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Condor: Peru in depth

Tour Leader

On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.

 

Transport

4 flights (longest 2 hrs), 4 road journeys (longest 7 hrs including stops), 2 train journeys (2 and 3.5hrs each).

Accommodation

For our Discovery Journeys we aim to use good quality, value-for-money accommodation, in a mix of larger more modern and smaller family run hotels. All the properties we use are well maintained and rooms will have a private bathroom with hot water.

The focus of these trips is on getting outside, seeing the sights, and experiencing local restaurants and cafes, therefore a few hotels may not have evening dining facilities. If you prefer more luxurious accommodation, please see our classic tours range of holidays.

Examples of hotels include:
• Lima: Hotel El Tambo
• Arequipa: La Hosteria 
• Colca Canyon: Casa Andina
• Puno: Hotel Intiqa
• Copacabana: Hotel Rosario del Lago 
• La Paz: Hotel Rosario 
• Cusco: Hotel Ruinas 
• Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley: Tunupa Lodge 
• Machu Picchu: Waman Inn
• Amazon Basin: Hacienda La Concepcion 

On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.

Meals

Breakfast daily, full board days 18 and 19.

Included excursions

• Lima: walking tour of colonial centre
• Arequipa: walking tour, Santa Catalina Convent
• Colca Canyon: condor spotting
• Lake Titicaca: Uros Islands
• La Paz: city tour
• Cusco: city tour and local Inca ruins
• Explorations in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
• Machu Picchu: guided tour
• Amazon: rainforest excursions

Summary of nights

20 days, 19 nights: Lima 2; Arequipa 2; Colca Canyon 2; Puno 1; Copacabana 2; La Paz 3; Cusco 2; Sacred Valley 1; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 1; Amazon 2.

Included in the journey price

• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader (accept for the last 2 nights in the jungle where you will be looked after by the lodges own English speaking guides)
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
• Border entrance and exit fees

Optional excursions

There are optional excursions available which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $190 should cover participation in the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences. The list below is only a guideline, so please enquire with your tour leader for any further areas of interest:

• Arequipa: Museo Santuarios Andinos which houses frozen mummies
• Colca Canyon: walking excursions around Chivay
• Colca Canyon: hot springs
• Lake Titicaca: funeral towers of Sillustani
• La Paz: the pre-Inca ruins at Tiwanaku
• La Paz: the Moon Valley
• La Paz: Ride the Telefericos over the city
• Re-entry to the ruins at Machu Picchu
• Machu Picchu: climb Huayna Picchu (this excursion must be pre-booked due to availability issues so please let the office know before travel). Please note that this is a vigorous climb, involving very steep steps and uneven terrain. It would not be recommended for anyone suffering from vertigo. For more information, please contact your travel consultant

Travelling alone

There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with another same-sex member of the group who is also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to have their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available, which carry a surcharge.

Currency

The unit of currency in Peru is the sol and in Bolivia it is the boliviano.

Budget

A budget of around US$40 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday price, drinks and the odd souvenir.

How to take it

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so 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 you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by visitors who find them difficult to exchange as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).

Tipping

Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $US2 (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.

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.
If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 and $6 per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. 

Airport taxes

All airport taxes are normally included in your tickets.

Journey grade

There are some early mornings and long days of travel on this trip. The streets in Cusco are cobbled and steep and you must be cautious walking at altitude.  You can discuss with your tour leader which walks are suitable for you around Machu Picchu and in the Colca Canyon.

In the jungle the temperature and humidity can be tiring, yet all excursions only last half a day and are carried out at a gentle pace.

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. Arequipa is sunnier than Lima 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 rainy season in the Andes runs between November and April 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 can drop dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C) at any time of the year. May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.

In the Amazon rainforest you can expect rain at any time, but especially between October and April when it may take the form of severe tropical downpours. During May to August it is drier, but there are occasional cold spells, so if travelling at this time remember to pack slightly warmer clothing for the evenings.

Altitude

Your stays in the Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Cusco 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 your tour leader; 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. Warm clothing is essential at altitude, especially at night so make sure you pack appropriately. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well during the day. 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 might want to take swimwear for the hot springs.

Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, you will leave the bulk of your baggage in the Sacred Valley, which will be waiting for you on your return to Cusco. You can take up to 5kgs per person on the train. An overnight holdall is recommended to separate your luggage for the time 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.

Reduce plastic waste

Journey Latin America has partnered with Water-To-Go to offer JLA Group Tour passengers the opportunity to purchase 75cl filtered water bottles for a 50% discount. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink. Please call your contact at JLA to add it your booking and it will be delivered to your address. More information about this initiative can be found on our website here.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. A yellow fever certificate may be a compulsory requirement for onward travel and immigration purposes. The rules are complex and subject to change. We advise you check the most up to date information at www.iatatravelcentre.com. Please consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on malaria tablets. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

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. Clients with a different nationality should enquire or check with the Peruvian and Bolivian Consulates.
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.
 

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