One of our primary goals is to help keep each destination in pristine condition. Essentially, we would like the destination to be unchanged after each visit. This will allow future groups to experience the same great sights as you have, and it will help to preserve natural resources as well. We believe that tourism provides a much needed insight into cultures, and this can help to bring about peace between countries and people. However, in order for this to happen, the toured lands need to be respected and free from abuses, litter, and other misconducts. By respecting the local rules and habits, you will help to preserve a foreign land while also bringing it closer to your own.
Information About Sightseeing
Perspective is everything, and to help keep your travel enlivened and fair, your Tour Manager will change the seating periodically. This will help you and your fellow travelers to always have the best point of view, and it will also allow you to broaden your mind with different views.
If your tour coincides with a local religious holiday, then it may be changed as to not offend the locals. As religious holidays vary from region to region, it can be difficult planning a tour around the numerous festivities. However, should a monument or attraction be closed, we will ensure to find a suitable replacement that will satisfy your needs. This also applies to any monuments or attractions that are undergoing construction or are hindered by the weather. While we cannot cancel a tour due to any construction or weather, we promise to find a satisfactory replacement that is just as culturally important and exciting as the original.
Peruvian buses are generally without air-conditioning. While some of the more luxurious buses in Lima will offer such services, the majority of buses do not require air-conditioning due to the high-altitudes in the highlands regions. The highlands regions include: Puno, Manchu Picchu, Urubamba, and Cuzco.
Information for Escorted Tours and Passengers Staying on Land
Your professional tour manager will contact you after your check-in at your hotel. If you have not purchased a hotel transfer, then you are to check-in to the hotel immediately upon arrival. Your documents will contain further details on your hotel and itinerary.
Buying Tours Locally
If you are on an escorted tour, then you may be able to purchase optional tours. These tours can be paid for by credit card or cash unless otherwise stated. Independent Packages fall under a different category, and the specifics can be found in the Terms & Conditions below.
During your trip, you may be provided with independent activities. These activities are optional, and while they will certainly enhance your time abroad, they are not endorsed or officially recommended. Should you partake in any of the independent activities, please be advised that they are not covered by our liability, and you will be responsible for any actions that occur. Before selecting any independent activities, it is worth considering your current health condition as many of them require physical exertion. Also, many of these activities may involve animals, and it is advised that you heed all safety precautions before embarking fully on your adventure.
It is advisable to bring some of the local currency along with you as ATMs may be sparse. Also, the exchange rate of US-cash to the local currency may not work in your favor. We also advise you to call your bank or card company and alert them of your travels. This will help to avoid any delays in withdrawing cash, and they will be able to assist you with any further inquiries. If possible, try to use your credit card as this will allow you to track your spending. You will notice if there are any wrong charges, and you will avoid losing money in the process.
Check with the local consulate in regards to any cash limit that there may be. No matter the cash allowance, it is advisable to carry $20 bills or those of a lesser value; many banks and stores will not accept $50 or $100 bills. If you are using a credit card, try to use a Visa as it is more accepted than other similar cards.
Many US credit cards use magnetic-strips to verify identity, while many cards overseas use a chip that requires a PIN-code. While the magnetic-strip should pose no problem to ATMs, it may pose a problem to smaller stores. If you find that your card is not being accepted, try to explain the situation or simply avoid the intended service altogether. In this scenario, you would be best prepared by having emergency-cash in your wallet. If you are traveling to Europe, then you can avoid this situation by purchasing tickets and other items online in advance.
Shopping can be a great way of exploring new parts of town while also finding the best gifts. Your tour may include a shopping excursion, and this will provide access to all of the best shops. These shops are chosen for their prices, authenticity, and cultural heritage. Should you wish to shop alone, we advise that you use caution when purchasing from new malls or street vendors. Don’t feel pressured into buying anything that you don’t want, and don’t buy anything that looks fake or dangerous. Even though there may be a language barrier, remember that you can always walk away and that you are not obligated to purchase anything.
Shopping in Peru
Peruvians will be happy to sell you their local items, and they will often try to find the best price to do so. In fact, you are encouraged to bargain during your shopping spree, as the listed price is often 30% higher than what they intend to sell it for.
Depending on the country visited, you may be able to reclaim any taxes spent while shopping. Nearly 50 countries participate in this program, and it is worth checking online to see if your country is Tax-Free Shopping, or TSF, applicable.
It is important to remember that any items exceeding $800 will be taxed upon entry into the US. This includes the total of all items brought in as well. If you ship an item back home, then it will most certainly be taxed. Remember not to ship anything back home that is illegal, such as illicit substances or anything made of endangered species. Bringing any of these items on you will also result in confiscation or a potential detainment. As always, use common sense and try not to purchase or bring anything that you wouldn’t while at home.
Your safety is our number one priority. Before traveling, it is advised that you register with your consulate in order to stay updated with any pertinent information.
These following tips are crucial in ensuring your safety while abroad:
•Don’t venture into desolate places. Try to stay with the crowds, and if a place looks dangerous or dark, then it is best to avoid it.
•Make sure not to bring all of your important documents, cards, and cash with you at once. Instead, bring only what you need. Also, make sure not to have everything in one wallet or pouch.
•Make photocopies of your passport and other important documents. While this may change from country to country, you generally do not need your original passport on you.
•Put all of your important belongings in the hotel safe.
•Avoid placing fragile or important items in your checked luggage. Instead, keep them in your carry-on or in your pocket.
•Pay attention to the items in your pockets, and hold your purse or bag close to your body at all times. This will help you stay clear from pickpockets.
•While Peruvian food and meat is generally safe, you should be cautious around undercooked foods. This includes meat, vegetables, and anything else that seems raw. Also, you should be sure to only drink bottled water, as the tap water may upset your stomach. You should also avoid ice and low-cost fruits or salads, as these are often contaminated with the local tap water.
In Peru, the local language will be Spanish, although Quechua is sometimes spoken as well. In tourist-driven areas, you will be able to get by with English so long as you talk slowly and clearly.
In Peru, it is considered kind to shake hands with new acquaintances. Dressing casually is fine, and the overall manners are very similar to those in the US. As always, be polite and courteous, and try not to be overly loud.
Depending on your location, tipping may or may not resemble the tipping-system in the US. If you feel the service was of a high-quality, then you should leave a small tip as a polite gesture. However, don’t feel intimidated into tipping for subpar service. In Peru, it is generally accepted to tip for quality service as you would in the US.
While caution should be exercised in any country, Peru is especially notorious for theft in crowded areas. Avoid walking alone, and make sure to keep only what you need on you while going out. Only use taxis that are arranged at the front-desk of your hotel, and try to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Scams in the Street
Pickpockets and other scam-artists can ruin your adventure, but it is possible to avoid them by following these tips:
•Be alert, and pay attention to your surroundings. If there is a street-game, demonstration, or show, then there will most certainly be pickpockets waiting to take from unsuspecting onlookers. •Try not to stand still for too long in any one location, and if possible, keep your hands in your pockets and your bags close.
•If you travel independently, try not to travel alone late at night. It is best to have your adventure during the day in well-crowded areas.
•Many pickpockets are experts in their craft, and they will try anything to divert your attention away from your belongings. They may spill something on your, ask for directions, or compliment your outfit while their friend takes your wallet. If someone approaches you, it is best to walk away. If they persist, yell loudly for help and try to attract attention as this will cause them to run away.
•Don’t give money to beggars.
•Carry small-denominations of cash to avoid attracting attention. When paying for a meal, take out only what you need and keep the rest safely in your pocket or purse.
•Take caution when using ATMs. The best ATMs are those inside of banks; however, these may not always be available. If someone is watching you use an ATM, it is best to walk away. Always be aware of scams that involve the ATM-machine itself: if your card gets “stuck” inside of the machine, it is advisable to call your bank and have the card canceled.
•If someone should confront you, remember that it is not worth fighting back. They may be carrying a weapon, and your safety is not worth your belongings. Give them what they want, avoid eye contact, and then contact the authorities as soon as possible.
Local Emergency Numbers
Upon arrival, it is important that you take note of the local emergency numbers. In Peru, the General Emergency number is 011.
Purchase an adapter to convert your electronics into the proper voltage and outlet. While the standard voltage in the US is 120 volts, the standard in Peru is 220 volts. A outlet will help to ensure that your electronics are safely converted and charged.