GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT PERU 

Official Name: República del Perú

Current President: Martin Vizcarra

Type of Government: The Republic of Peru government type is presidential, unitary and decentralized. 

Capital: Lima

Surface: 1.285.261 Km2

Currency: The official Peruvian currency is the sol (1 sol = 100 cents).

Population: 31.237 mill people (Jan 2019)

Official language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages. Aymará is spoken in some areas of the region of Puno. Many other dialects exist in the jungle regions. 

Geography: Peru is divided in three important regions:

  • Coast: Pacific Ocean (Lima, Arequipa, Trujillo, Ica, etc…)
  • Sierra: Mountain area, Andes Mountain Range (Cusco, Puno, etc…)
  • Forest: Mostly of tropical forest (Madre de Dios, Iquitos, etc…)

Borders: Peru borders Brazil in the East, Colombia in the Northeast, Ecuador in the North, Chile in the South, Bolivia in the Southeast and in the West with the Pacific Ocean. 

Presidential elections: Every 5 years. 

Bills: 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles

Coins: are of 1, 2 and 5 soles, and 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. 

Money Exchange: Although the Dollar is generally accepted, we recommend using banks and other official exchange places to avoid possible frauds. 

Exchange type: Approximate 1 dollar = 3.25 soles 

Credit cards: Credit cards are accepted in Perú as American Express, Visa, Dinners club and Master Card.

Weather:
The weather varies depending on the region.
On the coast, the winter reaches a temperature average of 14°C. In summer, temperatures reach 28°C.
In the Peruvian mountains, the sun shines all year long, but the temperature dips during the nights to an average of 5°C. In the jungle area the weather is tropical. 
In the mountains, as in the jungle, the rain season starts in January and ends in March. 

Seasons:
Peru has two seasons: dry and wet.
The best season to visit Peru is the dry season, between April and December. 

Electricity: 
220 volts and 60 Hertz.

Vaccination:
Currently no vaccines or medical test are required to travel to Peru, although it is highly recommended that you get the yellow fever vaccine if you have plans to visit the Amazon Jungle. 

International Area Code: 
Peru code area: +51. Direct international phone connection is available.

If you want to call to a cellphone type the area code + the cellphone number.

Examples: +51 969 228 980 

If you want to call to a phone type the area code + region code + phone number.

Examples: LIMA : +51 01 3936675
                        CUSCO: +51 084 650603

Time Reference:
The time in Peru is the same as United States Eastern Time or GMT-5, UTC-5 hours. 

Work Schedule: 
– Banks: 09:00 to 17:30 hours from monday to friday, saturday from 09:00 to 13:00. 
– Stores: 10:00 to 21:00 hours. 
– Public Administration: 09:00 to 17:00 hours from Monday to Friday. 

Taxis: 
We reccommend to take a taxi services from companies that are secure. In the important cities you can take taxis from companies like Uber, Cabify, Easy Taxi. Consult your travel advisor.*

Trains: 
In Peru there are a few train routes, to and from Machu Picchu, Cusco to Puno and Arequipa and Lima to Huancayo. 

Rent a Car: 
In Perú, there are international and national companies that offer cars to rent. 

National Holidays 
· January 1. New Year.
· May 1. Labor Day.
· July 28. Peru Independence Day.
· June 29. San Pedro y San Pablo.
· August 30. Santa Rosa. Lima’s Patron Saint.
· October 8. Angamos Battle Anniversary.
· November 1. All Saints Day.
· December 25. Christmas.
· December 31. New Year’s Eve.

ATM WITHDRAWALS IN PERU

Please notify your bank and credit card provider in your country one week before traveling to Peru. This is so they do not block your card when using the ATM in Peru.

ATM SCAMS IN PERU

Increasingly prevalent ATM scams are on the rise.
If you need to use an ATM, especially in tourist heavy areas, exercise caution. When possible, use ATMs inside bank branches during bank hours, which are usually bristling with security. There are three basic scam types:

  • Low-tech: Watch as you key in your PIN and then physically steal your card and empty your account. To prevent this, ensure that your PIN cannot be seen when you enter it.
  • Medium-tech: Rig the ATM so that it swallows your card and then retrieve the card after you stomp off in disgust. Having someone come and try to “help” you retrieve a lost card at this point is a red flag that you’ve been scammed — they’re trying to get your PIN. To prevent this, ignore offers for help, stay with the machine until authorized personnel arrive, and cancel your card immediately if you absolutely have to leave the machine.
  • High-tech version: retrofit the ATM with a card reader that records your card details and PIN and then creates cloned card. This is the nastiest form, as you may not notice a thing until it’s too late; the only form of prevention is to ensure that the card slot has not been tampered with.

In all cases, your best effort is to check your statements frequently and regularly change your PIN while traveling. In the case of using an unfamiliar ATM machine, hover nearby and watch to see if any other customers have their cards taken by the machine. Also, pull on the feeder or slider and see if there are any suspicious looking people hanging out in the area

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