The Hidden Costs of Traveling to Machu Picchu and Peru During Covid-19
With everything pretty much mostly reopened in the Cusco to Machu Picchu corridor, eyeballs are starting to gaze once again on the once-in-a-lifetime dream of traveling to the epic Inca ruins of Machu Picchu before the crowds pickup. Adios Adventure Travel has been busy enough for the last couple of months that we have experience in helping people prepare and plan for their big adventure to Peru.
Here's a list of extra expenses that could affect the budget for your trip to Machu Picchu:
- quarantine is suspended for all healthy people who arrive in Lima, Peru with a negative covid test (or other documents showing you recovered) The cost of this test varies depending on where you live. International airlines are the gatekeepers of travel documents and have the most up-to-date info regarding the requirements to enter foreign countries.
- most guided tours and activities are private. This can increase your cost if you are traveling alone or as a couple or family. It's pretty easy to get quotes in advance. The higher cost is not necessarily hidden, but it may not be advertised.
- covid tests are required for all US-bound travelers. These tests run about $50 and up in clinics in Cusco and Lima. We found out that most clinics will accept credit cards. (Usually VISA or MASTERCARD)
- clinics are located outside the Cusco city center and the cost of round trip taxi service can be around $30-$40 USD for 1-4 people. Here's a link to our details about clincis
- covid tests at Lima airport are offered during the day and may require an advance appointment. While there are clinics in Lima city center, it takes an hour to drive each way and may cost $60-100 USD roundtrip for 1-4 people.
- travel insurance may not be required, but is strongly recommended. CFAR travel insurance policy upgrades cost more but may be one of the best tools to protect your investment
- expect additional costs for extended stay if you test positive for covid before flying home. We haven't heard of many cases where this happened. But the risk is real.
- add the cost for face shields. Peru requires passengers to wear face masks and face shields on planes, trains and buses
- bus service is limited to the lesser known regions like Lake Titicaca. Night buses are the only option from Cusco at this time. Add another day to your itinerary if you plan to explore Lake Titicaca after your trip to Machu Picchu. The good news is that you can book direct flights from Lake Titicaca to Lima on Latam Airlines.
It's not all negative. There are good reasons to travel to Peru now or later in 2021.
Hidden Benefits of Traveling to Machu Picchu during covid-19:
- guided tours are private and you have the full attention of your tour guide
- buying a trip that includes hotels, tour guides, tickets and transportation bundled in a package is a good deal now for individuals and small groups. Although solo travelers should expenct to pay a supplement for hotels and other services for 1 person.
- reduced capacity at archaeological sites means you get in and out quickly
- Crowds? What crowds? fewer visitors at archaeological sites
- Perurail lowered the cost of train tickets the entire month of June