Peru: The Amazon & Machu Picchu

A Gay Cultural Adventure Tour

DESCRIPTION

From the depths of the Amazon, to the heights of the Andes, this eye-opening escape will immerse you in the diversity of land and life that define Peru. Get a taste of the big city in Lima, with a chance to explore their cuisine and nightlife. Discover ancient cultures as we journey through the homeland of the Incas on our way to the monumental Machu Picchu. And, to keep you smiling, you’ll even encounter friendly locals at every turn, with it all adding up to a luxurious trip at an easygoing pace.

QUICK FACTS

Duration: 9 Days/8 Nights
Starts In: Lima
Ends In: Cusco
Group Size: Min 4, Max 16
Deposit: $750 USD
Accommodation: 4-Star+ Hotels (6 nts), Jungle Lodge (2 nts)
Physical Rating: 2/5
Prices: Based on double occupancy

DEPARTURES & PRICES:

April 20, 2019 to April 28, 2019 - 3695.00 USD
Sept. 28, 2019 to Oct. 6, 2019 - 3695.00 USD
April 25, 2020 to May 3, 2020 - 3795.00 USD

HIGHLIGHTS

• Explore Lima's historic centre and world-famous cuisine
• Dance the night away in one of Lima’s gay bars
• Learn the secrets of the Amazon Jungle from a local guide
• Awake to the sounds of an Amazonian animal orchestra
• Wander the atmospheric streets of Cuzco
• Admire the might of the Inca empire in the Sacred Valley
• Stroll geometrically perfect streets in Ollantaytambo
• Meander among the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu
• Become versed in the fusion of Incan and Spanish colonial architecture
• See how locals live in the countryside

Hola! Welcome to Peru. Please check in to our centrally located, posh hotel. We have no activities planned today until our important Group Meeting at 2PM in the hotel lobby. Here you’ll meet your Group Leader, and your fellow Out Adventures travellers, to discuss our upcoming adventure. We’ll then head to Lima’s historic centre for a walking tour that celebrates the city’s Spanish colonial architecture. Tonight’s Welcome Dinner is included, and will be held at a local gay-welcoming restaurant, followed by kick-off cocktails (if you’re not too jet lagged, that is).

Today begins with an early morning flight to Puerto Maldonado. We’ll leave most of our luggage behind, aside from an Out Adventures duffel bag packed for two nights, then take a motorized canoe up-river to our remarkable jungle lodge. The hotel exudes tropical chic. After lunch we’ll get our first taste of the jungle, when our local guides introduce us to some sensational fauna and flora in their natural habitat on a walking tour. From macaws to monkeys, with thousands of butterflies thrown in, this is biodiversity at its best. At dusk we'll navigate a motorized canoe upriver for an evening safari highlighting the Amazon's nocturnal animals.

Here’s your chance to explore the Amazon in-depth with our guide. After a hearty buffet breakfast, we’ll trek through terra firma into Tambopata National Reserve. Look out for the endangered giant river otter, blue and yellow macaw, red howler monkey and black caiman. Lunch awaits back at the lodge, then onto the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway. Climb a 91ft/28m tower into the canopy, then cross 7 hanging bridges. Enjoy breathtaking vistas while photographing white-throated toucans, three-toed sloths, woodpeckers, trogons and squirrel monkeys. The day ends on another nocturnal safari, before dinner is served at the lodge.

Today we return to Puerto Maldonado by canoe, then board a flight to Cusco (also spelled Cuzco), South America’s oldest continually-inhabited city. In order to adjust to the altitude (3,400m/11,200m), we’ll take it easy this afternoon, with a short orientation walk that includes a visit to the local San Pedro market. This evening you’re free to explore, take advantage of the incredible hotel's amenities, or you may join the group for an optional dinner.

This morning we’ll head to the Sacred Valley, on the outskirts of town, via private transport. We’ll visit a farming community en route, before we arrive in the town of Ollantaytambo. Take some time to explore, and be sure not to miss the fortress above town, as the entrance fee is included. Note: we’ll safely lock up the majority of our luggage in our hotel just outside Ollantaytambo for the next few days while we explore the Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. We'll use our Out Adventure duffel bags to carry the items you’ll need for the following few days.

Our day begins with riding the rails on the charming 360​° Machu Picchu Train, aboard which glass panels in the ceiling ensure you soak in as much of the view as possible. Venturing through the Urubamba Valley, we’ll eventually arrive in the town of Aguas Calientes, which is the closest civilization to Machu Picchu. You could take this afternoon to rest up, as tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu will be a long day, or you could treat yourself to a sneak peak of the ancient citadel before our guided tour tomorrow.

This morning we’ll depart by bus around 5:30AM in order to make our way along the notoriously windy road to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, we'll explore Sun Gate and the Inka Bridge for a few hours. These two sites offer an incredible photo opportunity overlooking the main ruins themselves. After exploring the upper area, we'll meet a private guide who will tour us through the UNESCO World Heritage Site itself, providing fascinating insights into Inkan culture and history. Please Note: As of July 2018, no one is allowed to explore Machu Picchu on their own. We'll enjoy an optional lunch before taking the 360° Machu Picchu Train back to the Sacred Valley, where we’ll connect with our private transport to Cusco. Take the rest of the night to enjoy our lux accommodations.

This morning you’ll have the option to visit the archaeological sites of Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo & Tambomachay via private transport (price will depend on number of participants). While these sites may not be as mesmerizing as Machu Picchu, they remain historically significant, and are still worth a visit. This evening we’ll gather one last time, at a gay-welcoming restaurant, to share some fond memories over our Farewell Dinner.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at your leisure.

• Arrival & departure transfers to/from accommodation booked through Out Adventures
• Group leader from beginning to end of tour 
• 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
• Lima orientation walking tour 
• Flights from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, and on to Cuzco 
• Cuzco orientation walk

• Visit to a community in the Sacred Valley
• Guided Amazon Jungle walks
• Private, guided tour of Machu Picchu
• Signature Out Adventures duffel bag
• Train trip between Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo on the Vistadome train

• International Airfare
• Meals & Activities not mentioned in itinerary
• Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers. Visit www.outadventures.com/insurance for more details.

• Gratuities for Group Leader ($45-$90 USD)
• Gratuities for drivers, hotel staff, porters (approximately $30-$50 USD)

Machu Picchu:

As of July 1, 2018, Peruvian authorities have enacted new regulations surrounding all Machu Picchu visits in order to preserve the site. This will affect all Out Adventures in the following capacity:

  • Entry tickets are valid for one entry only, meaning you cannot leave the site and re-enter.
  • After entry, our group will be directed to one of three "circuits" around the site. We will not have the ability to backpedal, switch circuits or explore Machu Picchu after completing the circuit. We must immediately leave the site after completing the circuit.
  • We will have a set time slot for our tour, either 6am-12pm or 12pm-4:30pm, and this slot will be chosen in advance by our operations team.
  • We will spend additional time exploring the famous Sun Gate and Inka Bridge which will be less regulated.

Huayna Picchu:

For safety reasons, our Machu Picchu entrance tickets do not include the fee to climb/hike to the top of Huayna Picchu (the mountain in the background of Machu Picchu photos). You will, however, have access to the entire site along with a guided tour. You will be required to temporarily sign off your OUT Adventures trip if you choose to do this activity, and we are not able to provide any assistance or comments about it due to serious safety concerns.

Out Adventures is all about good times with likeminded guys. Whatever's on the itinerary-from fireside camping to five-star decadence-our goal is to make the experience magical. We're also committed to supporting the communities we visit by hiring local guides, staying at locally-owned accommodations when possible, and celebrating local cuisine. It all adds up to a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.

VISAS: A visa is not typically required for American, Australian, British and Canadian citizens travelling to Peru for fewer than 90 days. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

CULTURE SHOCK: Peru is a developing country with infrastructure, values, customs and standards that may differ from what you're accustomed to. Expect poor road conditions, along with unanticipated inconveniences such as restaurants and tourist sites being closed from time-to-time. Please note our transportation may be altered, and/or our itinerary changed, due to such circumstances beyond our control.

LOCAL LGBT SCENE: Many people frequently mistake the Inca national flag for a rainbow Pride flag...if only that were the case. Peru is predominantly Catholic, quite conservative, and hasn't progressed far in terms of LGBT rights. That said, Lima does have a large LGBT community, some popular gay bars, and a friendly restaurant and art scene.

WEATHER: You can expect weather in Lima to be somewhat consistent with daytime highs around 18C/64F, and evening lows around 15C/58F. In the Amazon Jungle, it can get quite hot and sticky, but it can also cool down with the occasional cold front. Daytime highs at our lodge can reach 32C/90F and evening temperatures can drop to 18C/64F. In the Andes Mountains (Cusco, Sacred Valley, Inca Trail), April through October are the coolest and driest months of the year, with an average daily high around 20C/68F, and evening lows around 4C/40F.

REQUIRED VACCINATIONS: Based on entry requirements, there are no vaccinations needed for Peru. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as OUT Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

ELECTRICITY: You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type A/B/C sockets. Visit http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/peru/ for more information.

CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi will be available at no cost at our hotels in Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Unless you have a local SIM card, you won't have a data connection during our hike on the Inca Trail.

Altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation may be felt while travelling to high altitudes. Symptoms include shortness of breath, headaches, general lethargy and a reduced appetite. It is important that you drink plenty of water, and don't attempt too much in a day.

For everybody's peace of mind, medical travel insurance is required on all Out Adventures tours. At a minimum, your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, with a minimum medical coverage of US$50,000.

Out Adventures scheduled tours departing before January 31st, 2019 include a basic policy in the price of the tour. For more details, visit www.outadventures.com/insurance.

All Out Adventures are led by a gay (or gay-welcoming) guide. Whenever possible, we hire destination locals. And we can also connect you with the right people if you'd like to delve deeper into the local culture.

Out Adventures are a great way to meet people from around the world and all walks of life. Bear in mind that everybody's there for a good time, so mutual respect will go a long way. Please be on time for any meet ups, empathetic to the needs of others, and ready to roll with whatever the adventure brings.

Although we can't tell you who your fellow travellers will be for privacy reasons, we can tell you many great friendships began with an Out Adventure. And just because we're a gay tour operator doesn't mean we're exclusive: friends and family are always welcome to join the fun.

If you've never travelled on your own, it's an amazing way to get to know yourself while making new friends along the way. We can arrange for you to share a room with people in your age range at no charge, or you can pay a supplement for your own room. And if there's an odd number of solos, we'll rotate a single room on a random basis.

The itinerary is correct at time of publishing. If anything, it will only get better based on feedback from prior travellers and our own research. It's best to reference your final trip documents rather than our website in case there have been any changes that affect your departure.

Every Out Adventure offers optional excursions that are not included in price of this trip. Please see your daily itinerary in your final pre-trip packet to see what’s available.

To keep things flexible, not all meals are included in the trip price. Although we typically dine together so that everybody can get a taste of everything, feel free to explore on your own...your guide will always have some restaurant recommendations. While in the Amazon Jungle, all meals will be included. You will have a selection of meat, fresh fruit, and vegetables, with hot meals throughout.

Dazzler Hotel Lima
José Pardo 879, Miraflores, Lima
Phone +51 1 6344000

Standard check-in time is between 2PM and 3PM. We are unable to arrange early check ins, however you are able to store your luggage and explore the central area near the hotel while you wait. If you would like a guaranteed early check-in, you will need to reserve a pre-tour night of accommodation.

If you are checking in to the hotel under your OUT Adventures reservation, a complimentary arrival transfer will be included.

El Mercado
Siete Cuartones, Cusco

If you are happy with services throughout your trip, a tip is recommended. Tipping details will be provided in your final trip documentation, however we recommend budgeting approximately $200 USD.

The local currency is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Credit cards are accepted at hotels and upscale restaurants, but not for gratuities. We recommend carrying approximately $400 USD to be used only in the case of an emergency, or if your credit/ATM cards are placed on hold.

Most Out Adventures entail carrying your own luggage on occasion. And while you'll never schlep far, things can quickly get heavier than a celebrity breakup if you don't keep your baggage under 20kg/44lb. If you bring along a steam trunk, chances are you'll be leaving it behind on domestic flights.

Please Note: You'll need to bring a daypack to carry water, your camera, and any souvenirs you pick up along the way. 

The following packing list should be used as a guideline, not as gospel. Our Adventure Specialists are happy to answer any specific questions about how much, or little to bring.

Travel Documents:

  • Passport/Visas/Flight Itineraries/Travel Insurance 
  • Pre-trip packet
  • Credit/ATM card 
  • Yellow Fever vaccine certificate if travelling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever

General Personal Items:

  • Eye mask/Ear plugs
  • Alarm clock/watch
  • Smartphone/camera/tablet/charging cords/International travel plug for type A/B/C 
  • We'll provide a duffel bag for you to carry 2 nights of clothing and personal belongings for the Amazon Jungle & Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu Excursions
  • Luggage Lock
  • Guidebook/Phrase book/Reading material
  • Travel-sized towel
  • Sunglasses/Hat/Small Umbrella
  • Sandals/Comfortable Walking Shoes/Shoes for upmarket Dinners

Clothing:

  • Shirts: t-shirts/collared shirt or polo shirt for upmarket dinners
  • Pants: Long, lightweight pants/Casual pants for upmarket dinners
  • Shorts
  • Swimwear
  • Fleece sweater/jacket
  • Light sweater/sweatshirt
  • Warm hat/gloves for cool mornings/evenings
  • Water resistant jacket

Health-related Items:

  • Personal medication/Insect repellent/bite cream/antihistamines
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Antibacterial gel/wipes
  • Toiletries
  • Travel First Aid Kit

We'll provide a duffel bag that can be used for the Amazon Extension for 2 nights/3 days along with our journey to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu for 2 nights/3 days. You get to keep this bag after the tour. Your main luggage will be securely stored during these two excursions.

We love when groups of friends join us on an OUT Adventure, whether you're celebrating a major milestone, or you just love to travel together. However, since we have travellers that will be flying solo, or as a couple, we would love your help ensuring everybody feels welcome and has an epic time. Here are some ways you can give us a hand, while also getting to know and befriending your fellow travellers:

  • Sit with (and get to know) different people at different meals
  • Mix up walking partners on excursions
  • Invite solo travellers to join you for an optional excursion or meal
  • Enjoy inside jokes in privacy, or let the group in on the secret ;)

If you'd rather relish an exclusive escape with just your own party, we also offer private departures. This is a great way to create and manage your own holiday guest list, while possibly saving money as well. Please contact one of our Adventure Specialists if you're interested in a customized quote.

All Out Adventures guests must have a good level of health. All tours, regardless of activity level, involve uneven steps, stairs, walking tours, and you will be required to carry your own luggage from time to time. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate individuals with limited mobility unless they are willing to absorb the cost of a private guide/assistant which varies by country and is only possible on a case by case basis. It is also your responsibility to advise Out Adventures of any pre-existing medical conditions that may increase the risk of you requiring medical attention, or that may affect the normal conduct of the tour and the enjoyment of the tour by other participants.

Below is a breakdown of our Physical Rating guide.

1 - Relaxing

  • Very little or no hiking
  • Light activities such as walking, bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
  • Low altitude
  • Suitable for all fitness levels

2 - Light

  • Light walking and hiking (2 hours or less per day and at low altitude)
  • Light activities such as bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
  • Suitable for most fitness levels

3 - Average

  • Light walking and hiking (3 hours or less per day, rarely at high altitude)
  • Some activities such as biking, paddling or swimming. Active days are mixed with relaxed days
  • Suitable for an average fitness level

4 - Demanding

  • Walking, hiking is a component of the tour (can range from 2 hours to 6 hours per day, at various altitudes)
  • Activities such as biking, paddling or swimming may be mixed in
  • Suitable for a good fitness level

5 - Challenging

  • Walking, hiking, biking, paddling or kayaking are the vast majority of the trip (can range from 2 hours to 8 hours per day, generally at high altitude)
  • Activities will likely happen day after day with limited rest days
  • Suitable for above average fitness level