How will I be affected by altitude?
Most travelers that come to Cusco worry about how their bodies will react to being at altitude. You can acclimate more easily if after landing in Cusco you spend the first night or two in the Sacred Valley as the altitude is significantly lower. For example, the altitude of Urubamba is 9420 feet in comparison with that of Cusco which is located at 11,154 feet. Usually travelers will experience some fatigue, some sleeplessness and some shortness of breath with exertion during the first 24 hours. This can all be minimized by drinking lots of liquids including Coca tea, not drinking alcohol, and not planning too many activities on the first day. If you have any medical conditions, it is recommended that you discuss the effects of altitude with your physician before you come. Acetazolamide or Diamox may also help and your physician can provide you with a prescription for this if he or she feels it is appropriate. Oxygen will be available for you in case of emergency.
When is the best time to visit Cusco?
Any time of year is great to visit Cusco. June, July and August are the busiest months for tourists however the weather is predictably nice. It can get quite cold at night so be sure to pack clothes for temperatures that get into the 30's F/0 C. November through February is known as the rainy season and in fact, the Inca trail is closed during the month of February. One advantage of visiting during this time however is that there are fewer tourists.
Are your tours suitable for children?
Absolutely! Valentin's Pachamama Journeys loves children. There are hidden spots that we know that kids love that can be added to any trip. For example, we can visit a llama and alpaca farm on the way to the Sacred Valley and there are secret stone slides hidden behind the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. We can vary the pace to suit your children's needs and desires.
What about money?
Credit cards will be accepted at most hotels but you will need cash to pay for smaller restaurants, taxis and for other purchases. ATM's are plentiful in Cusco as are locations to exchange money. Generally, it is easier to exchange money in one of these shops rather than going to a bank. Your guide can take you to the Avenida del Sol in Cusco and help you find a safe and reputable place to exchange your money.
Will I have access to WIFI?
Most hotels and many restaurants have wifi although sometimes service can be slow. If you have an international plan on US carriers such as Verizon or ATT, you can use this to text and access the internet in Cusco. Reception in the Sacred Valley can be spotty and is more reliable closer to towns and cities. There is no cell reception on treks such as Rainbow Mountain or the Inca trail.
Are Cusco and the Sacred Valley Friendly for gay and lesbian travelers?
Absolutely, and Valentin's Pachamama Journeys is committed to treating all customers with the utmost of kindness and respect.
What is your cancellation policy?
For day tours in Cusco and the Sacred Valley where we have not booked your hotel, we will refund your deposit 100% (minus the 5.5% fee that Paypal charges us) if you cancel within 7 days. If we have booked your hotel, we will make every effort to get back your money but we cannot promise to return your money 100% as the cancellation policies of individual hotels may vary. For tours that involve trips or trekking to Machu Picchu, your deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. This is because we have used your deposit to purchase train tickets, entrance fees, and permits for the Inca trail. After purchasing the permit, neither the the government or Peru rail will refund us the cost of the permit, tickets or entrance fees nor allow us to transfer the tickets or entrance to another person. We would love to be able to return your money but unfortunately, it would be a 100% loss for us.
What are the entrance rules for Machu Picchu?
The site of Machu Picchu is gaining popularity and therefore the local government has decided that they need to up the level of protection for Machu Picchu making sure that the site is duly protected for the years and visitors to come. Therefore, the INC, the governing body that manages Machu Picchu has implemented some new regulations that take place from July 1 onward. Below we will inform you of the most important changes and how they affect the visits to this majestic Inca heritage.
-Two entrance times; 6am to 12pm & 12pm to 5:30pm -No re-entrance allowed (for a full day visit you need two tickets)
-First day entrance has to be accompanied by an official guide
-3 Circuits to follow – not allowed to divert from the circuits Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountain maintain their schedules as before
-Rules can be changed or adjusted in the coming months
For more information please visit: http://www.howtotraveltomachupicchu.com/content/new-entrance-rules-machu-picchu
If you don't see a question you would like answered in our FAQ, please send us a message and we'll get back to you promptly.