Is it safe to travel in Peru?
The answer is yes. The international press sometimes reports (with accompanying video footage) public demonstrations, usually against new government policies. These incidents are localized (usually in Lima) and are generally non-violent. The average tourist is unaffected. The only inconvenience one may experience is the occasional one-day transit halt (“paro” strike). This phenomenon is endemic to almost all of South America. As to street crime, common sense should be exercised when traveling in large urban areas. This is true whether it be Lima, New York or London.
When is the best time to go to Peru?
Travelers can visit Peru any time of the year. Dry season runs from May to November and this is typically the time that is most recommended. However, this is also the cooler time of year. Nighttime temperatures can drop to freezing at the height of the dry season. June, July and August are the most popular months to visit so you will tend to encounter much larger crowds during these months.
In the wet season (December to April), you can expect showers three to four afternoons a week. For travelers that don’t mind a little drizzle and muddy trails, this time of year offers smaller crowds and greener hillsides, with wildflowers and orchids often in bloom.
The shoulder seasons, April to June or September to November can often provide the best of both worlds. They typically have fewer crowds and warmer temperatures than the height of the dry season, but still tend to have relatively little rain.
What is the Peruvian Currency?
It is the Sol.
What is the capital of Peru?
It is Lima.
Is it possible to have a trip based on our specific interests?
Absolutely, we work with you to create exactly the travel itinerary you want. Whether you are interested in art, architecture, history, food and wine, gardens, family-friendly activities, home stay, shopping, we will arrange for you to have personalized touring with appropriate experts who will emphasize your interests. Tours can be designed especially for you.
What kind of weather should I expect in Peru?
Dry season is from May to October, Rain season from November to April.
Coastal temperatures are warmer but gets cool in the evening, Andes usually is dry sunny afternoons, cold in the mornings and evenings. Amazon is usually hot and humid but cool at night. Please check the weather forecast of the cities you will visit.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
No, most hotels, tourist spots have personnel that speak English. When in other areas most people do not speak English so you could carry a translator for basic Spanish.
Do I need a visa?
Do not need Visa: Citizens of the USA, Canada, Mexico, Most countries of the European nation, UK, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Citizens of most Central American and Caribbean countries, Citizens of Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand, Citizens of all South American countries.
Please contact your nearest Peruvian Embassy in your country to see if you need a visa to enter Peru.
What about my passport?
You need a passport that is valid for 6 months or more from the date of your departure from Peru. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you enter Peru.
How about domestic flights?
Tours&Trekperu can book your domestic flights at a lower price and better schedules. We recommend LATAM and Avianca airlines.
Where can I exchange Dollars and Euros for Peruvian Soles?
You can exchange DOLLARS and EUROS in banks and Casas de Cambio (exchange houses). Pick up some sols in the Lima and Cusco airports for a lower rate. You may exchange in any big city in Peru in the banks with a lower rate and at any exchange house for a higher rate.
Are there any ATM machines in Peru?
Yes, there are many ATM machines in the main cities of Peru so you can use your credit or debit cards to withdraw Sols or US$ Dollars. Please inform your bank one to two weeks before traveling so you will not encounter any problems. We recommend using the ATM´s in Banks during business hours for your safety.
What about food and water?
Peruvian cuisine is a real delight. The country is divided into three very distinct geographic zones (coast, mountain and jungle) with their own culinary traditions. All should be tried and enjoyed. All throughout Peru there are numerous street vendors cooking various dishes; caution is the watchword here. The average “gringo” stomach probably isn’t up to this sort of adventure. When in doubt, go without. Tap water should be avoided. This is no problem as bottled mineral water (with and without gas) is available virtually everywhere for a very reasonable price.
What should I bring?
Travel Insurance, Mosquito repellent, Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, swiss knife, first aide kit with personal medications, money pouch, water bottle, backpack, comfortable walking shoes with a good sole grip, flip flops, rain poncho if rain season, camera, towel, warm jacket, clothing for summer and autumn temperatures, swim suit if planning on swimming, ear plugs, smartphone, flashlight, valid passport and anything else you may need. For treks you will be sent a packing list.
What precautions should I take in regards to taxis and streets?
In general Cusco city is a safe place. You can take marked taxis during the day, but after sunset and early morning to go to the airport or the train station, it is recommended that the hotel receptionist call a taxi for you. It is much safer to use those taxis that belong to a taxi company. To walk on the streets take the same precautions like in a major city in the USA or Europe. Pay attention to the advice of your tour leader and hotel receptionist and take common-sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night.
What about electricity?
Peru’s electric grid runs on 220v so if you are going to bring an appliance, like an electric razor, make sure you bring an adapter or purchase one that has a switch or automatically selects the appropriate voltage. Our sockets allow for two-flatted or two-rounded plugs.
What vaccinations do I need?
No vaccinations are compulsory to enter Peru. Recommended vaccinations include: tetanus and typhoid.
Is good quality medical care available?
Medical care is generally quite good in private health care facilities in urban areas, but less so in the rural parts of the country. Urban facilities usually have modern equipment and someone on staff that speaks English. It is highly recommended that you take out travel insurance before you leave home. However, hospitals and clinics often ask for cash payment up front. Make sure that you keep all receipts so that you can be reimbursed once you return home. Also, make sure that your travel insurance includes medical evacuation. If you plan on doing any “adventure sports” such as riding motorcycles, scuba diving or even trekking, ask if those activities are covered. They usually aren’t, but you can buy supplemental insurance to cover you.
What should I do to prepare for my trip?
Tours&Trekperu offers a wide variety of adventures ranging from easy treks to arduous climbs and demanding river runs, so some physical training is recommended. If you are doing only tours all over Peru no preparation is necessary. If visiting Cusco, Puno, Arequipa or Colca Canyon you will need to acclimatize to the high altitude. Travelers with respiratory difficulties, heart ailments, high blood pressure or diabetes should consult their personal physicians.
Are there discounts for students with ISIC cards?
As of 2018 the ISIC card is no longer valid.
Do minors get discounts?
Children 17 and under with a valid copy of their passports will receive a discount on the Machu Picchu entrance and Inca trail permit. (17 year olds must be that age upon completion of tour in Peru in order to qualify for discount). There are other discounts on other entrance tickets which will be determined upon booking.
When should I book my permit for the Inca Trail?
The Inca permits for km82 go on sale October of every year for the following year and you will need to start book from thereon in order to guarantee your space by the official system. If you wait until January or other months your preferred date may be sold out.
Are the Inca Trail permits refundable?
No, the permits are nonrefundable and nontransferable to another person by the official system.
If someone cancels the Inca Trail could I take their space?
No, the official system does not reinstate that permit and if spaces on that date is zero it remains so.
What about altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, or soroche as it is called in Peru, is sometimes a problem for visitors to the Peruvian highlands. An infusion, called “mate de coca” or coca leaf tea, is made with the leaves of the coca plant (considered to have been a sacred plant for the Incas and still seen as such by many people in the highlands of Peru). You could also drink Muña tea to help you. It is purported to help relieve altitude sickness and is readily available. Like regular tea it has a mild stimulating effect and a pleasant taste. If anything, a good cup of hot liquid will help keep you hydrated.
Diamox is used by some travelers from abroad, but it is not recommended if you are allergic to sulfa medications. Sorochi or Gravol are pills that can be purchased locally over-the-counter at pharmacies and airports.
Consult with your doctor if you are worried about traveling at high altitudes. Ask if it is OK for you to take any of these medications, or bring your prescriptions with you.
The best thing to do is to get acclimatized to the altitude as quickly as possible by doing a city tour, sacred valley tour or a short day trek. Eating lightly on the first day and avoiding excess physical activity until acclimatized are highly recommended. KEEP HYDRATED but do not overfill your stomach at once. Let your digestive system adjust. Take it easy the first day and your body will have time to adjust to the changes. Most people do NOT have any serious problems with the altitude.
If you have high blood pressure, heart ailments, diabetes please consult your doctor before you travel to Peru.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
Yes, we highly recommend purchasing Travel and Health insurance for your protection and safety.
The above are general questions and answers for travel in Peru. If you do not find your question here or anywhere on our website, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily answer your inquiries.
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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.
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.
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.
Peru has two seasons: dry and wet.
The best season to visit Peru is the dry season, between April and December.
220 volts and 60 Hertz.
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
The time in Peru is the same as United States Eastern Time or GMT-5, UTC-5 hours.
– 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.
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.*
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.
· 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