Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is the best time to travel to Peru?

Peru has mild weather all year round – temperatures reach 70-75F during the day and 35-40F at night.   We do recommend avoiding the month of February due to significant amounts of rain. 

Do I need to buy travel insurance?

Outdoor activities and international travel in general involve an element of risk.  While we work hard to protect your safety and well-being, we do recommend that you purchase travel insurance in case of an emergency that is out of our control.  We do not sell travel insurance, but recommend Squaremouth to help choose the best policy for you.

How far in advance do I need to make my reservation?

For the Inca Trail, reservations must be made at least 6 months in advance due to limited availability of trail permits for both tourists and employees.  For all other tours and treks, we recommend at least 30 days notice however we can book up to 10 days in advance.

What are the Passport/Visa/Vaccination requirements?

For US Citizens:

  • A valid passport is required and it cannot have an expiration date within 6 months of travel.
  • A visa is not required unless you plan to stay longer than 90 days.
  • Vaccinations are not required for travel unless you are planning to visit the Amazon.  If visiting the Amazon, consult your doctor, but generally Yellow Fever and Malaria vaccinations are recommended.
What is the appropriate fitness level to complete one of the hikes?

To complete a hike, we recommend that you be able to comfortably walk at least 6 miles per day – preferably including some hills.  You do not have to be “in the best shape of your life,” but walking in the mountains at high altitude is challenging so you should be able to walk up several flights of stairs without getting out of breath before you go.  As always – please consult your doctor if you have any doubts.

To complete a general tour or to go to Machu Picchu by train, you should just be able to comfortably stand or walk around for 2-4 hours.  It still requires some physical ability to get around the city, but it’s not something you should really need to “train for.”

For those with disabilities or those who may need assistance getting around, please keep in mind that Peru generally does not have wheelchair ramps and most Inca sites require the use of stairs.  It can be significantly challenging to get around if you cannot walk – but it’s not impossible.

Are there any age limits?

To complete a hike, you must be at least 10 years old in order to be able to follow the rules of the trail or any emergency instructions.  Otherwise there are no limits.  As long as you feel as though are physically able to complete the hike, all ages are welcome.

I have special dietary requirements – will there be anything for me to eat?

Of course!  Peruvian cuisine is ranked #2 in the world after France so our chefs take pride in their ability to create dishes for any dietary preference.  When you book a trek with us, we ask if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies.  As long as you let us know, we can accommodate anything.

Is it safe to drink the water?

In the city, we recommend that you buy bottled water only and do not drink from the taps.  It is safe to use the taps to wash your hands and brush your teeth, but we don’t recommend filling your water bottle up with water from the sink.

On the hikes, we will provide fresh, boiled, and filtered water at every meal stop to fill your bottles or camelbacks for the next leg of the trail.  It is not allowed to get water from the rivers or streams on the trek, so please take advantage of the fresh water at every meal.

Where will my luggage be while I am out on a hike?

We provide duffel bags for your clothes, etc. that you would like to take on the trail.  We carry these duffel bags for you while you hike.  All remaining items can be left in your own luggage at the hotel in Cusco.  All hotels provide a secure storage space for customer belongings while they are out in the mountains.

Do people speak English in Peru?

Yes!  Tourism is a huge industry for Peruvians so you will not have any trouble finding someone who can speak English – especially in restaurants and hotels.  We provide English-speaking guides for every tour and trek, so you will never have to worry about how to communicate.

How much cash should I carry with me?

One of the perks of booking with us is that you pay for your whole trip before you go so you don’t have to worry about carrying large sums of cash with you to a foreign country.  That being said, you will be on your own for a few meals and for tips and souvenirs, so plan accordingly for those few items.  ATMs in Peru can be a little unreliable so just be sure to stash a little extra somewhere in case of emergency.

How do I cancel my trip?

Send us an email at info@firststepexpeditions.com and we will work to get your refund according to the appropriate cancelation policy for your booking.  Please remember:

  • All bookings for the Inca Trail are non-transferable and non-refundable;
  • Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and reservations on PeruRail are non-transferable and non-refundable.
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