Peru Tours and Travel FAQ's

The best part of the answer to this question is: No, you do not have to do the Inca trail to get to Machu Picchu! As a matter of fact, the overwhelming majority of travelers going to Machu Picchu take the train, which is the best option.

There are no direct roads leading to Machu Picchu since the valley has space only for the tracks of this rail line. Fortunately, there are several train options: The luxurious Hiram Bingham train, connecting Cuzco to Machu Picchu, and the comfortable Inca Rail and Peru Rail options connecting the Sacred Valley to the Citadel. From the train station in Machu Picchu Pueblo, originally called Aguas Calientes for its hot springs, you then take a shuttle up to the ruins.

Yes and no! Due to limited access into the ancient ruins, you need to plan your trip to Machu Picchu carefully. There are certain entrance time slots you can get tickets for, valid for 4 hours. So, make sure you get the right train down there or stay overnight near the ruins - that way you don’t miss your timeslot. The Peruvian authorities are well aware of the fact that Machu Picchu is not a cash-cow but a UNESCO heritage site, in need of protection! Lucky for you, your Tour Consultant knows all the details and will make sure you maximize your time there.
It costs approximately $1200 to $5000 to go to Machu Picchu depending on the experience in hotels and accommodation you are looking for.

Consider this: You almost always need a night in Lima, one in the Sacred Valley, maybe one in Aguas Calientes, two in Cuzco. Then, you must incorporate your international flights (ex: from Miami to Lima is about $ 500 return). Then add in your domestic flights, which can be cheap, but still… let’s not get ahead of ourselves. When you’re traveling to a place of high altitude, you’re going to want to splurge on some comfort in terms of accommodations. Food can be cheap but consider the aspect of hygiene too - you do not want to go with the cheapest restaurant option! Overall, plan on spending $ 2200 for a minimally comfortable trip. Then we recommend taking advantage of all those other sites in Peru and surrounding countries since you’re there already!
That really depends on where you go, mostly on the altitude! In principle, the best time to travel to Peru is in April. During April, the land is still green, yet it rains little and the mountains are still dusted with the snow that fell during the summer on those almost 20,000 feet peaks, that surround you wherever you go.

Peru is situated just South of the Equator, so the sun is very intense year round! But Lima and most of the coast is cooled by the Pacific Ocean, which is rather cold here. In the mountains around the Inca ruins, it is cool because of the altitude. Only in the Amazon and there only during the day you will experience tropical heat. There is no monsoon-like weather in Peru, like in Asia. In the summer (from December to March) you can experience heavy rains in the Andes and the Amazon. It never rains along the coast, which is a coastal desert. In June to August, it can get cold in the mountains, but it rarely rains there during that dry season. So just bring a good jacket along.

The best way to prepare for altitude sickness is to go slow upon arrival in the mountains and drink loads of water! If you’re going to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, make sure your first night is in the Sacred Valley, which is just 90 minutes away from the Cuzco airport and much lower in altitude than Cuzco. And explore Cuzco after you come back from Machu Picchu. Note: Machu Picchu is actually lower than the Sacred Valley, which in turn is lower than the city of Cuzco!
Yes, but the government decided that tourism should be a sector of growth and has dedicated a lot of education and investment in this area. Also, the country has been steadily growing for the last 30 years. With low unemployment and low inflation, the tourism sector is highly developed! Expect world-class service, especially in 4-star to 5-star hotels. Also, the airlines operating in Peru are world class and many codeshare with International Airlines. Latam is a member of the Oneworld Alliance together with American Airlines, while Avianca is a member of the Star Alliance like United or Lufthansa.
Everything you know from home, but so much more! Peru’s cuisine nowadays brings all ingredients together. From the Amazon, from the mountains, and from the coast. Manioc, yams, plantains, alpaca meat, quinoa, pink corn, blue potatoes, fish, all kinds of fresh vegetables, and wine. Peru is a country where you can eat like you are at home or try new things! In Peru, we make reservations for you at all of the famous restaurants. But we also love to show you the ingredients first, then take you to a cooking class, and then have you enjoy the meal that everybody is talking about. Your travel consultant has a list of restaurants ready to go and will recommend the ones that fit your preferences.
It depends! You, as a tourist, usually have no interest in dangerous parts of Peru, just like how you would avoid those parts of Los Angeles, New York, Rome, or Paris. Tourists, however, attract pick-pockets worldwide. But your guide has a very good eye for them. A guide will also always know about possible disturbances, like demonstrations, and will avoid them to keep you safe. In your hotel, always close the safe in your room. Remember, a maid in Peru earns as much per month as you spend for a good dinner in a restaurant at home. Close your safe but tip well!
The general rule is 10%! Big exceptions are taxis because you need to negotiate the price for the trip before entering the taxi. For your guides please reserve $ 10 - $ 15 per day, and half of that amount, if traveling in a bigger group. On a cruise ship, $ 10 to $ 15 for your guide and another $ 10 to $ 15 per person per day is recommended.