TIPS

Travel Planner to Peru
General Information from Peru

 

Surface Area 
With an area of 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third-largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, ranking it amongst the world's 20 largest nations.

Peru also holds way over the sea up to 200 miles from the Peruvian coast and has territorial rights to an area of 60 million hectares in the Antarctic. Peru is divided into 24 departments. Lima is the capital of Peru

Peru in Southamerica


Population 
35 000 000 inhabitants. 
     - Urban   :    72,3 %
     - Rural    :    27,7 %


Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic origins. Throughout its history, Peru has been the meeting ground for different nations and cultures. The indigenous population was joined 500 years ago by the Spaniards.  As a result of this encounter, and later enriched by the migration of African blacks, Asians and Europeans, Peruvian man emerged as the representative of a nation whose rich ethnic mix is one of its leading characteristics.

Diversity in Peru


Language

- Spanish: 80,3%
- Quechua: 16,2%
- Other languages: 3,0%
- Foreign languages: 0,2%

As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages. Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua is a major legacy of the Inka empire, and is still spoken with regional dialects in many parts of Peru. 
  In addition, other languages are spoken such as Aymara (in Puno) and a startling variety of dialects in the Amazon jungle, which are divided up into 15 linguistic families and 43 different languages.

Linguistic map in Peru

 

Currency
The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is divided into 100 centimos. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimos and 1, 2 and 5 sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.

Coins and Bills

 

Government
Peru is a democratic republic. The president and members of Congress are elected every five years by universal suffrage. The current constitutional president of Peru is Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (2016-2021).

PPK

 

Religion
Roman Catholic: 79,03%
Evangelical: 11,73%
Other religions: 7,56%
Any Religion: 1.65% 

Peru is a naturally religious country: a diversity of beliefs and freedom of worship can be seen from the wide range of festivals and rituals that feature both Catholic fervor and the mysticism of age-old pre-Hispanic cultures

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The Lord of Miracles

 

Learn
Peruvian Spanish, particularly in the Sierra and jungle, is pronounced much more clearly than European Spanish and Spanish from other Latin American countries, especially Mexico, Colombia and Chile. People don't tend to speak too fast, although in coastal areas, especially Lima, people speak considerably faster than in other areas, and they also use slang quite liberally.

On the whole, Peru is a good and cheap place to embark on Spanish courses (once you are there).

Ancient Peruvians

 

Some slang terms
ChevereBacan    cool.   Chela,   a beer.  ◦  Me da coleraMe llega,   it pisses me off.    Ya,     right, sure (sometimes "ok" or "yup").  ◦  Loco ,   crazy person. Usually said in a friendly manner, also means "mate, friend, buddie"    Tombo,    is cop (and cops don't like hearing it).    Money is often refered to as plata (as in silver). Eso cuesta mucha plata =  that's expensive.

Slang Peruvian

 

Wheater
Regardless of the season and the place you wish to visit, it is advisable to bring warm clothing, comfortable pants, cotton shirts, hiking boots, tennis shoes, a good sun block and a hat.


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

16

12

10

7

4

3

2

2

6

8

10

14

 

 

Peru is divided up into three distinct geographical regions: the coast, the mountain highlands and the jungle.

 

The Mountain Highlands (Cusco, Lake Titicaca, etc) 
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 Inka 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.

Weather Peru

 

Tourist Visas
Citizens from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not require visas to enter. 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.

Seal Visit to Machu Picchu

 

Time
(-5 hr GMT)

LIMA

12:00 h

 

London

17:00 h

New York

12:00 h

Berlin

18:00 h

Buenos Aires

14:00 h

Paris

18:00 h

Santiago

13:00 h

Tokyo

02:00 h (*)

México City

11:00 h

Sydney

03:00 h (*)

 (*) Next day.

Time zones

 

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.
The rate during the last year 2007 did not vary so much and is kind of steady between 3.10 to 3.20 Nuevos Soles per each U.S. dollar.
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. Although in Cusco we have the Interbank MONEY 
EXCHANGE office right across the Cathedral of the City which opens from 09:00 a.m. until 09:00 p.m. every day including Sunday and holidays.
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, Diners Club 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)

Diners Club (01) 615-1111.

Cards

 

Electricity
220 volts. Most 4 and 5-star hotels do have outlets equipped for 110 volts, and 3 stars hotels and inns have converters to provide upon your request..

Socket Types

 

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.
To avoid altitude sickness or soroche, we suggest you to ascend gradually in order to become acclimatized, rest on the first day of your arrival, eat light foods, drink plenty of water and keep lemon candies at hand. If you have heart problems consult your doctor.

To keep from getting gastrointestinal infections, we recommend you take care when eating raw foods. Drink bottled or boiled water and do not eat food from street vendors.

Cusco Clinic

 

At the Custom
You must submit the International Embarkation / Disembarkation form and the Customs Declaration form to the competent authority.
The International Embarkation/Disembarkation Form is available on the plane or at the immigration officeof the border where you will be crossing. Keep it since it must be submitted when leaving the country. If it is lost, the penalty is U.S. $4.00.
When entering the country, the immigration officer will assign you a length of stay in the country (between 30 and 90 days, according to his judgment). In the event you stay longer than the assigned number of days, you must pay U.S. $1.00 for every day over the established time limit when you doing the immigration paperwork for leaving the country. We suggest you arrive at the terminal in advance of your departure to accommodate the time needed for the procedures. 
The Custom’s Declaration must state those goods that are subject to paying taxes; if this is not the case, then you must write down that you have nothing to declare. On the same form, you must declare if you are bringing into the country any animal or vegetable species, which require approval from the corresponding health authority of your country. If you do not  have  this document, the Peruvian health authority may order the vegetable species be burned and the animal put down.
Adventure sports activities for which travelers can bring equipment:Hand – gliding.

You must declare whether you are bringing in any vegetable or animal species. If so, you will need to have a permit from the competent sanitary authorities in your country. If you do not have the necessary sanitation documents, Peruvian sanitation authorities may order your vegetable species to be incinerated and that the animal be sacrificed.

Customs

 

 

Safety
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 advises:

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 to Exchange your Money with street exchangers know in Peru as “cambistas”.

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.

Police

Communications
Telephone 
International calls to Peru:       00-51 + city code + phone number
Public telephones accept coins and phone cards that are sold in newsstands and supermarkets. Make sure 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 cafes 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.

Telecommunications

Shopping 
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 18%.

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”.

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Handicraft

Nightlife 
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 “plaza de armas” and its surroundings).

Nightlife

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.

Ceviche

General Tipping Suggestions
Gratuities are left to your discretion. We are pleased to provide you with the following guidelines.  
Tour Guides: $5 for a half-day tour, $10 for full-day tour. If the guide is accompanying you for several days, we recommend you tip when his/her services have ended.

Drivers (non guiding): A $2-$3 tip per day of service is usually satisfactory. 
Porters at hotels/Hotel Bellman: $1 per bag is standard; more if your bags are heavy.

Hotel Maid: $1 per night is standard, left in the hotel room in a marked envelope. 
Waiters: 10%-15% of your check is considered standard. 
The same applies to room service waiters. Some establishments may automatically add a gratuity to your bill look for it before tipping. If a gratuity is added, you need only tip up to another 5% for superlative service.

Tips

Connectivity
Airports 
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 not necessary to pay the tax for domestic flights as well as for international flights.
Make your reservations and confirm your flight well before going to the airport. As well, you should check in at the airport at least two hours before flying for domestic flights and at least three hours for international flights.
Check with the airline you are traveling with about luggage weight and size requirements as well as reimbursement conditions in case it gets lost.
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 do not use meters in Peru. 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

Airport

Lost items 
thefts and robberies call the Tourism Police of the city

Arequipa
Calle Jerusalén 315-316, Cercado.
Tel: (054) 20-1258

Ayacucho
Jr. Arequipa cuadra 1.
Tel: (066) 31-2055 / 31-8372

Cajamarca
Av. 13 de julio s/n
Tel: (076) 36-3042

Chiclayo
Av. Sáenz Peña 830.
Tel: (074) 23-6700

Cusco
Calle Saphi s/n
Tel: (084) 24-9654

Huancayo
Av. Ferrocarril 556, Cercado.
Tel: (064) 21-9851

Huaraz
Av. Laredo y Laredo 716
Tel: (043) 72-1341

Ica
Av. Elías cuadra 4.
Tel: (056) 22-7673

Iquitos
Calle Sargento Lores 834 
Tel: (065) 23-1851

Lima
Jr. Moore 268, Magdalena del Mar.
Tel: (01) 460-1060 / 460-0965 / 460-0921 / 460-4525

Nazca
Av. Los Inkas cuadra 1, s/n.
Tel: (056) 52-2442 / 52-2084

Puno
Jr. Deustua 538.
Tel.: (051) 36-4806

Tacna
Jr. Callao 121.
Tel: (052) 71-4141 anexo 245

Trujillo
Jr. Independencia 630.
Tel: (044) 22-4025

Restrictions

DRIVING IN PERU
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.

Driver License

Protected wildlife and wild flora species

Considered by the World Resources Institute as forming part of the select group of eight "megadiverse" countries, it is estimated that in Peru there are 84 of the 104 life zones existing in the world, nearly 10% of the species of mammals and reptiles of the planet, over 20% of earth's birds and between 40.000 and 50.000 species of vascular plants (the most developed).

Unfortunately many of these species are endangered due to their unauthorized exploitation for the manufacture of tourist souvenirs and the cruel traffic of wildlife (transported under conditions which cause most of them to die during the trip). 
Each loss reduces earth's life diversity with indescribable consequences. It is for this reason that Peruvian laws prohibit and sanction the extraction, transport, sale and export of all types of wildlife and wild flora, dead or alive, without the authorization of INRENA (1). The prohibition extends to any object made with their parts (crowns or necklaces made of Macaw (guacamayo) feathers, butterfly wings, musical instruments, "tigrillo" skin or "palos de lluvia" (also called oncelote, a small feline resembling a tiger). 
(1) NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NATURAL RESOURCES. The National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) is the State's public organization responsible for promoting the rational use of natural resources. Current legal regulations impose severe sanctions to any persons who hunt, extract, transport, sell or export wildlife or wild flora species, as well as their products and by-products, including handicrafts made with such products, without the corresponding authorization.
The authorization for the extraction, sale and/or export of wildlife and wild flora must be requested from INRENA:  Calle Diecisiete 355, Urb. El Palomar. San Isidro, Lima  Tel.: (01) 224-3298 (anexo 167) / (01) 225-1053.
E-mail: inrenabibli@terra.com.pe 

Archaeological and Historical Heritage

Peruvian laws prohibit and sanction the sale and export of original pieces of the national cultural heritage. Abstain from buying them. 
However, if you are interested in taking to your country samples of Peruvian pre-Hispanic or Colonial art, you may buy replicas. Replicas are all objects of modern manufacture imitating shapes and decorative figures of pre-Hispanic or Colonial pieces (ceramic pieces, gold and silver works, stonework, woodworks, textiles, paintings and others).

When buying replicas of pre-Hispanic or Colonial works, make sure they have been certified by the INC (2); this certificate can be obtained at any of the offices of this institution, located in all departmental capitals. If you are leaving Peru through the Jorge Chávez Airport, visit the INC booth after you pass through Immigration post. The authorization can be granted automatically.

(2) NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CULTURE
The National Institute of Culture (INC) is the State's public organization responsible for the protection, preservation, restoration and dissemination of Peru's Cultural Heritage. 
Cultural property, whether archaeological or historical, is protected by law; and its export is prohibited. Clandestine export of cultural property is a crime. The law authorizes the confiscation, in favor of the State, of any material, equipment and vehicles used in the commission of crimes against the cultural heritage, as well as of the unduly obtained cultural property. 
For further information, visit the INC:
Edificio Museo de la Nación, piso 6   Av. Javier Prado Este 2465.San Borja, Lima   Tel.: (01) 476-9900   
E-mail: inc@inictel.gob.pe 
http://inc.perucultural.org.pe.

Customs

Drugs
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.

drugs