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Inca Route
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

ACCOMMODATIONS

WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION DOES INCA ROUTE USE?

We choose the best hotels for you in each city. We use 3, 4, or 5-star hotels, all have private bathrooms, hot water and clean, comfortable rooms. 

HOW DO I CHECK IN TO THE HOTEL? WILL YOU SEND ME MY VOUCHERS FOR THE HOTEL ROOMS?

All vouchers will be handled by your guide so you never have to worry about keeping up with the documents. We are there to make your vacation relaxing and worry-free. Once at the hotel, your reservation will be waiting for you and you will only need to check-in. The receptionist will ask you for your passport in order to make a copy, which is a requirement by the Peruvian government.

WHERE ARE THE HOTELS LOCATED?

ALL OF OUR HOTELS ARE LOCATED IN SECURE, EASILY ACCESSIBLE AREAS. YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF WITHIN EASY WALKING DISTANCE OF MAIN ATTRACTIONS AS WELL AS RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING.

WILL THE HOTEL STAFF SPEAK ENGLISH?

Yes, most primary hotel staff (reception, restaurant, management) will speak English. And remember, your English speaking guide is always available to assist should the need arise.

IS THE HOTEL SAFE?

We have carefully selected our hotels with a number of factors in mind, including your security. We have never had any incidents with our travelers. Regarding your personal items, we do still recommend that you utilize the hotel´s safe deposit box for storing any of your items of value.

WHAT TYPE OF BREAKFAST IS SERVED?

3-star hotels typically offer a standard continental breakfast of breads, jam, juice, coffee, tea and fruit. Four and five star hotels will typically offer a breakfast buffet, including hot items such as eggs and breakfast meats.


WILL I HAVE AIR CONDITIONING IN MY ROOM?WILL I HAVE A HEATER IN MY ROOM?

Most of our hotels offer heat or portable heaters in all of the rooms.

While most 3-star hotels only offer fans for ventilation and cooling, all of our 4- and 5-star hotels have air conditioning units in each room.

ARE THE HOTEL ROOMS SMOKING OR NON-SMOKING?

All hotels with whom Inca Route works only offer non-smoking rooms.

WHERE ARE THE HOTELS IN MACHU PICCHU?

Sanctuary Lodge is the one and only 5-star hotel located at the entrance of the ruins. All other hotels are located at the base in Aguas Calientes.

WHAT TIME IS CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT?

Check-in and check-out times vary from location to location, but in general you will find these times as follows: 

Check-in        Check-out 
LIMA                         2:00pm        11:00am 
CUSCO                    8:00am        10:00am 
SACRED VALLEY    11:00am        11:00am 

For other areas within Peru, times vary, and will be noted according to the individual property.

AIR TRAVEL

HOW WILL I FIND MY GUIDE IN THE AIRPORT?

A Inca Route representative will be waiting for you with a name sign as you exit customs and will lead you to your transportation. Keep a look out for our logo and your group name.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY FLIGHT IS DELAYED?

For your international flight, it is best to email or call us if you know of any delays. However, by using your flight number we can keep track of everything. Our team keeps track of airline changes for you so you can count on our representatives to be there at the correct time, even if your flight is delayed. If one of your domestic flights is delayed or cancelled, you are automatically on the next flight and we will coordinate everything from there. Our team also confirms your flights for you so you don´t need to bother with the details. If there are any changes, you will be notified wherever you are by our representative in each destination.

HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY TICKETS?

We arrange everything via e-tickets so there is maximum flexibility for you. We will have your boarding passes already printed off for you to make things as easy as possible. 

CAN I USE MY FREQUENT FLYER NUMBERS FOR MY FLIGHTS IN PERU?

If you are registered with any of the airlines we use, please pass us your frequent flyer numbers so we can automatically credit your miles with them. 

ARE DOMESTIC FLIGHTS WITHIN PERU INCLUDED IN THE COST OF MY PACKAGE?

All domestic flights are included in the cost of your tour, unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. All internal flight tickets are electronic so you will not receive any physical tickets. We will be able to provide you with your booking reference number and electronic ticket number. You will only need to present your passport at the airline counter in order to check in. We arrange your pre-check inn and during your trip your personal tour guide will hand you the printed boarding passes.

WHAT ARE THE FLIGHT TIMES OF EACH FLIGHT?

Lima to Puerto Maldonado      2:45 

Lima to Cusco                           1:15 

Lima to Arequipa                       1:25 

Lima to Juliaca                          1:40 direct     2:40 w/ stopover 

Lima to Iquitos                          3:00 

Cusco to Puerto Maldonado   00:55 

Cusco to Juliaca                       00:50 

Cusco to Arequipa                    2:10 or 3:30 depending on stopover

WHAT AIRLINE COMPANIES DO INCA ROUTE USE AND ARE THEY SAFE?

We select our airlines based on availability, pricing and schedule. We use all four domestic airlines with great frequency (LATAM, TACA, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines). All are quality airlines that provide great services. Should you have a particular preference as to which airline we use, please feel free to make your request.

WHAT TYPES OF PLANES ARE USED FOR INTERNAL FLIGHTS?

Most internal flights use 727s or similar size jet planes with a capacity of 80-120 passengers. Manu tours use smaller 10-15 passenger propeller planes typically.

WHAT ARE THE LIMITS FOR LUGGAGE ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS?

On domestic flights within Peru, carry-on luggage is limited to 8kg/18lb and checked baggage is limited to 23kg/50lb.However, Star Peru maintains different regulations, it is allowed to take 4 kilos of carry-on luggage and 23 kilos in total.

CAN I BRING COCA LEAVES HOME WITH ME?

The straight answer is no. Coca leaves are not permitted, nor is the mate de coca; however, some people have had success in taking the teabags home as long as it´s only a small amount for personal use.

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON WHAT I CAN BRING IN OR TAKE OUT OF PERU?

You may bring 2 liters of alcohol and 400 cigarettes into Peru duty free. Items for personal use including cameras, laptops, and travel gear can be brought in for personal use. It is illegal to take any pre-Columbian art out of Peru and it is usually illegal to enter into most countries with these artifacts. If you are going to buy reproductions, do so from a reputable dealer and obtain documentation from the National Institute of Culture Vendors to show to customs officials. In the jungle vendors also sell live exotic birds and animals. It is illegal to take these endangered species outside of the country. Bags of cocoa leaves are sold in Peru and are legal, but they are not legal in most other countries. 

ALTITUDE

WHAT IS ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

Altitude sickness also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, or soroche is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of "flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover". It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that compare with this susceptibility to altitude sickness. However, most people can climb up to 2,400 meters (8,000 ft) normally.

ARE THE TOURS DESIGNED TO ASSIST WITH ALTITUDE ACCLIMATIZATION?

Yes, absolutely. We design our tours so that you are able to acclimatize gradually. For all of our trips from Lima to Cusco, we will take you to the Sacred Valley first (Altitude: 2900m, 9500ft), then to Machu Picchu (Altitude: 2000m, 6500ft) and finally to Cusco (Altitude: 3400m, 11150ft), giving your body plenty of time to adjust gradually.

CAN ALTITUDE SICKNESS BE AVOIDED?

While altitude sickness affects everyone differently, the best way to try and prevent altitude sickness, or soroche, is by following the next steps:

  • Do not exercise too much on the first day
  • Eat lightly during the first two days
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep coca candies at hand
  • If you have any heart problems, please consult your doctor
  • We highly recommend drinking lots of coca tea. The consumption of coca tea, as well as chewing the leaves, increases the absorption of oxygen in the blood
  • If you are still worried before you to travel, head to your doctor and ask for an acetazolamide prescription (also known as brand name Diamox) which can be taken to help avoid altitude sickness symptoms.

WHAT IS THE ALTITUDE OF EACH AREA WE WILL VISIT?

Lima     Sea Level             Arequipa            2300m, 7500ft       Cusco                 3400m, 11150ft 
Ica        406m, 1340ft      Colca Canyon   3600m, 11900ft     Sacred Valley     2900m, 9500ft 
Nazca   600m, 2000ft     Puno                  3800m, 12500ft     Machu Picchu   2000m, 6500ft

AMAZON

IS MALARIA A SERIOUS ISSUE IN THE AMAZON?

While malaria is present in the Amazon, it is not a serious problem for travelers. Cases of malaria are well confined outside of the touristed areas, so there is no need to worry about any risks. However, it is wise to take repellent with you and to wear long sleeves. It will protect you against the mosquito bites.

HOW MUCH LUGGAGE IS ALLOWED ON THE AMAZON TOURS?

All packages allow 10kg of luggage per person, but not to worry, you can take your entire luggage with you. Upon arrival into the jungle, a representative from the lodge will take your extra luggage and securely store it in their main facility. You will want to have your separate pack of 10 kilos with you for the nights you will spend in their lodge. On your final day you will go back to their office to collect your luggage and take your flight.

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SHOULD I PACK FOR THE AMAZON?

Here is a packing list that we recommend for your Amazon jungle vacation:

  • Long sleeved, tight-weave, light colored cotton shirts
  • Tight-weave, light colored, long pants
  • Broad brimmed hat
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Ankle-high hiking boots
  • Sun block lotion
  • Sunglasses
  • And of course, mosquito repellent

IS THERE ELECTRICITY IN THE LODGES?

Many of the lodges have electricity, but often times it is limited to the evening during dinnertime. At night, candles or lanterns are used in the rooms and hallways. This creates a beautiful ambiance while conserving energy.

CALLING

HOW DO I MAKE CALLS TO, FROM AND WITHIN PERU?

In order to dial from overseas, please dial 00 then 51 (the Peru country code), then the city code and then finally the phone number. City codes are as follows: 

    Lima 1      Cusco 84     Puno 51      Arequipa 54 

Dialing in Peru:

National calls (from city to city): Add zero before the city code. 

Local calls (within the same city): Dial the number only. 

Cell phone numbers are always preceded by a 9 and then the number. No other prefix is necessary.

WHAT IF THERE'S AN EMERGENCY? HOW DO I OR MY FAMILY CONTACT INCA ROUTE?

If you need to contact us for any reason, or if a loved one is trying to reach you while traveling, please call us anytime at 00 51 995829082.

CAN I BUY A LOCAL SIM CARD FOR MY PHONE AND FOR HOW MUCH?

There are two major telecommunications companies in Peru: Claro and Movistar. You can buy a prepaid SIM card for about 15 soles then recharge them, depending on your needs, in any store selling Claro or Movistar products, as well as in most supermarkets and gas stations. Before buying a SIM card, make sure that your phone recognizes the local networks (is unlocked), as this is not always the case. Upon arrival it is also possible to buy the SiM cards at the airport of Lima.

CANCELLATION

WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY TRIP?

- Any cancellations or changes made by the client must be submitted in writing by the client at their earliest convenience.
- Client is responsible for any fees or charges incurred by the cancellation.
- Cancellation 60 days or more prior to the tour start date: Full refund of deposit made minus $100 administration fee per person.
- Cancellation 59-46 days prior to the tour start date: Loss of 30% of total package price
- Cancellation 45-30 days prior to the tour start date: Loss of 50% of total package price
- Cancellation 29-0 days prior to tour start date: Loss of 100% package total
- All appropriate refunds will be made directly to your credit card or bank account, minus any fees indicated.

- AIR/FLIGHT Cancellations: All air packages and air tickets are subject to cancellation policies imposed by the airlines.
- We strongly encourage the purchase of independent travel insurance in the case of medical or other emergencies, i.e. acts of God, in order for you to have the maximum coverage, satisfaction and peace of mind possible. Any late cancellations, in regard to emergencies, will be considered on a case by case basis. We will personally work with you as best we can to either apply your payment to another tour/ time or refund a portion of your payment.

WHAT HAPPENS IF INCA ROUTE HAS TO CANCEL MY TRIP?

- We will make every reasonable effort to operate your tour as sold. However, we reserve the right to curtail or modify the itinerary, or to substitute activities, hotels, meals or transportation as we deem necessary.
- None of these modifications or changes shall affect the land package price.
- All deposits paid are placed in an escrow account, so your money is held until the date of your trip.
- We reserve the right to cancel a trip at any time for a reason that in our opinion would compromise the quality of the trip or the safety of the passengers or any other circumstances beyond our control. (Acts of God, etc) Should we need to cancel the tour (not related to situations beyond our control), we will refund your fully paid pre-payments or work with you to apply those payments to another tour.

 

INSURANCE

IS TRAVEL INSURANCE NECESSARY?

We always highly recommend travel insurance for your own benefit and protection. They can cover you for trip cancellation, medical expenses and other important insurance elements, which in turn, give you peace of mind.

LANGUAGE

The official languages are Spanish (80% of the population), Quechua (Andean and highland regions), and Aymara (in the Puno high plateau). In addition, there are around 50 native languages. All of our guides are expert English speakers, so not to worry; you´ll always know what´s going on.
A sizable amount of the population in Lima speaks passable English, but many Peruvians do not. In other areas of Peru, that amount is much smaller. If you don´t speak Spanish, you can probably get by with gestures and a few common English words. Depending on where you plan to go, it may be a good idea to purchase a phrasebook. Below is a list of common Spanish words and phrases and the English equivalent.

English Spanish Quechua
Hello/Goodbye Hola/Adios or Chau Rimaykullayki/ Rikunakusun
Good morning/afternoon/evening Buenos días/ Buenas tardes/ noches Allin p'unchay/ Wuynas tardis/Allin tuta
How are you?/I´m fine. Cómo estás?/Bien, gracias. Allillanchu?/Allillanmi
Please/Thank you/You´re welcome Por favor/Gracias/De nada Allichu/Yusulpayki/Imamanta
Yes/No Sí/No Arí/Mana
What is your name? Cómo se llama? Iman sutiki?
How are you? Cómo está? Ima hinalla?
Please give me  Dame, por favor   
How do you say? Cómo se dice?  
Where is it? Dónde esta?  
Is there a bathroom here? Hay baños aquí?  
What time is it? Qué hora es?  
How much/many? Cuánto?  
I don´t understand. No entiendo.  
Do you speak English? Habla inglés? Inlista rimankichu?
I don´t speak Spanish. No hablo español.  
Please repeat. Repite, por favor.  
I don´t know. No sé.  
Excuse me. Perdona.  
I´m sorry. Lo siento.  

Pronunciation Help: Spanish vowels are much simpler than English vowels, so generally there are no real tricks to pronunciation.
A is pronounced similarly to the "a" in "father" or the "o" in "loft."
E is generally pronounced similarly to the Canadian "eh," kind of a shortened version of the "é" in the
English "café.
I is pronounced similarly to the "ee" in "feet" and the "e" in "me," although usually a little briefer.
O is pronounced like the "oa" in "boat" or the "o" in "bone," although usually a little briefer.
U is generally pronounced like the "oo" in "boot" or the "u" in "tune." Do not pronounce it like the "u" in "uniform." Examples: universo, reunión, unidos. In the combinations gui and gue, as well as after q, the u is silent. Examples: guía, guerra, quizás
Note: Bathrooms in Peru often have the telltale stick figures on the door. If they do not, look for Damas or Mujeres for women, and Caballeros or Hombres for men. Also, SS.HH indicates a restroom. You may sometimes be asked a pay a small charge for using public restrooms.

LUGGAGE

ARE THERE LIMITS ON LUGGAGE FOR THE TRAIN TO MACHU PICCHU?

All passengers travelling on the train to Machu Picchu only have a limit of 7kgs (15.5 lbs), so please leave any unnecessary items in your hotel in Cusco where it will be waiting for you upon your return.

MONEY


WHAT FORMS OF CURRENCY AND PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTED?

The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). The U.S. Dollar is accepted at most major stores, restaurants and hotels.

WHERE CAN I EXCHANGE MONEY AT THE AIRPORT WHEN I ARRIVE?

Money exchange houses and ATMs are all very accessible throughout the airport, open 24hrs and generally have fair rates.

ARE CREDIT CARDS, ATM CARD, AND TRAVELERS CHECKS GENERALLY ACCEPTABLE IN PERU?

The most widely accepted credit card in Peru is Visa. Mastercard is also popular, but American Express and Diner's Club are not as widely accepted. We find ATMs the best way to get money. Travelers checks are usually good to take as "insurance" but they are often difficult to change and the exchange rate is not as favorable as if using cash.

WHAT IS A REALISTIC AMOUNT OF SPENDING MONEY PER PERSON?

While everyone is different regarding personal spending habits, on average you can expect costs such as these:

  • Lunch/Dinner     US$15.00 per person
  • Beverages          US$24.00 per drink
  • Cocktails            US$410.00 per drink
  • Spa Days            US$3060 per treatment

Gifts and souvenirs can be obtained for very good prices. Our guides will be more than happy to show you the places to get all your souvenirs depending on what you want and how much you want to spend on each person.

TRAVEL REQUERIMENTS

IS A VISA REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO PERU?

Citizens from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not require visas to enter Peru. Bolivians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and Chileans may enter determined regions of the country just by presenting their national identification documents. The maximum authorized length of stay is 183 days. Information on Peruvian consulates and embassies abroad found at www.rree.gob.pe.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS OR ADVICE ON PASSPORTS FOR TRAVEL IN PERU?

Your passport needs to be valid for at least 90 days after your departure date to Peru. However, we recommend travelling with six months validity on your passport. If you are receiving a renewed passport prior to traveling to Peru, it is required that you bring either your old passport or a copy along with your new passport.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE EMIGRATION PAPER ( TARJETA ANDINA DE MIGRACION) I RECEIVED AT THE BORDER?

It is very important to keep this paper until you cross the border again to go back to your home country. Preferably, keep this paper safe together with your passport. All the hotels where you will be staying at make copies of this small document, and upon return you have to show this document at the border in order to leave the country. Therefore,a strongly advice not to lose it.

WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE NECESSARY?

Currently, the only required vaccination or medication is for Yellow Fever – and this is only required if planning on traveling to the jungle. There are not any other diseases in the areas where you will be visiting. This particular vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before your trip in order for it to be effective.

IS IT DIFFICULT TO BRING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS TO PERU?

It is no problem to bring your prescription medicines with you as long as they are in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. As a precaution, you may also want to have an official note from your doctor. Be sure to bring enough with you for the entire trip as well. Be sure to follow security guidelines if the medicines are liquids. We also recommend that you bring some Immodium-AD, or other anti-diarrheal medication with you on the off chance that you experience any digestive discomfort.

WHAT TO BRING

WHAT DO I NEED TO PACK?

CLOTHING - GENERAL
Because of the diversity of weather of Peru your best plan is to dress in layers. Due to the diverse activities we always recommend that our passengers bring light clothes such as shirts, short pants, sandals and swim suits but also bring warm clothes, such as a warm jacket, raincoat (in the rainy season Nov to Mar) and comfortable shoes for hiking. Please see our weather information for details.

OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash and travelers checks, credit or debit card
- Inca Route Itinerary
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing materials
- Binoculars
- Sun protection cream
- Insect repellent
- Sun hat
- Sport sandals
- Sunglasses
- Watch or alarm clock
- Purification tablets or filter (optional)
- Ear plugs
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, charcoal tablets(carbon), anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder(Gatorade), and any extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

TRAVEL SAFETY

IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL AROUND PERU?

While traveling with Inca Route you are always in good hands; however, we realize we can´t be with you 100% of the time. All travelers have to do is to take the same normal precautions as when traveling to any tourist destination

In the cities:
- Take the normal precautions to guard against purse snatchers.
- Carry a copy of identification documents. Keep originals and your valuables in the safety deposit box of your hotel.
- Carry valuables discreetly. Do not carry large amounts of cash.
- Keep an eye on your bags and luggage.
- Do not exchange money out in the street.
- Never wear flashy jewelry.

WEATHER

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PERU?

Lima is temperate all year, so other destinations are often the determining factor. Please see below of a short description of what you can expect in the different tourist areas:

LIMA

Lima tends to be rather humid and warm all year round. For travelers staying in Lima, they should pack loose, cotton clothing if travelling during January to March. Between March and April, travelers may need something a little warmer to wear at night. During December and April is the best time to visit Lima, as the weather is mild and the sun is out. It hardly ever rains in Lima, so travelers wanting to visit need not worry about an umbrella.

CUSCO

The area of Cusco also includes weather information about Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The rainy season is between November to March, thus the dry season is between April until October. However, do not be put off from coming to Cusco in the rainy season as it does not rain all day but usually only an average of 3-4 hours per day and you will often get to see some sun. The average temperature fluctuates between 11°C and 13°C and during sunny days the temperature can reach up to 20°C. During the night in May, June and July, the temperatures can drop down to 7°C.

PUNO/LAKE TITICACA

During the dry season between April to October, most of the days are sunny and warm, but the nights will get cold. During the rainy season, the days can be warm and have periods of rain but also periods of sunshine. Sunscreen is highly recommended here, even on cloudy days.

AREQUIPA

The weather in Arequipa is generally nice with 300 days of sunshine a year on average.The rainy season is only between January to March, thus is a good tourist destination all year round.

THE PERUVIAN AMAZON

All year round, the Peruvian Amazon has temperature betweens 15°C to 30°C, but rains heavily during the rainy season. During the rainy season, the Amazon features some heavy periods of rain but then may be dry for a few days before continuing the cycle. If you are going to the Peruvian Amazon during the rainy season, make sure you take waterproof clothes with you.

NAZCA & ICA

In this area of Peru, there is nice weather all year around and hardly ever rains. Most of the days are warm and sunny and stay warm during the nights. During the winter, the nights can get a little chillier, so you may want to bring something warm.

NORTH PERU

In this region of Peru, it is warm all year round (between 18°C to 28°C) and hardly ever rains. During the summer, it can reach temperatures of between 25°C to 35°C. We advise you to dress lightly for this region of Peru and make sure you take sunscreen with you.

JOURNEY WITH THE SPECIALIST IN CULINARY TOURS OF PERU

TAILOR - MADE TOURS

Our specialists have been expertly crafted tailor-made tours to Peru for over 10 years

We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

WHY TRAVEL WITH US

  • WE LOVE PERU

    We are proud of our culture, our people, our gastronomy,
    and we want to show you the best of Perú, crafting for you a unique and unforgettable experience.
    Up-to-the-minute knowledge underpinned by 10 years' experience.
  • TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE

    Fully bonded and licensed
    ATOL-protected
    On your side when it matters
    Book with confidence, knowing every penny is secure
  • THE REAL PERU

    We will show you the most interesting and off the beaten track locations, combined with unique culinary experiences to enjoy the real Perú.
    Discover the Perú we know and love
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