Choquequirao Trek to Machu Picchu

13 Days from $2,185

START: Cusco

FINISH: Cusco

AGES: Over 17

THEME: Walking & Trekking

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

Escape the crowds and delve into the wilds of the Peruvian Andes on this challenging, but deeply rewarding trek to Choquequirao. Believed to be up to three times larger than Machu Picchu (the exact size is unknown as much of it is still covered in jungle), the road to Choquequirao takes you through the scenic Apurimac Valley. Hike steep paths and trails that zigzag through dense cloud forest, dusty desert and spectacularly scenic passes with views of dramatic landscapes and snow-capped peaks. Choquequirao’s secluded splendour will leave you in awe. A trip to Peru wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu; this adventure takes you to some of Peru’s other famous Inca ruins, and also provides time to explore historic Cusco.

Start: Cusco

Finish: Cusco

Ages: Over 17

Theme: Walking & Trekking

Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Camping with basic facilities ( 7 nights)

Destination: Cusco

Highlights

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The trek through the Apurimac Valley to Choquequirao is challenging at times, but also incredibly beautiful and serene. You won’t find the crowds of the Inca Trail. Instead, see spectacular views the whole way without another trekker in sight
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Tucked high in the Andes, Choquequirao, doesn’t get the same fanfare as Machu Picchu, but undeservedly so – these sprawling Inca ruins are up to three-times the size of Machu Picchu and incredibly well-preserved. Only a handful of visitors make the journey each day, meaning you often have the whole site to yourself!
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This trek takes you past an incredible diversity of scenery - from cloud forests and canyons to high passes with views of pristine snow-capped peaks
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Enjoy a guided tour of Peru’s most famous Inca city, Machu Picchu, as well as the Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley
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Perched high in the Andes, Cusco is south America’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and an interesting blend of Inca and colonial influences. Spend time exploring its artisan markets, lively squares, historic sites and surprisingly thriving nightlife.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Cusco

Welcome to Cusco. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. After this important meeting, get acquainted with this charming city's intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish culture on a guided walking tour with your leader. Check out some of Cusco's main attractions, as well as its lesser-known sights such as the Qoricancha temple, San Pedro market, the main square, the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square.

icon check Day 2 : Cusco

Enjoy a free day exploring Cusco and its intriguing mix of Spanish and Inca influences. You may opt to spend more time at the sites your tour leader took you to yesterday. Perhaps revisit the San Blas neighbourhood and spend time browsing its boutique shops and handicrafts made by local artisans, or simply grab a coffee and people-watch in Plaza de Armas. Alternatively, use this day to visit Sacsayhuaman, the remains of an impressive Inca fortress that offers stunning views of the city. Cusco’s buzzing markets offer a tasty (and inexpensive) range of Peruvian eats. Though Mercado San Pedro is larger, the locals tend to prefer Mercado San Blas. We have an early start tomorrow, so it’s a good idea to retreat to the hotel early; however, Cusco has a surprisingly thriving nightlife (due to the large number of travellers who pass through) if you want to head out this evening.

icon check Day 3 : Trek - Chiquisaca Camp

Today you start your trek! It’s a five-hour drive to Capuliyoc Pass, the start of the Choquequirao Trek, so you need to wake early and be ready to leave the hotel at 5 am. Stop twice along the way to explore two incredible, but seldom-visited Inca archaeological sites: Tarawasi (also known as Rimactambo) and Saywite. Arrive at Capuliyoc around noon and be immediately struck by the spectacular panoramic views of the Apurimac Valley and snow-capped peaks in the distance. Beginning at an altitude of 2915 metres (9560 feet), today's walk is downhill. Descend into the valley through dry forest, taking in the beautiful scenery and wide variety of flora and fauna. Your campsite for the night is at Chiquisaca (1950 metres/6400 feet).

icon check Day 4 : Trek - Choquequirao camp

Today is one of the longer, more challenging days of the trip, but the awe-inspiring views make it worth it. Start very early and descend to Playa Rosalina. Cross the Apurimac River here and begin the long and steep climb through dusty desert up to the village of Santa Rosa. After a rest stop, continue climbing to a plateau above Maranpata (2920 metres/9580 feet). From here, the path becomes less steep and the hike to Choquequirao camp becomes easier. The landscape transitions to high-altitude forest and the region is home to spectacled bears – you just might catch sight of one as we approach the Inca citadel. Throughout the day, it’s also possible to see toucans, hummingbirds and maybe even a condor.

icon check Day 5 : Choquequirao Inca Site

Spend most of the day exploring the vast, sprawling ruins of Choquequirao. Meaning ‘cradle of gold’ in Quechua, Choquequirao sits nearly 1600 metres (5250 feet) above the roaring Apurimac River. Significantly larger than Machu Picchu, only about 30 percent of this ancient Inca city has been cleared, but you can clearly see the main square, ceremonial platforms, palaces, terraces, ritual baths and temples dedicated to the sun, moon and earth spirit, Pachamama. Choquequirao is also significantly less visited than the country’s more famous ruins – in fact, it’s not uncommon to have the entire site to explore to yourself. In the afternoon, visit the terraces of Pacchanta.

icon check Day 6 : Trek - Maizal

In the morning, embark on a short but steep climb to the top of the Choquequirao Pass (3215 metres/10,550 feet) for sweeping views of Choquequirao. You’ll get a real sense of the enormity of the ruins from this vantage point, as well as its isolation. Then begin the descent down the Apurimac Valley. Walk down a dusty road to Pinchinoyoc (2400 metres/7875 feet) where we’ll stop to visit Inca terraces previously covered in vegetation. Then continue descending to the bottom of the valley. There, we cross the Rio Blanco and begin our ascent back up the other side of the valley to Maizal (3000 metres/9840 feet). This is a strenuous day, descending over 1500 metres (4920 feet) and then ascending over 1500 metres over the course of the day.

icon check Day 7 : Trek - Yanama

Start the day with a five hour, steep, switchback climb up the San Juan Pass (4170 metres/13,680 feet). The climb is challenging, but the reward is panoramic views of the snow-capped Vilcabamba mountain range at the top. Make a stop at the 500-year-old La Victoria silver mine on the way up. After basking in the breath-taking views, descend for about three hours following an old miners track to the camp at Yanama (3400 metres/11,155 feet). In May, this path becomes particularly beautiful as it winds through a landscape filled with wild lupins in bloom. Keep an eye out for Andean condors today, which frequently soar above this stretch.

icon check Day 8 : Trek - Totora

Journey through stunning landscapes as we climb to the highest point of the trek, the Yanama Pass (4660 metres/15,290 feet), where the magnificent snow-capped Vilcabamba mountain range dominates the skyline. Our gravelly trail follows the river up the valley, then begins to climb to the pass. Afterwards, pass small villages as we descend for about four hours to our camp site for the night, Totora (3,440 metres/11,285 feet).

icon check Day 9 : Trek - Lucabamba

Continue to descend today as we make our way to the Salcantay Trail, where you’ll begin to notice more trekkers and greener surroundings. We follow a road for a short section, then a gravel path beside the river that runs through a lush cloud forest. You’ll notice lots of fruit trees and coffee plantations along this part of the trek. After about six hours of hiking, we set up camp at a particularly special location – on Inca terraces in the middle of a coffee plantation. If there’s time, you may opt to tour the coffee plantation for a small fee.

icon check Day 10 : Trek - Aguas Calientes.

Rise early today and follow an original Inca trail that climbs uphill for three hours to the Inca complex, Llactapata. Spend some time exploring the site, then descent for two hours to Santa Teresa, where we stop for lunch. Afterwards, continue the last leg of the trek, crossing the Vilcanota River and finishing at the train station. Enjoy a comfortable train ride to Aguas Calientes and check into a hotel upon arrival for a well-earned shower and rest!

icon check Day 11 : Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo

In order to beat the crowds (and queues), rise very early to tour the famous ‘Lost City of the Incas’, Machu Picchu. This fascinating Inca complex is considered one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world – made only more dramatic by its stunning mountain backdrop. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, catch an afternoon train to Ollantaytambo where you spend the night.

icon check Day 12 : Sacred Valley - Cusco

Explore the village of Ollantaytambo this morning and spend time strolling its narrow, cobblestone streets. See the colossal Inca stone terraces carved into the surrounding hillside up close, then continue to Pisac in the Sacred Valley, where you’ll visit the ruins of the Citadel. There’s also time to wander its colourful markets and perhaps shop for local handicrafts and last-minute souvenirs. Afterwards, drive to Cusco, passing gorgeous Andean scenery, old towns and quaint villages along the way. Tonight, you may choose to sample Cusco’s exiting nightlife and celebrate the end of your adventure with fellow travellers.

icon check Day 13 : Cusco

Bid farewell to Cusco and your fellow travellers. Your Peruvian adventure comes to an end after breakfast.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

12 Breakfasts, 7 Dinners
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Transport

Private Vehicle, Train
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Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Camping with basic facilities ( 7 nights)
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Included Activities

  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and guided tour

Availabilityicon readmoreicon minus

Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
May 10, 2020
May 22, 2020
$2,380
Fully Booked
Jun 14, 2020
Jun 26, 2020
$2,185
Available
Jul 12, 2020
Jul 24, 2020
$2,185
Available
Sep 06, 2020
Sep 18, 2020
$2,185
Available
Oct 04, 2020
Oct 16, 2020
$2,185
Available
Dec 06, 2020
Dec 18, 2020
$2,185
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Hotel Koyllur Inn

Pumapaccha 243

San Blas

Cusco

PERU

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Hotel Koyllur Inn

Pumapaccha 243

San Blas

Cusco

PERU

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

The physical rating on this trip is a 5. This is the highest grade we offer and you will need to be physically fit and have some trekking or hiking experience.

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

The Choquequirao Trek requires a reasonable level of fitness. It’s 103 km (64 mi) long with steep mountain passes and high altitudes, so please come prepared. Each day generally consists of 7–10 hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. The Choquequirao Trek takes you up and down through high altitudes each day, with the highest pass reached at 4660 m (15,288 ft).

icon readmoreicon minusAlternate Joining point

For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.

14 Jun 2020 (GGXQ200614)

Inkarri Htl

Collacalle 204

Cuzco

Cusco

PERU

Phone: +51 84242692

icon readmoreicon minusAlternate Finish point

For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.

14 Jun 2020 (GGXQ200614)

Inkarri Htl

Collacalle 204

Cuzco

Cusco

PERU

Phone: +51 84242692

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED

Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

NEW TRIP

Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes 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. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

HIKING IN PERU In accordance with local laws governing tourism in Peru, trekking groups of up to and including 8 trekkers must be led by one local guide. The evacuation of an injured traveller in normal conditions may take more than 8 hours. For your own safety, it's crucial that you adhere to the local guide's safety instructions, particularly in regard to how to prevent trekkers getting separated or lost. Your leader will also conduct a safety discussion before our trekking activities

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

icon readmoreicon minusCommunications

WhatsApp is a popular way to communicate in Latin America. We recommended downloading WhatsApp prior to departure to communicate with by text with your leader and group members during the tour. Once downloaded, please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. Connections for making phone calls through WhatsApp are not reliable, so please do not use this app to make calls to our emergency phone line.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document. 

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

The trek through the Apurimac Valley to Choquequirao is challenging at times, but also incredibly beautiful and serene. You won’t find the crowds of the Inca Trail. Instead, see spectacular views the whole way without another trekker in sight

Tucked high in the Andes, Choquequirao, doesn’t get the same fanfare as Machu Picchu, but undeservedly so – these sprawling Inca ruins are up to three-times the size of Machu Picchu and incredibly well-preserved. Only a handful of visitors make the journey each day, meaning you often have the whole site to yourself!

This trek takes you past an incredible diversity of scenery - from cloud forests and canyons to high passes with views of pristine snow-capped peaks

Enjoy a guided tour of Peru’s most famous Inca city, Machu Picchu, as well as the Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley

Perched high in the Andes, Cusco is south America’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and an interesting blend of Inca and colonial influences. Spend time exploring its artisan markets, lively squares, historic sites and surprisingly thriving nightlife.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

This full-service camping trek is graded as Challenging/Tough (Activity Level 5), with eight days point-to-point walking and full porterage throughout. Please refer to our activity level guidelines.

Significantly more strenuous than the classic Inca Trail, this demanding trek takes you up to high altitudes on steep but well-defined trails, mostly following mountain switchbacks as you move from valley floor to mountain pass on your journey through the Andes. This trail follows ancient Inca pathways the same as the Inca Trail, but without the restrictions of trekking permits and human porterage. Expect early starts and long days (up to 11 hours) with steep gradients throughout, all rewarded with breath-taking views across the Andes. This trek is not technically difficult and is suitable for all walkers with a good level of fitness and some experience of multi-day trekking. There are some steep drops and narrow paths which makes this trek unsuitable for vertigo sufferers or those without a head for heights.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: 

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/trekking-training-guide-tips/

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Essential Trip Information. We spend two days in Cuzco (3400m) acclimatising before starting the trek. the maximum altitude reached on this trip is approximately 4,660m (Yanama Pass).

Protest action/strikes are not uncommon in Peru, and whilst these are generally peaceful, they can involve roadblocks and cause disruption to travel. Occasionally your leader may have to adapt your itinerary in response to this.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. More information can be obtained here: 

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/machu-picchu-peru/choquequirao-trail

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES:

Some regions of Central & South America can experience outbreaks of dengue fever.There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. If you have a fever or feel unwell, please let your leader know right away. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria by taking measures to avoid insect bites.

ZIKA VIRUS:

There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip.

YELLOW FEVER

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:

Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip:

Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip.

While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets we understand your dietary requirements are important, however,  sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). 

The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

CONTINGENCY FUNDS:

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

MEALS NOT INCLUDED:

For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

CREDIT CARDS & ATMs:

ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 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.

DEPARTURE TAX:

In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.

TIPPING:

Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier. The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers.

Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.

SOUTH AMERICA - General Tipping Guide:

To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

- Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

- Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day.

- Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

- Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

PERU TREKKING - General Tipping Guide:

We recommend you carry the below suggested amounts with you during the trek and that you carry small bills as this makes splitting the tip an easier process. The last day of the trek the tipping will be broken down into envelopes – one per porter, assistant guides and guide.

Inca Trail: we suggest a total tipping amount of PEN120 to PEN180 per person (approximately USD 37 to USD 55). This is generally the tipping breakdown:

Porters, cook and assistants PEN 80 to PEN 120

Assistant guide: PEN 12 to PEN 20

Guide: PEN 27 to PEN 40

Quarry Trail: the suggested total tipping amount per person is PEN 120 to PEN 135 (approximately USD 37 to USD 42). This is generally the tipping breakdown:

Porters, cook and assistants PEN 90

Assistant guide: PEN 9 to PEN 15

Guide: PEN 20 to PEN 30

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage. Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIAL: - Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

RECOMMENDED: - Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments - Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com) - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids. - Insect repellent - Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate - Phrase book VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. LAUNDRY Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo)

PERU TREKKING Tents and sleeping mats are provided for the duration of your Peru trek. At the pre-trek briefing you will be given a small duffle bag to pack your clothes for the trek, please note there is a 5kg limit, this includes your sleeping bag. In addition to the general packing list above, please ensure you bring these items if you are trekking in Peru. Passport: You MUST take your passport, a photocopy is not sufficient. It's important the passport matches the details your provided us when booking this trip (Keep it in a plastic bag in case of rain) Sleeping bag:   You will need a good warm sleeping bag for the trek. Sleeping bags can be hired for US20-25, please let your Tour Leader know at the trek briefing. A four season (or -10) bag is recommended especially for the winter months. At other times you will probably be fine in a 3 season (or -5) bag although this depends on how much you feel the cold and is given as a guideline only. Silk sleeping bag liner: Especially recommended if you plan to hire a sleeping bag but can also give your own bag added warmth. Pillow Pillows are not provided on the trek and it's your personal preference if you wish to bring one along. If you decide to bring a pillow then we do suggest packing a travel friendly option, something that can be easily packed into your small duffle bag. Trek Poles: Trek poles are not requires, it's a personal preference. We recommend hiring these at the pre-trek briefing for approximately US$8 per pole as it will save you carting them around for the remainder of your travels. Day Pack: A day bag that has easy access to water bottles (external side pockets) or a day pack with a built in hydration bladder. This bag only needs to be large enough to hold the few things you need during the day (hat, water, camera, snacks, rain jacket etc) Water bottle: You should be carrying at least 2 litres of water daily, while trekking. Depending on whether you have a hydration bladder in your bag or not we recommend bringing two (1 litre) bottles that can be refilled on the trail with boiled water, which will be supplied daily. Waterproof, well worn-in walking boots:  Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well-worn in pair! Walking clothing in layers: (E.g. zip off trousers, fleece, T-shirts). It’s a personal choice as to how many items you bring however please remember there’s a 5kg limit. We recommend the following; • 2 Pairs of long Walking Trousers (Zip off are a very hand   choice but not a necessity) • 2 T-shirts • 1 Pair of shorts • Rain Jacket or Poncho (Poncho can be purchased locally   for a $2-3) • 4-5 Pairs of Thick socks Warm clothing for night time: Fleece, long pants, woollen hat, gloves. Thermal underwear: Thermal wear is highly recommended, being light, warm and will keep you warm at night. Sunscreen, sunglasses and sunhat Personal medication and basic first aid kit:  Band-Aids, Imodium, Panadol, rehydration sachets. Camera and spare batteries, memory cards or film:  Please note: there are no electrical outlets on the trek so make sure you fully charge and or have spare batteries. Snacks: Chocolates, chips, biscuits, energy bars. Snacks are provided during the trek but you may like to bring one or two extras just in case. If you have a dietary requirement then be recommend bringing some suitable snacks from home. We will accommodate you for Breakfast, lunch and dinner however for snacks it’s recommended to bring some just to be safe. Head torch or Standard Torch (flash-light) (Very Important) and spare batteries. Tropical strength insect repellent. Antiseptic hand gel. Flip-flops / thongs / jandals:  If you wish to have a shower on the third night and to wear around camp after a long day of trekking. Ear Plugs: In case your tent ‘roomie’ is a snorer. Plastic bags:  To keep your belongings and clothes dry (wrap everything in plastic bags). Toilet paper:  Most important! Also small plastic bags or zip lock bags for rubbish which can then be thrown in the main rubbish bag provided by the porters. Please don’t dispose of your toilet paper on the ground! Wet wipes and or Face wipes: These are an essential and will come in handy after a long day of trekking and no showers. Small towel and basic personal toiletries: On the third night of both the Inca Trail and the Inca Quarry there is an opportunity to have a shower so bring travel size shampoo and shower gel if you would like.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

icon readmoreicon minusFeedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

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GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +51 996055559

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

RAINFOREST ALLIANCE

The Intrepid Group operations in Peru are now certified by Rainforest Alliance, following an assessment in which we successfully achieved a 100% score for all critical criteria. Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

PERU

Due to local energy supply and infrastructure issues, please be prepared for some cold showers while travelling in Peru.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusYour fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

icon readmoreicon minusItinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

DEMONSTRATIONS & STRIKES:

Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly in Peru. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. We will do everything possible for these changes to be at little or no extra cost; however in such circumstances we find that travellers may need to use their contingency funds to cover the costs of itinerary changes.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Hotel (5 nights),Camping with basic facilities ( 7 nights)

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