How it works:
- Of the ~800+ tour operators in Cusco, a massive 600+ are unlicensed.
- Guides are also not on salary but are compensated on a commission basis when they can upsell expensive services or packages to you.
- Further, such operators usually have poor safety practices with regards to transportation and equipment.
- You may also be rushed through your tour.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Does it have the SABP logo? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform globally) also has many popular tours (e.g. Humantay Lake trek, Machu Picchu tour, Historic Centre of Lima walking tour, etc).
- Paying: avoid paying in full upfront (unless reputable operator) or off the (online) platform.