Private Journeys

Andes and Altiplano: Cusco, Lake Titicaca and La Paz

14 days from £2,650pp

Peru / Bolivia / Lake Titicaca

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Essentials

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.

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.

Currency

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

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.

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 is 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

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. 

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

  • 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

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

  • 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

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

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