Money & Currency
Personal Spending Money
What you pay
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation
Documents and Travel Visas
Vaccinations & Immunizations
Health & Fitness
What to Take
Code of Conduct for Travelers
Joining Instructions Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima is approximately a 45-minute drive from the Miraflores district, where our joining hotel is located. There are exchange facilities in the Arrivals area open 24 hours, or conversely our joining hotel is usually able to convert USD to local currency. At the time of this writing exchange rates for the USD dollar are $1.00= s/ 2.80 soles.
Upon leaving the customs area, follow the gate and turn right to exit the airport. Just before exiting there is a small area on the left hand side where the official transfers are waiting with signs. Look for the ‘Adventures to Peru’ signboard with your name in this area. If for any reason you do not see it, go to the customer service area to wait. As you walk out of the arrival area, there will be many drivers holding signs with agency or passenger names as well as taxi drivers asking you if you require their services. These are not our drivers and you should not accept their services. If you don not see our signboard, be patient and wait, as he will be there.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities are planned. Your Tour Host will contact you at the hotel/home on day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning for your private transfer to the airport. (Return to top)
Entry During the flight to Lima, a flight attendant distributes a Peruvian entrance form to all passengers called ‘La Tarjeta Andina’. At airport customs, travelers are asked to show the completed form along with their passport and asked how many days they plan to be in Peru. Normally, the passport will be stamped indicating a permissible stay of 60 or 90 days and a copy of the Customs form will be returned to the traveler.
* It is important that you keep this customs document until you exit Peru.
* Also note that it is normal for hotels to make a copy of this immigration card together with your passport.
Exit The Customs document must be presented when exiting the country. Passengers leaving on an international flight pay a departure tax of US$31.00 dollars. A USD$6.00 domestic airport tax on internal domestic flights. All departure taxes can be paid in local currency (S/. soles) or US dollars.Travelers exiting overland are not required to pay departure taxes. (Return to top)
Money & Currency The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is divided into 100 cents. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2 and 5 sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles. Peru is essentially a dual currency economy, with the US dollar floating at roughly 3.00 soles per one US dollar. Check local currency exchange rates upon arrival to get exact rates of exchange during your visit. The US dollar is readily accepted in most commercial establishments, restaurants, and service stations at the rate of the day. ATM machines, internationally recognized banks (9am-6pm M-F, Sat 9-1:00pm), and change houses are also readily available in all big cities and most major traveler destinations. The vast majority of establishments also accept major credit cards: Visa and MasterCard. Traveler’s checks are changed with a standard commission of 5%. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars in cash, traveler’s checks and plastic is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. (Return to top)
Personal Spending Money How much you take along with you on the tour is obviously a personal matter. If you intend to purchase many souvenirs in Peru, or if you enjoy spending it up on a big night out, we would recommend that you take a bit more than the estimated amounts below. In total as an estimate, you need to allow about USD$25 a day not including an emergency fund and cash for souvenirs. You need to bring enough money to cover meals not included in the price; drinks, tips, incidentals, optional activities and excursions, souvenirs, and occasionally other fees as indicated in the trip description. ATM machines are readily available around Peru and they are the most efficient was of getting cash. Visa and MasterCard are accepted in most major cities. We recommend a combination of ATM debit cards, credit cards, traveler’s checks and cash in USD or Euros. (Return to top)
What you pay once you arrive in Peru
Food- Allow about US$25 a day for food
Other- drinks, souvenirs, communications and optional excursions
Departure expenses- (domestic airport tax $6.00 unless otherwise stated, international departure tax $31)
Tips- (see below)(Return to top)
Prices All prices are per person and based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted whether in hotels, lodges, tents or otherwise. On most trips solo travelers will be matched up with another traveler of the same sex.(Return to top)
Emergency Fund Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD$ 200.00 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!(Return to top)
Communications Telefonica Peru, the principal telephone company in Peru, features a far-reaching telephone network that provides services for national and international long-distance calls from private telephone lines and public cabins. There are also currently more than 5 million clients who have cellular phones, and satellite communications are currently being developed.
It is possible and straightforward to make international and domestic phone calls from public phones. Country codes and city codes are listed in most phone booths. Pay phones accept coins and phone cards (easiest) sold at kiosks and convenience stores around the city. Take care and make sure you buy the correct phone card (147) for the telephone company you wish to use. You cannot make collect calls from public phones.
Directory information: dial 103(only service in Spanish)
To place an international call dial: 00 +country code, +city code, +phone number
To place a domestic call within Peru dial: 0 +city code + phone number.
Hotels also offer telephone service but in most cases tend to be more expensive.
Internet is readily available in all major cities. Cost is approximately US$ .60 cents per hour (Return to top)
Pre and Post Tour Accommodation For the night(s) before and after your tour extra accommodation is usually available at additional expense. In most cases we can arrange additional accommodation at our starting or ending hotels. Please contact us for price information. If we are unable to provide you with the extra nights we will give you the name of a hotel you can contact directly. (Return to top)
Tipping Tips are not included in the price and tipping is a completely optional practice. It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day per person depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your tour host for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. (Return to top)
Travel Insurance Travel related medical insurance is mandatory on all trips. While Adventures to Peru takes all precautions to ensure that your Peruvian Adventure is safe and enjoyable, certain risks are inevitably involved while traveling. It is unfeasible for us to assume these inherent risks on your behalf and therefore we require you to assess these risks and purchase your own short-term travel medical insurance. As well as travel medical insurance, we strongly recommend you purchase general travel insurance. Take your original policy with you on vacation.
Cost effective and simple, travel insurance protects you and your equipment from any problems that might arise, such as damage or loss of baggage, health problems, cancelled or delayed trips, and other unanticipated disturbances. You can purchase travel insurance from a variety of places and value for money can vary significantly. We encourage you to explore the following sites as you prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip.
Travel Guard www.travelguard.com
Global Travel Insurance www.globaltravelinsurance.com
World Travel Centre www.worldtravelcenter.com
Insure My Trip www.insuremytrip.com
Quote Travel Insurance www.squaremouth.com (Return to top)
Documents and Travel Visas Visitors from all countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Citizens of most American and Western European countries do not require a visa. If you are from one of these countries, the maximum authorized time of visit in Peru is 90 days. This however, can be legally extended 3 times for 30 days per extension for a maximum of 90 days extra. The cost of each 30-day extension is approximately US$30.00 dollars for the extension. In the case that a tourist desires an extension longer than the allotted 90 days or extended visa, a fee of $1.00 US dollar charged daily. For more information, check with the Peruvian diplomatic mission in your country. Addresses and phone numbers are posted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Peru. www.rree.gob.pe (Return to top)
Vaccinations & Immunizations Before traveling to Peru, it is important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic.
If you plan to travel to the Amazon region, it is REQUIRED to get a Yellow Fever vaccination at least ten days before traveling. Malaria is not a massive problem in Peru, however precautions should be taken if going to remote areas of the Amazon and slopes of the Eastern Andes.
*The Centers for Disease Control provides immunization information for travel in Latin America. www.cdc.gov (Return to top)
Altitude As many of the destinations we visit in Peru are high, one must be aware of the signs. Most people notice the headache first. You will feel really puffed after very little exertion because the muscles do not have enough oxygen. Nausea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps and trouble sleeping are all common symptoms.
The best way to prevent sickness is to ascend slowly and take it easy. Travelers should drink lots of fluid, eat light meals (avoid hard-to-digest fatty meals), get lots of rest and limit physical activity. Avoid smoking, alcohol and coffee, which can dehydrate you. Here in Peru you can drink Coca tea as a local remedy. Avoid sleeping pills/sedatives, which can slow your breathing and make symptoms worse. Acetazolamide (Diamox) may be used for prevention of mild altitude symptoms. When used for prevention, you start the day before you reach 2700masl, and take ½ a tablet twice a day. It is not recommended if you allergic to sulphur drugs. (Return to top)
Inherent Dangers It is important that you understand that Adventures to Peru operates adventure tours where the accommodation, transport, hygiene, medical facilities and other factors may not be of the standard that you are accustomed to at home. By booking with Adventures to Peru you are accepting these conditions.(Return to top)
Personal Safety Despite the poor reputations of neighbors Colombia and Bolivia, Peru is actually a relatively safe place to travel. Ex-pats that live here go for years and years without experiencing any adverse incidents, but you have to be aware of not putting yourself at risk in the same way as in any new environment.
Lima is the city with the worst reputation in Peru but in reality the chances of getting into trouble are slim if you’re sensible. We suggest using common sense as the best defense. Like any country, Peru can be dangerous to those unaware of their surroundings.
Leave original passport (take a copy), and all valuables in the hotel safe box in your hotel. Take note of what you are leaving at the hotel and verify responsibility taken by the establishment. While enjoying the sites, do not carry or flash large amounts of cash, and remember to keep an eye on your luggage or handbags in busy areas and on buses. If at all possible, avoid walking alone or in dimly lit areas at night. When using taxicabs, call a secure taxi or flag down a yellow taxi with a roof tent. Always agree to taxicab fares before stepping into the taxi. Fares are not set and depend on particular destination distances around the city. Please remember you will need your ORIGINAL PASSPORT to enter Machu Picchu and to board trains to/from Machu Picchu.
Peruvian people are generally very nice, helpful and are very happy to see you spending money in their country. (Return to top)
Health and Fitness While many of our trips are not physically demanding, you should still be in good to excellent health to travel with Adventures to Peru. You should read the specific trip description carefully as some include walking, hiking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, etc. which may be arduous. If you have any doubts please contact us for more information. These adventures are not for everyone. If you have any physical or mental disability that may limit your ability to fully participate, please consult Adventures to Peru. We may require a medical certificate prior to booking your trip (Return to top)
Climate Peru is located in the tropics of South America, but its climate is not representative of its geographical location for two fundamental reasons. The Andes Mountain Range and the cold marine current known as Humboldt, also called Peruvian current. During the winter months the Andes Range tends to hold moisture in the Amazon Basin. However, during the hotter summer months (December-March), warm air rises out of the Amazon basin and brings heavy rains to the otherwise arid Andes Mountains.
Along Peru’s coast during the winter months (June-Sept) the cold Humboldt Current clashes with tropical heat and creating a thick marine layer hanging close to the coast.
Due to these factors Peru’s climate varies considerably by region and altitude. The best time for trekking is April to October, when days are sunny but nights are cold. The wettest months are January through March (Inca trail is closed in February). The coast is quite hot and humid during those months, becoming cooler during the rest of the year by La Garùa mist blown in from the cold ocean. As one moves up into the mountains, nighttime temperatures become considerably colder, often falling below 0ºC. The eastern slope of the Andes, like the Amazon basin, experiences very heavy rainfall during the wet season (December-March), so best time to visit would be April to October. (Return to top)
Language It will be most beneficial for you to you to learn some Spanish before you come on your Peruvian Adventure. Quechua, an ancient language spoken by the once mighty Incas, is also an official language of Peru. There are more than 10 million Quechua speakers in Peru, and you will have the chance to pick some basics. Essentially you don’t need to know any Spanish or Quechua for your trip, as all the travel arrangements are taken care of for you, and your tour leader is there if you need an instant translation. However, any Spanish you learn will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the trip and interaction with Peruvians. (Return to top)
Food Peru is a country with a tremendous range of culinary options. On our tours we attempt to take advantage of this diversity where possible. All trips will include breakfast at your hotel, campsite or home stay. While camping, at jungle lodges and on home stays food will be all-inclusive. While on normal trip days you will be given the liberty to sample local cuisine at try restaurants recommended by your tour host. We advise a budget of USD$30.00 daily for days not including meals. Check the trip itinerary for exact details.(Return to top)
Age Peru has no age limit, so Adventures to Peru invites adults of all ages and in good health. For older travelers we stress that adventure travel is naturally more rigorous than conventional vacations and can be physically demanding. All travelers 70 years of age and over are required to provide a medical form signed by a physician. Children over 14 years old accompanied by parents are also welcome on any tour. If you have children under 14 years of age, consider booking as a family. We cannot accept bookings from unaccompanied minors. (Return to top)
Luggage Restrictions Standard airline weigh limits in Peru are 2 checked bags weighing a maximum of 23 kilograms (50 lbs.) and 1 carry on piece at 8 kilograms (17 lbs.) Please adhere to this policy if you do not wish to pay excess baggage fees. Peru Rail luggage restrictions have been recently changed to 5kgs per passenger. Try to bring only the necessary items to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, while the rest of your large luggage may be left in storage at the hotel in Cusco. (Return to top)
What to Take
• Valid Passport (6 months validity with photo copies)
• Entry visas and vaccination certificates
• Travel insurance (with photo copies)
• Airline ticket (with photo copies)
• USD$ cash, traveler’s checks
• Visa credit card or debit card
• Tour voucher
• Tour itinerary (Return to top)
We recommend the use of a comfortable and sturdy travel backpack or duffel bag; whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential for hikes and day excursions. Standard airline weigh limits in Peru are 2 checked bags weighing maximum 23 kilograms (50 lbs.) and 1 carry on piece at 8 kilograms (17 lbs.) Please adhere to this policy if you do not wish to pay excess baggage fees. (Return to top)
Due to the regional climatic differences in Peru, you really must be prepared for warm and cold climates as well humid and dry climates. We want you to be warm and happy when it’s cold and rainy – and cool and relaxed when we’re in the steamy jungle. As the sections of Peru we visit are in the tropics, officially they fall into a wet (October to March) and dry (March to October). You’ll most likely have warm days and cool nights during most of your trip – but you need to be prepared for anything.
• Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
• 2 x Fleece or wool sweater
• Boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Sport sandals
• 2 x Long Pants -zip off kind convertible to shorts are very convenient
• 3-4 x t-shirts (non-cotton & quick drying recommended)
• 2-3 x long-sleeve shirts (non-cotton & quick drying recommended)
• 1-2 pairs of shorts (non-cotton & quick drying recommended)
• 1x warm hat (e.g. wool/ fleece ski hat)
• 1x sun hat
• Swimsuit for beaches, hot springs and rivers (Return to top)
• Money belt
• Camera & film
• Insect repellent
• Flashlight / headlamp
• Toilet paper (not provided in public facilities in Peru use trash can provided)
• First aid kit
• Water bottle
• Pocket-knife (Return to top)
• Personal prescription medications/ hygiene-If you have preferred medication brands, it best to bring them from home as brands vary in Peru. Many products are unavailable in Peru.
• Reading/writing material
• Cover for backpacks
• Small travel towel
• Purification tablets or filter (only necessary if you want to drink tap or stream water)
• Antiseptic gel/wipes (Return to top)
Recommended for hiking and camping
• Inner sheet (for sleeping bag)
• Wool hat, mitts or gloves (preferably waterproof)
• Rain poncho
• Strong plastic bags to help keep gear dry
• Sleeping bag (see trip itinerary for specific details; this can also be hired locally for approximately $12 USD)
• Mattress (see trip itinerary for specific details; self inflating type mattresses are available for hire for approximately $12 USD)
• Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen)
• Thermal underwear
• Walking poles (available to buy or hire in Cusco)
• Small travel towel – During the Inca Trail a cold shower is available on the second night and a hot shower on the third night for a couple of dollars. If you’d like to shower on the Trail bring a small towel and toiletries. (Return to top)
Responsible Travel We believe strongly in low impact or rather, positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and maximize the positive aspects. We hope that one of the joys of traveling with Adventures to Peru will be in meeting the local people and traveling to more remote areas. Unfortunately, tourism can radically alter what it was that inspired the industry in the first place. It is for this reason that we as travelers have a responsibility to minimize our impact on the people and environments we enjoy. Through our examples and attitudes we can ensure that our visits have minimal impact on the environment and that we foster positive cultural exchanges between ourselves and our local hosts. (Return to top)
Code of Conduct for Travelers
As a traveler, you can do a lot to help ensure that tourism in Peru remains a positive experience for everyone. The following guidelines offer suggestions for low-impact and culturally sensitive travel in Peru:
• Respect Endangered Species – We ask you not to purchase endangered flora and fauna products that may be offered for sale. In many cases wildlife products that are offered for sale in popular tourist locations cannot be taken through customs on your return home. Avoid contributing to illegal or detrimental trade in wildlife by not purchasing:
• Sea turtle products (shell or meat)
• Macaw feathers or handicrafts made with anything from the Macaw
• Animal skins or any handicraft related to the death of animals
• Sea shells- which may have been taken from the sea while still inhabited by living animals
• Musical instruments made from animal products (ie armadillo shells)
• We also ask you not purchase original Inca pottery, textiles or artifacts. Replicas can be found in throughout the markets in Peru.(Return to top)
Litter and Waste – Pollution and waste management is a serious problem in Peru. We suggest avoiding plastic packaging where possible and take along your own bag when shopping. Plastic bags will be offered for many things; don’t be shy in suggesting that it isn’t needed. Even though locals may not use rubbish bins in the street because they know that someone else who’s job it is to clean the street will pick it up, please set an example by disposing of rubbish into the bins. In some places bins are scarce, and rubbish may have to be carried with you until a suitable disposal opportunity. Many locals are unaware
or ignorant of the implications of littering. Our aim is to educate by example, rather than through lecturing.
Bottled water is safe in Peru, and the locals find many ways to re-use and recycle the bottles. Instead of putting these in the bin, leave empty bottles in a convenient place for someone to collect and re-use.(Return to top)
Protect local water systems – Use only biodegradable soaps and shampoos while camping.(Return to top)
Respect Cultural Differences – Local customs and traditions may be different from your own. Take the time to learn what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Things are done differently in Peru, which is why we love it! Please make sure in your dealings with local people you accept these differences and not try to change them for your own benefit or comfort. The traveler who wishes
to have a happy and successful trip in Peru should keep as calm, cheerful and friendly as humanly possible. Demanding impatient tourists do not earn respect. Patience, courtesy and smiles are virtues that open many doors.(Return to top)
Etiquette – There are a few general codes of behavior that apply in Peru.
-When introduced to someone it is polite to at least shake hands. When greeting someone you are already familiar with, it is customary to shake hands (man to man) and to ‘kiss’ – ie touch cheeks on the right hand side, and make a kissing noise (man to woman and woman to woman). When saying goodbye to a friend the kiss is less customary unless it is a farewell.
-When joining a queue (often seen just as a crowd of people), ask who is last in the queue by saying “Ultimo?”. The person who is last in the queue (before you) will raise their hand. When the next person arrives to join the queue they will also ask “Ultimo?”, and you should raise your hand and say “Yo!”, to indicate that you were the last person to join the queue before they arrived.
-Use pleasantries such as ‘por favor’ and ‘gracias’ when you feel appropriate.
-If they are in good taste, accept ‘piropos’ (compliments given by strangers in the street) by ignoring or by saying ‘gracias’ rather than feeling threatened or reacting with scorn. (Return to top)
Take Photos with Care – Always ask permission to take photos of people and respect their wishes if they refuse. If you do take a photo, offer to send copies back to them and make sure to follow through with your promise. If your subject wants immediate compensation in return for the photo taken, offering a piece of fruit or bread, or a souvenir from your home are ways to do it.(Return to top)
Learn a few phrases - Learning about the customs and a few local words and phrases can go a long way and is appreciated by the Peruvians. It also makes your interactions more meaningful and memorable.(Return to top)
Giving gifts - We discourage offering money to people begging on the streets. This promotes further dependency and encourages the practice, which will in turn lead to unpleasant experiences for other travelers. Instead, we would suggest offering a piece of bread or fruit. Perhaps you could offer postcard from your home, or a small pin etc.(Return to top)
Support local artisans - Support local artists and artisans by purchasing locally made goods. Many communities sell handmade crafts that you may purchase while on tour. You may also ask your Tour Leader for recommendations about where to find local markets, stores and cooperatives.
Feedback Your comments and feedback about your trip are very important to us. We use these to improve our tours and itinerary, and for quality control of hotels and guides. After the completion of your tour, you will be asked to fill out our on-line Trip Evaluation Form.
We hope you can help us by taking a few minutes to fill this out.(Return to top)
We want your photos
If you would like to send us a few selected digital photos from your trip, we will be most appreciative, as we can use them for promotional material and to put them on our website. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information in this pre-departure document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and Adventures to Peru. The itinerary featured is correct at time of writing. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The group leader will advise you of any changes at the initial group meeting.(Return to top)