Our Frequently Asked Questions section are intended to help you to decide which destinations are right for you. Here our Peru expert Sarah Frankish answers the questions that our customers often ask when planning a trip to Peru.
Why travel to Peru?
For me it's the quintessential South America country with everything you imagine when you think about this part of the world - ancient civilisations, traditional cultures, colourful markets, the magnificent Andean mountains, volcanoes and canyons, iconic Lake Titicaca with its traditional floating island communities, and the mighty Amazon Rainforest.
If there was one thing I shouldn’t miss, what would you recommend?
It would be hard to travel to Peru and not visit Macchu Picchu. I personally love the experience of trekking to the citadel (classic Inca Trail). Excitement builds as you make your way along the same pathways as the Incas once did and it feels such an achievement when you arrive.
What is the local cuisine like?
Peruvian food is amazing! Everywhere you go you'll find excellent restaurants offering delicious dishes. Novoandino food is a fusion that mixes Peruvian produce with a more international style of cooking. While in Peru you must try some of the local foods like the Lomo Saltado, Ceviche, and Cuy (guinea pig) and of course you have to try the Pisco Sour!
I speak no Spanish, how easy is it to get by with just English?
Many people in Peru speak English, so there shouldn't be a language barrier. Obviously it would be good if you can try to learn some basic words as it always gets things off on a good footing:
Can I drink the tap water?
I wouldn't advise drinking the tap water. Make sure all water has been boiled before you drink it or you can treat it with iodine or a water purification tablets - add a vitamin c tablet to hide the taste. Check that all bottled water is sealed when you receive it.
What is the best way to contribute to the local economy or charitable organisations?
Buy local handcrafts as gifts for people back home. Avoid giving sweets to children as there is very little in the way of dental facilities. We support the LATA Foundation which is involved in charitable projects throughout the region and currently are running a reforestation project in Peru. Ask us for details.
Is Peru safe?
Travelling in Peru is safe and easy. Always take the advice of your guide however as they know the local areas the best.
How can I manage altitude sickness?
We always recommend travelling in lower areas first to acclimatise, such as Arequipa or Sacred Valley before going to higher elevations like Cusco or Puno city. The experience varies from person to person with some people noticing very little effect. Coca tea leaf is recommended while in high areas and many hotels serve it. In case of continued altitude sickness, seek medical help, as you can receive oxygen which helps or if severe, you'll be transferred to a lower elevation. We wouldn't recommend travelling to high elevations if you have a heart condition, but always check with your doctor.
Can I walk to Machu Picchu?
Yes you can... there are a number of ways to reach Machu Picchu on foot - you can do the Classic Inca Trail (4 days/3 nights) which it starts from the 82 km or the small Inca trail 2 days/1 night from the 104 km. If you are in Aguas Calientes you can walk up through the mountains from town to the ruins (1 hour).
How fit do I have to be to walk up the Inca Trail?
You don't have to be super fit, more an active person who enjoys long walks and maybe jogs a bit.
Do you organise trips to the more out of the way attractions like the Nazca Lines?
Yes, we do. We can offer a complete package to see the Nazca Lines, including a flight over them. Transfer is either a private car or by bus. We can also arrange trips to the lesser visited, remoter North Peru to see the pre-Columbian ruins, temples and colonial cities.
Do I need to get any vaccinations ahead of travel and/or malaria tablets?
We always recommend visiting your doctor at least six weeks before you travel and it’s always safest to ensure your standard vaccinations such as tetanus are up to date. You will only need a yellow fever vaccination if you travel to the jungle but you may also need to carry a yellow fever vaccination certificate in some other circumstances. Your doctor will have the most up to date information.
How do we travel around the country?
Peru has a reasonably good transport infrastructure and depending on where you want to go and the type of holiday you want, we can arrange travel by plane, bus, boat, train.