FAQ and Tips to Plan a Trip to Peru

1.- When is the best season to visit Peru?
Some people prefer to avoid the rainy season (Dec-Feb); but we believe that is the best time of the year because everything is green, the sky is bright and blue. The rain in the Andes is like a tropical rain. It rains hard for one hour or so and then stops. To avoid a rainy day in Machu Picchu, we suggest that you plan to stay one or two nights in Aguas Calientes, the town below the citadel. The reasons are many. One of them is that if it rains while touring Machu Picchu, you have time to return later on the day or the second day in Machu Picchu. More information is available in our document “Why Extra Nights in Machu Picchu”.
Whatever season you select you will have an unforgettable trip. Come to Peru and live your impossible dream™.

2.- Where should my journey start?
Your journey through the Peruvian Andes should start in the Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley is the perfect beginning to your journey through the Peruvian Andes, it is considered the best location to acclimatize gradually to the elevation of the Andes and prevent the discomfort of altitude sickness.

And also... you follow the sequence of history. On the sacred valley you visit important archaeological sites, continue to Machu Picchu which is the pinnacle of the Incas’ legacy, to finish in Cusco, the capital of the empire, home of the finest examples of Inca architecture, along with colonial buildings where many walls of Inca masonry have been incorporated into Spanish Colonial structures. Cuzco is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. This route is the proper way to discover the hidden secrets of the Incas.

More information is available in our document “Why Start in the Sacred Valley”

3.- Extra Nights in Machu Picchu?
Absolutely YES…

The excitement to see Machu Picchu is vibrant and catching. Travelers dream about it, read travel guides, shop for special gear, buy new hiking boots, travel across the world to get to Lima, continue on to Cusco, travel by train through snowcapped roaring Andean mountains and lush valleys and finally drive a zig-zag dirt road up the mountain to get to Machu Picchu… to see it for just a few hours? Stay extra nights. Read more...

4.- Which is the best Inca Trail Hike? (not available in February)
There are three Inca Trail Adventures. Option A: Full Day Ina Trail, Option B: Four Days Inca Trail and Option C: Four Days Inca Trail with an extra night in Machu Picchu (wrongly named 5 Days Inca Trail). The hike of options B and C are the same, Day 1 to Day 3 with full day hikes (5 to 7 hours hiking) and Day 4 the hike lasts from 2.5 to 3 hours.

Option B, the Four-Days Inca Trail is the most popular because it is offered at a lower price, but hikers have to return to Cusco in the afternoon of Day 4 and tour Machu Picchu a bit tired and a bit rushing.
Option C, the Four-Day Inca Trail with an extra night in Machu Picchu is our favorite choice. Hikers arrive in Machu Picchu the mid-morning of Day 4, and will have plenty of time for a good shower, pleasant lunch and tour the citadel when the crowds have returned to Cusco. Late afternoon you can visit the therapeutic natural thermal springs of Aguas Calientes where hikers can soak away the aches and pains of the hike.
Option A is for those short of time or new to hiking. This 9-miles hike (15 Km.) will give you the opportunity to hike along the snowcapped Andes overlooking the Urubamba Valley. Take the train to Km. 104 and you will hike at your own pace under the supervision of a private and experienced tour guide. You will be on the last leg of the 4-Day Inca Trail path, and enter the citadel by the legendary Sun Gate. This is a lifetime “Exceptional Experience”, you will be proud you made it. Overnight in Aguas Calientes is required. A wide range of choices from tourist class hotel to luxury properties are available.
Due to the overwhelming demand reservations must be made well in advance.

5.- Are there any alternatives to the Inca Trail Hike?
Absolutely YES. There are several alternatives to the Inca Trail and all are great and pass through outstanding landscapes. Here are the most popular:

  • Cultural and Panoramic Trek, campsites (4 Days / 3 Nights)
  • Salkantay to Machu Picchu, campsites (5 days / 4 Nights)
  • Lares Valley to Machu Picchu, campsite. (4 Day / 3 Nights)
  • Salkantay to Machu Picchu - Lodge-to-Lodge (7 Days / 6 Nights)
  • Lares Valley Adventure to Machu Picchu - Lodge-to-Lodge (5 Days / 4 Nights)
  • Lares Valley Adventure to Machu Picchu - Lodge-to-Lodge (7 Days / 6 Nights)

6.- Going to explore the Amazon near Iquitos?
Flight from Lima to Iquitos the night before, after touring Lima.
Keep in mind that “the more rested you are the more enjoyable your journey” Instead of waking up at very early hours of the morning to fly to Iquitos and then to embark on the Amazon River to your Amazon lodge; you can opt to fly to Iquitos the night before your Amazon journey begins, with plenty of time for touring Lima and have lunch by the seaside. To continue to Cusco, there is a midmorning flight from Iquitos to Cusco via Lima.

  • The advantages are:
  • Passengers do not need to wake up at early hours in the morning to take the flight to Iquitos.
  • By spending the night before in Iquitos, they will start their amazon adventure fully rested.
  • They will experience a night in a jungle city.
  • They will save money because the night in Iquitos is usually less expensive than a night in Lima.

7.- Going to Lake Titicaca… great!... it is an enrichment experience.
Prepare yourself; it is at 12,500 ft. of altitude. Leave Puno and Lake Titicaca after your visit to Cusco. Some travelers prefer to start in Lake Titicaca and leave Cusco and Machu Picchu for the grand finale. Play it safe and continue ascending through the Andes’ altitude gradually.

Lima (sea level)… Sacred Valley (9,150 ft.)… Machu Picchu (7,900 ft.)… Cusco… (11,150 ft.)… Puno-Lake Titicaca (12,500 ft.)

Ask you doctor if you can take Diamox (acetazolamide), it minimizes the risk of getting altitude sickness.

8.- Clothing and weather
Dress informal for destinations outside Lima. You will want to dress in layers for climatic changes from the high 60’s F at noon to low 50’s at nights. Polos and a warm jacket will do it. Please visit www.weather-and-climate.com The cosmopolitan city of Lima calls for a bit dressier clothing: Sport outfits for day wear, dresses and jackets for dinner in fine restaurants.

Please visit our “Useful Information” page in our site www.FiestaToursPeru.com

9.- Are the rates the same throughout the year?
Peru is in such a high demand that most hotel rates are the same throughout the year. A few of them will reduce their rate a couple of dollars for January to March. The discounts are not worth to be considered while deciding when to visit Machu Picchu.

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