Peru Pre-Departure Info

Peru Pre-Departure Information

The information outlined here contains practical advice to prepare you for your trip to Peru. Please read all information carefully and let us know if you have any questions. 

Please follow the Peru entry protocols according to your international airline. If you're transiting through other countries on your way to Peru, be aware that local arrival policies in that country may differ.. Valid passports are required to enter Peru and need to be valid for at least 6 months after your travel dates. If you plan to renew your passport we need to know at the time your reservation is made. 

We tried these travel essentials and we love them! We're sharing our top picks with you:

  • Drinking water. Do not drink municipal tapwater even when brushing your teeth. After lots of searching we found a great water filter for travelers. And. We scored a discount for our groups. CLICK HERE to read more and buy if you choose to. 
  • Travel Insurance can be complicated and may require the services of a trained agent. We like SQUAREMOUTH because you can choose to get an anonymous free quote online or you can talk to a human by phone. CLICK HERE for more details.
  • Useful "sack" for travelers. This lightweight, airtight bag has more functions than a swiss-army knife! CLICK HERE to read more.
  • What kind of luggage should you bring for your trip to Machu Picchu? CLICK HERE to read more.

Printable Information

Note: If you booked more than a hike with us, you may need to print two of the lists below (i.e. a week-long trip that includes a hike would require both the Peru Packing List and the appropriate hike packing list to be printed).

Peru Packing List

Packing List - 1-2 Day Inca Trail Hike and Single Day Hikes (Sacred Valley, etc.)

Packing List - Multi-Day Hikes (4 Day Inca Trail, Salkantay, Lares, Cachicaata)

Pre-Departure Information (Information below in a printable format)

 Learn More About:

Additional Expenses
Arrival in Lima and Cusco
Luggage Storage
Availability of Medical Services
Authenticity Of Hand-Made Textiles
Travel Insurance
Day Inca Trail Notes
Cash and Banks
Communications and Phones
Recommended Gratuities

Additional Expenses Per Person

The national currency of Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN.) However, many establishments will accept USD and/or credit cards. See the section below on Cash and Banks for more information.

We recommend that you carry at least $130 USD cash per person for the following expenses: (subject to change. Please bring extra)

5 Soles - Bag Storage at Machu Picchu - Optional for most visitors (Soles only, not USD)

It may be necessary for backpackers coming off the 4 Day Inca Trail hike to store their bag at Machu Picchu. You will “check” your bag and receive a claim ticket.

2 Soles -Bathrooms at Machu Picchu (Soles only)

Bathrooms are located at the main entry outside of the park. This is the only bathroom, and the cost is 2 Sol per person per visit.

20 Soles -Recommended for Bathrooms on 4-Day Inca Trail (must be paid in Soles, not USD)

        There are a few bathrooms available along the trail that cost 1 Sol per person.

35 USD - Suggested budget for meals and bottled water per day

Dine in restaurants of your choice


↠ It is vital that you bring the exact same passport you used to buy flights, tickets, permits or any other service. If you are renewing your passport, you must travel with both your old and new passports.

↠ If you are hiking the 1-day or 4-day Inca Trail, you must present your passport to enter the hike. YOU WILL NOT HIKE WITHOUT IT. If you leave it in your hotel, you will not be permitted to enter the hike.

↠ All check-ins for flights, hotels, etc. are handled electronically. Present your passport to check-in. Copies are not accepted.

 Arrival in Lima and Cusco

↠ The US Embassy with full consular service is located in Lima. There is a US Consular Agency in Cuscowith limited emergency services.  As a courtesy to our travelers from other countries, the private online travel document we provide has your country’s embassy contact info. We cannot guarantee the accuracy. Please review the information before you depart on your trip.

↠ When you arrive in Lima, you will go through Immigration, where they may ask you the date of your departure from Peru and the name and address of your first hotel. Please have this information ready.

↠ When you arrive in Cusco, remember the altitude is 11,000 ft / 3350 m. The temperature is about the same year round. (65F/18C High) It is a good idea to have a sweater or jacket easily accessible should you need it.

↠ Although we make every effort to track your flights so we can be on time for airport transfers, we cannot be responsible if the flights are changed. We include the phone numbers for the local contacts so you can notify them of the changes. In the event that you are not able to notify our contact, and you miss the driver or guide, it may be necessary for you to take a taxi at your own expense.

↠ Luggage lost on flights arriving in Lima may require a long wait to file a claim. It is beneficial to provide a local phone number and name for your guide or hotel so the airline can notify them when your luggage has been located. Bags will usually be flown to Cusco the next day. The airline will NOT deliver the bag to you. You will need to arrange transportation to the airport to claim your bag. Be prepared to show your claim tickets and your passport. Having a photo of the bag in your phone may help. It is important that you carry essentials in your carry-on, and if you are leaving Cusco for a hike or activity, you should bring everything you need for that activity in your carry-on.

 Luggage Storage

↠ When you depart for Machu Picchu, your luggage will be stored at your hotel in Cusco, Ollantaytambo, or your hotel in the Sacred Valley. Check-out of your room and take your excess bags to the front desk. They will store your bag and give you a claim ticket. If you are moving to a different hotel after you return from Machu Picchu, and you reserved your own hotels, it's best to return to the first hotel to pickup your luggage, and take a taxi to the new hotel. You can also ask the two hotels to coordinate the transfer of your bags. If you're traveling with Adios Adventure Travel, our local guides will assist you. Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for the misplacement of any articles during your travels. Naturally, we will endeavor to reunite you with your misplaced items but please bear in mind that logistics may not always be favorable for the return of articles. Please buy comprehensive travel insurance that covers loss of personal property as well as everything else.

Availability of Medical Services

↠ Lima, Cusco and other larger cities in Peru offer medical services to treat most common illnesses and injuries likely to afflict foreigners. Cusco offers the closest access to medical services and pharmacies for people staying in the Sacred Valley. There is no public transportation and the drive time varies from 1-2 hours each way depending on your location. In the more remote areas of the country, the best you can expect are small clinics in towns and villages which may only be equipped to handle minor incidents. Serious injury or illness must be treated in hospitals in Cusco or Lima. On treks and hikes, access to even basic medical care may be up to 48 hours away. Licensed guides are trained to handle basic first aid as well as evacuations, and they know where to seek medical assistance.

↠ We recommend that you drink and brush your teeth with bottled water only, or bring your own device to purify water from the sink in your hotel. Avoid beverages with ice.

↠Visit the US CDC or your country's equivalent to get up to date information regarding vaccinations and health advice.


↠ Passports are required to make reservations for in-country flight, trains, hotels and entry tickets. (if your passport is expiring, you must travel with both your old and new passport. You must show the exact same passport you used to book or reserve your ticket or reservation)

↠ We recommend drinking only bottled water - including when brushing your teeth. (We support TAP - Travelers Against Plastic - - to reduce single-use water bottles. We invite you to carry a reusable bottle & purification device)  

↠ Toilet paper does NOT go in the toilet. There are bins next to every toilet for this purpose.

↠ It is OK to bring cash in perfect condition. Peru accepts US currency & Peruvian soles in most places. Bring small bills for tipping. Use either currency or a combination of both for tips. Cusco has better exchange rates than Lima airport. ATMs are common. We have heard the ATM fees on GLOBAL NET are higher than SCOTIABANK. 

↠ Scan all documents, credit cards, & itinerary and e-mail to yourself. If luggage were lost, you could access information from any computer.

Authenticity of Hand-Made Textiles

↠ Please ask your local guide to help you verify the authenticity when purchasing “handmade” textiles in shops, markets and villages. Traditional weaving techniques have merged with modern practices and help to keep the cost down. It's not usually a matter of being deceived, it's mainly being aware of what you're buying. If it's really cheap, it's likely to be a mixture of acrylic and wool made on a machine. By hand! Local guides can teach you how to identify the material used and and provide an idea of the expected price. Alpaca fur, baby alpaca fur, and llama fur will all display different prices.

 Travel Insurance 

↠ We advise all travelers to purchase comprehensive travel insurance covering all costs associated with their trip. Adios Adventure Travel does not refund any portion of any payment for any reason including but not limited to, financial loss due to strikes, government actions, pandemics, epidenmics, war, a national or global crises of any kind, evacuation and treatments for medical emergencies, delays, air or ground ambulance services, and repatriation. Adios Adventure Travel & its representatives and partners do not insure trips. If you don't arrive as scheduled or if you depart early, there is no refund for any portion of your trip, for any reason. Adios Adventure Travel and it's partners and affiliates do not offer any refunds for any reason. The only option to recover any of your investment is to file a claim with your insurance provider. We will gladly assist with any documents needed. In case you are interested in rescheduling your trip, we are happy to help but please be aware that some tickets and permits are non-refundable and there may be an additional cost to reschedule.

↠ You are free to choose any travel insurance provider. Adios Adventure Travel does not endorse or oppose any travel insurance company. For your convenience we provide these links:

4 Day Inca Trail Hike Notes

↠ The first half of the trail will have a few toilets along the way. As the trail progresses, the toilets become scarce. Due to the remote locations, toilets are not frequently serviced.

↠ Temperatures will vary each night of the trail, depending on the season and the altitude. Be prepared for very cool (20F / -6C) and temperate (50F / 10C) nights.

↠ Use of trekking poles are now included in the cost of all hikes. Please give us advance notice if you would like to borrow our poles. You're welcome to bring your own. 

 Cash and Banks

↠ ATM machines and cambios are located in the airports in Lima and Cusco, as well as both city centers. ATMs dispense Peruvians soles or USD with a daily limit per account.

↠ We recommend bringing cash in small denominations for tipping and shopping for small things like bottled water. 

↠ In case you've heard rumors that foreign currency is scrutinized closely for wear and tear. The rumors are true. No one knows why. But worn, torn and dirty bills can be rejected. Here's a link to handling money 

Communications and Phones

↠ Most hotels in Peru have free reliable WIFI in the lobby, and many hotels have service in each room. Restaurants and cafes usually have free wifi as well.

↠ Most local guides and services use WHAT'S APP or SIGNAL for free texting and calls. These APPS work on any brand smart phone. Here's a link to more information about how to set it up

↠ We recommend that everyone checkin for flights on your phone within 24 hours of scheduled departure. In situations where you are coming out of the jungle to the airport, ask your lodge to do it for you. 

Expect to be “off the grid" in the Sacred Valley and during the train ride to Machu Picchu. 

Recommended Gratuities

Tipping Guide - can be paid in USD, Peruvian Soles, or combination of both. (USD in Ecuador.)


What You're Paying For

Traditional Tours


 no hiking)

Tour w/ Day Hikes

2 Day Inca Trail

Multi-Day Hikes

(4/5 Day Inca Trail, Salkantay, Lares Valley)


Cultural Expertise, Experience, Knowledge, Time, Personal Assistance

$10 USD pp/day

$10 USD pp/day

$10 USD pp/day

4 Days: $100 per group

5 Days: $120 per group


Time, Knowledge, Fuel, Vehicle Maintenance

Full Day: $5-10 USD per group 

Partial Day: $5 USD per group 

or less

Full Day: $5-10 USD per group Partial Day: $5 USD per group or less

$1-2 USD pp

$10-$20 USD per group

Airport Transfers

Time, Fuel, Vehicle Maintenance

Cusco: $1/bag

Lima: $2/bag

Cusco: $1/bag

Lima: $2/bag

Cusco: $1/bag

Lima: $2/bag

Cusco: $1/bag

Lima: $2/bag


Carry & Manage Equipment 

Set Up/Break Down Camp




$25-$30 pp per porter

80-90/s. pp per porter

(2 porters per hiker)


Culinary Expertise






$50-$55 per group

160-170/s. per group

(divided by # of hikers)

Please Note: Gratuities above are recommendations only. Tips should always be given at your own discretion. Please feel free to adjust the gratuity based on the quality of services received. We suggest tipping drivers after each transfer or tour, as there is a chance you will not see them again. Porters and cooks can be tipped at the conclusion of your hike. It is ok to ask guides when you will last see them and tip them in full at the end of your interactions with them.

It is not necessary to invite your guide to eat with you. However, if you choose to do so, it is customary to treat your guide.

When dining, it is important to check your bill for gratuity. Some restaurants will include 10% gratuity automatically. Tipping for meals is the same as in the United States - 10-20% depending on level of service received. If you find that 10% has already been included, feel free to add additional gratuity if you think your wait staff has earned it.