MANU AMAZON JUNGLE TOURS FAQ
- MANU AMAZON JUNGLE TOUR PRE-DEPARTURE BRIEFING?
You will have a pre-departure briefing at your hotel the day of your arrival or one day before at 6:00 pm, we will send you one of our tour guides who will explain you all the manu jungle tour program day by day, also he will answer any remaining questions about the tour, then you can finalize the payments of your balance.
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RESERVED ZON AND THE CULTURAL AREA? HOW TO DECIDE BETWEEN THE MANU BIOSPHERE RESERVE TOUR AND THE MANU CULTURAL ZONE?
The Manu National Park is divided into three parts: cultural zone , reserved zone or core zone and the intangible zone. The cultural zone and the reserved zone are for tourist use. The intangible zone is used exclusively for scientific studies and with special permits.
Manu Amazon Jungle is a relatively remote area with little human population, and is has an extremely high biodiversity and very good opportunities to observe animals in the rainforest (especially at the clay licks), which is not very easy due to the dense vegetation.Manu offers ideal conditions for nature and animal lovers, photographers and ornithologists.
You will not find mass tourism here. In August (high season) there are most visitors around, so it gets a bit busy.
Please note that it is not always possible to exactly stick to the program on a rain forest tour and small changes to the program may occur. In case of unusual situations caused by the weather (for example ) our guide will look for the best alternative and always try to include all activities of our program. The guide will explain the situation to the group and you are welcome to ask questions.
Both tours, the Manu Biosphere Tour and the Manu Cultural Area, take you to the lowland rainforest of Manu and you visit
A.- MANU CULTURAL AREA
In the cultural zone of Manu, you can see two types of ecological floors, the first place to visit will be the cloud forest, where two species of Monkeys can be seen, and the national bird of Peru. And it is also a good place to observe endemic birds, such as trogon, quetzal, eagles, owls, and several species of hummingbirds. You can also see a variety of orchids, begonias and medicinal trees. Then a boat tour is made to the lodge inside the jungle, where walks are made to identify mammals such as sachava, monkeys, alligators, jaguars. And also take the opportunity to visit the parrot and macaw collpa.
It is called a cultural zone or buffer due to its proximity to the native villages that inhabit the Manu National Park such as Matsiguenka, Nanti, Yora, Haranbut, Yine and Quechua divided into the towns of Callanga, Huacaria, Keros, Shintuya, Diamante and Palotoa and they feed on house and fish therefore there is not much diversity.
On the Manu Cultural Zone you can enjoy the unique scenery of Rio Manu’s primary lowland forest. Inside the Reserved Zone (Tourist Zone) we visit the Machu Wasi lake to observe Giant Otters, birds, Mamals, Macawclaycliks, several insects. The scenery on Rio Manu is impressive and chances to observe wildlife on the river banks are very good. (If we are lucky we may see a jaguar.) But we spend considerably more time into the deep rainforest.
This tour is designed in activities of 3, 4 and 5 days.
B.- MANU RESERVED ZONE
The Manu Biosphere Tour is the more active tour, we spend more of 5 days in the area of Limonal and Blanquillo and we have plenty of time for walks on the trails. Our program is flexible and we have good opportunities to see a variety of animal species. Direfent lakes (to observe Giant River Otters), the big Macaw Clay Lick at Blanquillo as well as the Mammal Salt Lick, located at walking distance from our Lodge.
- The 5 day tour is the shortest tour to the Manu lowland, but shows you the highlights of Manu.
- On the 7 day Biosphere tour we have one day (day 5) on which the group can decide what type of animals you would like to prospect for again. This day is especially rewarding for bird, tapir and monkey observation. In case of bad weather conditions we are flexible enough to modify the itinerary according to our needs and have more options to see animals. On this tour our return journey takes us back to Atalaya and through the cloud forest.
- On the 8 day tour we have 2 full days inside the Reserved Zone which gives us better chances for giant otter and monkey observation.
- Chances to observe animals are similar on both tours. The more time you spend in the rainforest the better the chance to see a bigger variety of animals.
3. WHY IS THE RESERVED AREA MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THE CULTURAL ZONE?
The trip to the area reserved by boat is approximately 7 to 8 hours every day and by bus only the first and last day according to your itinerary. Our company pays the Peruvian state for nature conservation, for the entry of each tourist, for each passenger and annually and this same money is for payments of the park guards of the Manu National Park. Each group of Eco Path Trek visits the Machiguenka house to buy their handicrafts that are made by themselves with plants, fruits and natural colors and we support in this way to generate economic income for the subsistence of the population of Tayacome and Yomibato. We also work directly with the natives of tayacome, yomibato, Diamante as crew members and boat riders in our company as connoisseurs guarantee our safety in the rivers of Alto Madre de Dios and Manu. Since they are native of the jungle.
HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING?
300 to 400 soles should be taken for additional purchases on the tour such as handicrafts, soft drinks, moisturizers, beers and tips for the staff (motorcyclist, crewman, cooks and guides).
WHY SHOULD I TRAVEL WITH ECO PATH TREK?
Eco Path Trek is peruvian a local tour operator, offering an unforgettable experience since 2008 that works with social and environmental responsibility. Pay the Peruvian state to conserve nature to the National System of Protected Natural Areas. .All the guides and drivers are very knowledgeable professionals of the jungle that guarantee 100% their safety because they studied in the Peruvian jungle and specialized in Cusco.The company’s teams guarantee 100% YOUR SAFETY AND COMFORT. The prices are reasonable quality and price. Your trip is 100% guaranteed. If you travel with us you will be helping to protect the environment and therefore the economic sustainability of the native communities mentioned above.
HOW BIG ARE THE TOUR GROUPS FOR MANU AMAZON JUNGLE TOUR WITH ECO PATH TREK?
On our Manu tours the maximum group size is 10 people per guide. This way everybody can hear what the guide says and the group is not too big to observe animals. If there are 8 to 12 participants on a tour we take one more guide to divide the group in two while walking on the trails, but you may be sharing the bus and/ or boat. If there are more than 12 participants on the same tour we split in 2 groups, each with its own guide and boat.
ARE WE GOING TO SEE LOTS OF LARGE ANIMALS IN THE MANU AMAZON JUNGLE?
Our tour guides are very well prepared, they use all of their senses listening for small sounds like the breaking of a branch or fruit falling from the canopy, sniffing for animal odors, scanning the leaves above and below for motion. With this heightened attention and care to make little noise, the chances of observing large and small creatures is greatly increased.
The Manu Amazon Jungle has the greatest collection of life on earth, and so understandably, many visitors to the Manu Amazon Jungle expect to see lots of mammals. But it should be kept in mind that the story of the Manu Amazon Jungle is that it has high diversity, but low density. So on our trip we will see lots of kinds of creatures but not very many of each kind. But the beauty of this place is how the flora and fauna have evolved the wonderful and bizarre adaptations to thrive in this wilderness. With this perspective, travelers can directly experience and appreciate the infinite variability.
ARE YOU GUARANTEED TO SEE BIRDS AT THE MACAW LICKS?
The dry season is a good season to see the birds. The most likely reason for them to come together and eat the clay is because at certain times of the year there are hardly any fruits available for them, just seeds. Seeds in general have a toxic layer, exactly to prevent animals eating them. If the macaws eat them anyway, they have a build up of poison in their stomach. To neutralize the acids that the poison produces in their stomachs, they eat the clay. In the rainy season up until the beginning of the dry season (May) there are many fruits. So the macaws eat fewer seeds and more non-toxic fruits and feel less necessity to eat the clay. Usually it means there are fewer macaws present in the beginning of the dry season. In the middle of the dry season there may be about 100 to 150 macaws visiting the clay lick in one morning, whereas there may only be 10 to 50 at the end of the rainy season/beginning of the dry season.
IN MANU AMAZON JUNGLE THERE IS A LOT OF WALKING?
There is not a lot of walking in the sense of going far. All walking is done slowly. This is because most of what you find in the manu amazon jungle is vegetation and to be able to pick out the animals you have to take your time to look around, and listen as well.
For the manu amazon jungle 7-days tour, there are the following walks: The first day of the tour has an afternoon walk of about two hours. The second day is mostly spent looking for birds and animals on the Alto Madre de Dios River, with less walking than the other days. The third and fourth days feature a short walk to Lake Salvador, and various different walks in the Reserved Zone and on trails around the accommodation. The 5th & 6th day you walk maybe one or two hours in the Blanquillo area. The seventh day there is no walking at all.
WHEN IS THE BEST WEATHER TO VISIT THE MANU AMAZON JUNGLE ?
As local travel agency that we travel all the time and organize trips, We would recommend you to travel from April to January, this is the good time to visit the Manu Amazon Jungle and all over of Peru.
- From April to May is the transition months of the end of the raining season with moderate rainfall usually is raining only one or three hours a day but not every day.
- From June to October is our dry season, but the Manu Amazon Jungle is well known as the rainforest so even at this season we may have some rainfall not as much like in the rainy season.
- From October to January is the transition months which is the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season and there is moderate rainfall usually is raining at nigh one or three hours by night, but not every day.
- From the ends of January, February and March is really our rainy season until the beginning of April at this time of the year there are some big landslide that block roads and the rivers in some areas floatplanes at this time some village, towns and cities have no road connections just for a couple of days.
WHAT ARE THE TEMPERATURES LIKE IN MANU AMAZON JUNGLE?
On the first day of your tour we travel over the Andes, where you should have a sweater and wind & waterproof jacket. In the afternoon, reaching the cloud forest temperatures are more pleasant.
The first night you spend in the cloud forest, at 1600 m., you can expect temperatures between 12 and 18°C (53 to 62°F), and reaching the lowland forest you should expect between 26 and 36°C (78 to 95°F) during the day and around 20 to 26°C (66 to 78°F) at night.
However, cold winds from Patagonia may reach Manu Amazon Jungle and the temperature may lower to about 10 degrees Celsius (50F). These “friajes” are more common during the southern hemisphere’s wintertime (between April and the end of August).
On some occasions we can get a cold front (“friaje”) from the south, this occurs mainly during the months of May to July/ August (dry season). When these winds reach the lowland forest, temperatures may go down as far as 14 or 10°C (50°F), which feels colder due to the humidity in the rainforest.
DO I HAVE TO BE FIT FOR A MANU AMAZON JUNGLE TOUR? ARE THE WALKS CHALLENGING?
Manu Amazon Jungle tours can be done with normal fitness by people of all age groups. You should be able to walk medium distances (for about 2 – 3 hours) and on often uneven surfaces. Make sure you bring good walking shoes.
If you are travelling with children, please let us know in advance for further recommendations, depending on the age of your children.
On a Manu Amazon Jungle tour you spend some time travelling by bus and by boat – this varies according to the tour (e.g. on the National Park Tour you spend more time in the boat) and we do walks that usually do not exceed 3 hours at a time. We don’t have to cover big distances on the walks; we will often walk slowly or stop to observe animals and plants on the way. Sometimes we need to listen, wait and have patience. You only need to bring a day pack on the walks. Night walks are optional and usually take about 1 hour. You are not expected to carry your luggage to the lodge, but help is appreciated.
Due to the humidity and warm temperatures some people may feel a bit weak or faint, but there normally is a short ‘siesta’ at midday and you have the possibility to stay at the lodge instead of participating in a walk. In the rain forest it ‘s important to drink a lot.
A rainforest tour is not a ‘comfort tour’, but if you bring appropriate gear (please see our packing list) you will have an incomparable experience.
WHAT KIND OF TRANSPORTATION DO YOU PROVIDE FOR THE TRIP INTO MANU AMAZON JUNGLE TOURS?
As several days of our tours include road travel, Eco Path Trek emphasises the importance of safety and travel comfort. All vehicles have special adaptations for driving unpaved roads. Depending on the number of people in your group, you can be traveling by 4-wheel drive truck, a mini van, or a medium sized bus. All drivers are experienced on the Manu Amazon Jungle Roads. Additionally, Eco Path Trek has its own set of rules to be followed by the drivers, to reach higher safety standards, giving you more pleasant travels.
IS THERE A LUGGAGE LIMIT?
Please bring a maximum of 12 kg of luggage per person on your Manu Amazon Jungle Tour. Especially during the dry season (approx. from June to September) the water levels of the rivers are low; therefore we try to reduce the weight of our boat to make headway better and faster. We recommend to bring a waterproof bag or rucksack for the amazon jungle tours.
During the Manu Amazon Jungle Tour you can store the rest of your luggage at your hotel in Cusco. In case you have special photo equipment with a considerable weight please let us know in advance.
ARE PARTICIPANTS EXPECTED TO CARRY THEIR OWN LUGGAGE?
If possible, we ask you to carry your own luggage wherever necessary. While traveling, your luggage will be either in the van/bus or in the boat. One carries it only from the van/bus into the lodge or boat etc. However, for heavier luggage or parts hard to walk, the boatmen and the guide can carry it for you. Just let the guide know whenever you would like assistance
WHAT ARE THE BOATS LIKE?
Our boats are 15 and 16 m long with Yamaha outboard motors. They have wooden seats with cushions and backrests as well as a roof. There are life vests for all passengers. When travelling on the river in the rain you may get wet, so you should have your rain gear at hand. Our boat staff will also provide plastic covers to protect you if it rains. There is no toilet on the boat; please just let your guide know if you need to use the bathroom, so he can stop the boat. And you can make your needs on the banks of the river
DO THE BOATS HAVE A ROOF?
Yes the boats have a roof to protect you against the sun. However, if you are sitting on a moving boat, the rain always comes in on one side, and therefore we provide you with big plastic sheets to cover yourself without taking away your view of the rainforest.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?
Peruvian cuisine is really delicious and there is a good cook for every excursion as a local tour company we really work with locals farmer from the Andes and Amazon who produce organic products this are used in the different typical or Novo Amazon cuisine. Peru today is recognized as the first dining destination in the world.
For breakfasts there are omelettes, scrambled eggs, pancakes etc. The lunches in general consist of cold salads, since it is usually hot at that time of the day. The dinners feature soups (great Peruvian soups), a main course with meat for the first part of the tour and beans or lentils at the end part (since meat cannot be kept cool forever without electricity) and desserts of fresh fruits or puddings etc. You can also ask for a special diet, such as vegetarian, saltless or anything else that you need or prefer.
For drinking we have mineral water as much as you need, plus lemonades, coffee, tea, chocolate and herbal teas. There are places where one can buy beer or soft drinks, but you have to pay for those yourself.
IS DRINKING WATER PROVIDED DURING THE TOUR?, IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK?
We bring bottled mineral water from Cusco for the entire tour, for every excursion in big bottles and this is drinkable and perfectly safe during trip. The water in the bathroom is not for drink is only for body cleaning but this water is clean.Please bring a big water bottle for the first day of the tour (min. 3 lt) as it is complicated to get out water for you during the first day’s bus ride. Then please keep your water bottle and you can refill it every day in the morning and/ or evening.
Due to the high temperatures in Manu Amazon Jungle, it is important that you have to drink plenty of water. Please help to protect the environment and avoid buying plastic bottles as these are not yet recycled properly in Peru.
WHAT IS THE RISK OF CATCHING A TROPICAL DISEASE OR ATTACK BY WILD ANIMALS?
There is very little risk to get a disease on our trips. Especially in Manu Amazon Jungle Area we are in the wilderness, far away from areas where diseases are. Our cook’s standards of cleanliness are very high and his splendid cuisine is designed for traveler around the world. Most wild animals are extremely wary of contact than humans.
WHAT MEANS OF COMMUNICATION ARE AVAILABLE IN MANU? CAN I FIND A DOCTOR IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY?
When visiting Manu Amazon Jungle you should be aware that you travel to a remote area and there is no reliable mobile phone line nor internet access. In case of an emergency and for receiving short reports by our guides we have radio communication at the lodges. There is a satellite telephone in Boca Manu village and sometimes there is mobile phone access there as well.
Along our route there are 3 small hospital wards, apart from this the guide will carry a first aid kit throughout the tour.
Please inform us about diseases that may represent a risk on the tour, such as epilepsy or heart diseases (even if symptoms date back several years), before your tour.
In case of severe illness, a transport back to Cusco might become necessary. Please make sure that you have good and adequate travel health insurance.
WHICH VACCINATIONS DO I NEED?
Yellow Fever: Yellow Fever is transmitted by the Yellow Fever Mosquito. It is recommended to have a Yellow Fever vaccination for the Manu Amazon Jungle rainforest, especially as there is no therapy. If you plan to visit the Reserved Zone of Manu (on the National Park Tour 7 days) the Yellow Fever vaccination is obligatory because it may be controlled at the guard station in Limonal. The yellow fever is now valid lifelong (before it was valid for 10 years) and the vaccination should be administered minimum 10 days before visiting the lowland.
It is also possible to get a yellow fever vaccination (at Hospital Regional) in Cusco (cost is about 30 US$).
Tetanus: Tetanus is a virus infection caused by bacteria. You should have a valid tetanus vaccination for the rainforest and for Peru in general. Please check if you need to renew your vaccination before travelling.
Rabies: Rabies is a virus infection. During our Manu tours we spend all nights under mosquito nets, therefore the risk of being bitten by a bat is very, very low.
ARE THERE MOSQUITOS AND IS THERE MALARIA AND LEISHMANIASIS IN MANU AMAZON JUNGLE?
You need to be prepared for mosquitoes in the lowland of Manu Amazon Jungle (below 1000m). Please bring long sleeved clothes and mosquito repellent.
Malaria: The Malaria risk in Manu Amazon Jungle is extremely low (less than 0.1 %).
Long sleeved clothing and mosquito repellent is strongly recommended. Taking malaria prophylaxis is a personal decision, please consider that taking prophylaxis is not very secure (and check for the side effects of this medication !!). We suggest to bring a ‘stand by’ medicine in case you get Malaria (which can be detected by blood analysis), you can also get this medication here in Peru. In the south Peruvian rainforest there is only the Malaria type named ´Plasmodium vivax` which is completely curable.
Leishmaniasis: Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease that is transmitted by sand flies and affects the skin. The risk to get Leishmaniasis on a short stay in Manu is very low; the best form of protection is to wear long sleeves and use repellent.
WHAT ABOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE?
All our excursion are very well organize, the vehicles, motor boats services are new and well prepare and have insurance and passenger insurance. The motor boats are equipped with life jackets, roof in all the boat and personal seat. Every excursion is assisted by a tour leader.
But we recommend that you get International Medical Insurance,if you gonna need it in emergency cases, this Insurance will find you a competent doctor who speaks English and also includes air evacuation.
IS THERE ELECTRICITY AT THE LODGES IN MANU AMAZON JUNGLE?
At el Paraíso Amazon Lodge, where we spend the first night, there is electricity, but in the lowland there is none.
At Casa Matsiguenka a generator is normally available. Make sure you bring enough spare batteries for your camera and flashlight for the tour. We recommend to leave your, Laptop or IPad in Cusco.
There is no Internet access in Manu Amazon Jungle,there isn’t a mobile phone signal; only in some places you may receive calls occasionally.
We recommend to bring rechargeable batteries and to take used batteries back home, as they are not recycled in Peru.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING (SLEEPING BAG AND BINOCULARS)?
We have good accommodation in the Amazon Eco Lodges. You don’t need a sleeping bag for our standard Amazon Manu Jungle tours. All the lodges provide sheets and blankets as well as mosquito nets. In the lowland, normally the temperature doesn’t drop very much during the night.
It can get cold in the Amazon and rain, always is good to bring a good rain jacket. Cusco is located over 3320 mt. At night and in the morning Cusco is very cold, so a hat, gloves, and polartec fleece would be nice to have.
Binoculars are essential to a better appreciation and recognition birds and other animals. Binocular and sleeping bag both can be rented in Cusco.
Binoculars are essential for a Manu tour: to spot animals and get a closer view of them.
8 x 40, 10 x 40 or 10 x 42 magnifications are recommended.
Quality binoculars (Zeiss, Eschenbach, Leica, Minox und Nikon brands)
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE DURING THE TOUR?
All nights in our standard tours are spent in lodges, some of them are our own lodges. All lodges have basic and clean private double rooms and clean bathrooms with showers. Sheets, blankets, towels and mosquito nets are provided.
On the Manu Amazon Jungle over 5 days , we spend 2 or 3 nights at Albergue Casa Matsiguenka. This lodge is built in typical Matsiguenka style and standard rooms are double rooms with shared bathrooms and showers. As in all other accommodations, sheets, blankets and mosquito nets are provided.
HOW DO I PAY?
Please read the tour program carefully before you book a tour, if you have any questions we will be happy to answer them. Changes in the itinerary may occur, due to the natural circumstances in Manu.
For a booking we need your full name, address, age, passport number and nationality. To secure your booking we require a down payment of (minimum) 300 US $ per person for the longer tours and 200 US$ per person for short tours.
The deposit can be made to our Reservation formular in our web page. Then we confirm by email the reception of the deposit and your tour booking(s).
The balance will be paid in cash in Cusco the day of your arrival (in Soles or US$). Payment by Visa or Master card is also possible, but has a fee of 5.5 %.
Credit card payment is not always possible and often expensive. We recommend checking credit card conditions (limits for ATMs) with your bank before travelling to Peru. There are ATMs at Banco de la Nacion and Banco de Credito where you can withdraw about 2000 Soles (aprox. 650 US$) per day or more. Note: the yellow “Globat Net” ATMs charge extra fees.
Please note that damaged US$ bills are not accepted in Peru, as it is foreign money. Even small rips are reasons for bills being refused.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WASTE WE PRODUCE DURING THE MANU AMAZON JUNGLE TOUR?
We try to reduce waste by avoiding tins and buying as much fresh produce as possible. All waste of our tour is gathered at the lodges and all organic waste is used as natural humus soil for our gardens. All inorganic waste is returned to Cusco by our bus. Please help gathering all waste and do not throw any waste on the trails or roadside (including cigarettes).
In case you don’t see a rubbish bin please ask your cook or guide.
ESSENTIAL TRIP 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.
Citizens of Australia, USA, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa do not currently require a visa for Peru. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa or entry requirements with the Peruvian consulate in your home country.
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however it has a extra cost.
Please ensure you have a day pack or small overnight bag in addition to your main luggage. This will be needed for the Homestay at Lake Titicaca and the night in Aguas Calientes, as you will be leaving your main luggage back at the hotels in Puno and Cusco respectively.
PASSPORTS, VISAS AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
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.
It is a requirement of the Peruvian Tax Authority for our trip leaders to show proof that all travelers on our groups are foreign tourists and are thus exempt from the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) charged to locals. This may require your trip leader to take a photograph of your main passport page and the page showing the immigration stamp you receive upon entry to Peru.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATION
All travelers 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 manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve 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 while travelling.
The safety and wellbeing of our travelers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety
If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travelers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.
TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY
From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip:
– Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or
– Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or
– Proof of recovery documentation
In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip.
MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY
From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip:
– Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline.
PERU INSECT-BORNE DISEASES
According to the World Health Organisation, yellow fever is widespread in Peru. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It is preventable by vaccination. There is alo widespread transmission of Zika virus in Peru. The Australian Department of Health advises pregnant women to discuss any travel plans with their doctor and defer non-essential travel to affected areas. Malaria, dengue fever and other insect-borne diseases occur in parts of the country. Protect yourself against insect-borne diseases by using insect repellent and wear long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing and getting vaccinated against yellow fever before you travel.
There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travelers 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.
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.
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.
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.
FOOD 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.
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.
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we’re arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn’t always possible which means we won’t be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you’ve purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveler 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 travelers; however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.
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.
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.
Most travelers 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.
– 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
– 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
– Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate
– Phrase book
AMAZON PACKING LIST
We recommend bringing the following items if visiting the Amazon Jungle:
– Long, light coloured, tight-weave cotton pants
– Long, light coloured, tight-weave cotton shirts
– 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)
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 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)
PHONE AND INTERNET ACCESS
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.
All 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. Andean Path Trek endeavors 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 specialized 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.
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice 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 destinations and activities on your trip.
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 jewelry 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.
Demonstrations and protests occur regularly and can turn violent. National or regional strikes can be called at short notice and can disrupt domestic air travel, public transport and road networks. In the past, protestors have also caused disruption to Juliaca airport, Cusco airport and rail services to Machu Picchu. Avoid protests, demonstrations or large gatherings.
Street crime, including muggings and thefts, is a significant problem in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and other major cities. Be vigilant in public places and when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night. As with travel across the country, you should remain aware of your surroundings and avoid wearing or displaying expensive items. In the event of a robbery, do not attempt to resist attackers or take any action that puts you at greater risk.
Tourists have been the targets of robbery by bogus taxi drivers. Do not hail taxis on the street and instead only use licensed telephone or internet-based taxi services whenever possible, or ask your hotel to book one for you. Be particularly careful when arriving at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and only use one of the official taxi companies located at desks directly outside the arrival hall.
Tourists are sometimes offered ‘spiritual cleansing’ programs in the Amazon area, Northern Peru and Cusco. These are sometimes called Ayahuasca or San Pedro and typically involve the consumption of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an hallucinogenic drug. These practices are not regulated and people have suffered serious illnesses and in some cases death after participating in these ceremonies.
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.
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.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
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.
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.
LIMA AIRPORT TRANSFERS
For safety reasons, we strongly recommend that during airport transfers in Lima all of your luggage, including hand luggage and valuables, is stored out of sight in the rear boot of the vehicle.
A 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. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines.
The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked.
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.
TRAVELLING ON A GROUP TRIP
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.
This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people.
We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room.
Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis.
Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information. On the following night the single supplement isn’t available:
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travelers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted 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 your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Travelers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travelers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting.