Useful Travel Information For your Trip to Peru

icon   General information
icon   Food & Drinks
icon   Passports & Visa
icon   Telephone
icon   Health Care
icon   Internet
icon   Currency
icon   Postal Service
icon   Weather
icon   Airport Taxes
icon   Shopping & Entertainmenticon   Tourist Information & Assistance

 

   General Information

CAPITAL: Lima
AREA: 1.3 million sq km
GOVERNMENT: Democratic Republic (President Alan García)
POPULATION: 27 millions
LANGUAGES: Spanish (80%) and Quechua (16%)
RELIGION: Roman Catholic (89%)
CURRENCY: Nuevo Sol (S/.)
TIME GMT: -5 hours
TELEPHONE CODES: 00 51
ELECTRICITY: 220V, 60Hz


   Passports & Visa

All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity).

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.

To remain longer in the country or to enter for other purposes (residence, study, research, work, etc.), you must request the corresponding visa at the Peruvian consulate of your country of residence before traveling.

Contact your embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It’s your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.


   Health Care

Peru generally maintains good health conditions. Hospitals and clinics provide adequate services, especially in Lima and the other main cities.

It is recommended that you take the proper measures to protect yourself, especially 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.

Also see our Useful Travel Tips section for more recommendations.


   Currency

The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). Banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 nuevos soles. Coins are issued in 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 céntimos (cents), and 1, 2, and 5 nuevos soles. There are 100 céntimos in one nuevo sole.

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. 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.

Sample Price Guide

bottle of Cusqueña beerlocal phone call

flight between most cities

litre of petrol

1l of bottled water

souvenir t-shirt

short taxi ride

US$ 1.50 US$ 0.15

US$ 95.00

US$ 1.00

US$ 0.90

US$ 5.00

US$ 1.00

US$ 5.00 in Lima


   Weather

Average Temperatures and Rainfall

LIMA

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Av. High (°F)

77

79

79

75

70

66

63

63

63

66

68

73

Av High (°C)

25

26

26

24

21

19

17

17

17

19

20

23

Av. Low (°F)

66

68

66

65

61

59

57

56

56

57

61

63

Av. Low (°C)

19

20

19

18

16

15

14

13

13

14

16

17

Wet days

1

0

0

0

1

1

1

2

1

0

0

0

 

CUSCO

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Av. High (°F)

66

66

67

68

68

67

67

68

68

70

69

68

Av High (°C)

19

19

19

20

20

19

19

20

20

21

20

20

Av. Low (°F)

44

44

44

41

37

34

34

34

39

42

43

43

Av. Low (°C)

7

7

7

5

3

1

1

1

4

6

6

6

Wet days

14

12

10

7

4

3

2

2

6

8

10

14

Peru is divided up into three distinct geographical regions:

The Coast (la costa)
the Mountain Highlands
(la sierra)
the Jungle (la selva)

THE COAST (Lima, Nasca, Trujillo, Arequipa)

December – April
This is summertime on the coast where the weather is hot and dry and ideal for swimming and getting a tan. Temperatures on average range from 25 – 35°C. There is little or no rain during these months. The beaches around Lima and the North can packed during the months of January and February which coincide with school holidays.

May – November
From May to November the temperature drops a bit and you’ll find blankets of sea mist engulfing the coast from the south right up to about 200 km north of Lima. At this time of year only the northern beaches such as Mancora and Punta Sal are warm enough to provide pleasant swimming.


THE MOUNTAIN HIGHLANDS
(Cusco, Lake Titicaca)

Mid April – October
This period is the dry season, with hot, dry days and cold, dry nights, often hovering just above freezing, particularly in June and July. May is perhaps the best month with the countryside exceptionally lush, yet with superb views and fine weather. You’ll find the flowers in full bloom, the grass green and the streams full.

Peru’s high season is from June to August, which coincides with the dry season and summer holidays in North America and Europe. You’ll find Cusco a pretty cosmopolitan city with tourists from all over the globe converging on Machu Picchu.

November – Mid April

This is the wet season with most rain in January and February. It’s usually clear and dry most mornings with outbursts of heavy rain in the afternoons. The daily temperatures are typically mild with only a small drop at night.

The Inca Trail is much less crowded during this period and there’s a more abundant fresh water supply, but of course be well equipped for the rain.  You’ll also find some roads may become impassable particularly when trying to visit villages off the beaten track.

Many of Peru’s major festivals such as Carnival and Easter Week take place during this period.

THE JUNGLE  (Iquitos, Manu, Puerto Maldonado)

April – October
This is the ‘dry’ season with daily temperatures averaging 30–35°C. However cold fronts from the South Atlantic are common when the temperatures can drop to 15°C during the day and 13°C at night.

The dry season is the best time to visit the jungle regions. There are fewer mosquitoes and the rivers are low, exposing the beaches. It’s also a good time to see nesting and to view the animals at close range, as they stay close to the rivers and are more easily seen.

November – March
This is the wet season, hot and humid, when you can expect heavy rain at anytime. It only rains for a few hours at a time, so it’s not enough to spoil your trip. Wellington boots are a must though, as some of the jungle trails can become small rivers.


   Shopping And Entertainment

The main hand made craft stores are found in the markets on Avenida La Marina, in Pueblo Libre and 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% (usually included). 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 Miguel, Pueblo Libre, 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. Typical food includes lomo saltado (chopped steak fried with onions), cebiche de corvina (white sea bass marinated in lemon, chilli and onions, often served cold with a boiled potato or yam), and sopa a la criolla (a lightly spiced noodle soup with beef, egg, milk and vegetables). An Inca delicacy, often on the menu in the highlands, is roast guinea pig.

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.

FUNNY FACT: The national soft drink Inca Kola outsells Coca Cola in Peru.

AVERAGE MEAL PRICES

Low US$2-5
MidUS$5-10
High US$10-25
Deluxe US$25+

   Telephone

International calls to Peru:  00-51-city code + 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.

To get more information about telephone numbers, call 103 (service in Spanish).


   Internet

Public internet booths are found in the country’s main cities. Wireless internet service is provided in most 4 and 5-star hotels and in shopping centers.


   Postal Service

Post offices are located throughout all regions of the country. For more information, go to www.serpost.com.pe


   Airport Taxes

Each airport requires that you pay for the use of its installations. This is called the T.U.U.A. or airport use tax, which must be paid before boarding your airplane and differs according to the city of departure.

The T.U.U.A. of Jorge Chavez International Airport (Lima) is U.S. $6.05 for domestic flights and U.S. $30.25 for international flights. It is necessary to pay the tax for domestic flights as well as for international flights.


   Tourist Information & Assistance

Peru features a 24/7 tourist  information and assistance service called iperú, where visitors can ask about official tourist information on Peru, as well as assistance.

(01) 574-8000

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