Sacred Land of the Incas

Trip Code: GGSQ

Why we love it

Choose you own adventure on your way to the mother of all Inca cities – magical Machu Picchu. Test yourself on the challenging Classic Inca or Inca Quarry trails, or take the train for a more leisurely experience., Marvel at the evergreen splendour of the untouched Amazon. Explore rainforest trails with a local guide, looking out for wildlife and medicinal plants, and stay in a tranquil jungle lodge overnight., Head on a guided stroll through charming Cusco with your local leader, where Inca temples and Spanish cathedrals line the cobblestone streets – Peru’s true cultural and historic centre., Sleep in a mud-brick hut on the shore of vast, ancient Lake Titicaca during a homestay in a traditional Andean community, and visit the floating reed islands of Uros with your small group., Finish up in the eclectic and hectic La Paz, where Indigenous Aymara or Quechua traditions are flourishing in contemporary Bolivia – a living example of the resilient traditional communities of South America., Whether you trek the Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, you'll be travelling responsibly with a company that cares about balancing profit and purpose. Intrepid is the largest B Corp certified operator on the Inca Trail and we’re committed to operating our treks for the benefit of all.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip visits places that are at high altitude, which can cause altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details on travelling at altitude and ensure you are familiar with signs of AMS.

Please note that this trip can be partnered with other adventures into a ‘combo’, which means that some of your fellow travellers may have begun their journey before today, and some may carry on to further destinations at the end of this tour. If you’d like to spend more time in South America, have a look at the combos that include this trip’s itinerary, like Galapagos & Peru Adventure (GGSYC) and Explore Peru & Bolivia (GGSUC).

Be sure to wear sturdy footwear that's suitable for hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more information.

The Amazon Jungle can be very hot and humid, so it's important to drink plenty of water and wear light cotton clothing. Be sure to bring tropical-strength insect repellent.

According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only, and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted. Please refer to the itinerary for details.

Travellers who choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), will not follow the same routes within Machu Picchu. This means that you may not be able to have photos together, overlooking Machu Picchu. This applies to travellers on the same booking or separate bookings.

Important information

1. Inca Trail permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavor to secure a permit for you.
If Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Inca Quarry Trail instead (see https://www.intrepidtravel.com/inca-quarry-trail)
The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Inca Quarry Trail. Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

2. Overall we support these changes as they help preserve this invaluable archaeological site. While this somehow restricts the amount of time we are now allowed to spend in Machu Picchu, we’ll do all possible to maximize your time there and make sure you have the best possible experience.

3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 2,3 (Amazon Jungle) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

4. Parts of your trip go above 2800 m/ 9200 ft where it is common for travelers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness.

5. 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.

6. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

7. This trip starts in Lima on Day 1 at 2pm. This allows time after the welcome meeting to explore Lima.
This trip finishes at 11 am upon arrival in La Paz on Day 15. 

8. Most hotels in highlands should have oxygen cylinders available, however, you may be asked to pay surcharge for use of oxygen longer than 5 - 10 min at the time.

9. As you can choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), there is a small chance you may be the only traveller on your selected option.

10. Fees may apply if you choose to change from the Inca Trail to the Train or Quarry Trail after your booking has been made.

What to bring/pack

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), AMAZON JUNGLE PACKING LIST

- Long, light coloured, tight-weave cotton shirts and pants
- Comfortable shoes or sandles for wearing on boardwalks or around the lodge
- Long, thick socks to wear with the rubber boots provided by the lodge
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Tropical strength insect repellant
- Small denomination bills for incidental purchases (eg drinks)
- Head torch or flashlight (optional, smartphone torch sufficient)
- Binoculars (optional), 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 required, it's a personal preference. We recommend hiring these at the pre-trek briefing for approximately US$10 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.

Physical rating

4

The physical rating on this trip is based on you selecting to trek either the Inca Trail or Quarry Trail. Should you wish to take the train option instead of trekking, you can consider the physical level a 2-3.

On Day 2 of the Inca Trail or Quarry Trail you will be walking uphill from 3000 to 4500 metres above sea level before descending steeply through big steps and difficult terrain. While this demanding walk is the main challenge our passengers face on this trip, it's also one of the highlights and worth every minute of it. You can find out more about the trekking options here:
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/inca-trail-vs-quarry-trail/

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. More information can be found here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/trekking-training-guide-tips/

Joining your group

Hotel El Tambo I, 1276 La Paz Ave - Miraflores, Miraflores, Lima, PERU, Phone: +51 12194080

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

International arrivals will exit Lima International Airport (LIM) at Gate 4. For your confirmed arrival transfer, please exit the airport, towards the parking lot. There is a fence immediately after the first lane, a transfer representative will be waiting here, holding an Intrepid sign. Please note that there are taxi totes right outside the gate and may approach you as Intrepid’s driver. Please only follow our transfer representative who hold a sign with Intrepid’s logo and your name.

If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please phone our Intrepid Peru Emergency number, listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your essential information.
If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage, please go the IPeru information booth located between the two escalators on the left-hand side of the building, they can help you to make a phone call.

Alternatively, you may want to take a taxi or the airport shuttle bus.
Taxi: As you walk out from the customs area, you will find a small lobby to book a taxi. We recommend you use 'Taxi Green' taxi services. They will charge you approximately USD30 for a trip to the Miraflores district where your hotel is located. The drive to Miraflores district where the hotel is located is approximately 40 minutes depending on traffic.
Airport Shuttle: Please see https://www.airportexpresslima.com where you will find all information including ticket prices, bus route and departure times.

Finishing your trip

Qantu Hotel, Illampu No. 740, La Paz – Bolivia, La Paz, BOLIVIA

Alternate Finish Point


Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 14

Lunches included: 7

Dinners included: 6

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader or local representative 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. 

Climate & seasonal information

See here for more information about the best times to trek in Peru: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/hiking-seasons-in-peru/

INCA TRAIL CLOSURES

The Inca Trail closes in February each year to allow for cleaning and restoration works. If you are booked to hike the Inca Trail at this time you will be you will be rebooked to hike the Quarry Trail.

FLOODING & LANDSLIDES:
The wet season in Peru is from November to April. During this time it can be rainy or even snow heavily in the Andes. There have been occasions of torrential rains and flooding in some parts of the country, including Cusco. During the wet season landslides and inclement weather can cause disruption to road and rail travel as well as trekking and hiking routes. These can include Cusco, the routes to Machu Picchu and the north of Peru.

EARTHQUAKES:
Peru is in an active earthquake zone and there are frequent tremors. If in a building when an earthquake strikes keep away from the windows and make your way to the safe zones marked in most buildings with an ‘S’ sign. If you are outside keep away from buildings and other areas where objects, like trees or power lines, could fall.

In case of emergency

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 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 or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative 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. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

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

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

Available for phone call or WhatsApp call on +51 996 055559 Lima, +51 940 512701 Cusco

Accommodations

LAKE TITICACA HOMESTAYS
As a responsible travel company, we believe in facilitating positive and meaningful exchanges between our travellers and locals at the places we visit. Homestays are a great vehicle for us to facilitate this!

What will you do during a homestay? Well…it’s hard to tell. As you know a day in a family’s life varies from day to day. We don’t want this experience to feel forced (on you or on them) so we ask families to simply carry on with their lives and that, if there is anything that you may be interested in being part of, they ask you to join in. As such you may be invited to help cook dinner, or to go to the local market for groceries, or to join a soccer game with the kids! While your leader will give you some tools to interact with your family (such as some simple words/phrases in Quechua and/or Spanish) big smiles and lots of sign language can go a long way!

That said, it’s also important that you understand that you are not obliged to participate in these activities. We believe that the more you put in the more you get out of an experience, but we also understand that you may just want to chill out, grab a book or your camera and go for a wander – and that is fine too.

Ultimately, we believe that by simply being there, observing family and friends dynamics is a step forward towards understanding the local way of life.

In terms of facilities, the rooms are clean and comfortable (or as comfortable as they get in this part of the world!) however quite basic. Plenty of blankets are provided. Ask for more if you are cold. Layering up with thin thermals and a fleece material will help during very cold nights too.

Lastly, be aware that some homestays in Lake Titicaca have shared drop toilets and no showers. So mind your step!

Transportation