Petty theft is wide-spread with thieves being quick and clever, most of the time people are unaware they have been robbed until later. Being vigilant with possessions, use a money belt, hooking your rucksack through your leg whilst sitting at tables and checking in and not carrying expensive items of value on display late at night in busy markets and stations avoids most losses. At night in towns the normal street rules apply so do not walk alone. Ensure any taxi your take is an official taxi. In your rooms and campsites keep valuables hidden to avoid temptation. On the whole Peru is still safer than most European cities. If you are really worried about losing anything precious then leave it at home.
The dry season is considered April – October.
The trips in November and December are chosen with slightly wetter, warmer weather in mind.
The rainy season is considered January to Mid-March and Amazonas Explorer do not operate camping trips in these months. The Inca Trail is closed in February to prevent erosion in the rainy season. However no guarantees are given for perfect weather at any time of year.
What you pack depends on where you are going and what activities you are doing.
Peru has a wide variety of climates, due largely to the huge altitudinal range it covers. On the coast or in the jungle it might hit the high 30s, while on the same day it could be less than zero on the high treks in the Andes. During the day hopefully, it will be generally sunny enough for shorts and T-shirts, though having a fleece and rain gear handy is advisable.
It will get cold, especially in the evenings (as low as -5°C/-9°F if your trip involves camping in the mountains) so bring a warm fleece jacket, a good waterproof and some warm clothes including thermal underwear, gloves, a scarf, and woolly hat as well as one set of smarter clothes for Cusco. Machu Picchu does have some sand-flies and clients are advised to wear long trousers and long-sleeved shirts to avoid bites.
Although we provide water throughout, we highly recommend bringing a filter bottle, as this allows you to easily filter water yourself in your hotel, in the airport, anywhere in fact. This is one we have a good relationship with.
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We recommend you split your luggage into three parts:
b) Main luggage to be left behind
c) OVER-NIGHT CAMPING EQUIPMENT.
Your over-night camping gear should contain:
Here the two treks differ:
Inca Trail packing list
Choquequirao or Ausangate packing list
Ausangate can get very cold at night
Choquequirao, which can get very hot during the day
Lares Trek plus One Day Inca Trail packing list
The Lares trek has a weight restriction of 12kg in the support vehicle. In Ollantaytambo, after the Lares Trek, your baggage will be reduced further to a 5kg / 11lbs overnight bag for the Machu Picchu Hotel. The camping gear will return to Cusco to await your arrival there.
Watersport 1D – Raft – kayak –SUP
Water-sports: wet suits, splash jackets, life jackets, helmets, and wetsuit boots are provided.
Apurimac River Rafting
In the Apurimac canyon, both on and off the river, we recommend you wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers to avoid the strong tropical sun and persistent sand-flies.
Wet suits, splash jackets, and wetsuit boots are provided. We also provide dry bags to store your gear in and Pelican cases for cameras whilst on the rafts.
Mountain Biking/ Ebiking 1 Day
Biking: full-suspension mountain bikes, bike helmets & gloves are provided.
Bike 3 D & Bike Manu
Tambopata River Rafting
On the Tambopata river expedition, we will be experiencing all extremes of Peruvian climate, from freezing Altiplano to the steamy rainforest. In the jungle, both on and off the river, we recommend you wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers to avoid the strong tropical sun and persistent sand-flies. Baggage that is not required on the river, will return with the support vehicle to meet you at the end in Pto Maldonado.
Puno / 4WD:
Rafting: Helmets, Life-jackets and splash jackets are provided
SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY OF PASSENGERS:
Clients travelling with Amazonas Explorer are expected to abide by certain basic safety rules including:
This trip travels through a remote and rarely visited part of Peru and we believe our clients should be aware that the remoteness that makes the Inca Trail so very special could also cause certain problems. Thus, whilst we endeavour to minimise the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to. This is the very nature of Adventure Travel and we expect our clients to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in our programmed events.
The Inca Trail involves trekking over several high passes up to 4200m / 13780 feet and involves some very steep descents on old Inca steps-it is recommended that all clients should have some previous trekking experience and should be in reasonable fitness. There are also some exposed sections of trail that trekkers with severe vertigo will not enjoy.
Please note last minute international and internal flight changes, train times changes, also excess baggage charges are out of our control. In all cases, we will advise you of any changes in the itinerary as early as possible. We have taken all these possibilities into account when planning this expedition and have allowed sufficient leeway to enable us to successfully run this exceptional trip.
The majority of dietary and medical requirements can be catered for, but we must be notified of these at the time of booking. Obtaining the correct vaccinations and visas required for Peru is the individual passenger’s responsibility.
You should also be aware that adventure travel, in particular, trekking, white-water rafting, inflatable canoeing, mountain biking and travelling in remote areas such as Southern Peru, does carry with it certain inherent risks that you, the client, will have to assume. You will have to take out adequate travel insurance to cover these risks and any costs incurred due to sickness, delayed flights and other factors are out of our control.
Specific to Rafting is the possibility of delays due to the difficulty in reaching the river. Should we deem the rafting portion of the river to be too high to be safely navigated we reserve the right to offer an alternative river.
A pre-departure meeting will be held on the day before departure. It is highly recommended you attend. All clients will be asked to sign a risk assumption form and must provide a photocopy of their passport, Peru entry stamp and details of their travel insurance.
We look forward to seeing you in Peru.
Single-use plastic is a huge problem in Peru. We really encourage you to avoid adding to this problem. Not only is the percentage of plastic in a bottle that is recyclable very low, but the vast majority of bottles simply do not make it to any recycling plant. Even if they did, something like 80% of the bottle would still be going into landfills due to it being made from non-recyclable plastic.
This is an interesting video on the subject. While the water in most of Peru probably is not drinkable as is, there are many options for single-use plastic bottles of water.
Whilst on tour with us we provide you with purified water. Either from large 20-liter/4.4 Gallon bottles which we take back to the water company to refill. Or on treks and other camping trips, with water that is filtered and purified by our cooks.
Few hotels have water filters in the rooms, the vast majority do not. Unfortunately, most seem keen on selling water in single-use plastic bottles as they make money on it. We recommend you take it into your own hands by bringing a water filter bottle. This allows you to have clean water everywhere- from hotels to airports to the outdoors. The money you save by not buying water in hotels, airports, etc., will soon pay back the cost. And they will last for more trips afterward with most offering replacement cartridges.
The official language is Spanish. Quechua, the language of the Incas, has finally received some official status and is widely used in the mountains. Aymara is the language of the mountain people of Lake Titicaca and Bolivia. The jungle tribes have their own dialects.
English is not widely spoken outside the tourist industry & the normal tourist routes.
220V, 60Hz, American Style two-pin plugs
The Peruvian New Sol is the current currency. US Dollars can be used in most restaurants (at a poorer exchange rate). UK pounds and Euros are not recommended.
Current exchange rates:
1GBP = 4.5 soles and 1US$ = 3.75 Soles (correct as of June 2022)
All large towns and airports have ATM’s that accept Credit (Visa preferred) & normal bank cards (Connect, Cirrus).
Banks will accept paper credit card withdrawals – but the hours and queues are annoyingly unsociable.
Money-changing houses are available in all towns. US Dollars are the preferred currency; GB Sterling is not widely accepted.
Out of towns try to have as many small coins and notes as possible as change is not widely available.
Tipping in Peru
This is a rough guideline to try and help you work out how much you should tip. Remember that tipping is entirely voluntary and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received. (The main exception to this is Inca trail porters where a tip is expected).
As a background, Peru has a minimum salary of 800 Nuevo Soles (US$250) monthly for a 6 day 48 hour week. However in many of the lower paid jobs (eg waiters, porters etc) this is not always honoured.
Exchange rates vary, but at 3.3 Peruvian Soles to the US Dollar, this makes S/.1 roughly the equivalent of GBP £0.24, USD$0.31 and EUR 0.26. (GBP £1 : PEN S/. 4.18).
Airport Baggage Handlers
Strictly this is not a tip as these people make their living by carrying your luggage from the carousel to your bus. The general rule is between two to five soles per bag.
If the hotel staff are helpful and friendly a tip of roughly two / three Soles per bag for the porters helping carry bags to your room and for the breakfast staff leave on the breakfast table a tip of roughly five Sol per person per breakfast. In many hotels this is not expected but the staff will be grateful.
Generally, drivers doing transfers from the airport to the hotel or vice versa don’t expect tips.
However, if you have a driver for a few days then it is generally expected to tip. Again the service supplied (ie did he drive safely, did he help with luggage, was he friendly) should determine the size of the tip. A reasonable average would be a total of 10-60 Soles a day in total from the group.
On many trips you will have a number of specialist guides e.g. jungle, rafting, biking, Colca Canyon or Lake Titicaca guides. In most instances these guides have spent a number of years studying at Colleges or Universities to qualify as guides. Generally these guides will be with you for a few days but sometimes just for a day trip.
As a general guideline it would be expected to tip each specialist guide 70-170 Soles a day in total from the group. Again the group size, depth of knowledge of their area or specialist skill, command of English and friendliness should help determine the tip. Any assistant guides should receive roughly half the amount of the main guide’s tip.
The Inca trail, where you will be supported by a full crew of cooks, assistants and a host of porters etc, is far more complicated to organise in terms of tipping. We recommend that each client contributes 100-300 soles (30-90 US$) into a pot and following the advice of the guide divide it out between the crew of cooks, waiters and porters.
Note: This is one location where tipping is expected.
The general consensus as a percentage of the pot is approximate: 20% Cook, 17% Head-porter, 15% Waiter, 13% Assistant Cook, 13% Toilet manager, 22% split between the normal porters.
The number of porters varies:
|Nº PAX||Nº Porters||Nº Guide||Total Permits|
Vehicle or Mule Supporte Treks (Lares, Ausangate, Salkantay, etc)
On treks where there is not the same number of staff as the Inca Trail, but there are muleteers, cooks, cooks assistants etc, we recommend that each client contributes around 25-50s/ per day of trekking. For example, for a 4 day Lares trek it would be suitable to tip 100-250s/ (30-75 US$), whilst an 8 day Choquequirao trek would warrant around 150-500s/ (45-150 US$) of tips.
This should again be pooled into a central pot and then with the advice of the guide divided between the crew. As on the Inca Trail, the cook and head porter, head muleteer gets a larger percentage of the pot.
For tipping the actual trail guides and assistant guides we recommend following the advice for specialist guides above.
On some of our bigger tours you will be accompanied by a Tour Conductor who will help deal with all the small problems that crop up when travelling in a foreign, non-English speaking country. Again it would be expected that the group would tip the tour conductor around 40-200 soles per day. The group size, their friendliness, patience, availability and ability to resolve your problems should help determine their tip.
As with most places in the world it is normal to tip in restaurants if the service was reasonable and the food good. A tip of 5% would be adequate, 10% is normal and 15% would be considered excellent.
|Airport porters||Minimum 2-5 Soles per bag – compulsory|
|Hotel staff||2-3 Sole per bag / per breakfast|
|Transfer drivers||Generally not expected|
|Drivers||S/. 10-60 per day total from the group|
|Specialist guides||S/. 70-170 per day total from the group|
|Assistant Guides||S/. 35-100 per day total from Group|
|Inca trail support staff||S/. 100-300 per client, pooled and divided- Very expected|
|Other treks support staff||S/. 25-50 per client per day pooled and divided|
|Tour Conductors||S/. 40-200 per day total from the group|
|Restaurants||5-15% for adequate to excellent food and service|
We hope you find the above information useful and do remember this information is a general guide and that tipping is VOLUNTARY.
Note if you are flying onto or transiting through certain other countries, they may require you have a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you have been to any area of Peru they deem to be at risk of Yellow Fever. People have been stopped from boarding the plane which transited through Brasil, and on another occasion boarding a plane to Costa Rica, despite not having been to any yellow fever area in Peru.
Most of the adventure trips are at altitudes greater than 2,800m / 9186 feet above sea level where altitude effects can be felt.
Altitude can aggravate some pre-existing medical condition. Travellers with anaemia, lung conditions, heart conditions, aneurisms, thrombosis and high blood pressure should check with their doctors before undertaking travel at altitude.
All dietary requirements from vegans, Lacto-allergies and general dislikes can be catered for so long as prior warning is given when booking the trip. Please bear in mind that many of our adventures such as trekking require all food to be carried, by person or horse. So there are limits to what we can carry. If on a group tour, your cook is also catering for a number of other people, so their time is limited.
Restaurants in Cusco
Cicciolina – Bar de Tapas
Chicha por Gastón Acurio – Cusco
Limo Cocina Peruana & Pisco Bar
La bodega 138
Restaurants in Sacred Valley
Cafe Mayu (Ollantaytambo)
Cafe Maywic (Ollantaytambo)
El Huacatay (Urubamba)
Mil (only lunchtime) (Moray)
Sol y Luna (Urubamba)
Belmond Rio Sagrado (Urubamba)
El Albergue cafe (Ollantaytambo)
Hawa Restaurant (Urubamba)
Restaurants in Machu Picchu
Restaurants in Arequipa
La Nueva Palomino
Chicha por Gastón Acurio – Arequipa
La Trattoría del Monasterio
El Tío Darío
Restaurants in La Libertad
Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet
Big Ben Huanchaco
Romano Rincón Criollo
El Chalán Criollo
Restaurants in Lambayeque
Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet
El rincón del pato
El Cantaro Lambayeque
El Muelle de Pimentel – Estación Gourmet
Picantería del Mar
Restaurants in Loreto
Al Frío y al Fuego
Fitzcarraldo Vía Gourmet
La Gran Maloca
Mitos y Cubiertos
Restaurants in Ica
El Tambo de Tacama
El Algarrobo (Hotel Hacienda)
Doubletree Resort by Hilton Paracas
La Olla de Juanita
Aranwa Paracas Resort & Spa
Paste e Pizza Trattoria del Borgo
2 El Charrúa
3 Osso Carnicería & Salumeria
4 El Hornero
5 La Carreta
6 La Cuadra de Salvador Steakhouse
7 La Cabrera
8 El Parrillón de Pablo Profumo
10 La Tranquera
2. Best Chinese/ chifa in Lima
2 Madam Tusan
3 Hou Wha
5 Wa Lok
8 Salón Capón
9 Lung Fung
10 Kuo Wha
3. Best Italian restaurant in Lima
2 La Trattoria Di Mambrino
3 San Ceferino
4 Osteria Convivium
6 La Bodega de la Trattoria
7 Don Vito
8 La Linterna
9 El Italiano
10 Antica Pizzería
4. Best Japanese/ Peruvian- Japanese ( Nikkei) restaurant in Lima
3 Costanera 700
4 Hanzo Peruvian Japanese Cuisine
5 Edo Sushi Bar
7 Toshi Restaurante Nikkei
5. Best Criolla restaurants in Lima
1 Isolina, Taberna Peruana
2 Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet Lima
3 José Antonio
4 Panchita – Sazón Criolla
5 Huaca Pucllana
6 Brujas de Cachiche
7 El Rincón que No Conoces
8 La Picantería
9 El Grifo
10 El Señorío de Sulco
6. Best contemporary Peruvian cuisine restaurants in Lima
4 Astrid & Gastón
5 La Gloria
9 Huaca Pucllana
7. Best restaurants for regional cuisine in Lima ( of other regions of Peru)
1 Fiesta Chiclayo Gourmet
3 El Rocoto
4 El Rincón que no Conoces
5 Don Fernando
7 El Aguajal
8 El Rinconcito Arequipeño
9 El Tarwi
10 La Paisana
8.Best world food restaurants in Lima
1 Café Delifrance
2 La Bonbonniere
4 La Tiendecita Blanca
5 Siam Thai Cuisine
6 La Cucharita
8 La Fondue
9 Club Suizo
10 Viet, a taste of Vietnam
9. Best fish and seafood restaurants in Lima
1 Costanera 700
2 El Mercado
3 La Mar
4 Pescados Capitales
7 La Picanteria
8 La Red
9 Chez Wong
10 El Kapallaq
10. Best Lima country restaurants in Lima ( type of place you escape the city for Sunday lunch to)
1 La Gloria del Campo
2 Granja Azul
3 Chaxras, Eco Restaurante
4 La Casa de Don Cucho
5 La Ladrillera
6 Balcón del Cielo
7 Kusina Pachacamac
8 Casabierta – Hacienda Mamacona
9 Chalet Belga
10 Los Altos de Mamacona
11. Best café style restaurants in Lima
1 La Tiendecita Blanca
2 Gianfranco Caffé
3 San Antonio
4 La Bombonniere
6 Café de Lima
7 El Pan de la Chola
9 Dolce Capriccio
10 Ana Avellana
12. Best bar/ lounge style restaurants in Lima
1 Bottega Dasso
2 Hotel B
4 La Cucharita
5 Bravo Restobar
6 Bar Olé
7 Lima 27
9 Antigua Bodega D (La Dalmacia)
10 La 73
Only 5kg/11lb day-packs of total dimensions < 157cm/61 inches are allowed to travel with you in the train carriages.
Please check with your flight provider- it varies greatly airline to airline and route to route.
Your guides will advise you of all possible options during the trip. Cusco has an abundance of good artisan markets, local ruins, internet cafes, bars and restaurants.
It can also be a nice opportunity to just relax and read a book.
The office may be contacted directly in case of emergencies. There are numerous Internet cafes in Cusco for e-mailing home, direct dial phone cards are widely available and telephone calls can be made from most hotels. Tri-band cellular phones also work in the major cities. On remote expeditions we carry a satellite phone but this is exclusively for emergency use. Wi-Fi is available in most major towns.
The minimum age for the most adventure trips is sixteen years. Occasionally younger clients can be taken prior previous consultation with Amazonas Explorer.
Private trips can be arranged for passengers and friends under sixteen years old.
There is no maximum age limit but individuals are asked to be realistic of their capabilities when choosing an adventure trip.
Family trips are specifically aimed at ten to eighteen years olds travelling with their parents. However we can customize family trips for just about any age and even have equipment for babies and toddlers if required/ we can even provide nannies and baby sitters.
0700 Wakeup call and time to pack up gear and tents.
0800 Breakfast and load support truck.
0830 Begin Biking
1230 – 1330 Lunch break
1530 Stop Biking & set up camp
This itinerary is flexible depending on the weather and group health.
0700 Wake-up call and time to pack up your gear.
0800 Breakfast whilst guides load kit on the rafts.
0830-0900 Begin rafting
1100 Snack time
1230 – 1330 Lunch break
1530 Stop rafting and set up camp
Rafting is at the speed deemed safe by the raft guides at the water conditions at the time. Plenty of time is allowed for portaging/walking the rapids deemed too dangerous to run.
We pride ourselves on our high guide to passenger staff ratio. Optimal weather and water conditions would give four or six passengers in paddle rafts (raft size depending). We do not pack eight people into any raft. In high water Oar frames are used for extra safety, these may have two or four passengers. Tail frames are also often used to provide more safety.
Wake up call at 0600 with a cup of tea and bowl of water for washing. You then have one hour to pack up your rucksack before breakfast at 0700. This enables the porters to take down your tents whilst you are eating.
0730 Start trekking.
1100 Snack break
1230 – 1330 Lunch break
1530 Arrival at camp. The porters will have set up camp and have hot drinks and snacks waiting.
1800 Three-course dinner and hot drinks
Trekking is at a leisurely pace with plenty of time for rests and exploring the ruins on route. This itinerary is flexible depending on the weather and group health.
From wonderfully differing backgrounds and countries, our genuinely small groups of 4 – 16 clients, typically share a passion for the outdoors, a healthy appetite for adventure and a love of the good life. No previous experience is necessary for any of our trips unless specified in the adventure.
Camping toilets and toilet tents are provided on all but the remotest expeditions.
On the rafting the river is generally used for washing and clean water supplied for drinking and teeth brushing.
On the Inca trail bowls of hot water are supplied in the morning and night. Clean hand washing water is available at all meal times.
All excess gear may be stored in either the Hotels, support vehicles or in the Amazonas Explorer deposit whilst on alternative activities.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu – Mark Adams
The White Rock – Hugh Thomson
Cochineal Red – Hugh Thomson
The Biking Birder 2016- A Green Birding Quest for 300– Gary Prescott ( Gary is donating one tree to our Lares reforestation project for every book sold).
Trekking in Peru- Hilary Bradt and Kathy Jarvis
Inca Gold – Clive Cussler
Manu – Andre Baertschi & Kim MacQuarrie
Exploring Cusco – Peter Frost
Heart of the Amazon – Yossi Ghinsberg
Running the Amazon – Joe Kane
A Neo-tropical Companion -John C. Kricher
Last days of the Incas – Kim MacQuarrie
Where the Andes meets the Amazon – Kim MacQuarrie and Jordi Blassi
Realm of the Incas – Max Milligan
Inca Kola – Matthew Parris
Birds of Peru (Princeton Field Guides) – Thomas S. Schulenberg
The bridge of San Luis Rey – Thornton Wilder
Touching the Void – Joe Simpson
Into the forests of the night – John Simpson
Field guide to the birds of Machu Picchu – Barry Walker
The Inca Trail, Cusco & Machu Picchu, including High Inca Trail, Salkantay Trek, Lares Trail, Choquequirao and Ausangate Treks and Lima City Guide’ by Trailblazer Guide Books
We create safe, responsibly run adventures in Cusco and the Sacred Valley for lovers of the great outdoors. We are a Certified B Corps and hold all Adventure Licenses for the activities we offer.
Avenida Collasuyo 910, Miravalle, Cusco
9am-4pm local time (GMT-5)
Amazonas Explorer Ⓒ 2022 Peru Adventure Experts Since 1985 .