Email: sales@andinatravel.com
Call us: +51 84 251892
Address: Plazoleta Santa Catalina
Nro 219 Cusco-Peru

Inca trail machupicchu .:.picchu pre - departure info.:.Choquequirao treks

PICCHU PRE - PEPARTURE INFO

 

About Peru

Population: 27,012,899

Area: 501,234 square miles

Capital city: Lima (population 8 million)

Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara

People: 54% Indigenous, 32% Mestizo (mixed European and Indian descent), 12% Spanish descent, 2% Black, Asian minority

Religion: Over 90% Roman Catholic, small percentages of many other religions

Climate: Peru's climate can be divided into two seasons-wet and dry-though the weather varies greatly depending on the geographic region. Because Peru is in the Southern Hemisphere, the "summer"is considered to be from January to March. During these months, the weather is usually sunny and warm on the coast and on the western slopes of the Andes. Coastal temperatures are normally between 75 and 85 degrees in the summer. In the high Andes, however, January to March is the wet season, when rains can be heavy but the vegetation much greener. Summer temperatures at high altitudes are usually mild during the day, 55-70 degrees, and colder at night, 40-50 degrees.

During the winter, or dry season (April to November), the coast is usually cloudy and colder. In the high Andes regions, the weather is dry and sunny during the day, but temperatures can drop below freezing at night. The dry season is the most popular for travel in the Andes and the jungle areas.

Electricity: 220 volts, 60 cycles, so adaptors are need for any electrical apparatus running on 110 volts.

Currency: The average exchange rate is $1.00 = 3.19 Nuevo Soles (although this may vary slightly). It is advised to have enough dollars, in cash, at hand. Credit Cards & Traveler's Checks are welcomed in most cities (Visa, MasterCard, Diner's Club, & American Express), but bring cash for small towns or pueblos. It may be difficult to change Traveler's Checks to cash, and 3-5% is usually charged for the service. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card. Automatic Teller Machines are located throughout the bigger cities. Dollars or Soles can be taken out using major credit cards, again with a service charge. For credit card purchases in stores or restaurants, 8-10% is added. Change for Dollars or Soles is usually scarce, so it is recommended to carry small bills and coins in Soles.

Visa & Passport: Citizens of European Union member states and of the USA & Canada who are entering Peru as tourists do not require visas and can enter Peru with a valid passport. Passports should be valid for at least 6 months after arrival date. Upon arrival in Peru, travelers are asked to fill out a white embarkation card. DO NOT LOSE THIS PIECE OF PAPER; you will need it to leave the country. We recommend that you make copies of all important documentation and keep them separately from the originals.

Tipping: Most restaurants do not include a tip on the bill, but some more expensive restaurants do. Locals do not leave very big tips, but at least 10% is recommended if the service is good. Taxi drivers are not tipped, and the fare should be negotiated beforehand. If on a tour with a company, we suggest tipping guides, cooks, porters who carry baggage, and mule wranglers when applicable and if satisfied with the service.

Taxes: In most airports, a security tax must be paid which is not included in our service costs. For national flights, the cost is approximately US$5.00 or S/16.00 Soles and can vary. The international departure tax is US$31.00, paid in Soles or Dollars at the Lima airport. Sales tax on goods and services in shops and restaurants is 19%, and is generally included in the prices shown or quoted.

Health & Safety

Immunizations: No vaccinations are required but the following are recommended:

Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)

Hepatitis B: If you might be exposed to blood (for example, healthcare workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or may be exposed through medical treatment

Typhoid: Recommended for travel in developing countries

Yellow Fever: Recommended for all travelers older than 9 months who go outside urban areas, especially in lower elevations or jungle regions. The CDC web site has more specific information on what areas have reported cases.

Rabies: Recommended only for those at high risk for animal bites, such as long term travelers who plan to hike in remote areas where medical access is limited.

Malaria: Recommended for those traveling to low-altitude, jungle areas where insects are prevalent. The CDC has more specific information on areas with reported cases.

Booster shots: As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diptheria and measles.

Note: See your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip to discuss medical history and to allow time for shots to take effect.

Other precautions:

Traveler's Diarrhea: The most common travel-related ailment. The prevention is food and water precautions as outlined below. Treatments are antidiarrheal medications or antibiotics; however, if the symptoms are not severe, it is best to drink plenty of fluids and let it run its course.

Altitude Sickness: May occur in travelers who ascend rapidly to altitudes greater than 2500 meters, including Cusco (3400 meters) and Lake Titicaca (4000 meters). Drugs can be taken for altitude sickness, so consult your personal doctor. In most cases, the best way to treat or prevent altitude sickness is to rest and drink plenty of fluids (including coca tea and excluding alcohol) upon arrival.

Food and Water: The food in Peru is varied and delicious, but it is not recommended to eat from street vendors, markets, uncooked salads or unpeeled fruits. Ceviche, or raw fish, is only recommended at the highest quality restaurants. Avoid cooked foods that are no longer hot. We recommend that travelers drink bottled water, which is widely available and inexpensive. Avoid unbottled beverages and drinks with ice.

Crime: Petty theft is the most common crime in Peru, just like any other developing country where poverty is high. This is more prevalent in big cities and tourist areas. The best precaution is to not carry valuables or wear them visibly. Carry all important documents and money in a money belt under clothing, and take precautions not to leave bags unattended or out of eyesight. Also, only take taxis that are marked with a sign as professional companies. Most people who take these precautions will have no problems while traveling in Peru.

Insurance

We strongly recommend the use of a travel/medical insurance plan. We do not provide or include an accident or travel insurance policy in our cost. However, if a member of the group gets sick or is incapacited, we take care of him or her by getting a qualified doctor or immediate medical attention. In these cases, the extra costs are assumed by the individual client, including hospitalization if necessary. In the case of accident and/or necessary emergency evacuation, all costs are assumed by the individual client.

Recommended Books

Bradt, Hilary. Backpacking & Trekking in Peru and Bolivia. Hunter Publishing, USA. 1989.

Fjeldsa, Jon and Niels Krabbe. Birds of the High Andes. U. Copenhagen Zoological Museum. Svendborg, Denmark, 1990.

Frost, Peter. Exploring Cusco. Nuevas Imagines S.A., Lima, Peru. 1999.

Frost, Peter and Jim Bartle. Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. Nuevas Imagines S.A., Lima, Peru. 1995.

Hemming, John. The Conquest of the Incas. London. 1970.

Pearson, David L. and Les Beletsky. Peru: The Eco-travelers' Wildlife Guide.
Academic Press. 2001.

 

Andina Travel offers: travel to machu picchu, machu picchu trek, treks peru, ausangate treks, trekking machu picchu, Choquequirao treks, inca trail and numerous archeological sites along the way, including the marvelous Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.