1. Booking Your Tour

1.1. How do I book a tour with Tailor Made Peru?

You start by contacting us by e-mail (info@tailormadeperu.com) or phone to tell us what you are interested in. Maybe we have a package that is exactly what you are looking for, but probably we will have to tailor-make a tour specially designed just for you. When you are satisfied with the tour itinerary we will go ahead and make sure that hotels, trains etc. are available. If everything is available we are ready to book the tour and then you fill out our online booking form and pay the deposit.

1.2. How do I pay for my tour?

We prefer that you make your payment by a bank transfer to our Peruvian account, according to our instructions about account details. We also accept Visa, American Express and MasterCard, but the fee to receive payments by cards are very expensive in Peru, so we prefer that you pay through a bank-transfer.

1.3. When is my balance due?

The balance is due 60 days prior to departure. If you book the tour within 60 days before departure we require a full payment upfront.

1.4. When do I receive the final info for my trip?

About 2 weeks before departure we will send you the final itinerary that contains all the necessary information such as pick up times, phone numbers to our staff and to the hotels, booking codes, detailed tour descriptions, etc.

1.5. I need to make changes in the tour I already bought, is that possible?

Yes, of course it is possible. We have to check first though that everything is available. There is a risk that we have already paid for some services, money that we might loose. In that case you have to compensate us with this amount if you still want to make the changes.

1.6. If something happens during the tour like illness, strikes, cancellations, etc, who do we contact?

You then immediately contact our Operations department. You have all the important phone numbers on your final itinerary that we send to you 2 weeks before departure. We have 24/7 support and will solve the issue as fast as we can.

1.7. Can you assure us that we will get the hotels specified in the itinerary?

Before you book the tour we always make sure that the hotels are available. Then as soon as the tour is booked we make all the reservations. It usually takes a few days before the hotels get back to us with the confirmations and as soon as they do we will let you know. Usually there is no problem and we get the confirmations, but sometimes the hotels get fully booked while we are waiting for confirmations. This can happen for example if there is only one room available and another agency sends the booking request after we checked the availability but before we sent the actual booking request. Then you get put on the waiting list and usually you get the hotel in the end. But it is important to have a back-up hotel in case space does not open up. If this hotel is less expensive we will reimburse you with the difference, if it is the opposite, you need to pay the difference. To avoid these problems it is crucial to book the tour as soon as we have checked the availabilities. It is the time span between us checking the availability and sending the booking request that is the danger. But to answer the question; yes, as soon as we have the hotel confirmations we can assure you that you will get the hotels specified.

1.8. Do you recommend travel insurance?

Yes. If you need to cancel anything during your tour, change something, delay something, or rearrange anything due to weather, health, or personal decisions, you will need a travel insurance to cover the costs. Therefore we recommend all travelers to have travel insurance. It should be purchased shortly after you have reserved the tour with us as the insurance companies sometimes have time limits.

1.9. What is the difference between Group Service and Private Service?

In Private Service it is just you and the guide and you have your own vehicle. In Group Service you share the guide with other people (the groups are usually 12-16 people) and the vehicle is also shared.

2. Airport

2.1. Do I need a Visa to visit Peru?

Most travelers do not need a Visa; people from the European Union and the United States for example are granted a 90 day Tourist Visa at arrival in Lima. Check with your local Peruvian Embassy for further details.

2.2. How do we find you at the airport?

After picking up your luggage you will go through a door that leads into the Arrival hall. There we will be waiting for you with a sign with your name on it.

2.3. Are there lockers at the airport?

Yes, they are near the domestic departure exit. The airport staff will point out for you the right direction. Lockers cost about 3 USD per hour and 12 USD for the whole day. There is also a left-luggage area where you can leave your suitcase for about 2 USD per hour per piece or 6 USD for the whole day per piece.

2.4. Can we exchange or withdraw money at the airport?

Yes, there are both ATM machines and Money Exchange at the airport.

2.5. Do you use e-tickets for the domestic flights?

Yes, we use e-tickets so all you need to do is to approach the check-in with your passports and you will get your boarding passes. We will also give you the booking code just in case.

3. Money in Peru

3.1. Where can I change currency or take out money?

As mentioned above there are ATM machines and Money Exchange at the airport. You can also find these in all the cities and major towns. You will probably get a better exchange rate in Peru than in your home country so exchange/take out some of the money at the airport upon arrival and the rest later on in the other destinations.

3.2. Can I pay with American dollars?

Yes, US$ are widely accepted in Peru. You can pay at most of the hotels, supermarkets and restaurants with them. However, we recommend you to always carry Peruvian Soles also. In smaller shops and taxis for example they might not accept dollars, and if they do you will probably get a very bad exchange rate.

3.3. What is not included in our tour package?

Everything is included except for the international flights, airport taxes, some lunches and dinners, and personal expenses.

3.4. How much money should we bring?

Prices in Peru are in general about half, or one third, of the prices in the US and Europe. Taxis are very cheap and you can go quite far for only US$3 – 4. Lunches normally cost around US$10 and dinners US$15. The really fancy restaurants can be more expensive though, a dinner can cost up to US$20-25 for a main course.

4. Packing

4.1. What should we bring with us?

This depends very much upon where you are going, you will need light clothes for the coast and warmer clothes for the mountains. In the mountains the secret is to dress in layers, during the warm days you can take off clothes and in the chilly evenings you put them back on.
See our packing lists under the title Travel tips in the homepage.

4.2. Are we likely to encounter a dress code anywhere on our tour?

No, there are no dress codes. People in Peru and the staff at the hotels and restaurants are used to tourists using comfortable clothes for their tours.

4.3. What kind of plugs is standard in Peru, 110V or 220V? Square or circular sockets?

In Peru they use 220V and normally the plugs take both square and circular sockets, although square is standard. If necessary your hotel can lend you adapters.

4.4. What are the baggage weight limitations on domestic flights?

The following table represents information regarding domestic LAN flights and is only to be used as a rough guide. If you will be flying another airline, or for the most current information, please check the airline’s website or talk to us for further details.

Lan Passenger Baggage Restrictions
Class Check-In-Luggage Carry-On Luggage
First 40 kg 16 kg
Business 30 kg 16 kg
Tourist 20 kg 8 kg

4.5. Are there any luggage limits for the train to Machu Picchu?

For the train between Cuzco and Machu Picchu, 5kg or 11lbs of luggage is permitted with a total of  62 in3 / 157cm3 (length * height * width) in dimensions. If you have more than the permitted luggage, there will be a surcharge. ‘

5. Calling

5.1. What is the cheapest way to make international calls?

The cheapest way to make international calls is to buy a calling card; the best ones are “147” and “Hola Peru”. For just 10 Soles (about $3.50) you can call for almost 50 minutes normally (from a standard land line – don’t use payphones as there are very high surcharges).

5.2. If we rent an international cell phone will it work in the areas we are going to or do we need a satellite cell phone?

In most of the places you’ll be visiting your international cell phone will work and will be able to get a signal. However for remote places like the jungle a satellite phone is best if you wish to keep in touch.

5.3. I have a GSM cell phone and want to buy a prepaid SIM card for it, would that work?

Yes, just buy a SIM card for around US$5. The biggest telecommunication companies in Peru are Movistar and Claro.

6. Safety

6.1. In terms of safety, especially for the children, is there anything we should be concerned about, to be prepared for etc.?

Something important is what you let your children eat and drink since they are more vulnerable to diarrhea. You can be assured that the food in good hotels and reputable restaurants is ok.
For children with asthma, it would be wise to consult your doctor before travelling, especially if you are visiting a city at high altitude such as Puno or Cusco.

6.2. What are the conditions for personal safety?

Try and avoid wearing flashy jewelry and always keep your belongings close to you. Since all of your transfers and tours are with us though, you can feel totally confident that our guide will take care of you. If you are out at night, try and stick to the touristy areas where the safety is good.

6.3. Should we take some precautions while in Peru, such as drinking only bottled water and going to reputable restaurants?

Yes, only drink bottled water and try and chose nice-looking restaurants. You can ask your hotel for advice, ask our guides or check our restaurant section here on our homepage.

6.4. What can I do to prevent altitude sickness?

  • Before going to Cuzco, don’t eat too much and avoid fat food. Once there, drink lots of water and walk very slowly to not lose your breath, especially in stairs.
  • Coca Tea helps to prevent altitude sickness and is perfectly legal.
  • If you want to be extra safe you can bring/buy Sorochi or Grovol (over the counter medications to be taken 24 hours before). These are abundant both in the drugstores found almost at every corner in Lima and Cusco. Don’t forget to ask your doctor’s advice before taking these medications.
  • When doing the Inca Trail it is very important that you acclimatize at least two days before you start the trek. You should also walk slowly and take many breaks, there is no rush!

7. Inca Trail

7.1. How far in advance do I need to book the Inca Trail?

Something important is what you let your children eat and drink since they are more vulnerable to diarrhea. You can be assured that the food in good hotels and reputable restaurants is ok.
For children with asthma, it would be wise to consult your doctor before travelling, especially if you are visiting a city at high altitude such as Puno or Cusco.

7.2. What is the situation with drinking water throughout the trek?

The water will be boiled and provided to you during the whole trip. You can also buy water purification tablets in the drugstore if you prefer. Another option would be to buy mineral water for the Inca Trail in Cuzco and bring it with you (but that will add kilos to your luggage).

7.3. Will there be coffee available or should we bring our own?

Yes, coffee will be provided for you on the Inca trail.

7.4. Is there a toilet tent?

No, there is no toilet tent, but at the campsites there are public toilets that you can use.

7.5. On the hike, do we carry our sleeping bags or do the porters carry them?

You have to carry them. You can hire a personal porter though that will carry your personal belongings. They can carry up to 16 kilos and the cost is US$150 for the entire trek.

7.6. Is it customary to tip the guides and porters? If so, how much is recommended?

Again, it depends on the number of people that are going to be on the Inca Trail and it is also very hard to estimate the proper tip that you could give. On the last night of your trek, there is a tipping custom: all the hikers put their tips together and give them to the guide. The guide will then distribute that money between all the Inca Trail personnel. You can tip according to the level of service you think you have received.

7.7. Is it possible to walk from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes instead of taking the bus?

Yes it’s possible: you can follow the same road as the bus and it will take you about 50 minutes to go down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes.

7.8. Is there any need for insect repellent?

Yes. In the Machu Picchu area there are small insects and you should always carry a mosquito repellant with you. These are available in pharmacies in Cuzco.

7.9. Do we share tents on the Inca Trail?

Yes, every tent is for 2 people so you will share your tent with another person. We provide you with the tents.

7.10. On the Inca Trail, what is provided for sleeping? I understand we bring our own sleeping bags, but do you provide a mattress?

Yes, we will provide you with sleeping mattresses.

7.11. Can we rent sleeping bags from you?

Yes you can. It cost US$20 per person for the complete trek. Contact us for further info.

7.12. Do we need a sleeping bag for the 2 days Inca Trail?

No, you do not need a sleeping bag. You will hike the first day and spend the night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

7.13. What kind of weather can we expect?

During the dry season April-November the days are sunny and the nights are cold. During the wet season November-March it rains more, especially in the afternoons and evenings. This is the period that you see mist on the mountains and the local flora in full bloom.

7.14. I want to experience the sunrise in Machu Picchu but was told that the ticket office does not open before sunrise?

The entrance fee is valid just for one day. However, you can buy your re-entrance ticket the day before so you can catch the sunrise on the following day. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes our guide will help you to buy your tickets.

8. Salkantay trek

8.1. What do we carry?

Just the things you want handy. The horse will carry all your personal belongings up to 8 kg (17 pounds). If you need more, you can rent a donkey that can carry up to 25 kg.

8.2. Can you tell us the lengths of the treks for each day?

From Mollepata to Cruzpata it’s about 4 and a half hours and then from Cruzpata to Soraypampa it’s another 4 hours. From there, on the second day, it is another 7 to 9 hours walking to Challway. On the third day Challway to La Playa is around 6 hours. Then on the final day you will hike 3 hours to the Hidroelectrica settlement, from where you will take the train to Aguas Calientes.

9. Puno

9.1. What kind of gifts should we take to the family that we will be staying with on the Island of Amantani?

Pencils, coloring books & crayons are great. The kids really appreciate simple things.  Most important to them though are staple foods, a nice surprise would be sweets or cookies. Postcards from your home town are warmly welcomed.

10. The Amazon jungle

10.1. I have been told that I need to get injections and bring malaria tablets on our trip. Is this true?

Yellow Fever vaccination is just recommended but not required. If you want to be on the safe side you can get the shot before you arrive. The shot takes 10 days to become effective. Malaria is not a serious problem for travelers in the Peruvian Amazon. However, if you feel you would like to take precautions, then you should consult your doctor prior to traveling. As always, we recommend you to check with your doctor or the local Health Department regarding any health issues before traveling.

10.2. Do I need walking sticks in the jungle?

There won´t be any strenuous hikes, but walking sticks are always helpful.

10.3. Are we allowed to take our entire luggage into the Amazon or can we leave some of it somewhere?

You can leave your heavy luggage at the safe luggage storage in the Lodge’s office and just take what you need for the Amazon portion. It is a good idea to separate your things before you fly into the jungle.

If you have further questions please send us an e-mail to info@tailormadeperu.com