Logistics and Travel Essentials

IMG_0731Airfares and Travel

Please do not purchase airfare until the trip minimum has been met. If you do, it is at your own risk.  We will meet in Cusco on the morning of Aug 4, around 10 am.  We will meet at the airport.  If you choose to arrive early, you must inform us of your arrangements.  

We will depart from Juliaca, Peru at the end of our journey, please make sure your tickets reflect this.  We are not providing a bus back to Cusco from Lake Titicaca.   Tickets should be  US- Lima- Cusco, Juliaca – Lima- US.

Documents

The Application Form, the Release of Liability, and a scan (not a photocopy) of your passport are due with your deposit.  The Traveler Information Form and your airline flight information are due as soon as possible after purchasing your airfare.  DOWNLOAD FORMS

You will need a valid passport for entry into Peru. A 90 day visa is automatically given to US citizens upon entry. Carry a second form of photo ID, such as your driver’s license, and keep a photocopy of the first personal page of your passport with you, in a separate location from your actual passport.  If you lose your passport, this is the best way to prove your identity. 

 If your passport expires before or within six months of your travel, you must renew it before you travel. Make sure to keep a copy/scan of your passport before sending for renewal. International airlines will allow you to board with a passport that expires within six months of travel.

If you are traveling with a passport from a country other than the US, please call the Peruvian Consulate nearest to you and find out if there are any visa requirements. 

Health and Safety

You are responsible for your health and safety during the trip. Please plan accordingly to make sure your insurance is up to date, and you have medications with you.  Should you need medical assistance during the trip, we will do our best to get you to medical care, but we are not responsible for any costs of medical treatment

Travel Insurance

In the event of inclement weather, illness, lost baggage or travel-related issues that require you to drop out or cancel travel, it is wise to have traveler’s insurance. Travel insurance reimburses you if you have to cancel or something else goes as unplanned.  It is reccomended that you acquire travel insurance covering medical expenses, emergency assistance, baggage claim and trip cancellation or delay. There are many types available online, such as Travelex or Travel Guard which can be found online at http://www.travelex.com or http://www.travelguard.com . If you book your flights with an agent, they may offer you a dicsount on travel insurance.

Please check with your health insurance provider to make sure they will cover your treatment costs abroad.  Also check with credit card companies which often have some kind of travel insurance when you use the card to pay.  Please also inform these companies of your travel ahead of time, so there is no delay should the need arise.

Budgeting for your Travel Expenses

Airfare:  Air travel will be your largest expense, and you are responsible for making your reservations and paying your airfare. LAN, Avianca, United and other airlines fly to Peru.   Typically round trip airfare is around $1400-$1500  Please do not purchase airfare until the trip minimum has been met. If you do, it is at your own risk.

Food/Water:  Your are in charge of purchasing your meals, beyond what is provided during camping/home stay portions.  Most hotels have breakfast.  You may choose to eat at local restaurants, and there are many good ones, or shop at the local markets to prepare your own, but be conscious of food and water precautions. Bottled water is found almost everywhere, and you should plan to use that for your drinking needs.  It is not expensive, but is something to plan for on a daily basis.  Please budget around $300-$350 for your meals/water.  

Tips: 10-15% tips are generally recommended for those who host, guide and otherwise provide us their services during the journey.  It will be split between our guides and medicine people.   This is about $250-300 per individual traveler.  This has been included in the total trip cost, so you do not need to worry about it.  But it is good practice to tip (propina) anyone who helps you carry luggage, or assists you in the hotels.

Travel Insurance: Prices vary, but plan budget $150 to $200.

Markets, Textiles & Craft Purchases:  There are many amazing and beautiful crafts and textiles to purchase at markets and from the local people.  It is of course up to you how much you spend, but its easy to spend more than you plan. Haggling is generally accepted.  I ended up withdrawing more money from ATM’s to cover my craft purchases on my trip.  $500-800 was a good ball park. But, its purely up to you.  A square hand woven mestana cloth usually runs about $40-50 us, and a poncho is $100.  

Private Healing Sessions:  We will have the opportunity to receive private healing sessions with of the Q’ero medicine people. If you choose to have receive one, donations are made directly to the medicine person, usually $50-80 dollars depending on the service.

Money

The currency of Peru is Nuevo Soles ( S/). The current exchange rate is 3.16S/. per dollar. There are currency exchanges in the airport  (the rate is not the best, but it is handy to have some soles on hand when you leave the airport.  There are also money exchanges in most cities in the Sacred Valley and Cusco.  Change what you need for a few days at most. We don’t recommend carrying large amounts of cash around.

Most ATM cards work at cash machines in the Sacred Valley and Cusco, and it’s safer and fast way to handle money. The exchange rate for ATM’s is usually better than the exchange rate for traveler’s checks. Please check with your bank and/or credit care company to confirm they have ATM affiliates in Cusco, and be sure to let them know you will be traveling in Peru, so they don’t freeze your account.

If you carry US dollars, there are many “Cambio” offices in most towns. (Cambio means change in Spanish). Please don’t use street money changers, they can be unreliable and its dangerous to be so visible with your money. Visa credit cards are generally accepted in Peru at ATMs and restaurants and stores.   Imperfect, ripped, stained or otherwise used US dollars are not generally accepted in Peru.  They prefer NEW/perfect bills, in denominations of $20 or larger.

Please be wise when handling money in a third world country, use precautions.  I used a money belt worn under the waist band of your pants, to store cards, passport, and money. Its generally acceptable to haggle over prices with street vendors.  But street vendors may not have change and expect you to pay in exact currency, so carry some small bills and coins!

Cell Phones/Wi Fi

Cell service for international traveler’s can be extremely expensive, even the use of data packages can sting.  I recommend setting your phone to airplane mode and only use the widely available Wi- Fi in hotels and cafes to connect to email and texting services like What’s App or Viber.  Or you could choose to take an internet break during the trip.