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Includes info on all of our trips and a tour itinerary booklet.

FAQ

Answers to commonly asked questions

We know planning an adventure vacation is no small decision, so we’re here to make the process as easy as possible for you. We've been doing this for quite a while, so we’ve got the answers to everything you need to know! Just click on the specific question you'd like to have answered below, chat to us online, or call us on the number that suits you:

1 800 661 9073 [USA and Canada]
1 800 661 907 [Australia]
0808 234 7780 [UK]
0800 234 726 [New Zealand]
0064 3 450 0414 
[from anywhere else in the world]

We'd love to hear from you!

How to book

Whenever you’re ready, it’s easy to book your Active Adventure. When you’ve done your research, driven yourself crazy with the choices and made your final decision, you can fill in the Book A Trip form, give us a call or have us call you.

Here’s how it works:

1. Hold your place

The fastest way to reserve your trip is to give the experts a call. Or, fill out the Call Me Back form and we’ll call you back..

Alternatively, fill out the Booking Request form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. To secure your place you’ll need a $500 per person deposit (the remainder of the balance is due 60 days before your trip start date), payable by credit card, cheque or wire transfer, whichever works best for you. Once you’re all signed up, you’ll receive a confirmation email giving you access via a login on our Active Adventures Club page where you can access your booking pages and fill in your trip details online.

2. Check your international flight options

Your booking pages and trip notes will outline where you need to be and when to start your trip, so you can move forward with booking your flights. If you’re lucky enough to have time, it’s nice to arrive a few days early to settle into the new place and get used to your surroundings. If you’re on a tight schedule it’s no worries, the trip start time will be outlined in your trip information.

We recommend using a variety of methods to search for suitable flights from your own research online (e.g. Skyscanner.net), to contacting a travel agent, to see who comes up with the best fares.

3. Complete your booking pages online

By logging into your online booking information via our club page you’ll gain access to your trip notes, destination information, a detailed gear list and all the information you need for your trip. There are a few things to fill in – medical and dietary information, extra accommodation requests, gear hire requests etc. – to ensure you are well prepared for your adventure vacation.

4. You're all set

You can now start packing your bags and crossing the dates off your calendar. We look forward to seeing you soon!

What's included?

Accommodation

On your South America trip you'll stay in a variety of places depending on the destination and activities. In Peru you'll stay in nice hotels, tents while you're hiking (complete with porters to put them up for you, cook your meals and generally make sure it's the best camping experience ever!), jungle lodges and local homes on Amantani Island (a truly once in a lifetime experience). 

Transport

Your transport will be a mixture of bus, plane, boat, bike and your very own two feet on our trips in South America. In Peru you'll travel by boat in the Amazon to get to your lodge. We also have domestic flights included in our Peru trips to shorten our travel times and to ensure you have the bet experience possible. All your transport is included from the start of your trip and we'll drop you a the airport at the end. The details are all listed in the trip specific itineraries.

Meals

All your meals are included as described in the itinerary except on your free days. We have found that people enjoy checking out what is on offer by themselves sometimes, so you can go and see what's out there! On every other day and especially after any long hikes, we've chosen places to eat that can cater for our hearty appetites, work well with our small groups (they know we are coming) and provide us with an authentic destination specific culinary experience. There are always options for you, so you can either be brave or choose something more familiar. On the hiking portion of our trips (such as on the Inca Trails) we work with an outstanding team of cooks who will amaze you with what they can produce on a campsite miles from the nearest town. You can be assured that on all our trips we will make sure you are very well fed.

Trip leaders

Our trips are all led by an experienced Trip Leader. Our Trip Leaders are very proud to work with Active Adventures and often lead our trips for many years, for which we are very lucky and very grateful as it means we're able to consistently offer a fantastic level of service. They work closely with our local specialist guides to provide you with a seamless, fun, exciting and memorable trip. They will happily share with you as much or as little as you want to know about the history, culture, social aspects and lifestyle of the country you are visiting.

What books could I read to learn more about Peru, the Incas and archaeology?

We recommend researching as much as possible before you go so that you can have the best possible experience. Reading any Peruvian travel guide will give you a good insight into the history, culture and people of the place you are about to visit. There is plenty to read online too. If you would like to study more in depth then we recommend the following:

  • Lost City of the Incas, Hiram Bingham - A first-rate tale of adventure by the man who rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911. This classic account is a gripping story of exploration, archaeology and natural history -- and still an outstanding overview of the site itself. With original expedition photographs. Originally published in 1952, the book is still an excellent account, not only of the expedition but also of the site itself.
  • Conquest of the Incas, John Hemming - This classic masterful prize-winning history of the Inca struggle against the Spanish invasion brings together wide-ranging scholarly material in the interests of telling a good story.
  • History of the Inca Realm, Maria Rostworowski De Diez Canseco - This scholarly history boasts the most thorough treatment of the pre-Hispanic Incas available in English.
  • The Last Days of the Incas, Kim MacQuarrie - MacQuarrie tackles the personality, aspirations and greed of Francisco Pizarro in this vivid account of the conquest of a continent.
  • Art of the Andes, from Chavin to Inca, Rebecca Stone-Miller - This authoritative and concise illustrated survey of Andean art and architecture covers not only Machu Picchu and additional Inca monuments, but also Chan Chan, Nasca and other archaeological sites and cultures.
  • Fortifications of the Incas, H. W. Kaufmann, J.E. Kaufmann, Adam Hook - With color photographs and reconstructions, site diagrams and 17th-century engravings, this slim guide introduces building techniques and major Inca sites from Cusco and the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu and Vilcabamba.
  • Machu Picchu, Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas, Richard L. Burger, Lucy C. Salazar - Burger and Salazar, both archaeologists at Yale, vividly evoke the art, architecture, culture and society of Machu Picchu in this illustrated, up-to-date survey. With illustrations of 120 gold, silver, ceramic, bone and textile artifacts, Hiram Bingham's original report of the "Discovery of Machu Picchu," published in Harper's Monthly, dozens of archival photographs, and excellent chapters on recent archaeological investigations and insights into life at Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui's royal estate.
  • The Incas and their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru, Michael Moseley - An outstanding illustrated survey of the archaeology of the Inca, Moche and Nasca civilizations. With hundreds of color illustrations and line drawings, it's an in-depth look at the ancient cultures and history of Peru. A great general introduction.

Do I need travel insurance?

As an Active Adventures South America traveller, you're required to have full travel insurance for your trip. We recommend a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes medical cover, emergency repatriation, trip cancellation and other travel mishaps (e.g. flight cancellations or delays, trip interruption, theft or loss of luggage and personal effects).

Some insurance companies require insurance to be purchased within 15 days of deposit payment. Travel insurance can be obtained through local travel agents, some credit card providers or online brokers such as www.worldnomads.com or www.travelguard.com. These and other insurance policy packages can be compared at www.insuremytrip.com. We recommend keeping all travel papers (invoices, receipts, police reports etc.) when you travel in case you need them later to support a claim.

What will I eat in Peru?

The food in Peru is wonderful – you’ll eat a mixture of fish, meat, potatoes, vegetables and breads – all beautifully cooked and presented throughout your trip. You’ll eat at a mixture of restaurants, campsites (you’ll be amazed at what our porters can produce from the camp kitchen), lodges and at a local home on Amantani Island. We consider food to be an important part of not only every day life, but of the whole travel experience, so we’ll make sure you have the choice to play it as safe or be a bit more adventurous (Guinea pig anyone?) as you wish!

What is the weather like in Peru?

The weather in Peru is good year round, so there’s lots of flexibility when it comes to a time to visit. Most people visit during the dry season that runs from May through September, when the days tend to be sunny and warm, so it’s a great time for trekking and touring. It can be cool in the evenings, so it’s a good idea to have some evening layers to snuggle up in. That said, the shoulder seasons in March and April, and in October to December, can be really good too – there are far fewer people around, and if you don’t mind the odd shower and a bit of mud on the trails you’ll get a completely different experience. It’s best to avoid February as the trails are closed for a month for their much needed rest and maintenance, before they reopen in March.

What vaccinations do I need for Peru?

For travel to Peru we recommend getting vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid and Yellow Fever. We also recommend getting vaccinated for Chicken Pox and Measles if you've never caught them before. Malaria medication is not necessary as it isn't present in the areas we visit. This list is an indication and recommendation only - for specific, up-to-date information please consult your local doctor or travel clinic. You’ll need to organise your inoculations around 2-3 months before your trip, as some vaccines require multiple visits/injections to obtain full coverage. Be sure to ask your doctor for proof of vaccinations (often a little yellow book) to always keep with your passport - as some countries require proof upon entry.

What if I get sick?

The two most common reasons for sickness on our trips is the change in food (even the different minerals in the water can upset some stomachs) and the altitude gained on the Inca Trail hike. We treat all health concerns very seriously and offer you advice and assistance to take good care of yourself. We recommend carrying hand cleanser (the small alcohol based bottles are perfect) and using it often, not eating anything with your hands, drinking only treated or bottled water (treated is better as we prefer not to consume plastic bottles) and avoiding ice and cold salads. When it comes to the altitude we take care to ensure everyone hikes slowly, takes plenty of rest and is allowed to acclimatize slowly. We have never had any serious altitude issues and we monitor everyone very closely. We recommend bringing a comprehensive first aid kit with treatment for travellers diarrhea, pain relief and antihistamines.

Do I need hiking boots for the Inca Trail?

While the Inca Trail is reasonably well maintained, there are lots and lots of steps - all hand-made and not entirely even! - so I'd say it depends on how good your ankles are. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with such terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support. We always recommend hiking boots as they are so much better for your feet, but it’s up to you.

Will I need a porter on the trail?

Our porters will carry up to 8kg (17 pounds) of your gear included in your trip fare. They will also carry your group gear, like your tents and food, and this is included in your total amount of your trip.

At the beginning of the Inca trail you'll pass through the official start gate where your tickets will be checked against your passports (your guide will take care of this for you) to allow you to access the trail. Going through a different gate, all the porters will weigh in with their luggage, which ensures that the agreed weights are adhered to.

What is the difference between the Inca and Lares Trail?

There are two hikes to choose from on our Jaguar trip in Peru. There’s the Classic Inca Trail or the Lares Inca Trail, each with unique features and both absolutely incredible! The Classic Inca Trail is a four day hike, which finishes at Machu Picchu on the fourth morning. The last morning is a real highlight - you'll leave your camp at first light and hike for about an hour to the 'sun gate' (or 'inti punku' as it was called by the Incas) to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu. It's absolutely spectacular and a fantastic way to wrap up the hike - the moment when you first get to see it can be quite overwhelming!

The other option is the Lares Inca Trail, an amazing Inca track which will provide you with an incredible cultural experience as you make your way to Machu Picchu - you'll pass through a number of native highland villages that have very little contact with the outside world, so it’s always a fantastic experience for everyone involved. You'll find far fewer people on this track than on the Classic Route and we quite often have it virtually to ourselves. There are no crowded campsites or queues of people heading up the path, and you can almost feel the presence of the Incas as you make your way along their mountain trails. If you’d like to discuss the options please get in touch.

"We had no idea that the Lares Trail wouldn't have many more people on it... We were completely thrilled that we had chosen this trail based on the information that we'd see more of the local way of life, etc. The amazing icing on the cake was that we were all by ourselves on that trail. That made our trip very, very special. The solitude might be worth mentioning in the literature. It would have helped me know for sure that this was the trail I wanted to take." Sandra Fields (Portales, New Mexico, United States)

How fit do I need to be to hike the Inca or Lares Trail?

As long as you enjoy hiking, you'll love the Inca hikes - you'll be hiking about eight miles a day, but there's no rush, you can take it at your own pace. In fact, the slower the better I say, as that way you get plenty of time not only to enjoy your surroundings, but let your body acclimatise to the altitude as well. You'll be hiking through vast expanses of farmland with enormous cactuses springing up alongside the trail, passing Inca ruins that lie quietly on the hillsides surrounded by an air of mystery, through lush, cloudy jungle where hummingbirds flutter around your head and finally you’ll arrive at Machu Picchu lying before you in the shape of a Condor in the mountains. We recommend doing plenty of practice before you arrive, as the fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy your experience. That said our trips are designed for regular active people, so you don’t need to be a triathlete or anything - though if you are you won’t be bored!

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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