Welcome to the OUT Adventures Family!
Gay owned OUT Adventures provides a comfortable travel environment for not only for gay and lesbian travellers, but also their friends and family who want to experience the world with like-minded people. Go on, Get OUT and experience the real world.Back to index
Get OUT and explore the heart and soul of Peru on this eye -opening sojourn from the heart of the Amazon to the heights of the Andes. Offering an indepth look at Peru's diverse attractions, this is an unforgettable trip at a relaxing pace. Discover ancient cultures, natural wonders, welcoming locals and vibrant modern life as you journey through the homeland of the Incas.Back to index
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru.
You are met on arrival at Lima airport and transferred to your hotel (please advise flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided).
Please ensure you arrive in time for the important welcome meeting at 2pm. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. This will be followed by an orientation walk. This evening we will have an included dinner.
For those who arrive early, there is sightseeing information at reception. Take a walk around Miraflores. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively go to Parque del Amor (Love's Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other things to see and do include a tour to Pachacamac (approx 30 km from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion, Museum of the Inquisition, Gold Museum and Archaeological Museum. Please note that today we include an orientation walking tour in Lima's downtown so there is no need for you to visit downtown prior to the trip.
While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of existing palaces and temples belonging to the local chief, who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well preserved historical centre.
Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. There are many fine museums in and around the city including the Museo del Tribunal de la Santa Inquisicion, which gives a fascinating insight into the Spanish Inquisition and the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia which offers a look at Peru's succession of ancient cultures.
Away from the historic centre, mingle with the Limenos (Lima's residents) in the cosmopolitan coastal districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro.
Your hotel in Lima is located in Miraflores. Rooms have ensuite bathrooms, cable T.V., safety box and fans.
We take an early 2 hour flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take us to their office in town where you will leave most of your luggage at a safe storage and continue traveling with a small pack with the necessary items for the next 2 nights in the jungle. We then take a motorized canoe up river to our jungle lodge.
Depending on our flight arrival time, we will have lunch on board the canoe as we travel to our lodge in the Madre de Dios Area.
In the afternoon and tomorrow we head out into the jungle with our local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. Spot everything from macaws, to monkeys, peccary, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach us about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants.
The lodge is eco-friendly and combines low-impact architecture with traditional native style. Rooms are simple, but comfortable with flush toilets, showers, mosquito nets and kerosene lamps.
After exploring the wilds to your heart's content, it is time to jump back on the canoe and return to Puerto Maldonado and take a short flight to Cuzco (approx. 30 minutes).
The Cuzco (can also be spelled Cusco) region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest, continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today, Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for optional explorations into the Incan world and to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
Your leader will take you on an orientation walking tour including a visit to a chocolate shop/museum where you can taste the unique treats and perhaps even test your hand at creating a bit of your own! You'll also visit the local San Pedro market.
For lunch or mid-morning coffee and cake head to Yanapay restaurant on 415 Ruinas St. This restaurant uses all its profits to support children in Cuzco through Aldea Yanapay and its social projects. For more info on Aldea Yanapay visit http://yanapay.facipub.com/
Our second day here begins with a visit to the archaeological sites of Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo and Tambomachay via private transport.
Your afternoon is free to explore. Take your time to explore the many baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. The cathedral, built on top of an Incan palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco's picturesque heart. The cathedral is one of the city's greatest repositories of art, and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a gold-covered Renaissance altar. Also worth visiting are the churches of La Compania, La Merced and San Blas.
Travel with our local guide through the Sacred Valley, on the outskirts of Cuzco (approx. 1.5 hours total driving time today). Known as Wilcamayo by the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.
We will head to a community along the Valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities, and if our visit coincides with market day, we can spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe even practice a little bit of the local language, Quechua. Your leader might also suggest an optional local meal, or an Andean picnic with the locals.
After the visit to the community, we continue the journey to Ollantaytambo, the most populous town of the valley situated at 2792 metres above sea level where houses have been built over an ancient inca town that has still the remains of an Inca fortress that is popular in historial incan stories (entrance fee is included so take advantage of it and wander around the fortress).
We spend the night in Ollantaytambo at the far end of the valley. This geometrically perfect town is a magnificent example of Incan urban planning. It is especially admired for the huge terraces that guard the great temple-fortress that clings to cliffs. This is one of the few places the Incas defeated the Spanish.
After a train ride (approx. 90 minutes) through the winding Urubamba Valley we arrive this afternoon in Aguas Calientes, where we will spend the night. Aguas Calientes is nestled in the cloud forest in the hills at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour the following day. Otherwise, you can while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs that give the town its name.
The following morning we take a very early (5:30am) bus along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes) where we are joined by a guide who will take us through the ruins. Looking down at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you've seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty.
While it is thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There is plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. Take advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities the enormous stone walls provide before returning to Aguas Calientes for lunch.
After lunch, board the train back through the Andes (approx. 1.5hrs) then take private transport back to our hotel in Cuzco (approx. 1.5hrs). We have a few hours to relax, shop and explore more of Cuzco's sights before our last dinner tonight at Fallen Angel, a special gay-welcoming restaurant with a quirky atmosphere of bath tub tables that double as fish tanks, heart shaped booths and plenty of local art.
You can leave at any time on day 9. Check-out time from the hotel is 11am. If you wish to leave later you can organize with reception to store your luggage.Back to index
The itinerary attached is correct at time of printing. Please note: occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. As such the information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
The trip includes a range of accommodation, such as simple, but clean and comfortable hotels and bed and breakfasts. Days of being on the move are well interspersed, communication with the outside world is ever-present and a wide variety of food is commonly available.
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You are required to carry your bags on and off trains and buses, up hotel steps, etc. Your itinerary may include easy paced walks or other physical activity, but these are on mainly flat ground.
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This trip travels to a relatively conservative area. We encourage you to experience the destination and culture with the following in mind:
Accommodation - We do not foresee any problems, however there may be occasions when a same sex couple may be asked to sleep in single beds rather than sharing a double. We appreciate your cooperation.
Public Display of Affection - These are frowned upon in this region among all travellers, not just those on an OUT Adventure. This includes holding hands in public.
Gay Activities - This trip may not have specific gay hosted events, meals or day tours due to the cultural sensitivity of this region. We will do our best to provide a safe, comfortable environment for you and your fellow travellers to experience this culture.Back to index
This is a list of included activities on this trip. All other activities are optional and at your own expense. For a list of optional activities and sightseeing available on this trip, see the optional activities section below. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
All optional activities are entirely your choice and are not included in price of this trip. The following is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities and tipping.
If you're happy with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many OUT Adventures destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Tipping is not expected in local markets and basic restaurants. However if you wish to tip, round your bill up to the nearest 5%. More up-scale restaurants we suggest up to 10%-12% of your bill. Some restaurants already include tipping on the final amount, which should be shown on the bill as: propina, servicio or cubiertos. We do not recommend tipping more than the suggested amount at restaurants as it will over time increase the recommended tipping amount and set a new expectation.
Local Guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD $2 per person per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of USD $1-2 per day is generally appropriate.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD $5-10 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.Back to index
Altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation may be felt while travelling in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, particularly when arriving in cities such as Quito (2850 metres), Cuzco (3300 metres), Puno (3860 metres) and La Paz (3640 metres). 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 more information about altitude sickness prevention please go to http://www.treksafe.com.au/medical/altitude_illness.htm.
Please note domestic airlines require passengers' passport numbers to issue their tickets. It is very important that you provide this information at the time of booking.Back to index
As a multi-geographical country, Peru can have very diverse weather. The dry season (April to September) can be freezing in the highlands, cold in the coastal zone, and could present some cold fronts in the jungle. It is recommended that you bring multiple layers for the cold nights. Most of our guesthouses do not have heating, as this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and local towns, and energy supply and timing provisions are limited in some places.
Maximum of 16 travellers per group
Comfortable hotels (6 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts)
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we are arriving prior to normal check in time. However this is not always possible, which means we will not be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. If you have purchased pre or post trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. Due to energy supply and timing provisions being limited in some places, please be prepared for some cold showers.Back to index
While travelling with us you will experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialties so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Please check the 'meal inclusions' section of these notes for details of meals included.
8 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Allow USD $500 for meals not included.
Please note breakfasts are often simple (bread, butter, jam, coffee/tea and juice would be most common). If you have specific nutritional requirements, we recommend that you consider bringing non-perishable items such as protein or energy bars to supplement your diet.Back to index
Plane, train, minibus, boat, canoe, taxi, and walking.Back to index
All OUT group trips are accompanied by one of our gay or gay friendly group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavor to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. OUT leaders aim to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions we visit - and who better to hear it from than the locals themselves? If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
If you are happy with the level of service provided by your group leader, we recommend that you reward them with a US $5-10 tip per day.Back to index
Arawi Hotel Lima
Calle Colon 223
Phone +51 1 2436598
The best way to get from Lima's International Airport Jorge Chavez into the city is by taxi. As you walk out from the luggage collection area, you will find the official taxi counters. We can recommend you to take Taxi Green services. They will charge you 40-45 soles for a trip to Miraflores.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 20 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, please call our Lima Operations Emergency phone number locally at 96768-8820. If you can't get through, we recommend that you make your own way to the Joining Point Hotel.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
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We don't expect any problems but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to your OUT Adventures group leader, or leave a message for your trip leader. Alternatively, contact our head office at +1-416-531-8795.Back to index
El Mercado Hotel
Calle 7 Cuartones 306
Phone: +51 84 582640
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not been picked up within 20 minutes of the time your leader indicates, please call our Cusco Operations Emergency phone number locally at 98483-9672. If you can't get through, we recommend that you make your own way to the airport. Please contact us when you arrive home to investigate. No refund is available on missed transfers.Back to index
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the OUT Adventures Office can be reached by telephone at +1 416 531 8795.
Alternatively, our operating partners at PEAK Adventure Travel can be contacted at +51 99605 5559 or +51 97009 4823Back to index
Please also make sure you have access to an additional $400 USD, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself.
Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. The visa requirements for your trip may vary depending on where you are travelling from and where you are going (ie in which order you are visiting countries). Here are useful links for Canadian, American and British passport holders.Back to index
Laundry facilities are available in most cities we visit. It's normally charged per kilo (around US $3-4 per kilo). There will be times when you may want or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.Back to index
Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On this trip you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you will not be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 10-15 minutes) we recommend keeping the weight under 30lb. For this trip we recommend your bag, whether with or without wheels has carry straps as we will be walking in areas with cobble stone or unpaved roads. Please be aware the maximum luggage allowance in domestic flights is of 20kg (44lbs) to check in and 5kg (11lbs) to carry on. Any excess luggage expense will be your own responsibility.
The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water where possible by bringing a refillable water bottle and filling it with filtered water, which is available at hotels for free, or a fraction of the price of bottled water. If you purchase water, we recommend purchasing a large bottle and using your refillable bottle.
Please note that as a multi-geographical country, Peru can have a very diverse weather.
Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money - note though that charges are made for each transaction. Please check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to US $100 per day.
It is also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US dollars are the most readily changeable currency.
VERY IMPORTANT: US $100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.Back to index
Please allow approximately US $4 for each domestic departure tax and US $31 for international departure tax from Lima.Back to index
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend email. Wifi is generally available throughout the regions we visit, although it is possible you may be without email contact for several days on some itineraries. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact your local booking agent, or refer to our emergency contact details. We don't recommend that family and friends try to contact you through hotels, as they are subject to change and the reception staff may not speak English.Back to index
While we always endeavor to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local partner right away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognize that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case please ask the leader if you may speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip but we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.Back to index
All OUT Adventures travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in the group travel experience. If, in the opinion of our group leader, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, OUT Adventures reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. We therefore ask that you read the itinerary in these Trip Notes thoroughly and then realistically self-assess your physical ability to complete the trip as described. Please consult with your doctor if you have any doubts.
You should consult your doctor with a complete list of countries you intend to visit to get up-to-date information regarding vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements or medications for any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst travelling in Latin America. Proof of Yellow Fever inoculation (Yellow Card) is a mandatory requirement for citizens of some countries when entering Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru. This card may be required by your airlines before allowing you boarding a flight to above mentioned countries. Customs officials may require you to provide a valid Yellow Card when you go through immigration in your home country. Yellow Fever vaccination must be applied at least 10 days prior to your departure date.
The World Health Organization has countries in Latin America registered as zones affected by Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Cholera, Rabies and Malaria.
We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons leaders/guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
If you have a pre existing medical condition, please make sure you discuss it with your doctor and be aware of the way altitude may exacerbate your condition.
Based on the entry requirements for countries visited on this trip, there are no vaccinations needed for entry. However, for more detailed information and to determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, we recommend you consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic. OUT Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.Back to index
Please refer to our website's Safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips: www.out-adventures.com/safety.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your OUT Adventures itinerary, and OUT Adventures makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to OUT Adventures' operational safety policy at www.out-adventures.com/safety.
We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it is being implemented in the field.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure.Back to index
On an OUT trip you will be travelling with other gay or gay-friendly passengers. We encourage open minded friends and family to join our trips. As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Please note that due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travelers booked on your trip prior to departure.Back to index
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation although a single supplement is often available for an additional charge. For no additional cost, single travellers share with people of the same sex for the duration of the trip, in accommodation ranging from twin to multi-share.
We believe strongly in low impact, or rather, positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please refer to our website at www.out-adventures.com/responsibletravel for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the local laws but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for OUT Adventures travellers. OUT Adventures' philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 4 weeks of finishing your trip. Go to: www.out-adventures.com/feedback
Our monthly email newsletter that is full of interesting and exciting regular features, travel tips, competitions, great giveaways, reviews, recipes, travelers' stories and money saving specials! Subscribe for free at http://www.out-adventures.com/newsletterBack to index