Private Journeys

Active Peru: Cycling, rafting and the Inca Trail

12 days from £3,042pp

Peru

PER_MachuPicchu_IncaTrail_Shutterstock_1239251761

Essentials

Transport

2 flights (approx 1hr); 2 scenic road journeys (2hrs); 1 rail journey (3.5-4hrs). 

Accommodation

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.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch day 3, full board days 5-7, 11,12.

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.

Summary Of Nights

15 days, 14 nights: Lima 1; Sacred Valley 3; Inca Trail camping 3; Cusco 2, Apurimac camping 2; Cusco 1.

Currency

The unit of currency in Peru is the sol.

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.

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.

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 and taxes on internal flights are usually included in the ticket.

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.

Journey Grade

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.

Climate

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. 

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.

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. 

Travelling Alone

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.

Altitude

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.

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 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

Included Excursions

  • 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)

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

What's included in the 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

Included Excursions

  • 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)

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

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.

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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.

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Consultant

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • 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.

Meet the team