Private Journeys

Peru: Beyond the Sacred Valley with the Lares Adventure

11 days from £3,870pp

Peru

PER_Huacahuasi_Patacancha_MLP Lares_IM

Essentials

Transport

Two internal flights (approx 1hr each); various scenic road journeys (time varies according to your choice); 2 rail journeys (1.5hrs each). 

Accommodation

On this tour we use a variety of accommodation. All the properties are built sensitive to the environment and blend harmoniously with the landscape in which they are sited. This sympathy to the cultural and traditional style, and the convenience of the locations, is what governs our choice rather than consistency of  standard. The hotel in Cusco is built in an old market building, those in the Lares Valley are small (currently just 8 guest rooms each) purpose built, community run lodges with heating, plenty of hot water and home-cooked cuisine; exclusive to guests on the Lares trail circuit so you will all know each other by the time you stay there. The hotel at Machu Picchu is a well-established property featuring cottages with open fires in riverside gardens. 

Meals

Breakfast daily; lunch days 3,9; full board days 5-8.

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.

Your will have the same well informed bi-(or tri-)lingual guide guide on the Lares trail (days 5-9), so you will be able to get to know him/her and he/she will be able to advise you on your choice of walks and other activities, including fitness issues and and their compatibility with your interests.

Summary Of Nights

11 days, 10 nights: Lima 1; Cusco 3; Lamay village 1; Huacahuasi village 1,  Ollantaytambo 1; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 2.

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.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$45 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 welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. Your guide in the Sacred Valley region days 5-9 will be with you for five days, we recommend a tip of $10 per day per person. 

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 is rated an active holiday, as there are walks and hiking options of different lengths and required effort most days. However, it is suitable for all able-bodied, reasonably fit visitors, including families, as there is plenty of choice of activity. 

Your guide in the Sacred Valley will be able to recommend the best option for you for the day according to your level of fitness. The daily options vary from a challenging walk to a drive to an Inca ruin or local community, which means the holiday is appropriate for couples, groups of friends, or families with differing abilities or interests. During the period in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (days 5-9) your luggage is transported by road to that night’s lodge, meaning you only have to carry your day-pack on the daily activities and hikes. 

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 March 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 drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells. The a ctual temperature varies with altitude. Out of the sun, it is always chilly above 3,500m, but when the sun shines the temperature rises significantly.

Altitude

Your stays in the Sacred Valley (2800m to well over 4000m, depending on any hikes you undertake) and Cusco (3400m), are at high altitude. Machu Picchu is lower, as it sits on a mountain saddle where the Andes lose height down to the Amazon basin.Your three days of gentle activity in Cusco at the beginning of the holiday give your body time to acclimatise to the altitude before you undertake any serious walking.

Most people are only mildly affected by altitude and if you drink plenty of water and don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol for the first couple of days, you’ll probably be fine. 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. 

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 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 or walking boots is essential and you should bring insect repellant (mostly for Machu Picchu), sun block and sun glasses. If you pan to do some of the longer hikes, walking poles can be a welcome asset. Owing to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, the bulk of your luggage will be transported to your hotel in Cusco or to your onward road transport from Ollantaytambo. You can take up to 10kgs per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended. 

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

With shared excursions, this trip is suitable for single travellers.

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

Included Excursions

  • Walking tour of the city of Cusco and nearby ruins
  • Chocolate, coffee and pisco tasting in Cusco
  • Guided walks and culture-focussed activities in the Lares valley
  • Guided visit to Pisaq market and ruins
  • Guided visit to Ollantaytambo village and Inca fortress
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu

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

Included Excursions

  • Walking tour of the city of Cusco and nearby ruins
  • Chocolate, coffee and pisco tasting in Cusco
  • Guided walks and culture-focussed activities in the Lares valley
  • Guided visit to Pisaq market and ruins
  • Guided visit to Ollantaytambo village and Inca fortress
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu

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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Real Latin America Experts

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    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 Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    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.

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    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 a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    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 London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

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

  • Sophie Barber
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

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

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