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Cúltural Peru

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Peru. We try to cover the most frequently asked questions here, however if you don't find what you are looking for please feel free to contact us for our team of experts to advise you on the advice you need.

What is Cúltural Peru doing?

Cúltural Peru is a pioneering specialist in the design of luxury, sustainable and tailor-made trips in Peru. Its team of experts specializes in crafting custom multi-day trips that include transfers, guides, hotels, activities, cruises, train tickets, and entrance tickets. All trips are personalized, specially designed to meet your interests, budget and the travel time you have. Cultural Peru draws on its privileged network of specialists in different fields to offer exclusive access to private collections and internal experiences.

What is the best time to travel to Peru?

Peru is a destination to travel throughout the year. Due to the great geographical diversity, with jungle, desert and mountains, the climate in Peru will vary from one region to another at any time of the year. The Andes and Machu Picchu have a dry and rainy season, and the months close to the changes have a varied climate. The dry season is from May to October with daytime temperatures of 18-25 ° C / 65-77 ° F. The rainy season runs from December to March, with daytime temperatures of 20-26 ° C / 68-79 ° F The highest probability of rain is generally in late January and February. Months at the beginning and end of the rainy season (April and November) are less likely to rain.

In Lima and on the desert coast, including the beaches of Máncora and Moche, there is little or no precipitation. Lima is humid and may be cloudier between May and October. Average daytime temperatures are 23-28 ° C / 74-82 ° F. In the jungle, the dry and rainy seasons are the same as the mountains, but the temperature is higher and fluctuates relatively little throughout the year, with an average temperature of 21-30 ° C / 70-86º F.

There are also many traditional and colorful festivals taking place throughout Peru, especially in Cusco, which can be ideal when traveling in this region. The main festivals include Candelaria (Lake Titicaca, February), Easter (national), Señor de los Temblores (Cusco, March), Corpus Christi (Cusco, May) and Señor de los Milagros (Lima, October).

How to get to Peru? 

There are a variety of options depending on where you start your journey. Almost all international flights arrive in the capital of Peru, Lima. From the USA There are direct flights from many major US cities. USA, such as New York, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles through a range of airlines such as American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental, Delta, JetBlue and LATAM. If you are traveling from Europe, there are also direct flights from cities such as Madrid (for example, with Iberia) and London (British Airways). There are good connections with other South American countries such as Colombia (Avianca) and Chile (LATAM). There are very limited international flights to Cusco from Colombia, with Avianca.

Do you organize international flights?

We organize trips to Peru and we can organize domestic flights. We specialize in the organization of ground services in our region (transfers, trains, boats, etc.) instead of flights, so we cannot offer you international flights to or from your country of origin.

Will I need a Visa?

This depends on your passport. Citizens of most Western European countries and the United States and Canada who enter Peru as tourists do not require a visa in advance and receive visas upon arrival. However, anyone traveling with a US passport needs a visa for Bolivia, but not Ecuador. Travelers who require visas in advance can usually obtain them at embassies or consulates in their countries of residence. For specific and timely information, contact your nearest consulate. For citizens who require visas, Aracari can provide documentation to support the purpose of the visit (for example, visa letter).

Do you organize trips for solo travelers?

As all of our itineraries are tailor-made, we are pleased to design trips for individual travelers, whether you plan to travel alone for part of the trip or the entire trip.

Do you organize group trips or shared service tours?

At Cultural Peru we only organize private trips. We do not offer group tours in shared service or with fixed departures. Occasionally we offer group tours with special outings that we will announce on our website. Previous trips of this type have included a special conference cruise on the Amazon or a trip led by the founder of Uyuni. If you have your own group, we will be happy to help you. We have designed tailor-made trips for many groups, from multi-generational families to specialized interest groups and organizations visiting Peru.

How to reserve and pay?

All the itineraries on our website are exemplary, as we always tailor each trip to suit each passenger. Just contact us to let us know what interests you and we will design a personalized itinerary for you. You can pay either by bank transfer or online with Visa, Mastercard or Amex. Depending on how soon your trip is, we may request a deposit payment first.

Do I need a vaccine to travel to Peru?

We highly recommend that you visit your doctor for the most up-to-date professional clinical advice and requirements based on your personal health and medical history.

Vaccines and pills against malaria:

No specific vaccination is required to enter Peru. However, for those traveling to the jungle, the yellow fever vaccine is recommended by the CDC and the WHO. Traveling to the jungle regions of Peru previously required the yellow fever vaccine, and while the rules are less stringent, it's no wonder that certification is requested. The vaccine is normally required or recommended for all rain forest regions worldwide and must be administered at least 15 days prior to arrival. If you continue your travels directly from Peru, check to see if a valid vaccination certificate is required to enter your next destination. Also, for certain areas of the rain forest, malaria pills are recommended, but not required. It is best to check with your doctor before traveling.

Height:

There are different ways to alleviate the side effects that may occur during your trip from being at a high altitude. Diamox can help when it takes a couple of days before ascending and a couple of days once at altitude. Once you are in Peru, a natural remedy is coca tea, which will be useful during your stay at high altitudes. You should also drink plenty of water before your high-altitude flight and during your stay. Eating lightly before and after arriving and resting also minimizes the effects of altitude, which can include headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, or loss of appetite. Arriving a few days before the start of a high altitude walk will help your body to acclimatise naturally. Aracari organizes itineraries to carry out activities in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu before reaching Cusco (which is at a higher altitude), to adapt to the altitude more easily.

Personal first aid kit:

Cultural Peru has a basic medical kit but you may want to bring some of your own medications, especially for hiking or adventure activities, eg. antidiarrhetics (Imodium), Pepto Bismol for stomach pain, antihistamines (both capsules and balsam), pain relievers, bandages and ampoules plasters and insect repellent. There are pharmacies in every city and town in Peru, but if you have specific medical needs, bring your medication with you.

Will I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is not usually a requirement, but we strongly recommend that you have insurance. We will request proof that you have health insurance for some specific activities (for example, hikes from lodge to lodge) that include evacuation coverage if you are in a remote location. We strongly recommend that you travel with insurance regardless of your activities, to cover flight cancellations, thefts, loss of luggage and general cancellation in case you cannot make your trip due to illness or unforeseen circumstances. It should also cover possible medical expenses incurred during the trip in case of illness or accident.

Can I rent a car in Peru?

Renting a car in Peru is possible with a tourist visa. However, our tailor-made trips include a driver. There are certain disadvantages to renting a car in Peru, including the fact that the more rural areas (including the Sacred Valley) have no signage (or the correct location on googlemaps, etc.). Some roads are of poor quality, depending on the regions you visit, and in general, driving standards are less rigorous in Peru than in more developed countries, so you must be a driver with a lot of experience and confidence.

What type of currency do I have to carry?

The Peruvian Sol is the currency of the country. Although US dollars are often accepted in larger hotels, shops, and restaurants in larger cities and tourist destinations like Cusco, they are not always accepted. As such, we recommend that you always travel with local currency, especially for smaller purchases in local shops, markets, and restaurants. The exchange of US dollars and euros to Peruvian soles is possible in banks, by official money changers on the street (who can be recognized by their vests and official identity documents), at the airport, hotels, exchange houses and in some shops (in small towns). The exchange rate is generally the same with the exception of hotels, where it tends to be established at a slightly less advantageous rate. Please note that the $ 100 bills can be difficult to change, so it is better to have smaller bills. Dollars are easier to exchange than euros. Any torn dollar bill (even with small tears) is generally not accepted. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are also generally accepted in Peru, although Visa is more widely accepted. When making purchases with a credit card, you may have to pay a surcharge of 5-6% and you may need to present your passport to make the purchase.

You can exchange dollars or euros for local currency at banks, exchange houses, shops (in small towns), and at your hotel. The exchange rate is usually uniform, except in hotels where the exchange rate could be slightly lower. Please remember that $ 100 bills can be difficult to change. It is easier to exchange dollars than euros.

We recommend cashing traveler's checks at the bank, and for security reasons we especially recommend using ATMs at airports and hotels rather than ATMs on the street.
We always recommend carrying money in the local currency. Although some larger businesses accept dollars, this is not always the case, and you may want to buy something at a store where they do not accept it. Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards are generally accepted. Of all these, Visa is the most accepted.

Unfortunately, counterfeit bills (both dollars and local currency) are found in some countries in the region, so be sure to check your tickets and consult your Aracari representative if you have any questions.

What should I carry in my luggage?

Due to its diverse geography, you will probably experience several microclimates during your trip. For this, using several layers of clothing works very well, especially in the Andes. We provide detailed recommendations on what to pack if you book with us, with general suggestions along with suggestions for specific activities or destinations, such as hiking or visiting the Amazon. Outside of Lima, in major tourist destinations, travelers tend to dress casually, even in hotels. We recommend that you bring adequate footwear to walk through the cities, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Here are some key suggestions:

• Comfortable slippers or walking boots
• Short and long sleeve polo shirts
• Raincoat
• Polar jacket
• Jeans or casual pants
• Camera (with roll if it is analog) and perhaps binoculars
• Backpack
• Insect repellent, eye drops, lip balm and sunscreen
• Binoculars

How much should I tip?

Tips are entirely at your discretion. All our guides and drivers receive a fair payment, so it is not a requirement, although you will always be welcome. It will be best to leave a cash tip.

Tips in restaurants: You can tip 10%, but it is totally discretionary. Credit cards and traveler's checks are widely accepted in many restaurants. Tips are already included in the price if food is included in your program.

Tips for guided excursions:
Tip for one guide per day for a group of 2 passengers: $ 20
Tip for one driver per day for a group of 2 passengers: $ 10
Tip for one guide per day for a group of 4+ passengers: $ 20- $ 40
Tip for one driver per day for a group of 4+ passengers: $ 10- $ 20

Tips for trekking camps:
Tip for one guide per day for a group of 2 passengers: $ 20
Tip for one cook per day for a group of 2 passengers: $ 5- $ 8
Tip per day for each support staff member (porters) for a group of 2 passengers: $ 3- $ 5
Tip for one guide per day for a group of 4+ passengers: $ 20- $ 40
Tip for one cook per day for a group of 4 + passengers: $ 8- $ 12
Tip per day for each support staff member (porters) for a group of more than 4 passengers: $ 5- $ 8

Will my phone work during the trip?

Telephone and Internet coverage is quite good in cities and even in some rural areas, including Machu Picchu, although there is no telephone coverage on the train trip to Machu Picchu. Most foreign smartphones work in the region if you have an international calling and data plan. If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a local SIM card that will work for you on the go. Aracari offers a free phone and SIM card for local calls for the duration of your stay. We can also buy SIM cards with data plans in your name so that you can connect on arrival.

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