Private Journeys

Active Peru: The Santa Cruz Trek

10 days from £1,150pp

Peru

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Essentials

Transport

2 scenic road journeys (9 hours each). 

Accommodation

On this tour we use good value budget hotels, they are small, friendly establishments, colonial or modern in style with well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and heating. Key camping equipment for the trek – tents and cooking equipment, toilet tent (enclosing a hole in the ground), mess tent and foam mattresses are provided; you can bring your own or hire your sleeping bag, thermarest and walking poles.   

Meals

Breakfast daily, full board days 5-7. 

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

10 days, 9 nights: Lima 1; Caraz 3; Santa Cruz Trek 3; Caraz 1; Lima 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 including Lima and Caraz 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. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You are not advised to take sterling: the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available. 

When you are on the treks you will not be spending money but you might carry a reasonable amount of cash for tips, ad hoc or local purchases.

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 the few 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.

Journey Grade

This holiday is suitable for all able-bodied, fit visitors with hiking or hill-walking experience. The trek is at high altitude (parts at over 4,000m) which will affect breathing and pace. You should be able to walk over undulating rocky terrain for several hours. 

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

The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and 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. 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. 

Altitude

Your treks are at high altitude (some sections over 4,000m).  You have two days for preparation near Caraz (2,240m) but on the first day of walking you gain 950m of height. The walk then undulates between 3,850m and 4,767m. Most people are only mildly affected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol for the first couple of days at altitude), you’ll probably be OK. 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.

Upon booking you will receive a detailed trek information sheet. Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.

Clothing And Special Equipment

For day-to-day wear in town or on day trips 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 makes a good combination. Trousers, shorts or even a skirt made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. 

For the trekking you should have a small back pack to carry the personal effects you will need while walking. Bring comfortable and adequate clothing to protect you from cold (and possibly wet) weather. We recommend you layer with synthetic fabric clothing as theses 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. Strong, comfortable hiking boots are essential as is a hat to protect you from the strong sun, and sun glasses. 

For the camping on the Santa Cruz Trail you will need a minimum 3-season sleeping bag and a Thermarest-type mat.  You can bring your own or hire one locally. 

Trekking poles are an excellent aid, again you can hire them locally but they may not be very high tech.

You should ensure that you have sufficient sun block and insect repellant. 

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. 

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 transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Caraz: Guided excursion to Lake Parón

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
  • Sleeping bag, Thermarest & walking poles (available locally)

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 transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Caraz: Guided excursion to Lake Parón

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
  • Sleeping bag, Thermarest & walking poles (available locally)

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

Meet the team