All your questions answered
Helping you find the right holiday for you is important to us, so here's a few common questions about this trip to help. If there's anything you'd like to know that's not covered here, send us over a message or you can also give us a call on +44 1273 676 712 and we'd be only too pleased to help.
What flexibility will I get with any Covid-19 restrictions?
First thing to say is that throughout the pandemic we have frequently been praised by Which? as a tour operator to trust, so you're in good hands. Your safety is always our top priority and we want you to be able to fully look forward to and enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.
Even as restrictuons ease, our policy remains as it always has - we view quarantines as a travel restriction on a par with lockdown, in-country restrictions at your destination or FCDO advice against travel, and we will offer the same flexibility as in those situations; defer to new dates or a full refund at the point at which your trip is imminent. In these cases, we define imminent travel as a month prior to departure.
Read more: Covid-19 FAQs
What is the payment process and is my money completely safe?
We take a 15% deposit to secure your holiday, with the remainder due four weeks before your departure, rather than the usual eight weeks.
Your money is 100% protected through our ATOL licence if your trip includes a flight booked through us, or through our ABTOT bond if it does not. Either way, this protection provides a cast iron financial guarantee and helps you book with complete peace of mind. Because the contract between us exists here in the UK, you get this protection regardless of where you live
When is the best time to go?
Peru’s size and highly diverse geography result in very variable weather patterns, on a typical trip you can expect to come across a wide range of conditions, so it depends on which areas you will be visiting.
Generally, there is a dry season and a wet season. The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season which is between May and October. You can expect warm sunny days and clear skies with chilly nights in the Andes (Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu) as well as Lake Titicaca and Colca. The Amazon is less humid during these months. Arequipa has a pleasant, stable, year-round climate as does Trujillo on the Pacific coast – known as the City of Eternal Spring.
The wet season is between November and April, with the wettest months being January and February which are best avoided. We still recommend travel in November, December as well as late March to April as long as you are prepared for some rain. It is quieter, the scenery is greener, and international flights will cost less.
When is peak season?
June to September is the busier period but we always steer you away from crowds so the trip still works very well in this period.
How far ahead should I book?
This somewhat depends on when you want to travel and what you want to do. Permits are required for the Inca Trail and the One-Day Trail. These are limited and disappear fast once on sale - once gone, they are gone. We also work with small hotels and lodges and a small number of specialist guides. If you have specific dates, we advise you book 12 months ahead to secure your dates. The more flexibility you have, the better.
How much carbon is produced on this trip and how is it mitigated?
Total carbon generated on this trip: 3,581kg per person
Carbon mitigated by us: 5,730g per person
As Yvon Chouinard, of Patagonia, Inc. rightly declared: “To do good, you actually have to do something.”
Therefore, for every kilometre travelled by road, air and sea on your Pura Aventura holiday, we carbon balance it by a mile - i.e. by 160% of your trip's carbon, from your front door and back again, irrespective of whether we book your international travel or not.
This is one of the travel industry's most ambitious and innovative schemes and has recently been praised by Wanderlust, Condé Nast Traveller and The Independent.
How active is this trip?
Activities on this trip are not that demanding, but it's important we plan your holiday carefully so that you gradually acclimatise to the altitude in the Andes. In the Amazon, activities are mainly gentle and short wildlife walks in the forest or boat trips, the heat and humidity can make it a little more intense. Overall, the activity level will suit most travellers and can generally be tailored beforehand to suit you.
Will altitude be a problem?
We pace your time in the Andes to allow for acclimatisation and with your own private guide, the pace is entirely flexible to suit you. It is completely normal to feel a little short of breath and nauseous when you first arrive, as well as a loss of appetite, as your body adapts to the thinner air. This is regardless of age, health and fitness levels and usually passes in 24 hours. Drink lots of water both before and during your time at altitude. Arriving well-hydrated does help.
We use Sacred Valley as your first base, which is at 2,800 m and 600m lower than Cusco. This really does make a difference and makes your first few days that much easier. Arrival day and the first full day are both very gentle with the focus on local life and cultural interaction. We then pace the hikes building up to the one-day Inca trail on day four. Machu Picchu is at 2,430 so you shouldn’t feel any effects at all by the time you arrive.
How comfortable will I be?
Really quite comfortable.
Each hotel and lodge has been chosen for its sense of place, level of service, and warmth of its welcome. Some are a little more slick than others; the hotels in Cusco and Arequipa are veering towards the premium end. The hotel in Lima is a lovely boutique hotel. In Colca you have a lovely small lodge with its own hot springs, it's a 3-star but a 5-star location. Elsewhere things are simpler, most notably the Amazon but you can still expect to be very comfortable. Trujillo has far less visitors so there are far fewer hotels but we use one on the main square.
Will I meet the locals?
Absolutely, yes. We want you to leave Peru feeling like you know the country and more than anything, that means its people.
We take you off the beaten track where nothing is contrived. On your walks in the Andes you will meet locals usually on their way to the village to buy supplies. You’ll see that colourful woven fabrics really are worn by shepherds in the high mountains. You will meet landowners who lost all their land in the 1960s and had to start again. You will meet villagers who never had anything to lose. You will help out in the kitchen of a local family and eat dinner together.
What might I not have thought of?
The amazing dawn chorus 'alarm clock' in the Amazon. Waking up to the sounds of the jungle is often an unexpected highlight that you will recall long after you have left. The cacophony of sound is exhilarating and is a wonderful way to start the day. You are immersed in nature and the forest.
Can I make changes to this trip?
Absolutely. We can tailor your holiday in any number of ways, from extending your time in any destination, making it more or less active, or adding in another country such as Ecuador and Galápagos. Just drop us a line to start the conversation.
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