What does a private tour mean?
A private tour means that it is fully private just for you/your group, this means that you will have your own transport, driver and guide (when applicable) for just you. There is no better way to experience Peru than with your personal driver and professional tour guide, giving you their undivided attention as you explore some of the many highlights that this diverse country has to offer. There are pros and cons to a private tour (touring at your own pace, no sharing services, personal guide, but less socializing and meeting new people). Of course, for elements such as the domestic flights, you will be sharing with other people.
What does our adventure trip mean?
It is an active itinerary which combines trekking and cultural activities, you'll trek through the Peru's most legendary mountain range, the Andes. An adventure trip also combines spectacular places, cultural interaction, and physical challenge: the perfect mix for an unforgettable adventure in Peru.
What is Included in the Price?
What is Not Included in the Price?
How is Chakana Adventures Travel able to offer such competitive prices?
We are small, privately owned and operated; being a small private company keeps our overhead and general operating costs extremely low. We spend your money providing an authentic experience, instead of on lavish hotels and expensive western-style meals. We pass these savings on to you. Another thing you’ll notice are the included activities. While we don’t include everything, we do incorporate in the major places of interest, the things that everyone goes to see. On every trip ‘quick itinerary’ we show you the ‘Included Highlights’ of your trip, things that many other companies may charge locally for. We leave many other activities as options, to provide you the freedom and flexibility to choose what you want to do on a daily basis.
Do you tours include international airfare?
Since travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours and as such it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. You can book flights to Peru through your preferred travel agent or on the Internet.
What trip arrangements do I need to make myself?
The only travel arrangements that passengers on our tours need to make are the international flights to their first destination and home after the tour ends. We make all other airline reservations and coordinate excursions, hotel arrangements and airport transfers.
What are the age restrictions on your tours?
Peru has no age limit, so Chakana Adventure Travel Peru invites travelers of all ages and in good health. For older travelers we stress that adventure travel is naturally more rigorous than conventional vacations and can be physically demanding. All travelers 70 years of age and over are required to provide a medical form signed by a physician. Children accompanied by parents or guardian are also welcome on any tour. If you have children under 14 years of age, consider booking as a family. We cannot accept bookings from unaccompanied minors.
How far in advance should I book?
Generally we say the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (4 months or more recommended) is especially important for travelers visiting during the height of the dry season, June to August, as many of these departures fill up months in advance. Also, the more time in advance you book your vacation, the better the price we can arrange for your domestic flights here within Peru. Travelers visiting outside of these busy months can often book a bit more last minute, although 2-3 months, notice is still recommended. Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available. We are often able to accommodate last minute travelers as well, so give us a call and we will do our best! For last minute bookings, it helps to be flexible and organized. Your first choice hotels or Amazon lodge may not be available for your selected dates, but your trip coordinator can probably recommend some other similar options that would be equally interesting!
Can I create my own Trip?
Yes, absolutely. All of our trips are highly customizable to suit your preferences and desires. However, you may also just let us know where you want to visit and for how long and we will create the perfect trip just for you!
What type of accommodation does Chakana Adventure Travel Peru?
We use exclusively bed & breakfast style locations or three, four and five star hotels. All of our Peru hotels have private baths, hot water and clean, comfortable rooms. For certain packages, homestays and camping are available as well.
In which destinations are homestays available?
We offer homestays in a variety of areas. Our most popular locations are in Cusco, Sacred Valley and Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca. The beauty of the homestay is that you have a chance to spend a day in the life of local people - experiencing their style of life as well as enjoying the food that they prepare.
What should I expect from a homestay?
Homestays offer a great experience to enjoy the daily life of the Andean people. All of the accommodations are very basic, but comfortable. Bedrooms will have single beds with many blankets and a shared bathroom and limited electricity – all adding to the romance of experience. While the accommodations are simple, the host families are happy to make you as comfortable as possible, serving you deliciously prepared food all while sharing their lives with you.
How do I check in to the hotel? Will you send me my vouchers for the hotel rooms?
All vouchers will be handled by your guide so you never have to worry about keeping up with the documents. We're there to make your vacation relaxing and worry-free. Once at the hotel, your reservation will be waiting for you and you will need only check-in. The receptionist will ask you for your passport in order to make a copy, which is a requirement by the Peruvian government.
Where are the hotels located?
All of our hotels are located in secure, easily accessible areas. You will find yourself within easy walking distance of main attractions as well as restaurants and shopping.
Will the hotel staff speak English?
Yes, most primary hotel staff (reception, restaurant, management) will speak English. And remember, your English speaking guide is always available to assist you.
Is the hotel safe?
We have carefully selected our hotels with a number of factors in mind, including your security. We have never had any incidents with our travelers. Regarding your personal items, we do still recommend that you utilize the hotel´s safe deposit box for storing any of your items of value.
What type of breakfast is served?
B&B and 3-star hotels typically offer a standard continental breakfast of breads, jam, juice, coffee, tea and fruit. Four and five star hotels will typically offer a buffet breakfast, including hot items such as eggs and breakfast meats.
Is there hot water at all of the hotels?
All hotels we provide will have hot water available. On occasion, for instance homestays and in the Amazon, hot water may not be available, but hygienic services will be adequate and clean.
Will I have a private bath?
For the exception of homestays, all of our hotels offer private baths.
Will I have a heater in my room?
Most of our hotels offer heat or portable heaters in all of the rooms.
Will I have air conditioning in my room?
While most B&B or 3-star hotels only offer fans for ventilation and cooling, all of our 4- and 5-star hotels have air conditioning units in each room.
Are the hotel rooms smoking or non-smoking?
All hotels with whom Chakana Adventure Travel works only offer non-smoking rooms.
What time is check-in/check-out?
Check-in and check-out times vary from location to location, but in general you will find these times as follows:
For other areas within Peru, times vary, and will be noted according to the individual property.
Where are the hotels in Machu Picchu?
Sanctuary Lodge is the one and only 5-star hotel located at the entrance of the ruins. All other hotels are located at the base in Aguas Calientes town.
Do we have chance to wash clothes at any of the hotels?
If the hotel itself does not provide a laundry service, you can usually find one near the hotel. Usually these outside services are quite affordable and require 24 hrs. for turn around.
Are there any departure taxes that I will have to pay?
All departure taxes are now included in the ticket price. There is no longer a need to pay separately.
How will I find my guide in the airport?
Your tour guide or a Chakana A. representative will be waiting for you with a name sign as you exit customs and will lead you to your transportation. Keep a look out for our logo and your name or group name.
What happens if my flight is delayed?
For your international flight, it is best to email or call us if you know of any delays. However, by using your flight number we can keep track of everything. Our team keeps track of airline changes for you so you can count on our representatives to be there at the correct time, even if your flight is delayed. If one of your domestic flights is delayed or cancelled, you are automatically on the next flight and we will coordinate everything from there. Our team also confirms your flights for you so you don't need to bother with the details. If there are any changes, you will be notified wherever you are by our representative in each destination.
How will I receive my tickets?
We arrange everything via e-tickets so there is maximum flexibility for you. We will have your boarding passes already printed off for you to make things as easy as possible. In certain instances, you will be able to check-in for your flight 24hrs ahead of time from the comfort of a computer.
Does Chakana Adventure Travel make international flight arrangements?
We are more than happy to assist you in finding the best flights; however, there are several outlets online, such as orbitz.com where you can find great deals.
Are domestic flights within Peru included in the cost of my package?
All domestic flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. All internal flight tickets are electronic so you will not receive any physical tickets. We will be able to provide you with your booking reference number and electronic ticket number. Yo u will only need to show your passport at the airline counter in order to check in.
What airline companies does Chakana Adventure Travel use and are they safe?
We select our airlines based on availability, pricing and schedule. We use all four domestic airlines with great frequency (LAN, TACA, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines). All are quality airlines that provide great services. Should you have a particular preference as to which airline we use, please feel free to make your request.
What are the limits for luggage on domestic flights?
On domestic flights within Peru, carry-on luggage is limited to 8kg/18lb and checked baggage is limited to 23kg/50lb.
What am I allowed to bring in my carry-on on domestic flights?
Generally, it is best to follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids and for everything else, you can find the best guidelines on what is permitted and prohibited, by visiting here. In general, flight restrictions in Peru are not as strict as in the USA. Whatever you can bring from the US, you will be able to carry on your flights within Peru.
Can I bring Coca leaves home with me?
The straight answer is no. Coca leaves are not permitted, nor is the mate de coca; however, some people have had success in taking the teabags home as long as it's only a small amount for personal use.
Are there any restrictions on what I can bring in or take out of Peru?
You may bring 2 liters of alcohol and 400 cigarettes into Peru duty free. Items for personal use including cameras, laptops, and travel gear can be brought in for personal use. It is illegal to take any pre-Columbian art out of Peru and it is usually illegal to enter into most countries with these artifacts. If you are going to buy reproductions, do so from a reputable dealer and obtain documentation from the National Institute of Culture Vendors to show to customs officials. In the jungle vendors also sell live exotic birds and animals. It is illegal to take these endangered species outside of the country. Bags of cocoa leaves are sold in Peru and are legal, but they are not legal in most other countries. Although it would be impossible to produce any significant amount of cocaine from one of these bags, it's not worth the risk in bringing them back home.
Are the tours designed to assist with altitude acclimatization?
Yes, absolutely. We design our tours so that you are able to acclimatize gradually. For all of our trips from Lima to Cusco, we will take you to the Sacred Valley first (Altitude: 2900m, 9500ft), then to Machu Picchu (Altitude: 2000m, 6500ft) and finally to Cusco (Altitude: 3400m, 11150ft), giving your body plenty of time to adjust gradually.
Can altitude sickness be avoided?
While altitude sickness affects everyone differently, the best way to try and prevent altitude sickness, or soroche, is by following the next steps:
We highly recommend drinking lots of coca tea. The consumption of coca tea, as well as chewing the leaves, increases the absorption of oxygen in the blood.
Is the water OK to drink in Peru?
Drinking only bottled water is a good idea. There are two types of water you can buy: sin gas meaning un-carbonated, "normal" water, and con gas which is carbonated. Make sure to eat in good restaurants and buy fruits from quality supermarkets. If you buy fruit from a street market, take extra care to wash it very thoroughly before eating it. Important note: Peruvian tap water is not potable. It is fine to use for teeth-brushing and cooking (provided it is boiled) but should not be ingested directly from the tap.
What type of food is typical of Peru?
Staple foods in the highlands include potatoes, quinoa, corn, rice, and meat dishes, often with a spicy sauce. In jungle areas, fresh fruits, fried plantains, and other vegetables are also common. Though vegetarians can be easily accommodated in all areas, options typically leave out the meat rather than adding vegetarian mainstays such as tofu, beans, or nuts. Vegetarian restaurants are easily found in the larger cities.
What food and drinks should be avoided to keep from getting sick?
To keep from getting gastrointestinal infections, we recommend you do not eat any raw foods, drink only bottled or boiled water and do not eat food from street vendors. Alternatively, you do not need to worry when eating in restaurants specially selected by Chakana Travel Peru. We use only restaurants of the highest quality for our clients.
What vaccinations are necessary?
Currently, the only required vaccination or medication is for Yellow Fever – and this is only required if planning on traveling to the Amazon area. There are not any other diseases in the areas where you will be visiting. This particular vaccine must be administered at least 10 days before your trip in order for it to be effective.
Is it difficult to bring prescription medications to Peru?
It is no problem to bring your prescription medicines with you as long as they are in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. As a precaution, you may also want to have an official note from your doctor. Be sure to bring enough with you for the entire trip as well. Be sure to follow security guidelines if the medicines are liquids. We also recommend that you bring some Immodium-AD, or other anti-diarrheal medication with you on the off chance that you experience any digestive discomfort.
What if I get sick in Peru?
Peru generally maintains good health care. Hospitals and clinics provide adequate services, especially in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and the other main cities. Doctors are also often available to make house calls when necessary.
Do you use your own guides and transport for the entire itinerary or do use other companies?
For fully private tours and for fully escorted packages we use our own drivers and guides for the entire trip. When the package includes a shared tour: As noted in your itinerary you do have some shared tours. Chakana Adventure Travel has carefully selected our travel partners and representatives who can confidently tell you that they share our high level of service and comfort.
Do your guides all speak English?
Yes. We have all professional, expert English-speaking guides. We can also arrange guides who speak German, French, Italian and Japanese.
How much should I tip the guide?
Tipping is obviously a personal preference, but we recommend the basic guideline of: Tour Guide $ 5-10 USD per person per day. Drivers - $ 4-8 USD per person per day. (Based on a 2 people group)
Will our guide be with us the whole time?
If you have booked a private tour, then yes, your guide will be available to you 24hrs a day, through the length of your trip. Should you have some shared portions to your itinerary, you will have guides with you at all locations, but may be on your own during the transportation portions of your trip. We are confident you will always feel cared for and aware of all details of your vacation.
Is malaria a serious issue in the Amazon?
While malaria is present in the Amazon, it is not a serious problem for travelers. Cases of malaria are well confined outside of the tourist areas, so there is no need to worry about any risks.
How much luggage is allowed on the Amazon tours?
All packages allow 10kg of luggage per person, but not to worry, you can take your entire luggage with you. Upon arrival into the jungle, a representative from the lodge will take your extra luggage and securely store it in their main facility. You will want to have your separate pack of 10 kilos with you for the nights you will spend in their lodge. On your final day you will go back to their office to collect your luggage and take your flight.
What kinds of things should I pack for the Amazon?
Here is a packing list that we recommend for your Amazon jungle vacation:
Is there electricity in the lodges?
Many of the lodges have electricity, but oftentimes it is limited to the evening during dinnertime. At night, candles or lanterns are used in the rooms and hallways. This creates a beautiful ambiance while conserving energy.
Is there hot water in the lodges?
While only Inka Terra provides hot water, after spending a day in the hot and humid jungle, a cool shower is usually a welcome moment.
Regarding the day of relaxation in the rainforest, is it possible to wander around on one's own or are we confined to the hotel property?
You will be able to go around and near the hotel, but we do not recommend you going any further because you can easily get lost. There are many trails and they all look the same, so it is always better to be with someone from the area. The guides are always available and they are happy to accompany you to wander around for few minutes or hours.
What sort of luggage is best for the trip?
Whatever you are most comfortable with. Most people do bring big rucksacks, or if they are travelling light, they have a small, hard suitcase and a small rucksack. Should you be travelling where luggage is limited, e.g. the Amazon or Machu Picchu, you will be able to leave your larger luggage in a secure location at your hotel and you will want to have a backpack or similar for the shorter overnight journeys. It is now easy to find duffle bags with wheels which are a great mix of the ease of a suitcase and the flexibility of a soft bag. You should also bring a small backpack or a satchel/courier bag with you for excursions during the day.
What happens to the luggage as we move from place to place?
Your luggage will stay most of the time at your hotel, while your day pack can stay in the van. Our drivers are always there taking care of your belongings and we have never had any incidents. So, not to worry, you are in good hands.
Are there limits on luggage for the train to Machu Picchu?
All passengers travelling on the train to Machu Picchu only have a limit of 7kgs (15.5 lbs), so please leave any unnecessary items in your hotel as your driver will be sure to transport your luggage to your hotel in Cusco where it will be waiting for you upon your return.
What are the limits for luggage on domestic flights?
On domestic flights within Peru, carry-on luggage is limited to 8kg/18lb and checked baggage is limited to 23kg/50lb.
Is crime as bad as I’m led to believe?
No. Peru has unjustly been designated a dangerous country. Like anywhere in the world, pickpockets and non-violent crime are present in big cities but are not devastatingly present. Unfortunately, the negative news tends to spread fast, but fortunately from our experience, thousands of prudent visitors come to Peru annually and encounter no problems. Common sense is the best defense and your tour host will reinforce areas recommended not to visit. The country is now working hard to build a stable democracy. All travelers have to do is to take the same normal precautions as when traveling to any tourist destination.
Is Peru safe to visit?
Yes. At present Peru is safe a very safe destination. The political situation is as stable as ever and tourism has become a major component in Peru’s economy.
In the cities we recommend:
Taking a Taxi
When taking a taxi in Peru, make sure you deal a good price before starting the service as the taxis here do not have meters. Taxi services are very cheap and not regulated. We suggest you negotiate the rate before you enter the taxi. Another point is to make sure the taxi is an official one before getting in. When you are in Lima or Cusco, ensure that you take a secure taxi, especially at night by either asking your hotel or restaurant to call you one. Taxi costs in Lima vary from 5 to 50 soles depending on the distance. A taxi from Miraflores to the City Centre should cost around 15 soles. The price of a taxi in Cusco, Arequipa and Puno ranges from 3 to 5 soles.
In terms of safety, especially for children, is there anything we should be concerned about, be prepared for, etc.?
Watch what your children eat and drink because they are generally more prone to food sickness. You can rest assured that the food in good hotels and reputable restaurants is safe. For children with asthma, it would be best to consult your doctor before traveling, especially if you are visiting a city at high altitude such as Cusco or Puno.