lifted suspension; rear canopy enclosure; ARB rear bumper and step; all-terrain Maxxis tyres, LED laser lights and fog lamps; rear seat mount.

  The vehicles are provided with: field kitchen kit; camping stove; water bottles; mini cooker; solar shower; 2 way radio; camp table and chairs; LED torch; first aid kit/fire extinguisher/emergency oxygen. In addition: 

  Wildlife and bird photo identification cards in each vehicle as well as a safety card. A small glove compartment bag is issued with chargers for front and rear, anti- bacterial hand wash and wipes, lighter, and blue-tooth instructions for  smartphones, along with tablet mounts for the rear seats. Bottled water is chilled and placed in each vehicle each morning, along with boiled sweets including coca sweets, and replaced whenever necessary along with a small rubbish bin. Oxygen cans are issued to each vehicle and replaced whenever necessary.

  There will be from 4-7 hours driving per day, according to conditions, except for the three days spent in Cusco and the final drive from Tarma to Lima which is undertaken in a transfer vehicle driven by a local driver. 

Accommodation

There is a mix of hotel standards; in Lima and Cusco they are top of the range but in remote locations we use best available hotels or restored colonial haciendas in rural settings.  All guest rooms have private bathroom and heating.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 5-8, picnic (or restaurant) lunch and dinner 2-4; 9-15.

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 clients on their return.

Optional Excursions

• Light aircraft flight over the Nazca Lines from Pisco.

• Horse riding at Hacienda San Juan.
• Jungle hike to waterfall, Pampa Hermosa Ecolodge.
There are a number of half-day, full-day or longer excursions and activities you may wish to consider for the three full days you are in Cusco in order to customise your holiday to cater for your interests. Please contact us to discuss these further before you depart or book them at the first briefing in Lima:

• Day trip by road and rail to Machu Picchu with guided tour and lunch.
• Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Inca and its ruined temples.
• White water rafting, Cusco.
• Maras and Moray, Sacred Valley.
• Visit to craft projects and Pisaq market, Sacred Valley.

Summary Of Nights

16 days, 15 nights: Lima 1; Nazca 1; Chalhuanca 1; Cachora 1; Cusco 4; Andahuaylas 1; Ayacucho 1; Pampas 1; Tarma 1; San Ramón 1; Tarma 1; Lima 1.

Currency

The unit of currency in Peru is the sol.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in Lima and Cusco, and there are a few in Ayacucho, but none in the more remote areas. Taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number and stocking up in Lima and Cusco 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. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. 

Daily Spend

In Lima and Cusco around US$45 per day should cover the cost of modest-standard meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more and any optional excursions will be additional.

Elsewhere you will not incur many expenses as all meals are included; just make an allowance for some drinks and tips.  

Tipping

Tips are welcomed 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.
An appropriate tip for your driver/guides would be $US10 per person per day.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. You (the driver) should have a policy which will cover you for accident or other eventualities resulting from driving a 4×4 vehicle on unmade roads at altitude.

You will be charged a refundable £900 security deposit  to cover deductions to may for damage caused by negligence or loss of vehicle equipment. This will be charged at the Briefing in Lima and you can pay by cash or credit card.

Airport Taxes

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.

Journey Grade

There are some early mornings and long days of travel (with stops) on this holiday. 

Important information for drivers:

 – Drives must be between 25 and 70 years of age. passengers must be at least 7 years old.
– You will be required to submit to us a scanned copy of your passport and driver’s licence. You will be able to drive if you have no more than 6 points on your UK licence (other nationalities please enquire). 
 – No previous 4×4 experience is required – you will receive a briefing on the special characteristics of 4×4 vehicles before you leave Lima –  but you must be a confident and experienced driver and willing to drive in the dark if required by any delay. Preferably (but not essentially), your companion(s)should be able to take the wheel if necessary, so their scanned documents will also be required in advance of travel. 
 – You will expect to be at the wheel for 5-7 hours per day (with breaks) on paved and unmade roads, with the occasional foray to ford a stream. Roads may be steep, sinuous, or in poor condition, but your support crew are there to advise you. The support staff are also 
proficient in field repairs. 
– You will be travelling across several zones of climate and vegetation, including at altitudes of well over 3,000m. Rest breaks are factored in. Oxygen is present in all cars but should only be used after taking advice from the support staff. Should you have any symptoms of altitude sickness at any time, stop driving and report to the support staff.

Travelling Alone

If you are a single traveller with flexible dates, you can participate in this journey as a passenger in the support vehicle on a confirmed departure, with no single supplement. Please enquire for details.

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.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Climate

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. 

Once you leave Lima the mist disappears and it is weakly sunny all year round on the Pacific coast and in Nazca. Temperatures will be in the late teens or 20s centigrade. As you climb into the mountains it will be colder, with rainfall especially between November and March when there are showers most afternoons.
The dry season in the Andes runs from June to September when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.
It is almost always hot (temperatures around 30-35°C) and humid in the cloud forest and jungle at altitudes of 1,000m or less. 

Altitude

Your stays in Cusco (3,400m), Ayacucho and the haciendas of the Andes , are at high altitude (over 3,000m) and passes you will drive over are higher. You are ascending from Nazca (591m) to the high Andes (3,998m) in just a day. The nights following days 4-6 are spent at 3,000m-3,400m. On days 10-12 altitudes of 3,000m-4,000m are attained but you should be acclimatised by then. The highest altitude you reach on this holiday is 4,829m on the last day but you will not be driving this stretch yourself.

If you drink plenty of water and do not exert yourself you should be fine. If you are driving yourself, the first few days of driving mean that you will not be taking much exercise so your body will have an opportunity to acclimatise.
Symptoms of altitude sickness vary: most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you are at the wheel of the car and suffer any of these symptoms, stop and consult the support staff. In very rare instances if you don’t recover in a day or two you may have to descend to lower altitudes. 
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 waterproof/breathable outer shell make a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts should be made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials.

If you plan to eat in smart restaurants in Lima or Cusco, 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 repellant, sun block and sun glasses. You should take swimwear for river swims and waterfalls. 
It is very important that your clothes are sufficiently comfortable for sitting in a car for most of the day.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is hard to come by in South America.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. Consult your doctor about the use of malaria prophylactics. You should also consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on: www.masta-travel-health.com

Country info

When's the best time to visit Peru?

The best time to visit the Andes is April to October, the dry season but at this time it is misty and chilly in Lima. The jungle is an all-year destination, as is Arequipa and the Colca Canyon.

What's Peru's official language?

Spanish

What's Peru's official currency?

Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchange offices exchange US dollar cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).

What's the time difference between Peru and the UK?

GMT -5 hours. 

Which other countries combine well with Peru?

The Galápagos Islands, (flights from Lima connecting through Guayaquil, Ecuador).

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Peru?

Semana Santa (Easter): Many places throughout the country, Mar-Apr variable. Religious processions.
Inti Raymi, Cusco (24 Jun) Theatre and re-enactments of Inca history in the ruins of Sacsayhuamán, the temple fortress overlooking Cusco.

 

How do I adapt to the altitude in Peru?

Peru's high Andean spine is bookended by the Pacific coast and Amazon Rainforest, with Cuzco at 3,300m. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude.  If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London officeServices of local representatives, drivers and guides
  • All land transport within in Latin America including your Toyota 4WD vehicle
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Cusco: city tour and Sacsayhuamán ruinsEntrance fees to the sites are included

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (if you are going to drive yourself, check with your chosen insurance company that you are insured to drive a 4WD vehicle on unmade roads)

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London officeServices of local representatives, drivers and guides
  • All land transport within in Latin America including your Toyota 4WD vehicle
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Cusco: city tour and Sacsayhuamán ruinsEntrance fees to the sites are included

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (if you are going to drive yourself, check with your chosen insurance company that you are insured to drive a 4WD vehicle on unmade roads)

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

Meet the team