Citizens from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not require visas to enter Peru. Bolivians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and Chileans may enter determined regions of the country just by presenting their national identification documents. The maximum authorized length of stay is 90 days.
Important information: It is very important to keep the migration paper (Tarjeta Andina de Migración), that you receive at the border, until you cross the border again to go back to your home country. Preferably, keep this paper safe together with your passport. All the hotels where you will be staying at make copies of this small document, and upon return you have to show this document at the border in order to leave the country. Therefore, we strongly advise you not to lose it.
A yellow fever vaccination is highly recommended for traveling to jungle cities. The vaccination must be administered at least 10 days before your trip in order for it to be effective. No other vaccinations are required.
Please be aware, that there are luggage restrictions for jour journey to Machu Picchu and the Peruvian Amazon. All passengers travelling on the train to Machu Picchu only have a limit of 7kgs (15.5 lbs), so please do not take any unnecessary items. Of course, it is possible to store your luggage in your hotel in the Sacred Valley or Cusco. In case you will not come back to the same hotel, we will make sure to transfer your luggage safely to your next hotel.
The weather in Peru varies from region to region. Please see below of a short description of what you can expect in the different tourist areas:
Lima tends to be rather humid and warm all year round. For travelers staying in Lima, they should pack loose, cotton clothing if travelling during January through to March. Between March and April, travelers may need something warmer to wear at night. During December and April is the best time to visit Lima, as the weather is mild and the sun is out. It hardly ever rains in Lima, so travelers wanting to visit do not need to worry about wet weather gear.
This includes weather information about areas of Cusco as well as the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The rainy season is between November to March, thus the dry season is between April until October. However, do not be put off from coming to Cusco in the rainy season as it does not rain all day, usually for about an average of 3-4 hours per day, and you will often get to see some sun. The average temperature fluctuates between 11°C and 13°C and during sunny days the temperature can reach up to 20°C. During the nights in May, June and July, the temperatures can drop down to 7°C.
During the dry season between April to October, most of the days are sunny and warm, but the nights will get cold. During the rainy season, the days can be warm and have periods of rain but also periods of sunshine.
The weather in Arequipa is generally nice all year round. It is sunny during the day and is warm during the night. Even during the wet season from November to March, it hardly ever rains, thus it is an ideal tourist destination all year round.
THE PERUVIAN AMAZON
All year round, the Peruvian Amazon has temperatures between 15°C to 30°C, but it may rain heavily during the wet season from November to March, and especially in December and January. During the wet season, the Amazon features some heavy periods of rain but then may be dry for a few days before continuing the cycle. If you are going to the Peruvian Amazon during this time, make sure you take waterproof clothes with you.
NAZCA & ICA
In this area of Peru, the weather is nice all year around and it hardly ever rains. Most of the days are warm and sunny and it stays warm during the nights. During the winter, the nights can get a little chillier, so you may want to bring some warm clothing.
In this region of Peru, it is warm all year round (between 18°C to 28°C) and it hardly ever rains. During the summer, it can reach temperatures of between 25°C to 35°C. We advise you to dress lightly for this region and make sure you take sunscreen with you
If you are visiting a destination situated at sea level, you will not have to worry about altitude problems.
Altitudes are a health challenge for some people and some of the main attractions in South America are located in the high lands like:
Juliaca - Puno, Perú: 12,546 feet (3,824 meters), above sea level
Puno, Perú: 12,531 feet (3,819 meters), above sea level
Cusco, Perú: 11,151 feet (3,399 meters), above sea level
Arequipa, Perú: 7,660 feet (2,335 meters), above sea level
Altitude sickness is characterized by small headaches, nausea or maybe vomiting, or something more complex, including pulmonary or cerebral edema. This can be avoided. A period of normal altitude adaptation occurs on the second day, so at this time we recommend low physical activity, resting and drinking plenty of water.
Please eat lightly. When you eat a lot during your first days at high altitudes, your system requires more oxygen to process the food, which is taken from your muscles. That’s why you feel fatigue and headache. If you don’t overwork your body, altitude sickness should not be a problem.
Spanish is the official language of Peru. Due to Peru´s indigenous heritage, however, some ancient languages still spoken by minorities in Peru have been granted official status. The two most prominent and widely spoken native languages in Peru are Quechua and Aymara. Most people who work in tourism or provide tourist services speak English.
CURRENCY AND FORMS AND PAYMENT US$
The official currency of Peru is the Sol (S/.). The U.S. Dollar is accepted at most stores, restaurants and hotels. There are many currency exchange houses in the cities where you can exchange foreign money (US Dollars and Euros).
Always try and carry small bills / notes or coins with you as larger bills / notes may be difficult to break in some places. ATM´s are easy to find in cities, so you do not need to worry about drawing out a large sum of money prior to your trip.
In order to avoid any unnecessary stress, please inform your bank of the dates and to where you will be travelling. Please also verify with your bank any fees or charges incurred by using foreign ATMs and swipe machines before travelling. The most widely accepted credit cards are: American Express, VISA, Diners Club and MasterCard. There are some limitations to using traveler´s checks in Peru, so please check that they are accepted by establishments prior to purchasing them. For more information:
Visa (01) 242-2975 | 108 - (001) 410 5819754 (from a land line)
Master Card (01) 311-6000 | 108 - (001) 636 7227111 (from a land line)
American Express (01) 221-8204 / 221-8207 | (001) 312 9353585 (reverse charges)
Diners Club (01) 615-1111
Most Peruvians are Catholics, however; freedom of worship is respected.Many celebrations and rituals associated with the Catholic faith take place throughout the length and breadth of South America. In addition, a number of mystical practices associated with ancient pre-Hispanic cultures remain alive to this day, as the result of a unique and remarkable process of religious syncretism.
Colonial churches, monasteries and convents house extremely valuable and interesting artworks. Take the time to visit these sites and admire their beauty.
Prescriptions can be filled at farmacias and boticas; it's best to know the generic name of your drug. For most health matters that are not serious, a pharmacist will be able to help and prescribe something. In the case of more serious health issues, contact your hotel or the tourist information office.
The most common problem encountered by the traveler in Peru is diarrhea (between 30% and 40% of travelers in a 2 week stay experience this to some extent) but the majority of these upsets will be relatively minor. Don't become paranoid; trying the local food is part of the experience of travel.
ABOUT FOOD & BEVERAGE
Tap water in Peru is unsafe to drink. Always purify the water first by boiling it or adding purification tablets such as Micropure which can be easily bought in most pharmacies throughout Peru (make sure that you read the instructions before using them). Bottled mineral water is readily available everywhere.
Fruit in Peru is plentiful and delicious, but ensure that you wash it or peel it yourself. Avoid undercooked and reheated foods. Shellfish are a particularly high risk and so is Ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime juice). They are all delicious, however, and should be safe in well-run hygienic establishments.
Vegetarian restaurants can be found in most cities. If no vegetarian restaurant is available, most others will be able to accommodate you with salads, fruits, and vegetables such as papas (potatoes) and palta (avocado), although palta rellena is usually stuffed with chicken or tuna.
There are good doctors and reasonable hospitals in the major cities, but little in the way of good facilities away from the major centers.
ELECTRICITY AND PLUGS IN PERU
The supply voltage in Peru is 220 volts at 60 hertz (in the USA, electricity is supplied at between 110 and 120 volts). Before you plug in any appliance that you’ve brought from home, make sure it can handle it. A great way to kill a 110-volt appliance is to fry it at 220 volts.
If you’re traveling with a laptop in Peru (or a cell phone, Smartphone, tablet etc.), there’s a good chance it will accept both 110 and 220 volts (it’s a dual voltage device), but always check beforehand.
If you’ll be staying in expensive hotels, you might find a special 110-volt socket in your room or bathroom, specifically designed for foreign electrical devices. But don’t expect such luxuries in standard hotels and hostels.
There are two types of plugs in Peru (with corresponding electrical outlets):
- Type A: two flat parallel prongs, both prongs being the same shape and size. Note: in the USA, the Type A plug often has one prong slightly wider than the other, which will not work in Peru (you will need a basic adapter).
- Type C: two round prongs (used in much of Europe, but not in the UK or Ireland). Electrical outlets in Peru are often designed to incorporate both plug type
No matter where you are staying, we suggest you to requests a map at your hotel and ask for some directions and take a first orientation walk upon arrival. That will give you a sense of location.When returning to the hotel and depending on your physical condition, you might choose to take a taxi. We recommend that you use accredited taxis. Taxis are not expensive in small cities; in big cities taxis can be a little more expensive.
Internet access is widely available in Peru’s major cities and popular tourist destinations. Most hotels offer a free internet service or internet-connected computers in their business center or internet corners.
Most coffee shops and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi connections and in some cities free Wi-Fi access is available in parks and airports.
You will also find internet coffee shops on the streets, offering low cost services charged by the hour or quarter of an hour.
Simple theft and pick pocketing are fairly common; most thieves look for moments when travelers, laden with bags and struggling with maps, are distracted. Assaults and robbery are rare, but have been reported in many cities. In most heavily touristed places in Peru, a heightened police presence is noticeable, however.
Although most visitors travel freely throughout Peru without incident, warnings must be heeded seriously. The possibility of being assaulted can be greatly reduced by taking a few simple precautions:
- When taking taxis from an airport to your hotel, ensure that the drivers have official identification.
- Never take a taxi waiting outside the airport grounds.
- When travelling from your hotel to the airport, go with a taxi recommended by the hotel.
- Try not to arrive in a new city or town late at night..
- Learn the basics in Spanish before you arrive in Peru. Don't expect that people will speak English.
- Keep your valuables hidden.
- Avoid going on your own to remote areas/ruins where tourist would be expected to go. Seek local advice or take a guide.
- When leaving discos late at night take a taxi home no matter how close your hostel is.
- In general, do not wear expensive jewelry, keep expensive camera equipment out of view as much as possible, and use a money belt inside your pants or shirt to safeguard your cash, credit cards, and passport.
- Wear your daypack on your chest rather than your back when walking in crowded areas.
We would love to hear from you about your travel experience which is really important in helping us to improve our services. At the end of your trip we will send you a post travel feedback form. We would really appreciate it if you would spare some of your time to complete and return it back to us with a photo of your trip.
At night and in the early hours of the morning it is often cold and can be windy. At these times visitors should use warm clothing (a rain jacket is recommended during the rainy season).
For excursions and during periods of sunshine, visitors are recommended to use long-sleeved cotton shirts or t-shirts that will also provide some protection when temperatures fall suddenly. It is a good idea to carry a light jacket as protection against winds.
Walking in the cities is a very enjoyable experience, and we recommend that you wear comfortable rubber-soled footwear.It is very important to use sun block in all cities, particularly in high altitude cities in order to reduce the effects of sun radiation.
Travelers should use moisturizer for lips and hands, because the highland climate is dry. It is also a good idea to carry lemon-flavored candies to refresh the mouth.
Peru is a shopper's paradise with plenty of options for quality souvenirs. Top of the list is alpaca wool, which you can buy in the form of jumpers, scarves, gloves, hats (including the popular chullo Andean hat with the distinctive ear flaps) and blankets. Quality does vary with baby alpaca the softest and most expensive wool, and sometimes you may end up inadvertently buying a mix of alpaca, wool and acrylic at some of the markets so if you want to be assured of the quality, try the boutique stores that are prevalent in Cuzco
The weavers of Taquile Island and their long-held traditions have been proclaimed "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO and as such, Peru is an excellent place to shop for textiles ranging from scarves to belts, tapestries to bags designed with traditional emblems and patterns.
As one of the world's largest producers of silver, Peru is also a great bet for jewellery.Again, quality does vary and prices therefore vary accordingly and you should stick to the official-looking stores in Cuzco and Lima for the best quality pieces.
Is bargaining acceptable in Peru?
In markets bargaining is expected and it's advisable to go in with a figure around half of what you're first quoted, especially in the popular tourist spots where prices are usually inflated. Bargaining over prices should be a polite, friendly exchange until you reach an agreeable figure that you're happy to pay and the vendor is happy to accept. You'll also need to negotiate taxi fares as you'll rarely find meters in the vehicles.
You are permitted to bring the following into Peru:
- 20 packs of cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
- 3L of alcoholic beverages
- Gifts or new articles for personal use up to a value of US$500
It is customary in Peru to tip service providers. The amount depends entirely on personal preference; however, here is an average guideline: waiters (10%), local tour guides (2 to 7 USD per day per person), drivers (2 to 5 USD p/d p/p), A number of the superior hotels include a 10% gratuity in the cost of your room.
Tourist Police: +51 84 246088 / 84 252222 - annex 208
Firefighter company: +51 84 221392 / 22-7211
Cusco Airport +51 84 22-2611
Lima Airport +51 01 5173100
If you need to contact us for any reason please call our local office in Cusco.
Active Traveler Peru
Mon to Fri: 9am to 1pm & 3pm to 6pm local time (GMT -5).
Saturdays: 9am to 12:30 pm
PERU: + 51 945112787 or +51 992725977