General Frequently Asked Questions
What type of luggage is the most suitable?
Bringing a backpack or duffel bag is highly recommended, as suitcases can be cumbersome and difficult to fit on buses, under seats, etc. Keep in mind that you will normally have to carry your luggage on and off buses and trains, and also carry it up the stairs of the hotels. Rolling bags may not be useful on dirt floors or cobblestone streets.
Do the tours include international air tickets?
Travelers come from all over the world to start our tours, so it is not possible to include the international plane ticket in our prices. However, we are at your disposal to help you organize your flights. All you have to do is ask for a ticket quote when making your reservation.
What clothes do I have to take for your adventures?
We always recommend carrying as little weight as possible, although the specific requirements for a trip vary greatly depending on where and when you are going. Our «Travel Information» document includes a list of luggage suggestions that you can download from the travel summary pages. These lists correspond to each specific tour and are based on the experience of our staff at the destination.
What vaccinations are recommended for this adventure?
It is important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date health information possible for your trip to the region you are going to visit. The only person qualified to provide it is your GP or a health specialist in foreign travel. Our “Resources” page provides links to a number of websites that contain extensive information regarding travel health issues. However, keep in mind that these websites cannot in any way replace your personal consultation with a qualified medical professional.
How many people can join a tour?
We create small groups so that you enjoy freedom of movement and can relate closely to your surroundings, as well as so that you can receive more personalized attention from our guides. This small size ensures that your group will not invade your personal experience. There can be up to 15 travellers on a group tours, but on average there are 15.
What is the age limitation of the trips?
To travel alone you must be at least 18 years old. There are no age limits above for most of our tours (although 18-to-Thirtysomethings trips are restricted to people between the ages of 18 and 39). On the other hand, travellers with previous health problems have to fill out a medical questionnaire. Our Family Adventures are open to families with children between the ages of 6 and 17. Our normal adventures are available for children from, if they are accompanied by a parent.
I travel alone: will I be charged a supplement for individual use?
Most of our trips do not have a supplement for individual use. This implies that the accommodation starts from the basis of sharing a double room and, if you travel on your own, you will share accommodation with another Cultura Viva traveller. Some tours have an optional supplement for individual use or, rarely, a mandatory supplement for this concept.
You can have at your disposal an optional service called «My own room». This service allows solo travellers to have their own room during the trip. The cost and specific conditions vary depending on the tour, so check the summary page of the trip that interests you for more information.
Can you provide me with a list of the hotels we will be staying at?
The start and end hotels of the tour are indicated in your travel itinerary and in the Travel Information document. During the tour we use several hotels, so it is not possible to provide a complete list of these until the first day of the trip. If your family needs contact information or, for emergencies, tell them to call your Travel advisor. If our office is closed, you can use the emergency number indicated in the Travel Information document, which is available every day at any time.
Can I join a tour later or leave it earlier?
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to join a journey once it has begun. It is possible to leave a tour before its end, although you will have to take care of organizing everything from the moment you decide to leave the trip. You will also be responsible for any costs associated with joining a tour later or leaving it early. If you think you need it, consult a Cultura Viva specialist before booking your adventure.
Are airport transfers included?
The only treks on our adventure list do not include airport transfers, so we recommend requesting a taxi on arrival (it is the most economical and efficient way to get to your hotel).
If you prefer to pre-arrange the transfer, they are usually available at an additional cost; contact us for more information.
If you hire a package, it is you if it includes all the transfers, read carefully what it includes and not in your itinerary since it is normal that it includes all the transports.
What type of ground transportation do your tours use?
You have specific information about the transport of each tour on the trip summary page. However, in most cases we use shared transportation. We have found that the way you get there has a significant influence on the travel experience, and shared transportation allows you to interact closely with other travelers at the destination. Some of our private or luxury adventures use private transportation.
Who are my travel companions?
To protect privacy, we cannot provide any information about your fellow travelers in advance. However, our tours attract a broad spectrum of travelers, most of whom share an adventurous spirit and a desire to experience these destinations in their essentials. Our tours are conducted in English, which is why they have many travelers from North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
How does Cultura Viva manage to offer competitive prices?
Our unique style of offbeat face-to-face travel is the only way to truly experience a destination, but it also helps us cut costs. We invest your money in providing you with an authentic experience. We transfer that saving to you through our reduced prices. Another thing you will notice is the difference in what is included. Although we do not include everything, we do focus on the highlights of a destination: the things that everyone wants to see. On the pages of all trips we list their «Included Highlights» – things that many other companies charge for on arrival. However, we leave many other activities as options, to give you the freedom and flexibility to choose what you want to do every day.
Can I book additional hotel nights before or after the tour?
Yes, most of the time we can arrange additional accommodation at our departure or arrival hotels, with the exception of European tours. Get in touch with a Cultura Viva specialist to find out about prices, or check them in the «Hotels, transfers and stays in the city» section of the tour page on our website. If we are unable to provide you with the additional nights you require, we will give you the name of a hotel that you can contact directly. Also note that additional accommodations must be reserved at least 30 days prior to departure.
Are tips included, and if so, how much should I budget?
Tips are not included in the price of the trip and giving them is completely at your discretion.
Safety tips for your trip to Peru
Traveling to Machu Picchu is a dream that many want to fulfil. But before packing your suitcases and boarding the plane, Cultura Viva offers you some safety tips that you should take into account during your stay in our country:
Helpful Money Tips
When withdrawing money from an ATM, try to do so in authorized establishments. Verify that no one is observing your transaction if it is done on public roads.
Try to carry single money for tours of 1 or more days.
You can make use of US dollars (USD) and Peruvian soles in most tourist establishments. Try to exchange currency in safe places. Check the received tickets carefully.
When using your credit card, do not allow them to carry your card out of your sight. Enter your secret password without anyone watching you.
Helpful tips for getting around town
Avoid going through dark streets or with little influx of people. Be careful not to carry valuables or carry them discreetly.
If you have questions about places or areas in the city of Cusco, do not hesitate to contact us.
Respect the entry and exit times of the attractions. Try not to stray from the established routes and always have your official guide in sight.
The authorized taxis in Cusco have a polygonal sticker on the front moon and a yellow and black checkered sticker on the lateral sides. For added security, you can take taxis ordered from the reception of your hotel.
Make sure that the vehicles of your transportation service have the corresponding authorizations in any of your tours to Machu Picchu or other destinations.
Do not neglect your belongings when going through crowded places such as squares, markets, fairs, transport stations and others.
If you want to enjoy the nightlife of the city, we recommend doing it accompanied or with a group.