Trip Preparation – Peru – South America

WHAT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF BEFORE YOU GO TO CUSCO – PERU

Kondor Path Tours S.A.C. will take care of all the necessary preparations for your vacation in Peru, but there are a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety, and peace of mind. Please read the following information carefully before your departure to ensure that the only surprises that will arise are pleasant ones.

Passport & Visa

The passengers are responsible for securing a signed passport valid for “6 months” beyond the completion of your trip. Ensure that your permit has enough blank pages (excluding amendment pages) available for entry and exit stamps.

The following countries do not require a Visa for entry into Peru.

  1. North America: Citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  2. Central America: Citizens of most Central American countries (exception Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic).
  3. South America: Citizens of all South American countries.
  4. Europe: Citizens of all countries within the European Union and Switzerland
  5. Africa: Citizens of South Africa.
  6. Asia: Brunei, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
  7. Oceania: Citizens of Australia and New Zealand.

Visa required for entry into Peru for all countries not mentioned above.

Peru / Passport information must do submitted to Kondor Path Tours S.A.C.. upon making reservations. You must submit scanned Passports to purchase the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu permits to prevent errors. This information is imperative to buy Machu Picchu Train tickets and permits.

Travel Insurance: We highly recommend “Travel Insurance” if you fall ill; cancellation of Tour due to strikes, weather, etc. Some reasonably priced insurance plans for South America, so it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Trip Preparation

Pre/planning will make your journey a happy one. Several months ahead, make sure your “Passports” Visas are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through your Trip. We suggest you make Copies of your Passports, Visas, personal ID, and “All Important documents” that you will take with you and pack separately and leave copies with your family.

Pack a list of medications, including dosage and generic names. If you lose the Originals, you will have Copies for easier reporting and replacement.

Bring a small first “aid kit” containing Headache Pills, Antihistamines, Antibacterial Ointment, Anti-Diarrhea Pills, Band-Aids, Alcohol Pads, etc. Due to ” high altitude ” pressure, do not put valuables in your luggage that you are checking in at the airport; due to “high altitude” pressure.  We recommend placing Shampoos or any Liquid tubes into Ziploc Bags but try to squeeze the air out of the first; you could also use tape to seal them to prevent leakage.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards

If you want, bring your cell phone with you! Make sure it works in Peru by contacting your carrier. To avoid frequency compatibility problems, best have a GSM Multi-band Phone; while you can use your SIM card from Home, be aware of high roaming charges. To avoid these fees, you can buy a relatively inexpensive local pre-paid SIM card (incl. Internet, E-mail for smart-phone users). Directly at Jorge Chavez International-Airport “Callao Lima Peru.” You can exchange for your original one as long as you have an Unlocked Cell.

Another option is to rent a local mobile phone, including a LOCAL SIM card at the airport (at the airport); the travelers can choose between “Movistar and Claro” rent a cell!

Just have a chat with the lovely Peruvian ladies waiting for potential CUSTOMERS before you get your luggage and pick a plan that best suits your needs; they are aware that prices can be steep.

Ask for connection fees or other charges and penalties; read the fine print before you sign “anything.”

When you are calling the U.S. from a foreign Country:

You may also use a prepaid calling card; usually, the only additional charge “besides the prepaid long distance charges” is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee; if you are using your card at your Hotel. It is best to check with the Hotel’s reception desk before making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges.

Making telephone calls from one country to another: When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country’s Exit Code + destination Country Code + Phone Number.

For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If the international number you wish to call starts with a 0 (zero), you must drop this starting digit when dialing the number.

Wireless Internet Access

Passengers traveling with Wi-Fi-enabled devices (such as a Personal Computer – Smartphone – Tablet, or Digital Audio Player); may be able to connect to the internet via a wireless network access point (or hotspot).

Wi-Fi access in Hotels often involves a fee that can be very expensive; even if Wi-Fi is available, signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Internet availability on cruises is unpredictable due to the ship frequently changing locations while sailing through multiple countries. Passengers requiring internet access may seek out internet cafes or may be able to locate free Wi-Fi hotspots such as libraries or coffee shops; hotspots can often be found and planned via an online search. Planning may help avoid unnecessary fees.

Peru Banks and ATM´s

Dear visitor, there are many ATM MACHINES in the major cities of Peru so you can use your ATM cards around: the Center of the Cities and Hotels (for sure in Cusco city). Please inform your Bank 1 to 2 weeks before traveling so you will not encounter any problems “we recommend you use ATMs in Banks” during business hours for your safety.

Health

Travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions such as high altitude (also called Soroche in Inka language) or required immunizations, affecting their health. As of now, there are no required vaccinations to enter Peru; please consult your health care provider.

There are several easy steps to stay healthy while traveling, which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from HOME.

  1. Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables, and fruits unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  2. Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  3. If you have allergies to foods, medications, insect bites, or any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  4. Wash your hands regularly and carry a hand sanitizer or wet ones.
  5. Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  6. You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This item is in addition to any prescription medications, which should be adequate for the entire trip.
  7. Peru Country – while no inoculations are required, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended, especially if traveling to the Amazon. Would you mind consulting your physician before traveling to Peru?

You may encounter Inka mosquitoes in both Urban and Rural Areas, especially during wet seasons (December to mid-April); travelers are encouraged to bring insect repellent and consider wearing clothing that adequately covers “arms and legs.” Traveler’s diarrhea caused by contaminated food or water, often resulting in dehydration, is common; take these steps to avoid or reduce the symptoms.

  1. Drink only bottled water.
  2. Avoid unpasteurized cheeses and unpeeled or unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  3. Eggs, meat, and seafood should be adequately and fully cooked
  4. Please note that the popular Peruvian alcoholic beverage, Pisco Sour, is often uncooked egg white.
  5. If you have contracted diarrhea, let your stomach rest. Do not eat for several hours or until you are feeling better.
  6. Drink bottled or boiled water and rehydration beverages containing electrolytes (sports drinks) frequently and in small amounts.
  7. Resume your diet with simple and bland foods, such as crackers, rice, bread, potatoes, or bananas, which usually will help slow diarrhea.

High Altitude Illness “Soroche”

Altitude illness occurs when there is a lack of oxygen in the air at high altitudes, including Cuzco (13,18ft) and Puno (14,96ft). Altitude illness will affect some travelers with no apparent regard to age, gender, or physical condition. Symptoms may include a headache, loss of appetite, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. For some, it will pass within a few hours; however, the condition, if gone untreated, may last for several days. We urge you to read and follow these suggestions to reduce altitude illness’s chances and or severity.

  1. Before departure, speak with your health care provider. They may recommend the medication acetazolamide (Diamox), which reduces the symptoms if taken a day or two before you depart.
  2. Stick to a light diet the day before traveling to a high altitude. Foods found easy to digest include fish, chicken, and hot liquids. Avoid fried foods, beef, lamb, and caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and during your stay. Many find saline nasal drops/sprays beneficial.
  4. Upon arrival, take it easy. Allow your body to adjust by lying down for 10-15 minutes. Rest as much as possible during the trip; over-exertion can exacerbate the symptoms.
  5. Oxygen can be beneficial and does easily found in airports, hotels, and pharmacies.
  6. For headaches, over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen, are helpful.
  7. Coca tea and wild mint (Muña “Inkas’ tea”) may ease the symptoms.
  8. A diet high in carbohydrates, bread, cereals, grains, and pasta can also help alleviate the symptoms.
  9. Once again, we highly suggest you consult your particular healthcare provider before deciding to travel to any high-altitude destination and before choosing any course of treatment.

Climate & Clothing

We ask Tour members to refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes, and or personal products containing excessive fragrance for other clients on the Tour bus who may be allergic.

The Peru sun is intense, particularly in the higher altitudes, “the Andes”; please bring a sun hat that has a circular brim all the way around (not a baseball cap) and sunscreen. Bring comfortable, cushioned walking shoes for the hard cobblestone Inka streets, a sweater, clothes you can layer, and an all-weather jacket. Remember that you will be traveling between regions during your trip and will need to do prepared for all weather conditions. Please check which season and region(s) you will be traveling and pack accordingly; winter months (May to October) are cold. You will need a warm jacket, Alpaca gloves/scarf, and a hat during those periods. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Peru’s climate varies by season and region. The coastal area (Lima/south to north) has two clear seasons, summer (December to March) and winter (May to October). Summer temperatures in this region can reach 26°C / 80°F. Winter is generally damp and chilly, with temperatures dropping to 11°C / 53°F. This region sees little rain but can see mist and drizzle during the winter. The coastal area of Ica (Paracas and Nazca) enjoys warm, dry weather throughout the year, with average temperatures of around 23°C – 75 / 26°C – 80°F.

The highlands region of Peru, “the Sierra” (Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Inka Valley, and Puno/Titicaca lake), has a dry temperate climate that also experiences two distinct seasons. The Dry season (May to October) consists of sunny days and cold nights with very little rain. The rainy season in the highlands runs from December to March. Temperatures can change drastically during the day in this region, sometimes varying as widely as highs around 18°C / 65°F and lows of 1°C / 35°F during the same day.

The jungle region (Amazon River) is tropical and humid; temperatures range from mid to upper 26°C / the 80s during the day and drop into the 21°C / 70s during the night.

The summer months (April – October) are considered the dry season, though, despite this name, what should remember that it rains two-thirds of the year in the rainforest; the rainy season (November to March) sees frequent showers and high river levels.

About you’re Flights

About Your International/Domestic Flights

Airline Seat Assignments

As a courtesy service, airline seat assignments do request on your behalf. When available, they are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2, etc. Positions reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this at airport check-in only, in which case the display shows “N/A.” Seats are subject to change by your airline(s), including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even canceled. If you change seat assignments directly with your airline, what will not reflect changes on this display.

Luggage

Although luggage sizes are now fairly standard, each airline does have specific requirements based upon the route and aircraft size. Click on the links below for Baggage information.

LAN https://www.lan.com/en_us/sitio_personas/plan-and-book/baggage-info/baggage-policy/

Star Peru

Avianca https://www.taca.com/eng/syi/bag/bagbagpol.asp?id=14

Report any loss or damage of luggage immediately at the time of the incident and obtain a written report from the local authority for submission to your insurance provider. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, you must file a baggage claim form with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility, and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider.

U.S. Hazardous Materials Restrictions – Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your luggage or on your person. A violation can result in five years imprisonment and $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives, and radioactive materials—examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radiopharmaceuticals. There are notable exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. For more information, visit www.tsa.gov.

Code-share Flights

If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings.

Airline Flights

Please check-in at least three hours before the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour before the scheduled departure time. Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow what must check baggage “interlining” and luggage separately for each flight. When you check your bags, please verify where your luggage is moving sent. If you are connecting from a domestic flight that is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets do an issue on special fares, which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, the clients must have the airlines responsible make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Kondor Path Tours has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has happened confirmed.

The Transportation and Safety Administration

The (TSA) has increased security measures drastically since September 11, 2001. Plan to arrive no fewer than two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Check the TSA website www.tsa.gov. To find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing.

About Business Class Airfares

Business Class service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and or short-haul flights abroad. When Business Class service is not available, you will stay accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Would you please check your operating airline to determine the extra benefits you may receive in Business Class?

Avoiding Jet Lag

To minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take, including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, sleeping, and eating according to the new schedule—avoiding heavy eating, caffeine, or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Frequent Flier Programs

Passengers are responsible for contacting their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules, which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares and some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Kondor Path Tours Airfare,” do not qualify for mileage or may be eligible for reduced mileage. Even if the same airline class of service is eligible for total mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Kondor Path Tours will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger before issuing travel documents. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights that were initially eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend that passengers provide their frequent flier account information whenever they check-in online or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for regular mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible for determining whether who may use previously earned mileage for flights to secure upgrades.

Arrival and Departure

ARRIVAL PROCEDURES

Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, who will meet you after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative holding a Kondor Path Tours sign or a sign with your name on it? If, for any reason, you do not connect with the Kondor Path Tours transfer personnel. Go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Kondor Path Tours representative or phone the number on your voucher.

What to Do When Your Flight Is Delayed

Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you can contact our offices, the better we can respond. Kondor Path Tours S.A.C. will contact the airline and find information to coordinate the new time of pick up. But if your flight does cancel, unused TOUR SERVICES, including transfers and hotel nights, are not refundable. Upon your return home, you will need to contact your airline and or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused Tour Services.

Departure Procedures

If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers

Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. The service includes Hotel and Airport transfers. Such possible delays do consider in scheduling transfers. You should have no concerns about arriving late for your Tour and Flight. Let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer from a hotel. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will do considered. Provided you obtain a written statement from the Hotel’s front desk verifying the length of time you waited and the time you left the Hotel and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. Escorted tour programs include transfers, providing you have purchased airfare from Kondor Path Tours to arrive and depart on the scheduled tour dates. If you are traveling independently, you may purchase the transfers from Kondor Path Tours or contract your method of transportation to the Hotel. A transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Kondor Path Tours “a mystical experience” transfers necessarily include round-trip service. Often the places of call (Airports, Seaports, Hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

About you’re Accommodations

Hotels

Kondor Path Tours has carefully selected each Hotel (Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and Arequipa) based; on overall Quality, Location, Price, Food, Service, Safety, and Cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (2 single beds) rooms with private facilities unless you have specifically requested and paid for an upgraded room category. Special requests such as bed types, Smoking Preference, and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the Hotel’s management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for the third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons. The hotel may charge a fee for the addition of a cot/roll-away. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size, and Hotel check-in time depends on the Hotel.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out

Check-in time and check-out time are according to your Hotel (Usually 9 am to 11 am). If you are arriving early in the day or departing in the evening; Hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their storage room, ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier or let you stay later. Some Travelers came from sea level my experience temporary altitude discomfort in areas of Peru at high altitudes (the Sierra of Andes Mountains). Oxygen is available in all Hotels at an extra cost or administered in an emergency (if desired, purchase small disposable portable oxygen pumps locally).

At your destination

Eco & Sustainable Tourism

We support an Eco-friendly environment (Pachamama: Mother Nature), intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse, and intentional environmental destruction. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and the ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. As you travel (tours and hikes) to and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

About you’re Sightseeing

To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted Tours services, your Tour Manager will organize a mandatory seat rotation policy on our MOTOR COACHES. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally during holidays and specific periods and or due to other unforeseen circumstances, including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes sometimes after arrival, which may affect the tour sequence and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations which can obscure the monument’s view. “what will cancel no tour due to renovations”; however, Kondor Path Tours will decide whether to amend an itinerary based on the conditions.

Motor Coaches in Peru

Air-conditioning is unavailable and considered unnecessary on coaches in the highlands region (Cusco, Puno, the Valle Sagrado of the Incas) where the temperature ranges between typical highs around 15 – 23°C / 60 – 75°F and lows of -1 – 4°C / 30 – 40°F.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)

Your Tour manager will contact you after you arrive at your Hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Kondor Path Tours should proceed directly to the Hotel for check-in. What can find the details of the Hotel in your documents?

Purchasing Tours Locally

Independent Activities – Kondor Path Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation or an endorsement of any specific service provider. Who should decide to participate in any such activities independently with due consideration? Kondor Path Tours is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should do exercise when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination, or exertion.

Currency

We suggest getting a small amount of Peruvian currency, Nuevo Soles, before leaving the U.S. or other countries. It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert U.S. dollars to the local currency. It’s also a good idea not to bring too much money. Peru has many ATMs that accept most U.S. ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs doesn’t always have letters. ATMs will dispense cash in local currency and US$. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements; use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash or travelers’ checks, exchange them at banks where the rate is more favorable than at Hotels? Please note that many Banks and most Vendors will not accept or exchange S/100 200 bills of soles. We suggest carrying S/20 bills in Soles or smaller. For gratuities, you can use US$5.00 and up.

The tourist areas accept and exchange U.S. dollars (Cusco Peru is Ok); torn or slightly damaged bills will likely not do accepted by Peruvian stores and Restaurants. Exchange houses will give you a lower rate; be sure to bring crisp and new U.S. dollars. It does recommend carrying a Visa card and MasterCard for use in Restaurants and shops.

Credit Cards

While credit cards do accept in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card staying blocked for security reasons. Most US-issued credit cards rely on magnetic-strip technology rather than embedded microprocessor chips which are increasingly common overseas. These “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps, and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers do equip to handle American cards. If you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card ATMs typically recognize and accept US-issued debit cards.

Shopping

Most people enjoy bringing home at least one Andean souvenir from Peru visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops do design to enhance your experience by allowing you to see first-hand quality locally-crafted merchandise that you may not be able to find alone. Shops do check to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt and remember that; just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! About Tax-Free Shopping

Tax-Free Shopping (TFS) allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their shopping in Peru.

The following items may be imported by visitors over 18 years of age into Peru without incurring customs duty:

  1. Twenty packs of cigarettes or 50 cigars, or 250g of tobacco.
  2. 3L of alcoholic beverages
  3. Gifts or new articles for personal use up to a value of US$500

Eligible countries and their specific regulations are subject to change, including the % of VAT which is reclaimable and the minimum purchase amount restriction. When planning to shop in a country with Tax-Free Shopping and reclaim VAT/GST taxes, we recommend checking the current regulations before completing your purchase. In many cases, stores will display signage such as “VAT Refunds for Tourists.” Usually, you will need to present your passport and receive a VAT Refund Application form(s) from the store, along with an explanation of how to claim your refund. Sometimes this is completed at the airport upon departure or later via mail from your home. Service fees may apply. Alternatively, you may choose to work with a fee-based VAT Refund Service U.S.

Customs & Shipping Charges

You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and tasks in the price, but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties.

Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species—the U.S.

Customs & Border

Protection will seize these items and most furs, coral, tortoiseshell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

Peru – Peruvians are friendly, serious, honest, and traditional people. When shopping for Peruvian handicrafts, including pottery, textiles, and wood carvings, it is not uncommon to negotiate the price down by 20-30 percent.

Your Safety is Very Important

Before your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend visiting the U.S. Department of State website at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section that addresses International Travel. It would be best to read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries you plan to visit. It is also crucial that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  1. Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd.
  2. Don’t put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet does steal, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  3. Do not leave valuables lying loose in your room. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers, and traveler’s checks numbers in the hotel secure.
  4. Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash.
  5. Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard-to-replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag.
  6. Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and or wear a money pouch inside your clothing.
  7. Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body.

Suppose you’ve purchased an escorted tour program. In that case, your travel documents will include the telephone numbers of Kondor Path Tours’ representatives, who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers do print on your Kondor Path Tours vouchers. Please copy the numbers; once you relinquish the coupon, you will not have this information, and Passengers traveling Solo should employ the services of Hotel concierges and local authorities.

Peru – While we recommend that you apply reasonable caution and common sense when traveling in any country, please be aware that there are significant issues with theft in public places in Peru. Always keep valuables in a safe place and avoid walking alone. We recommend that taxis be reserved via the Hotel concierge desk when possible. As in most parts of the world, be aware of your surroundings and keep to well-lit and populated areas.

Tourist Street Scams

Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  1. Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways, and tourist sites.
  2. Be especially careful when traveling independently or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets.
  3. Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors.
  4. Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling in front of you.
  5. Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you by offering a demonstration, resulting in you staying pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket.
  6. Don’t tip beggars.
  7. Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest.
  8. Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items.
  9. ATMs can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However, those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the device with a plastic insert, which makes retrieval of your card; the thief then removes your card after walking away.
  10. If you do confront, do not fight back – give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.

Code of Conduct

Peru – Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Visitors should observe usual courtesies; the atmosphere is regularly informal, and casual dress is appropriate. Would you please demonstrate respect for the cultural artifacts of the indigenous peoples (Andean and Jungles areas)?

Local Emergency Phone Numbers

Peru / General Emergency: 105

Languages

Peru – Spanish “Castellano” is the local language. Quechua is spoken in some areas as well. The English language does usually expressed in tourist areas.

Electricity

The U.S. uses 110 to 120 volts, and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. Peru – The voltage used is 220 volts and round plugs.

Gratuities

Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that many locals consider tipping to be a part of their average remuneration, and some may approach you for additional “compensation.” There is no need to be intimidated by request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable with any behavior you encounter, please advise your Tour manager or phone our Kondor office. Numbers do provide in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: Peru

  • Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a Guide): US $10 per person per day.
  • Tour Manager Helper: US $5 per day.
  • Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): the US $5 per person per day, US $3 per half day
  • Kondor tour guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along with a Tour program): the US $15 per person per day of sightseeing, US $10 per half day
  • Peruvian Amazon Cruise: Crew: US $15 per person per day.
  • Housekeeping: US $3 per room per day.
  • Hotel porters and wait staff: US $3.
  • Peru – Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to Tourists.
  • Porters: Inca Trail US$ 20 per Porter per day.

Food & Meals

As specified in each itinerary, meals do base on the Hotel’s or restaurant’s buffet or set menu. In general, beverages do not include unless expressly stated. Although Kondor Path Tours cannot make guarantees, every effort will honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours before departure to info@kondorpathtours.com.

Peru – While it is generally safe to eat fully cooked meats and vegetables, who should avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Avoid ice, as it does usually made from tap water.

Peru Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year’s Day / Apr 2: Holy Thursday / Apr 3: Good Friday / Apr 5: Easter / May 1: Labor Day Jun 4: Corpus Christi (Cuzco Only) / Jun 24: Inti Raymi Festival / Jun 29: St. Peter & St. Paul Day / Jul 28: Independence Day / Jul 29: Homeland Celebrations / Aug 30: Santa Rosa de Lima Day / Oct 8: Battle of Angamos / Nov 1: All Saints’ Day / Dec 8: Immaculate Conception Day / Dec 25: Christmas.

Machu Picchu Trains

Due to minimal storage space, only one small backpack / day-pack / handbag up to 5 to 7 kilos / 11 to 15 pounds per passenger is permitted onboard trains to Machu Picchu Pueblo. This regulation applies to overnight stays as well. Additional luggage will be transported to and held at your Hotel in Cuzco for no additional charge.

Passengers who wish to bring extra luggage on the train will be charged an additional fee directly by the train operator; this excess luggage will follow in a separate train. A passport or picture ID is

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