The Inca Trail Holidays involve 18 days around the most important tourist attraction of Peru. This holiday tour starts from the capital of Peru. Try to arrive early and explore Miraflores or Larcomar, the most popular attractions in Lima. Then take the flight to the former capital of the Incan Empire: Cusco.
Cusco is the most colonial and Inca city in Peru. You don't need to walk far, if you want to see the Inca ruins and colonial houses, there you will find everything. Also Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and spend a night in Ollantaytambo village.
Inca Trail Holidays Peru package includes the Inca Trail, an authentic Inca Path that leads to Machu Picchu. During this tour you visit the most important natural, architectural and archaeological sites of Peru left behind by ancient civilizations that once inhabited Peru, several of which go back to before the Incas.
Continuing the Inca Trail holidays tour, take the bus from Cusco to the folkloric city of Puno and spend night there, then you will appreciate breathtaking sceneries of the Titicaca lake and share the traditional culture of Aymara in the Amantani island, spend a night in the homestay. Then you will take the bus to the Colca Canyon, view the Condor overflight and visit the "White City" - Arequipa.
The beauty and vitality of these places will leave you impressed, Machu Picchu is considered as a vital energy generating site and is admirable for the hardiness of its edification, adjusted use of space and harmonious integration to its natural surroundings. So do not hesitate and contact us!
Sustainable Tourism: At Tierras Vivas, we are happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities
Crew: Tierras Vivas Representatives in Lima, Cusco, Inca Trail, Puno, Titicaca Lake, Arequipa and as well as professional Tour Guides.
Accomodation: 13 nights in 3* hotels, 3 nights in campsites, 1 night in family homestay.
Service Level: Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character, tourist train and private transport.
Physical Rating: 3 - Moderate - Some low-altitude hikes, but accessible to most healthy travellers
Age requirement: 8+ / All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Inca Trail: It is included in your hike the Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu ticket. In the peak season the trail is booked months in advance
Tour Operator: Tierras Vivas travel
Meals: 16x breakfast, 7x lunch, 4x dinner, 3x afternoon tea (Please allow USD 200-250 for meals not included).
Transportation: 2x domestic flight, local transfers, private transportation by van, a train round trip, motorboat transportation.
Day 01: Lima
Day 02: Cusco
Day 03: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 04-07: Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Day 08: Cusco
Day 09: Puno
Day 10-11: Titicaca Lake Tour
Day 12: Puno
Day 13: Bus to Arequipa
Day 14-15: Colca Canyon Tour
Day 16: Arequipa
Day 17: Lima
Day 18: Departure Day
Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation. click here
Each Year Tierras Vivas hots a Christmas party in Patacancha. Family porters,
Arrival to the city of Lima. A Tierras Vivas Representative welcomes you at the airport holding a sheet with your name and takes you to your hotel. No activities are planned for this day.
A flight to Cusco and a transfer to your hotel. Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city of this continent as well as a hub of the South American travel network! The city attracts people from all around the world, who arrive not only to visit a unique destination, but also to experience an ancient culture that differs a lot from the modern 21st century´s way of life. One could easily spend a week just in and around this site. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and it is not necessary to go far to see other major Incan ruins. This is a city steeped in history, traditions and legends!
Every year, Cusco is visited by thousands of travelers, who come to delve into its noble, but tragic past. It is a perfect base for elective explorations around the city´s surroundings as well as for a range of outdoor activities. You can relax and explore this fascinating city while taking your time to acclimatize to its high altitude.
Today our tour guide takes us into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Sacred Valley was the agricultural bread basket for the Incas, with fertile soil, excellent for growing Inca food basics, like maize and potatoes. Today it still supplies Cusco with lots of its production. We visit the majestic ruins of Pisaq as well as its current famous handicraft market. Then we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, to have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (not included in the tour). Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo with its Incan fortress before getting ready for our upcoming hike, one of the highlights of the tour!
Ollantaytambo is your first taste of what lies ahead on the Inca Trail. The town and fortress of Ollantaytambo are strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. We spend the night in this small town before heading for the start of the hike on the next morning!
The 04 day inca trail to machu picchu holiday is physically challenging, but worthwhile. Its difficulty is within ability of the most reasonably fit. This 44-km (27 mile) trek is often steep including 3 high passes to be crossed, one of which reaches an elevation of 4,200 m (13,776 ft). Temperature at nights may fall below zero so it is important to be prepared for that. It also sometimes rains, even during a dry season.
This is the most famous ancient trek of the Incas! It begans with a morning trip to Km 82 - the initial hiking point. It is very important to not forget your passport with you because it is checked at the entrance and you get a stamp of the Inca Trail on it. Our Porters and Tour Guides are a guarantee that the trip is without any worries, so you can enjoy the Incan ruins (Llactapata, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarka, Wiñay Wayna) and spectacular mountain scenery. Early morning of the last day, you climb the ancient steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to watch the Sunrise above the long-awaited sight of the citadel of Machu Picchu! Then you enjoy a 2 and a half hour guided visit of the "Lost City of the Incas"! Afterwards you have the choice of climbing Huayna Picchu (subject to available spaces with an additional cost) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu! In the afternoon you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes to take a train back to Cusco. Arrival in the evening.
Please note! Inca Trail is closed during February due to general maintenance. Also, closures sometimes may occur as a result of inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. In this case we may hike the Lares Valley Trek.
FREE OPTION: Those who are not able or interested in trekking, can get back to Cusco or just stay at the Sacred Valley and spend the following 2 days there. In this case they reach Aguas Calientes by a tourist train (Expedition Service). They overnight in a hotel there. Next morning they take a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu where they reunite with that first group consisting of the Inca Trail hikers. This option is for no additional cost.
IMPORTANT: If you decide to not do the trek, you must tell us in advance (usually a couple of weeks ago) in order to secure your train tickets, otherwise we are not able to guarantee this option will be free
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate contacting us.
Today is a relaxing day so you can explore the fascinating capital of the Incas, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, do some optional activities as well as get ready for the last night in the city!
You can explore some of many very good museums such as the Inca Museum, the Qoricancha Museum, the Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), the Regional Historic Museum and the Religious Art Museum.
Cusco has got numerous colonial churches too. The most important of them is the Cathedral on the main square. Its construction started in 1559 and it took 100 years to finish!! The Cathedral can pride on the biggest depository of Colonial art of the city! A vault containing remains of the famous Incan historian - Garcilaso de la Vega is just past the entrance. Other churches that are worth seeing are La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.
The city is also a perfect base for those more adventurous as it offers a range of optional outdoor activities such as white river rafting on Urubamba River, horseback riding around nearby archaeological sites (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambo Machay and Puca Pucara) or mountain biking down to Maras, Moray and Salineras and perhaps visiting some Incan sites on the way.
Today, we take a tourist bus that takes us to each important site of the Cusco - Puno route.
First, we need to pass through Southern Valley (also called the Sun Route), where we stop in the village of Andahuaylillas to visit the famous San Pedro Church, which is called the "Sixtine Chapel of Americas" to observe the quality of its works of art! The church was constructed by Jesuits in the edge of the 16th and the 17th centuries. Its architectural structure is typical for small town´s churches while its wide walls are characteristic of colonial buildings. It is made of adobe and its facade is decorated with white painting. Two stoned columns are projected towards its main entrance. Although its architecture is relatively modest, its interior is richly decorated with amazing wall paintings!
After seeing the church, we continue towards the pre-Incan city of Pikillaqta beeing once one of the most impressive regional centers of the culture Wari!! The culture was seated in Ayacucho and its centres were occupied by Incas for many years. Today, Pikillaqta is a national archaeological park of great importance!! The word Pikillaqta is made up of Quechuan words "piki" = flea and "llaqta" = town, so that the meaning of the city´s name was the “City of the Fleas”. It does not want to say that fleas lived in the city nor that its inhabitants were lousy. The name was derived from the fact that each inhabitant lived in cramped conditions, in a very small room. Constructions of Pikillaqta consists of over 200 kanchas (apartments), 504 golgas (storages) and other constructions. The city accommodated a population of approximately 10 thousands of inhabitants!! Some investigators supposed that Pikillacta turned into a city of “mitimaes” during Incan times ("Mitimae" comes from the Quechuan word "mitma" meaning "resettlement". So mitimaes were originally groups of families taken by Incas from their native place to loyal or conquered towns to perform political, cultural, social, and economic functions).
After this guided tour, we continue to Raqchi where we observe the Temple of Wiracocha (Incan god - creator).
Then, we go to La Raya representing the border between Cusco´s region and Puno´s region. This place is well-known for its viewpoint offering splendid views of the surrounding Andes.
Our last stop is in the village of Pucara where we visit the Lithic Museum exhibiting artefacts of an pre-Incan culture.
Finally, we reach the city of Puno, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel.
In the morning, we board our comfortable motorboat to explore Uros Floating Islands as well as Amantani and Taquile Islands laying on Titicaca Lake. We stop at the islands to view the magic of the lake's scenery and to meet friendly people of its communities.
The lake is located at 3,830 metres above sea level resulting in extreme wheather conditions with very cold nights and strong sunshine during days. The city of Puno situated on its shores is well-known for wealth of its traditional dances, there are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in street processions celebrating of Catholic feast´s days. Another highlight and a popular optional activity of Puno is a visit of its nearby spectacular Chullpas of Sillustani, tower-like tombs of pre-Incan culture Colla.
Titicaca Lake is the largest lake in the world above 2,000 metres and the highest placed navigable lake in the world! Our first stop on the lake are the floating islands of the Uros people. The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from militant Colla´s and Incan tribes. Unfortunately, Uros´ language got extincted, so nowadays´ Uros people speak Aymara due to intermarriages with Aymara´s speakers. There are about 300 families living on the islands, however, their number has been slowly declining.
The islands are made of layers upon layers of totora reeds that grew in the shallow of the lake. When layers, which are the nearest to water, start to rot, they are replaced with fresh totora layers on the top. Totora is basically used to make everything on the islands, including real houses, boats and small model boats serving as souvenirs. A construction of a real totora boat takes up to 6 months!
After visiting the Uros Floating Islands, we continue towards Amantani Island. There, we land and our Tour Guide shows us around the island with its stunning Titicaca Lake views and friendly inhabitants with their particular folklore. We overnight in familial houses on the island to experience a bit more of the local culture.
The following day, we continue our motorboat ride after breakfast in the familial houses. Our next destination is Taquile Island, famous for its fine handwoven textile and clothing considered as the highest-quality handicraft of Peru. Taquile and its textile art was even recognized by UNESCO in 2005.
After a visit of this spectacular island and enjoying its amazing Titicaca Lake views, we return to Puno at afternoon hours. There, we transfer you from the Puno´s port to your hotel.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore around Puno, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, take some optional activities (for example, a visit of the Chullpas de Sillustani) and enjoy the last night in the city.
Today, we take a tourist bus to get to the so called "White City" - Arequipa, which is the second most important and biggest city of Peru! The city is placed at 2,325 m (7,626 ft.) above sea level and is surrounded by Andean mountain range. This magnificet colonial city is absolutely worth of a visit! Arequipa´s city centre is built from a white volcanic stone called sillar. For this reason, buildings in its centre dazzle on the Sun that result in the nickname - “White City”. The highlight of the city is its Cathedral with its main square that can be viewed from one of many surrounding coffee shops. Those, who are interested in history and architecture, may take an optional visit to the Santa Catalina Convent offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into bygone times and a way of life. We can also view the Misti Volcano (5,822 m/19,096 ft.) from the city with its beautiful snowcapped peak. The historic Arequipa´s centre was declared by UNESCO as a "World Cultural Heritage"!!
Colca Canyon is one of the world's deepest canyons!! It is a canyon of Colca River located in southern Peru. It covers an area of about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa. Colca Valley is a colourful Andean valley with pre-Incan roots and towns founded in Spanish colonial times. These towns are still inhabited by people of Collagua´s and Cabana´s cultures! Local people keep traditions of their ancestors as well as keep cultivating pre-Incan stepped terraces for agricultural purposes.
The canyon is home to an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), a specie that has been in focus of worldwide conservation efforts. Condors can be seen in range as they fly along the canyon´s walls. A popular tourist stop is a viewpoint named "Cruz del Condor" (Condor´s Cross) where people watch condors soaring on warm air waves. This point is situated at 1,200 metres (3,960 ft) below the rims of the canyon.
On the way, you can aprecciate the incredible landscape of Altiplano reaching up to 4,900 metres above sea level. We stop on the way in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where we observe beautiful South American cameloids such as alpacas, llamas, vicuñas, guanacos and some birds and viscachas as well. Later on, we get to the town of Chivay, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel. After that, you can visit the local thermal baths called La Calera which temperature reaches 38°C!! In the evening, we have dinner at a local restaurant and then we overnight in our hotel.
The second day, we visit the Cruz del Condor to observe condors flying above the canyon. Before we get there, we make some stops along the way to view the local villages of Cabanaconde and Yanque with their colonial churches and typical clothing as well as nearby pre-Incan tombs placed in mountain walls.
Upon our visit of the Cruz del Condor, we start our return way to Arequipa, where we get in the late afternoon.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore Arequipa, visit its markets and/or buy some souvenirs. You may visit the peaceful Santa Catalina Convent or just wander about the city centre. You also are given the last opportunity to discover Arequipa´s night life!
Today, we take a flight back to Lima. We transfer you from the Lima´s airport to your hotel. Then you are given time off to explore the city on your own and buy some souvenirs. You can also do some optional activities. Overnight in your hotel.
The capital of Lima is also known as the "City of the Kings" as it was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535! The Plaza de Armas (main square) is a heart of old Lima. There can be found the Cathedral, Governmental Palace and Archbishop´s Palace.
Transfer to the Lima´s airport for your international flight.
End of service.
Meal budget: Please allow USD 200-250 for meals not included.
Solo Traveler: Please note that if you have booked the "Solo Traveler" option for this tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights and a single tent for the Inca Trail.
Local flights: All local flights are included in the cost of your tour. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of booking in order to process all air tickets! Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to each flight departure!
Arrival day in Lima. Our representative will pick you up at Lima airport.He will be carrying a sign with your name on it.
Flight to Cusco. Transfer from your hotel to Lima airport for your flight to Cusco. Afternoon free to acclimatize to the altitude 11,200ft and enjoy a stroll around this unique ancient Inca city.
We visit the majestic ruins of Pisaq as well as its current famous handicraft market. Then, we stop in Urubamba, to have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (not included in the tour). Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo with its Incan fortress before getting ready for our following hike, one of the highlights of the tour. The Sacred Valley is a stunningly beautiful area, surrounded by the Andes mountains.
Most of travellers, who have reached Machu Picchu hiking the Inca Trail, would not like to have it done by any other way. The Inca Trail hike takes you past Inka ruins that are accessible only by foot. You will also enjoy views of the surrounding stunning scenery from high mountain passes to subtropcal cloud forests. The trek culminates at Machu Picchu. A guided tour of the citadel and plenty of free time for personal discoveries there.
Free day to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater, rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Sightseeing bus to Puno We take a tourist bus across the altiplano, stopping at various locations and for lunch. This day journey gives you another vista of the wonderfully diverse Peru, culturally and scenically.
We board our comfortable motorboat to explore Uros Floating Islands as well as Amantani,Taquile Islands laying on Titicaca Lake. We stop at the islands to view the magic of the lake's scenery and to meet friendly people of its communities. Overnight stay in a faily home on Amantini Island.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore around Puno, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, take some optional activities (for example, a visit of the Chullpas de Sillustani) and enjoy the last night in the city.
We take a tourist bus to get to the so called "White City" - Arequipa, which is the second most important and biggest city of Peru. The city is placed at 2,325 m (7,626 ft.) above sea level and is surrounded by Andean mountain range. Arequipa is well worth a visit.
Colca Canyon is one of the world's deepest canyons. It is a canyon of Colca River located in southern Peru. It covers an area of about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa Colca Valley is a colourful Andean valley with pre-Incan roots and towns founded in Spanish colonial times. The Colca Canyon is one of the main homes of the Andean Condor.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore Arequipa, visit its markets and/or buy some souvenirs. You may visit the peaceful Santa Catalina Convent or just wander about the city centre. You also are given the last opportunity to discover Arequipa´s night life.
Flight to Lima, Spend the rest of your day in Lima exploring the city, relaxing at the beach, check out museums and eat some of the best food in South America
Transfer from your hotel to Lima airport and then for your intenational flight home.
It is very important to book this trek a good time in advance!!! As there are only 500 permits (Tour Guides, Porters and Cooks including) issued per day for the Inca Trail!!
A general recommendation on how long time in advance to book is:
If you like to do the Inca Expedition Tour, please first check an availability of Inca Trail on this Peruvian government website: Ministerio de Cultura. You can choose your language clicking on flags on top of the page. Then, go to the section “Consultas” (“Queries” in English version), select “Inca Trail” from the Archaeological Centre section, choose year and month when you like to do the tour. Please note: the Inca Trail starts on the sixth day of the Peru Inca Trail Tour! (For example, if you like to start the tour on the 6th of August, you need to check Inca Trail availability of the day 09th of August!)
If there is still availability of the Inca Trail on your date requested in the time of your booking, the booking of the Inca Trail Expedition Tour will be confirmed firstly by our Reservation Department via e-mail. Then your full personal details wil be required as well as a deposit in order to purchase your Inca Trail permit. (Please note that an Inca Trail booking is valid only for 1 hour!! If it is not paid within this time, it expires!!!)
Each February, the Inca Trail is closed to allow its conservation as well as to give vegetation a chance to recover. This is a suitable month to close it since it is the wettest month of the year too. However, Machu Picchu itself remains open during the month so you can visit it!
All Tierras Vivas adventurous group tours are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The Tour Guides provide information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
These following hotels are used to accommodate you during your tour:
Accommodation in Lima:
Address: Calle Bellavista N 320
Tel: (+51) 1 4446033
Accommodation in Cusco:
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Ollantaytambo:
Hostal Las Orquidea Real
Address: Av Ferrocarril , Ollantaytambo
Tel: (+51) 84 204032
Accommodation in Puno
Address: Puno 280, Puno 15001
Tel: (+51) 051 365614
Accommodation in Arequipa:
Address:Calle Consuelo 114 A, Arequipa
Tel: (+51) 054 288585
Accommodation in Colca Canyon:
Address: Av. Salaverry 307, Chivay
Tel: (+51) 054 531111
During the tour, we request our hotels to get ready your rooms for time of your arrival, especially, if you arrive prior to standard check-in time. Nevertheless, this is not always possible. In this case, you just store your luggage in that hotel storage room and you can explore around your new destination in between.
Please note! If you have purchased pre or post trip accommodation, you might be asked to change your room during your trip.
Camping Equipment included
Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for a tour, you receive your own single room for all nights as well as a single tent if your trip includes trekking.
Please, make sure you have access to at least an additional USD200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster) need a change to our planned tour. This is a rare occurrence! But you never know…
When travelling to Peru, you DO NOT NEED any vaccination!!
However, if you plan to visit a rainforest, you should get vaccinated against yellow fever and take antimalarial drugs. Other vaccines recommended are against hepatitis and typhoid. You should also use mosquito repellent when in jungle or a subtropical area!!
When going to mountain areas such as Cusco, acclimatization is necessary to avoid high altitude sickness!
Altitude sickness also called acute mountain sickness (AMS) or locally “soroche” — is a pathological effect of high altitude on people due to acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen access. It basically appears at altitude above 2,400 metres within 6-12 hours after reaching high altitude. It manifests itself as a set of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure that are similar to flu, hangover or carbon monoxide poisoning. Being in excellent physical condition does not automatically mean immediate acclimatization and altitude sickness avoiding. There are no specific factors that correlate with a tendency to altitude illness. AMS can progress to high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) or high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), which can be fatal, so immediate medical help is necessary!!
At high altitude, air density (oxygen and nitrogen molecules number per given volume) decreases as the altitude increases resulting in the fact that physical and mental alertness drops too. Dehydration caused by higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs may contribute to the symptoms of altitude illness. The rate of ascent, altitude achieved, amount of physical activity at high altitude as well as individual susceptibility are contributing factors to the appearance and seriousness of high-altitude illness. Usually, the illness occurs following a rapid ascent (for example, by flying from sea-level to La Paz or Cusco) and can be mostly prevented by ascending slowly. The symptoms are mostly temporary and disappear within a couple of days (2-3) as a general rule.
Acclimatization to high altitude is a process of adapting to reduced oxygen amount in the atmosphere. This process differs for everybody individually.
Common symptoms of high altitude:
Headache, nausea or vomiting, lack of appetite, dizziness, tiredness or weakness, sleepiness or insomnia, shortness of breath upon physical effort, persistent rapid pulse, needles and pins, nosebleed, general malaise, excessive flatulence, peripheral oedema (swelling of feet, hands and face).
Pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs), cerebral oedema (swelling of the brain), fever, symptoms similar to bronchitis, persistent dry cough, shortness of breath even during a rest, headache that does not react to analgesics, increased nausea, unsteady gait or gradual loss of consciousness.
How to prevent or reduce high altitude sickness:
You should drink lots of liquids, including the local remedy mate de coca (traditional tea made of coca leaves), eat plenty of sweet, avoid drinking alcohol, taking sedatives or any other mind-altering substances and heavy and hard to digest food (high-carbohydrate meals). Above all, you need to rest! Acclimatization is achieved when the heartbeat is normal at rest, you can eat and sleep well and have no headache.
Peru is a relatively safe country excepting the capital of Lima. The biggest problem in Peru is theft and pocket-picking. For Peruvians, foreigners represent enormous wealth as a budget of any tourist exceeds what most of Peruvians earn in a year (or even much longer time)!! For that reason, it is HIGHLY recommended to leave on street with a minimum of cash and valuables (cameras, video-cameras, mobile phones, lap-tops or iPods) only, leave luggage just in a safe place and wear simple and unpretentious cloths. You should also avoid travelling in nights (unless with a very safe travel company), do not leave alone after the sunset and be vigilant around scenes of commotion that are often arranged to distract your attention!
When travelling across the country using ground transportation, choose a safe travel company. Very cheap bus companies possess very old vehicles in a corresponding technical state! Peruvian highways are in good conditions. Nevertheless, most of roads are in a very, very poor state and they are signed in the same way, particularly in inland. The best and most important motorway is a 3 400 km long Panamerican Highway connecting the south of the country with the north. Peruvians are not good drivers at all and you need to pay attention all the time, especially in nights. The worst drivers are taxi drivers as they drive very inconsiderately.
Meal in hotels of higher categories (3*, 4* and 5*) is very tasty and wholesome. Nevertheless, AVOID eating and drinking on streets and local markets as food there is prepared in very poor sanitation.
There are some our recommendations:
Other recommendation is to take your own toilet paper whenever you leave your hotel as you do not find any in local restaurants, local markets, supermarkets, internet cafes, etc. For the same reason, you should take your soap and paper towel (outside of your hotel) as well!!
At your pre-trek briefing, please advise your Tour Guide or a Tierras Vivas Representative about any special dietary or medical needs you might have. Our staff takes a first aid kit and oxygen bottle to each trek in case of emergency. Except that, do not forget your personal medication please (if applicable).
This trek is of strenuous difficulty. Although its daily distances are not big, the high altitude and cold nights make the trek hard. So we recommend getting some pre-trek practice in order to reduce a likelihood of an ankle´s sprain, falls and other injuries. You should start exercising or trekking at least several weeks prior to your Inca Trail. Good way of preparation is briskly walking in hilly country or cycling as it strengthens thigh muscles resulting in knee protection as well.
Please note: Everybody, who likes to undertake the Inca Trail, must be in good physical shape!
Peruvian cuisine is divided by geographic location. So there are basically 3 kinds of cuisine:
This cuisine is called “Comida Criolla”. It has a strong tradition and can be found all over the country. Typical for this cuisine are dishes based on seafood. The most popular dish is “ceviche”. This meal is made of white fish, marinated in lemon juice, onion and hot peppers. Ceviche is served traditionally with cooked corn-on-the-cob, toasted corn, yucca and sweet potatoes (camotes). Cebiche can be also served without onions; in this case, it is called “tiradito”. Another fish dish is “escabeche” - fish with onions, hot green peppers, red peppers, prawns, cumin, hard-boiled eggs and olives; everything sprinkled with cheese (it can also be made of chicken). If you like to eat only fish itself, do not miss out an excellent corvine or sea bass. Worth of try is also “chupe de camarones”, which is a stewed shrimp, accompanied with various ingredients. Next fish dish is called “parihuela” - a popular bouillabaisse that contains tangy seaweeds (yuyo de mar) and “aguadito” (soup of a hen´s neck and feet), thick rice and fish soup (it is said that it has rejuvenating effects). A favourite northern coastal meal is “seco de cabrito” - a roasted kid (a baby goat) served with omnipresent beans and rice. “Seco de cordero” is also favourite, but it is made of lamb instead. You can found “aji de gallina” not only on the coast, which is a rich and spicy creamed chicken (or a duck). “Humitas” are small, stuffed dumplings made of corn. Two other popular meals are “cau cau” that are made of tripe, potatoes, peppers and parsley, accompanied with rice and “antichuchos” - shish kebabs of beef heart with garlic, peppers, cumin seeds and vinegar. Typical soup of this area is “sopa a la criolla” containing thin noodles, beef heart, bits of eggs, vegetables, everything pleasingly spiced.
Staple food of Mountain (or Andean) Cuisine is corn and potato. These two commodities date back to Inca times and are found in a remarkable variety of shapes, sizes and colours!
Two very good potato dishes are “causa” and “carapulcra”. Causa is made of yellow potatoes, lemons, peppers, hard-boiled eggs, olives, lettuce, cooked sweet corn, cooked sweet potato (camote), fresh cheese and it is served with onion sauce (it can be made of tuna, avocado or prawns too). Carapulcra is stewed pork and stewed dehydrated potatoes with peanuts, sweet dried chilli peppers and sunflower peppers, garlic, cinnamon, anise and other spices. It is commonly eaten with rice, boiled potatoes or yuca. Another potato dish is “papa a la Huancaina” – potatoes topped with a spicy, milky and cheesy sauce. “Ocopa” is a similar meal containing potato´s slices and sauce made of milk, herbs and pecan nuts. “Papa rellena” is a deep-fried mashed potato ball stuffed with vegetables, eggs and meat. The most favourite corn dishes are “choclo con queso” (cooked corn on the cob with cheese) and “tamales” (boiled corn dumplings filled with meat or vegetables and wrapped in a banana leaf.
There are also many meat dishes. The biggest delicacy coming from high Andean areas is baked guinea pig – “cuy”.
Other typical meat dishes are “olluco con charqui” – olluco is a kind of potato and charqui is dried meat (jerky, it has been used since pre-Incan times); or “sancochado” – a meat with all kinds of vegetables stewed together and seasoned with ground garlic. A dish almost guaranteed to be found in each restaurant is “lomo saltado”, a kind of stir-fried beef with onion, vinegar, ginger, chilli peppers, tomatoes and fried potatoes, served with rice. Other meat meals are called “rocoto relleno” (spicy bell pepper stuffed with beef and vegetables) and “palta rellena” (an avocado stuffed with chicken salad, Russian salad or prawns). “Estofado de carne” is a meat stew often containing wine and “carne en adobo” is a cut and seasoned steak. Very common in mountains are “fritos” - fried pork, usually eaten in the morning; “chicharrones” - deep fried chunks of pork ribs, chicken or fish; and “lechon” - a sucked pig. To not forget some of Andean delicious soups, lets name at least “yacu-chupe” - a green soup based on potato, cheese, garlic, coriander leaves, parsley, peppers, eggs, onions and mint.
The main ingredient of Tropical (or Jungle) Cuisine is fish, especially succulent, dolphin-sized < paiche (Arapaima gigas), which comes with delicious “palmitos” (palm-hearts) and an ever-present yucca and fried bananas. Another popular meal is “sopa de motelo” (turtle´s soup). “Juanes” are a jungle version of tamales; they are stuffed with chicken and rice.
Peruvian climate is very miscellaneous containing a big variety of climates and microclimates. The climate of Peru includes 28 of the 32 climates of the world!!! This is a result of the presence of the cold Humboldt Current and the Andean mountains.
There are generally two seasons in Peru:
Three main climatic zones of Peru are the following:
Mountain - Andean Climatic Zone: Andean climate is characterized by moderate to cold weather with rainy summers and very cold and dry winters. During days is usually warm, but nights are cold in summer and freezing in winters. Mountain roads and trails may get impassable during the wettest months (January to March).
Coastal Climatic Zone: The climate on the coast is subtropically warm/hot with very little rainfall. Summer months (December to April) are hot and dry with temperature ranging from 25°C to 35°C on the desert coast (around Lima) and even more on the northern coast (further north from Lima). In winter (May to October), temperatures are much milder, airy, though with high humidity. Most of the desert coast (especially Lima) is covered by grey mist that is called “Garua”. This creates an impression that rain is coming in each moment; however, it does not happen. Only quite northern beaches (close to Ecuador) are sufficiently warm to swim (Mancora, Tumbes, etc.)
Rainforest Climatic Zone: This includes eastern lowlands characterized by Equatorial climate with hot and very humid weather and rain distributed all year round.
A kind of luggage you need to take with depends on a kind of tour you plan to undertake, a part of the country you like to visit, a year season and a length of your trip. In general, you should pack as lightly as possible because you carry your own luggage during most of our tours (however, there are not long walking distances – up to 30 minutes). We recommend you to keep weight of your luggage under 10 kg (22 lb.).
Most of travelers use a suitcase. However, a big backpack would be more suitable. In any case, please do not forget a small rucksack that you will need for daily travels (to carry your bottled water, camera, snacks, etc.). It is better to avoid a wheeled luggage and use luggage with shoulder straps.
Clothing to take with you depends on a year season in Peru and a part of country you plan to visit.
When visiting coastline of the Northern Peru and surroundings of Lima, then you need to pack some light cloths (for example, shorts, skirts, dresses, T-shirts), flip-flops, sandals, a head cover as a protection against the Sun (a hat or a cap), sun protection cream, sunglasses, mosquitos repellent and swimsuit, of course.
If you plan to visit Peruvian mountains (Andean mountain range or Altiplano), then we recommend you to take some trousers suitable for hiking, shorts, T-shirts and trekking shoes for the days; and sweaters, fleeces, hats, scarves and warm jackets for the nights. You also should take a sun protection cream, sun glasses and in some cases, mosquito repellent (depending on a route chosen). It is very convenient to have a light rain-gear available in a daypack (e.g. a waterproof poncho or jacket and/or waterproof trousers) as weather changes quickly and rains can suddenly occur. For more details, please check the below link of “What to Bring on the Inca Trail Expedition Tour”.
If you like to see the Amazonian rainforest (Manu, Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos, etc.), then the most important item of your luggage must be a mosquito repellent (20 DEET as a minimum recommended)!! Except that, you should take some light clothing with long sleeves and long trousers (to put into your shoes as a kind of protection against insect). You should not forget some waterproof cloths (especially, if you plan to visit the rainforest during a rainy season), comfortable and closed footwear, long socks and a hat.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Debit and credit cards are very useful for cash advances, but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs.). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will work in all of the ATMs in Latin America due to their affiliation with certain card systems. Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 8%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: USD 100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks. Peruvian banks are allowed to reject dollar bills which are old, torn (more than one centimetre) and which have too many stamps on them. Please make sure you do not accept bills with these problems as they are hard to use.
If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Tierras Vivas destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
Please, make sure you have access to at least an additional USD200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster) need a change to our planned tour. This is a rare occurrence! But you never know…
We recommend you to arrange your travel insurance that includes health care, baggage damage or a loss and flight delays. If you need an advice about a travel insurance company, click here please.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts you at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Tierras Vivas travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The explotation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader/local operators has the right to expel any member of the group/tour if drugs are found in their possession or they use prostitutes.
We would like to declare that we will keep confidential all your personal data you provide us (it means your full name(-s), passport number(-s), nationality(-ies), date(-s) of birth, age, telephone number(-s), address(-es), e-mail address(-es) and/or your credit card details), we will not pass the data to third persons and we will use them only to process your booking!!!
At time of booking or 30 days prior to departure, whichever is later, we require 50% of the total amount of the tour as a deposit.
If you like to book the tour later than 30 days prior to departure, you need to check its availability with our Booking Department. If the department confirms you can still start the tour, then we require 100% of the total amount as a deposit.
Please note: Your booking will be confirmed only after we will have received your deposit!!!
To pay the deposit, you can use one of the three following payment methods:
- VISA online
- Western Union
Prior to departure of the tour, you need to clear your due balance; it means the remaining 50% of the total amount of the tour in case you book the tour at least 30 days prior to its departure.
Please note: If you do not clear the amount of the tour in total, you will not be allowed to start the tour!!!
The customer must possess a valid passport required for entry, departure and travel through each destination point along the itinerary of the tour (your passport needs to be valid at least 6 months past your return date), all visas, permits, certificates, including vaccination certificates, insurance policies, required for the whole journey. The customer accepts full responsibility for obtaining all such documents and permits necessary, and is solely responsible for any adverse consequences resulting from missing or defective documentation. Any information or advice given by the Tierras Vivas regarding visas, vaccination, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc. is purely advisory, provided as a courtesy to the customer, and the Tierras Vivas is not responsible for any errors or omissions as to the information provided.
You can check if you need an entry visa visiting the page of the General Consulate of Peru. In the below columns, find your country and check if you need an entry visa. The columns are in Spanish so there is translation of the columns (from left to right): “País” = country, “Turista” = tourist (it means a visa such a tourist), “Hasta 90 días – Negocio” = Business (visa) up to 90 days, “Estudiante” = student (visa), “Hasta 2 días – Transeúnte” = Transfer (visa) up to 2 days.
Everybody arriving to Peru is given an Immigration Card (a small list of paper) showing how many days of entry visa is given. Everybody is responsible for not to lose this Immigration Card and not extend his/her allowed time of stay. If you extend, you have to pay a fine (usually, 1 USD per each extended day).
It is mandatory that each customer obtain his/her travel insurance while travelling with the Tierras Vivas and this insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses and evaluation expenses. It is highly recommended to extend the coverage to cover a flight cancellation or delay, loss of belongings and all other expenses which might occur as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the customer.
Customer must ensure that his/her insurer is aware of the type of travel to be undertaken (in this case, adventurous travel).
The Tierras Vivas claims to do its best to minimize any effects of matters outside of its control, however, does not accept any liability for these matters such as act of God (e.g. flooding, earthquake, hurricane, volcanic eruption, landslides, fire, etc.), war or war-like operations, civil commotions, labor difficulties (e.g. strikes, demonstrations, etc.), political disturbance, interference by authorities, terrorist activities, border closures, refusals of visas, delayed flights and so on.
If this occurs, the customer accepts to assume all extra costs caused by these factors.
Customer bookings are accepted on the understanding that they acknowledge that the nature of the tour is adventurous and may involve a significant amount of personal risk. The Tierras Vivas´obligations, and those of any suppliers providing any service or facility involved in any travel arrangements the customer books with us, are to provide services and facilities with reasonable care and skill. Facilities will be provided to the realistic minimum standard recommended by the regulatory authorities responsible.
The Tierras Vivas is not responsible for any damage or loss if the failure to carry out the contract is:
1. Attributable to the customer;
2. Attributable to a third party unrelated to the contracted service operating as well as the event is unforeseeable or unavoidable;
3. Due to unforeseen and unusual circumstances beyond the Tierras Vivas´ control (FORCE MAJEURE) and which consequences could not have been avoided even if every effort would have been made;
4. Due to political disputes, civil commotions, labor difficulties (e.g. strikes, demonstrations, etc.), interference by authorities, border closures, ground works, terrorist activities, war or war-like operations, refusals of visas, delayed flights, etc.;
5. Due to an event, which the Tierras Vivas company, even if every effort would make, could not foresee and forestall.
In any case, financial responsibility is limited up to the total price paid for the tour.
Anyway, the company explicitly excludes any responsibility for an indirect or consequential loss or expense, including loss of profit.
At all times, a decision of Tierras Vivas Tour Guige or Representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety and well-being of the all tour group. By booking with us the customer agrees to abide by the authority of the Tour Guide or the Representative, who represents the company of Tierras Vivas. At all times, the customer must strictly comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of Peru. If the customer fail to comply with the above, or commit any illegal act when on the tour or, if in the opinion of the Tour Guide, the customer´s behavior is causing or likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others, we may terminate that customer´s travel arrangement without any liability on the company´s part and the customer will not be entitled to any refund.
There will be no discount or financial refund for missed or unused services; this includes voluntary or involuntary termination, i.e. sickness, death of a family member, etc.
As we publish our prices well in advance, we may occasionally face a significant cost increase due to factors behind our control, e.g. increases in entrance fees, airfares, train fares, other transport costs or taxes (if Peruvian government should require that). For that reason, we reserve the right to impose surcharges (or on the contrary, price decreases), about which we will inform you up to one month before your departure. Any surcharge or price decrease will be supported by evidence before any implementation will be done. If a surcharge results in an increase over 10% of the tour price, the customer may cancel the booking and obtain a refund consisting of the amount already paid by the customer reduced by already existing costs provided that the cancellation is made at least one month prior to departure date.
Some of Tierras Vivas's itineraries have been designed to provide participants with true nature and environment exposure. The participants therefore involve an element of personal risk in their tour, which could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis, death, or damage to the participant´s or a third party´s property. The participants (i.e. our customers) understand that such a risk simply cannot be eliminated without putting essential qualities of the tour in danger and therefore they assume the risk as part of the tour. The customer accepts that he/she is aware of his physical and health conditions and that, under the knowledge of this; he/she decides to undertake the above-mentioned risks. The customer exempts Tierras Vivas from all liability in respect of any accident or injury that may occur to customer' health, physical condition and suchlike.
Tierras Vivas reserves the right to cancel the tour in case that the following circumstances occur:
1. Customer's failure to pay the final balance two days prior to departure date.
2. Force majeure, terrorism, political instability or other external events: Impossibility to operate the tour or its part due to unusual or unforeseen circumstances outside Tierras Vivas's control.
The following refund policy applies in these cases:
1. In case of customer's failure to pay his/her due balance, the customer will not have any right to receive his/her deposit refund.
2. In case of force majeure, terrorism, political instability or other external events:
1. a. Tierras Vivas will propose a viable solution to operate the tour within a date available or, if impossible, will then propose an alternative tour.
This may result in two kinds of price differences:
- If the alternative tour chosen by the customer is of lower value than the original tour, then the customer is entitled to a refund of the price difference.
- If the alternative tour chosen by the customer is of higher value than the original tour, then the customer must pay the price difference.
1. b. In case that none of these solutions would be feasible, Tierras Vivas will refund the amount already paid by the customer reduced by already existing costs.
For more details about an amount of a refund, please check our page describing this topic in more details here.
Please note: Tierras Vivas is not responsible for any incidental expense that you may have incurred as a result of your booking including but not limited to visas, vaccinations, a travel insurance excess or non-refundable flights!!
Please note that the tour deposit is non-refundable (except the cases stated above in the CANCELLATION BY TIERRAS VIVAS paragraph)! A deposit serves for one thing to purchase a space within a tour group and once purchased it cannot be re-sold afterwards; and for another thing is used to pay your flight tickets, train tickets and other transportation, your Tour Guide(-s), Porters, Cook, food during trekking, to pay hotel reservations, etc.
A customer has to cancel his/her tour in writing and sent by fax, email or by post office. The following fees or percentages will be charged based on the date of the cancellation reception:
Please note: If the trek due balance is not paid up to two days prior to the tour departure, it is considered as a cancellation by customer and no refund will be given!!!
If a customer has a complaint against the Tierras Vivas Company, the customer must first inform the company´s Tour Guide or Representative whilst on the tour in order that the Tour Guide/Representative can attempt to rectify the matter. If satisfaction is still not reached through these means, then any further complaint must be put in writing to the company within 30 days of the end of the tour. The company will not accept any liability for claims received after this period.
Before you book this tour, please read well the Booking Terms & Conditions (see above). Please note that you can also find some advices on how to book the tour under the Inca Trail Booking link (see above).
If you agree with the Booking Terms & Conditions, go directly to the “Book This Tour” section (see above) please. There fill and submit our booking form. (Please note that we need details of each participant, so fill a form for all persons in your group.) We will confirm a reception of your booking form in a maximum of two working days. When the reception of the form is confirmed, our booking department will send you instructions on a deposit payment. Upon your deposit arrival, we will confirm your booking and send you all details of your program and your service and travel vouchers.
In case, you have any query, please contact us. We will be happy to help you!! (We usually answer within a maximum of two working days.
Responsible People is our non-profit foundation focused on RESEARCH, MEASUREMENT and SOLUTION FINDING of the world’s greatest challenges to ensure the long-term sustainability of the planet for present and future generations. For more information please visit www.responsiblepeople.org.
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend that you set up an email address that can be accessed on the road, rather than relying on postal mail. Ciber cafes are becoming increasingly commonplace and cheap throughout the regions we visit, and have quickly become the preferred way for our leaders and travellers to stay in touch. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact your local booking agent, or refer to our Emergency Contact.
Most of our adventure trips involve a local payment.
This amount is the final payment for your tour. Paying locally facilitates the flow of funds into countries that we travel through and also helps to reduce the overall price of the tour, allowing us to keep our tours at a competitive price, passing our costs savings on to you.
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Experience all that Peru has to offer during this 20 days trip covering visits to the Amazon, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines, Colca Canyon and much more. Spot exotic wildlife in the Amazon and then discover the history of the Incas during time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. You’ll also spend an unforgettable day exploring the citadel of Machu Picchu before heading to Lake Titicaca to discover the lake’s unique floating islands. Then search for Andean Condors above the Colca Canyon. Finish your trip with a flight above the mysterious Nazca Lines. This Peru highlights trip also covers a guide, 19 nights of accommodations, meals as per the itinerary, bus, boat and train transfers and all entrance fees. Peruvian Highlands
Discover the mystery of the Peruvian Andes, starting in Cusco, capital of the Incas, a city full of history and culture. You will also know the towns of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu where recharge their energies at the top of the mountains will be unforgettable. Finally, we will visit the South Valley and its villages on the way to the city of Puno and Lake Titicaca where we will interact with the inhabitants of the lake on Isla Los Uros and Taquile. A fantastic trip in which you will know the culture of the Peruvian Andes. Discover Peru