FAQ: BOOKING YOUR TOUR
How do I book a Tour with Intense Peru?
First please look through our website to see what kind of Tour you would like to participate in or what destinations you are interested in exploring.
The website has the tours listed and organized into the following sections so that they are easy to find according to what interests you:
This section on our home page lists our top tours. These are our most popular and complete pre-arranged travel itineraries with optional excursions and the possibility to customize or request as a private service.
This sub-section of Tours in the top menu lists our complete pre-arranged tours for Peru.
This sub-section of Tours in the top menu lists our complete list of treks available in the Cusco area, including the Inca Trail.
This sub-section of Tours in the top menu lists our complete pre-arranged Amazon programs as well ad Amazon River cruises.
If you want to have more of a hand in the planning of your trip, look over the Design Your Trip section of our website:
What is the difference between a Private Tour and a Shared Service Tour?
FAQ: What is the difference between a Private Tour and a Shared Service Tour?
Both types of tours are open-dated and can be organized to adapt to your needs and expectations. The difference between them is that tailor-made Private Tours include optional Private Excursions throughout your trip. Shared Service Tours include optional Small Group Excursions. Please note that all Tours are fully adaptable and if you want to choose between some optional Private Excursions and some optional Small Group Excursions there is no problem at all. Your travel advisor can answer all your questions.
How do I book an optional Tour?
FAQ: How do I book an optional Excursion?
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take care of everything. If you know of and are interested in excursion opportunities in Peru that are not listed on our website, please inform your travel advisor and we will work to arrange things for you.
I am a single traveler. Are these tours suited for me?
Is there a booking deadline?
How do I make payment?
Do you recommend any particular travel routes?
What is the best time of the year to visit Peru?
FAQ: FLIGHTS AND TRANSPORTATION
Is international airfare included in the cost of a Tour?
Are domestic airfare and transportation included in the Tour’s general price?
Are airport taxes included? If not, how much should I expect to pay?
What about getting around town?
How much money should I bring?
Should I bring cash or debit/credit cards?
Are U.S. dollars or traveler’s checks accepted?
What about tips?
Are there taxes or fees? How much should I expect to pay?
FAQ: DOCUMENTS AND INSURANCE
Do I need a visa to travel to Peru?
Citizens of most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not need to get a visa in advance. You obtain a visa upon entering the country. Citizens of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile do not need a passport or a visa to enter certain parts of Peru. It would be a good idea to check with the Peruvian consulate in your country.
Travelers entering Peru for tourism and recreation are allowed to stay up to 90 days. The Immigration office can extend this period.
Travelers must have a valid passport or safe-conduct pass issued by Peruvian immigration authorities. Carry your passport with you, or at the very least, always keep a photocopy of your passport on you at all times. Some form of official ID may be required to enter government offices, to do business in a bank or use your credit cards.
Do you offer any travel insurance?
We do not provide travel insurance. We strongly recommend you obtain traveler’s insurance coverage for your trip.
We suggest you start by asking your insurance provider at home if you are already covered by their company. Also check with your credit card provider. Some credit cards come with traveler’s insurance programs as part of their service. Some organizations such as the AAA (Automobile Association) also offer insurance services for travelers. There are many well-established insurance companies that specialize in traveler’s insurance services. You can find many of them through the Internet.
We recommend you contact Mondial Assistance (www.mondial-assistance.com) which offers the fastest and best quality service in Peru. In Cusco, they operate with Hampi Land Association which is composed of a team of highly qualified and experienced doctors who speak English among other lenguages.
Explore your options. Make sure that at least you have good emergency medical coverage, especially if you will be participating in extreme sports activities. Other kinds of coverage to look out for areTrip cancellation, interruptions and delays insurance
- Trip cancellation insurance is mostly purchased to recuperate your money if you have to cancel your trip or leave before it is completed. Trip cancellation reasons may include sickness, natural disasters and State Department warnings about the safety of the place to which you are travelling.
- Lost luggage insurance
Domestic U.S. flights cover checked luggage up to US$ 2,500 per passenger. International flights (including U.S. legs of international flights) cover around US$ 9 per pound, up to around US$ 635 per checked bag. If you will be checking valuables not covered under the standard liability, check with your homeowner’s insurance company for coverage or get additional luggage insurance. Many companies offer comprehensive travel insurance packages.
Travel insurance costs vary greatly: which company you contact, cost and length of the trip, your age and health, kind of trip you are going on, amount of coverage you want, deductibles, etc. http://InsureMyTrip.com helps you get estimates from various providers.
Ask your insurance agent what other kinds of coverage they offer, what the rules are for making use of the coverage, and the amount limits of your coverage plan.
What about altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, or soroche as it is called in Peru, is sometimes a problem for visitors to the Peruvian highlands. An infusion, called “mate de coca” or coca leaf tea, is made with the leaves of the coca plant (considered to have been a sacred plant for the Incas and still seen as such by many people in the highlands of Peru). It is purported to help relieve altitude sickness and is readily available. Like regular tea it has a mild stimulating effect and a pleasant taste. If anything, a good cup of hot liquid will help keep you hydrated.
Diamox is used by some travelers from the USA, but it is not recommended if you are allergic to sulfa medications. Sorochi or Gravol are pills that can be purchased locally over-the-counter at pharmacies and airports.
Consult with your doctor if you are worried about traveling at high altitudes. Ask if it is OK for you to take any of these medications, or bring your prescriptions with you.
The best thing to do is to get acclimatized to the altitude as quickly as possible. Eating lightly on the first day and avoiding excess physical activity until acclimatized are highly recommended. KEEP HYDRATED but do not overfill your stomach at once. Let your digestive system adjust. Take it easy the first day and your body will have time to adjust to the changes. Most people do NOT have any serious problems with the altitude.
What about vaccinations?
We recommend that you consult with a doctor that specializes in travel medicine. They will be able to judge, given your personal health and vaccination history, what vaccines you may need.
Aside from your routine shots, in general you only need vaccinations if you will be traveling in the Amazon Rainforest. Consider getting the Yellow Fever vaccine if you will be traveling in the rainforest. We suggest you ask your doctor what precautions or vaccinations are recommended for each destination as these requirements vary according to where each passenger comes from and their personal medical background.
It is also a good idea to start this process early as some vaccines need to be administered over a period of time. If you can, start at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip starts. If you are traveling sooner than that, still consult with your physician to find out what they recommend.
What about the food or water?
The meals we provide with our Tours are safe. On those occasions when you decide to venture beyond the Tour’s itinerary and try something new and unique on your own we suggest you exercise common sense precautions. Drink bottled or boiled water. Try to avoid eating from street vendors who clearly do not practice sanitary precautions. Whenever you travel to a new part of the world, microorganisms living in that part of the world will invariably be different from the ones back home and so you will need to let your body adjust to the new conditions. If you are concerned about this ask your doctor about vaccinations against hepatitis, typhoid or cholera, even though these may be extreme measures since a little caution will protect you just as well.
Aside from microorganisms there are other things that will be different from back home: spices, ingredients, salts and mineral content in the water, etc. Some people’s bodies reject the new kinds of foods until they have had a chance to adjust. Never fear, this is not dangerous to you, but it could ruin your enjoyment of your trip. Decide whether your system is able to handle new foods beforehand so that you can exercise caution in your choice of foods.
Many travelers to Peru end up eating at restaurants that serve food from their country, such as McDonald’s. But it would be a shame if you came all the way down to Peru and couldn’t sample the wonderful tastes of Peruvian food. As always, ask your doctor what they recommend and bring along any prescription medications you may need to take care of any digestive tract problems you may have. You can find Pepto Bismol sold in pharmacies under the name “Bismutol”.
That being said, we strongly recommend you do everything you can to prepare yourself to try the food when you are here. Peruvian cuisine is ranked amongst the top ten cuisines of the world. Many people travel to Peru exclusively to go on gastronomic tours to sample the thousands of different dishes that you can find around the country. When you come here do not forget that you can have a wonderful experience not just through sight and sound, but also through texture, scent and flavor. In fact, it is said that when you come to Peru you awaken your “six” senses.
What should I do in case there’s a problem during my Tour?
Our Tours are expertly organized and run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Just in case, we provide our customers with a 24-hour emergency hotline number prior to the trip. Should any problems arise, please contact us 24 hours a day at 99 400 8833 (within Peru).
What safety guidelines do you recommend?
Safety is key to the success of your journey. Stay alert and do not take unnecessary risks in order to prevent unwanted situations. Always carry some form of official ID, like your passport, or at least a photocopy of your passport, when walking around in a city or town.
Common sense and the same precautions that apply back home apply when traveling.
In the cities:
Be alert and take normal precautions to protect yourself from purse-snatchers and pickpockets.
Keep a photocopy of your documents on you. Keep the original documents and valuables in the safety deposit box of your hotel.
Be discreet with your valuables. Do not flash around large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry. Keep an eye, or even better, keep a hand on your luggage or camera.
Do NOT exchange money in the street. Use the banks or exchange bureaus.
It is a good idea to hire taxicabs that belong to a company or consortium (you have to call them by phone), or those that have their permits in order (in Lima these are yellow cabs and have a fixed sign that lights up on top of the car)
It is strictly forbidden to take photographs of airports, military bases, areas near electric power towers and police stations.
FAQ: WHAT TO BRING
What kind of luggage should I bring?
What should I pack?
What you bring in your luggage will depend on where you are going and the kind of vacation you are planning. Altitude has a marked effect on climate. Normally, the higher you go, the colder it gets. If you are on the Western side of the mountains it tends to be pretty dry. If you are on the eastern side of the Andes, it can be pretty wet. Seasons also determine what kind of gear you need. Remember that there is a seasonal inversion between the northern and the southern hemispheres. That is, when it is summer in the north it is winter in the south.
Peru is very close to the Equatorial line. Sunshine is more intense so bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion.
Bring a small foldable pouch, duffle bag, daypack or backpack to carry your valuables, a water bottle to keep hydrated and any extras like a light coat to be prepared for temperature changes.
The coast is sunny and warm in summertime (from mid-November to late March). If you plan on spending time at the beaches remember to bring proper beachwear: swimsuit or shorts, sandals for walking in the hot sand, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, towel. It can be overcast or even foggy in winter (from April to mid-November). So, bring a light jacket if you are coming in the winter.
The Andes highlands have warm days and cold nights. Dress in layers so that you can adjust your body temperature depending on local conditions and time of day. There can even be a big difference on how you feel depending on whether you stand in the shade or in full sunlight. Excellent quality alpaca and llama wool products are available in the region and are great for staying warm at night. Visitors often choose to leave their warm clothes at home so as to have more space in their luggage to carry the warm clothes they purchase in Peru.
Daytime in the Andes can be extremely sunny and bright so bring sunglasses, a hat and some sunscreen. Chap stick or lip moisturizer is also useful since the air is dry.
The rainforest is hot, wet and humid. If you plan to travel in the Amazon make sure you bring a folding umbrella or a light, breathable raincoat, some waterproof or quick drying footwear, and long-sleeved t-shirt and pants. Quick drying breathable fabrics are best. Some insect repellent is OK, though you can purchase that in Peru.
Adventure hikes like the Inca Trail require proper footwear. Sturdy tennis shoes with good ankle support or light hiking boots. Heavier hiking boots for the more extreme hikes.
FAQ: SERVICES AND FACILITIES
Are there services for handicapped travelers in Peru?
The notion of “tourism for everyone” is part of an increase in awareness around the country of the needs of handicapped people. Several state and private organizations have been working for years trying to improve services for the handicapped, especially so in cities like Cuzco, Iquitos, Trujillo and Lima.
Will I be able to connect to the Internet? Talk to the folks back home?
Yes. Quite easily actually. There is a boom in telecommunications services in the country. Cellular phones are quite inexpensive and access to the Internet at a “cabina” (like an internet booth) usually costs less than a dollar an hour and you can find them everywhere around the country. Most hotels we work with offer free WiFi service in their common areas, and some offer it in rooms (for an additional cost).
What about electricity?
Peru’s electric grid runs on 220v so if you are going to bring an appliance, like an electric razor, make sure you bring an adapter or purchase one that has a switch or automatically selects the appropriate voltage. Our sockets allow for two-flatted or two-rounded plugs.
Lodging and Food & Beverages
FAQ: LODGING AND FOOD & BEVERAGES
What category of hotel will I be staying in?
All of our hotels meet international standards according to their category. We ensure that the hotels we work with provide the highest levels of service and comfort at the best values. Select the hotel you feel best suits your needs and expectations for the trip. If you know of a hotel in the vicinity that you prefer but it is not listed in our website please Contact Us and we will make arrangements for you to stay there
Are meals included in Tours? Can Intense Peru recommend restaurants?
Breakfasts are included everyday with hotel stays, and lunches and dinners are provided where indicated in the detailed itineraries. Meals that are included in our Tours are excellent and the restaurants are carefully chosen in order to give our customers the best dining experience possible. Nevertheless, we feel that your trip should have some flexibility and that dining out is a way for you to experience Peru’s wonders firsthand. Peru has a great number of superb restaurants and Peruvian cuisine is ranked amongst the top in the world. We are more than happy to provide you with a list of all of our favorite restaurants in the different locations you will be travelling in if you so desire.