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Peru: Drive across the Andes


Self-drive, as a passenger with driver, in Toyota 3.0 Diesel Hi Lux 4WD vehicle, accompanied by support car. Solo passengers (up to two) can travel in the support car.

  The vehicle will have the following features: underbody steel protection; uprated OME heavy duty lifted suspension; rear canopy enclosure; ARB rear bumper and step; all-terrain Maxxis tyres, LED laser lights and fog lamps; rear seat mount.

  The vehicles are provided with: field kitchen kit; camping stove; water bottles; mini cooker; solar shower; 2 way radio; camp table and chairs; LED torch; first aid kit/fire extinguisher/emergency oxygen. In addition: 

  Wildlife and bird photo identification cards in each vehicle as well as a safety card. A small glove compartment bag is issued with chargers for front and rear, anti- bacterial hand wash and wipes, lighter, and blue-tooth instructions for  smartphones, along with tablet mounts for the rear seats. Bottled water is chilled and placed in each vehicle each morning, along with boiled sweets including coca sweets, and replaced whenever necessary along with a small rubbish bin. Oxygen cans are issued to each vehicle and replaced whenever necessary.

  There will be from 4-7 hours driving per day, according to conditions, except for the three days spent in Cusco and the final drive from Tarma to Lima which is undertaken in a transfer vehicle driven by a local driver. 


There is a mix of hotel standards; in Lima and Cusco they are top of the range but in remote locations we use best available hotels or restored colonial haciendas in rural settings.  All guest rooms have private bathroom and heating.


Breakfast daily, lunch days 5-8, picnic (or restaurant) lunch and dinner 2-4; 9-15.


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.

Included excursions

Cusco: city tour and Sacsayhuamán ruins. Entrance fees to the sites are included.

Summary of nights

16 days, 15 nights: Lima 1; Nazca 1; Chalhuanca 1; Cachora 1; Cusco 4; Andahuaylas 1; Ayacucho 1; Pampas 1; Tarma 1; San Ramón 1; Tarma 1; Lima 1.

Included in the journey price

• Services of our team of experts in our London office.Services of local representatives, drivers and guides.
• All land transport within in Latin America including your Toyota 4WD vehicle.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.

• Travel Insurance (if you are going to drive yourself, check with your chosen insurance company that you are insured to drive a 4WD vehicle on unmade roads)

Optional excursions

• Light aircraft flight over the Nazca Lines from Pisco.
• Horse riding at Hacienda San Juan.
• Jungle hike to waterfall, Pampa Hermosa Ecolodge.

There are a number of half-day, full-day or longer excursions and activities you may wish to consider for the three full days you are in Cusco in order to customise your holiday to cater for your interests. Please contact us to discuss these further before you depart or book them at the first briefing in Lima:

• Day trip by road and rail to Machu Picchu with guided tour and lunch.
• Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Inca and its ruined temples.
• White water rafting, Cusco.
• Maras and Moray, Sacred Valley.
• Visit to craft projects and Pisaq market, Sacred Valley.

Travelling alone

If you are a single traveller with flexible dates, you can participate in this journey as a passenger in the support vehicle on a confirmed departure, with no single supplement. Please enquire for details.


The unit of currency in Peru is the sol.

Daily spend

In Lima and Cusco around US$45 per day should cover the cost of modest-standard meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more and any optional excursions will be additional.

Elsewhere you will not incur many expenses as all meals are included; just make an allowance for some drinks and tips.  

How to take it

Cash machines are available in Lima and Cusco, and there are a few in Ayacucho, but none in the more remote areas. Taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number and stocking up in Lima and Cusco 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. 


Tips are welcomed 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.
An appropriate tip for your driver/guides would be $US10 per person per day.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.


Travel insurance is essential. You (the driver) should have a policy which will cover you for accident or other eventualities resulting from driving a 4x4 vehicle on unmade roads at altitude.

You will be charged a refundable £900 security deposit  to cover deductions to may for damage caused by negligence or loss of vehicle equipment. This will be charged at the Briefing in Lima and you can pay by cash or credit card.

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

There are some early mornings and long days of travel (with stops) on this holiday. 

Important information for drivers:

 - Drives must be between 25 and 70 years of age. passengers must be at least 7 years old.
- You will be required to submit to us a scanned copy of your passport and driver's licence. You will be able to drive if you have no more than 6 points on your UK licence (other nationalities please enquire). 
 - No previous 4x4 experience is required - you will receive a briefing on the special characteristics of 4x4 vehicles before you leave Lima -  but you must be a confident and experienced driver and willing to drive in the dark if required by any delay. Preferably (but not essentially), your companion(s)should be able to take the wheel if necessary, so their scanned documents will also be required in advance of travel. 
 - You will expect to be at the wheel for 5-7 hours per day (with breaks) on paved and unmade roads, with the occasional foray to ford a stream. Roads may be steep, sinuous, or in poor condition, but your support crew are there to advise you. The support staff are also 
proficient in field repairs. 
- You will be travelling across several zones of climate and vegetation, including at altitudes of well over 3,000m. Rest breaks are factored in. Oxygen is present in all cars but should only be used after taking advice from the support staff. Should you have any symptoms of altitude sickness at any time, stop driving and report to the support staff.


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. 

Once you leave Lima the mist disappears and it is weakly sunny all year round on the Pacific coast and in Nazca. Temperatures will be in the late teens or 20s centigrade. As you climb into the mountains it will be colder, with rainfall especially between November and March when there are showers most afternoons.

The dry season in the Andes runs from June to September when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.

It is almost always hot (temperatures around 30-35°C) and humid in the cloud forest and jungle at altitudes of 1,000m or less. 


Your stays in Cusco (3,400m), Ayacucho and the haciendas of the Andes , are at high altitude (over 3,000m) and passes you will drive over are higher. You are ascending from Nazca (591m) to the high Andes (3,998m) in just a day. The nights following days 4-6 are spent at 3,000m-3,400m. On days 10-12 altitudes of 3,000m-4,000m are attained but you should be acclimatised by then. The highest altitude you reach on this holiday is 4,829m on the last day but you will not be driving this stretch yourself.

If you drink plenty of water and do not exert yourself you should be fine. If you are driving yourself, the first few days of driving mean that you will not be taking much exercise so your body will have an opportunity to acclimatise.

Symptoms of altitude sickness vary: most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you are at the wheel of the car and suffer any of these symptoms, stop and consult the support staff. In very rare instances if you don’t recover in a day or two you may have 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 make a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts should be made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials.

If you plan to eat in smart restaurants in Lima or Cusco, 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 repellant, sun block and sun glasses. You should take swimwear for river swims and waterfalls. 

It is very important that your clothes are sufficiently comfortable for sitting in a car for most of the day.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is hard to come by in South America.


Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. Consult your doctor about the use of malaria prophylactics. You should also consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on:


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.
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, and 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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