What to Know Before You Go on Your Expedition
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Before You Go
Trip Details >
Activity Level >
Starting & Ending Point >
Itinerary & Disclaimer >
Additional Extensions >
Trip Details >
Destination: Peru & Machu Picchu
Style: Culture & People
Group size: Min 2, Max 16
Activity Level: ■ ■ 3 ■ ■
Starting Point: Cusco Airport, Peru (CUZ)
Ending Point: Cusco Airport, Peru (CUZ)
Full Itinerary Disclaimer >
Our itineraries are constantly updated throughout the year to incorporate improvements based on feedback from past travelers and new country developments. The information given in your final itinerary may be slightly different to that in this itinerary overview. It is important that you print and review a copy of your Final Itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been any changes. If you have questions, please contact your Acanela Agent. We are here to help you! Please note changes may also occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and seasonal changes to activity times and transport routes. This can happen with very little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. Request Full Itinerary >
All our boutique accommodations are selected very carefully to ensure a quality experience for our travelers, while still maintaining a local and authentic experience. Please note that service and accommodation in other countries is different than Western Standards. The accommodation listed in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline and on some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our classic accommodation (boutique hotels normally have under 30 rooms). A similar standard of boutique accommodation will always be used in these instances. Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/double basis unless booked as a single (with an associated single supplement to cover the cost of only 1 person in a room).
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to regular check-in time (usually 2pm) or departing after regular check-out time (usually 10am). However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. In these cases we will store our luggage at the reception and explore our new destination. If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation, you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. Please Contact your Acanela Agent if you are in need of pre/post night accommodations.
There are some long travel days and some rough traveling in areas away from main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimize our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. The best part about all of these long drives are the spectacular views and fun stops en route.
Additional Extensions >
Most of our trips are 1-2 weeks in length, with the opportunity to book optional extensions to extend your travel experience and visit additional locations and places. All of our destinations have optional extensions, so please contact your Acanela Agent if you would like to extend your trip and see more of the region while you are traveling.
Visas & Passport >
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Passports and Visas can take several weeks to process, so please familiarize yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
Travel Insurance >
Acanela requires that travelers get their own medical insurance to cover any medical emergencies that arise while they are traveling in international countries. We also strongly recommend purchasing complete Trip Insurance. Trip insurance is meant to protect you against unforeseen travel events. Things like your flight getting cancelled due to severe weather, your baggage getting lost or stolen or you having to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen emergency.
Health & Vaccinations >
All Travelers need to be in good health to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully. As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water while traveling, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about two to three liters a day. For some travelers, the desert sand and dust can bring on bouts of asthma. If you suffer from asthma even occasionally, we recommend you bring your medication as it cannot be administered by your guide and may not be readily available while you are traveling.
Food and Dietary >
Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform us prior to the trip. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.
Emergency Contact >
We encourage all of our travelers to register where they are traveling with their local embassy, if you are a US Citizen you can do this by enrolling in the STEP Traveler Program. On all of our itineraries we include details of your in-country guides, hotel staff, local emergency line (911), and US Embassy contacts so that you are prepared in case of emergency. It is also extremely important that you complete your guest forms prior to departure so that we your emergency contact details on file with our local and USA based teams.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travelers. Leave us Feedback >
Packing Tips >
Having good walking shoes or sandals is a must. We also recommend bringing sunglasses & a scarf (or hat) to protect yourself from the sun / heat. During the day we recommend having a daypack (backpack) or a money pouch on you. Your daypack will hold all the items you should have with you during the day, and your money pouch will hold all your important documents & cards you don’t want to lose (see documents section above).
Please note that some religious sites in Europe, Asia, and Africa that you may be visiting require a more "modest" dress code. This means that you should bring at least one shirt that covers your chest, shoulders, and stomach and a pair of pants that covers your knees and ankles. Examples of these sites include The Vatican in Italy, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Grand Mosque in Morocco, and many more. View our Ultimate Packing List & Regional Packing Guides >
Climate Charts >
Depending on when you are traveling your experiences may be slightly different than what is indicated on your itinerary so please ensure that are prepared for the weather.
While it is perhaps most well-known for containing one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, Peru is a country shrouded in rich culture and history of ancient civilizations. Peru contains 84 of the 103 ecosystems in the world and 28 of the 32 climates, making it the most ecologically diverse country in the world. Within its borders, there are three distinct regions: the coastal region, the highlands, and the Amazon, all of which have their own unique climates. And while the country is certainly travel-friendly all year round, the various regions and climates make different times of the year ideal for travel. Read more about the Best Time to Visit Peru >
All Acanela Expeditions are accompanied by one (or multiple) of our Guides. The aim of the Guide is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your Guide will provide information on the places you are traveling, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While guides are local to each of the areas you are visiting, you can expect them to have a knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Acanela we aim to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions we visit.
Each Acanela trip is designed around an artisan(s) in a foreign nation. Our artisans include women with families who are battling against poverty, men who have faced challenges of disaster or disease, and individuals who have never had the opportunity to receive a formal education. Our artisans have incredible talents and abilities in diverse areas such as culinary arts, outdoor & adventure, art & design - but lack the resources to share those talents with the world. Our mission is to discover these men and women, help them develop as individuals & leaders, and empower them to build their own sustainable business enterprises. All our boutique expeditions incorporate instructional classes and experiences from our local artisans, giving them a further means to monetize their skills.
Local Currency >
When it comes to how much money you need on the trip, every traveller 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.
The local currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/), but recommended amounts are listed in USD to accommodate universal travelers, however the local currency is needed in the country you are visiting. For meals that are not included on your trip we recommend bringing the equivalent of 10-15 USD for lunches and 15-20 USD for dinners. 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.
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.
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 traveling 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. See our South America Tipping Guide >
Safety & Rules >
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We encourage you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home - you won't need it while traveling. 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 guide will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Guide has the authority to amend any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you should suffice.
While traveling 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.
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!
Traveling in a Group >
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travelers 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 travelers 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 travelers booked on your trip prior to departure.
A Better Trip for a Better World >
We believe in sustainable eco-tourism that leaves a low impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local artisans, peoples, and communities who are a part of the experience.
Acanela is Latin for the Cinnamon, as our organization was founded on the connection between cuisine and culture, and the power that the cooking experience has in bringing people of different backgrounds together. As travelers, we strive to share that love and connection with the world. We have the power to elevate artisans in developing nations, as we have found that poverty-stricken people in developing nations are often the most talented. That is why we created Acanela, to give these artisans the opportunity to share their talents with the world. Traveling allows us to band together, and make an impact in the lives of artisans in developing nations. Each of our trips is created in collaboration with these talented artisans, with experiences coming directly from locals.
We have built strong connections with local communities, artisans, minority populations, refugees, and wildlife conservation centers, and - all of which directly rely on the assistance of donations and products purchased by our travelers and other visitors. We ensure our travelers have an opportunity to interact with locals, to learn from them, partake in activities with them, which help towards sustaining their businesses, communities, and livelihoods.
While on an Acanela Trip you will meet plenty of local people. Depending on which trip you choose there's a chance to enjoy a meal in a local family's house, spend a night in a family guesthouse or local boutique hotel, and participate in a special llama blessing ceremony with Juan and his family. These experiences will give you a better understanding of the way of life for the people of Peru. You'll also have some fun by learning how to make some of Peru’s most famous dishes, like Lomo Saltado.
We use local guides with wide experience and knowledge of cultural traditions and an ability to interpret the cultural heritage of the people in the places visited. We constantly work with local people and assist them to grow and improve the quality of their businesses and services. By booking an expedition, you'll be helping us to support service providers, artists, small businesses, guesthouse owners and the disadvantaged in communities throughout Peru.