FAQ - Travel Arrangements in South America

What kind of vehicles will I travel in?

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

  • 1-2 people: four wheel drive vehicle, such as a Toyota Landcruiser or Hyundai H1 or Mercedes Sprinter-type vehicle
  • 3-8 people: Mercedes Sprinter-type vehicle
  • 9 or more people: 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).

How many people will I be travelling with?

In general, the tours and transfer are private for you and your travel companions, but there are several areas where this is not the case:

  • Tambopata jungle lodges: 1 guide per 10 guests, except in Tambopata Reseach 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)
  • Treks in Peru: 1 guide per 8 guests; up to 16 people in group service
  • Catamaran tour on Lake Titicaca: 1 guide per 10 guests; buses for up to 40 passengers
  • Galapagos Cruises: 1 guide per 16 guests
  • Islas Ballestas: 40 passenger boat
  • Nazca Lines: 12 passengers in the plane
Can I travel by intercity bus/local transport?

You can travel by bus between different cities in all three countries, however Kuoda Travel has a policy not to include such transport in our itineraries.  We do not feel that the experience of travelling on intercity buses and local transport fit with the safety and comfort standards of a Kuoda Experience. In the past, some guests have been very unhappy with bus travel, even using the best bus companies in Peru.

Is it safe to rent a car?

We do not recommend renting a car for self-drive in Peru. Distances are long (e.g. around 1,000km/600 miles between Lima and Cusco), terrain is often mountainous with winding roads, increasing travel times (at least 20 hours for the route between Lima and Cusco), signage and roadside facilities are poor and there is a lot of unsafe driving practice, which is risky for drivers not accustomed to this.

Which airlines do you use for internal flights?

In Peru we tend to use LAN and sometime Avianca when necessary. For trips to Huaraz from Lima, we use LC Peru which is the only airline that flies this route.

In Ecuador we use LAN and TAME.

In Bolivia we use Amaszonas and BOA.

What time will my internal flights be?

We cannot guarantee flight schedules until we receive your booking documents and deposit payment. Flights times also depend greatly on your itinerary, but in general, unless we receive a specific request, we try to purchase flights around the following timings:

  • Lima – Cusco: between 9 and 11am
  • Cusco – Lima: either around 11am or around 3pm, depending on if you have a tour in either city that day.
  • Lima – Puerto Maldonado: around 10:30am (via Cusco)
  • Juliaca (Puno) – Lima: around 1pm
  • Juliaca (Puno) – Cusco: around midday
  • Cusco – Juliaca (Puno): around 11am
  • Cusco – Puerto Maldonado: around 11am
  • Puerto Maldonado – Cusco: around 2pm
  • Puerto Maldonado – Lima: around 2pm
  • Lima – Arequipa: around 10am
Will you give me travel vouchers, tickets and etc.?

We like to ensure that you don’t have to worry about keeping track of lots of bits of paper, so do not send you copies of tickets in advance, unless you specifically ask for them. We will list booking codes for your internal flights in your Detailed Itinerary along with contact details for hotels and can provide you with the hotel reservation codes if needed. We will carry out online check-ins for your internal flights and will make sure that you have all the tickets and boarding passes you need, when you need them.

What entry tickets are included?

Entry to all the attractions listed in your itinerary is included.

What is the Cusco ‘Tourist Ticket’ (BTG)?

This is a ticket issued by the Ministry of Culture which affords access to all the ruins sites and some museums in Cusco. Exact inclusions depend on the type of ticket purchased:

TicketDurationAttractions included
Boleto General (BTCI)10 daysRuins: Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pukara, Tambomachay, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Moray, Tipon, Pikillaqta
Museums: Arte Popular, Histórico Regional, Municipal de Arte Contemporanio, Sitio de Qorikancha
Other: Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo, Monumento de Pachacutec.
Boleto Turistico Parcial Circuito I (BTCPi)1 dayRuins ONLY: Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pukara, Tambomachay
Boleto Turistico Parcial Circuito II (BTCPii)2 daysRuins: Tipon, Pikillaqta
Museums: Arte Popular, Histórico Regional, Municipal de Arte Contemporanio, Sitio de Qorikancha
Other: Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo, Monumento de Pachacutec.
Boleto Turistico Parcial Circuito III (BTCPiii)2 daysRuins ONLY: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Moray

Will I have the same guide and driver every day?

We work with guides and drivers local to each area, but for each section of your trip we try to ensure you have the same guide and driver for the duration, so that you can get to know each other and they can cater better to your individual needs. In some cases, e.g. adventure activities, you may have a different guide, who is qualified to carry out the activity you are doing.

How can I get between Cusco and Puno?

INKA EXPRESS BUS

This is the most economical way to get between Puno and Cusco and takes 10 hours, including a buffet lunch and stops. The tour includes guided visits to Andahuaylillas (town and church), Raqchi (ruins), La Raya (high pass) and Pucará (ruins). The buses are comfortable with plenty of leg room, a toilet and air conditioning/heating.

ANDEAN EXPLORER TRAIN

This is a luxury train including all meals. It takes about 10 hours, but only stops once at La Raya (high pass).

This train only runs on Mondays Wednesdays and Saturdays, with an additional departure on Fridays, May through October.

PRIVATE TRANSPORT

We can provide a private car, driver and guide to take you between Cusco and Puno. The driving time is around 7 hours, but you may choose to stop at sites along the way (Andahuaylillas (town and church), Raqchi (ruins), La Raya (high pass) and Pucará (ruins)). A box lunch will usually be included as there are only local and tourist buffet restaurants on the way. This is the most expensive option, but good if you would like to see the scenery and visit these lesser-visited sites., whilst enjoying a private service.

FLIGHT

The flight between Cusco and Puno takes about 50 minutes, but is not the most efficient option, due to time spent in airport and the flight time (midday). It is a good option for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time in a vehicle, but uses up most of a day, leaving time for just a tour of Sillustani, a Cusco city tour or perhaps travel to the Sacred Valley.