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Peru Hiking Trips & Adventures

Peru Adventure Tour

Explore the Amazon jungle, hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and more on our Peru Hiking Trips & Adventures

These Peru tours have it all: from the flourishing depths of the Amazon rainforest to ancient ruins sitting atop mountain passes. Crafted with the adventurer in mind, you'll explore Peru's vast lakes, mountains and jungle. Hike to Machu Picchu via the Classic Inca or Lares Trail on our Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure.  Explore Cuzco and its most renowned ruins, such as the Sacsayhuamán fortress and the Pisac ruins. There's no better way to experience this timeless country than on a Peru adventure and hiking tour.

Our Peru Tours and Trips

Central & South America

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure


Operated by our sister brand Active Adventures


  • Duration 10 days
  • Activity Level Level 4 
    • Activity Level 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.

    Read more about the Active Range

Feast your eyes on magnificent landscapes, ancient ruins, and dense jungles. Hike in the footsteps of the Incas to Machu Picchu via the Classic Inca or Lares Trail, cycle through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and wander the Amazon jungle.

Trip Start: Cuzco Trip End: Cuzco

Central & South America

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure


Operated by our sister brand Active Adventures


  • Duration 13 days
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Step It Up

      I love an active vacation. Engaging in a challenging activity with a difficult goal, such as reaching a summit, is exactly what I need to unwind in the evenings.

    Read more about the Active Range

This South America bucket-list adventure features biking, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and cultural exploration. Discover Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu and the dynamic wildlife and landscapes of the Galapagos Islands.

Trip Start: Cuzco Trip End: Quito

Central & South America

Classic Machu Picchu Adventure


Operated by our sister brand Active Adventures

  • Duration 6 days
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Step It Up

      I love an active vacation. Engaging in a challenging activity with a difficult goal, such as reaching a summit, is exactly what I need to unwind in the evenings.

    Read more about the Active Range

Starting in Cuzco, you'll cycle into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, hike the Huchuy Qosqo Trail, visit Pisac market, and spend a full morning exploring the famous citadel of Machu Picchu, including a chance to hike to the Sun Gate.

Trip Start: Cusco Trip End: Cusco

What Our Guests Say

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Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - November 2022

Deborah Lee

"My trip, Machu Picchu and Amazon was "beyond wonderful." Was first trip with AA, and… read more

"My trip, Machu Picchu and Amazon was "beyond wonderful." Was first trip with AA, and will not be the last. From start to finish GustavoM took excellent care of us, always keeping us updated and informed of what will be taking place. He took each and every one of us under his arm, watching and asking about where we were in the moment. His keen sense of humor added to his jovial personality and I felt like "family." Active Adventures immersed us in the Cusco and Andean culture and I fell in Love with the Peruvian people, their intense work ethic, their strong faith, the love of their Peru, and the stronghold of their communities. Machu Picchu was far beyond my expectations and is truly difficult to capture the awe, wonder and spirit of this sacred place. Wilson, our guide, poured his heart and soul into our tour and the spirit and legacy of the ancient Incas was experienced with a sensation of vitality and presence. And just as awe inspiring as Machu Picchu, the hike on the Lares trek held more wonder and beauty than I expected. I am 67 and the hike was a challenge for me but with perseverance and encouraging words from Gustavo and the group, I did amazingly well. Our porters had our campsite ready and the food was outstanding (and for me too much) both on and off the trail. And the hot packs given to keep us snuggly and warm did just that on the cool nights.
The Amazon trek was filled with animals, birds in their natural habitat and our guide was filled with such knowledge about each and every one. The boat ride was both relaxing to the body and the eyes, especially the early morning cruise to view the hundreds of Macaws and Parrots that were so very plentiful and so colorful.
My travel partner, Moriah, and I pretty much had the perfect experience. Weather was perfect, our lodging always updated (even the camping tents and "banos") the hotel rooms so very clean, updated with hot showers. The food was exceptional, and the company and our guides, GustavoM and Salvador, the greatest!!
There is a spirit and vitality in this part of Peru that I carried back home with me. I hope to always carry this in my heart and soul and Active Adventures made this all possible!!! read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Lee, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - November 2022

Amazing adventure in Peru!

"This trip was beyond anything I could have imagined. Our guides, Gustavo and Salvador, were… read more

"This trip was beyond anything I could have imagined. Our guides, Gustavo and Salvador, were amazing. They are native to Peru, so they knew a lot about all the places we visited. The food was excellent, even on the trail. The chefs and porters worked very hard to make us comfortable while backpacking. It is a very active trip, so make sure you are in good shape before signing up. I can't wait for my next adventure with Active! read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Moriah, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - October 2022


"A Trip of a lifetime!!! Thank you, Zak
Your… read more

"A Trip of a lifetime!!! Thank you, Zak
Your years of experience and love of Peru truly made my adventure experience better than I had dreamed
Your timing for our hikes avoided other larger hiking groups, yet we met wonderful local people.
Very emotional to reach the top of dead womans pass... I can do this.... only because the pre training, family support, and
encouragement from you Zak I did my part but you helped me "Kiss the sky"

I loved our special morning before heading to Machu Pichu, my sunrise Yoga experience at Winaywayna allowed me to soak in the Peace of completing this physical adventure with family
Big thanks to William and our Amazon trip, Your knowledge on birds was amazing

Thank you again for helping me achieve a dream
18 month post surgery Lung cancer survivor YES I CAN!!!

Loved our Adventure Team ! Thank you for the detailed extras- warm meals (diet restrictions honored)
comfy sleeping arrangements (warm hot water bottles to sleep with),
strong friendly porters, and rocket man (you made life easier) read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Andrea, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - October 2022

Great Peruvian Adventure Trip

"This was our first trip with Active Adventures, and our family of four agree it… read more

"This was our first trip with Active Adventures, and our family of four agree it was one big adventure! Reaching the top of Dead's Woman's Pass during day 2 on the Inca Trail was a very strenuous and emotional event and would not have happened without the support and advice of the entire Active Adventures team: personalized fitness plans (we trained over four months); acclimating to the high elevation (we listened and arrived in the Sacred Valley four days before our official start just to acclimate (and took our time taking in the town, Inca sites, sampling Peruvian food and culture; and following the advice of our wonderful guide, Zacarias by hiking at a slow steady pace. Zac was not only attuned to our group needs, but he went out of his way so each individual had a unique experience (bird watching, photo opportunities, Inca site explanations, meeting local people, helping with spanish translations, knowledge of the jungle, etc. He seemed to know everyone on the trail, and everyone in Cusco. Truly amazing intuitive guide. We were very fortunate to have him.
After seeing all the different tour groups at the various campsites, we began to appreciate Active Adventures even more - ie: very few groups (if any) had their own 'rocket' tent with portable toilet in their campground.
The food was amazing both in Cusco, in the Sacred Valley, on the Inca Trail (they even baked a cake!), and in the Jungle lodge. My wife and daughter had special dietary needs and Zac coordinated with all the cooks to make sure the food was properly prepared.
We were not sure the jungle portion of our trip would be as exciting as the Inca Trail - but we all learned so much and now very grateful for this portion.
No real 'negatives' nor would I suggest anything different. However, We were very tired after hiking Inca Trail and exploring Machu Picchu and didn't get back to the hotel until after 8pm. Could have used more 'down time' before leaving for the jungle the very next morning. Then when returning from jungle, it was raining in Cusco and flight was diverted to Lima until rain stopped and we could return to Cusco. (ugh - extra 5-6 hours on the plane), but it was all part of the adventure :)
Overall, a very gratifying exciting adventure. Thanks so much. Looking forward to another trip.
read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Bob, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - October 2022

A Journey of the Spirit

"I recently returned home from the Jaguar Trip in Peru and am now processing this… read more

"I recently returned home from the Jaguar Trip in Peru and am now processing this remarkable experience. My most significant memory/reflection is how very special the guides and helpers were. I especially need to highlight Wilson Escalante who continually went above and beyond to provide me a unique and memorable experience. He genuinely cared about me personally... not only around the quality of the experience but also about my health since I was having some issues with altitude. He provided not only the usual explanations of the various sites we visited but went deeper into the spiritual understanding. Being a native Quechuan speaker, he was able to open the hearts of the various Andean villagers we met along the Lares Trail. I felt like I leave with an intimate connection with the village people but also with the ancient Incas. The days in the Amazon were also special. Pepe's knowledge of the flora and fauna is encyclopedic! But more than that, one can sense his love of the jungle as well as his desire to convey this love and understanding with the rest of us. This is likely my last "adventure" vacation. Truly it was a fitting climax to the 5 trips I have had with Active Adventures. read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Peter, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - October 2022

Epic adventures in Peru: Machu Picchu and the Amazon rainforest

"Fantastic adventures in Peru from cycling the Sacred Valley, to hiking the Inca Trail to… read more

"Fantastic adventures in Peru from cycling the Sacred Valley, to hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to exploring the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest. Exceptional guiding and support staff (with special thanks to Wilson and Salvadore!!!), outstanding meals - even, or maybe especially at camp (thanks, Donato!!!). The Active Adventures team was always on the lookout for ways to make this trip memorable. I could not more highly recommend. Make sure you train as the hike is challenging due to the high altitudes. read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Kit, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - October 2022

This trip exceeded my expectations!

"The guides were not only extremely knowledgeable, but also very attuned to the group’s needs… read more

"The guides were not only extremely knowledgeable, but also very attuned to the group’s needs and adapted as necessary. The challenges were in the sweet spot of perfect proportion to leaving you feeling accomplished and wanting more. Logistics went smoothly, and porters and meals were awesome! read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Terry, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - September 2022

Jaguar Trip- Peru

"This was our 4th trip with Active Adventures and we continue to be impressed with… read more

"This was our 4th trip with Active Adventures and we continue to be impressed with the service level, great food, excellent lodging, beautiful scenery, and of course, knowledgable and caring guides. The Inca Classic track is not easy given the altitude, but we all made it! read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Inna, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - September 2022


"Our Jaguar trip was beyond what we ever imagined it would be! The level of… read more

"Our Jaguar trip was beyond what we ever imagined it would be! The level of service from start to finish was incredibly professional and smooth, making us feel safe and secure that every detail was taken care of. The food was beyond what we ever imagined it would be. Our guide Gustavo took us to some incredible restaurants around Cusco and we ate like royalty while on the trail ensuring we were fuelled for the hiking ahead (thanks Donato!). Our guide on the trail, Zac, had a fantastic approach to each day’s hike. He ensured we paced ourselves throughout the day while still allowing plenty of time to take in all the incredible sights along the way. Through this, we realised that the trek was so much more than just the final destination, with so many other Inca sites, birds and mountains to wow us as much if not more than Machu Picchu itself. read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Michelle, Australia

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure - August 2022

Incredible trip of a lifetime!

"A trip where you fly-take trains- ride bikes- take boats- kayak- snorkel with Hammerhead sharks-… read more

"A trip where you fly-take trains- ride bikes- take boats- kayak- snorkel with Hammerhead sharks- hike- travel to places you never imagined you would see. To go to Manchu Picchu with Wilson,our guide was an amazing experience. He helped us touch the culture and appreciate all that it meant then and now. Pepo in the Galapagos did the same with the sea lions. Iguanas, fish and sharks..This was one of the best put together trips I have ever taken and we will travel with Active again!! read less

5 Stars (60 reviews)

Anna, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - August 2022


"It was such an organized and well set trip that i was sad to be… read more

"It was such an organized and well set trip that i was sad to be over. Jessica is so sweet ,responsible and considered person .she looks after everyone. AMAZING Time!! read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Nahid, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - July 2022

A Wonderful Trip

"This was a wonderful trip, for us. Most importantly, the Active Adventures guide who… read more

"This was a wonderful trip, for us. Most importantly, the Active Adventures guide who was with us start to finish was wonderful. In particular, he was knowledgeable about everything we were seeing (and many things we would not have seen without him) and also about how make the trip enjoyable for those of us who had come from sea level and, five days later, hiked up 4000 feet to the Dead Women's Pass, at 13,828 feet, and then down 2000 feet to our camp for that evening. read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Martin, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - July 2022

Great trip

"I did not pay enough for this trip! The value in terms of the quality… read more

"I did not pay enough for this trip! The value in terms of the quality of service was amazing. Our guides, the porters, the hotel/resort, the food, the experience was incredible. Even though there were only three of us on this trip, Active Adventures did not cut corners! I felt like royalty!!! read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Katrina, United States

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure - May 2022

Amazing Iguana Trip

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and it did not disappoint! Peru is a… read more

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and it did not disappoint! Peru is a beautiful country and I loved everything about it. Our guide, Wilson, was very knowledgeable and did a wonderful job providing a good cultural experience. The hikes were perfect and provided a great way to see the countryside. The food throughout Peru was simply amazing. Exploring Machu Picchu was also a highlight. Our time in the Galapagos was unforgettable. Pepo, our guide, was fantastic. He’s from San Cristobal and was able to share his love for the islands which made for a rich experience. We snorkeled, hiked, kayaked & biked so it was my perfect kind of vacation! Thanks to Wilson & Pepo for giving us such a wonderful experience in Peru & the Galapagos! read less

5 Stars (60 reviews)

Beth, United States

Machu Picchu & Amazon Adventure - May 2022

Amazing trip with great guides

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable,… read more

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable, organized, and always helpful. Our porters and camp staff also were friendly and highly competent. The sites chosen by the guides for us to visit were always interesting, and the guides were able to provide great information about them. The information provided to us by Active Adventures was helpful and comprehensive - my only comments regarding the pre-trip information would be to update the materials to clarify that guests need a small day pack for biking and day hikes AND a 30L plus hiking bag for the Inca trail, and the pre-trip information could have included information about tipping for the porters and guides. While it is sensible that the company would not want to pressure guests into tipping a certain amount, everyone in my group had a wonderful time and genuinely wanted to show appreciation to our porters and guides. It would have been helpful to know how much cash we should have with us when departing on the trail to be able to tip each individual adequately, as well as information about when in the trip we would have an opportunity to tip both porters and guides. read less

5 Stars (105 reviews)

Amy, United States

Peru Tours

Hike, bike and kayak in stunning landscapes, for a Peru Trip like no other

Where else in the world can you trek for three days to arrive at a mystical Inca citadel perched on a mountaintop - one of the many things to do in Machu Picchu? Unique adventures are the everyday in Peru, where kayaking in lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, to a floating village made completely of reeds is a daily activity for locals. It's this convergence of discovering an alluring ancient culture, meeting fascinating people, and exploring the stunning natural landscapes that make our Peru hiking and adventure tours unforgettable.

Best time to visit Machu Picchu

When is the Best time to visit Peru?

With Peru's location in the Southern Hemisphere, high altitude and abundance of mountains, the country has anything but your standard four seasons. Top this with rainy and dry months, peak tourist dates, Peru travel restrictions and limited permits to hike the Inca trail, and you have a brainbuster of a puzzle deciding when the best time to visit Peru is.

The best time to visit Peru is in the months of May and October. On either side of the main tourist season of June through August, you'll have quieter trails, yet the weather is ideal for trekking the Inca Trail with plenty of clear, beautiful days.

FAQs about visiting Peru

When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu?

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is the months of May and October. On either side of the main tourist season of June through August, you'll have quieter trails, yet the weather is ideal for trekking the Inca Trail with plenty of clear, beautiful days.

Will I need a porter on the Inca 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 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 in Peru?

Typically, hikes on this trip range between three and six hours to complete, with longer hikes on the Inca trails. So get out there with a daypack on and train so you’ll be ready to join us! While you don’t have to be extremely fit, you should be in the habit of doing regular aerobic exercise, ideally involving some up hills and down hills and carrying a pack! With a little preparation before your trip begins, you’ll enjoy the active and outdoor nature of your trip all the more. 

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

Is Peru Safe to Visit?

While Peru is a pretty safe place, we recommend taking the same precautions you would anywhere else - just to be on the safe side! Pickpockets occasionally operate in areas where visitors are found so we suggest you leave any valuables you don’t need with you in the hotel safe (e.g. passports and credit cards). A copy of your passport and any valuables you do need with you should be kept in a passport wallet under your clothes and a small amount of money in your pocket/purse. It’s also a good idea to take a taxi after dark rather than walking.

Do I need a visa for Peru?

It is your responsibility stay up to date on the latest visa and entry requirements for your destination. Please use the CIBT entry tracker on our website as a guideline or visit the relevant immigration webpage for more information regarding this.

What about vaccinations in Peru?

For travel to Peru we recommend getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid at least two months before your trip starts. For the most up-to-date recommendations please check with your doctor or travel clinic, and always go with their recommendations, as these can often change. There are no official vaccination requirements for entry into Peru, however if you’re entering Peru from a country that is considered to be at risk from Yellow Fever, or when you go home afterwards, then you may be required to show a certificate of vaccination (to be obtained from your doctor prior to travel).

Where do you fly into Peru?

Many international flights arrive in Lima early in the morning or in the late afternoon/evening, and depart in the late afternoon/evening. We recommend booking your domestic connections within Peru as part of your international fare. It’s more economical that way, and can make life a bit easier if your international flight is delayed. The major domestic carriers in Peru are Latam Peru (www.latam.com or Avianca (www. avianca.com).

Can you help me find flights to Peru?

We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – active@fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

What's included on your Peru trips?

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).

Your transport will be a mixture of bus, plane, boat, bike and your very own two feet on our trips in Peru. All your transport is included from the start of your trip and we'll drop you at the airport at the end. The details are all listed in the trip specific itineraries.

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 Trail) 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. In the Galapagos Islands you will be accompanied by a specialist Nature Guide, qualified to provide you with plenty of information about the species that make their home on the islands.

What if I need a special diet?

We are accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in our pre-trip questionnaire. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online questionnaire.

What kind of clothing should I be packing for my Peru trip?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.

Do I need Hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

Can I drink the water in Peru?

Peruvian tap water is not safe to drink, or brush your teeth in, so you’ll need to use filtered water instead, which we’ll provide, and treat ice and salads with caution. You can also use hand sanitiser, iodine or water purification tablets if you prefer.
Active Adventures is promoting ‘Travellers Against Plastic’ pledge, so to reduce single use plastic we encourage you to bring a durable water bottle to refill instead of purchasing bottled water.

What is the food like in Peru?

Peruvian cuisine is delicious but quite humble. Its base ingredients are usually potato, quinoa, chicken and seafood, or some kind of combination. If you’re vegetarian or vegan your options may be more limited. Vegetarians should ask for un plato vegetarian (a vegetarian dish). Vegan choices may be limited though we’ll do our best to help find things you may like.

What is the currency in Peru?

The currency of Peru is the Peruvian Sol (PEN).

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currencies?

Your trip fare includes all transportation, guiding, meals and activities (except any optional activities). Most people like to bring a little extra to cover a round of drinks at the pub, take home some souvenirs, book a tour and eat out on their free day, and tip our guides if they've had a great time. 

Usually the easiest thing to do is use your credit or debit card to withdraw money directly from your home account, in local currency. There are plenty of ATM's and banks in larger towns in Peru (Cuzco and Lima), and ATM's will accept all major credit cards and many debit cards. Cash advances are the most convenient way to get cash.

Will the altitude affect me in Peru?

On some of our Peru trips we get to some higher altitudes (for instance, 15,420ft on the Lares Trail). Over the years we've found that if you take it easy on arrival in higher locations, you'll be just fine. Sure, we get straight into our activities at the start of our trips, so our itinerary takes altitude into account and there is plenty of leeway to relax during the first couple of days. When you're hiking in remote areas, oxygen is carried by your porters as a precaution. If you’re concerned, chat to your doctor about a prescription for Diamox (which can be taken as a preventative measure in the days before arrival) or consider alternative treatments like ginkgo or Oxishot.
If altitude is affecting you, be sure to let your trip leader and team of local guides know so that they can help take care of you.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

Spanish is the main language of Peru, with Quechua being the main indigenous language. English is spoken in some hotels, airports and tourist areas but not everywhere, particularly not on Amantani Island where they speak largely Quechua.A little would be helpful, especially on arrival and for ordering food in restaurants, but it's certainly not required. Our trip leaders are all fluent Spanish speakers so if you don't have time to learn a little Spanish before arrival you don't have to worry... they will take care of everything.

What time zone is Peru in?

Peru is in the Peru Standard Time. It is -5 hours behind of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

What type of plugs and voltage do you use in Peru?

Electricity is available in most places in Peru except on the Inca Trail, in the jungle lodges and on Amantani Island. Peru operates on a 220V AC system with the Plug Type A.

Will I have access to internet/WiFi in Peru?

WiFi is available almost everywhere in cities and easy enough to find in most towns/villages so you can rely on having regular access during your trip. If you have data roaming switched on, then you'll be able to use the internet on your smartphone, but beware of the fees! WiFi is available at some of the accommodations that you'll be staying at, usually for a small cost so check this out at each location when you arrive, though it may be sporadic. There's no WiFi along with Inca or Lares Trails, and cellphone coverage will be minimal.

What is the weather like in Peru?

Peru can be divided into two main seasons. These seasons have different effects in the different areas of Peru – the mountainous Andes, the Amazon and the Coast. Mountains: June to August is the drier, cooler season. Higher altitudes mean average temperatures are very cool, especially at night. December to March is the warmer, wetter season, so quality rain gear is essential, however rain can happen in any season. Amazon: It rains for most months of the year here, with the driest months being June to September. November to March is the wettest period, though only for a few hours at a time. Cold fronts can occur at any time of year, and it can drop down to 5-9°C (43-50°F) so always be prepared for wet weather.

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.

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