Tourist Visas – 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.
Language – The official languages are Spanish (80% of the population), Quechua (Andean and highland regions), and Aymara (in the Puno high plateau). In addition, there are around 50 native languages. It is possible to communicate in English with tourist services workers such as tourist guides, travel agency employees and 3 to 5-star hotels staff.
Currency and forms of payment – The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). The U.S. Dollar is accepted in some local businesses, restaurants and gas stations at the day’s exchange rate. It is also possible to exchange foreign currency (US$ and Euros) at hotels, banks and authorized exchange houses. Working hours for most banks and exchange houses are from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Friday and Saturdays to 12:00 P.M.
The country’s main cities have ATMs that accept different kinds of debit and credit cards. The most widely accepted credit cards are: American Express, VISA and MasterCard. Travelers checks have limitations, so we recommend consulting the establishment to see if they accept them or not before making purchases or ordering.
For more information:
– Visa(01) 242-2975 | 108 – (001) 410 5819754 (from a landline)
– Master Card(01) 311-6000 | 108 – (001) 636 7227111 (from a landline)
– American Express(01) 221-8204 / 221-8207 | (001) 312 9353585 (reserve charges)
Electricity – 220 volts. Most 4 and 5-star hotels do have outlets equipped for 110 volts.
Health care – Peru generally maintains good health conditions. Hospitals and clinics provide adequate services, specially in Lima and the other main cities. It is recommended that you take the proper measures to protect yourself, specially from mosquito bites, in order to prevent infection from, among other diseases, yellow fever (vaccination) and malaria (repellant and medication). Consult your doctor before traveling. A yellow fever vaccination is required for traveling to jungle cities, and it must be administered at least 10 days before your trip. If not, it will not be effective.
During your visit to Peru, it is important that you take the precautions that are shared among the world’s main cities and tourist destinations, such as not neglecting your belongings in public places or avoiding deserted places at night. Besides, we recommend taking the following:
– Consider getting a copy of your passport, airplane tickets, and credit cards; likewise, think about the option of leaving your personal documents in the safekeeping of the hotel and taking the copies with you.
– Discover where the unsafe areas of the city are and avoid visiting them, especially at night. Also consult the appropriate hours for visiting tourist attractions.
– If you must exchange money, do so in banks, exchange houses, or in your hotel. Avoid doing this in plain sight.
– If you drive a car, try using a parking garage or similar service. Do not leave it in dark spots or leave valuables in plain sight.
Tourism Police (Lima)
Jr. Moore 268, Magdalena del Mar
Tel: (51-1) 460-1060 | 460-0965 | 460-4525
Mobile: (51-1) 980121463
Airports – Main cities in the country have air terminals for domestic flights. In the majority of cases the T.U.U.A. (Airport Use Fee) is included in the airfare but in some cases it must be paid before boarding the flight. An increasing number of airlines are covering domestic routes from different points in the country.
There is a large variety of busses connecting destinations across the country, as more and more cities have their own bus terminals. Road transportation services vary depending on the desired levels of comfort, speed and budget. The main national roads are in very good condition, with a dedicated police force, and fast emergency and assistance services.
City transportation – It is advisable that you use the services of a taxi company (requested by phone) or those authorized by the city halls (generally yellow colored and showing the license plate number on both sides of the vehicle).
Cabs in Peru don’t use taximeters. You must negotiate the price of the service before getting into the taxi. Tipping the cabdriver is not a common practice. It is wise to hire authorized taxi services at the airport. These have their own locations on the premises. We do not recommend do not use City buses.
Call the Tourism Police.
Calle Jerusalén 315-316, Cercado.
Tel: (054) 20-1258
Av. Sáenz Peña 830.
Tel: (074) 23-6700
Calle Saphi s/n
Tel: (084) 24-9654
Av. Elías cuadra 4.
Tel: (056) 22-7673
Calle Sargento Lores 834
Tel: (065) 23-1851
Jr. Moore 268, Magdalena del Mar.
Tel: (01) 460-1060 / 460-0965 / 460-0921 / 460-4525
Av. Los Incas cuadra 1, s/n.
Tel: (056) 52-2442 / 52-2084
Jr. Deustua 538.
Tel.: (051) 36-4806
– It is prohibited to photograph airports, military bases, places near high tension towers, and police stations. It is also prohibited to photograph or film the inside of some churches, cathedrals, and museums. Find out the restrictions before visiting.
– Peruvian law prohibits and penalizes the extraction, transport, marketing, and exportation of any plant or animal species, alive or dead, if you do not have INRENA approval to do so.
– Peruvian law prohibits and penalizes the marketing and exportation of original pieces of the country’s cultural wealth (pottery, textiles, metal objects, and any other archeological or historic-artistic piece). Nevertheless, you may take replicas that have the National Cultural Institute’s (INC) certification.
– In Peru, we strongly desire to contribute to the rights and happiness of our greatest national treasure, our children. Therefore, the clients and all those who exploit our children and young people sexually shall go to jail (Law # 28251).
If you wish to visit one of the Protected Natural Areas, check the entrance requirements and recommendations laid out by the National Institute of Natural Resources. To trek or take other excursions, consult with the local population on the state of the trails and route difficulty.
For trips on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, it is indispensable that you hire the services of a National Cultural Institute authorized agency or tour guide. Since it is a trip in high demand, it is recommended that you make the reservation plenty of time beforehand.
For visiting archeological sites, we recommend the use of tennis shoes or rubber soled shoes, especially if it is about the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary.
To drive in Peru, you need your driver’s license, a copy of your passport, the vehicle’s registration, and if it is a rental, the rental contract. International driver’s licenses are valid for one year. In the event of an accident or incident, find a traffic police officer. If the car is a rental, also call the rental car company.
It is absolutely prohibited to carry drugs. If you do so, you will be arrested and put in jail. Do not accept to take in your luggage packages belonging to strangers, under any circumstances.
– International calls to Peru:
Landline phone: 00 + 51 + city code + phone number
Mobile phone: 00 + 51 + phone number
– Public telephones accept coins and phone cards that are sold in kiosks and supermarkets. Make certain that you are buying the phone card from the company you wish to use. It is possible to make collect calls from some public phone booths.
Wireless coverage reaches the majority of the country. Payphones are available in most cities and villages; they can be operated using coins or prepaid cards, which can be purchased in shops and businesses.
– Post offices are located throughout all regions of the country. For more information, go to www.serpost.com.pe
Some cities in Peru are above 4,800 masl, especially in the mountains of the southern and central regions. If you climb up into the mountains by road it is recommended that you travel gradually to prevent altitude sickness and that you rest when you arrive to allow your body to acclimatize. It is advisable to rest on the first day of your arrival, to eat light meals and to drink enough liquids and coca tea (“mate de coca”). If you suffer from heart trouble consult your doctor before traveling.
Working hours for most banks and exchange houses are from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Friday and Saturdays to 12:00 P.M.
The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). The U.S. Dollar is accepted in some local businesses, restaurants, and gas stations at the day’s exchange rate.
It is possible to exchange foreign currency (US$ and Euros) at hotels, banks, and authorized exchange houses. For questions about the exchange rate, go to www.sbs.gob.pe
– The main hand made craft stores are found in the markets on Avenida Petit Thouars in Miraflores. It is also possible to purchase crafts in the city’s main shopping centers.
– The sales tax (IGV) is 19%.
– Most stores, shopping centers, and hand made craft markets are open seven days a week (including holidays) from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M.
– You may bargain with street, market, and beach vendors on the price of some articles. This is called “regateo”.
Most cities in Peru offer a variety of nightlife. In Lima, there are peñas (locales offering traditional live music), disco techs, pubs, and night clubs in several districts, yet the most popular are found in Miraflores, San Isidro, and Barranco. The location of nightlife locales in other cities is normally in the downtown (main square and its surroundings).
Food and Drinks
Peruvian cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of traditional dishes from the coast, highlands, and jungle. Some are usually spicy or intensely seasoned, which is why we suggest you learn about them before ordering.
Pisco brandy is the national drink of Peru and, besides the famous Pisco Sour, it is served in countless other ways. Chicha morada (purple corn juice), chica de jora (corn beer), and aguaje (drink made from aguaje palm fruits) are also traditional drinks from Peru that you can enjoy during your trip throughout all of Peru.
The amount of a tip will vary and depend upon how satisfied you are with the service given. An appropriate tip is considered to be 10% of the bill
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