Please find below some useful information for your trip:
My recommendation is to print out the pages. It's a lot to digest in one setting, and you want to give this your full attention.
Please remember that I am always available to respond by e-mail ( / to all your questions.
For any emergency you can always contact me at the next telephones: Peru code: 51 – Cusco code: 84
Home-Office: 249080 Mobiles: 984625267 / 984763670
- If you call from overseas; dial: Peru’s code + cusco’s code + telephone number
- If you call from anywhere in Peru dial: 084 + telephone number
Chat with me:
- Skype: yurechavezperu
Lima’s “Jorge Chavez” Airport is where your flight from the USA/Europe will arrive. It’s a busy airport, but not an enormous one. Most of the crowds will be on the outside looking in, watching for arriving friends and family.
Whichever way you arrive, note that you will have to pay departure taxes of $6-$30 at each airport.
All of Peru is 2 hours ahead of West Coast time; 1 hour behind the East Coast.
The Peruvian telephone system was privatized several years ago and bought by a Spanish firm which has substantially improved the service. If you’d like to phone back to the U.S./Europe, it is best to check with the front desk of our hotel to find out how. Although previously phone calls had to be “ordered” (i.e., calling the operator to request a call, and then waiting minutes or hours for it to be placed through), now you can generally dial direct from all over Peru. Phone calls are not included in the trip price, so please make sure to settle your hotel phone bill before you leave.
The Peruvian country code is 51. To call a Peruvian number from overseas, dial the international access code (011 in the USA), followed by the country code, city code (Lima is 1, Cusco is 84) followed by the six or seven digit number.
Peru’s currency is the “Nuevo Sol” (literally, new sun), but people use the term sol for one, and soles for more than one. The rate changes daily, but it is currently worth about 2.70 to the dollar. There is also a change counter and ATM in the Lima airport terminal, and several in Cusco. In a pinch, however, U.S. dollars are acceptable (bring singles for tipping until you can change money)
As you may know, neither U.S. Banks or airport change counters offer the best rates. Once in Cusco I’ll help you get a better rate at a Casa de Cambio (Exchange House).
Visa, American Express, Dinners credit cards are accepted in Peru (at most hotels, restaurants and shops), for travelers checks banks charge from 2 – 3% for the exchange. You’ll find most prices far lower in Peru than in the USA/Europe
Cusco’s altitude is 11,000 feet. Though you’ve probably been this high if you’ve driven through the Rocky Mountains or the Sierras, the altitude is a challenge in Peru because you’ll rise to it from sea level in just over an hour by airplane. For this reason, our schedule is to take it very easy on day one. Even if you feel great, please don’t exert yourself on our first day in Cusco.
Once at the hotel, you’ll be served mate, a tea made from the coca leaf. Many people think that in high altitude the idea is to take deep breaths to get more oxygen. In fact, the opposite is true. Shorter, quicker breaths are more effective. Light, healthy eating is a good idea for the first few days too. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and sleeping pills. Many people avoid eating beef on the first day, to give the digestive system a rest.
If you’d like to take further precautions, you may consider Diamox and other medicines now offered for altitude sickness. Diamox is available by prescription in America, and now, over-the-counter in Peru. However, I cannot comment in depth on other newer medicines. Check with your doctor for details.
The Sacred Valley, Machupicchu and are at a much lower altitude, and will not be a problem after adjusting to Cusco.
More information:
If you are open to trying new food, you may love Peruvian food. But as with travel anywhere, there are several precautions to take.
The water in Lima and Cusco is safe. However, as water may have bacteria that locals are used to, it is still a good idea to drink bottled water always, brush your teeth with the same water and be careful when you shower with the tap water. Bottled mineral water is plentiful and inexpensive in Peru. Also always peel fruits and try to avoid uncooked vegetables and ice.
Although Peruvian cuisine is not necessarily spicy, you should be aware of aji, Peruvian chili peppers that can come in several colors, green, red and orange. They are very hot, and served particularly with ceviche, the national dish. The most famous (or infamous) delicacy in the Cusco area is cuy, a delicacy; something the Incas first raised in large quantities. No matter how much it tastes like chicken, you should know that it is actually guinea pig.
Before you leave, you’ll undoubtedly have a chance to try Peru’s best beer and the pride of Cusco, Cusqueña, and it’s the national cocktail, a Pisco Sour.
No particular shots are required for Arequipa, Cusco, Machupicchu or Puno. The area's high altitude keeps it out of the malaria zone, and no other diseases in the area have been reported within the last few months by the World Health Organization. If you will be visiting more tropical and jungle regions of the country, i recommend to take yellow fever shots and please follow up with an update on anti-malarials for the region, depending on latest reports. IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE FIND THE NEAREST "TRAVELER'S MEDICAL CLINIC" or other medical facility that can provide inoculations they may be recommending.
For the short stay you’ll have in Peru, no visa is required, as long as you have a valid passport.
When you arrive, you’ll be given a tourist card to fill out along with a customs declaration. The Immigration officer your first stop within the airport in Lima, will hand a small card back to you. You MUST take good care of this card, which is required to be shown for hotels and upon your departure from Peru. Please hold onto this: it is important to have upon departure from Peru. My recommendation is to bring a paper clip along, to attach it inside your passport.
I also recommend making a photocopy of your passport to bring to Peru (of the main, two-page spread which includes your photo). There are cases where you’ll need to carry identification (such as for changing money), where a copy of the passport is sufficient.
Once at the hotel, it is a good idea to put your passports and airplane tickets in the hotel safe.
Spanish is spoken in Peru, but in many parts of the Andes you’ll hear Quechua, the language of the Incas.
Throughout the trip you’ll be with the local guide who speaks English Quechua and Spanish. Nonetheless, any words you can learn on your own in Spanish may help you have a richer experience in Peru. Quechua is completely unlike either English or Spanish, and you’ll begin to recognize common words during our stay. It was the language of the Incas and was spoken throughout their vast empire.
Two issues are important to consider when it comes to your enjoyment of the adventure: health and safety.
The biggest threats to your health – altitude sickness (soroche) and feeling ill from bad water – can be handled with some conscious thought and attention.
As for your personal safety, there is absolutely nothing to fear in terms of terrorism or political violence for us in Peru. However, while Peru tends to overestimate these concerns, we sometimes underestimate more mundane issues such as pick pocketing and petty theft. Neither is especially high in Cusco, Puno, Arequipa, Machupicchu , etc or the Rain forest area, but please it is worth paying attention to in Lima.
My first recommendation is not to bring anything to Peru that you couldn’t bear to lose. Expensive jewelry is neither necessary nor appropriate in the places we’ll be going to.
Second, use a money belt for essential items such as passports and large dollar denominations. A fanny pack is better than nothing, but not as effective as something inside the waist of your pants or underneath your shirt.
Third, clothing with pockets that can close with Velcro, a zipper or a button mean you can walk without having to worry about valuables falling out or being snatched.
In order to know what to bring, you of course need to know what weather to expect. You will be visiting Peru at a good time for being outdoors; It is the dry season in the Andes and the rain forest, on the coast it is winter, if is sunny days will in the mid 60’s and low 70’s, with nights getting down to the 40’s (in the Andes). In Machupicchu the range is less great, with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the 60’s. In the rain forest it is hotter (85’s – 95’) and wet.
You should dress comfortably for an active week. Long pants are essential for Cusco and Puno evenings, but shorts are a lot easier for trail days. To save space, consider the hiking pants that can be zipped off at the thigh, allowing you to adjust during the day on the trail. Those with zippered, velcro or buttoned pockets add to your security too. Likewise shirts/blouses that have some pockets with long sleeves that can be rolled up will work for high altitudes, where temperatures can change quickly. A fleece on top should be more than enough for the hikes, and can be complemented with a Peruvian sweater in Cusco in case it gets colder than expected there.
Peru is a poor country: you’ll find that your clean clothes are more than formal enough for any evening occasions you may partake in.
Most important, as Forrest Gump might say, is comfortable footwear. Go for strong, sturdy and supportive walking shoes/hiking boots. Even if you’re not walking the length of the Inca trail, Cusco is a city of cobblestone streets. It is up to you if you’d like to bring a nicer pairs of shoes for other times, but the truth is, the city’s restaurants are quite used to “Hiker Fashion.”
- Passengers must have their tickets and ID (original or photocopy) in hand.
- In order to guarantee safe and punctual operations, passengers must take only the necessary luggage for the full day tours or overnight at Machu Picchu.
- Peru Rail will not accept big luggage or carry-on which size or weight exceed the measures defined bellow.
- Blocking exists is prohibited by law and will seriously affect the safety of passengers on board (bus or train). 

Carry-on Baggage Allowance / Each passenger may take

1 bag or backpack
62 inches/157cm (length + height + width)

Baggage that exceed the measures will not the allowed

Having democratically elected Alan Garcia, Peru is probably in the best political shape in the past twenty years. The terrorist movements were crushed in the early 90's by Pres. Fujimori, but he in turn became a corrupt leader. Some years ago, he took refuge in Japan, claiming Japanese citizenship, now he is in jail in Peru.
Peru has a diversity of microclimates.
On the coast, it almost never rains, it is winter between April and October where it is cool in some areas such as Lima (minimum 12°C/54°F); it is warm (avg. 23°C/74°F) between November and March.
In the Andes, the rainy season (between November and March) is warmer; the dry season (between April and October) is colder, with temperatures below freezing at night, but with good temperate in the day.
In the Rainforest the rainy and dry seasons are the same as in the Andes, but it is generally warm all the time (30°C/86°F).
13. GIFTS:
During the tour we will see and meet many locals, especially kids, and it is always nice to bring for them some gifts like: Pencils, pens, crayons, note books, toys, used clothes, shoes, lap tops, etc, etc. FOR OUR MEDICAL TREKS, WE ALSO NEED ALL KINDS OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES, MEDICINES, VITAMINES ETC, ETC. Anything that you could bring will be very welcome!!!
Also if you would like to help with our social projects, we are in need of couriers to help us deliver Donations/Items to Peru. Please let me know if you can bring an extra bag on your next trip.
14. TIPS:
People that work in tourism are used and live on tips so please you should tip.
The usual amount for tips in Peru is from 10 – 20 %, for instance:
- If you get help with the suitcases at the hotels the usual tip is $ 1 per suitcase.
- Drivers get $ 10-15 per day.
- Guides get $ 20-30 per day

TESTIMONIALS AT TRIP ADVISOR: Marian Mathews: - We were thrilled with the trip he planned and led for me and my husband. I can't recommend Yure highly enough. We were also very impressed with Yure’s passion for helping his fellow Peruvians and giving back to his community. In addition to his work as a guide, he has created and/or participates in a number of non-profit community action projects which benefit Peruvians in need. For a custom-designed, superbly-organized and memorable experience in Peru with an articulate, knowledgeable and charming guide, I would strongly encourage you to contact Yure: