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Peru Faqs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it safe to travel in Peru?
The answer is yes. The international press sometimes reports (with accompanying video footage) public demonstrations, usually against new government policies. These incidents are localized (usually in Lima) and are generally non-violent. The average tourist is unaffected. The only inconvenience one may experience is the occasional one-day transit halt (“paro” strike). This phenomenon is endemic to almost all of South America. As to street crime, common sense should be exercised when traveling in large urban areas. This is true whether it be Lima, New York or London.

What about food and water?
Peruvian cuisine is a real delight. The country is divided into three very distinct geographic zones (coast, mountain and jungle) with their own culinary traditions. All should be tried and enjoyed. All throughout Peru there are numerous street vendors cooking various dishes; caution is the watchword here. The average “gringo” stomach probably isn’t up to this sort of adventure. When in doubt, go without. Tap water should be avoided. This is no problem as bottled mineral water (with and without gas) is available virtually everywhere for a very reasonable price.

What should I bring?
Everyone has their personal style as far as traveling goes. For a general idea, we’ve compiled a basic list (several actually, depending on where you plan to go check them out). Note: Internet cafés are found just about everywhere in Peru. Just in case you’re hopelessly addicted to your laptop.

What about health - vaccinations, medications etc. ?
On our “About Peru” page (above) you should find answers to all questions pertaining to health. If you still have questions, please feel free to e-mail us about specific issues. Also, there are numerous publications (usually free) dealing with South American health issues. It’s always wise to consult your private physician or local health services before an overseas trip.

What should I do to prepare for my trip?
Trekperu offers a wide variety of adventures ranging from easy treks to arduous climbs and demanding river runs, so some physical training is recommended. It also must be kept in mind that Cusco’s altitude is higher than most mountain peaks in N. America and Europe. Travelers with respiratory difficulties should consult their personal physicians.

 

When you arrive in Peru:

(1) Never buy tours or treks from salespersons at airports or from taxi drivers.
(2) Never buy tours or treks from salespersons at airports or from taxi drivers. (We can't emphasize this point enough)
(3) Never reveal your name and personal details to anyone unless it is really necessary. Don't give away information about your tour itinerary to anyone that doesn't need to know. When you book your flights or when you arrive at your hotel in Lima people may ask you which trekking company you have booked with. When you arrive in Cusco you may be surprised to find someone waiting for you at the airport with a sign with your name on it. This person may claim to be from the trekking company and kindly offer to take you to your hotel where they will ask you to pay the trek balance! Yes you've guessed it, someone from Lima phoned them through your details and flight times, and the person who met you at the airport wasn't working for the trekking company at all! Whoops! Where did that money go so quickly? Always pay the balance of the trek in the office of the trekking company and not to a "representative" in your hotel.
(4) Always pay for your trek in the office of the tour operator (I've said it again) and obtain a written receipt. Ensure that the name of the office is actually written outside of the office and that the receipt has the same name as the company. Never pay money to people who pick you up at the airport.
(5) Try to avoid "too good to be true" offers. A cheap tour price usually means a cheap service. An unbelievably cheap price usually means no service at all!

Problems with service? If you have paid for a trek and the service promised doesn't materialize then you can take your complaint to a government tourist protection body called INDECOPI. Just mentioning their name is usually enough to frighten a company into taking your complaint seriously. However your complaint should first be brought to the attention of the guide during the trek so it gives him/her opportunity to sort the problem out. If things don't improve then ask to see the manager in the office when you return. It helps if you have a receipt with the name and address of the office and a list of what were included in the trek. It also helps if you bought the trek with a company in Cusco and not in Lima or some other part of Peru. INDECOPI have an office in Avenida Sol in Cusco. Don't go to them unless the complaint is serious and you have given the company the opportunity to sort it out first....

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