Know Before You Go:
Peru Travel Tips
“But, what’s it really like?” As invigorating, exciting and intoxicating as it is to explore an unknown land, it can be inconvenient and even a little intimidating to go in completely blind. That’s where we come in. In this ongoing series, we pose some essential questions and arm you with the answers of our regional experts to help you get in deep and up close—without frying your cell phone or bringing the wrong currency! In this edition, Trip Designer Veronika Macas sheds some light on Peru, the ancient land of the Inca.
Peru Travel Tips
How hard is it to adjust to the altitude?
Some of the best sites to see in Peru are at altitude. Machu Picchu is at 7,900 feet, Cusco at 11,000 feet and the Sacred Valley at 9,700 feet. We recommend coming to Cusco a day or so early to acclimatize.
What is Peruvian cuisine like?
Peru is the centre of the culinary world in South America at the moment. Our friend Brisa can probably answer the question in more detail, but in general Peru offers a diverse range of flavours. The extensive coast provides fresh seafood for delicate ceviche. Root vegetables are picked from lush valleys and become the core of soups and sauces. Ancient grains, lean meats (like alpaca and guinea pig) and tropical fruits combine with the tradition of different cultures (Inca, Spanish, Chinese) to make for unique creations of flavour.
I’ve heard the Inca Trail is pretty incredible. How do I get an Inca Trail pass?
The trail is definitely a sight to behold, but Inca Trail passes are limited. To make sure you get passes for your intended date, it’s best to book at least six months in advance. (If you’re travelling with B&R, let your travel advisor or trip planner know that you’d like passes as early as possible. With your passport information and date of birth, we can secure them for you.)
If I can’t get an Inca Trail pass, can I still see Machu Picchu?
You can. If you miss out on the Inca Trail (which would be a shame—book early!), you can take a train to Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu, and still gain access to the Lost City.
We Go Slow. Inca Trail Passes Go Fast.
We don’t make exceptions to the whole “Slow Down to See the World” thing lightly, so believe us when we say: this one’s worth it. Inca Trail passes are limited, so book our Peru Walking trip early in order to commune with this ancient and fascinating culture in person.DETAILED ITINERARY
Peru with B&R
I know B&R offers a collection of trips in Peru. What can I expect to see when I travel to Peru with B&R?
If I just said “everything,” I wouldn’t be far off. We hike along Inca trails through a lush valley, contemplating locals working in their corn and potato fields. We get active, with activities like horseback riding, and relaxed, chilling in a spa. We explore ancient ruins both famous and lesser known, walk through gorgeous ancient salt mines, admire the jungle (orchids!) while hiking our way to Machu Picchu and we stroll down the lively streets of Cusco.
How vigorous is the walking?
The hike to Machu Picchu can be challenging, as can the hike to Pumamarca and to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain. The other walks on our itineraries are moderate and you can often choose either the longer or shorter option based on your ability. However, you may find that the effects of the altitude make the walks take longer than they normally would. You’ll also have stairs or steps to contend with on many hikes.
What should I pack?
Bring appropriate clothing! Climate varies from very cool evenings in the altiplano to quite warm and moist near Machu Picchu. You’ll want everything from light cotton, shorts and hiking pants, to warm layers (fleece, hat and gloves) and rain gear, along with a comfortable pair of hiking shoes. A hat for the sun and bug spray are also helpful. Our trips are casual. You can bring something nice if you’d like for first and final nights, but anything too fancy may make you feel out of place.
According to Peru Rail’s luggage policy, on the train to Machu Picchu each traveller can only bring one small backpack and one piece of hand luggage no bigger than 157 cm (62 inches) in length, weight and width and weighing less than 5 kg (11 pounds). The size is similar to the handbags we are allowed to bring on planes. So, travellers will need luggage that fits those parameters for the portion of the trip that goes to Machu Picchu.