Inca Trail & the Amazon Rainforest

15 days
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2 795 €
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Trip code: 
TPJ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Trekking, jungle and indigenous culture - the best Peru has to offer

Peru has been home to many civilisations, most notably the Incas, whose ancient cities and fortresses are still being discovered across this fascinating region. This three-part itinerary includes the Inca Trail (or alternative Moonstone Trek), which takes in beautiful mountains and cloud forest as it follows a historic route to Machu Picchu, the best-preserved and most dramatic Inca ruin. It also explores the harsh landscapes of the high altiplano and the islands of Lake Titicaca and, in complete contrast, the dense jungles of the Amazon Rainforest.

Highlights

  • Classic Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, plus an early morning tour of the ruins
  • Three nights deep in the Amazon Rainforest
  • Explore Lake Titicaca, with a homestay on one of its islands
  • The old Inca capital of Cuzco, with its Inca and colonial architecture
  • Alternative remote Moonstone Trek available when Inca Trail permits have sold out

Key information

  • 7 nights hotels and 3 nights rainforest lodge in en suite rooms, 1 night homestay with basic shared facilities, and 3 nights full-service camping
  • 4 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by priate bus, train, boat and 3 internal flights
  • Altitude maximum 4200m, average 3050m
  • 7kg personal weight limit on Inca Trail trek

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
  • 7 nights hotels, 3 nights rainforest lodge, 1 night homestay and 3 nights full-service
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag (UK and Eire addresses)
  • Inflatible sleeping mat while camping

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request), excludes homestay
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$20)
Call for general departures:
353 (0)1 804 7153
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4

Pace:

Approximately 5-6 hours' walking per day.

Terrain:

High altitude; good paths, lots of steps.

Day by day breakdown
Day 711.0km/6.0miles
Day 87.7km/4.8miles
Day 96.8km/4.23miles
Day 109.0km/5.0miles

Itinerary

Lima
to
Lima
  • Day 1

    Start Lima; free afternoon.

    The group flights arrive this morning. Check-in is in the early afternoon, and the morning is free for you to explore the local area, change money or visit Lima's many museums until the rooms become available. Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the hotel in the afternoon or evening and check in, no group activities are planned this day.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    Fly to Puerto Maldonado; boat journey into Tambopata Reserve; guided jungle walks.

    An early start today for the flight via Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado, a small jungle town, where we take a boat to our jungle lodge in the Tambopata Reserve (generally between 1½ and 3 hours depending on the lodge used). On the way we may see caimans (alligators), river turtles and a wide variety of bird life.

    Accommodation: 3 nights - Cayman Lodge (or similar)
    Amazon Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    Jungle exploration including forest walks and boat trips.

    The next two days are spent exploring the forest, rivers and lakes surrounding the lodge, on foot and in both motorised and paddle canoes. Although a lot of the wildlife tends to hide in the dense foliage, we should expect to see a wide variety of birds, including herons and egrets, jacanas, macaws and the almost prehistoric-looking hoatzin, as well as several species of monkey, reptiles and insects, and with luck the giant otters which live in the rivers of the Amazon basin.
    Amazon Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Fly to Cuzco (3400m); free time to explore the ancient capital replete with Inca buildings and Spanish churches.

    A dawn start is required for the boat trip back to Puerto Maldonado, giving memorable views of the sunrise over the river. Look out for the early morning wildlife, which is particularly active at this time. Howler monkeys are frequently heard, as they stake out their territories. After our flight to Cuzco, there is usually time for an afternoon orientation tour of the city. At 3400m Cuzco is an extremely high city and you may find yourself short of breath on arrival.

    Accommodation: 2 nights - Hotel Inkarri / Hotel Warari (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day; optional Sacred Valley excursion.

    We have a free day in Cuzco today. The Inca Capital is among the most attractive cities in South America, with many interesting buildings, museums and sites. There are various optional activities that can be arranged through your leader, such as a full day tour of the sacred Valley (including the fortresses of Pisac and Ollantaytambo) or a visit to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, situated on a hillside above the city.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

    Those who are doing the Moonstone Trek will join a separate transfer to the trailhead - please refer to the TPM Trip Notes for your trek itinerary.

    The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer, Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.

    We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo; our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snowcapped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4200m), then descend to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) Pass, at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Over Runcuray Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

    We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. We pass the ruins of Sayajmarca and suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We camp at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

    From the ridge we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.

    Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow, but anyone wishing to visit the citadel on both days can purchase an additional entry ticket today for PEN152 (approx. US$48) - your tour leader will assist with this.

    There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Moonstone Trek at the hotel this afternoon.

    Accommodation: Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Guided tour of Machu Picchu; return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    In order to beat the day-trippers coming from Cuzco, we wake early this morning and catch the bus (approx. thirty minutes) up the winding road to the greatest ruin in the world; Machu Picchu. The well-preserved Inca architecture, combined with its spectacular location on a mountain spur high above the Urubamba River, makes Machu Picchu one of the world's most impressive ruins. Your leader will give you a two/three hour guided tour of the ruins and afterwards there will be free time to explore at your leisure. There are some spectacular walks around the site that you may wish to do, including following the path to the Inca Drawbridge.

    Once you’ve had your fill, return to Aguas Calientes in time to catch an afternoon train which winds its way through the beautiful Urubamba River Valley back to Ollantaytambo (approx. one and a half hours), and continue by road to Cuzco (approx. two hours).

    Accommodation: Hotel Inkarri / Hotel Warari (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Drive across altiplano to Puno (3800m), on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

    Today we take a bus ride across the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungles. Although it is quite a long drive (10 hours including stops), it is interesting and the views are spectacular. There are scheduled stops along the route to visit some of the most interesting sites which helps break up the day and we get a feel for the immensity of the Andean landscapes. We arrive in the evening at Puno, a high, chilly town on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

    Accommodation: Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Boat to Amantani Island for village homestay.

    We explore Lake Titicaca, visiting the descendants of the Uros Indians, who live on islands of floating reeds and produce some fine textiles. Though the altitude here (3850m) is tiring, the air is very clear and the lakeside views can be magnificent, with the snow-capped peaks of the Andes towering in the background. We spend the night on Amantani Island where we experience a homestay with the local villagers - this really allows us to see what life is like for the people in an isolated island community.
    Basic Hotel - Homestay

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Morning travel to mainland; evening fly to Lima.

    We take a boat to Chifron Bay, and spend some time exploring the peninsula before flying back to Lima (from nearby Juliaca airport). Depending on the flight taken, we may have some time free for shopping and sightseeing, including an optional visit to the Gold Museum. Flight times do vary and some groups will not arrive into Lima until late afternoon or early evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Lima.

    The trip ends after breakfast today. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in the morning for the overnight flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in Peru. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners included in the price of the tour.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably we can not guarantee that wheat/gluten free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food.

Lunches in the rainforest are either buffet lunches or picnics, depending on the day's activities. Dinners in the Amazon are buffet style, taken at the lodge

During the Inca Trail (or Moonstone Trek) hearty breakfasts are served and good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also provided. Drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.

Where lunch and dinner is not included we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants.

The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from for a nomimal charge.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate. The coastal desert, including Lima, is generally dry but cloudy through most of the year. The exception is January to March when the skies are clear and the temperatures rise.

In Cuzco and the Andes, April to November is the dry season; during these months the sky is generally bright and clear with strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud rolling up from the Amazon basin, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! During the dry season temperatures at night can dip to around the freezing mark (and sometimes below!), particularly around Lake Titicaca. 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the Cloud Forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged.

Whilst the Amazon Rainforest is generally warm and humid, it can be subject to drops in temperature caused by cold fronts pushing in from the south - this can occur at any time of year, but happens most often in June and July. This can send temperatures dropping into single figures, and we recommend that you take some warm clothing with you to the lodge in case of sudden changes in the weather.

Cuzco, Peru

Cuzco, Peru

Is this trip for you?

You should be aware that the size of Peru means that this trip involves some long drives, particularly the one from Cuzco to Puno (around 10hrs), and you should be prepared for this. The buses used are comfortable and the scenery is outstanding. There will be several stops along the way to help break up the journey.

The Inca Trail is a Moderate grade trek (level 3). There are four days point-to-point walking with full porterage, reaching a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman's Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner's trek to anyone who is totally unused to walking. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation beforehand. The trek is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: https://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning within the Trip Notes. We spend two days in Cuzco (3400m) acclimatising before starting the trek.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Inca Trail Regulations

An Inca Trail permit is required for this trip. There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible. 
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure. 
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities. 
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit we will contact you to discuss your options. *2018 Inca Trail permits are due to go on sale at the start of October 2017.*

 

Alternative Moonstone Trek

Once Inca Trail permits have sold out for a given date, we can no longer accept bookings for the classic Inca Trail trek. However, we can offer an equally spectacular alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place. The remote high altitude Moonstone Trek takes in a number of recently discovered Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites and there are practically no other tourists along the route.

If selected, the Moonstone Trek will replace days 7 to 10 of the standard land only itinerary. The maximum altitude on the Moonstone Trek is 4625m (higher than that of the classic Inca Trail) and the route is slightly more strenuous. Therefore we class it as a Moderate/Challenging trek (level 4).

Day 7 Trek past ruins and hamlets to the village of Chillipawa.
Day 8 Up the Accoccosa Pass and onto the high pampas.
Day 9 Continue along a narrow canyon and Incan aqueduct before crossing over to the Inca quarry of Canchiqata.
Day 10 Descend to Ollantaytambo where the trek ends; catch train to Aguas Calientes and re-join the rest of the group.

Please see our special Moonstone Trek trip notes (code TPM) for more details: https://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/tripnotes/tpm.pdf

Depending on the split of the group between the Inca Trail and Moonstone Trek, you may find small group sizes on the Moonstone Trek. Please ask your Sales Consultant if you would like to know how many people are booked on each.

Whilst the Moonstone Trek can be selected preferentially when Inca Trail permits are still available, a small group supplement may apply.

Call for general departures:
353 (0)1 804 7153
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Lodges, Camping & Homestay

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. In Lima, Puno and Cuzco, we stay in small, locally-owned hotels with en suite rooms and breakfast facilities. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at reception.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

The Inca Trail (and Moonstone trek) is on a full-service camping basis with full porterage, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents for you, cook, and do all of the camp chores for you. You need only carry your day pack. There is a separate dining tent for meal times, as well as a toilet tent for use both in camp and during lunch stops. On the Inca Trail we stay in organised campsites which are administered by the Regional Cultural Directorate, whilst on the Moonstone Trek we use wild campsites.

On Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca, the group will split up overnight to stay with local families. There will be a few of us in each house and we may have to share rooms en masse - single supplements do not apply here. The rooms are basic but clean and your beds will have sheets and plenty of blankets. There are outside toilets and washbasins. The lack of electricity or road noise (there are no roads!) and the starlit sky on clear nights makes for a truly peaceful and serene experience.

In the rainforest we stay in a variety of lodges in the Tambopata Reserve. All offer a similar standard of accommodation and rainforest experience, and each has a network of walking trails through the forest. The lodges are usually located between 1½ and 3½ hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado, and each has a main building surrounded by lodge/bungalow accommodation. The rooms are usually based on two people sharing, and all have private bathrooms with a shower, as well as individual mosquito nets over the beds and, in some cases, mosquito screens on the windows. There is generally no electricity in the bedrooms, and lighting is provided by lanterns or candles. The main buildings each have a dining room and bar, as well as a small library of books relating to the rainforest and its flora and fauna. These are usually the only areas of the lodge with an electrical supply (not 24 hour).

We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post-tour accommodation. Single rooms can be booked for a supplement From £270, subject to availability (the supplement excludes the night in the homestay).

Call for general departures:
353 (0)1 804 7153
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
353 (0)1 804 7153
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2017
    Hope Ward-Brown

    Trip of a Lifetime

    An absolutely fantastic trip. From start to finish Exodus excelled themselves. It's not often you come back from somewhere and feel you've truly "seen" a place. With this, you do. Spanning landscapes, terrains, cultures, altitudes - you see it all. The Amazon is breathtaking; wildlife, the noise, the vastness of it - it's incomparable. The Inca Trail is a true pilgrimage. Beautiful scenary, a challenge but so worth every. single. step. It's hard to not feel overwhelmed and in awe on arrival to Machu Picchu. The people are wonderful, the food is wonderful, the sounds, smells, early mornings, late nights - worth every single penny. It's not a holiday, it's an adventure - the more you immerse yourself, the greater the rewards. As my first solo trip in my 20s, this was the most supportive environment to see a place, I felt safe and never in any danger. Thank-you to my wonderful group, every guide, every Porter and our wonderful guide for looking after me!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at Machu Picchu was the most awe inspiring moment of my life to date!
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Susan Hodgson

    Inca Trail & Amazon Rain Forest + Homestay

    All in all a great trip - I met some great people and saw some amazing sights, but this is no walk in the park and I don't think any of us on the trip fully appreciated just how mentally and physically challenging this trip would be -with a rating of just 3 I think most of us who are experienced hikers - myself and two others hiked in Nepal last year and one of our grp had hiked to Everest base camp thought although a challenge we would not have to many problems - we had underestimated the effects of walking at altitude and not taken into consideration that it would most likely rain as it did for 2 days solid and then having to sleep in tiny tents which let in water whilst wet and cold was not exactly much fun

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most would say when they reached Sungate and looked down at Machu Picchu for the first time and indeed this was an amazing sight but for me it was on the third day of the hike - i had been walking on my own for the first three days as there was a very fast group which although I do understand everyone has to walk at their own pace this meant that the group was spilt up into fast/medium walkers some in the middle and two sensible couples who took their time at the back - I sat down utterly exhausted both mentally & physically when this beautiful humming bird come and sat right in front of me and sung his heart out - a very special moment for me

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our grp leader Julio - a man with great patience and always a smile on his face. Nothing was ever too much trouble for this young man I do feel however, that Julio could have controlled the hike so that we were not so far spread out - I do understand that there was a great difference in ability from the fastest to the slowest but by letting everyone do there own thing it did for me basically end up with me having a solo walking holiday which is not what I had signed up for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    oh yes lots! Don't worry about taking clothes for each part of the tour - you can get laundry done in between trips thus cutting down on what you need to take Amazon - take walking boots and flip flops - there are wellies at the camp if it rains. Take shorts and t-shirts to wear around the lodge The trip notes say that you can only take 20kg on internal flights this is wrong you can take 23kg Make sure you take lots of insect repellent The Sacred Valley trip before you begin the Inca trail is a must Take your time on the walk - yes its a struggle and I know some people just want to get to the end but you will miss so much if you don't look around at your surroundings and most importantly encourage those around you who maybe struggling Remember to pack thermal clothes and invest in a good sleeping bag - I would also recommend taking your own roll mat as the one provided is really very small

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Travel If time is not an issue for you ask about the direct flight to Lima - it does mean that you arrive a day earlier /leave a day later then the group flight but well worth it in my opinion. especially on the return journey - our flight back from the homestay was delayed and we did not get back to Lima until gone midnight and many then had to leave on a 18hr journey home at 9:00 - I and two others stayed on a extra day and we were able to rest before the long journey home and explore Lima at our leisure which was quite a change from the fix itinerary we had been on for the past 2 weeks
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Sara Harrop

    Experience the best of Peru in 2 weeks

    This rates among my top trips ever (and I've been on quite a few). Peru is an amazing destination. It is also a huge country and it would be difficult/impossible to organise the variety of activities that enable you to sample some of its highlights without the top organisation of Exodus's UK and local teams.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just a few of the inspirational moments were: 1. Reaching Machu Picchu and sharing the sense of achievement and iconic views with my wonderful travelling companions. 2. Sunrise over the high Andes followed by breakfast on top of the world (well... at 3750m) 3. Reaching 'Dead woman's pass' without actually dying! 4. Dawn and dusk in the rain forest listening to the chorus of birds and beasts.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Raul was a top group leader. His love of his work and his country is infectious. His knowledge of the history, archaeology and culture of Peru are encyclopaedic and he makes the complex arrangements of a tour that encompasses 4 very different environments (mountain, jungle, lake and city) seamless. He treated the group as his family and interacted well with assistant guide, porters and local guides. He was supportive to members of the group who suffered altitude sickness and he is a master of tact and diplomacy.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a breathtaking trip - in all senses of the word. The itinerary is packed so you'll need to be fit and active. Lots of early starts and rushed showers in your enthusiasm to see as much as possible at each destination.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I recommend this trip heartily. If it's on your bucket list, go. You won't regret it!
  • Reviewed June 2017
    Anthony Collins

    Moonstone Trek

    This was my first group holiday and I must admit I was somewhat apprehensive at the thought of being with a whole lot of people I did not know and also being organised as I normally like to do my own thing. However, I do have to say that Exodus were first class and our guide Julio Llancay was exceptionally good throughout the trip. On our trek one lady suffered with altitude sickness and was quite ill. Our guide on the trek ould not have been more caring or professional in dealing with the problem. She even had to administer oxygen and arranged for the person concerned to be carried on horseback for two days following which the lady was able to walk down the mountain unaided.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All three elements of the trip were inspirational. The Amazon rainforest, the Moonstone Trek / Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. However, Machu Picchu has to take the prize as it was such a magical moment to look down on it especially as we were fortunate to see it in fine weather

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was amazing. He dealt with all our queries and needs without a qualm. He even presented us with a CD contains snapshots of our group at various times on the holiday. The most important thing he did from day one was to create a family atmosphere within the group which prevailed throughout so much so that we are arranging a get together in December

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't underestimate the altitude effect on the Moonstone Trek. It is by no means easy and made significantly harder by the effects of altitude. Also do as advised and drink two litres of water in the morning and the afternoon. You can't afford to get dehydrated.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There were some issues in the hotels we stayed in in terms of noise both from traffic and in one case staff using an internal metal staircase during the early hours of the morning. Also there were occasions when there was no hot water which is not what you want when you have been out all day.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Anne-Marie Hellewell

    Inca Trail and Amazon Rainforest

    I have wanted to visit Machu Picchu for a very long time and when I began to research my dream holiday, this package ticked all the right boxes. It was everything I had wanted and more. The itinerary is well thought out and makes the most out of the 17 day trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The crowning glory was arriving at the Sun Gate to see Machu Picchu for the first time, having trekked for 4 days. It was a very special moment. However, the entire trip was excellent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wilmer Delgado is an excellent guide. He is both knowledgeable and passionate about his country. He was an excellent host to our group, always attentive and caring. He joined in socially with a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Inca Trail is strenuous, especially day 2, but it is as much a mental challenge as physical. It isn't a race so take your time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    From the moment of first contact, everyone at Exodus has been helpful and knowledgeable. We have now met several people who have had a few Exodus holidays and the consensus is very positive. We're now planning Vietnam and Cambodia!
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Kevin Oates

    Peru all in one trip

    Great reception. Clear instructions. Planned itineraries. Tickets in advance. The tedium of travel was minimised by smooth organisation, having tickets for attractions in advance, having transport waiting when needed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a giant anaconda in the wild.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Great sense of humour. Clear instructions. Obviously motivated to make sure we all knew what was going on at any given moment.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book your own flights. The flights which came with our trip through exodus were via Sao Paulo which prolonged journey. Plus difficulties getting seats together on some flights.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip needs more than one day off. The homestay on lake Titicaca was slightly uncomfortable and a night in a hotel in puna would perhaps have been better alternative. If u don't like crowds do the moonstone trek instead of the Inca trail. You will have the trail to yourself and at over 15000 feet it's a real hike.
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Elizabeth Dinnage

    Inca Trail and the Amazon

    Great trip made even better by a series of brilliant guides. To promote the trip to an Excellent rating I would suggest getting better, rainproof tents for the Inca Trail and giving us another tent to go and sit in after our evening meal - just for a while - rather than having to go to bed between 730 and 8pm. The porters clearly wanted to get in to the dining tent to get to bed and we felt guilty, so never let them linger. We also would have preferred and earlier flight back to Lima from Puno on the last day...we didn't get to the hotel til 1am, but then had to up early for long flights home in the morning. It spoilt our last day together with our group. Must reiterate tho, apart from these 3 things our two weeks were fantastic. The jungle, the Inca Trail and Lake Titikaka were spectacular.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of inspirational moments. Fantastic views in the Andes, wonderful sights and sounds in the jungle, the hubbub of the cities and the calm of Lake Titikaka.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cesar was a fun and efficient group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a really strong insect repellent. My Jungle Formula didn't work at all.
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Marta May

    Inca Trail and the Amazon

    The holiday was a wonderful adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed staying in the lodge in the Amazon. The day walk through the rainforest and canoeing on the lake was my favourite part. On the inca trail, getting to the top of dead woman's felt like a huge success and a memorable moment. Seeing other Inca buildings in particular winaywayna was most spectacular. The home stay at lake Titicacca was very enjoyable. It was really interesting how people lived on the island and the views were beautiful. Had a very peaceful time after all the hard work on the trail.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Group leader Wilbert Ramos was wonderful. He really knew his stuff about the Incas and was very informative about the vegetation around as well. He was very easy to get along with and talk to and made our holiday very memorable. When I became ill in Cuzco due to altitude he knew exactly what to do and responded quickly and effectively. I always felt safe in his care.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack more warm things instead of shorts and t-shirts. Have layers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you to Wilbert for getting me through the Inca trail even though I thought I wouldn't make it at the beginning. Thank you for a wonderful holiday and all your guidance.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Stephen Gattey

    Inca Trail and Amazon Rainforest

    I was prepared for the altitude and had no problems after the first twelve hours in Cusco, but my wife suffered severe altitude sickness and gastritis, though she was able to complete all the activities and enjoyed part of the holiday. The rating of 'moderate' for this holiday is a generalisation that hides more than it reveals: the second day of the Inca Trail is very challenging indeed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the extraordinary colours of the mosses and orchids of the rainforest on the Macchu Picchu trail, and the amazing geography of Macchu Picchu itself. Also the Corpus Christi processions on the afternoon of our full day in Cusco, which we knew nothing about in advance.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabrizzio, our group leader, was absolutely excellent in the way he dealt with my wife's sickness, making sure she saw a specialist in Cusco after having an intravenous injection at a government health centre on the way. This enabled her to recover and enjoy the last couple of days of the holiday. Generally he was a very caring person and very good at his job.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Chewing coca leaves and drinking the tea does really help with altitude acclimatisation, but you need to be strong and fit from the start. My wife's gastritis was, according to the doctor we saw, caused by the medicine she was taking. Having no gall-bladder, she needed to take Lansoprozole in order to tolerate the obligatory anti-malarials and the ibuprofen she took for muscular problems.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A day and a half in Cusco may not be enough for altitude acclimatisation. Our guide book recommends longer. Anyway, the time in Lima, both coming and going, is not enough to take advantage of, and it would have been better to have gone straight to Cusco, a beautiful town with museums and churches we did not have time to visit.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Peter Robinson

    Ink Trail and Amazon rainforest

    A brilliant holiday. All the better for being three different aspects of Peru i.e.: the Amazon rainforest, the Inka trail and Lake Titicaca. The trail was something we have wanted to do for a long time and despite the altitude we both made it. The scenery was awesome. Loved Cusco and could have done with more time here as there is so much to see and learn about. Thank you Exodus for once again giving us a fulfilling holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Dead Woman's pass. One tough climb without the altitude!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good particularly on the Inka trail where he was encouraging us all the way. Did not let us go too fast. When problems occurred he took them in his stride without any fuss or flap and kept the rest of the group informed. Taught us a lot about Peru in the past and present.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Inka trail is tough mainly because of the altitude but also because of the terrain so you need to be fit to do this although altitude is a strange element and can bring down the fittest of people.. However we are 71 yrs and 68 yrs and both managed without any lasting effects!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Inca Trail Permits: An Inca Trail permit is required to walk the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6-8 months in advance to avoid disappointment. 2018 Inca Trail permits are now on sale so don’t delay! On dates where Inca Trail permits have sold out we can offer the spectacular remote Moonstone Trek in its place – please enquire for details.

Inca Trail Permit Status: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. Inca Trail permits are strictly limited and are only released one year at a time. We cannot reserve or pre-purchase them. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options.

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Call us on 353 (0)1 804 7153