Take on the best mountain biking in Cusco with our single track trip, with its step jumps and lightning fast descents.
This MTB adventure holiday is a must for riders looking for top mountain biking trails in Peru – and we include the famous Mega Avalanche race route, too.
More classic routes are included as well as many that only select local mountain bike enthusiasts know about.
From Cusco, we cycle into the Inca heartlands to explore superb off road bike tracks in the region.
We start at a relatively low altitude level in the Sacred Valley, to help you acclimatise. As the days progress, the routes get more extreme, and the mountains – and therefore the descents – bigger.
No mountain bike trip to Peru is complete without the Mega Avalanche race route, which sees you swooping down more than 1,500m of track, Inca Trail and road. Try to beat the race times or take it at your own pace on this testing route.
You can take a break from the adrenaline with a visit the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu too – although this has to be on foot.
If you can’t take your own bike, we can provide a range of Konas which ensure you get the most from the jumps, turns and trials which lie ahead.
On arrival at Cusco airport, meet your guide and transfer straight to our base in Sacred Valley – this way we’ll avoid any potential altitude problems and guarantee ourselves a good night sleep.
The charmingly converted Hacienda Marcabamba is the perfect place to base ourselves for this holiday. Meals are taken in the communal dining room or in the delightful gardens.
After lunch we’ll assemble our bikes and those who want can take a quick trip into the nearby town of Urubamba to stretch the legs and begin to acclimatise to the rarefied air of the Andes.
Our first ride has been described as one of the finest one-day rides in Peru and it certainly is a classic.
Starting near Chinchero at 3,600m/11,811ft, we enjoy a variety of undulating dirt trails with spectacular views along the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the white peaks of mount Veronica, Pitusiray and Chicon. We arrive at the circular Inca ruins of Moray in time for visit and an explanation of this weird and wonderful site and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch.
This afternoon we join a truly fantastic ride down a donkey trail down to the colonial village of Maras, and from there descend a divine single track to the Salt pans. A final zigzagging single track brings us to the Urubamba river and back to our hacienda in time to enjoy hot showers, sundowners on the balcony and a delicious dinner.
Now well acclimatised, we drive high into the Andes to just over 4,000m/13,123ft for two of the world’s best kept mountain biking secrets.
The single track down to Amparaes starts rough but soon turns into one of the most beautiful 16km trails – it’s as if someone has come along and swept away the rocks leaving super smooth path, allowing you to whoop and swoop past local villages, llamas and alpacas down to the small village of Amparaes in time for lunch.
We’ll climb back up now to 4,200m/13,780ft for another truly amazing single track, this time following an ancient Inca trail complete with original Inca stairways and Inca tombs in an incredibly beautiful canyon, before joining the road to Calca with some great short cuts for the more adventurous.
We arrive in Calca Plaza de Armas in time for a quick beer before returning to our hotel for the night.
When the drive to the start of the ride is almost as extreme as the ride itself, you know you are in for a good day out.
This is one of our long time favourites and a true wilderness biking adventure, high in the Andes. We drive to 4,000m/13,123ft and leave the vehicle behind for the entire day. Stocked up on snacks and spares, we follow an Inca trail that winds its way up to an Inca ceremonial platform at nearly 4,200m/13,780ft.
From here, it’s nearly all downhill or cross country as we discover Inca sites and charming Andean hamlets – we even cross an Inca hanging bridge.
There is a short portage through an unrideable but truly gorgeous canyon and then we emerge at a viewpoint high above the Sacred Valley. Next, we cycle along well preserved Inca terraces and into the impressive Inca ruins of Huchuy Quosqo, thought to have been a royal palace.
Our support vehicle meets us here for a quick check-up on energy levels, and, for those who need more adrenaline, we still have another 800m to descend to the Sacred Valley by way of a delightful dirt trail (with the odd bit of walking) all the way back to Calca.
Whilst body armour is not essential for any of this trip, if you’ve got it, today might just be the day to wear it and not take it off at all. The runs today are arguably two of the best single track down hills in the Sacred Valley if not the whole of Peru.
From the delightful market town of Chinchero we traverse a vast set of Inca terraces on a perfectly restored and wide royal Inca trail. A series of ride-able (or walk-able) steps take us down through a Eucalyptus forest and a spectacular view point for more technical single track back down to the small village of Huayllabamba. The local record is about 45 minutes, but we’ve got all morning (and usually need it!)
A short drive back up the hill to Cerro Sacro (this is where some folk paraglide from) where we’ll have a lunch with 360º view before another truly classic trail. Super smooth and ridiculously fast, if you dare, we swoop back down to Urubamba.
There are a variety of routes to choose from, from the sublime to the ridiculous and those with any adrenaline can cool off with a quick blast back to the hotel – or pottery shopping anyone? If your adrenaline levels are already depleted from the past days of riding, we can suggest a series of lovely road rides, a bit of retail therapy at a local artisan market or a total chill out at the hacienda – there’s a great spa/bar nearby too.
Steve Peat won it in once in 24 minutes, most racers take 30 – 40 minutes and we’ve got all day to enjoy this truly amazing trail, which hosts the annual “Mega Avalanche” downhill race.
A short drive to 4,300m/14,108ft and we are off. Your guides will help to point out the best lines, with regular stops to regroup. There are some huge jumps that are easily avoidable (or we’ll talk you through them) as we blast down 1,550m/5,085ft of descent on a mix of tight single track, divine Inca trail and even a bit of tarmac.
After lunch, those who are up for it can go back up and do it again; or you can enjoy a lovely and mostly flat ride back to the town of Ollantaytambo for strawberry milkshakes and banoffee pie.
Today you have a tour to the spectacular lost city of the Incas – Machu Picchu.
An hour and a half by train down the Urubamba gorge brings you to Aguas Calientes where you are met by your expert guide and taken by bus to the ruins for a full guided tour. You have time to explore by yourself before catching the afternoon train back up the Urubamba valley and a short bus transfer back to Cusco.
Once back in Cusco there are penty of fabulous resturants, bars, cafes and even night clubs so you can head out to enjoy a bit of Cusco nightlife.
By now you’ll be fully acclimatised and totally sensitised to the delights of Peruvian single track so we’ve saved the best for last.
The hills that surround Cusco are our guide’s local playground and they have a treat in store for you. Dubbed ‘Three Downhills in Three hours’ we start with ‘Salkantay’ – 750m vertical descent on sweet single track, Inca ruins en route then eucalyptus forest and all ending back in Cusco. This first ride could be a contestant for best ride of the trip – and we still have two more to go.
Back up the hill, we follow an ancient Inca trail past more Inca ruins as we join ‘Antisuyo’, which is a a recently restored Inca trail leading to the jungle. This is a perfect set of steps – not to narrow to ride, but steep enough so that if you haven’t learnt to step jump, you will have by the end. We head all the way down to San Blas and the Plaza de Armas of Cusco.
We’re not finished yet. We have a choice of rides from Yuncaypata, which is the locals’ favourite downhill biking area. You can choose from the ‘Red Bull course’ (pretty steep but doable) or the ‘Birthday route’ (ask your guide). Both are sweet single track with Incas ruins en route and a few steps if you want.
Biking over, it’s time for a shower and a chance to experience the culinary delights of Cusco (guinea pig is a local speciality) and/or the busy nightlife where you can salsa till dawn – if you’ve got the energy.
A nice late start, we’ll help you pack up your bikes and take you back to Cusco airport, bus or train station for your flight home or onward travel.
Bi-lingual guide/mechanic, support vehicle and transfers to and from Cusco, first aid kit, all meals and accommodation as listed. Machu Picchu extension and tour.
International or internal flights (we can look into these for you), mountain bike (can be hired), personal cycling equipment (can be hired), personal belongings, sleeping bag, travel insurance, personal expenses and tips.
Hotels and hosterias in the area, 2-3* with private bathrooms.
Our guides are true mountain bike fans who love biking in and around the area. Most of them enter regular races in the area, and know all the best routes.
Support staff have worked with us from many years and provide great food, mechanical support and help along the way.
Almost all dietary requirements can be catered for – please ask us for more information.
Breakfasts at hotels will feature teas, coffees and juices to drink, plus cereals, fruit, eggs, toast and jams etc.
While out riding, we either supply a packed lunch of sandwiches, snacks, soup, fruit etc, or we eat at a local restaurant. These are often buffet style with soups, rice, pasta, potatoes and then puddings/fruit.
Evenings are free for you to choose to eat in a local restaurant.
This is a trip that requires high fitness and technical skills.
This trip is aimed at serious and experienced mountain bikers who are used to long, technical descents on a variety of terrains.
You need to be confident on steep descents with some jumps, steep steps and large rocks/boulders.
Assuming you have these skills, you also need to be fit as much of this tour is at high altitude. Most sections are down hill, but you will need to be able to climb on certain stretches – hard work at high altitude.
Peru is the perfect holiday destination for adventure travellers that want an amazing variety of activity, geography and cultural travel experiences.
The breadth of travel experiences in Peru is breathtaking – from trekking in the Andes to Machu Picchu to the tropical jungle of the Amazon, and plenty in between.
The people of Peru make it a special destination too, with its colourful and traditional street life and friendly locals.
Peru is made up of 3 distinct geographical areas: the coast, the mountains and the jungle.
The costa or coastal region is a narrow ribbon of desert 2,250 km long, crossed by fertile river valleys flowing from the Andes. It takes up 11% of the country and holds more than 40% of the population.
The cold Humboldt current gives rise to a blanket of mist – the garua – which hangs above coastal cities like the capital Lima from May to November.
Heading east, you’re soon climbing above the garua and into the Andes. The sierra, or mountainous region, covers some 25% of Peru’s territory and contains 50% of the population. The sierra inhabitants are mainly Indigenous or Mestizo, and many still speak Quechua or Aymara.
The sierra contains dozens of 6,000-metre snow peaks and volcanoes, including Huascaran (6,768m) the highest mountain in the tropics. The deep valley basins contain most of the towns and arable land; the terracing and canal systems of the Incas and pre-Incas are often still used today.
The eastern Andes are heavily forested up to 3,350m and sweep down into the Amazon Basin.
Peru’s selva or jungle makes up almost two thirds of the country’s area, but holds only about 6% of the population: the only towns with significant populations are Iquitos and Pucallpa.
You can also read about the weather of Peru in our blog.
Peru is located in the southern tropics (latitudes 0º to 18º), but climate varies significantly according to season, altitude and region.
Lima & the coast
From May to October, Lima is often overcast, but with minimal precipitation. There are sunny spells, and it’s a fresh to pleasant 13-20ºC.
At the same time, inland areas and the north coast mid to high 20’s ºC.
November to April is generally warm and sunny and Lima enjoys warm temperature of 19-25ºC, with the coast averaging 22-30ºC.
Climate depends largely on altitude. As a rule of thumb, below 2,000m climate is mild and above 2,000m warm clothing is required for evenings, nights and early mornings.
The Andean sun is very strong.
May to Oct (dry season in The Andes)
Cusco (3,300m): Average max/min temps: 22ºC /2ºC. Average 3 or 4 wet days per month.
Arequipa (2,380m): Average max/min temps: 26ºC /9ºC. Sunny more than 340 days/year with minimal precipitation.
On highland treks: Conditions are generally dry. However, at this time of year, expect a range of conditions within a single day: cold/freezing nights at camps above 4,000m, where pre-dawn temperatures can be -5ºC; warm, spring-like mornings and afternoons; and cold evenings.
Note that mountain weather can be fickle and localised, and that precipitation is not unknown in the dry season. Expect temperatures to swing between sun and shade, sheltered and exposed ground and with altitude gain and loss. A quick-setting sun means temperatures drop fast.
In the cloud forest, e.g. around Machu Picchu, daytime conditions are generally warm or hot, and evenings cool.
Nov to March/April (wet season in The Andes)
Cusco: Average max/min temps: 23ºC /6ºC. Average 13 wet days per month.
Arequipa: Average max/min temps: 25ºC /14ºC.
On highland treks: Wetter conditions, with cooler days and milder nights than dry season. Jan-Mar usually the wettest months.
The Amazon rainforest
Year-round, weather conditions are hot and humid and there is always the risk of rain
There is a ‘dry season’ in Tambopata and Manu between May and October. The average daytime high temperature is between 25°C and 34°C and the average nighttime low is between 16°C and 22°C. Heavy downpours typically occur every few days.
Around 80% of annual average rainfall – approx 2,000 mm in Manu and Tambopata and 1,400 mm in Iquitos – occurs in the wet season Nov-April.
On rare occasions, between May and September, cold fronts from Argentina – ‘friajes’ – can sweep into southwest Amazonia and push temperatures down to 9° C. (Friajes usually last between 1 and 3 days).
You will also need a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining validity.
British nationals do not need a visa for Peru. Fill in a 90-day tourist visa on arrival, and keep the tourist card with you to show at check-in at hotels and for when you leave the country.
Inca Trail trekkers will need to carry their passport, with which the Inca Trail permit was bought, throughout the Inca Trail trek.
Non-UK citizens are advised to contact their Embassy for up-to-date visa advice.
We strongly suggest that everyone planning to travel to Peru visits their local doctor/travel clinic prior to departure for the latest vaccination information.
For people travelling to the Amazon/coast below 1,500m north of Lima and regions below 1,500m:
Good kit is vital for every trip.
Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.
We provide everything except a bike, personal equipment and clothing. Bikes can be hired, please ask for details.
If you are taking your own bike it should preferably be a mountain bike, quality 24+ gears, front/double-suspension, cross-country bike.
Please contact us if you are unsure whether your bike will be suitable.
During the day hopefully it will be generally sunny enough for shorts and T-shirts though having a fleece and rain gear handy is advisable. It can and will get cold, especially in the evenings so bring a warm fleece jacket, a good waterproof and some warm clothes including thermal underwear, gloves, scarf and woolly hat as well as one set of smarter clothes for cities.
Below is a more detailed guide.
Detailed kit list – clothing
Official name: Republic of Peru
Country population: 27,083,000
Capital city: Lima (8.1 million)
Largest cities: Lima, Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymará
Latitude/Longitude: 10º S, 76º W
Official currency: New Sol
Major industries: copper, gold, zinc, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Time zone: GMT-5
Being at altitude, especially in the tropics, is usually a pleasure as it isn’t so hot, there are few insects and the air is clear.
However, when gaining altitude, air pressure drops and the amount of oxygen reaching the lungs is reduced. Although we build plenty of acclimatisation time into our itineraries, certain ill-effects are possible. Nevertheless, all of these can be minimised or prevented if care is taken.
On reaching heights above 2,500m (approx. 8,200 ft), especially when ascent has been straight from sea level, heart pounding, mild headache and shortness of breath are normal, especially on exertion.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is a syndrome known locally as soroche, whose symptoms can include of bad headache, dizziness and nausea).
To avoid AMS, you should:
Games throwing water, flour as well as dance and music.
Location: Highlands and some coastal areas.
Festival: Fiesta de La Candelaria
Culture, music and dancing
Festival: Fiesta de La Vendimia
Wine harvest festival
Festival: Inti Raymi
Independence day – celebration of Peruvian culture – various activities
Location: Country wide
Andean Trails can book all your international and domestic flights for this trip and for UK passengers, we have full ATOL bonding and can book flights with most airlines.
International flight prices are variable and usually can only be guaranteed at the time of booking. If you would like to upgrade to business or first class, or even arrive at an earlier date/depart at a later date we can also arrange this for you.
International flights will arrive into Lima. If you arrive in the afternoon, you will most likely need to overnight in Lima before travelling onwards. If you arrive into Lima in the morning, it is possible to make connections to Cusco, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca etc, on the same day. You need to acclimatise in Cusco or a similar altitude (Puno for example) before you start the Inca Trail. Ideally, this will be for three nights, immediately prior to the trek start date.
Please contact us for flight and acclimatisation advice especially if you do make a connection on the same day. It is important to purchase a through ticket and not separate tickets for connections, so that you are covered for any delays. Passengers with separate tickets who are delayed run the risk of having to buy an entirely new ticket to continue their journeys.
Please note all airline schedules are subject to change and are out of our control.
Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.
We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.
We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.
When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.
You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.
What is ATOL?
The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.
And ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.
Who is covered?
To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).
If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.
If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.
Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.
For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.
I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?
If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.
We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.
If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.
You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.
The Lima suburb of Miraflores is a good base for easing yourself into Peruvian culture.
Although a fairly safe district, we strongly recommend taking these precautions in Lima and also throughout the country:
Read some of our blogs about food and drink in Peru:
Main dishes (meat)
Churrasco and Lomo Fillet or rump steak.
Apanado Breaded meat cutlet.
Chorrillana Meat smothered in tomato & onion sauce.
Adobo (Cusco speciality) Chopped, marinated pork in a richly seasoned gravy.
Piqueo A very spicy stew with meat, onions and potatoes.
Sancochado Lots of meat, vegetables and garlic.
Lomo saltado Chopped meat in a sauce containing onions, tomatoes and potatoes.
Picante de … Meat or fish with a hot, spicy sauce.
Parrillada Grilled beef, sausage and offal.
Chicharrones Chunks of pork, deep-fried with roast potatoes and corn.
Chaufa Chinese-style fried rice.
Cabro or Cabrito Goat meat.
Antichuchos Beef-heart shish kebab.
Pollo a la brasa con papas The ubiquitous spit-roast chicken and chips.
Pachamanca Typical highlands festival/Sunday treat. Meats and vegetables cooked underground on hot stones.
Fish dishes (mainly coast)
Chorros a la chalaca Mussels with tomato and onion sauce (cold starter).
Conchas a la Parmesana Scallops with melted parmesan (hot starter).
Ceviche de pescado/mariscos Marinated fish/shellfish.
Tiradito de pescado/mariscos Marinated fish/shellfish in hot sauce.
Corvina/Lenguado Sea bass/Sole.
Chicharron de Pulpo/Calamares Deep-fried Octopus/Squid.
Jalea Dish of deep fried fish & shellfish.
Sudado de pescado Steamed fish.
Fish dishes (mainly highlands)
Pejerrey a la plancha Grilled fresh-water king fish.
Trucha frita Fried trout.
Chupe de Camarron Rich soup of fresh-water shrimp.
Mazamorra morada Pudding made from purple maize and fruit.
Flan Crème caramel.
Picarones Delicious rings of fried batter served with syrup.
Keke or torta Cake.
Pisco Grape brandy. Very popular as Pisco Sour cocktail, with lemon, sugar and egg-white.
Chicha de jora Fermented maize beer. Integral to many rural celebrations. In Andean villages, look out for houses with bright plastic ‘flower’ tied to a pole above door: this indicates that the householder sells chicha.
Chicha morada A soft drink made from purple maize.
Cerveza Lager-type beer which is very popular. There are several regional brands such as Cusqueña and Arequipeña.
Vino Many local Peruvian wines are very sweet by gringo standards. Tacama and Ocucaje are the best ‘export-quality’ Peruvian wine brands. Good Chilean wines available locally include Undurraga and Casillero del Diablo. Wine is available in smarter restaurants and is served by the bottle (botella) and sometimes by the glass (copa).
Vino tinto Red wine.
Vino blanco White wine.
Agua mineral Mineral water. You need to specify con gas (carbonated) or sin gas (non-carbonated).
Mate Herbal tea. The best known is mate de coca , which is often served to tourists on arrival in Cusco, Huaraz or Puno to ward off symptoms of altitude sickness. Many other herbal teas such as manzanilla (camomile), hierba luisa (lemon grass), hierba buena (mint) and anis (aniseed) are available. Mate is usually served after lunch.
Jugos Fruit juices.
Currency & Money Exchange
Peru’s monetary unit is the “Nuevo Sol” (S/.)
Most of your transactions will be in Soles, but US dollars are often accepted, too, if they are small denomination, unmarked and undamaged bills. Try to take 5s, 10s and 20s.
ATM debit/credit cards are now widely used in major restaurants, hotels and shops (with fees), and there are ATM (‘hole-in-the-wall’) machines widely available in towns and cities.
When changing money, don’t change with street changers (cambistas). Use a bank or casa de cambio (bureau de change). Ask for ‘billetes chicos’ (small notes, i.e. 10 or 20 sol notes) as obtaining change outside towns and cities can be difficult. Count your soles carefully before handing over your US dollars, and look out for forged notes.
Exchange rate: USD 1 = 3.2 Peruvian Soles (approx.), June 2018.
Eating and drinking
Peru has a great culinary tradition.
There are more and more top-end restaurants opening in Lima and Cusco, where you can easily spend more than USD 100pp on food and wine.
Prices vary greatly, below is a rough guide to what you can expect to pay in Peru.
Don’t forget to read out tipping guide to Peru.
Beer/soft drink: USD 2
Menu del dia: USD 3-5
Coffee: USD 1
Tourist style restaurant
Beer/soft drink: USD 2-3
Main dish: USD 10 upwards
Coffee: USD 2
Tipping is entirely voluntary and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received.
For background, Peru has a minimum salary of 550 Nuevo Soles (US$170) monthly for a 6 day 48 hour week. However in many of the lower paid jobs (eg waiters, porters etc) this is not always enforced.
This is a rough guideline, based on an approx. rate of USD 1 = Peruvian Soles 3.
Inca Trail (if applicable)
If you are hiking the Inca Trail, you will be supported by a full crew of cooks, porters, waiters etc, and it is a little more complicated to organise in terms of tipping.
We recommend that each client contributes 100-300soles (30-90US) into a pot and following the advice of the guide divide it out between the crew of cooks, waiters and porters.
For tipping the actual Inca Trail guides and assistants we recommend following the advice for specialist guides above.
220 volts (110v in some hotels), 60 Hz.
Most cameras, phones and computers are dual or multi voltage and probably won’t need a convertor – please check before leaving.
Some items you may bring, such as hairdryers, may need a convertor. They may short if you use them without the correct convertor.
A surge protector is recommended.
Peru has sockets that, in general, take the two pin, round-prong Type C plugs. Some will also take flat-pronged, Type A plugs.
Type C plug
Type A plug
The international code for Peru is +51.
Regions have dialling codes, with a 0 prefix.
Peru’s landlines have 6-7 digits, and to call landline-landline in the same city, simply dial the 7 digits.
If calling landline to another regional landline/city, start with a 0 then the regional code.
If using your own mobile phone to call a landline, dial the country code, the regional/city code without the 0, and then the number, e.g. for Lima (code: 01), dial +51 1 1234567.
Mobile phones start with a number 9, and are 9 digits in length.
If you are dialling a Peruvian landline/mobile to a Peru mobile, simply dial the full 9-digit number from anywhere in Peru.
If using your own mobile phone to call a Peruvian mobile, dial the country code, then the 9-digit mobile number: e.g. +51 999 999 999.
Almost all unlocked phones will work in Peru with a local SIM, however – check with your provider before arrival if your phone will work.
Roaming charges may be high – again, best to check.
Most hotels, cafes, restaurants and airports offer free and generally good Wi-Fi.
There are plenty of locoturios – internet cafes – offering cheap and good internet in most towns and cities.
Head to the privatised postal service, Serpost.
Learning a few words of Spanish can really ingratiate you with the locals you’ll encounter, adding to the enjoyment of your holiday.
Below are some basics to get you started.
Good morning Buenos días
How are you? ¿Cómo estás?
Good afternoon Buenas tardes
Good bye Adiós
Most frequently asked questions (theirs):
Where are you (plural) from? ¿De dónde eres (son)?
What time is it? ¿Qué hora es?
Where have you come from? ¿De dónde vienes?
Give me (frequent, unwelcome question) Dáme / regálame
Most frequent questions (yours):
How much is it? ¿Cuánto vale?
What is this place called? ¿Cómo se llama este lugar?
What’s your name? ¿Cómo te llamas?
Do you have a map? ¿Tienes un mapa?
In the street / places:
Where can I find a currency exchange? ¿Dónde encuentro una casa de cambio?
Where is there a cash machine? ¿Dónde hay un cajero automatico?
Where is the underground/subway station? ¿Dónde esta la estacion de metro/subte(Buenos Aires)?
Where can I find a taxi? ¿Dónde puedo encontrar un taxi?
Where can I find a Supermarket? ¿Dónde puedo encontrar un supermercado?
Where is the hospital? ¿Dónde esta el hospital?
Where can I find a restaurant? ¿Dónde puedo encontrar un restaurante?
In the hotel:
What floor am I on? ¿En qué piso estoy?
Where are the elevators/lifts? ¿Dónde están los ascensores?
How do I access the Internet? ¿Cómo puedo acceder a Internet?
How do I call for room service? ¿Cómo llamo para el servicio de habitación?
How do I call down to the front desk? ¿Cómo llamo a la recepción?
In the restaurant:
A table for two/four please Una mesa para dos/cuatro, porfavor
I would like to drink… Me gustaria tomar….
May I see a menu? Puedo ver la carta/menu?
I would like to order.. Me gustaria pedir…
Can you bring me the check/bill please. Me trae la cuenta por favor
I need help. Necesito ayuda.
I have lost my passport. He perdido mi pasaporte.
Someone stole my money. Alguien robó mi dinero
I have been robbed. Me han robado
I need to call the police. Necesito llamar a la policía
I need to call the (country) Embassy Necesito llamar a la embajada de (country)
Andean Trails believes in Responsible Travel and actively supports several community projects.
Please see Our Advice and Our Ethos for more, and learn about the Projects We Support.
We operate the Inca Trail, our treks and tours with local firms.
We make sure that on our tours and Inca Trail we employ local staff, who are paid fair wages.
With the Inca Trail, We provide free life insurance to all of our porters. Tented accommodation and meals are provided for all trekking staff as well as foam mats, sleeping bags and rain ponchos. We have also provided the staff with trekking shoes. We ensure our porters carry a maximum of only 20kg. We offer them backpacks and they generally use back supports.
Clean burning fuel is used to cook the meals on the Inca Trail and porters carry gas stoves and butane bottles. We use biodegradable detergents when washing the cooking and eating utensils. If any part of our tour or trek is operated by another company, we try to ensure that high standards are maintained.
Our additional support helps the Huchuy Yachaq project which supports children and families in one of the poorest communities in the district of Cusco.
Responsible Tourism – Code of Conduct:
All our activities are governed by our respect for the environment and the people who live in it. We aim to make a positive impact both in the UK and in the Andean countries we work in (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina).
We agree with the principals of sustainable development and specifically promote environmentally aware tourism in the Andean countries, in order to preserve the heritage of the people who live there and to help protect their environment.
In the UK we use recycled paper where possible, recycle what we can and attempt to keep waste to an absolute minimum.
Throughout South America we work together with local people, paying them a fair price, and putting money into the local economy. We do this by using local agents, local trek staff and experienced and qualified local mountain and cultural guides who have an in-depth knowledge of their own country. Our porters on the Inca Trail are fairly paid, carry a maximum load of 20kg and are supplied with tents and food. In other areas we use donkeys or horses to carry loads.
We use locally owned services such as hotels and restaurants, wherever possible. We buy fresh local produce for all of our treks from markets in each departure town. We use public transport whenever possible and feasible.
We have ongoing contact with the teams that we work with and also with local families in the areas we trek through, developing relationships with them and donating goods such as clothes and shoes to their communities, through appropriate local agencies. We also support local Peruvian charities, specifically NIÑOS in Cusco, and CARE in the Huaraz area, plus Huchuy Yachaq.
If you have any suitable (warm) clothes and shoes that you would like to donate to Peruvian children please take them with you and give them to your tour leader, who will ensure they go to a suitable organization.
When out on tour we encourage learning about the countries we travel in, the local culture of the teams we work with and the areas we pass through. Our guides hold informal talks with groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps understanding of the area and appreciation of the people who live there.
Our group sizes are kept to a maximum of 16 people, and we encourage smaller groups where possible. This minimises the negative impact we make on the local people, the wildlife and the environment, and increases the quality time spent in contact with the local people and environment.
When trekking we adhere to a responsible tourism code of practice and are also involved in ongoing training of our trek staff.
A full Health and Safety document will be sent to you at the time of booking and before you travel.
You can also read it on our website, or contact us for more information.
It is a condition of booking any of our holidays that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you for trip cancellation (by you), activities involved and destination. This cover should include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue.
We work with Travel Nomads, who offer insurance solutions to people in more than 140 countries across the world.
Should you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must provide us with details of your alternative insurance with or before your final payment.
Many of our tours travel through remote areas.
We believe our clients should be aware that the remoteness of some of our tours so very special could also cause certain problems.
Thus, whilst we endeavour to minimise the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to.
This is the very nature of adventure travel and we expect our clients to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in our programmed events.
What's a tailor made trip?
We put together a bespoke tour to fit your requirements.
Prices From $1,511 / £1,259 per person
Capacity: 16 per person
Enquire about booking
Prices From $2,500 / £2,083 per person
What's a group trip?
Join a small group of like-minded travellers on a guided trip.
Prices From $4,400 / £3,667 per person
Prices From $3,638 / £3,032 per person
Dates: From May 2019 to September 2019
Prices From $3,995 / £3,329 per person
2019 price, per person
Private trip based on 2 passengers
USD 3030 per person if four travelling together.
Price reduces with more people
Single supplement applies
Enquire about booking
Ask a question and our expert in this area will have your answer.
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+44 (0)131 467 7086
+44 (0)131 554 6025
B Kom, UK, 2010
» Single Track Mountain Biking In Cusco
- What was the highlight of your holiday? Was there a low point?
There wasn't any part that no-one liked. The itinerary was organised in such a way that it was varied and exciting throughout. Enough time in the rainforest and camping on the Inca Trail rewarded by more comfortable urban stays afterwards. The adults especially loved the homestay village in Willoq as it offers an authentic and friendly piece of rural living. Football against locals was a highlight as well. The biking to Moray was perfect - a little challenging for some on the downhills but exhilarating with incredible views of surrounding glaciers high in the mountains. The Inca Trail is far more sustainable than I had imagined; very few people up until camp 3 and maintained to an excellent standard. Ridiculous views and incredible engineering to build the stone paths. Miraculous meals produced by our team of chefs and porters; their workrate was phenomenal. Macchu Picchu is as good as you would imagine, and I'm pleased that we scaled Huayna Picchu as well - great sense of achievement here.
For a school trip, this fortnight was superb. If kids are prepared for days without TV, days of no wifi and meals they will have to adapt to, then they will have the time of their lives. Safe, challenging and exciting; everything you want in a school trip.
- How would you rate accommodation/ food/ guides/ overall organisation?
Accommodation can't be faulted. The only chance we had of a pool was in Lima, but it was closed for renovations (and virtually a hot-tub, not a pool). Nobody minded.
Range of food was very good - even fussy eaters were ok. It was a buzz for us to eat piranhas that we had caught in the Amazon. Cuy (guinea pig) was another first.
Guides were all superb. We had a student vote once we had left the guides and the rainforest guides probably gained most votes. They were all especially good with the students.
I was really happy with the tour you put together - no difficulties despite a 3 hour late arrival into Puerto Maldonado, and a similar delay on the train from Agua Calientes - guides were always waiting for us. I don't know how I'd improve on the itinerary we had - rainforest, homestay, biking, Inca Trail, Cusco, Lima - the rainforest disappointed a little in terms of wildlife (I was hoping for more insects, beetles, frogs, etc) but this was undoubtedly due to the dry season.
- Did you feel you benefited the local communities? Any additional comments on the homestays would be very interesting as this is the first time we have included this in our school programme.
-We definitely benefited local communities. This is partly why we chose a trip like this. One change we made during the Amazon section was to stop at a local (non-touristy) village (Infierno) during a boat trip - we bought a fair amount of juice here that probably made their week! In the homestay village, we were given the chance to buy local clothing that the villagers had made - often the families we stayed with. This was a nice souvenir and definitely added money to the local economy. Unless the students are expecting 5-star hotels (or perhaps even if they are) the homestay experience should be on a school trip itinerary. You are out of your comfort zone and are actually living.The interactions between the students and local children, with little language skills to speak of, were heartwarming. We played football and gave out football tops we had collected for the trip. It was obvious locals were delighted, especially if it was a Spanish top. The weaving and farming activities were fine, probably not a highlight for teenagers but still worthwhile.
- Knowing what you now know what would you like to do differently next time?
I thought about this a lot towards the end of the trip, and asked the tour guide if he thought we could have improved the trip. The conclusion I have is no. Sure, I'd like to fly over the Nazca lines, trek the longer routes to Macchu Picchu, visit Arequipa, see the sites in northern Peru, but this trip was excellent.
I made a photobook for the group, and always ask them for their favourite moment of the trip, which I add to the book. Here are some favourite moments:
- Playing football in the Homestay village at 3500m against a makeshift Peruvian side that featured a woman with a baby strapped to her back playing in defence.
- Being with the people of Willoq village and getting to dress up like them and take part in their way of life.
- Arriving at the Sungate and seeing the first glimpse of Macchu Picchu.
- Watching a tarantula emerge from it's cave in the Amazon.
-The biking, as the route was very fast-paced and had amazing scenery left, right and centre.
- Getting down to the camp after a day hiking up and down dean Woman's Pass. Just relaxing at the tent looking out over the valley was amazing.
- When I first thought I had caught my first piranha but unfortunately it fell off the hook before I could get it on the boat.
D. Low, UK, 2016
» School group tailor made tour Amazon, 4 day Inca Trail, homestays, Peru
Want to know what and where to eat in the Galapagos Islands?
11th October, 2019 11:42 am
Eating out choices in the Galapagos Islands have blossomed, with many new bars, cafes and restaurants opening in recent years, as hotel-based holidays have become more popular. Top-end dining has truly yet to arrive at the Galapagos Islands due to its remote location and difficulty in importing ingredients. However, the three main islands, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela, offer a wide range of restaurants. They suit almost every budget and cater for most dietary requirements, from vegan to vegetarian, gluten-free and more. What you will find is Ecuadorian and international cuisine featuring a lot of fish, rice, vegetables …
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