When in South America, exploring the world’s largest uninterrupted mountain chain is a must. The Andes Mountains run about 4,300 miles (about 7,000 kilometers) along the entire west coast of South America. Spectacular valleys, high plateaus, and scenic hiking trails make the Andes a tourist destination well worth visiting. Whether you want to camp under the stars or take a trek to the remote island of the natives, the Andes have much to offer.
However, before you leave, be sure to purchase
travel medical insurance or
to stay covered in case of any accidents, illnesses, or injuries.
Things to Do for Travelers in Andean Peaks
Machu Picchu: Try the quarry trail leading to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. It is a 4-day trek, with the last day spent in transit. This "other" trail offers views of more natural scenery and striking valleys. The months of May and October are the best times to beat the crowd at Machu Picchu. Set high up in the Andes, this historic Incan Citadel offers a panoramic view of the landscape.
Salar de Uyuni: A broad expanse of salt flat desert is a top-rated destination for stunning photos. Miles of barren terrain turn into a mirror for the sky after a good rain. The ground is dissected into hexagonal patterns only visible when it's scorched. Take an early morning or evening trip to the Salar de Uyuni to make the most of its mesmerizing scenery.
Torres Del Paine National Park: Against the gorgeous backdrop of the Andes Mountains, prepare for sightings of a variety of wildlife. This National Park is particularly sought after by tourists for puma sightings. There is no guarantee of seeing a puma, but a guided tour with an expert tracker helps. The landscape is also good camouflage for the Andean mountain lion, so it can be hard to spot them.
Lake Titicaca: Lake Titicaca is the world's highest lake, at almost 4,000 meters (more than 13,000 feet) above sea level. It is home to the Uros Indians, the indigenous community that lives across the many islands in the lake. Popular destinations at Lake Titicaca are the Sun Island, Moon Island, and the Uros Islands.
Andean Volcanoes: The Andes have many volcanoes that serve as popular hiking destinations. Accessible from Chile and Ecuador, this is an unforgettable experience. There is much to explore on foot. Volcanoes and craters, active or extinct, all have beautiful trekking trails just waiting for you.
Travel Risks for International Travelers on the Andean Peaks
International travel entails its own set of risks, not specific to any location. Factors like the weather, physical health, and your age will influence which activities you choose. Here are some common risks associated with mountain exploration in South America:
Altitude Sickness: If it's your first time trekking or hiking, check for altitude sickness symptoms along the way. Gradual exposure to higher altitudes will keep fatal altitude sickness at bay.
Natural disasters: The Andes are a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and, as such, are unusually prone to earthquakes—particularly the Bolivian area. Earthquakes may not be an immediate threat, but the possibility of a high-magnitude earthquake is higher than average.
Vaccinations: While abroad, you face the risk of contracting an infectious disease that you wouldn’t get at home. Be up-to-date with your vaccines, and consult a doctor before travel if you have any ailment that might affect travel. Common diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid, and hepatitis A can be easily avoided with prior immunizations.
Language: The most common language in South America is Spanish; knowing some common phrases would help with communication during your entire trip. Booking a holiday package from your travel location will be beneficial if you don’t speak the language, as only a few tourist centers have English speakers.
Hygiene: South America is a clean place, but it is still good to avoid seafood, tap water, and ice in remote areas. Bugs can be an issue in the tropical belt; they won’t be once you are at a higher elevation. Keep a medical kit on you, and avoid remote areas notorious for crime. Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador are infamous for drug crimes. It is best to consult locals regarding the current areas to be wary of.
Camping: Out in the wilderness, there is no other option but to set up a tent at night along trekking trails. There are sparse huts in some regions of Ecuador and Argentina. If you set up camp near any village, you might have to pay a fee.
Andean Peaks Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
The worst-case scenario that could happen in the mountains is falling sick or getting injured. It is not uncommon, and it would hamper your trip and cause more expenses. Medical insurance comes to play in case any health problem crops up during your travel.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Andean Peaks?
It is not legally necessary, but it is a good investment for an international trip—especially to a remote area as risk-prone as the Andes Mountains.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Andean Peaks?
Health ailments are unpredictable, and you never know what might trigger one. It is an excellent decision to buy travel medical insurance to take care of your bills if the unthinkable happens.
Andean Peaks Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers - FAQs
Everyone looks forward to traveling, especially to a destination as beautiful as the Andes Mountains. However, if you have to cancel your trip at the last minute, trip cancellation insurance could help reimburse you for certain irreversible expenses.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Andean Peaks?
Cancellation is something unforeseen and unwanted. Hotel bookings, flights, and certain tour packages all require prepaid, nonrefundable payments at the time of booking. However, if you’re smart enough to have purchased trip cancellation insurance beforehand, you just might get some of your money back. Trip cancellation insurance kicks in if you have to cancel your trip for a reason listed in your policy’s certificate wording.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Andean Peaks?
These reasons differ from plan to plan. However, the following are some standard reasons for cancellation that are eligible for trip cancellation insurance benefits:
Death or serious illness
Weather disturbances/flight cancellations
Government travel ban
Depending on the company, this list tends to vary slightly. Buy travel insurance to help recoup some of your expenses if your trip falls through.
Before You Travel to Andean Peaks
Double-check your belongings, and every essential document before stepping out. Your visa, passport, and any essential receipts should be either with you or in a secure location whenever you are out. And above all else, make sure that you have a good travel insurance plan protecting you. Enter some simple information, compare a wide variety of plans, and select the one that fits the needs of your trip. We wish you a safe and fulfilling trip to the Andes!