There are always last minute questions before setting off on a new adventure. That is why we have asked our tour leaders to answer the most frequently asked questions among travellers, to help you prepare for this trip! Remember these are the fundamentals tips you should know before your tour from Uyuni Salt Desert into Atacama Desert with our agency – The Wanderlust!
What happens if I miss my flight to Cusco?
The first thing to do is to get in touch with the airline, to study the best to solve the situation even if the next flight arrives a few days later, no problem! We will travel to Bolivia on the 4th day.
Are any members of the group on the same flight as me?
Each traveller is responsible for their flight bookings. It may happen that you will be alone. But don’t worry, travellers often travel on the same flights to Peru and already meet each other at the airport.
Will I be given my tour leaders contact before travelling?
Yes and, with your authorization, your contact will be shared with the rest of the group.
Related: The Tour Leader Role
How will I know where to meet with the rest of the group?
Upon arrival, you will have the tour leader waiting for you (on program dates) to take you to the hotel, where you will join the rest of the group. The leader will be in touch with you, as soon as you land in Lima send a message via Whatapp, there is free WiFi at the airport, for any eventuality the leader will be available to help you.
As soon as the leader lands in Peru, she will send her Peruvian contact as well as the address and contact details of the hotel where the first nights will be spent.
When should I arrive at the destination where our tour starts?
We recommend you to arrive in Lima on the first day of the program, preferably during the morning, so you can enjoy the first day of this trip to stroll around this city or visit the Sacred Valley. Besides, you will have time to acclimate, in Cusco the altitude is around 3500 meters, which may bring you some discomfort in the early days.
How big is my group?
We travel in small groups, between four and 11 travellers, plus your tour leader.
What kind of luggage shall I bring?
Please, do not travel with trolleys! We strongly recommend you to pack two backpacks: a large one (35 to 50l), and a smaller one (15 to 20l). As soon as the tour is confirmed, we will send you a personalized e-book with all the tips for this specific tour, guiding you through all the details: what to pack, what to bring, health and local tips, etc.
How do I know what do I do in my spare time? What if I get lost?
Whenever there is free time, we provide you with suggested activities. In case you get lost, you will have a contact from the leader, and you can ask someone to get in touch, people are usually very kind and will help you. If you have an unlocked mobile phone, a local mobile phone card (SIM card) is cheap and easy to buy in major cities, and you’ll always be reachable. If you are undeniable the locals are always ready to help, nothing like scratching a little Spanish to find solutions.
How can I get my laundry done?
In several locations, guesthouses provide laundry service, but you will also find slightly cheap express laundry that wash, dry and deliver on the same day.
Note: Always count the number of pieces and always check on delivery if you have all your clothes.
Shall I bring cash or card?
The safest way is to bring a prepaid card, such as Revolut, and withdraw cash as you go, at the local ATMs. There is, however, a per-use withdrawal limit (but there is no limit to the number of withdrawals per day), as well as a withdrawal fee peruse.
The cheapest way is to bring euros and exchange money at currency exchange shops. Generally, the exchange rates are better at the big cities. In this situation, always check the exchange rates and check all the notes that give you not to be fooled.
It is essential to manage money as the trip goes through 3 countries.
What kind of travellers will be on my tour?
All our travellers share a passion for travelling and exploring! In this specific tour, travellers have a spirit of adventure, are very curious about culture, and they like to be challenged. Also, our travellers usually tend to be in a good mood!
How is the food?
Peruvian cuisine is varied and delicious, the best or one of the best cuisines in Latin America. The food is mostly based on potato or quinoa. The most typical dishes are ceviche, lomo saltado and roasted cuy (guinea pig). But there is so much more to discover!
On Lake Titicaca, already in Bolivia, the favourite dish is grilled trout, but we will taste a good quinoa soup that is the basis of their diet. In La Paz we will try the famous salteñas, meat pies, we will walk through the markets to taste juices and other delicacies.
Finally, in Chile we will try a Chilean barbecue, a cazuela (soup with vegetables and meat), the completo (typical Chilean hot dog), for meat lovers good options will not miss! And we can still taste the mote con huesillos, a sweet drink with corn and peach.
Throughout the trip, we will have the opportunity to taste Pisco, the most famous alcoholic drink, much-discussed between Peru and Chile. Also, drink coca leaf tea to help with the altitude.
I have a special diet /allergy/intolerance. What will I eat?
Not a problem, Peru has a varied cuisine, easily find solutions. Please let us know your diet (and any food allergies) so that the travel leader can make sure you can taste different flavours.
Should I tell if I have any physical restrictions or any chronicle diseases?
Yes, it is essential that you let us know in a timely manner of any physical restrictions, medical care, special diets or other inconveniences you may have, that could affect your comfort and well-being while travelling, as well as the groups. Do not devalue the altitude sickness! Read a little more about this situation on our blog. In this trip, it’s also essential to make a traveller’s consultation and take care to make sure you enjoy the trip. Proper hydration it’s very important!
How long will we be on the road?
The Altiplano journey is 15 days, we travel through challenging mountains, the highest navigable lake in the world, we explore the highest city in the world, and we will get lost in the long and arid deserts between Bolivia and Chile.
Longer bus trips will be made on very comfortable buses. The seats are wide and can be reclined, and each traveller will have a pillow, blanket, headphones and an individual screen with many movies to watch. Besides, there is always an attendant, and on some routes, we will have food included. In cities, we will take some taxis, and we will have to be careful and patient. We will also enjoy the boat trip on Lake Titicaca. And last, but the highest moment of the trip we will go on 4×4 jeep expedition. An entertaining adventure!
Will I need visas for this trip?
It’s not necessary Visa to Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. You only need to pay 2 euros for a Bolivian tax.
How is the accommodation?
Most nights will be spent in family hotels in double (double or twin), single (if you prefer single supplement) or triple (single beds) with private bathroom. We will always have breakfast available.
The conditions of the accommodation are simple, comparable to 2 stars, often the conditions of isolation are low, so we advise you tampons. Water is always a problem that we always ask you to have patience and always check on arrival. Standards in many South American countries are low relative to our European standards. Service, speed of service, comfort and cleanliness are often below expectations. The traveller will have to be flexible to cultural differences.
In your expedition through Bolivia, we will stay in remote villages in very basic accommodation, in double or triple rooms on the first night, the second night we will have a big room for the entire group. Bathrooms are shared, and a hot bath has to be requested. Do not forget that we are in the desert with a lack of comfort. However, at the end of the trip, we will rest in San Pedro de Atacama and Santiago de Chile in comfortable accommodation to recover from the altitude and the typical tiredness of the trip.
What shall I bring?
On this particular tour, we recommend that you bring your eyes and earplugs, for peaceful quiet nights!
In addition, bring a lantern and comfortable clothing for warm temperatures and warmer parts for cold nights. If you’re travelling in December till April, we recommend raincoats. A notebook for your travel notes, batteries for your camera, an extension lead to charge up multiple devices at once, a fast-drying towel, chronical meds plus a basic traveller’s pharmacy, and of course, good mood and spirit of adventure!
I will be travelling solo, but I didn’t book the single supplement. Who am I sharing my room with?
When travelling alone with us, you will always share your accommodation with other travellers, usually the same gender and similar age.
What if I want to stay longer after the tour is over, where shall I go?
After our trip, we still have a lot to visit in Chile. We finish our trip in Santiago de Chile, explore the city on foot or visit Valparaiso a seaside city with a stunning life. If you prefer nature, visit the mountains of Cajón del Maipo, or visit the beautiful Easter Island. We will be happy to advise you about some destinations and experiences, depending on your availability and interests.
Get to know other tours by The Wanderlust!