FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

What does Pudu Puda offer that I can’t get with a large travel agency?

We guarantee that every hike, mountain bike ride or horse trek which we send you on, has been personally tested by Pudu Puda. Every guide we use also has a personal relationship with us and are selected because they are one of the best in their markets. The pre-booking consultation process is personalised, to ensure that we are planning a trip which is suitable for your level of fitness.

 

10% of our profits are also channelled towards community projects in the destinations we operate in. These funds are personally administered by us at the grassroot level.

What is the minimum number of people required for a Pudu Puda itinerary?

1. Since all itineraries are customised, you have the flexibility of travelling solo or as a family / group of friends.

 

How difficult are the treks?

All itineraries with Pudu Puda are customisable to include a variety of treks from easy half-day hikes to mountain climbing expeditions. These are classified from grades I to V, with I being the easiest and V being the most technical. If you are unsure about your suitability for any treks, please get in touch with us. This is how our grading system works:

 

Grade I - Beginner

Suitable for anyone who has never hiked before and can walk 2 hours with a light day pack (including breaks)

 

Grade II - Intermediate

Suitable for anyone with average level of fitness and can walk for 6 hours with a light day pack (including breaks)

 

Grade III - Strenuous

Suitable for anyone with above average level of fitness as days can involve more than 6 hours of trekking in remote and rugged terrain, in sometimes adverse weather conditions

 

Grade IV - Demanding

Suitable for anyone with high level of fitness as days can involve more than 8 hours of trekking in remote and rugged terrain, adverse weather conditions, long multi-day expedition of more than 10 days and / or high altitudes

 

Grade V - Expert

Prior multi-day mountaineering experience is required

What should I pack in my day pack?

The sun is very strong in the mountains and the weather can change rapidly. We recommend that you always have with you a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a windbreaker / rain jacket, a headlamp and trekking poles.

What is the maximum capacity for your fixed-date expeditions?

Ideally, we cap the number of trekkers for such expeditions at 8. This will allow us to ensure that our expedition crew has sufficient resources to provide the necessary care and hospitality to each trekker.

 

When is the best time to visit these destinations?

This varies. Please see individual destination sections below for more specific answers.

 

What types of accommodation are available?

Depending on the itinerary designed for you, this may include hotels, home stays and camping.

Are the trips full board?

For itineraries to Bhutan and Kyrgyzstan, all meals are included in the price. For Chile, it would depend on the type of trip you book. Meals are provided for all our multi-day treks; box lunches are provided for all our day hikes.

 

What if I have specific dietary requirements?

Please inform us of your dietary requirements at least a month in advance of your departure. We are unable to guarantee a peanut-free or allergen-free expedition; therefore, trekkers with life-threatening or severe allergies are recommended to take all necessary medical precautions to prepare for your trip. 

Do I need travel insurance?

Absolutely. We require that you purchase travel insurance to cover any extra, unforeseen costs such as trip delay, trip cancellation, lost baggage, sickness, accident or emergency evacuation. The onus is on you to check through all policy details to ensure that you are adequately covered. If you do not have a specific travel insurance provider, we recommend asking for a quote from World Nomads here.

What would happen if my flight gets delayed / cancelled?

Pudu Puda will try to modify or find alternative accommodation options to the best of our abilities, but cannot guarantee that the original hotel reservation can be honoured. If you cannot join the planned departure of a fixed-date multi-day expedition because of any flight delays or cancellations, we will try our best find an alternative route for you to join the group. We require that you purchase travel insurance to cover any extra, unforeseen costs such as trip delay, trip cancellation or lost baggage. The onus is on you to check through all policy details to ensure that you are adequately covered.

 

What if I encounter a problem during the trip?

In the unlikely event that you encounter a problem during the expedition, please approach your guide immediately as most of these can be resolved in a timely manner without affecting your experience; we cannot fix the problem once the expedition is concluded. 

 

What would happen if I fall sick or get injured during the trip?

Your guide will have a first aid kit at all times. However, we insist on you purchasing comprehensive travel insurance in case more extensive medical treatment is required. It is also your responsibility to bring sufficient quantities of any specific medication you may require. Please advise us on any side effects of the medication you take.

 

What would happen in case of bad weather?

We will make every effort to conduct this expedition as described, but the itinerary may change at any time due to adverse weather conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control. We will defer to your guide’s expertise and experience in determining any alterations to the trek as required.

Does Pudu Puda Travel only organise travel to these three countries?

At the moment, yes. We aim to ensure that we are fully established in Bhutan, Chile and Kyrgyzstan with an extensive network of treks and guides before venturing into other countries. However, you can look forward to our treks in Peru and Ecuador in the medium term!

What languages do Pudu Puda's guides speak?

All our specialist guides are bilingual in English and their native language (Russian, Dzongkha or Spanish).

How should we prepare to avoid altitude sickness?

We recommend you to take your time on your treks at altitude, and our guides will set a suitable pace based on your fitness level. Remember to stay hydrated at all times! The activities in your itinerary will also be sequenced to allow for acclimatisation during your stay in the destination. If taking altitude sickness pills (e.g. Diamox) is of interest, please consult your doctor to see if these are suitable for you.

BHUTAN

When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

April, May, October and November are considered peak months to visit Bhutan because of the dry weather and mild temperatures. 

 

For treks and expeditions, October is ideal because there is less rain and the high mountain passes are still free from snow cover, making our traverse easier.

 

For cultural trips, December is probably our favourite month to visit because there are few other tourists, and the skies are clear. This means better chances of seeing the Greater Himalayas from the Dochu La pass when you travel between Thimphu and Punakha. 

 

How do I obtain a tourist visa for Bhutan?

Pudu Puda will assist in your visa application through a ground handling agency in Bhutan. The associated fees and government royalties are included in the total price of your Bhutan itinerary.

 

What is the appropriate dress code when visiting temples in Bhutan?

As a sign of respect, please ensure that your shoulders and legs are covered, even during the warmer months. You will also be required to remove your shoes when entering the temples.

 

What is the food like in Bhutan?

The main staple is rice, and in general, the Bhutanese also eat a lot of potatoes and buckwheat, depending on the altitude they live at. The diet is also rich in vegetables. The national dish is ema datse, which is a local curry made with cheese and chillis. There is no doubt that you will get to try this dish while you are travelling in Bhutan!

How much luggage can I take? 

You can check in up to 30kg with an Economy Class ticket and 40kg with a Business Class ticket. 

 

For multi-day treks, we limit your personal items to 15kg in a duffle bag which the pack animals will carry from camp to camp. Other items which would not be needed during our expedition will be stored safely, awaiting your return after the expedition.

 

How much cash should I bring?

There is no obligation to tip the expedition crew, but it is recommended if you would like to show your appreciation for their hard work. The tipping guideline for each staff is USD15 to USD25 per day. 

 

ATMs are not reliable in Bhutan. You can also exchange USD, Indian Rupees, Thai Baht, Singapore Dollars and EUR at the hotel reception.

 

CHILE - ATACAMA DESERT

When is the best time to visit the Atacama?

The Atacama is a destination you can visit all year round, except December and January because the chances of flash floods are higher. 

 

Do I need to take Diamox for the high altitude?

This depends on your prior experience at high altitude, your body’s condition specifically during your trip to the Atacama and whether you are taking the precautions to avoid altitude sickness (e.g. walking at a leisurely pace, constant hydration). You should consult your travel clinic if you are not sure.

How much luggage can I take? 

Most domestic airlines allow you to check in up to 23kg with an Economy Class ticket, depending on the type of ticket which you purchase.

 

How much cash should I bring?

An average meal in a restaurant would cost USD20 per person. There is no obligation to tip the expedition crew, but it is recommended if you would like to show your appreciation for their hard work. The tipping guideline for each staff is USD15 to USD25 per trekker per day. 

 

Credit cards are widely accepted in Chile. There are also ATMs and money changers conveniently located in the town centre of San Pedro de Atacama. Currencies widely accepted at these counters are USD and EUR.

 

CHILE - PATAGONIA

When is the best time to visit Patagonia?

The austral summer months (December to February) is the most popular time to visit Patagonia, since the weather is the mildest. However, the winds are usually very strong during this time on the mountain tops. We like visiting in November when the wild orchids are in full bloom, and in April when the leaves are starting to turn hues of red and golden. There are also less people then!

What wildlife can we see in Torres Del Paine National Park?

There are many species of birds which can be found in TDPNP, including the Andean condor. You will also see large families of guanacos roaming the Patagonia Steppe, and if you are lucky, you might even see the apex predator of the park, the puma.

 

What else can I see in Patagonia besides the Torres Del Paine National Park?

It is a pity when travellers come from far and wide just to visit the National Park. Puerto Natales and its surroundings offers a lot more to explore, such as horse riding by the Pacific Ocean’s fjords and mountain climbing. Further south on Navarino Island, we also organise fixed-date expeditions around the Dientes de Navarino mountain range.

 

What is the food like in Patagonia?

The locals eat a lot of meat. A typical gathering with friends and family involves an asado, which is an open-fire grill, and a lot of red wine. In Puerto Natales, there are many restaurants where you can find pizzas, pastas and vegetarian / vegan options too.

How much luggage can I take? 

Most domestic airlines allow you to check in up to 23kg with an Economy Class ticket, depending on the type of ticket which you purchase.

 

For multi-day treks, we recommend that you limit your personal items to 10kg, since you will have to carry them during the expedition. The porters will only carry camping equipment and food. Other items which would not be needed during our expedition will be stored safely, awaiting your return after the expedition.

 

How much cash should I bring?

An average meal in a restaurant would cost USD20 per person. There is no obligation to tip the expedition crew, but it is recommended if you would like to show your appreciation for their hard work. The tipping guideline for each staff is USD15 to USD25 per trekker per day. 

 

Credit cards are widely accepted in Chile. There are also ATMs and money changers conveniently located in the town centres of Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. Currencies widely accepted at these counters are USD and EUR.

KYRGYZSTAN

When is the best time to visit Kyrgyzstan?

We recommend visiting Kyrgyzstan in the summer months from June to mid-September, in order to access some of the scenic high mountain passes.

What is the food like in Kyrgyzstan?

Because of its Soviet history, Kyrgyz cuisine is a mix of traditional dishes like mantoo (lamb dumplings), the ubiquitous Central Asian rice dish plov, as well as Russian favourites introduced by migrants. 

How much luggage can I take? 

Most domestic airlines allow you to check in up to 23kg with an Economy Class ticket, depending on the type of ticket which you purchase.

 

For multi-day treks, we recommend that you limit your personal items to 10kg, since you will have to carry them during the expedition. The porters will only carry camping equipment and food. Other items which would not be needed during our expedition will be stored safely, awaiting your return after the expedition.

 

How much cash should I bring?

There is no obligation to tip the expedition crew, but it is recommended if you would like to show your appreciation for their hard work. The tipping guideline for each staff is USD15 to USD25 per day. 

 

There are also money changers conveniently located in the town centre Bishkek, which our local guides can take you too. Currencies widely accepted at these counters are USD and EUR.

 

 

FIND OUT MORE

We specialise in curating adventures in the mountains, as well as complementary outdoor activities to ensure you will leave each destination telling a story representative of the destination, its people and their culture. Let us help you plan your next epic journey!