Is it “safe” to travel to Peru right now?

Here are a few things to consider before you plan your trip.

  • Peru is still seeing new cases of COVID-19 daily, but most of the cases are found in the hot spots of Lima and other coastal towns.  The Peruvian government has taken steps to limit exposure in these areas by requiring both masks and face shields in all public places.  Cities in the Andes, like Cusco and Puno, still have a mask requirement and curfew, but they are seeing significantly less cases per day in those cities.
  • The 14-day quarantine requirement has been lifted.  The Peruvian government is updating COVID-19 travel requirements every 14 days, but for right now you can travel to Peru with documentation showing a PCR test with a negative result received within 72 hours of your departing flight.  The negative PCR test is still required whether you’ve received a vaccination in your home country or not.  The PCR test or an antigen test performed in Peru (at your own expense) will be the only accepted documents to allow you to freely roam around Peru.  When you travel from city to city, you will be required to sign a sworn affidavit that you don’t have any symptoms and you must follow the guidelines specific to that area, which will likely include wearing a mask, following a curfew, and practicing social distancing. 
  • The majority of Peru’s tourist attractions are outside so it’s much easier to safely social distance.  Some indoor attractions are open to a limited capacity too, so you should be able to visit all the places you would like to see as long as you’re following the government guidelines.

BOTTOM LINE: It is as safe to travel to Peru now as it is to travel to most other countries as long as you’re willing to follow the government’s rules.  Tourists are starting to come back, restaurants and hotels are following a strict protocol to clean between guests/patrons, and the locals are doing everything they can to help keep the communities safe and healthy for everyone. 

If you have any specific questions or are thinking about scheduling your trip, please contact us and we can help plan and navigate the requirements. 

Why Hiking Off the Beaten Path in Peru Should Be Every Hiker’s Dream

Peru is one of the richest countries in the world for so many reasons that have nothing to do with money – the kindness of its people, the culture, traditions, impressive landscapes, and its yummy cuisine are just a few of the things that make this country what it is.  This is a place that inspires you to go out and experience everything it has to offer, and you’ll find the best opportunities to do this in places you may never have heard of before. 

Here are 3 hikes off the beaten path that will change everything you think you know about Peru: 

  • Salkantay/Savage Trek to KM 82 – The Salkantay “Savage” Mountain stands in the heart of the Mollepata district – 3 hours south of Cusco by car.  The trail head in Soraypampa offers a spectacular view of the Salkantay and Humantay mountains and the sleepy Humantay glacial lake below.  From there, the similarities to the Classic Salkantay Trek end though.  This hike takes you to the northwest towards the Incachiriasqa Mountain – the highest peak of the hike standing at about 4900m/16000ft – and is more often used by local ranchers rather than hikers.  The trail offers 360-degree views of the region with its incredible snow-capped peaks and grassy slopes.  It takes 7-8 hours of hiking to get to each campsite, but you’re rewarded with a quiet night and starry sky.
  • Lares Trek plus Short Inca Trail– This trek is one of the few places in the Cusco region where the Inca descendants are still alive, pasturing their llamas, plowing the soil, and keeping their Inca textile practices to create fully self-sustaining communities.  The trail begins from the heart of the foothills in the Sacred Valley of the Incas – Huaran.  It will take 7 to 8 hours to hike between campsites, but you will pass several villages and meet many local people who will come to say hello, share their stories, and sell their textiles.  With the blessing of Pacha Mama, you may be able to see the Milky Way on the first night and take a dip in the natural hot springs by day two.  This trek immerses you in the living Inca culture the whole way before you ride the Iron Horse (train) to the cherry on top of the cake – the last leg of the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
  • Ancascocha – While the Inca trail may be well-known by outdoor adventurers and covers the front page of all kinds of magazines, the Ancascocha Trek is the complete opposite.  You may never have heard of this trail, but it’s strikingly similar to the Inca Trail with one added bonus – it’s one of the few places in the northwest of Cusco where the Inca ruins were not touched by archeologists since the Incas left the area.  The trail is rated as “challenging” but the views in each stop are extraordinary and you’re likely to have those views all to yourself.  Make sure you bring plenty of water and sunscreen because there is not much shade along the route which means your views from the top will be unobstructed by tall trees.  You’ll be able to enjoy the impressive flora and fauna along the way too while getting up close to llamas and alpacas who roam freely along the hillside before eventually hopping on the train along the Urubamba River to Machu Picchu.

These are just a few of the many trails that lead to Machu Picchu and other destinations in the Inca Trail network, but they offer some of the best opportunities to experience living Inca culture along the way.  If you really want to avoid the crowds and discover the riches of Peru, get off the beaten path and live it.

Free Admission to Machu Picchu? Here are the Facts

As we enter week 9 of Peru’s state of emergency, there finally does appear to be some end in sight.  The most recent quarantine extension will last through May 24th and it is expected to be lifted this time in a phased approach. 

While there has not been any communication about what the phased approach will look like, President Vizcarra did pass a legislative decree on May 11th stating that entrance to Machu Picchu and 54 other national parks and landmarks will be open to the public again beginning July 1, 2020.   The decree also stated that from July 1 to December 31, 2020, there will be free admission to all of those sites for children (under 18), senior citizens (over 60), and any public servants.  The free admission applies to both Peruvians and foreigners.

If you’re able to get down to Peru this year or the quarantine has forced you to stay here until after July 1st, this would be a great opportunity for you and your family to take advantage of the free admission.  Here is a list of all the sites included:

1Chavín Archaeological SiteAncash
2Nazca lines and geoglyphsIca
3National Museum of Peruvian CultureLima
4Royal Tombs of Sipán MuseumLambayeque
5Bruning National Archaeological MuseumLambayeque
6National Museum of SicánLambayeque
7Huaca Ventarrón Archaeological MonumentLambayeque
8Chan Chan archaeological complexLa Libertad
9Huacas del Sol y Luna Archaeological Complex – MocheLa Libertad
10Huaca el Brujo Archaeological ComplexLa Libertad
11Exhibition Hall “Gilberto Tenorio Ruiz”Amazonas
12Kuélap Archaeological MonumentAmazonas
13Ancash Archaeological Museum “Augusto Soriano Infante”Ancash
14Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and Natural History of Ranrairca – YungayAncash
15Anthropological Archaeological Museum of ApurímacApurímac
16Regional Historical Museum “Hipólito Unanue”Ayacucho
17Quinoa Site MuseumAyacucho
18Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum of the Monumental Ensemble of BelénCajamarca
19Regional Museum “Daniel Hernández Murillo”Huancavelica
twentyArchaeological Museum and Inka Palace “Samuel Humberto Espinoza Lozano de Huaytara”Huancavelica
twenty-oneRegional Museum of Ica “Adolfo Bermudez Jenkins”Ica
22Julio C. Tello de Paracas Site MuseumIca
2. 3Junín Regional Museum (Chupaca)Junin
24Loreto Amazon MuseumLoreto
25Gold Room of the Municipal Museum of VicúsPiura
26Sillustani Archaeological MonumentPuno
27Juli “Our Lady of Asunción” Temple MuseumPuno
28Departmental Museum of San MartínSan Martin
29Tacna Regional Historical MuseumTacna
30Site Museum of Las PeañasTacna
31Archaeological Zone and Site Museum Jiménez BorjaLima
32Cumbe Mayo Archaeological MonumentCajamarca
33Huallamarca Archaeological Complex and Site MuseumLima
3. 4Kotosh Monumental Archaeological Zone: Hands Crossed Temple, Temple of the Nichitos, White TempleHuánuco
35Pachacámac Archaeological Monument and Site MuseumLima
36Mateo Salado Archaeological ComplexLima
37Caral-Supe Archaeological Monument, World HeritageLima
38Aspero Archaeological MonumentLima
39Vichama Archaeological MonumentLima
40Wari Archaeological Site and Site MuseumAyacucho
41Huaca Rajada Archaeological MonumentLambayeque
42Túcume Archaeological Monument Route A and BLambayeque
43Chotuna Archaeological Monument – ChornancapLambayeque
44Tipon Archaeological ParkCUSCO
Four. FivePikillacta Archaeological ParkCUSCO
46Ollantaytambo Archaeological ParkCUSCO
47Pisaq Archaeological ParkCUSCO
48Chinchero Archaeological ParkCUSCO
49Moray Archaeological ParkCUSCO
fiftySaqsayhuaman Archaeological ParkCUSCO
51Qenqo Archaeological SiteCUSCO
52Puka Pukara Archaeological SiteCUSCO
53Tambomachay Archaeological SiteCUSCO
54Regional Site MuseumCUSCO
55Machupicchu Archaeological Park, Inka Trail network and Machu Picchu “Manuel Chávez Ballón” Site Museum CUSCOCUSCO

Please contact us to help with any arrangements when we’re able to start making plans again.  Our staff is ready and willing to take you anywhere you want to go!