I have enjoyed telling you all of my stories but if you are anything like me, it’s more than you need to know. So here is a quick summary of what I felt was important if you are planning a visit to Peru.
Pack plenty of layers. The weather is constantly changing through the day so be prepared to strip down or layer up!
Bring snacks from home. If you are doing many excursions they start early and these guys are not hobbits...they don’t believe in first OR second breakfast. Plus having a few tastes of home can be comforting.
Buy plenty of water when it’s cheap. Especially if you are staying in the same place for a few days. You are gonna need it. No one really provides it. And they love to price gouge for it.
Restroom opportunities are limited so pay attention to your fluid intake when on excursions or even in town! Also toilet paper is not guaranteed so you may want to have your own stash just in case. Ladies you might want to get a she-wee as there are not many private places to pop a squat.
If you can, venture outside of the main areas. You will find better prices and better quality food. Typically the more expensive the food the worse it is!!!
Ask the locals what foods they like! They have been eating there a long time and will likely steer you the right direction.
Expect delays. Every flight on this journey was delayed from as little as an hour up to an entire day due to a cancellation. This seems common here so try not to run your trip down to the wire.
Do your high altitude stuff after acclimating to the altitude and don’t forget (like we did) that some areas like Manu are much lower and you will need to re-acclimate before going to altitude.
It is very common to see prices marked up in the main tourist areas but keep in mind you can also barter with them. This goes for merchandise and taxi fares. I have found the easiest way to barter is to simply have the money I want to pay ready in hand before approaching the person. This way it seems like all you have and some money is better than no money.
Taxis are crazy cheap but make sure you negotiate all fares before getting in. Also ask your guide or hotel how much you should be paying for the ride so you aren’t taken advantage of.
When doing trips like this, we tend to pack in a minimalist manner. This of course means by the end you are running out of clean clothes and feeling just not so fresh. I have learned to pack a few small items that make me significantly more comfortable. The most obvious is a small spray bottle (pour it into your own 3oz mini bottle) of febreeze or something similar. Even if the things you wear aren’t necessarily dirty it feels great to give them a spray and freshen them up. Another thing is I have stinky feet (thanks dad). And on trips like this where you only have 1-2 pairs of shoes those things can get FUNKY. An easy and cheap way to help with this is to pack some drier sheets. They are light, take up no room, and smell oh so good. You can stuff them in your shoes at night or even while wearing them. You can even throw one in your dirty clothes bag to keep the smells at bay.