Frequently Asked Questions

Get The Answers To All Your Luxury Travel Questions

You may have plenty of questions as you prepare for luxury travel to South America. We went ahead and answered the most common inquiries for you right here, so you can feel confident about your Kuoda vacation. Get to know who we are, what you can expect, and how we plan your perfect travel itinerary.

 

About Kuoda

Who is Kuoda?

Kuoda is the award-winning luxury tour operator behind your South American experience. Kuoda means to expand, to improve, to learn, and to grow. This is our philosophy. As experts in creating unforgettable experiences, our team is strongly committed to these principles, always on the lookout for new and stimulating journeys through South America. Visit our About Us page for more information.

What is the Kuoda travel experience like?

When you return home from a trip, you have photos and vague recollections that quickly fade in the face of routine. When you return home from a personalized travel experience with Kuoda, you have indelible memories of places, activities, and people that were deeply meaningful to you. Travel takes you places and shows you sites. Travel experiences are deeply personal; they let you delve into all of the human senses; they offer you relaxation or invigoration if that’s the ticket; they provide a new perspective with alternative horizons. In working with Kuoda, you are enlisting the help of experts who not only have extensive knowledge of South American travel, but who are also masters of turning your requirements, interests, and personality into an unforgettable travel experience. Visit The Kuoda Difference page for more information.

Is Kuoda a travel agency or tour operator?

Kuoda is a tour operator. We arrange comprehensive tours that include hotels, sightseeing with private guides and/or drivers, airport and train station transfers, visas, and regional transportation (internal flights, private drivers, train tickets, etc.). Tour operators work with travel agents and personal travelers. Once you are ready to start planning a trip, please reach out to us or have your preferred travel agent contact us, at info@kuodatravel.com.

Who are your local guides?

Our exceptional guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience, and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We work exclusively with guides who are local to the destination and are licensed and/or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English, and some also speak the local indigenous languages. Our team of guides offers priceless insights into the true nature of their homelands, adding immeasurably to the enjoyment of the trip.

Are your itineraries tailor-made?

Every trip arranged by Kuoda is completely tailor-made. While you may find sample itineraries to inspire you on our website, no stone is left unturned in our quest to deliver exceptional personalized private tours to South America. We take your wants, needs, time constraints, budget, and personal travel style into account to deliver experiences that are far from standard.

Can you provide me with a breakdown of your prices?

All tour prices are based on the services detailed in each tour’s itinerary. Services are sold as a complete package and Kuoda is not able to provide a breakdown of the component costs of a trip. However, as your trip is completely personalized, we are able to provide an array of accommodation options and services to fit all budgets.

Which travel experts approve of Kuoda?

Kuoda is a registered member of major travel industry associations, including the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and the Latin American Travel Association (LATA). We have also been named by Tripadvisor as a Travelers’ Choice Award winner since 2015 and nominated by the World Travel Awards in the category of Peru’s Leading Tour Operator of 2022. Visit our Awards & Certificates page for more information.

Before You Go

How far in advance should I book my trip?

This depends on how far in advance you prefer to plan. We book last-minute trips all the time and we also arrange tours that are planned years in advance. Major considerations are visa requirements, holiday and festival availability, and seasonal demand (ex. “dry season” in Peru).

We are celebrating a special occasion. What can you arrange for us?

Your Travel Designer will plan activities to make your special day one to remember, whether it’s a candlelight dinner, side-by-side massages, a sunset horseback ride, a shaman ceremony, a private cruise, or a romantic picnic on a private beach. Our honeymooners receive extra perks and amenities—e.g., complimentary spa treatments, beachside dinners, and room upgrades—in addition to the flexibility of touring with your own private guides and drivers, top rooms in South America’s best hotels and resorts, and other services that are standard on all of our tours.

I will be traveling with children. What do I need to know beforehand?

Family travel is one of our specialties. Our Travel Designers can recommend certain hotels and destinations that we highly recommended and are ideal for children.

Please note that hotels are very strict about the number of people who can stay in one room. Usually, a maximum of three adults are allowed in one room, except in specific cases such as ‘family rooms’. Please note that children of a certain age (usually 10 or 12 years, depending on the hotel) are considered as adults.

I'm not interested in doing anything touristy. Can you arrange a visit to hidden gems or off-the-beaten-path destinations?

Our travel experts have lived overseas for years and we pride ourselves in having the expert knowledge to take you to places that are not frequented by many tourists. For example, you can visit a small Andean village far from the tourist centers, stay in a local home, or dine with a local family.

What should I pack for a luxury trip to South America?

Detailed packing lists separated by activity and country are sent along with your personalized itinerary once it has been confirmed.

Are there dress codes to know about?

People in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador tend to dress quite casually, although they will dress up for special occasions such as church, weddings, and very special dinners. As a visitor, you are not expected to dress up, even in the fancier hotels and restaurants, although you are welcome to do so should you wish to. Visitors to some churches are asked to wear long pants or skirts rather than shorts.

Are there luggage limits?

We provide vehicles big enough for you and your luggage to fit comfortably. We do not generally place a limit on luggage, although if your group is bigger than 6 people and you all plan to bring large amounts of luggage, please let us know to ensure that the vehicle we provide has enough space.

If I need to change my travel dates (or postone my trip due to COVID), what is a good timeframe to make changes?

Ideally, let us know as soon as possible. Generally, you need to let us know at least 45 days in advance to make changes. That gives us enough time to change dates and give other adjustments/options.

What happens if the airline cancelled our flight last minute?

It is very situational. We do our best to work with clients if things happen outside of their control, though there may be additional costs incurred. We also recommend getting travel insurance for any issues that may come up before and during your travel.

During Your Travels

How many people will I be traveling with?

In general, our tours and transfers are private for you and your travel companions, but there are some instances where this is not the case… for example:

  • Treks in Peru: 1 guide for up to 16 people in group service
  • Tambopata jungle lodges: 1 guide per 10 guests, except in Tambopata Research Center, where there is 1 guide per 6 guests.
  • Jungle cruises: 1 guide per 10 guests
  • Inka Express bus: 1 guide for the whole bus (up to 40 passengers)
  • Catamaran tour on Lake Titicaca: 1 guide per 10 guests; buses for up to 40 passengers
  • Islas Ballestas: 40 passenger boat
  • Nazca Lines: 12 passengers in the plane
  • Galapagos Cruises: 1 guide per 16 guests
What kind of vehicles will I travel in?

This depends on the size of your travel group and where you are. The general guidelines according to party size are:

  • 1-2: Four-wheel drive vehicle, such as a Toyota Landcruiser or Hyundai H1 or Mercedes Sprinter-type vehicle
  • 3-8: Mercedes Sprinter-type vehicle
  • 9 or more: Mini-bus

In places like Uyuni, you will be in four-wheel drive vehicles, no matter how big the group (enough vehicles will be provided to accommodate the whole group comfortably)

Will I have Internet access?

Almost all accommodations in South America have Wi-Fi throughout their facilities and the vast majority also have at least one computer available for client use.

Some important things to note:

  • In some hotels in the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes, the internet can be slow, mostly in the rooms, but sometimes this is true in the main areas and even the ‘business centers’.
  • In most jungle lodges, there is little or no access to the internet.
  • On the Galapagos cruises and Amazon cruises, there is little or no access to the internet.
  • Since the cell service is poor on the treks, clients will not be able to access the internet most of the time, even if they have data on their phones.
How do I exchange currency?

You will always find better exchange rates in-country than trying to do so outside. If you want to have some local currency with you on arrival, change only a small amount in your home country or at the airport.

In both Bolivia and Peru, exchange rates are much better in the exchange houses (or on the street in Bolivia) than in banks.

Any dollar bills that you want to exchange must be in pristine condition, otherwise, they will be exchanged for a lower rate or rejected. $1 bills are generally not accepted or exchanged well below the going rate.

Check any money that you receive carefully for any rips and tears as well as for validity. False bills are relatively common in both countries.

Can I use credit and debit cards?

In the majority of places you are visiting (including all larger towns in the Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes, and even Uyuni) there are cash machines from which you can withdraw cash from your account at home. You can withdraw in either dollars or the local currency. Sometimes withdrawing dollars has reduced charges (check with your bank).

Many hotels and larger restaurants and stores (or those parts of groups/chains) will accept payment by credit card.

Are tips included and if not, how much is expected?

Tips are not included in your price. Tipping is not obligatory in South America, but is a kind gesture, gratefully received, when you feel the service merits it. You can tip larger amounts (e.g. $10 upwards) in US dollars, but smaller amounts should be in local currency, otherwise, the person you are tipping won’t be able to exchange them.

What other expenses might I incur during my trip?

Quotes usually include domestic flights, accommodation for each night, all breakfasts, some other meals, entrance tickets, transport, and guide services for included tours. Water will also be provided in the vehicle and most hotels.

Some examples of additional expenses are restrooms, additional meals, water, or snacks not included in your itinerary, tips, souvenirs, laundry, taxis for transport during your free time, tours/entrance fees to attractions not specified in your itinerary, travel insurance, and visa fees.

Can you make restaurant and spa reservations or suggest personalized shopping locations?

We provide our clients with extensive restaurant recommendations and are happy to make advance dining reservations. From haute cuisine to local favorites to traditional dinners in private homes, we know all the best places to have a variety of dining experiences.

Likewise, our Travel Designers know all the most luxurious spas in the region. We will gladly book appointments for you in any destination you are visiting, and we will provide spa menus in advance. We are also happy to customize an entire spa tour.

All tours can be customized to include personalized shopping as part of the private cultural touring in each location. There is no extra cost for this special service. Whether you simply want plenty of time to browse in museum gift shops or interesting shopping streets, or if you want more in-depth private shopping excursions, we offer insider access to shops and people, expert advice, private specialist guides fluent in the local language, and culture, and full-service logistical support such as packing and shipping. Our Travel Designers maintain a vast, sophisticated knowledge base of the best local craftspeople, shops, markets, and other sources of high-quality goods.

What if I need to contact Kuoda during my trip?

Kuoda personnel are always available to contact in the case of an emergency, 24 hours a day. You will be given contact numbers for Mery, our director, and our Customer Service Supervisor in your Detailed Itinerary, so that you can call them should the need arise.

Will I still have contact with my Travel designer after I’ve paid and during my trip?

Your Travel Designer will be your main point of contact in the run-up to your trip and will make sure you have all the information you need. You will still be able to email your Travel Designer or call him/her during your trip, but once you’re on the road, our Operations Team will take over with logistical decisions and help you more directly. Your Travel Designer will always be happy to help out where necessary and receive your comments and feedback during or after the trip.

Country-Specific Information

Do I need a visa for entry?

Citizens of the USA, Canada, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Peru for tourism purposes. Citizens of certain Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Singapore, as well as Israel don’t need visas. Check the full list for clients from other countries not listed here.

Indian citizens (who do not possess a US/Canadian/EU passport) DO require a visa which should be obtained from a Peruvian Embassy/Consulate in the client’s home country.

Passport Validity: passports should be valid on entry to Peru, there is no minimum validity requirement after entry.

What will the weather be like?

Spring runs from September to October, and temperatures are cool to warm. It rains often, but not as much as in the rainy season or in November. December to February make the summer months in Peru. This is the midst of the rainy season in the mountains and the rainforest of Peru. The hottest weather in Peru is in February. Autumn is from March to May, and in these months one can expect less rain than in the wet season, and it can be a very special time to visit as everything is green and fresh after the wet season with smaller crowds.

What is the best time of year to visit?

The ideal time to visit is June to August, which forms the winter season in Peru. Rainfall is at the minimum amount and this provides clear skies for day- and nighttime sightseeing. On the Peruvian coast the temperatures tend to be quite cool, with no pronounced temperature fluctuations, and in the mountains, it is dry with warm temperatures during the day. Temperatures can get below zero in the higher altitudes during the night.

What options do we have for getting to Machu Picchu?

There is no road to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, but you can get there by train or on foot. Kuoda clients travel in one of the following ways:

  • Train from Ollantaytambo and back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy (Cusco)
  • Train from Poroy (Cusco) and back
  • 4 day Inca Trail hike (82km) (4 days hiking with 3 nights camping, arriving into Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate) and return by train to Ollantaytambo/Poroy.
  • 1 day Inca Trail hike (104km) (train to 104km and 6hr (approx.) hike to Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate) and return by train to Ollantaytambo/Poroy.

We drive our clients by private car to the station they will de part from and pick them up to bring them to their Cusco hotel on the way back. Approximate car journey times:

  • Hotel Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo station, 20-40 minutes
  • Hotel Cusco to Ollantaytambo station, 2 hours
  • Hotel Cusco to Poroy station, 30 minutes

How do Machu Picchu tickets work? Do they sell out?

Kuoda takes care of purchasing your entry tickets to Machu Picchu. Each ticket is linked to a specific name for a particular date and are not transferable or refundable.

The following types of tickets are available:

  • Machu Picchu Only
    This is the most popular ticket and provides entrance to the main site and attractions such as the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor, the Main Square, the agricultural area, and walk to the Inca bridge or ascend to the Intipunku (The Gate of the Sun of Machu Picchu).
  • Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu
    The Huayna Picchu tickets are the most difficult to secure and must be booked sometimes with months of anticipation. The ticket provides access to Huayna Picchu mountain and The Temple of the Moon. Keep in mind that this trek is not for the faint of heart as people who are scared of heights or suffer from vertigo are discouraged from making the climb.
  • Machu Picchu + Mountain
    This ticket allows entry to a hiking route leading up to the Machu Picchu mountain (Old Mountain) and the archaeological buildings found at the main site.
  • Machu Picchu + Huchuy Picchu
    The Huchuy Picchu mountain is located next to Huayna Picchu and gives excellent views to the north side of Machu Picchu. The hike up takes approximately one hour and is suitable for people of all ages.

It is unusual for tickets to the main site to sell out (although recently it has happened more for last minute trips), and the same goes for Machu Picchu Mountain, but Huayna Picchu tickets do sell out several months beforehand, especially the 10:00 a.m. timeslot, so keep this in mind before planning your trip.

Do I need a visa for entry?

Ecuador offers visa free entry for citizens of almost every country. Check the full list.

Tarjeta de Turismo (Tourist card): All citizens of countries not requiring a visa will receive an immigration form to complete just before landing. Ensure that all details are exactly as on your passports. Once you pass immigration, you will be given a small section of the card known as the Tarjeta de Turismo, which you should keep with you and return to authorities when you leave. Please let us know if you lose this card at any point in your journey.

Passport Validity: passports should be valid on entry to Ecuador and for 6 months after.

What will the weather be like?

December to May mark the rainy season. It is a great season to visit Ecuador as it is still warm, with more clear sunny days than rainy ones. Popular activities that can be done during the rainy season are hiking, mountain biking, and spending time on the beach. Wildlife viewing is also ideal during the wet season. The rain nurtures the land, which results in lush green plant life and an abundance of food for many of the animals that live here. Marine iguanas, penguins and hatching tortoises are just a few of the animals that can be spotted on the Galapagos Islands during the wet season.

What is the best time of year to visit?

Guayaquil: The dry season, between January and April, is ideal with warm and pleasant weather.

Quito: The dry season (summer) runs from June to September; visit during this time to skip the unpredictable showers and have more opportunities to participate in outdoor excursions.

The Galapagos Islands: The rainy season, between December and May, is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands. These weather conditions tend to be the best for wildlife viewing. The wet season is perfect for experiencing the calm waters that are ideal for outdoor adventures like hiking or kayaking. The climate is warm and wet during these months, and it usually rains in the afternoons and often clears up by evening.

How can I tour the Galapagos Islands?

There are 2 main options:

  • CRUISES: Yachts and cruise ships which follow set itineraries to specific islands. The islands visited depend on the cruise chosen, itinerary length, departure date. Cruises are often seen as a better opportunity to see more variety of wildlife and geography than the land-based options.
  • LAND-BASED or ISLAND HOPPING: These tours are based from hotels in the towns on one or more of the inhabited islands (Isabella, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal). These tours either base themselves out of one hotel (e.g. Finch Bay on Santa Cruz) and visit different islands or sites each day, whilst others will spend a certain number of nights at different hotels on different islands.

How long do I need to visit the Galapagos?

Due to the logistics and expense of getting to the Galapagos, going for fewer than 4 days is not recommended. In fact, the shortest cruise length is 4 days 3 nights. As with all nature and wildlife experiences, the longer you spend in the area, the more changes you have to see wildlife and there are itineraries of up to 15 days. The average time that people spend in the Galapagos is around 5-8 days and that tends to give guests a really good overview and enough variety to make them feel it was really worth the trip.

How big are the cruise ships/yachts?

There are a great number of cruise ships and yachts operating in the Galapagos Islands. They range from 16 passenger motor yachts/catamarans or sailing yachts to 100 passenger cruise ships.

What activities can I do in the Galapagos?

Itineraries in the Galapagos generally offer a range of activities such as hiking (usually moderate and less than 2 miles long), dinghy rides, snorkeling, kayaking and glass bottomed boats.

I get sea sick, can I still go?

This depends entirely on you and the severity of your condition. Catamarans are more stable than single-hulled boats, and larger boats are more stable than smaller yachts, so these may be some of your best options. The main periods of navigation are overnight, so you may not even be aware of the movement. One alternative would be looking into a land-based option, although please keep in mind that some travelling between islands in small boats in potentially choppy water (around 2 hours) will be involved.

Do I need a visa for entry?

U.S., Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and (almost all) Western European citizens DO NOT require a visa to enter Colombia. Others should check with the Colombian Embassy or consulate in their respective area/region for entry requirements. Travelers who do require a visa can obtain one through the Colombian Embassy or consulate. Times to acquire a visa may vary. For more information check this website

What will the weather be like?

Colombia is located in a tropical zone. The climates of the different regions of the country vary due to the effect of the trade winds, humidity and different thermal levels. Colombia’s climate consists of dry seasons (December to January and July to August) and rainy seasons (April to May and October to November).

What is the best time of year to visit?

The dry season offers a bigger list of outdoor activities to indulge in, which makes it an ideal time to travel to Colombia. Some popular activities that can be done during this season include hiking, surfing, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and food tours. December to January, and then again in July to August, fall under the dry season in Colombia. July to August are the shoulder months and less crowds can be expected during this time.

Do I need a visa for entry?

U.S., Canadian, New Zealand, and (almost all) Western European citizens DO NOT require a visa to enter Peru. You must simply travel with a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure date from Chile, and you will be granted a temporary tourism visa for 90 days or less.

Others should check with the Chilean Embassy or consulate in their respective area/region for en try requirements. Travelers who do require a visa can obtain one through the Chilean Embassy or consulate. Times to acquire a visa may vary. For more information check.

Chile has recently done away with their “Reciprocity Fee” for USA passport holders. Australian passport holders are still required to pay a one-time “Reciprocity Fee” of USD$ 117 before entering Chile.

What will the weather be like?

Chile has seven major climatic subtypes – low desert in the north, alpine tundra and glaciers in the east and southeast, tropical rainforest in Easter Island, Oceanic in the south and Mediterranean climate in central Chile. The four seasons start with summer from December to February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August, and spring from September to November. With such an interesting geography, the seasons effect the country differently depending on where you are visiting.

What is the best time of year to visit?

Patagonia: The Southern Hemisphere’s summer, spring and winter are great seasons to visit Patagonia as these seasons offer the opportunity to dive into a variety of excursions that this natural stunner has to offer. In the months of December to January, March to April and July to August, you will experience the different natural life for every season in Patagonia. The fall is also a beautiful time to visit as Patagonia shows off many beautiful colors as the season changes to winter.

Easter Island: This remote island is sub-tropical, meaning warmer temperatures and plenty of humidity in the summer (average 73°F, or 23°C, but can reach up to 90°F, or 32°C, on the hottest days). The winters are fairly mild (average 64°F, or 18°C, but can dip down to 50°F, or 10°C). Easter Island can be fairly blustery and receives plenty of rainfall in the form of showers year round, with the wettest months being the fall season of April-June.

Santiago: Situated in a valley and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Santiago boasts a Mediterranean feel. The spring and autumn seasons, from September to November and March to May respectively, are temperature-wise the most pleasant months to visit Chile’s capital city.

Atacama Desert: The Atacama Desert is arguably the driest spot in the world, and temperatures can reach extremes (from 95° F, or 35°C, at the hottest, to 28°F, or -2°C, at its coldest). Make sure to bring plenty of sun protection and layers appropriate for cold, cold nights and hot, hot days.

Do I need a visa for entry?

Any traveler who wishes to enter Bolivia and is born in the United States of America or who has US citizenship, must apply for a tourist visa. The visa has a duration of 10 years from the date of issue and allows the bearer a stay of up to ninety (90) calendar days. NEED INFORMATION ABOUT PEOPLE FROM COUNTRIES NOT THE US

What will the weather be like?

In the Altiplano Area, mid-April through October is considered the dry season, which means hot dry days (temperatures in the 70°s) and cold, cold nights, with temperatures close to freezing.

Even during the day, if you step out of the sun, the mountain air can chill, so be sure to always have layers. November through March/April is the rainy season, with heavy rain in January and February. Generally, the mornings are clear, with rain in the afternoons and temperatures are a bit warmer than they are in the dry season.

What is the best time of year to visit?

Uyuni Salt Flats: Depending on water levels, the itinerary and routes may change during the rainy season – for example you may not be able to visit the Incahuasi Island if the water is too high. However, visiting during rainy season will allow you to experience wonderful mirror effect and the uniqueness of the area.  If you can change your visit to the dry season, it might be worth it though, as your visit will be more complete. Please be aware that there is a higher likelihood of disruption to flights during the rainy season as well.

Lake Titicaca: Rain may influence visibility during the rainy season, so it’s best to visit during the dry season.

La Paz, Sucre and Potosi: The summer in Bolivia runs from December to February and spring runs from September to November. These are great months in Bolivia to enjoy the sunshine, but it is also part of the rainy season. It gives a freshness and provides lush green landscapes throughout the country. You can explore the local cultures and learn about Bolivian history year round by visiting the museums in the cities.

How long do I need to visit the Salar de Uyuni?

Due to current flights between La Paz and Uyuni, you will need at least 3 or 4 days to visit the salt flats.

Do I need a visa for entry?

Most travelers to Argentina do not need to obtain a visa beforehand. However, travelers from China must pay a one-time Reciprocity Fee before entering the country. All Kuoda guests entering Argentina with Chinese passports must pay this fee in advance of traveling – please contact your nearest embassy to do so.

 

What will the weather be like?

Argentina is located in the southern hemisphere which means the spring and summer months are in October, November, December, and January. This is a great time to visit Argentina as it allows you to get the most out of your stay. Summer and spring are ideal seasons for doing all the outdoor activities in Argentina as it provides pleasant temperatures and sunny days. Popular activities that can be done during these seasons are hiking, kayaking and wine tasting.

April, May, July and August are the best months for outdoor winter activities in Argentina. Whether you prefer spending your time indoors, drinking a glass of Argentinian wine, in front of a warm cozy fire, or spending your time in the snow on the ski-slopes, being active and enjoying the winter sun – the winter in Argentina has something for everyone. Skiing, snowboarding, tango, whale watching, and wine tasting are some of the activities that can be considered during these seasons.

What is the best time of year to visit?

Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires has a mild and warm climate almost year-round. Winters are fairly mild (between June to August) with fog and mist present in the mornings and evenings. Summers (December to February) are warm and sunny, though they can be a little humid. The temperature in Buenos Aires rarely falls below 40°F (4°C) or gets above about 90°F (31°C) year- round.

Iguazu Falls: Bring a poncho! The spray from these magnificent falls is all-permeating, and you’ll be glad to have something waterproof with you. Make sure to also remember plastic coverings for items such as cameras and cell phones. You’ll want close-toed shoes for near the falls and along the trails in the nearby National Park, and breathable clothing with natural fibers to combat the tropical temperatures!

Patagonia: Weather in Patagonia can be remarkably unpredictable, though the days are often sunny and warm and the nights quite cool. During the summer, you will have long daylight hours (from about 4:30am to 10:30pm), and with temperatures ranging from 60-68°F (15-20°C) during the day and 35-45°F (2-8°C) at night.

Travel Safety & Restrictions

How can you assure my travel safety?

Our primary concern is the safety and comfort of our clients. We monitor security situations around the continent and discontinue tours in destinations that are deemed unsafe. We have representative offices in each major city and they are available around the clock to monitor your services, and your safety, and are available to respond 24/7.

I have a food allergy. Should I worry about eating overseas?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions. We will inform the hotels, restaurants, and guides in every destination on your tour and make sure everyone is well aware of any special dietary requirements before you arrive.

What happens in an emergency during one of your tours?

Each traveler receives detailed contact information from our associate offices in each country and around-the-clock emergency contact information. Additionally, we recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance and separate emergency evacuation insurance through a provider that will fly you to the hospital of your choice.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance?

We strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance. If you do not have travel insurance and you cannot take or complete your tour for any reason, you stand to lose the entire amount you’ve paid for your trip. Travel insurance offers protection against such circumstances, including trip cancellations, interruptions and delays, baggage loss and delays, medical emergencies, and other problems. Medical evacuation plans offer additional protection: in the event of an emergency, our recommended affiliate will fly you on their ICU-equipped aircraft to the hospital of your choice.

Will I need any vaccinations?

Other than the COVID-19 vaccine, there are no required vaccinations for South American countries, although the CDC recommends typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Yellow Fever inoculation and Malaria prophylaxis are recommended for all visits to the jungle. We strongly recommend consulting with a travel health professional for up-to-date information and advice regarding specific conditions.

Are the water and food safe?

Water is not safe to drink directly from the tap: please drink only sealed bottled water or boiled water provided by your hotels and restaurants.

All the hotels and restaurants that we recommend and include in your itinerary exercise appropriate food hygiene and safety measures, so food and drink purchased on these premises will be safe.

It is best to stay away from raw and peeled fruits and vegetables outside of the recommended restaurants and also avoid street food, such as anticuchos (barbequed kebabs of chicken, beef or heart) and fried chicken, cooked on the roadside.

Will I be affected by altitude sickness and what can I do to prevent it?

Some people who visit high altitudes such as those in the Cusco, Puno, La Paz and Uyuni regions feel little or no effects of the altitude, whilst others feel the effects quite strongly. It is impossible to predict who will suffer from symptoms of altitude sickness, and there is no consistent evidence that indicates that prior history or respiratory or cardiac disorders increase the likelihood or severity of altitude sickness.

Symptoms can include light headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, trouble with sleep and lack of energy.

Generally, most people can control their symptoms by keeping hydrated, eating little and often, avoiding alcohol and taking things easy for the first few days.

Hotels in the higher altitude areas, such as Cusco, Puno, the Sacred Valley, La Paz, Uyuni and some in Arequipa have oxygen tanks at reception, for use if any guest feels they need it. Some luxury properties have the facility to enrich the air of certain rooms with oxygen for an extra charge.

Some doctors prescribe acetazolamide (brand name in the U.S.: Diamox) to help prevent symptoms. Speak with your physician if you think you might like to explore this option.

Are many places in South America wheel chair accessible?

Kuoda can craft a wheelchair accessible trip taking care of your needs and all logistics. That being said, South American countries are not known to be greatly wheelchair-friendly, so some activities and attractions may not be available for wheelchair access.