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Last Updated: November 14, 2013

Southern Divide - SMS

22 days: Lima to Santiago

What's Included

Guided tour of the Sacred Valley, Guided tour of Machu Picchu, Guided tour of Taquile and Uros Islands, 3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats, Tour of Moon Valley in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and G Adventures. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

VALIDITY: Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013

Itinerary

Route map for Southern Divide (SMS)

Day 1 Lima

Arrive in Lima at any time, there are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.

Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Known as the City of Kings, Peru’s capital city Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535. The Plaza de Armas is the heart of old Lima, and it is here you find the Cathedral, Government Palace and Archbishop’s Palace. The Cathedral dates back to the 1700s and houses the remains of the conquistador Pizarro. To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard in the afternoon. Walk the streets surrounding the Jirón de la Unión for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to get a taste for life in a large South American city. An optional city tour visits many of the city’s highlights.

There are many fine museums in and around the city, including the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, which houses an equally impressive collection of pottery, mummies and textiles from the Paracas and Nazca cultures. The more affluent coastal districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro offer good nightlife and cafés all within walking distance. Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly, and the city is filled with excellent restaurants; seafood lovers in particular should be sure to try a ceviche, for which Lima is well known.

Day 2-3 Cuzco

Take a short morning flight to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire. Spend 2 nights here--plenty of time to explore the numerous museums, shop in the markets, wander the cobblestone streets and take time to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and the hub of the South American travel network. The city attracts travellers who come not just to visit a unique destination but also to experience an age-old culture very different from their 20th century way of life; one could easily spend a week just in and around the area. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and you don't have to go far to see other major Inca ruins. It is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend.

Every year Cusco attracts thousands of travellers who come to delve into its noble but tragic past. It is the perfect base for optional explorations around the city and area as well as a range of outdoor activities.

Cusco’s numerous colonial churches are one of the city’s most common sights. The Cathedral was started in 1559 and took 100 years to build; it is also one of the city’s greatest repositories of colonial art. Immediately in front of the entrance is a vault containing the remains of the famous Inca historian, Garcilaso de la Vega. Also worth visiting are the churches of La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.

While most ruins are just outside of the city, the main ruin within is that of the Coricancha, once the Inca Empire's richest temple. Today the ruin forms the base of the colonial church of Santo Domingo. During Inca times this temple was literally covered with gold, but within months of the arrival of the first conquistadors this incredible wealth had all been melted down. It is left to the individual imagination to envision the magnificence of the original structure.

There are several good museums in Cusco, including the Archaeological Museum, which also houses a small art museum, the Regional History Museum and the Religious Art Museum. Our best advice for exploring Cusco is to wear a comfortable pair of shoes, arm yourself with a city map and set off to explore!

Approximate Distance: 573km
Estimated Travel Time: 2.30 hours

Day 4 Ollantaytambo

Travel with our local guide through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. An important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cusco with much of its produce. Visit the impressive Pisac ruins and the colourful artisan market (market days only). The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, site of another large Inca ruin.

The town and fortress of Ollantaytambo are strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. This major ruin site is known as the best surviving example of Inca urban planning and engineering. It is admired for its huge steep terraces guarding the Inca Fortress and for being one of the few places where the Spanish lost a major battle during the conquest. We spend the night in this small town before heading out towards Machu Picchu the next morning.

Approximate Distance: 95km
Estimated Travel Time: 2.30 hours

Day 5 Aguas Calientes

We board a morning train that winds through the steep Urubamba Valley to its final destination of Aguas Calientes. Relax in the natural mountain hot baths that gave the town its name. For serious archaeology buffs, there is time for an optional independent visit to Machu Picchu before the guided tour the following morning.

*Please note: those who have pre-booked and purchased the "1-day Inca Trail" hiking option will disembark the train at km 104 to begin the trek. The trail rises steeply up into the mountains and will take hikers past the archaeological sites of Wiñay Wayna and Inti Pata, where the local guide will provide insights into the fascinating culture of the Incas en route to the trek's culmination at the Sun Gate. Enjoy a packed lunch along the way and reach the Sun Gate in the late afternoon with a chance for a preliminary exploration of Machu Picchu before the guided tour on Day 6.

Transfer by bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes to rejoin the group and spend the night in a hotel. If time permits, take an optional visit to the nearby hot springs to soak the sore muscles.

Approximate Distance: 43km
Estimated Travel Time: 1.45 hours

Those taking the 1-day Inca Trail option:
Approximate Distance: 15km
Estimated hiking Time: 5-6 hours

Day 6-7 Machu Picchu / Cuzco

Get up early to enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu with the expert local guide.

Machu Picchu is both the best and the least known of the Inca ruins. It is not mentioned in any of the chronicles of the Spanish conquistadors and archaeologists today can do no more than speculate on its function. The local Quechua farmers in the area knew of Machu Picchu for centuries, but it was not until an 11-year-old boy led the American historian Hiram Bingham (who was in search of Vilcabamba) to the site on July 24, 1911, that the rest of the world became aware of its existence. At that time the site was covered in thick vegetation, and Bingham and his team returned in 1912 and 1915 to clear the growth. Over the years, much work has been done on excavating and studying the site. Despite these efforts, many unanswered questions remain.

Return by train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and will then be transferred by van to Cusco and enjoy two more nights in this vibrant and beautiful city.

Cusco is considered the mecca of Peru and rightly so. This beautiful colonial town offers nearby ruins, cobble-stoned streets, museums, churches and a lively atmosphere. The more adventurous optional activities available in Cusco include horseback riding around archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Tambo Machay and Puca Pucara; white water rafting on the Urubamba River; and mountain biking down to the Sacred Valley, perhaps visiting an Inca ruin along the way.

Approximate Distance: 118km
Estimated Travel Time: 3.15 hours

Day 8-9 Puno

Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on this full day of travel from Cusco to Puno, through the high Altiplano region.

Located at 3830 m above sea level, Puno is the highest altitude of any place we sleep on the tour. As a result the weather can be extreme with very cold nights and a strong sun during the day (don’t worry, if you get cold, buy an alpaca sweater from the market — they are inexpensive). Puno is also known for its wealth of traditional dances: there are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in the street processions celebrating Catholic feast days. If you are fortunate enough to be visiting at the right time you may even catch one of these celebrations. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site.
Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from both Amantaní and Taquile Islands are stunning.

Our first stop on Lake Titicaca is at the floating islands of the Uros people. The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from the Colla and Inca tribes. Sadly, the Uros language has died out, and today the islanders speak Aymara due to intermarriage with Aymara-speaking clans. Today about 300 families live on the islands, however their numbers are slowly declining.

The Totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake are used for making everything from the islands themselves to the model boats that the islanders sell. The islands are made up of layers upon layers of reeds; as the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top. The reeds are also used to build their boats, which if constructed well will last up to 6 months.

The people of Taquile Island’s unique culture, style of dress and lifestyle make for a memorable visit. The men of the community do all the knitting, as this is strictly a male domain, while the women do the spinning. High quality, locally knitted goods are available for purchase at various cooperatives on the island. Despite the short distance that separates the two islands, nearby Amantaní Island is quite distinct. Its soil is a rich terra cotta red, due to the high iron deposits, and the colour contrasts brightly with the deep azure blue of the lake and sky and the greenery of the local crops.

After our guided tour of the floating islands of Uros as well as the island of Taquile, return to Puno for a second night.

Approximate Distance: 389km
Estimated Travel Time: 7.30 hours

Day 10-11 La Paz

The day begins with an impressive journey along the shores of Titicaca to La Paz. Founded by Alonso de Mendoza in 1548, La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz (the City of Our Lady of Peace) is the highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital, La Paz is the Bolivian centre of commerce, finance and industry, and the de facto capital. This is a busy modern city, with its centre at the base of a canyon 5 km (3 miles) wide and sprawling impromptu housing all the way up the surrounding hillsides. The city is at nearly 4000 m (13,120 ft) above sea level, so visitors should be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.

Explore the city’s many fine museums or its historic ecclesiastical structures, such as the Iglesia de San Francisco, whose architectural details reflect the indigenous and mestizo heritage of modern Bolivia. The city is also renowned for its many markets, including the Mercado de Hechicería (Witches’ Market), where Paceños and visitors may purchase potions and incantations made from all sorts of herbs, seeds, and secret ingredients to remedy any number of illnesses (real or imagined) and protect from evil spirits. With streets lined with market stalls and vendors, the pace on the street and the vibrant atmosphere is an incredible experience. There is also a thriving black market and a Carnaval market, where locals purchase carnival costumes. You’ll also find a wealth of shops selling all sorts of handicrafts, mainly alpaca wool products, silver jewellery, woven textiles and leather goods.

Optional activities in La Paz include museums or a visit to the world’s highest ski resort, Chacaltaya (5600 m/18,368 ft). To the south of the city is the Valley of the Moon, with crater-like formations made of sand.

Approximate Distance: 297km
Estimated Travel Time: 7.30 hours

Day 12-13 Sucre

Often referred to as Bolivia’s White City, the country’s official capital, Sucre, is situated at nearly 2800m (9184 ft) above sea level, offering its visitors and inhabitants a more moderate, comfortable climate than many of Bolivia’s cities at higher elevations. Before the conquest, military, religious and political leaders of the local indigenous population made their homes on the present day city site. Later, the city became the headquarters for the Spanish Royal Court, which by the late 1700s ruled over colonial Paraguay, parts of Peru, Argentina, Chile, and most of Bolivia. In 1825, in the wake of the Latin American independence movement, the city was renamed Sucre after Simon Bolívar’s second-in-command, General Antonio Jose de Sucre. The city’s fine museums, colonial buildings and ties to the independence movement make it a city of great historical interest. Optional activities include a visit to dinosaur footprints, an old tin baron’s mansion, a textile cooperative, mountain biking and hiking.

Approximate Distance: 701km
Estimated Travel Time: 2.20 hours

Day 14 Potosí

Sitting at 4070m (13,350 ft), Potosí is the highest city of its size on earth. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 in recognition of its tragic history as a silver mining centre during the time of Spanish colonization. Potosí provided a large share of the silver mined and shipped back to Spain until the early 1800s, when both the supply of silver and world market prices began to decline; it’s said the silver taken out of Cerro Rico (rich hill) propped up the Spanish empire for over 300 years.

Working conditions for miners were appalling, and the indigenous population was decimated. African slaves were brought in to replace the native workers, and it is estimated that as many as eight million indigenous people and Africans died in the mines during the first three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. Though sometimes distressing and uncomfortable because of the harsh working conditions, the optional trip underground into the mines of today is an experience that should not be missed.

Approximate Distance: 185km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours

Day 15 Uyuni

A long travel day takes us to the small town of Uyuni, on the edge of the immense salt flats. We spend the night here before leaving the next morning for our 3-day excursion.

Despite its isolation and challenging climate (cold and blustery most of the year), Uyuni has earned the nickname of Hija Predilecta de Bolivia (Bolivia’s Favourite Daughter). Most of its hardy residents are either public sector workers or salt miners in the dried out lakebeds, with tour operators a close third. The main attraction in town is the Train Cemetery, a collection of rusting railway relics just southwest of the present train station.

Approximate Distance: 230km
Estimated Travel Time: 7 hours

Day 16-17 Salar de Uyuni Excursion (2B, 2L, 2D)

Spend three days exploring the stunning landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni and Chile’s Atacama Desert by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Piercing blue skies contrast with blinding white salt as you drive across the flat lakebed. This area’s unusual landscape of mountains, active volcanoes, and geysers is like nowhere on earth.

Uyuni is the starting point for our 3-night 4X4 excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni. Twice submerged by a large high-altitude lake, the salt flats now cover a total area of over 12000 square km (7440 square miles) and today serve as one of the country’s main salt mining centres. The last large lake dried up about 8000 years ago, leaving the small lakes of Poopó and Ururu, as well as the salt flats of Uyuni. Absorb stunning views of the salt-encrusted lakebed surrounded by golden-hued mountains, snow-capped peaks and an endless azure horizon that will forever engrave itself in your memory. The tour takes us through Laguna Colorada (4278 m/14,031 ft), a large red lagoon whose colour is the result of algae & plankton growth in the mineral-rich waters, and Laguna Verde (5000 m/16400 ft), a lake that owes its striking blue-green colour to high concentrations of lead, sulphur, copper and other minerals. The numerous geysers, boiling mud pools, thermal baths and Licancabúr volcano (5960 m/19549 ft), which looms just behind the lagoon, are clear evidence of the region’s volcanic activity. Surprisingly, both wildlife and flora manage to survive and even thrive in the desolate landscape, including vizcachas (of the rodent family), flamingos (3 varieties), and assorted varieties of cacti.

Day 18-19 San Pedro de Atacama

From the high Bolivian altiplano we descend almost 2000 metres to the edge of the Atacama Desert, where we arrive at the small desert oasis of San Pedro de Atacama, just across the Chilean border. Said to be one of the driest places on the planet, this little town is an oasis in an otherwise barren, dry landscape.

Enjoy an included excursion to the Valley of the Moon to learn about and appreciate the beautiful uniqueness of the landscape. The sunset brings out a variety of colours over the majestic valley that is appropriately named. Experts say it is the area on Earth that most represents the moon's surface. The incredible formations have been formed by wind and rain over millennia in the unique location between the Andes mountains and one of the world's driest deserts .

There are plenty of optional excursions here, including biking, exploring nearby ruins, and horseback riding. Despite its size, San Pedro offers some great restaurants as well as numerous handicrafts and artisan stores for those looking for souvenirs.

Approximate Distance: 45km
Estimated Travel Time: 1.30 hours

Day 20-21 Santiago de Chile

From the nearby city of Calama, fly to Santiago, the capital of Chile. Spend two nights here to fully appreciate all the city and its surroundings have to offer.

Located right in the centre of the country, Chile’s largest city and capital Santiago sits in a semi-arid valley—the perfect climate for growing grapes and making wine. The city is surrounded by mountains, and there are both internationally recognized vineyards and Andean ski resorts within a couple of hours from the city centre.

Explore the city’s many museums and parks and visit the vibrant neighbourhood of Bellavista with its handicrafts, trendy cafés, and San Cristobal Hill with its views of the city and the surrounding area. Day trips include Valparaiso/Viña del Mar, Chile’s premier beach resort, and Isla Negra, Nobel prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s seaside home.

Although Santiago covers an immense area, the central core of the city is relatively small. It is a roughly triangular shaped region, bounded in the north by the Río Mapocho, in the west by the Via Norte Sur and in the south by the Avenida del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins (more commonly known as the Alameda). The apex of the triangle is the Plaza Baquedano, where O'Higgins forms a junction with two of Santiago's other main thoroughfares, Avenidas Providencia and Vicuña MacKenna.

The centre of this triangle is the Plaza de Armas, the chief plaza of Santiago, bounded on its northern side by the main post office and on the western side by the cathedral. The streets between the Plaza de Armas and O'Higgins are wall-to-wall shops, restaurants, snack and fast food bars, cinemas, expensive hotels and office blocks. The Presidential Palace, La Moneda, is on Avenida Moneda, facing the Plaza de la Constitución. Near the Plaza de Armas is the National Congress building. One of Santiago's main parks, Cerro Santa Lucía, is in the triangle facing O'Higgins. The other main park is Cerro San Cristobal, or Huelén, in the Mapuche tongue. It is a large hill that rises dramatically from the plain to the north of Avenida Providencia. Between this avenue and the mountain, on either side of the Avenida Pío Nono, is Santiago's 'Paris quarter', the barrio Bella Vista. Here you find beautifully landscaped parks and gardens, artists' colonies and impressive views over the city, including the snow-capped peaks of the Andes (when the weather and thick smog permit).

Approximate Distance: 1323km
Estimated Travel Time: 5 hours

Day 22 Santiago de Chile

Depart any time

What's Included

Guided tour of the Sacred Valley, Guided tour of Machu Picchu, Guided tour of Taquile and Uros Islands, 3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats, Tour of Moon Valley in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

Highlights

Exploring the Sacred Valley, Marvelling at the views from the train to Machu Picchu, witnessing traditional life on Lake Titicaca, encountering colonial cities and historic cultures in Bolivia, crossing the Uyuni Salt Flats and mountain wilderness into Chile by 4x4.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Last minute bookings of this trip when choosing the 1-day Inca Trail option will be on an "on request" basis only. To make a booking request of a tour which includes the Inca Trail G Adventures requires your full name, date of birth, nationality and passport number.
2. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, Avg 10

Meals Included

2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the expedition ship Explorer or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD480-760 for meals not included.

Transport

Plane, train, boat, bus, 4x4 vehicles, hiking.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels/guest houses (19 nts), very basic hostels on Uyuni Salt Flats excursion (2 nts, multi-share).

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 16-17: Salar de Uyuni

About Accommodation

Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Joining Hotel

The joining hotel for all departures other than exceptions listed below is:

Hotel Britania Miraflores
Calle Independencia 211 esq. 2 de Mayo
Miraflores, Lima
T/ +51 1 203-3900

The departures on March 9, 2013 and May 4th, 2013 will be using the following hotel instead:

Hotel La Castellana
Grimaldo del Solar 222
Miraflores
Lima, Peru
PH: (511) 444-3530

The departure on 22nd June 2013 will start at the following hotel:

San Agustin Colonial
Avenida Comandante Espinar #310
Miraflores
Lima
Peru
Tel: +51 1 241 7471

The departures on July 20th, 2013, August 10th, 2013 August 24th, 2013 November 16th, 2013 and December 7th, 2013 will be using the following hotel:

Casa Suyay
Calle la Esperanza 144, Miraflores
Lima
Peru
Tel: + 511 2429432


Joining Instructions

Jorge Chavez International Airport in Callao Lima, is approximately a 45-minute drive from the Miraflores district, where our joining hotel is located. The easiest way to get there is via taxi. Immediately after the customs and immigration area, as you head to the exits, you will find an official taxi stand. You can pay for the car at set (approximately $27 USD) rates and won’t need to worry about sorting out a ride outside the airport facilities, where the situation tends to get more chaotic, with many drivers vying for few clients. There are exchange facilities in the Arrivals area open 24 hours.

If you are arriving from abroad and have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, someone will be at the airport to meet you. Upon leaving the baggage claim area you will see a large open area with sign boards all around. Look for a G Adventures sign board with your name. As there are many people and signs in this area it may be difficult for you to spot the sign immediately. Please take your time in doing so and if at that stage you do not see a G Adventures sign board with your name go to the customer service area to wait. In the event that your driver does not arrive within 20 minutes please ask the information desk to arrange an official taxi for you which should cost approximately $27 USD and this money will be reimbursed by your CEO or G Adventures representative.

FINDING YOUR TRANSFER - As you walk out of the airport there will be many drivers holding signs with agency or passenger names as well as taxi drivers asking you if you require their services. These are NOT our drivers and you should not accept their services. Please wait for our designated transfer person with a G Adventures sign board.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +51 1 241 1650 or 01 241 1650 (from mobile within Peru) or 241 1650 (from payphone within Peru)
After hours Emergency number: +51 99 758 2712,

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack whatever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.

Checklist

- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- USD cash
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing material
- Binoculars
- Cover for backpacks
- Pocketknife.
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sunblock
- Sunglasses
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Purification tablets or filter
- Flashlight
- Money belt
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

NOTE: although near the Equator, higher altitudes on parts of the trip make for cold evenings so you will need a warm sweater/fleece. It’s best to layer clothes rather than bring a heavy parka so that you can remove layers. This is especially true in the Bolivian Altiplano, where nocturnal sub-zero temperatures are not uncommon.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

Detailed Trip Notes

Please note that when running the itinerary in the reverse direction, exact days may vary slightly.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (PEN), in Chile the Chilean Peso (CLP), in Bolivia, the Boliviano (BOB).

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.

You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD $35

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

1-DAY INCA TRAIL HIKE:
Choose to add to your Machu Picchu experience by pre-booking the option of trekking from km 104 to the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu before re-joining your group at Aguas Calientes for the night. Please inquire at the time of booking about this option, spaces are limited by the number of Inca Trail permits available that day.

Lima City Tour $28
Tour colonial and contemporary Lima. - Approx 3 Hrs

Pachacamac $35
Visit the Lost Inca Citadel of Lima. - Approx 3 Hrs

Larco Museum $55
This museum contains the best quality gold and silver collection. - Approx 3 Hrs

Culinary Tour $55
Visit a local market. Learn how to make Ceviche and Pisco Sours like the experts. - Approx 3 Hrs

Ballestas Islands with Huacachina From $180
Enjoy wildlife and history, have lunch in a winery and visit the Huacachina Oasis. - Full day

Nasca Lines $300
Flight over the mysterious Nasca Lines. Services start and end in Lima. - Full day

City Contrasts $25
Visit the other face of Lima, the shanty towns or Pueblos Jovenes. - Approx 3 Hrs

Lima at Night $55
Visit the Magic Circuit of Water, walk through the centre of Lima and savour an included dinner. - Approx 3 Hrs

Palomina Islands $55
Visit the port area of Lima. Spot wildlife and swim with the sea lions. - Approx 5 Hrs (minimum 2)

Cusco:
Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) $25 (half ticket) $46 (full ticket)
City tour $15-20
Horseback riding around ruins (with guide) $40
Horseback riding around ruins (without guide) $15
Whitewater rafting $55
Mountain biking $55
Inka Museum $3.5 entrance
Action Valley - bungee etc. $80+
Museo de Historia Regional entrance with Boleto Turistico

Puno:
Sillustani archaeological site $12

La Paz:
Chacaltaya tour $18
City tour $20
Mountain biking $60-100
Museo de Metales Preciosos Pre-Columbinos entrance $1 for ticket to four museums
Casa de Don Perdo Domingo Murillo entrance included in ticket above

Sucre:
Dinosaur Footprints tour $5
Hiking $25-35
Mountain biking $18-35

Potosí:
Silver Mine Tour $10
Casa de la Moneda $3

San Pedro de Atacama
Mountain biking (1/2 or full day) $10-20

Santiago:
City tour $20
Pisco distillery tour $6
Winery tour $8-$10


All prices are per person in US dallar amounts
(unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Huayna Picchu: Whilst we appreciate that this hike may be promoted by others, at this time we cannot verify that this hike meets G Adventures minimum safety standards. For this reason, we do not include the Huayna Picchu hike in any of our itineraries, and our CEO's and support staff are prohibited from providing advice or assistance with booking this activity.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Care should be taken when wandering around on your own in central Lima as, some areas can be dangerous and pick-pockets are daring.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

On this tour you may have the opportunity to visit the following Planeterra projects:

HOUSE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE SUN
Inti Runakunaq Wasin (IRW) is Quechua for “House of the People of the Sun”. It is a non-profit organization based in Cusco that acts as a haven for children and adolescents who live in extreme poverty. The home is open during the day and is run by a staff of volunteer teachers and social workers. Children are given the opportunity to voluntarily drop-in to receive help with homework, a warm meal and participate in a variety of classes and workshops that teach them valuable skills including jewelry making, leather working, cooking, music and English. IRW currently supports 50 children through their programs. However, there are still many more children working and living on the streets of Cusco.

After fundraising for 5 years, a dream was made into a reality in 2009 when Planeterra purchased a permanent home for IRW. Planeterra continues to support the children's training workshops and support programs.

It is possible to visit this project on most tours that pass through Cusco. To arrange a visit please speak to your G Adventures CEO.

How You Can Help? All donations to this project are being matched by G Adventures, please go to www.planterra.org to learn more or make a donation.

WOMEN'S WEAVING PROJECT – Ccaccaccollo Community
In January and March 2005, G Adventures developed and offered training courses to 123 people from four local communities just outside of Cusco to work as Porters and Cooks on the Inca Trail. The women and wives of our cooks and porters from the Ccaccaccollo Community saw how G Adventures was working to provide jobs on the Inca Trail and approached us to ask us for support to develop a women's weaving project.

Three women from the Ccaccaccollo Community took part in a three month training course held by a local organization in which they learned ancient weaving techniques of the Incas including how to dye the wool using native flowers and plants. Each of the three women continued on to teach the rest of the women what they had learned and today 60 women have joined together to create the Ccaccaccollo Women's Weaving Project.

Beginning in April 2005, G Adventures groups began to visit this community as part of the Sacred Valley Tour where they have the opportunity to meet the women and learn about all the stages of the weaving process; from spinning the sheep wool, to dying the wool using natural dyes, and participating in a weaving demonstration. Travellers are also given the opportunity to purchase high quality textiles directly from the women who made them.

By working directly with the Ccaccaccollo community G Adventures and the Planeterra Foundation are encouraging men and women to be proud of their cultural heritage, and enabling them to benefit from tourism in a way that avoids negative social and cultural impacts while providing economic benefits.

How You Can Help
You can help support this project by purchasing these high quality weavings during your visit to the Ccaccaccollo community. All proceeds go directly to the woman who made the weaving.

Donations made through the Planeterra Foundation are based on the needs of the community. In the past our donation has been used to purchase needed construction material to build a place for the women to weave indoors on rainy days and showcase their work. We have also used donation to purchase alpacas for the community so that they do not have to purchase the wool but instead will have their own animals provide a steady supply.

For more information about these projects and/or to make a donation please visit our website at www.planeterra.org or contact us at info@planeterra.org

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.