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Frequently Asked Questions

A guide to clarify doubts about different subjects

Browse through our collection of FAQs (and their answers of course!) just by scrolling down and clicking over the + symbols when you want to read the answers.

Or use the table of content below to go right to the part you are looking for.

Booking

How far in advance should I book?

This is different for each tour. For most tours, you need book at least 72 to 48 hours in advance so that we have enough time to coordinate with the service providers. Longer tours might need even more anticipation. If you need to book on short notice and the website doesn’t allow you, please contact us as soon as possible: but we can’t make any promises!

Is the price valid for next year?

If you book very far in advance for the next calendar year, probably not. If this is the case, drop us a line.

We try hard to get the next year’s prices on time, but even governmental places (like archaeological sites) publish next year’s prices in the last months, or even last weeks, of the current year. 

How can I see the prices for a tour for my amount of travellers?

If you want to see the price for your situation, please select an amount of travelers (number of adults, children, etc) in the booking form, on the right side of the tour page (or the bottom on the mobile version). You will then see the total price for your group size and date right above it. For some tours, the price will change according to the chosen package. 

If the booking form is not yet visible for the tour you’re checking, please fill in the enquiry form and we’ll solve it!

(Price will only be shown on dates with availability.)

What is included in my trip?

Every tour or trip has a field specifying every item included, and excluded in the price. For longer trips please refer to the PDF itinerary which you can ask for through the Enquiry form. 

Items not specifically indicated as included, are generally not included. Examples are international flights, early check-ins or late check-outs (unless stated otherwise), souvenirs, laundry, tips, insurance and other personal expenses, and those items marked as optional or “Your Cost”. Optional excursions should be booked in advance with RESPONS.

How do I cancel a booking? What are the fees involved?

In case you would have to cancel the reservation on short notice (less than 30 days before), we unfortunately need to charge you costs which we can not get back. If you cancel before that, most of the times we’ll be able to refund you (minus administration fees already made, like credit card fees). 

Certain costs such as tickets for the Inca Trail might not be covered under the above arrangement because these are non refundable. We will inform you honestly about these exceptions. We ask you for your understanding. Our cancellation policy can be found here.

Practical

What should I pack for my trip to Peru?

Please refer to our article What to Pack for your Trip to Peru for all your questions about packing for your Peru trip. Whether you’re going to the jungle or the mountains, you’ll find the answers you need. You can also download a full Packing List for free. 

What is the best time to travel?

Peru is a tropical country with marked seasons and a varied topography that make of its climate a highly variable aspect along the whole territory.

December, January and February is summer time, that is generally characterized by rains along the country except for the coast. This is a period of time where most of the touristic activities are not recommended.

On the contrary, the winter time comprises July, August and September on the coast, while the rest of the country is suitable to visit. Of course winter also is accompanied by lower temperatures along the country, but the northern coast and the jungle are always exceptions, as weather varies little. This is for instance considered the high season.

Remember that during your briefings your travel specialist, as well as local guides, will give you all the necessary advice. In this article we’ll help you decide on the Best Time to Travel to Peru

Do I need a tourist visa?

Your passport will be the main travel document you will have to carry with you during your visit to Peru. Citizens of most countries won’t have the need for visas but check your case in doubt.

Do I need personal travel insurance?

RESPONS strongly recommends all travelers to have a good travel insurance, which includes mountain activities, for the duration of the trip. If it can cover costs in case of molest, social unrest, natural disasters and/or covid-related costs that would be preferable.

Why do I have to hand in passport copies?

To comply with Peru’s tax rules (and sometimes, to buy tickets for you), we are legally required to hand over a copy of each traveler’s passport to the Peruvian authorities. If we don’t have your passports (and correctly), we will have to Late Charge you 18% sales taxes (on some tours). We’d rather have you spend that money in a local restaurant or on a typical souvenir from Peru! Find out more about how to safely share your passport in this article.

How much money should I bring to Peru for my daily expenses?

We will soon dedicate a blog article to this. 

How much should I tip guides and drivers during my trip through Peru?

  • Private drivers, private guides, and restaurants expect tips. These are not very large and depending on what you thought of the service that was granted.
  • For example, for a good guide you can pay between 10 and 15 dollars a day (as a group: not per person), for a good driver (for a whole day) half.
  • Drivers who are not private don’t expect a tip, nor a taxi ride in a city.
  • In restaurants between 5% and 10% of the total amount.
  • Group tour guides can expect a tip, but less than a private guide. For example, count on 2 to 5 dollars per person.
  • Other people who really improve your travel experience (the private driver who tells a lot, nice family, etc.) you can show your appreciation by giving something.
  • With local host families, instead of a tip, you can also think of a gift: for example, a game for the children (also promotes the interaction!), school material, some sweets from your country or something of your own place of residence, your company or school.

As a general rule, tips are always optional!

How will the communication during my trip be?

If you book a custom itinerary of longer than six days with RESPONS, we will provide you with a Peruvian SIM card and also add you to a private WhatsApp Group, allowing us to communicate almost every moment with each other. You can buy credit for calls and data usage yourself (we will provide instructions) and use your own (unblocked!) phone. You can give the number to someone back home for emergencies, but please be aware that text messages and phone calls from abroad don’t always arrive. It is better to use an online chat/call app like Whatsapp to ensure the best communication with your relatives back home. Remaining credit at the end of your trip cannot be returned.

If you book a short tour or excursion through the platform, this service is not included. You can still try to buy a SIM card yourself upon arrival to Peru (not every shop wil allow foreigners to buy one). Nevertheless, you can reach the tour provider directly by responding to the previous emails or using the phone number as provided in those emails. Be careful with roaming costs! Preferably use an internet-based service to call, for example Whatsapp or Skype.

Health & Safety

Which vaccines are recommended?

Visit a travel doctor who can give you professional advice on what vaccinations may be necessary. Some routine vaccinations are obligatory, like DTP, Hepatitis A and B. If you go into the Amazon jungle, a yellow fever injection is obligatory and malaria recommended. (Official CDC info here.) Read more on how to stay healthy when traveling in Peru here

Please make sure you have a valid COVID-19 vaccination. Although it is not obligatory, the chances of an infection are to be taken seriously when your itinerary includes flights or long bus rides (which they all do). Our guides and drivers would be grateful, too.

Recently, Peru released new policies that restricts the use of buses and flights for unvaccinated people. This makes it very hard to travel in Peru if you don’t have your vaccinations. Stay up-to-date about the latest Covid measurements here: Traveling to Peru in Covid times: measures, restrictions and conditions.

Which Covid measurements should I know about when traveling in Peru?

Well, the answer changes over time, that’s why we’ve dedicated a complete article to the Covid measurements in Peru for travelers. We’ll try to keep it as up to date as possible.

What if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please let us know when booking or making an enquiry. We will work with to create a tour that suits your requirements.

What if I have dietary restrictions or allergies?

If you suffer any allergy o dietary restrictions, make sure to inform us during checkout and we will take the necessary precautions. Our local partners are used to catering for different kinds of travelers; even in the local communities you can eat gluten-free, vegan or with nut allergy. We do need to know in advance though, please, because the coordinations do take time.

Am I going to be safe during my trip to Peru?

Over the years, Peru has developed as a stable and friendly country for all visitors. At the same time however, there has been a growing division between the poor and rich population. Since tourists are likely to attract attention, it is wise to travel ‘low profile’ avoiding to show valuable items (cameras, iPods, wallets, smartwatches) and watching your luggage closely at all times.

Is tap water in Peru safe to drink?

No, in most cases it is not. Mineral water is available everywhere but the most ecofriendly manner (and also cheaper on longer trips) is to use a water filter. There are many options, like water bottles with built-in filter, filter pumps or UV filters. Make sure they also kill bacteria.

Read all our tips on how to stay healthy and happy when traveling in Peru in this article!

We also recommend to download some refill apps like: Tap, MyMizu, Refill, RefillMyBottle, Closca and find stations near you to get free or cheaper safe to drink water.

 

Family

Can I travel in Peru with young children?

We don’t recommend traveling through Peru with children younger than 6, because of the altitudes and long travel distances. We believe that from (more or less) 8 years onwards, children will understand much more of what’s going on, will be able to keep themselves safe and will enjoy and value the experiences much more. 

We have designed hundreds of family trips in the past, for families with kids of all ages. We love to design itineraries that take into account the wishes, restrictions and budget of each family (member) and put all our knowledge and experience at work to get the most satisfying result. 

You can find some recommended family-friendly tours and activities in Peru here. However, we really recommend you to contact our team of travel designers to custom design a family trip for you. It’s not much more expensive whilst we will improve the experience for all family members a lot because we can cater to the specific needs of your family. 

 

You can also read the following articles on Family travel in Peru: 

 

 

Sustainability

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is a term that is widely used, but easily misunderstood. An integrated definition of the concept refers to the ongoing process of preserving society and the environment. It is about making responsible use of the world’s resources, and avoid to negatively influence future generations. The capacity for the biosphere and humanity to co-exist.

Simply explained, sustainability is about assuring the permanence and maintenance of material and non-material resources and heritage (environmental, economic, socio-cultural) of the planet across generations.

For more info you can read our blog 4 things to know about sustainable and community-based tourism.

Tourism can be a force for good in our world, playing a part in protecting our planet and its biodiversity, and celebrating what makes us human: from discovering new places and cultures to connecting with new people and experiencies.” António Guterres – UN General Secretary

Why does RESPONS call itself a sustainable tour operator?

This is a great question, very well answered by one of our posts (among the many published in our Blog)
En Route Towards Sustainability in 2019

Find all the articles published in the category Sustainability here.

Do you have any certifications or proof of your sustainability efforts?

We are Travelife certified at partner level since 2019, meaning that we report about all of our processes every other year assuring that we keep at least a minimum level of sustainability strategies in place at all times. Moreover the Travelife platform allows us (RESPONS staff and even our suppliers) to train ourselves with updated on-line courses that nowadays match our education needs with the overall aim of reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. RESPONS is currently working on obtaining the Certified level of Travelife.

How can I be a responsible traveler?

These are a couple of good blogs we recommend to any traveler in the quest to be a responsible one:

To what project does my money go if I buy any particular tour?

Some tours include a certain contribution (monetary or specific items) to a directly related cause in their price. For the rest of the cases, yearly incomes contribute to the enlargement of our fund that we democratically distribute among our favorite social and environmental causes after nomination and votation. Sometimes this money is more quickly used if an emergency occurs, like a natural disaster, personal accident, or a pandemic, and we see if it is an opportunity to take action and provide an immediate relief to those affected.

How can I directly participate in an social/environmental activity?

When planning your itinerary, let your Travel Designer know about your desire of participation in social/environmental activities, and she or he will certainly provide you with all the possibilities according to your route and time of your visit. You can plant trees in Manu, Tambopata and Chachapoyas. Or volunteer at an Animal Rescue Center in Tambopata or Iquitos. In terms of social activities, these are generally a bit more difficult as it usually takes longer stays for you to enroll in such activities but some non-profit hotels offer short tours to their project sites (like Niños and Arco Iris) or you can partake in an activity with NGO’s that offer art workshops, like Casa Mantay.

What is CBT and why is it sustainable?

Community-based Tourism (CBT) is normally understood as tourism taking place in rural areas where families, part of a community, or the whole community are involved in the tourism economic chain. The idea is that the visitor is able to experience first hand the way of living of a community, or family group, staying at their houses and participating in the daily activities. This kind of direct interaction without the need of intermediaries (or very little) allows a meaningful connection and positive exchange between host and guest. CBT is by concept a small-scale activity, an alternative income for a community or family, and it is not restricted to the rural areas, as there are examples of this kind of tourism inside cities where very particular realities take place.

We invite you to read: 4 things to know about sustainable and community-based tourism

What is Slow Travel?

Slow travel means to stay longer, to be a dedicated traveler, to immerse yourself in the destination, to embrace the cultural and natural aspects of the place your are visiting. To have the time to learn and to be reciprocous, to leave a mark but not leaving traces. To move by more friendly ways of transportation even if they may take longer.

Can I take photos and videos of the local people?

Everyone directly involved in your visit, like the hostfamily, the local guides or families you visit during excursions, are usually fine with pictures. If you make a really nice (family) portrait and you promise to send it to them, make sure to fulfill that promise!

As to anyone not directly involved, like other community members you meet on a hike, it would be kind to ask them first if it’s OK to take a picture. If the picture is great and/or they’re a little uncomfortable, it’s OK to give a little tip if they are doing you the favour of posing or allowing you to take your photo. Something between 1 to 5 soles is fine. Don’t exaggerate. 

Showing the resultant picture is always nice if you have the time! 

Why I should not take pictures or handle wildlife used as pets?

Normally, these animals are taken while young from their natural environment, most of the times (if not always) this involves killing adults and/or high rate of death of individuals by inappropiate manipulation or a lack of proper care. The remaining animals used for display are normally not healthy, malnourished, stressed, mistreated and abused.

Why is opting for vegetarian/vegan food considered sustainable?

Livestock farming has become so prevalent, unethical, artificial, and unhealthy that cannot be considered sustainable at all. Cattle ranches take up a lot of space. To provide that space, forests are cleared at an alarming rate. Furthermore, the amount of water needed for the production of meat is (especially beef) overwhelming. This is a big problem considering we are running out of water in many places of the planet. The amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions naturally produced by cattle (methane) is enormous, as well.

The conditions, in which animals in most farms live are inhuman and insanitary, causing stress and illnesses. Therefore, most animal products result from an unbearable amount of hormones and antibiotics injected into them, which makes the consumption of these animals quite unhealthy for us, too. The production of animal protein is much very inefficient in terms of energy and resources. We need a lot fewer resources to produce the same amount of vegetal protein.

When it comes to seafood, the situation is similar. Shrimp farms are located in coastal areas next to mangroves. The mangroves have to be destroyed for the sake of the farms, even though they are very important CO2 absorbers. Many fishing vessels overfish and destroy entire ecosystems with their techniques, which lead to a lot of endangered species ending up as so-called “bycatch” (= fish that will not be sold on the market but still be killed during the fishing process). There are even vessels guilty of slavery.

For these and many more reasons, vegetarianism and veganism are considered sustainable. If you want to make a difference but struggle to avoid meat and fish completely, try making changes step by step. Start by avoiding beef, which emits most CO2, and fish, as of the great role our oceans play in our planet’s health.

Is veganism only about not eating animals?

It is basically about not consuming animal products in any way. Besides not eating animal or animal-derived products, strict vegans also refuse the use of leather, fur or any other product of animal sources for clothing, decoration, furniture, etc. The overall idea is not causing harm to animals.

Whys is eating local products and products of the season considered sustainable?

Opting for local and seasonal produce supports the producers in the immediate area, avoiding competition from big far-away markets that have better trading conditions. Moreover, it avoids transportation and unnecessary cooling of the products. Thus, we can cut down on energy and emissions.

I have more questions related to sustainability, where can I address them?

Feel free to ask all the questions you want to our sustainability team at [email protected]

If you haven’t found the answer(s) you were looking for, you can totally write down your question(s) in the following form and we will promptly reply you. Thanks!