FAQS

PumaPeru Expeditions- Journeys-Trips

 

 

°How many years has PumaPeru been doing Journeys?
PumaPeru was founded in 1985 by Richard Aguayo Rodriguez, the company itself has a profound connection with the Andean and Amazon World… and the name comes from that feeling, combining two important symbols , Puma...The Sacred Animal of the Andean Cosmology, representing the Second Level of Life….the one in which we physically inter-act, the level in which we mediate between the Lower Level of life “the Snake” and the Higher Level of Life “ The Condor” …and Peru... A unique country, a cultural center, a spiritual community, a powerful place .. a land of feelings…. PumaPeru Expeditions is the essence of almost 20 years of explorations and investigations made by Richard Aguayo R. in the Coast, Andes and Amazon jungle of Peru.

° What the essence (Journey-Trips) of PumaPeru Expeditions
Our main interest in to share the natural, cultural and spiritual world of one of the most spectacular countries of this planet,,, Peru. Our journeys are designed to learn instead of just visiting, to explore instead of just touring… to feel instead of just seeing. The journeys combines historical cities as well as walks-hikes-treks in natural sacred areas.. Allowing you to really go "Into the Spirit of Nature"

° Who books PumaPeru Trips-Journeys
Travelers with whom you’ll share your journey are a lot like you, families join us as well as couples, friends and solo travelers. All of them with a spirit ready to really connect with the beauty and energy of our Wonderful Pachamama... Our Mother Earth. People traveling with us are from of all ages, we do not limit the age-spirit wishes

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Is Peru a safe country?
Since we began our Journeys-trips in Peru, we had never cancelled a trip, but we know that security and safety are the first steps for a smooth trip, however there are risks associated with adventure travel, and travel to overseas destinations, We are constantly monitoring the areas of our operation, and we always work with the native people living in the areas that we will visit,, since they are the ones knowing all about their villages and territory in general, but we always keep in mind that we will cancel or re-route a trip if we feel a destination is unsafe.

°How does PumaPeru rate the trips in terms of difficulty?
Peru has many different options to travel. PumaPeru classify travel experiences in: Adventure, Soft Adventure, Cultural Travel. And ... (under request)…Special Interest Tours, (that explain themselves for those that want to give a specialized focus to their travels) and Short Escapes & Extensions. Our services include guides, trained staff and first-rate equipment and on tours we contract with transport that ensures safety, quality and punctuality. We offer many combinations of itineraries in different forms of travel. In all our Adventure and Soft Adventure Journeys, porters, pack animals, or support vehicles carry all the gear. All you ever carry is a light daypack. That said, you'll get more enjoyment out of any trip if you are in good physical condition, so the best advice we can offer is to get in shape. Check with your doctor before undertaking any new fitness program.

°What's included in my PumaPeru Journey-trip?
Included is Transportation within the itinerary, accommodation…. best available 4 starts hotels-Peru standard and or best available lodges, sightseeing where specified, Services of a Expert leadership, local guides where specified, meals as noted in the itinerary (CB = Continental Breakfast B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, BL=Box Lunch, D=Dinner), airport transfers, entrance fees to local ruins mentioned in the itinerary only, basic medical assistance and evacuation (while we are out of Cities) (We strongly recommend that you purchase a travel insurance.)

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What is Not Included in our trips:
International and –or National airfares, charter flights, Airport Taxes (National within Peru $ 3.5 to 5.4, or International $ 29 to leave Peru), meals not mentioned on itinerary, insurance of any kind (other than basic medical assistance and evacuation while we are out of Cities), optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff, excess baggage charges, cost of medical immunizations, and items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.) Telephone calls. Please check our Day by Day Program…

°What About Tipping?
Tips at hotels are usually not included since your contact with the hotel porters is personal at baggage delivery in the rooms, and baggage pick-up at check-out. Passengers are free to tip them once inside the hotel.Tipping is not included for drivers, guides and/or camp crews, trekking and/or river guides during journeys; the amount depends on the number of days the people accompany you and the size of the party. Camp crews tend to be with you a minimum of 4 days. These are voluntary contributions and if desired, we recommend that the following guidelines be followed:·

- Transfer Agents $10-15
- Head Cook $40
- Camp Crew each $20
- Porters/ mule drivers $10-15
- Adventure or Tour Guides $60-100

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°What types of hotels does PumaPeru use?
A variety of local style accommodations are used including hotels, guesthouses, pensions, hostels, home-stays and of course camping. (Most hotels are 4 stars –Peru standard), offering clean secure accommodation.

°Can I have a single room/tent? Do I have to share?
On most of our trips accommodations in hotels and tents are based on double occupancy. If you prefer single accommodations, you are requested to pay the Single Supplement Fee. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, you are required to pay a "forced" single supplement fee.

°Camping in Comfort & Style
Most of our programs includes journeys to natural-sacred areas, and Typical towns, far from regular tourist routes, for this, we stay in our own mobile camps. By their very nature, they feature more rustic accommodations, but you'll be pleasantly surprised by how comfortable we can make you feel. We provide roomy tents, a dining tent with tables and stools where we will share cultural, historical and ceremonial teachings as well as tasty local meals, bathroom tents, besides of our kitchen tent where our native cooks are always available to help you, we also have a friendly camping staff who takes care of all the details while you relax and enjoy yourself. They'll set up tents, prepare tasty, wholesome meals, clean up, and see to it that you stay healthy. Most treks are supported. However on some trips you will need to carry your own baggage to buses, or trains etc.

°Do I need a sleeping bag?
Trekking and camping in the Andes is one of the most incredible adventures, however nights can get really cold, a good sleeping bag will be a prefect combination for a cozy journey in the Andes,, please bring your own sleeping bag on Adventure and Soft Adventure Journeys, on Cultural trips, no.

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What's the food like? I'm a vegetarian, is that a problem?
Our kitchen and dining tents allow us to offer the best in dining. Avoiding the use of canned foods, we use only the natural foods typical of the area such as Quinoa Soup, or breakfasts of eggs, yogurt, granola, oatmeal, milk, fruits and teas of medicinal herbs. Everything is specially prepared by our cooks who each year add new recipes based on natural products and with fresh vegetarian alternatives.

°Is the water OK to drink? Do I need to bring purifying tablets/filter?
All over Peru bottled water is readily available. On camping trips our cooks make sure that the water you drink is always purified…boiled. While camping you can re-fill your water bottles as many times as you want.

°Is someone going to meet me at the airport?Are transfers included?
Participants arrive-leave from-to different countries and-or different flights, we do meet every single traveler in Lima International Airport , we usually take a sign with your name which enables you to identify us. All transfers are included according to program, In –Out

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°Why aren't all meals included on the trips?
Food is not always included, so that you can choose from a wide variety of local cafes and market stalls, to really experience the local cuisine and atmosphere. Can I use credit cards in the places visited? In all cities around Peru yes, to some extent, however once you leave those cities behind, no. In some more remote, less developed destinations, you cannot use your credit card at all. We will make sure that you can exchange into local money before you start any new Journey out of cities

°Can I use US Dollars-Euros to pay my meals and other expenses?
Most restaurants and shops around Peru accept US Dollars and Euros are starting to be accepted, however it is very advisable to have Peruvian money, In most cities there are Exchanging Houses/Casa de Cambio where you will be able to get Soles for Dollars or from Euros,, the exchange rate for 1 US Dollar is S/. 3,46 (soles). Most restaurants have a list of what they serve in Spanish and English,, a regular meal will go from $ 3 up to $ 15

°I have elderly parents. How can they contact me?
The best way is to contact PumaPeru and have us try to get any urgent message to you. Prepare your family and friends that there will be some occasions when you will be unreachable for days. Pumaperu Avenida Pardo # 800 Cusco Peru, Telephone-Fax ( From US-011-51-84-251856 ) pumaperu@pumaperu.org pumaexpe@yahoo.com

°If I arrive a day(s) early, can you help with hotel accommodation?
Yes, we can arrange additional accommodation at the joining hotel if you plan to arrive early. Just let us know in advance and we will send you the confirmation and what you will need to pay for this.

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When should I book my trip?
Because our trips book up months in advance, we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment. We will of course make every effort to accommodate last minute bookings.

°What do I need to bring?
Keep it light! Storage space on vehicles is limited and you may need to carry your bag between vehicles and hotels. All you need to bring—besides your spirit of adventure—is your personal gear..(see the detailed list ) We provide the rest: top-quality, state-of-the-art tents, camping and commissary equipment, and vehicles.

°Ready to Go? What you should know.
How do I sign up for ?

Please let us know what kind of trip you are interested on, and then we will send you the reconfirmation of the trip departure. Depending where you live, we will let you know the name of the bank where you can do your deposits

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What kind of deposit is required and how often are payments due?
Regular DeparturesAt time of reservation: $500 deposit
60 Days Prior: Balance of land cost

°WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THE USE OF A TRAVEL/ MEDICAL INSURANCE PLAN.
Limited insurance is available in Peru with local insurance companies and international travel insurance companies. Daily rates range from $2.00 - $8.00, depending on coverage requested. We prefer not to get involved with supplying these services, since it is easier and cheaper to purchase this kind of coverage abroad, at your point of origin; although we are willing to acquire coverage for you upon request. If a member of the group gets sick or is incapacitated, we take care of him by getting a qualified doctor to him/her, in these cases extra costs are assumed by the individual client, including hospitalization if necessary. In the case of accident and/or necessary emergency evacuation, all expenses will be covered by the individual.

°Cancellations
All passengers are subject to a cancellation fee, which will be charged if a reservation is cancelled less than the 30 days prior to the arrival date of a passenger. The following fees apply to the cancellations:· 16/30 days prior = $ 800 fee 1/15 days prior = 100 % of total cost

°RESPONSABILITIES…..IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
PumaPeru reserves the right to modify or withdraw any travel arrangements when deemed necessary, in the best interest of our clients. We reserve the right to refuse, accept or retain any person as a member on any of our trips. Baggage is carried at owners risk throughout the tour. PumaPeru acts only in the capacity of an AGENT upon the legal conditions that, while exercising every possible precaution, PumaPeru is not responsible for injury, sickness, damage, loss, additional expenses, accidental delay or other irregularities which may be caused either through willful or negligent acts or omissions on the part of companies or individuals providing or engaged in transportation, accommodation or other services related to the accomplishment of the tour, or through natural disasters, social upheavals or acts of nature.


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°Clothing and Equipment List
The following travel equipment is recommended for the different types of trips:

°Adventure Gear for Trekking
Cotton short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, wool sweater or wool trousers, jeans and hiking shorts. Regular undergarments. Medium weight parka with fiber fill. Light cap and wool hat, rain poncho (or rain gear). Light wool gloves. Medium weight socks. Tennis or running shoes and hiking boots. Sleeping bag and small day pack. Strong waterproof duffel bag. Sun glasses, sun block, flashlight with spare batteries and bulb. Towel and swimsuit. Water bottles. Personal first aid kit. On each trip we carry a medical kit but we suggest a small personal first-aid kit for bruises and blisters. A knee and ankle brace are sometimes useful especially if you suffer from weak knees or ankles. Include any special medication your doctor might suggest for you.

°For adventure trips, trekking or rafting.
we recommend duffel bags that are waterproof or can be lined with plastic bags to protect yourclothes from water. These are easily tied on pack-animals and can be carried by porters (we use porters only on the Inca Trail since pack-animals are not allowed). Please try to keep your luggage light. Sometimes couples choose to share a duffel bag.

°Cultural.
Good walking shoes, standard clothing used for travelling world-wide. Rain protection gear or umbrella and warmer clothes especially in the months of May - July when temperatures can vary from hot days to freezing nights.

°Will I need a visa?
Visas may be required for your destination and are not included in the Land Cost of your trip. You can avoid the potential hassles of getting your own visas and let Zierer Visa Service purchase them for you. We will send you the necessary forms (if your trip requires a visa) to help you obtain visas through Zierer Visa Service in your pre-departure package. You must apply 45 to 90 days before departure because the process takes time.

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PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING
Passport and Embassy Information
Everything you need to know about passports, plus a list of embassies worldwide

www.travel.state.gov/passport_services.html - The US State Department site with everything you need to know about passports and the overseas services this agency offers travelers.

www.embassy.org/embassies/ - A list of all embassies in Washington D.C.

°Visa Services
Need a visa?
www.zvs.com - Zierer Visa Services has offices in San Francisco, New York, Houston, Miami, Washington DC, and Florida (call center).

Destination Information
U.S. State Department information and other sites that provide an "a to z" on countries everywhere.
www.travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html - The US State Department site with current travel warnings, public announcements, and consular information sheets.

www.interknowledge.com - Published by Interknowledge, this site contains concise profiles of major countries in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America.

www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ - The CIA Factbook is an encyclopedic summary of every country's key statistics and details (geography, politics, climate, economy, demographics, communications, etc.)

www.countrywatch.com Country Watch is an information provider for individuals who need up-to-date information and news on the countries of the world.

www.worldtimeserver.com - Find out what time it is, just about anywhere on the planet.

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Travel Planning
Getting to know the destination and prepare for your adventure is (almost) as fun as being there.

www.longitudebooks.com - Longitude books has expert book and map recommendations, featuring hard-to-find maps, field guides, classic accounts of exploration, travel narratives, books on art and archaeology, novels, and essays.

www.adventurelibrary.com - Fine hardcover editions of the greatest books of exploration, survival, and discovery ever written.

www.lonelyplanet.com - With content sections labeled The Thorn Tree, World Guide, On the Road, and The Scoop, you know Lonely Planet's site is much more than just their terrific guidebooks.

www.maps.com - The maps.com Online World Atlas covers 7 continents, 12 regions, 190 countries, and 50 US States, including maps, flags, and statistics.

°Money Matters
Sites to help you convert currencies and locate automated teller machines (ATM's) worldwide.

www.xe.net/ucc/ - Universal Currency Converter for just about every currency in the world, created by Xenon Laboratories, Inc.

www.oanda.com - exchange rates, currency forecasts, and easy to use currency converter from Olsen & Associates.

www.visa.com/pd/atm/main.html - Locations of over Visa/Electron/Plus ATM's worldwide.

www.mastercard.com/atm/ - Locations of Mastercard/Maestro/Cirrus ATM's worldwide.

°Health Information
Information on vaccines and advice on how to stay healthy while traveling.

www.cdc.gov/travel/ - Travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Includes reference material, recommendations by geographic region, and much more.

www.high-altitude-medicine.com - The High Altitude Medicine Guide provides current medical information on the prevention, recognition, and treatment of altitude illness, as well as other health issues affecting travellers to high mountainous regions of the world.

www.tripprep.com - Also known as Travel Health Online, this site will help you have a safe, healthy adventure. Loads of useful information organized into three categories: Destination Information; Traveler Information; and Travel Medicine Providers (in the U.S. and around the world)

°News & Weather
The latest world and national news plus weather conditions worldwide.

www.cnn.com/WORLD/ - CNN's portal with world news, travel, health, etc.

http://foreignwire.com - The Foreignwire has worldwide news, comments, and analysis written by professional journalists and commentators.

www.weather.com - The Weather Channel's site has forcasts and maps galore.

www.intellicast.com/LocalWeather/World/ - Intellicast bills itself as the weather site for active travelers.

PumaPeru Expeditions
Av. Pardo N° 800
Tel/Fax: 51 84 251856

pumaperu@pumaperu.org
www.pumaperu.org

CUSCO - PERÚ