COVID-19 Tour Cancellation Information For Cusco Journeys Guests
Dear Cusco Journeys Client,
We know that you have many questions about your trekking and tours with Cusco Journeys that you have booked so far in 2020. The recent COVID 19 outbreak is affecting lives, economies and businesses worldwide; we are no exception. Due to the nature of this force majeure Cusco Journeys, as well as every other established tour operator operating within Peru is bound to strict guidelines and limits the Peruvian Government has set for us. We are working very hard to respond to the overwhelming number of phone calls, emails, Facebook messages and live chats that we are getting daily. We are committed to personally working with each of you, prioritizing your safety, the safety of our staff. We greatly appreciate your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters.
Peruvian Government Policy:
- The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency and has closed its borders effective March 16 until finish this pandemic. This end date is likely to change.
- At this point, guests can keep trek dates after August 2020. Please stay tuned for updates.
- The Peruvian government is allowing date changes for permits as well as allowing them to be transferable to other travelers. Permit fees paid on cancelled trips are now able to be moved to new permit dates when you change departure dates.
- The Peruvian government will not discount or refund Machu Picchu Citadel, Machu Picchu Mountain, Huayna Picchu or Inca Trail permits for March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October travel, despite the fact that no tours can run. We don’t know about later months at this time.
- The railway company that transports all guests to Machu Picchu who are not walking directly through the Inca Trail through Puerta del Sol, is now allowing those tickets to be postponed to the new travel dates but no refunds.
- At this time, we understand that airlines are allowing travelers to cancel their tickets without any changes fees incurred when they rebook later dates, due to COVID-19. Travelers have a year to rebook the ticket, for travel at any time.
- Adventure company operators like Cusco Journeys have not asked the government for a bail out package.
As a small business, Cusco Journeys & Adventure is committed to our guests and while we cannot offer refunds we are taking advantage of the Peruvian governments policy and offering flexibility to change policy. This policy of flexibility will enable us to continue service and honor travel arrangements that we have made to our guests as well as honor your deposits. Please note that our policy and guidelines are consistent with other tour operators operating in Peru.
Our cancellation policies to help you continue your dreams of trekking and tours to Machu Picchu:
- You can postpone your 2020 Trek or Tours, from March, April, May, June, July or August forward anytime in 2020, we will prorate your deposit your deposit to a future, undetermined date.
- You don’t even have to decide right away if you want to postpone your 2020 walking date. Take as much time as you need
- Changes can be made, based on availability, with as little as five days advanced notice for treks.
- We will honor changes in travel made up until travel dates beginning December 31, 2022.
- Of course, to get your preferred travel dates, due to the limited number of Inca Trail permits released for each day by Peru’s government, you are encouraged to reserve your top 3 date choices early.
- Way more flexible than the airline policy, you can use your 2020 cancelled trek booking for any dates in 2020, 2021, 2022, and book anytime you want to. You don’t have to schedule your trip by the end of 2020 at all.
- All changes must be in accordance to the following guidelines for change as mandated by the Peruvian government.
Making changes for tickets to Machu Picchu Inca Citadel, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu
- All travelers must sign a power of attorney letter allowing changes to be made to the above mentioned tickets on your behalf. This letter will be attached in this email.
- A copy of each traveler’s passport must be attached with the power of attorney letter. Signatures on the power letter and passport must match.
- Please attach these documents to an email soliciting changes to Machu Picchu tickets. Use subject line “Changes to Machu Picchu Tickets” and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transfer Your 2020 Tour to a Friend or Loved One For Any Date Through 2022
- This is a new and wonderful opportunity. Unlike plane tickets that are not transferable at all, ever, the Peru government is allowing the transfer of permits to another person in 2020.
- Cusco Journeys is taking it a step further, you are welcome to transfer your Peru Treks to another person for any time in 2020, 2021 or 2022.
- Give your trek to a friend or loved one and let us know their name and email and we will get all their details to transfer the booking.
How to Help Ensure You Get Your Preferred Inca Trail Tour Dates for 2021 or 2022
- As long as you decide by September of the previous year, we will be able to secure your trek. Pre-season bookings start in September and permits start getting released in October by the Peru government for treks in the following year.
- Note that limited permit availability applies only to the Inca Trail 4 days, 5 days and 6 days treks. All alternative treks do not require special permits and have a lot of flexibility and availability.
- For alternative trekkers, you can start on any day you wish, as long as we have two trekkers.
- Again, if you don’t get your preferred Inca Trail dates, we will work with you to find the best alternative dates for your travel.
- Take your time to figure out when works best for your schedule and let us know and your deposit and booking will be moved accordingly.
Please also familiarize yourself with your air transportation provider’s guidelines and change/refund policies when making your travel arrangements with us. International travel always involves risks, Cusco Journeys & Adventure recommends investigating and purchase trip protection and cancellation insurance.
It is our sincerest hope that this situation be resolved in a way that meets your satisfaction and Cusco Journeys and Adventure will do right by you in so far as the Peruvian government will allow. Most of all it is our hope that this pandemic is short lived and that your lives or the lives of your loved ones will not be further affected.
We hope that you stay safe and healthy, get outside for fresh air, and that no one that you love is impacted by this virus. It’s incredibly scary right now for us all, and we know that together we will get through this.
Let us stay home today, so we can hike together tomorrow.
Miguel Angel Ninancuro Cruz
President and CEO
Cusco Journeys & Adventure
A Humble Note
Cusco Journeys & Adventure is a small, local Peruvian tour company. We are experiencing thousands of calls about cancellations and refunds this time and want you to know that while this is really scary for our company, we are committed to helping our guests, staff and community, and being resilient to come through this together. At this time we are choosing not to lay off any of our regular staff, because they rely on us so they can provide for their families. We are also supporting our porters, for the loss of work, even if only a month, is devastating for their families and communities.
Most of you have only paid your initial deposits for Cusco Journeys Tours, this is $200 per person. All guests pay the balance of their tour cost when they get to Cusco to start their tour. We ask for your patience and hope that you are able to postpone your tour and move it to a later date in 2020, or 2021, 2022 as your first option.
For others, you may like to know that if you are unable to do your tour, and you wish to donate your deposit to out-of-work porters fund or communities hit hard by the stop in tourism or the devastating landslides of February, we will also move your deposit to our new non-profit Cusco Journeys Foundation, and will directly send 100% of that deposit to the cause of your choice.