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MOUNTAINS TO THE LAKES

Price from
US$2,809
(per person)
Duration
21
Days
Tour Type
Small Group

HIGHLIGHTS

Wildlife of the Ballestas Islands, Nazca Lines, condors of Colca Canyon, Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, colonial Cuzco, waters of Lake Titicaca, impressive La Paz
COUNTRIES : Peru, Bolivia

A comprehensive 3-week Boliva and Peru tour. Discover the secrets of South America, visit tranquil Lake Titicaca and trek to Machu Picchu. See the Nazca Lines, Cuzco and La Paz.

The tour begins in Lima, you then head south for an incredible Ballestas Islands boat trip where you will see exotic birds and sea mammals. You then travel inland to the desert and the palm trees and sand dunes of the Oasis of Huacachina where we make camp under the stars. You will then visit the mysterious Nazca lines whose true meaning is still up for debate.

The tour then starts it's ascent into the Andes to the town of Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, the deepest in the world. The tour then takes us to Cuzco where we prepare for the unforgettable Inca Trail, after reaching Machu Picchu we head back to Cuzco for some relaxing time in this beautiful Andean city.

We continue our journey to Lake Titicaca where we spend time learning of the traditions of the local Uros Indians, with free time to laze the day away on the shores of this deep blue lake.

The tour makes it's final stop in La Paz, giving you free time to explore the Bolivian capital.

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Lima for the start of your trip.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Lima hotel
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra Day in Lima - pre-tour, Single room supplement (PRSGML)

Departing Lima, our tour begins with a trip south to the Ballestas Islands nestled in the Paracas National Reserve. We enjoy a boat ride here to view the incredible concentration of rare and exotic birds and sea mammals which make this one of the most important marine reserves in the world.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Paracas hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

This morning we make the short drive through the Ica Desert to the heart of Peru's wine region. Visiting the Tacama winery we have the chance to sample the local wine as well as the country's national drink, Pisco. We then head to the nearby Oasis of Huacachina - a palm fringed lake surrounded by sand dunes where we can relax on the beach and enjoy a swim before we take things up a notch with a thrill inducing dune buggy ride over the massive sand dunes. This evening enjoy the desert sunset as we make camp and sleep under the stars.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Huacachina camping
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Today we travel to one of South America's most mysterious sites as we visit the intriguing Nazca Lines. Believed to have been present for over 2,000 years these huge figures carved into the desert floor were only discovered 80 years ago from the air and as such there are many contrasting theories as to what they actually signify - feel free to ask the locals! We then head to the Chauchilla Cemetery famous for its well-preserved mummies before saying goodbye to the Atacama Desert to begin our climb into the Andes towards Arequipa.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board overnight coach
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

The next four days are spent in and around Colca Canyon and the surrounding areas. We include an overnight visit to the Colca Canyon, which at 900m is not only one of the deepest in the world but also the home of the majestic Condors. Here you can view the condors circling lazily in the thermals rising from the canyon floor. Some of the other activities available to arrange in this beautiful part of Peru include white water rafting, cycling, horse riding and trekking.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Arequipa hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Full day in and around Colca Canyon to enjoy optional activitis including white water rafting, cycling, horse riding and trekking.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Arequipa hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Full day in and around Colca Canyon to enjoy optional activitis including white water rafting, cycling, horse riding and trekking.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Arequipa hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Full day in and around Colca Canyon to enjoy optional activitis including white water rafting, cycling, horse riding and trekking.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Arequipa hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

An overnight coach journey carries us through the Andes to Cuzco - the adventure capital of Peru and starting point of the Inca trail. We will be based here for the next 7 days as we seek to explore the dramatic landscape and learn about the unique cultures that have existed here for thousands of years. Arriving early morning we have chance to tour the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, home to temples, terrace fields and bustling local markets before returning to Cuzco for a good night's sleep in preparation of our trek the next day.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cuzco hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

We head out early from Cuzco to the Urubamba Valley from where we begin our 4-day trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. A stunning combination of panoramic views, Inca ruins and magnificent mountains make this one of the most exotic adventures in the world. Reaching over 4,200m in places the trail winds up through lush valleys and tiny, hospitable villages where we spend the nights. All guides and porters are included on the trek.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Basic accommodation & camping
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Full day spent trekking along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Basic accommodation & camping
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Full day spent trekking along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Basic accommodation & camping
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we complete our trek to Machu Picchu then we return to Cuzco by train.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cuzco hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

To help recover from our trek we have 2 free days in Cuzco. Feel free to explore more of the city and its museums and churches or look for local crafts from Alpaca woollen jumpers to Andean musical instruments and local jewellery. If you still have the energy you can arrange an adventurous white water rafting trip on either the Urubamba or Apurimac River.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cuzco hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Full day free to explore more of Cuzco or enjoy some of the many optional activities available.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cuzco hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Lying at 3,800m on the border between Peru and Bolivia, this morning we get our first glimpse of the deep blue waters that make up the extraordinary Lake Titicaca. Home to the Uros Indians who reside on unique floating reed islands we are fortunate enough to be able to visit these islands and spend the night with one of the Indian families on the lesser known islands of Isla Amantani or Taquile.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Puno hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Today we head out to one of the lesser known islands of Isla Amantani or Taquile to experience the life of Uros Indians. This unique culture is centre around the floating reed islands where we spend the night with one of the Indian families.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Homestay
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is free to relax in Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
  • OVERNIGHT:
    Puno hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Bidding farewell to Peru, we cross the border into Bolivia and arrive at the picturesque lakeside village of Copacabana where we stop for the night.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Copacabana hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

From here we continue onto the impressive capital city of La Paz, where the rest of the day and the whole of the following day are yours to explore the markets, museums and bustling streets at leisure.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    La Paz hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Free time in La Paz then transfer to airport for departure.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in La Paz - post-tour
Included:
  • Airport transfer on arrival in Lima
  • Ballestas Islands boat tour
  • Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu (4-day trek including all meals and guide)
  • Entrance to Machu Picchu
  • Return train from Machu Picchu
  • All accommodation (small & simple hotels & guesthouses & 3 nights camping on Inca Trail)
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Services of tour leader and trekking crew
  • All local transport

Excluded:
  • Airport transfers from internal flights
  • Optional excursions as listed in the pre-departure information
  • International flights
  • Meals not specified
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • Airport taxes
  • Drinks
  • Visas
  • Tips
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
hotel-buena-vista-lima.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Hotel Buena Vista
Lima, Peru

In the heart of Lima's Miraflores area, this hostel is near many shopping and local attractions, featuring garden, free Wi-Fi and full kitchen. Accommodation includes private bathroom and cable TV.


In the heart of Lima's Miraflores area, this hostel is near many shopping and local attractions, featuring garden, free Wi-Fi and full kitchen. Accommodation includes private bathroom and cable TV.

All of the 14 rooms at Hotel Buena Vista Lima are fitted with telephone and traditional decor. Room service and 24-hour front desk are available.

Guests enjoy a varied breakfast buffet in a cosy internal patio. Buena Vista Lima also offers a lounge with TV and DVD, tour desk and transfer services.

Hotel Buena Vista is 3 blocks from Kennedy Park and a 30-minute drive from downtown Lima. The airport is a 45-minute drive away.

Miraflores is a great choice for travellers interested in shopping, gourmet food and friendly people.

hotel-brisas-de-la-bahia-paracas.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Hotel Brisas De La Bahi
Paracas, Peru

Featuring a restaurant, Brisas de la Bahia Hotel offers accommodations in Paracas. Free WiFi access is available here. El Chaco Beach is 20 yards away.


Featuring a restaurant, Brisas de la Bahia Hotel offers accommodations in Paracas. Free WiFi access is available here. El Chaco Beach is 20 yards away.

Rooms at Brisas De La Bahia Hotel feature a fan, private bathroom, cable TV and city views, Breakfast is included.

At Brisas De La Bahia Hotel guests will find a 24-hour front desk, a vending machine and a tour desk. The property offers free parking.

Brisas De La Bahia Hotel is located 20 yards from Paracas Bay and 50 yards from the tourist dock.

hotel-la-casa-de-mi-abuela-arequipa.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Hotel La Casa De Mi Abuela
Arequipa, Peru

Featuring a garden with a swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar, Hotel La Casa De Mi Abuela offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and TV sets in Arequipa. The Main Square is a 10-minute walk away.


Featuring a garden with a swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar, Hotel La Casa De Mi Abuela offers rooms with free Wi-Fi and TV sets in Arequipa. The Main Square is a 10-minute walk away.

Decorated with parquet floors, rooms at Hotel La Casa De Mi Abuela are fitted with wooden practical furnishing. Some of them afford pool views.

International dishes can be ordered at La Boveda Restaurant. Drinks and snacks from the bar can be enjoyed by the pool.

There is a games room featuring table tennis and foosball. Guests can also enjoy themselves reading a book from the library. Massages can be requested for a fee.

Free airport shuttles can be arranged. Hotel La Casa De Mi Abuela is a 6-minute walk from Santa Catalina Convent and 25 minutes from Rodriguez Ballon Intenrnational Airport by car.

andean-south-inn-cusco.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Andean South Inn
Cusco, Peru

Located in San Blas, Andean South Inn has modern rooms with free Wi-Fi and panoramic city views. Its restaurant serves Novo Andina delicacies. It is 900 yards to Quenqo.


Located in San Blas, Andean South Inn has modern rooms with free Wi-Fi and panoramic city views. Its restaurant serves Novo Andina delicacies. It is 900 yards to Quenqo.

Featuring artworks by local artists, each room has cable TV and en suite bathrooms. Some rooms offer bathroom amenities.

A variety of Novo Andina cuisines and international dishes are offered by Andean South Inn.

Andean South Inn is less than 5 minutes' drive away from Museo Inka, and Calca Bus Station is 0.6 miles away.

Cusco City Centre is a great choice for travellers interested in food, architecture andculture.

hotel-italia-puno.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Hotel Italia
Puno, Peru

Hotel Italia, has been strategically located in the heart of the Puno city, near the banks, the train station, the harbour, shopping centres and artisan centres.


Hotel Italia, has been strategically located in the heart of the Puno city, near the banks, the train station, the harbour, shopping centres and artisan centres.

The hotel has 32 comfortable rooms, with phone, TV cable, valet service and room service, international and vegetarian restaurant, the Cafe and Bar, where you will get some rest after your tours, and the reading hall, which will make you feel like at home.

hotel-estrella-andina-la-paz.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Hotel Estrella Andina
La Paz, Bolivia

Only 50 yards from Brujas Market, in La Paz, and 100 yards from the city's picturesque artisans fair, Estrella Andina has comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi.San Francisco Church is 550 yards from the hotel.


Only 50 yards from Brujas Market, in La Paz, and 100 yards from the city's picturesque artisans fair, Estrella Andina has comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi.San Francisco Church is 550 yards from the hotel.

Estrella has rooms equipped with cable TV and private bathrooms with showers. Laundry facilities are available.

Guests can wake up to a daily breakfast at the dining area, featuring panoramic views of La Paz and hand painted murals.

La Paz International Airport is 9.3 miles away.

La Paz City Centre is a great choice for travellers interested in mountains, city walksand architecture.

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you're visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Extra Day in Lima - pre-tour
Price from
US$44
per person



Extra Day in Lima - pre-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in La Paz - post-tour
Price from
US$44
per person



Extra day in La Paz - post-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

mountains-lakes-map.jpg
Mountains to the Lakes tour notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

We use good quality small & simple hotels & guesthouses on this tour. Tours visiting the Oasis of Huacachina and the Inca trail trek will also include four nights camping.

Accommodation is based on dorm, twin, triple or double en-suite rooms. We will endeavour to give all couples a private double room. Single travellers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a room with one or two other travellers of the same sex. If there are no other single travellers available for you to pair up with at the time of your booking, then we will need to add the single supplement to your tour price, but will refund this or deduct it from your balance payment if we are able to pair you up later on. 

Please be aware that hotels in Peru can suffer from common problems such as electrical failure, plumbing faults and other technical difficulties and hot water may occasionally be temperamental if a lot of people are using the showers at the same time. This is a possibility throughout all classes of hotels.

On the Classic Inca trail tents are provided and sleeping bags can be hired.

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you’re travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. In South America we travel by means of various local transports. The majority of travel is in air-conditioned buses and trains, therefore ensuring your comfort.

The tour includes a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Lima & La Paz airports, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers.

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There's no point in us providing great guides if you've got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, we won't ever put you in a 50-seater coach with 49 other people and just one guide. Instead we set our South America group departures to have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 18 travellers.

In South America we provide fully trained, local English-speaking tour leaders to accompany all our Peru and Bolivia tours. These leaders will arrange your accommodation, meals, travel arrangements, as well as pre-booking some excursions and guides and helping you to find the best deals, socialise. Generally they are there to run the tirp and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. While they are experienced and knowledgeable about the country and places you're visiting and travelling through, they are not tour guides as such. In most historical areas visited there are specialist local guides available if you wish (your tour leader will assist in booking these). We also have some local representatives in towns and cities en-route who are also at your service. Additional guides may also be used for some of the trekking and jungle sections.

At Encounters Travel we aim to  only use local Peruvian and Bolivian tour leaders, guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.

Note: Some of our tours in Peru and Bolivia work as different sections and may operate in partnership with our friends at Oasis Overland. So, it is possible that you may not be with the same entire group for the whole trip (for example, in Peru some travellers may start their trip in Cuzco, or head to the Amazon after the Inca Trek while some go on to Lake Titicaca. In Bolivia some people may finish the tour early and not continue on into the jungle for the final section).

The tour price includes entrance fees to all the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. You will need to cover the cost of entrance to any other extra sites that you may wish to visit.

Tipping is common practice in Bolivia & Peru, as a sign of appreciation for services provided. You may therefore wish to tip your guide and driver at the end of the tour.  You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. £5 per person per day would be appropriate.

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to book your flights for you, and our ATOL (UK flight sales license) covers all holidays booked together with a flight from the UK.

Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from. Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour whether you book your flights independently or through us.

N.B. ON TOURS THAT VISIT THE JUNGLE, FLIGHT TIMES FROM THE JUNGLE CAN BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE (PARTICULARLY DURING THE RAINY SEASON) SO MAKE SURE YOUR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT BOOKINGS ALLOW AT LEAST ONE SPARE DAY AFTER THE JUNGLE EXCURSION HAS BEEN COMPLETED!

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Peru: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Not required. Please read the WHO guidance.
Bolivia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if entering from a country with risk of yellow fever and if transitting through an airport in one of those countries for more than 12 hours. Please read the WHO guidance.

Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting. In general malaria risk is present throughout the year in rural areas below 2000m. Risk is highest in the department of Loreto in the Amazon. Risk is variable in other areas below 2000m. Risk is low west of the Andes including Lima (with the exception of the district of Piura) and at altitude (including the Inca Trail, Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca).

Dengue Fever: Unlike the malaria mosquito, which will bite around dawn, dusk and at night, the mosquito that carries dengue fever bites during the day. There are occasional outbreaks in some areas we visit and we therefore advise that you take precautions during the day to avoid being bitten as well as at night. No vaccine is available.

Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation may be required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and a photocopy to hand if necessary.

Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport; your passport should have at least 1 blank page for every country you are visiting on your trip. Please bring two photocopies of your passport with you to give to your tour leader at the start of your tour. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

Peru: Many nationalities (including UK, European, Australian, New Zealand, South Africa, USA) do not need to obtain a visa to enter Peru as long as your stay is for less than 6 months. Other nationalities should check with their local consulate or embassy.
Bolivia: Many nationalities (including UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada) do not currently need to obtain a visa to enter Bolivia as long as your stay is for less than 3 months. US citizens can obtain a visa on arrival for 360 Bolivianos (approx. US$55) - a photocopy of your passport, a 3cm x 4cm passport photo, and the fee in local currency will be required. South African citizens are recommended to obtain their visa in advance - the fee is 360 Bolivianos. Other nationalities should check with their local consulate. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate visa to enter Bolivia if one is required.

On arrival you will be given an immigration card. You should keep this safe with your passport as you will need it again when you leave the country (a fine may be payable if you lose it).

If you are flying through the USA en-route to South America then before you travel you will need to obtain either a USA visa or an ESTA (electronic system for travel authorisation) if your country is part of the visa waiver program).

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.

Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

We run regular small-group departures on this tour from April to November each year. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website and on a separate dates & prices sheet available on request.

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial protection is also provided through International Passenger Protection for passengers not booking flights.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don’t prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don’t expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don’t worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don’t waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don’t litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It’s important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
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It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Know Before you Go' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Know Before you Go' campaign

Luggage: Whatever you’re doing in Peru or Bolivia, you’ll find that large rigid wheeled suitcases are cumbersome - you may be able to wheel them inside the airport and your hotel, but due to the condition of roads and pavements that’s often about it. As most of our tours involve a degree of adventurous activity, we strongly advise you to bring a more practical bag for these i.e. a rucksack or holdall. These are easier for both your porters/ponies (if trekking), and yourself to carry around. Suitcases are OK if your tour does nothing but cultural sightseeing, but please aim to bring small or medium sized ones rather than very large. If you are trekking, or doing a lot of travel throughout the country, then as little as possible is the basic message. A rucksack or holdall (50-80 litre approx.) for your main luggage, and a daypack for you to use during the day should be plenty. While trekking your ponies will carry your main luggage, leaving you with just a daypack with things you'll need during the day. You can also leave some luggage locked safely in the pre-trek hotel if you wish. We recommend that couples plan to leave one main bag behind, and pool their remaining luggage in their other bag for the ponies to carry.

Luggage limits: Most international airlines allow 20-23kg per person of hold luggage. Domestic flights often have smaller allowances around 15kg. As airline rules vary we recommend that you take no more than 20kg of luggage if your tour just includes international flights, and no more than 15kg if there are any domestic flights included in your itinerary. Please ask us for details if you are unsure. Any excess baggage fees will be your responsibility to cover. Most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage so we suggest that you take no more than 5kg unless you have confirmed that your airline(s) will allow more than this.

Clothing & Climate: Peru and Bolivia have a climate that ranges widely depending on where and when you visit. Nights will be cold in the deserts and mountains, and the weather may be hot during the day. It can get down to -15C in the Andes, and up to 47C and 90% humidity in the jungles. The rainy season in the Andes is mostly between November and April with heavy downpours once or twice a day with the remainder of the day mostly warm and sunny. You may be lucky and get no rain at all. The dry season runs from April to October and this is when you'll get the best mountain views. Generally expect it to be warm or hot during the day but very cold at night in the mountains. In the deserts in Peru the hottest time of year is between October and May, but the nights can be cold all year round. The Amazon is very hot and humid with regular rains or showers all year round. Overall, you need to pack for all conditions, from cold to hot, and with at least a light raincoat in case of showers or heavier rains.

A large variety of relatively cheap trekking gear is available in Cuzco (fleeces, waterproofs etc.) and buying some here can save you carrying it with you, and support the local economy. However, you should definitely bring your own walking boots.

What to bring:

  • Toiletries - Most available to buy on trip
  • Sleeping Bag - 4 season bag, (these can be hired for the Inca Trail and in Bolivia, but most people prefer to bring their own) and a sleep sheet for comfort (especially if you plan to hire a sleeping bag)
  • Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items
  • Soft rucksack or holdall (NOT a large rigid suitcase)
  • Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm & moisturiser
  • Sun block (35+) and after sun, sun hat & sun glasses
  • Tampons/pads (can buy in most places)
  • Contraception

Clothes & Personal Effects

  • One pair of trainers or boots, plus Sandals/flip flops/jandals/thongs
  • Underwear/socks T shirts/shirts Shorts/swimwear
  • Jeans/trousers/jog pants/leggings
  • Skirt or dress
  • Sweat shirt/jumper
  • Jacket/fleece & waterproof jacket
  • Camera with protective case, spare batteries, film/memory card
  • Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)
  • Alarm clock
  • Travel adaptor plug/charger (for cameras & mobile phone batteries)
  • Money belt
  • Towel &/or sarong

Recommended Medical Kit List (especially for longer or more out of the way tours)
We advise you to bring a small personal medical kit for general everyday use, as well as any personal over-the-counter medicines that you may wish to keep with you. Our guides are familiar with the nearest pharmacies, doctors and hospitals throughout the trip if you need to seek medical attention. It will be your own responsibility to carry your medical kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.

  • Antiseptic ointment/Antihistamine cream & tablets
  • Nurofen or equivalent pain-killer
  • Eye-drops/bath
  • Anti-diarrhoea treatment
  • A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)
  • Medication for personal allergies/asthma etc
  • Insect repellent containing Deet
  • Re-hydration sachets/vitamin tablets
  • Assorted plasters
  • 1 - 2 Sterile syringes
  • Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery

Please note that in the winter months (June-August) it can be very cold, especially at altitude, so we would reccommend that you bring extra layers or be prepared to purchase some when you are in Peru & Bolivia.

Cameras and Electrical Equipment
Any easy to use 'point and shoot' or even a smartphone with a good camera will get you some good photos. For more creative and higher standard shots its worth bringing an SLR camera, but do make sure you're familiar with it first. There are internet cafes in many towns and cities where you can download/upload your photos to online storage. However, we suggest you bring several memory cards in case this isn't possible. A padded camera case or bag and zip lock plastic bags are useful to protect your equipment, especially in the sandy deserts. Polarising filters are good for SLRs to prevent over-exposed looking photos. ard to find USB cable - to connect in internet cafes or for downloading We can recommend Clock Tower Cameras for second hand cameras and lenses.
Important: In Peru and Bolivia it is strictkly forbidden to take photos of any military installations or equipment. Border posts, bridgets and anywhere around airports are also sensitive so please avoid taking photos of any of these (or risk having your camera confiscated). We recommend asking first before taking photos of people, and if doing so, please act respectfully and with discretion.

Peru: Sockets are mainly two round or flat pronged and 220 volts (Type A,B,C).
Bolivia: Sockets are again mainly two round or flat pronged (Type A,C) but the voltage can range from 115, 220 or 230 volts.
Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters should work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. Most hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are sometimes available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already but cannot be guaranteed.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

The time in Peru is GMT minus 5 hours.

The time in Bolivia is GMT minus 4 hours.

Daylight saving adjustments are not applied.

Mountains to the Lakes dates & prices

This tour is also available for booking privately for travel anytime through the year, and we can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
Start Date End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
02 Apr, 2017 22 Apr, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
07 May, 2017 27 May, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
11 Jun, 2017 01 Jul, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
02 Jul, 2017 22 Jul, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
06 Aug, 2017 26 Aug, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
03 Sep, 2017 23 Sep, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
01 Oct, 2017 21 Oct, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
05 Nov, 2017 25 Nov, 2017 US$2809 - - Book now
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Encounters Travel Reviews
Service

Posted Aug 08, 2016
Service rating : The Encounters team was supportive and on time with everything - good to work with.

Product : This was a good package for the budget and time. Many of the cultural stops were tied into local artisans, this can good and bad, dependng on how you react to a potential sales pitch after. The desert camp was outstanding. We traveled in a group of 6 which we good, but they said it could be as high as 25 - that would be a downer.
Service

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Posted Jan 18, 2016
Service rating : I was very pleased with the responsiveness of everyone that I encountered through Encounters Travel. I worked mostly with Anthony and he was always very helpful.

Product : I thought they selected a wonderful guide for the trip. The one part that I really hope that they change is the night at the Bedouin Camp. It was not authentic and it was so out of the way. I think that people would prefer to spend the extra money for a night in a hotel with a bed and your own bathroom.
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Posted Jan 06, 2016
Service rating : I had a wonderful time! Egypt is amazing!

Product : All the guides and services were excellent!
Service

Product

Posted Feb 14, 2014
Service rating : Although the personnel and the personal contact were "all good," quite a few things got mixed up enroute. It all worked out in the end, but at times there were a few questions about whether it would all be fine. Perhaps that's due to the circumstances of time and place (which are essentially another world), and the attempt to bridge cultures.

Product : Overall very good, but at times a bit haphazard. The enthusiasm level of the group participants varied widely, by person and over time, in part for that reason. Some explanations of what was going on would at times have been helpful, despite it all working out okay.
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Product

Posted Feb 24, 2014
Service rating : Great tour, excellent guide and hotels that surpassed expectations.

Product : This tour gave me the most incredible view of Morocco, its people and culture. I loved it.
Service

Posted Oct 10, 2016
Mariska has been exceptional! Answering all of my questions in an extremely timely manner. Much appreciated....
Service

Posted Apr 15, 2016
Good company to deal with
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Product

Posted Jan 06, 2016
great
Service

Posted Apr 15, 2016
Encounters took care of all the details and did a good job. I was disappointed in Anthony when he didn't send us our flight and tour vouchers until we asked for them -two weeks before the trip! At that point we had very poor seating choices on the airplane.
Service

Product

Posted Feb 22, 2014
Service rating : Even from across the globe, we received excellent customer service that left us feeling confident and secure regarding our trip. Thanks.

Product : Fantastic experience, good value, great guides.
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Posted Feb 13, 2014
Service rating : Encounters Travel were efficient, helpful and friendly. we will certainly use them again in the future we were very impressed

Product : The tour and all the the local guides were excellent
Service

Product

Posted Mar 17, 2014
Service rating : They worked with me when I failed to follow the instructions on the voucher and missed a deadline. They worked out a later date that had even better airline arrangements for us.

Product : I was a little surprised to see that the tour was actually provided by ExPat tours. They did a good job though.