So another year is upon us, bucket lists are being made, re-written or added to and it’s the time of year you promise to do everything, from lose weight, work less and spend more time with the loved ones. Always good ideas, always with the best of intentions. We all know that come the end of January, you will have …READ MORE
For over a century, Machu Picchu has captivated adventurous explorers the world over. Peru’s unrivalled crown jewel, and indeed one of South America’s most coveted bucket-list destinations, this ancient Inca citadel was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. But no accolade could ever accurately depict the feeling of actually being there, of seeing it …READ MORE
There are two words likely to be top of mind for every visitor to Peru: Machu Picchu. Visiting this extraordinary place and new wonder of the world is a must – and for those keen to walk in the footsteps of the Incas, the experience of getting there is just as special as the site itself.READ MORE
Machu Picchu is one of Peru’s must-see highlights. The unit of currency in Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN). The US Dollar is widely accepted throughout the country and prices are often given in both US dollars and Soles. Please check websites such as www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for up to date exchange rates prior to your departure.
Spanish is the official language of Peru, spoken by more than 80% of the population. There are also many indigenous languages including Quechua and Aymara. In recent years an increased effort has been made to promote all of the indigenous languages.
The level of fitness needed will depend on how you are planning to visit Machu Picchu. If you are travelling to Machu Picchu by train, then you do not need to be fit. Machu Picchu is at a lower altitude than Cusco, so you will be well acclimatised before you embark on your train journey.
If you are planning to trek to Machu Picchu, then a reasonable level of fitness is advised and the fitter you are the easier you will find the trek, and the more you will probably enjoy it. It is also recommended that you spend at least 2 days acclimatising in Cusco before your trek to try to prevent altitude sickness whilst on the trail. This is especially important if you have arrived from sea level, for example from Lima. Cusco lies at 3,400m and the highest point of the Inca Trail is at 4,200m.
In general it is safe to travel to Machu Picchu and there are not the same issues as might be found in larger cities, where you need to be much more vigilant. Train stations can be crowded so be aware of pickpockets. As with travel throughout Peru we recommend the following to minimise security risks:
• do not show any outward signs of wealth or wear expensive jewellery
• keep your valuables in your hotel in safety deposit boxes
• keep any valuables that you must carry with you hidden, as pickpockets can be present in crowded areas and around tourist areas
• use only registered taxis with official identification
• avoid going on your own to remote areas/ruins where tourists would not be expected to go
• always keep your day pack and camera close to you and never leave them unattended.
A pre-arranged visa is not required to enter Peru for citizens of the following countries:
• United Kingdom
• The United States
• New Zealand
• European Union
• South Africa
For other nationalities please visit the website of the relevant consulate.
Again this depends on how you plan to visit Machu Picchu. It is possible to visit Machu Picchu in a day by train from Cusco, or an overnight trip can be organised with accommodation in Aguas Calientes or even closer to Machu Picchu. If you plan to trek in, there are a range of treks available from 4 days to 7 days.
There is an entry fee for anyone wanting to trek up Huayna Picchu and permits need to be secured in advance. The number of daily visitors allowed to enter Huayna Picchu is restricted to 400 and permits are on a first come first served basis. Please ensure that you advise us at the time of making your Peru booking if you would like to hike this mountain.
Machu Picchu is located at 2,430m. The highest point of the Inca Trail is 4,215m at the top of Dead Woman’s Pass; the highest point on the Salkantay Trek is at 4,600m and on the Lares Trek it is 4,550m.
Generally transport, entrance fees and guides will already be included in your tour price and so you will only need a small amount of money to cover meals, tips to guides and souvenirs.
Although no specific vaccinations are required for Peru travel and no proof of any vaccination is required to enter Peru, we recommend that you visit your doctor or a traveller’s medical centre for current information specific to those places that you will be travelling through. As a general guide we recommend the following:
• Yellow Fever - Especially for jungle areas
• Hepatitis - Both A and B (twinrix)
This will depend on whether you are travelling to Machu Picchu by train or trekking along the Inca Trail or one of the other trails. If travelling by train you will need only a day pack with items such as camera, water bottle, sunscreen, sun hat and sunglasses, change of clothes if staying overnight, rain jacket and fleece jacket, passport and small amount of money.
If you are trekking, then you will need to pack accordingly and be prepared for extremes of climate from freezing to hot. We recommend the following:
• Daypack & rain cover
• A soft trek bag
• Sleeping bag (-5°C) (if not provided)
• Rain jacket & waterproof trousers
• Walking boots
• Complete change of clothing
• Socks/underwear/thermal underwear
• Trekking trousers or zip-off shorts
• After trekking trousers/shirt/sandals
• Warm layers (e.g. fleeces and/or lined jacket)
• Gloves, scarf and wool/fleece hat
• Water bottle and sterilising tablets
• Flashlight/torch & spare batteries
• Broad-brim or peaked cap
• Sun block & lip balm
• Insect repellent
• Toiletries, toilet paper & small towel
• Selection of small snacks such as chocolates, dried fruit, biscuits, etc.
• Camera (in plastic bag or dry-sack) with spare memory cards, batteries
• Cash (for minor purchases on trek, tips, souvenirs, lunch in Aguas Calientes etc.)
• Money belt
• Trekking poles (optional) – must be rubber tipped
• Personal First Aid Kit to include painkillers, plasters (Band-Aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, after-bite, anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication