Experiences - Connections - Leave a Positive Trace.

Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu

$1,159$1,912

4.60 out of 5

The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco 5-day trip is a fantastic, less active exploration of Inca ruins and culture, taking in the very best Inca sites in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and culminating in a deep exploration of the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. World-class local guides get you off-the-beaten path and away from the crowds for this fascinating exploration of the Inca Empire.

Length: 5 Days
Destination: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, & Cusco, Peru
Lodging: 3-star or 3-star plus hotels
Activities: indigenous markets, Inca ruins, optional hiking

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SKU: AmazonasExplorer-CSVMP Categories: ,
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WHY THIS TRIP

No trip to Machu Picchu is complete without exploring the fascinating Inca ruins and living history in the Sacred Valley and the former Inca capital of Cusco, so on this trip, we do just that. World-class Peruvian guides share their deep knowledge of the Incas on this exploration of the most fascinating Inca ruins, while getting you off the beaten path to avoid the crowds doing the regular tourist circuit. With a full day to explore Machu Picchu, and even time to climb to see the view from Huayna Picchu, this trip is for anyone wanting to truly experience the magic of the Inca Empire.

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This five-day exploration of the Inca Empire begins with your arrival into Cusco, from where you travel straight away to the Sacred Valley of the Incas to visit the ruins and markets of Pisac.

En route, you check into your hotel near Urubamba, where at 2,800 meters (9,000 feet), you will be able to acclimatise, enjoy the delightful climate and get a good night’s rest. You continue your exploration of the Sacred Valley with a visit to Chinchero, the fascinating circular ruins of Moray and the spectacular saltpans of Maras (with an optional hike), followed by an exploration of the impressive Inca fortress and town of Ollantaytambo, Late in the afternoon, you head by train to Machu Picchu Pueblo for the night. Early the next day, you enjoy a private guided tour of Machu Picchu with time to climb Huayna Picchu before catching an afternoon train and transferring back to your Cusco hotel. Fully acclimatised, you enjoy a full-day tour of the fascinating ruins outside Cusco, before heading to the airport for your afternoon flight out.

If you have more time, extra activities and nights can be organized on request.

LOCAL PROVIDER: AMAZONAS EXPLORER

For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.

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Itinerary

DAY 1: Cusco City Tour

Welcome to Cusco- touch down, collect your luggage and meet your guide, then drive twenty minutes through the colourful South American streets to your hotel.

Meet in the Coffee Museum at 1pm to enjoy a tasty lunch and learn about the story and people behind this popular drink.

After lunch step out into the Cusco streets and explore with one of our carefully chosen guides. They are not only very knowledgeable but also great fun to be with. You do not want to cram too much in on your first day at altitude, so relax and get used to being up high with a gentle walk around this old Inca capital.

Visit the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Qoricancha temple of the sun and perhaps take in the sights, sounds and smells of San Pedro food market too. If you normally shop in supermarkets and farmers markets, you are in for a surprise. Stands full of juicy exotic fruits, counters heaving with cow heads and sheep hooves and cheerful local women selling handmade cheeses, local breads, healthy juices and even toad soup.
The evening is free to relax and wander around the UNESCO World Heritage Site city centre.

3 Star Hotel: Casa Esmeralda or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Quinta San Blas or similar

(Lunch)

DAY 2: Sacsayhuaman, Pisac Market & Ruins

First you stop amongst the huge megalithic walls of Sacsayhuaman, fifteen minutes above Cusco. Wander among the old stones of this Inca complex and listen to stories of the rebel Incas and Spanish who fought here in 1536. Tread the bloody battlefield where a few desperate Spanish horsemen broke the siege they were under and took on the masses of the Inca army.

Next you drive half an hour through the hills to the small market town of Pisac. Barter with local artisans for handicrafts, munch on an empanada fresh from the town oven and snap away as the local mayors emerge from the church, dressed in their finest traditional clothing, serenaded by assistants blowing conch shells.

Take a break for lunch and try a local Peruvian delicacy. Then hop in the vehicle and drive twenty minutes to Pisac ruins. The views are stunning. Ask your guide everything you ever wanted to know about Peru and the Incas. Such as why they decided to build so high up this hill. He will be delighted to answer.

Once you have filled your camera with photos, your brain with information and your lungs with fresh mountain air drive back down to the valley and check into your hotel for the night.

3 Star Hotel: Pisac Inn

(Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 3: Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo & train to Machu Picchu

Drive high above the Sacred Valley through patchwork farmlands to the strange circular ruins of Moray. Look around and decide what you think it was. Was it a landing pad for alien spaceships or was it an experimental Inca agriculture centre?

Drop down fifteen minutes to the gleaming white Maras salt-pans. Watch the locals extract salt by hand as they have done since the times of the Incas. Compose the perfect photo or just sit back and take in the beauty of the place. You can even buy some pink salt to sprinkle on your food back home.

You then take a secret shortcut to the old Inca town of Ollantaytambo where you enjoy a special Pachamanca lunch on an organic farm. A Pachamanca is a traditional way of preparing food in the Andes. In the absence of a stove an oven is built out of stones, the stones are heated with a wood fire and once brought to a very high temperature, the stones are placed carefully with the vegetables meat and seasoning. The food is then covered with grass and banana leaves before being covered by a mound of earth. After 45 minutes the meal is ready and we have the pleasure of digging our delicious potatoes, yams, corn, fava beans, lamb, pork, alpaca, and chicken straight from the earth.

Finally you board a train for the ninety minute ride, along the river to the town of Machu Picchu where you will sleep for the night.

3 Star Hotel: Waman Hotel or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: El MaPi by Inkaterra or similar

(Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 4: Explore Machu Picchu and Return to Cusco

Board a morning bus for the twenty minutes ride to the entrance to Machu Picchu. It is a pretty busy place in the morning so you can avoid the crowds by taking a gentle stroll to the Sun Gate. Here you can enjoy a wonderful overview of the world famous site and take those all important photos.

Sit down to a nice lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge hotel where you can sample a selection of classic Peruvian dishes, then, once the crowds have calmed down a bit, take the time to enjoy a full tour of the ruins with your guide. The afternoon is in our opinion the very best time to enjoy Machu Picchu.

Finally, you ride the bus down the mountain, take the train back along the river and transfer to your hotel.

3 Star Hotel: Casa Esmeralda or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Quinta San Blas or similar

(Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 5: Depart Cusco

Back once more in the old Inca capital you have time to enjoy all that this city has to offer. Coffee museums, cooking classes, chocolate making, souvenir hunting or even just sitting in one of the many cafes and watching the world go by. The new late flights out of Cusco allow you to really maximise your time and get the most out of this holiday of a lifetime.

(Breakfast)

For those with more time we can offer you extensions to the Amazon rainforest, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and Arequipa or even to the little visited northern Peru.

Getting To and From the Trip: 

You will need to arrive in Cusco on Day 1 of this trip. You can arrive at any time this day, by flight, train, or bus. You will be met by your guide upon your arrival, and transferred to your hotel in Cusco.

All international flights to Cusco must route through Lima. Most likely, you will need to overnight in Lima the night before you fly to Cusco. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services upon your request.

At the end of this trip on Day 5, you will be transferred to the Cusco Airport, train station, or bus terminal in time for your departure. We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

We do not sell international or domestic Peru airfare but partner with a flight specialty company, Exito Travel, who can arrange all of your flights for you, simplifying the process of this part of your trip.

Trip Start: Trip starts upon your arrival at the Cusco Airport. All international flights route through Lima. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima the night before your arrival in Cusco. A hotel in Lima can be added upon request.

Trip End: Trip ends at the Cusco Airport in time for you to catch your flights home, or continue on to the next part of your adventure.


This trip is a complete package, starting and ending in the Cusco Airport. International and domestic Peru flights are not included, but can be booked through our travel partner Exito Travel. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services if this is necessary.

We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

2017 PRICES: 

Price per person, based on double occupancy

Group Departures

3-Star Hotels
2-3 People: $1,500.00
4+ People: $1,375.00
Supplement for a single room: +$238.00

3-Star Plus Hotels
2-3 People: $1,563.00
4+ People: $1,469.00
Supplement for a single room: +$350.00

Private Departures
Please inquire

2018 PRICES: 

For 2018 pricing, please inquire using the “I Am Interested” button above or by calling 1-866-386-4168.


INCLUDED: 

  • All transport in private vehicle
  • A private, qualified, English-speaking guide
  • 3* accommodation in Urubamba, Cusco, and in Machu Picchu Pueblo (upgrades available upon request)
  • An emergency first-aid kit and oxygen
  • All meals provided are indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all ruins in the itinerary, including Machu Picchu
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu ruins
  • Bus tickets between Machu Picchu Pueblo and the ruins
  • Train tickets as described in the itinerary

NOT INCLUDED: 

  • National or International flights (can be booked on your own or with our travel partner Exito)
  • Personal belongings
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Personal or medical expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Tips
  • Services and meals not indicated
  • Entrances to hike Huayna Picchu Mountain & Machu Picchu Mountain ($15* per person)
  • Lima services (hotels, transfers, & tours) can be added upon request

Note: Permits to hike Huayna Picchu Mountan or Machu Picchu Mountain are not automatically included in this trip. Before you confirm your trip to Machu Picchu, consider whether or not you want to do one of these hikes, and let us know what you decide. For more details: http://www.detourdestinations.com/blog/should-you-hike-huayna-picchu-mountain-or-machu-picchu-mountain

* Permit fees subject to change


ADDITIONAL EXPENSES TO CONSIDER:

  • National or International flights (can be booked on your own or with our travel partner Exito)
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Tips (optional)
  • Services and meals not indicated
  • Entrances to hike Huayna Picchu Mountain & Machu Picchu Mountain ($15* per person)
  • Lima services (hotels, transfers, & tours) can be added upon request

* Permit fees subject to change


 

 

 

Plan Your Trip

2017 GROUP DEPARTURES (requires a minimum of 2 travelers)
MAR 11 – 19 – MAR 18 – 26; MAR 25 – APR 2; APR 1 – 9; APR 8 – 18; APR 15 – 23; APR 22 – 30; APR 29 – MAY 7; MAY 6 – 14; MAY 13 – 21; MAY 20 – 28; MAY 27 – JUN 4; JUN3 – 11; JUN 10 – 18; JUN 17 – 25; JUN 24 – JUL 2; JUL 1 – 9; JUL 8 – 16; JUL 15 – 23; JUL 22 – 30; JUL 29 – AUG 6; AUG 5 – 13; AUG 12 – 20 ; AUG 19 – 27; AUG 26 – SEP 3; SEP 2 – 10; SEP 9 – 17; SEP 16 – 24; SEP 23 – OCT 1; SEP 30 – OCT 8; OCT 7 – 15; OCT 14 – 22; OCT 21 – 29; OCT 28 – NOV 5; NOV 4 – 12; NOV 11 – 19; NOV 18 – 26; NOV 25 – DEC 3; DEC 2 – 10; DEC 9 – 17; DEC 16 – 24; DEC 23 – 31

2017 PRIVATE DEPARTURES
Private Trips can start on any date from March through December, pending availability.

 

None, but this is a great trip for families!

Trip Start: Trip starts upon your arrival at the Cusco Airport. All international flights route through Lima. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima the night before your arrival in Cusco. A hotel in Lima can be added upon request.

Trip End: Trip ends at the Cusco Airport in time for you to catch your flights home, or continue on to the next part of your adventure.

How Do I Get To and From the Trip: 

You will need to arrive in Cusco on Day 1 of this trip. You can arrive at any time this day, by flight, train, or bus. You will be met by your guide upon your arrival, and transferred to your hotel in Cusco.

All international flights to Cusco must route through Lima. Most likely, you will need to overnight in Lima the night before you fly to Cusco. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services upon your request.

At the end of this trip on Day 5, you will be transferred to the Cusco Airport, train station, or bus terminal in time for your departure. We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

We do not sell international or domestic Peru airfare but partner with a flight specialty company, Exito Travel, who can arrange all of your flights for you, simplifying the process of this part of your trip.

For all your transportation in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, you will be in a private van with your guide, fellow travelers, and driver.  Between Machu Picchu ruins and Machu Picchu Pueblo, you will be on a tourist bus.  You will take the Vistadome Train (or similar) from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu Pueblo, and then the same back to the Sacred Valley or Cusco. From the train station, you will have a private van transfer to your hotel in Cusco.

Lima Hotels: Depending on your international flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima.  We can help you arrange hotels, transfers, day rooms, and/or tours here upon your request.

Cusco Hotels: If you would like to extend your stay in Cusco beyond the scope of this trip, we can help you arrange this.

We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Amazon, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

Cusco is great starting point to explore Peru. You can extend your stay in Cusco, and explore the area by mountain bike, stand-up paddle board, rafting and kayaking, horseback, and hiking.

If you want to go further afield, you can take the luxury train or a comfortable bus to Puno and Lake Titicaca (we recommend spending 3 or 4 days on Lake Titicaca). You can catch a short flight to the Amazon (flying into Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos) to check out the incredible wildlife. We recommend spending 4 to 6 days in the Amazon. You can take a flight or an overnight bus from Cusco to Arequipa, and from there explore the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons.

A trip in Peru combines very well with a visit to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. You will need at least 5 days, but preferably 8 days, to have a great trip in the Galapagos. Allow yourself a full day to fly from Cusco, Peru to either Quito or Guayaquil in Ecuador.  All trips to the Galapagos start in either Quito or Guayaquil, and you will need to spend at least one night in one of these cities before starting your Galapagos trip.

We work with local trip operators throughout Latin America, and we can help you plan the rest of your trip to where ever sparks your curiosity.

Countries Visited: Peru

Destinations Visited: 

Pisac ruins & market, Urubamba, Chinchero ruins & market, Moray, Maras Salt Pans, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Q’enko, Sacsayhuaman, and San Cristobal Church

Green Certifications: 1% for the Planet

Trip Sustainability: 

Amazonas Explorer recognizes that tourism has the potential to create many problems. Here are their beliefs and goals to create more sustainable trips and to help eliminate these problems.

  • They try to further reduce their impact on the environment and conserve energy when possible.
  • They endeavour to become a paperless company and prefer the use of e-mail and on-line banking where possible.
  • They use re-cycled paper where available in the office, for brochures and adventure-dossiers. They make full use of the recycling paper and plastic rubbish has finally come to Cusco.
  • They are committed to running small groups tours, to exploring new routes away from the busiest areas and to operating these tours where possible in conjunction with local communities, maximizing the benefit to local areas and minimizing the impact on the environment.
  • They educate clients and locals on how to preserve the fragile environment and endangered species they encounter. This includes on-going guide and porter awareness programs, and thorough pre-departure information and in-country briefings for travelers.
  • They continue to carefully dispose of all their waste. All non-biological waste, and as much non-biological waste, as possible is carried out and disposed of correctly. On the Apurimac rafting trip, all human excrement is also carried out. On other trips they carefully bury all biodegradable waste below the high-water mark, at the official deposits on the Inca Trail, or as deep as possible elsewhere.
  • They employ as many locally trained guides as possible, using foreign guides only where their overseas expertise is essential.
  • All food produce is purchased locally and they try to minimize the amount of imported foreign goods on trips, using locally grown fresh produce where possible. They are developing new menus to minimize the use of canned and packaged products, and encouraging cooking with local Andean products. They bulk purchase items when possible to reduce excessive packaging and reduce the need for constant trips to shops.
  • They work to reduce the use of all plastic products (bags, bottles, etc) to the absolute minimum, and to recycle what little they do use.
  • They use as much locally made equipment as possible, designing and modifying equipment using local ideas and materials, and only importing equipment otherwise unavailable, or not of sufficient quality when available locally.
  • They encourage the most efficient use of fossil fuels, using the most suitable and efficient transport options available, ie cooking with gas not kerosene or firewood.
  • They have introduced recyclable glass bottles whenever possible on trips, and not disposable plastic bottles, while at the same time encouraging travelers to do likewise.
  • They continue to educate clients in local customs and languages where possible so as to promote local pride and not bring offense.
  • They are committed to encouraging sustainable tourism projects in conjunction with local communities.
  • They are committed to providing all staff a realistic wage and correct working conditions. This will include regular staff training in Responsible Tourism management, on-going assessments and quality control of Staff conditions, health insurance policies for porters, and correct clothing and equipment made available.
  • They encourage responsible tipping. Nothing for nothing – locals are rewarded for helping set up camp and pose for photographs but not for doing nothing.
  • They encourage the purchasing of local weavings directly from the local women encountered en-route.
  • They are actively looking at new ways to reduce their carbon footprint,and minimize the use of excessive transport where possible without compromising our service.
  • They have reduced our attendance at International travel shows and encourage ‘face to face’ meetings with our agents using Skype instead.
  • In 2007 Amazonas Explorer joined www.onepercentfortheplanet.org and chose to support the local NGO Ecoan www.ecoanperu.org for its 1% donations.

 

According to Peruvian legislation, the definition of a porter is “an independent worker who offers his services and who with his own body carries gear, personal equipment and other goods necessary for touristic expeditions.” Each individual can establish working relationships with one or more employer, subject to the laws being obeyed by the operating company.

  • The payment for porters has been established as a percentage of the UIT (an official tax code) by INRENA and the ministry of employment. Amazonas Explorer pay their porters the correct amount on time for their work done in accordance with this legislation. This wage has been agreed by Amazonas Explorer and their porters and is also accepted by the Porters’ union in Cusco.
  • Porters are contracted by a designated Head Porter, and payment is made directly by the Head Guide, thus avoiding any intermediaries or other possible conflicts.
  • While the legislation is unclear at present, Amazonas Explorer pays the $15.00 per person Inca Trail Porter fee, and they do not take this fee out of their wages.
  • The Inca trail rules state that porters can not carry more than 20kg (44lbs) of company equipment and 5kg (11lbs) of personal equipment. Amazonas Explorer abides by this, and it is enforced by the Inca trail governing body at several weigh stations on the way.
  • They provide a large communal tent with carry mat floor for the porters to sleep in. It is not the dining tent used by travelers.
  • They provide their porters with plenty of good food. This is not the same menu given to the passengers, but it is nutritious, abundant, and what they are used to eating. They have their own cooking facilities so do not have to wait for the clients to finish eating before they get their food.
  • They provide the porters transportation from Ollantaytambo to the trail head. They also provide them with return train tickets (with designated seat allocation) from Machu Picchu Pueblo to Ollantaytambo. They do not take this out if their wages.
  • They only use registered Inca trail porters (as Inca trail rules stipulate) – these porters have to pass several forms of ID, character reference, a letter of good health, and to have attended an Inca Trail Porter Awareness course.
  • All porters work freelance. Amazonas Explorer provides them with accident insurance and work contracts for each period of work they do for the company.
  • They provide each porter with a uniform, a back support, a carrying frame, and footwear. (Please note the porters often prefer their own sandals.)
  • As good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru, Amazonas Explorer encourages travelers to donate any excess outdoor clothes, sleeping bags, etc directly to the porters.
  • Tipping porters is also encouraged and guidelines are provided at the pre-departure meeting. The tip is administered by the travelers with assistance from the head guide whose tip is completely separate.
  • Amazonas Explorer holds an annual, end-of-season, porters’ party and football tournament. The 2008 hotly-contested tournament had over seventy participants; the final winners were the red team captained by Anacleto Suclli, Cook.
  • Amazonas Explorer is a member of www.onepercentfortheplanet.org. We support a local native-tree re-forestation program www.ecoanperu.org and planted over 57 thousand trees in 2014. These native-trees are planted in the water-tables above our porters’ villages. The porters are proud to be essential part of achieving these goals and maintaining the projects.

Activities: Cultural Tour

Activity Description: 

You will be exploring Inca ruins, visiting towns and markets, and learning about Inca and Peruvian culture. Day hikes are optional. If you decide not to hike between sites, you will have transportation in a private van.

Trip Difficulty: Not Strenuous

Fitness Level: 

This trip is not strenuous, as the day hikes are optional. But you will be exploring Inca ruins that have steep, uneven, and rocky stairs and trails. These can be challenging if you are not at least fairly active in your daily life.

This area is at a very high elevation. The Sacred Valley is approximately 9,200ft (2,800m) above sea level, Machu Picchu is at 8,000ft (2,400m), and Cusco is at 11,200ft (3,400m). Walking at high altitude can be challenging. For your first few days at high altitude, be sure to eat lightly, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. And drink plenty of coca tea, as this will help you deal with the side effects of being at a high altitude and help you adjust more quickly.

Minimum Age: 8

Maximum Age: 85

Minimum Group Size: 1

Maximum Group Size: 16

Typical Group Size: 4

Months Offered: All Year

Best Time to Go: 

This trip is great at any time of the year. If you are traveling during the rainy season, be sure to bring a good rain jacket. The rain is heaviest during January and February. In December and March, the rain will usually come and go throughout the day. July and August are dry but cold. May is the most popular month, as it is warm and dry.

Food and Special Diets: 

Amazonas Explorer pride themselves on excellent cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on hygienically prepared, wholesome, and copious quantities of really tasty food. Vegetarian dishes are their specialty and any unusual dietary requirements can easily be accommodated. Each morning, you start with a breakfast at your hotel, and around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, either prepared by the talented cooks at Amazonas Explorer or in a local restaurant. Snacks are also provided for the longer day hikes. Amazonas Explorer’s aim is to source as much produce locally and organically as possible and their menus reflect a wonderful mix of delicious local recipes and international favorites. They regularly run catering courses for their cooks and chefs, and introduce new menus and ideas including the latest hygiene policies.

All their fresh vegetables are washed in iodine water prior to serving and they provide only boiled, filtered, or iodized water for drinking.

Amazonas Explorer is trying to cut back on all packaging by buying in bulk, using recyclable containers for foodstuffs, and shopping sensibly. Where possible, they recycle all vegetable waste, tins, and plastic. They only use plastic bottles where no alternative is available and they provide water for you to refill yourself when needed.

By sourcing food locally, Amazonas Explorer aims to reduce the carbon footprint of their food and to encourage local farmers to provide quality products, which are often far superior to imported equivalents. Their cooks also produce a range of in-house delicacies from birthday cakes to quiches, biscuits, and pizzas. It is unlikely you will ever be disappointed by their range of delicious home-cooked meals and the variety of choice they can provide.

All dietary requirements from vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten allergies, and general dislikes can be catered for, so long as prior warning is given when booking the trip.

Drinking Water: 

Boiled, filtered, or iodized water is provided for drinking during your daily excursions. Please bring a refillable water bottle. While you’re in hotels in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo, you will be responsible for procuring your own drinking water.

Equipment Provided: 

Private transportation for day’s activities.

Boat Specifications:

N/A

Special Equipment You Should Bring: 

  • Day pack & rain cover
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Water proof jacket & pants and/or rain poncho
  • Good, well worn-in walking shoes
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, after bite, anti-diarrhea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (Amazonas Explorer carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)

For a complete packing list, see the Suggested Packing List under the More Info Tab.

 

HOTEL / LODGE AMENITIES:  Breakfast, Restaurant, WiFi

BOAT AMENITIES: You do not stay on a boat on this trip

CAMP AMENITIES: You will not be camping on this trip

ROOM AMENITIES: Twin Beds, Double Beds, Safebox, Telephone, Hot Water, Private Bathroom, Shower, Soap and Shampoo, Towels

ROOMING OPTIONS: Double, Triple, Single

DESCRIPTION:

URUBAMBA HOTEL OPTIONS
3 Star Hotel: Lizzy Wasi or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Villa Urubamba or similar

CUSCO HOTEL OPTIONS
3 Star Hotel: Casa Esmeralda or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: Quinta San Blas or similar

MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO HOTEL OPTIONS
3 Star Hotel: Waman Hotel or similar
3 Star Plus Hotel: El MaPi by Inkaterra or similar

Upgrades to 4 star hotels available upon request.

 

 

Local Tour Operator:

For more than 30 years Amazonas Explorer has used a different approach in leading high-quality trips and adventures in South America. While the company had its beginnings in adventure tourism, its success in building a strong team of knowledgeable guides has enhanced its ability to offer a range of innovative cultural tours. By raft, bike, foot, horse and even paddleboard, travelers are immersed in their surroundings to explore in unique ways the highlights of southern Peru, the company’s home turf. Every adventure with Amazonas Explorer is treated with impeccable care and top-notch services, all focused on the client’s comfort and safety.

The current owners, while originally from the United Kingdom, have lived and played in the Cusco region for more than 20 years. The itineraries they’ve crafted are based on places they love and activities they enjoy. Their obvious love for Peru shines through in the company’s efforts to maximize benefits to local economies and to promote responsible tourism across the country. Beginning in the home office, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew are well cared for as they build rewarding careers for themselves within the hierarchy of the company. With more than 20 office staff and a Peruvian team total of nearly 200, Amazonas Explorer prides itself on being a great place to work. On an Inca Trail hiking trip, for instance, it is likely you will have the support of porters who have been with the company more than 10 years. Amazonas has a porter protection policy in place and all employees enjoy the provisions of proper working conditions, fair wages, quality gear, and insurance.

Dedicated to sustainable tourism projects in alliance with local communities, Amazonas Explorer purchases local food and, when available, local equipment and gear. Its exceptional cultural experiences include engagement with local people and opportunities for travelers to purchase local crafts and weavings directly from their source. The largely paperless company takes significant steps to further reduce its carbon impact by minimizing its impact to the environment with small group sizes, smart transportation choices, recycling whatever it can, cooking with gas not kerosene or firewood and carefully disposing of all waste generated on trips. Above all, the entire crew of experts holds collective focus on safety and on providing memorable experiences that are equal to none. Amazonas Explorer is also a member of One Percent for the Planet, donating annually its time and money to reforestation efforts in Peru’s Lares Valley.

Guides:

All the guides have the necessary Tourism University degree required to be registered Inca Trail guides. This course includes Peruvian history, languages, International tourist circuits, geography, geology, company organisation and administration. They have up to date Wilderness first aid certificates and a working knowledge of hypothermia and altitude sickness. They are aware of emergency & evacuation procedures at any point. By trekking the Inca trail in five days this ensures you never camp between the two high altitude passes where altitude sickness can take its toll. This means evacuation is a simple quick and effective operation.

Efrain Valles – Trek guide and Tour Conductor

A graduate of Cusco’s Tupac Amaru University, Efrain’s knowledge of Peruvian history, culture and fauna together with his fluent English makes him one of our most popular trekking guides and tour conductors.  His latest trip involved exploring the central highlands of Peru to set up a new trip for Christian Aid and he also leads all of our “Traidcraft- Meet the people tours”. His dream is to compete in the London Marathon.

Zacarias de Ugarte – Trek guide and Tour Conductor

Zacarias comes from a family of guides who were amongst the first to explore Peru and its potential as a travel destination. His ability to share his love of Peru, his wild sense of humour and deep love of all things Peruvian makes him one our most popular trek leaders and tour conductors. Several of the photos on this website were taken by “Zac” whilst leading trips for Amazonas Explorer.

Wilo Cardenas – Trek and Cultural tour guide

Wilo started out as a porter but decided to put himself through college where he met up with Efrain and Zacarias and then joined Amazonas Explorer as a trainee trek leader. Several years later, he leads his own treks, tours and has even been seen on a bike. His wicked sense of humour makes him great fun to be around but you might not want to believe everything he says!

Ruben Apaza – Trek and Cultural tour guide

“Chino” as he likes to be called once taught Peruvian history at uinversity but decided he preferred the great outdoors and joined Amazonas Explorer where he has excelled himself leading treks and tours throughout Peru. To travel with Ruben is like having your own friendly professor along to show you round.

Nilo Gamarra – Trek and Cultural tour guide

Nilo’s quiet confident manner with clients has made him a firm favourite to guide many of our cultural tours and treks. His knowledge of Machu Picchu, Cusco and surrounding ruins and his ability to share his love of all things Peruvian, make Nilo a very popular guide.

Marcia Cardenas – Trainee Guide

Wilo’s little sister, Marcia joined us as a trainee trek guide a few years ago and now helps out on the Inca trail where possible. Her infectious smile and good nature has encouraged many an exhausted traveller to make it up Dead woman’s pass and as her English improves she will become regular and sure to be favourite amongst Amazonas Explorer groups in the years to come.

Aaron Zarate – River, Trek and Climbing guide

Aaron’s fluent English and competent river and mountain skills has led him to become first choice for many of our trips and he has been reported to have been able to talk the hind legs of a llama so there’s never a dull moment when Aaron is around!

John Leivers – Trek leader and TV Fixer

There’s hardly a country in the World that Australian John hasn’t travelled in, driven across or lead expeditions to but he now calls Peru his home. His in depth studies of the Incas and never ending fascination with all things Peruvian makes travelling with John like having your very own Peruvian encyclopaedia on board. John has helped “fix” several of our latest TV programs from Bruce Parry’s “Amazon” to the BBC’s Human Planet filming of the ritual battle called Chiaraje. His ability to micro-manage complex projects like this makes him an invaluable member of our team. When not working, John is always off exploring in search of Inca ruins, ancient trails and one day we are hoping he will write a book about it so we can find out where’s he’s been!

TMI (Too Much Information)

SUGGESTED PACKING LIST

  • Smart clothes for night life in Cusco
  • Comfortable walking clothes for exploring ruins, markets, and short hikes
  • A warm fleece, down jacket, or wool sweater (available in Cusco)
  • Underwear and socks
  • Warm hat, gloves, & scarf
  • Water proof jacket & pants and/or rain poncho
  • Good, well worn-in walking shoes
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Eyeglasses or contacts (if necessary)
  • Swim suit
  • Sun hat
  • Flashlight & spare batteries
  • Book, notepaper & pen (optional)
  • Suntan lotion with 15 SPF or higher
  • After sun care
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera & spare battery
  • Personal toiletries
  • Money belt
  • Passport
  • Day pack & rain cover
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, after bite, anti-diarrhea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (Amazonas Explorer carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)

 

HOW TO PACK 

For your daily activities, you will need a day backpack, large enough to hold water bottles, rain jacket & pants, a warm layer, sun screen, insect repellent, camera, and snacks. The day backpack makes a good carry-on for your flights.

For your main luggage, you can use whatever type of suitcase, duffle bag, or backpack you prefer. The main bulk of your luggage and your main suitcase will be left at your hotels during the day.

Pro Tip: We recommend carrying on all of your most essential items on your flights to Cusco. This way, if your checked luggage is lost in transit, you will still be able to do the trek. For example, wear or carry on your walking shoes. Good, comfortable, and broken-in walking shoes are irreplaceable. Also carry on any prescription medications, sunglasses, and anything else that is irreplaceable for you. Everything else necessary for your trip (trekking poles, rain jackets & pants, etc. can be found in Cusco).

 

NOTES

  • New rules at Machu Picchu limit the number of visitors to Huayna Picchu.  Please let us know when booking your trip if you wish to climb this peak so we can include your permits.
  • We recommend trekkers carry 200 soles in local currency during the day for any personal expenses, or purchasing local handicrafts in the towns and communities you will be visiting. 
  • Most good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru so if you wish to donate any outdoor clothes, etc they will be gratefully received by any of our staff.

• 1491, by Charles Mann
Turn Right at Machu Picchu, by Mark Adams
The White Rock or Cochineal Red, by Hugh Thomson
Peru’s Amazonian Eden: Manu National Park, by Kim MacQuarrie & Andre Bartschi
Where the Andes Meets the Amazon, by Kim MacQuarrie & Andre Bartschi
Field Guide to the Birds of Machu Picchu, by Barry Walter
Exploring Cusco, by Peter Frost
Lost City of the Incas, by Hiram Bingham
The Inca Trail, by Richard Danbury
Neo-Tropical Companion, by John C. Kricher
Running the Amazon, by Joe Kane
The Last Days of the Incas, by Kim MacQuarrie
Birds of Peru, by Clive Byers
The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thorton Wilder
Conquest of the Incas, by John Hemmingway
Into the Forest of the Night, by John Simpson
Touching the Void, by Joe Simpson
Heart of the Amazon, by Yossi Ghinsberg
Inca Kola, by Matthew Paris
Inca Gold, by Clive Cussler
Realm of the Incas, by Max Milligan
Peruvian Wildlife, by Gerard Cheshire, Huw Lloyd & Barry Walker

220 Volt outlets are standard in Peru, although outlets in most hotels and tourist areas can accommodate 110 Volt appliances. Peru uses two styles of outlets: two-pronged plugs with flat, parallel blades (same as the US), and two round prongs. Most outlets are designed to accommodate both styles.

You will be traveling through several small communities and small towns, and you will have opportunities to purchase drinks, snacks, and local handicrafts in these communities. Bring small denominations of coins, as it is unlikely that they will have enough change for larger bills.

Smoking is not allowed in Machu Picchu, in hotel rooms, or enclosed public areas.

Safety:

SAFETY FIRST
Amazonas Explorer pride themselves on their safety record, and plan to maintain their claim as being the safest and best equipped team on any expedition. While rafting, safety kayaks and cata-rafts are present wherever deemed necessary, and guides carry an extensive emergency first aid kit and satellite telephones on all remote expeditions.  The key to Amazonas Explorer’s Safety Policy is their highly trained and superbly motivated staff. The guides make decisions that put safety above all else. These decisions include walking around rapids, waiting out for better weather, route changes, and limiting trip participation if a traveler is too sick to continue. They expect travelers to abide by these decisions.

RISK ASSESSMENT
Amazonas Explorer has undertaken a risk assessment for all activities that they offer. Individual risk assessments per activity are available on request. Travelers should be aware they are taking part in adventurous activities in remote locations with inherent risks including possible personal injury. They should be prepared to accept such inherent risks and personal injury that may occur on a trip of this nature. A prerequisite of joining an Amazonas Explorer trip is all travelers must take out personal travel insurance that will cover personal injury (including search & rescue) should any accident occur while partaking in an adventure, details of which must be given to their tour guide at the start of the trip.

GUIDE TRAINING
Amazonas Explorer considers training to be vital investment to ensure the security and safety of all their trips. They also believe that trained guides are confident guides which help them to relax and enjoy the trip which the company firmly believe will massively enhance your own personal enjoyment. Their guides are all qualified in first aid qualifications, the more senior guides in Wilderness First Aid by NOLS, and the majority by multi-day local courses run by medical organizations in the local area such as Hampiland, O2, Clinica Paredes, Clinicas Pardo, and San Jose. With all of these organizations, Amazonas Explorer has close contacts and experience this ensures that they are able to organize visits by doctors and treatments as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY OF PASSENGERS
People traveling with Amazonas Explorer are expected to abide by certain basic safety rules including:

  • Informing the guide of any medical condition or any other factors that may affect your or another traveler’s safety
  • Respecting the guide’s decisions
  • Being responsible and taking care of individual equipment that is assigned you
  • Keeping covered to avoid sun exposure and insect bites
  • Drinking plenty of water to avoid sunstroke and dehydration
  • Understanding that you are entering National parks and there are certain rules concerning, litter, waste, and wildlife that you must abide by
  • Being honest with yourself concerning how comfortable you are and if your limits are being pushed.
  • Advising your guide if any medical emergency arises that it left untreated could jeopardize the safety of the entire group.

Medical Attention:

The guides have up to date first aid certificates and a working knowledge of hypothermia and altitude sickness. They are aware of emergency and evacuation procedures at any point. Guides carry an extensive first aid kit and Oxygen on all trips, but this is generally for emergencies only.

Staff/ Crew on Trip: You will have one guide for a group of 1 to 7 travelers. You will have one guide and one assistant guide for groups of 8 to 16 travelers.

DETOUR'S POLICIES

DETOUR’S DISCLAIMER
Detour acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Detour, LLC and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws, or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are provided. Detour, LLC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours /trips arranged by Detour, LLC. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.

Cancellations: If you cancel the trip at any point after confirmation, you will forfeit a $100 per person handling fee to Detour. This is separate and in addition to the fees, deposits, and payments potentially owed to the tour operator (see information below).

Trip Changes:  If you decide to make any changes to your trip (changes to your itinerary, travel dates, tours, or accommodations) after it is booked, you will incur a $50 change fee per person, per change.  Unavoidable changes (such as those imposed by an international flight schedule change) will not incur this fee.  Adding on services before or after your confirmed tour will not incur this fee.

Rate Changes to Domestic Flights, Park Entrance Fees, Government Taxes and Fuel Surcharges:  The rates for all these items are subject to change at any point and these fees or fee changes can be imposed on any trip, even after a trip has been confirmed and paid for in full.  These rate changes are beyond the control of Detour or our local operating partners.  Oftentimes, these changes are imposed by government decree and take effect immediately.  While this is a rare occurence and the rate changes themselves are typically quite small, these changes are unpredictable and sometimes unavoidable.  Travelers are responsible for any additional costs or fees due to these rate changes, even after the trip is paid in full.

Passports and Traveler Details:  Passengers are responsible for sending up-to-date and correct information that is requested in the “Trip Reservation Form.”  If any of those details change, it is the passenger’s responsibility to notify Detour of the change before the trip departure.  If you need to renew your passport prior to your trip, you must notify Detour that you will be renewing your passport and you will have to email a scanned copy of both your old and new passports to Detour.  Additionally, you will have to bring both passports with you on your trip. Please make sure that you request to receive your old passport at the start of the renewal process.

Airport Transfers:  Airport transfer rates are based on group size with the assumption that all travelers will be taking the same transfer.  If some travelers in your personal group arrive or depart on different days or at different times, additional airport transfers will have to be booked and the passenger is responsible for this additional cost.

DETOUR’S DISCLAIMER
Detour acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Detour, LLC and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, default of any company or person in performing these services.  Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws, or other such causes.  All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are provided. Detour, LLC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours /trips arranged by Detour, LLC. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.

DETOUR’S CANCELLATION POLICY
If you cancel the trip at any point after confirmation, you will owe a $100 per person handling fee to Detour.  This is separate and in addition to the fees, deposits, and payments potentially owed to the tour operator (see information below).

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S DISCLAIMER
Amazonas Explorer’s trips travel through remote and rarely visited parts of Peru and they believe travelers should be aware that the remoteness that makes these trips so very special could also cause certain problems. Thus, while Amazonas Explorer endeavors to minimize the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to. This is the very nature of adventure travel and they expect travelers to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in itineraries. At certain times of the year, these trips may be run with the activities (walking, trekking the Inca trail, mountain biking, rafting and jungle) taking place in a slightly different order to those indicated in the itinerary. This is to best suit the weather, take in any local fiestas, or due to availability of permits for the Inca Trail. In all cases, they will advise you of any changes in the itinerary as early as possible. They have taken all these possibilities into account when planning your expedition, and have allowed sufficient leeway to enable them to successfully run these exceptional trips. You should also be aware that adventure travel, in particular trekking, white-water rafting, inflatable canoeing, mountain biking and traveling in remote areas such as southern Peru, does carry with it certain inherent risks that you, the traveler, will have to assume. You will have to take out an adequate travel insurance to cover these risks. National flight time tables are also subjected to local weather conditions. Please ensure your travel insurance covers any cost incurred due to delayed and cancelled flights. Excess baggage is also at the traveler’s expense. A pre-departure meeting will be held upon your arrival in Peru. It is highly recommended you attend. All travelers will be asked to sign a release and waiver form and must provide a photocopy of their passport, Peru entry stamp and details of their travel insurance.

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S CANCELLATION POLICY
1: We will invoice you on confirmation of your trip at which time a 20% deposit is required to hold your reservation or payment in full if less than two months prior to departure.
2: Full payment is required two months prior to trip departure unless previously negotiated credit terms with Amazonas Explorer.
If the trip is cancelled by yourselves, we reserve the right to charge:
A) A $200 or 20% non-refundable deposit. This covers the cost of Inca Trail clients’ and porters’ permits purchased on client’s behalf.
B) 60-15 days prior to departure we charge 50% of price.
C) 14 days or less we charge 100% of net price
In exceptional circumstances and entirely at our discretion, we can offer up to 50% off net price as an advance towards a future Amazonas Explorer fixed departure trip.

INCA TRAIL CANCELLATION POLICY
With the new Inca Trail regulations in force, Machu Picchu has become a very expensive and inflexible place to visit. Any last minute cancelling or dropping out of the Inca Trail during the trip has certain repercussions. An outline of extra expenses incurred as a result of cancellation and continuing to Machu Picchu via the Sacred Valley is detailed below. These extra expenses may be paid for directly by the client in situ. Full payment in cash US dollars will be required prior to agreeing to make any changes or alternative arrangements. A full receipt from Amazonas Explorer can be given to the passengers to claim of their insurance to cover all expenses incurred.

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S BOOKING CONDITIONS
The purchase of Inca Trail permits is strictly controlled by the Peruvian Institute of Culture (INC). There are only 500 permits for guides, porters, and trekkers per day. This has led to very competitive demand with permits often being sold out three to four months in advance. With regard to any trip that involves trekking the Inca Trail, we are therefore introducing the following booking conditions.
1: Space on the trip cannot be confirmed until:
A): Full client information (Full name, Passport number, Nationality and Date of Birth) are sent to us in order to purchase your Inca trail permit.
B): Amazonas Explorer has confirmed that an Inca Trail permit is available for the trip of your choice.
C) The USD $200 non-refundable deposit has been paid.
2: Clients must bring with them the passport with which the permit was issued – ie the passport number that was provided us with at time of booking – otherwise entry to the Inca Trail will not be permitted.
3: Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and local ruins entrance fees for 2015 have not yet been confirmed and should there be a significant increase, Amazonas Explorer will not be able to assume this extra cost and the extra will  have be passed onto the clients
4: Any changes will be entirely at the discretion of the INC and, if possible, will incur a penalty fee of $50 per change.

INCA TRAIL CANCELLATION
Amazonas Explorer reserves the right to charge the following additional costs for a full alternative service. Discretion may be used by Amazonas Explorer as to the implementation of these costs.
1. More than five days before: (100% of permits is lost, pax food can be cancelled, admin fee). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of approx $150 extra.
2. Less than 5 days before. (100% of permit & porters is lost, food may be cancelled, admin fee). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $250 extra.
3. The day before: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra.
4. Day 1 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The travelers, if turned back on the Inca trail, are accompanied to KM88 by an Inca trail guide and put on the train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo (with or without the guide depending on the health and attitude of the client.) The Guide would then have to catch up with the group to ensure their continued safety & enjoyment.
5. Day 2 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a guide to accompany passenger to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The passenger involved would have to continue on the train to Aguas Calientes (again with or without a guide depending on passenger condition), and catch a bus up to Machu Picchu and enter Machu Picchu on their Inca trail permit (this is valid only 1 day, the next day is $32 entrance payable in cash). They could if desired then walk back up to the sun gate and wait for the remaining Inca trail groups to arrive.
6. Day 3 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for the guide to accompany passenger to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The guide would then be unable to return to the main group.
7. Day 4-5: This evacuation is to Machu Picchu. No extra cost incurred. Passengers should note an emergency evacuation helicopter is not always available in Cusco, depending on where in Peru the helicopter is. The Inca trail is a serious undertaking with very steep, high & remote passes. Passengers should not expect an easy evacuation at any point. Passengers are advised to be educated in the symptoms of High Altitude sickness and have the strength of character to turn back if considered too sick to continue or a danger to other clients’ safety. Our Inca trail guides have the final decision regarding passenger safety.

7:00 am – Breakfast at your hotel
8:00 am – Guide picks you up at your hotel
9:00 am – Begin daily activity
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch break
3:30 pm – End activity & drop off at your hotel

Most hotels in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo will have wifi and/or computers available. Your guide will have a satellite phone in case of emergencies.

PERU TIPPING
Tipping in many countries can be a problem and can add a great deal of stress to your holiday. This is a rough guideline to try and help you work out how much you should tip. Remember Tipping is entirely voluntary and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received.

For background, Peru has a minimum salary of 800 Nuevo Soles (US$300) monthly for a 6-day, 48-hour week. However, in many of the lower paid jobs (e.g. waiters, porters. etc.) this is not always enforced. 2.60 Peruvian Soles are roughly the equivalent of GBP 60p, USD$1 and 1 Euro.

AIRPORT BAGGAGE CARRIERS
Strictly this is not a tip as these people make their living by carrying your luggage from the carousel to your bus. The general rule is one or two soles per bag.

HOTEL STAFF
If the hotel staff are helpful and friendly a tip of roughly one / two Soles per bag for the porters helping carry bags to your room, and for the breakfast staff, leave on the breakfast table a tip of roughly one Sol per person per breakfast. In many hotels this is not expected but the staff will be grateful.

DRIVERS
Generally drivers doing transfers from the airport to hotel or vice versa don’t expect tips. However, if you have a driver for a few days then it is generally expected to tip. Again the service supplied (i.e. did he drive safely, did he help with luggage, was he friendly) should determine the size of the tip. A reasonable average would be a total of 10-30 Soles a day from the group.

SPECIALIST GUIDES
On many trips you will have a number of specialist guides e.g. cultural, jungle, rafting, biking, or trekking guides. In most instances these guides have spent a number of years studying at Colleges or Universities to qualify as guides. Generally these guides will be with you for a few days but sometimes just for a day trip.

As a general guideline it would be expected to tip each specialist guide US$10-30 a day in total from the group. Again the group size, depth of knowledge of their area or specialist skill, command of English and friendliness should help determine the tip.

TOUR CONDUCTORS
On some of our bigger tours you will be accompanied by a Tour Conductor who will help deal with all the small problems that crop up when travelling in a foreign non English speaking land. Again it would be expected that the group would tip the tour conductor around US$10 – 30 per day. The group size, their friendliness, patience, availability and ability to resolve your problems should help determine their tip.

RESTAURANTS
As with most places in the world it is normal to tip in restaurants if the service was reasonable and the food good. A tip of 5% would be adequate, 10% is normal and 15% would be considered excellent.

SUMMARY

Airport porters Minimum 1-3 Soles per bag – compulsory
Hotel staff 1-2 Sole per bag / per breakfast
Transfer drivers Generally not expected
Drivers 10-30 Soles per day total from the group
Specialist guides US$10-30 per day total from the group
Inca trail cooks, porters 100-200 Soles per client divided up following advice of guide
Tour Conductors US$10-30 per day total from the group
Restaurants 5-15% for adequate to excellent food and service

We hope you find the above information useful, remember this information is a general guide, the only rule with tipping is that:  IT IS VOLUNTARY

Laundry: Laundry services are available through your hotels in Cusco, Urubamba, and Machu Picchu Pueblo, but you may not have enough time in each hotel for your laundry to be done. It will depend on the individual hotel.

Food and Special Diets: 

Amazonas Explorer pride themselves on excellent cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on hygienically prepared, wholesome, and copious quantities of really tasty food. Vegetarian dishes are their specialty and any unusual dietary requirements can easily be accommodated. Each morning, you start with a breakfast at your hotel, and around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, either prepared by the talented cooks at Amazonas Explorer or in a local restaurant. Snacks are also provided for the longer day hikes. Amazonas Explorer’s aim is to source as much produce locally and organically as possible and their menus reflect a wonderful mix of delicious local recipes and international favorites. They regularly run catering courses for their cooks and chefs, and introduce new menus and ideas including the latest hygiene policies.

All their fresh vegetables are washed in iodine water prior to serving and they provide only boiled, filtered, or iodized water for drinking.

Amazonas Explorer is trying to cut back on all packaging by buying in bulk, using recyclable containers for foodstuffs, and shopping sensibly. Where possible, they recycle all vegetable waste, tins, and plastic. They only use plastic bottles where no alternative is available and they provide water for you to refill yourself when needed.

By sourcing food locally, Amazonas Explorer aims to reduce the carbon footprint of their food and to encourage local farmers to provide quality products, which are often far superior to imported equivalents. Their cooks also produce a range of in-house delicacies from birthday cakes to quiches, biscuits, and pizzas. It is unlikely you will ever be disappointed by their range of delicious home-cooked meals and the variety of choice they can provide.

All dietary requirements from vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten allergies, and general dislikes can be catered for, so long as prior warning is given when booking the trip.

Drinking Water: 

Boiled, filtered, or iodized water is provided for drinking during your daily excursions. Please bring a refillable water bottle. While you’re in hotels in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu Pueblo, you will be responsible for procuring your own drinking water.

 

5 reviews for Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu


  1. Eileen & Dale
    5 out of 5

    :

    We like to think we saw the best of Peru on this trip! Our guide Willow picked us up at the airport and, on the way to the hotel, gave a brief history of his beloved city, Cusco. After we settled into our hotel, we took a brief walking tour through the streets to the quaint town square and market. We went to a local restaurant for quinoa soup and regional food. Willow has an obvious love for Peru and the history of his country. Throughout the week we visited the remnants of the Inca life in Saqsawaman, Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. We toured churches, watched Peruvian women wash, dye and weave Alpaca garments, climbed on the salt flats, rode horses, drove through spectacular valleys, climbed to the tops of beautiful mountains and toured the ancient city of Machu Picchu. It was spectacular! Even the train ride to and from Machu Picchu was enjoyable. Willow was an excellent guide, so knowledgeable about the history of the towns and sites. He also was funny and made us feel like we were old friends. It was a real pleasure seeing the country through his eyes. Julio was our driver and was as prompt and gracious as any person we met in Peru. David cooked a delicious meal when we went horse back riding and had it ready when we reached the top of the mountain. The hotels were older and have limited space for clothing storage but were uniformly clean and the staff in all of the hotels went out of their way in providing excellent service. Unfortunately, we experienced altitude sickness (we live at 7′ and Cusco is approx. 11,500) on the first day of our trip and spent the next 24 hours in bed. We would recommend that anyone traveling from a lower altitude, ascend to Cusco (or any of the high altitude cities) at a slower rate. Allie and Katie from Detour were very helpful in setting up our trip, so that we were as prepared as possible for the adventure. We would highly recommend this trip.

  2. Nuiohana
    5 out of 5

    :

    This was a trip of a lifetime and our tour guide team made it even better–Jimmy Barrientos and Isak (our driver). This was a family trip of 7. We flew in to Lima, Peru early in the day on the first day and opted to stay at the airport Ramada, which was a great decision for us. We took a cab to Miraflores and walked around town eating and shopping and seeing the sites. It was so much easier to just walk across the street to the airport at 6AM the next day to catch our flight to Cusco. It was really easy to get around the airports there too and the LAN agents were always very friendly–we did speak Spanish though so not sure if this made a difference. Each day was packed, but we saw it all and learned so much. Machu Picchu was the highlight, but we learned so much from the ruins in Sacred Valley, Chinchero, Moray, Maras, Ollantaytambo, the salt flats, the cathedrals, and museums–just wonderful. Jimmy was an excellent guide and extremely knowledgeable and they both were quite funny too–we had a great time and even learned a few Quechua words. We hit the ground running with site visits as soon as we landed in Cusco. They had water and snacks ready for us and each day would provide snack bags in addition to the wonderful lunches and dinners either prepared by Amazonas chefs or at local restaurants. We were lucky to be able to see several festivals too in many of the towns. If we wanted a little extra time at a market, Jimmy found a way to make it work. He was also able to coordinate or five of our family members to hike Huayna Picchu the morning of our visit to Machu Picchu. Each hotel had very nice accommodations and both in Cusco and Machu Picchu were in a great and easy location to walk to the sites in the evening. It was tough to say goodbye and leave beautiful Cusco, but we were headed to another adventure in the Galapagos, so that made it a bit easier. The Detour pre-departure checklists and information were extremely helpful to ensure we had the appropriate essentials during the trip. (Posted on 8/17/14)

  3. Charles
    5 out of 5

    :

    Willow was our tour guide and he was the best. We were the only couple on our group tour so Willow adapted to make the trip perfect for us. This was the trip of a lifetime and exceeded our expectations. Very well organized and good value. Without a good guide so much would be missed.

  4. Joyce
    4 out of 5

    :

    The Amazonas Explorer trip was a very enjoyable time, although we probably should have scheduled a day or two of rest, as we were really on the move every day. The guide Eduardo’s knowledge of Quechua and general knowledge was excellent. Our driver Walter was excellent. Some of the meals that were provided were not great. We would have liked more comments from the guide as we were driving….telling us bout the local scenery.

  5. Cynthia
    4 out of 5

    :

    We loved Peru and scenery was stunning. We enjoyed our guide and driver. We were disappointed that he was unable to be with us in Cusco but Amazonas provided a different guide for our last day and he turned out to be just fine, offering a different outlook. The best hotel was Soy y Luna in Urubamba (Scared Valley) beautiful, full of interesting artwork and huge deluxe rooms. The itinerary was good although we opted for a variation on the 3rd day to visit Moray and the salt pans – not to be missed! Machu Picchu was spectacular even though it was the only day we had rain on the whole trip – it was still magical in the mist! It was dangerously slippery with zero visibility on the mountain for which we had a permit so we didn’t climb very high. Saving our knees for exploring the rest of the site. Inka Tera was nice and the food quite excellent. Loved the Quinoa pancakes for breakfast! The hotel in Cusco was lacking  (I forget the name) in service and public space but was well located and certainly adequate. The Amazonas staff that took us to the airport were not very friendly (didn’t speak to us at all) but got us to where we needed to go. We had a long layover in Lima so maybe we could have left Cusco later in the day but by then we were ready to get going home!

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