TRAVEL TIPS

- Visitor information
- Entry requirements - Visas
- When to go
- Upon arriving in Peru
- Time zone
- Vaccines
- Language
- Electricity
- Currency
- Traveler assistance
- For your safety
- Internet access
- Health
- Altitude sickness
- Taxes
- Night life
- Food and drinks
- Travel by air
- Departure tax
- Taxis
- Tips
- Toilets
- Shopping
- Prohibitions
- Protected natural species
- Archeological and Historic Heritage
- Holidays in Peru

VISITOR INFORMATION
Peru does not maintain national tourism offices abroad, so your best source of information before you go is www.visitperu.com

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS - VISAS
Most citizens from the Americas and Western Europe do not need a visa to enter Peru. Citizens from Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador are exempt from passport and visa requirements when visiting certain areas. For more information, ask the Peruvian diplomatic requirements when visiting certain areas. For more information, ask the Peruvian diplomatic representative closest to you. To find the address or telephone number you may visit the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’website:www.rree.gob.pe.
If you go to Peru as a tourist, you may stay a maximum of 90 days. You can ask immigration authorities to extend your stay.

WHEN TO GO
Peak travel season for tourist is in great part determined by weather. Peru experiences two very distinct seasons, wet and dry-terms that are more relevant than “summer” and “winter”. Peru’s high season for travel coincides with the driest months: May through September, with by far the greatest number of visitors in July and August May and September are particularly fine months to visit much of the country.

UPON ARRIVING IN PERU
Give immigration authorities the landing card (International Embarkation/ Disembarkation Card) you received on the plane or the border immigration post. This card must always be returned when leaving the country. Keep it to avoid.

Customs officials will ask you to fill a form declaring any taxable items. If you do not carry any, declare so.

Tax exempt articles include personal clothes and belongings, portable computers and adventure sports gear.

For more detailed information, ask Peru’s diplomatic representative in your country.

You must also declare any plant or animal species you may carry. You must have the necessary sanitary permits from your country. If you do not have them, the Peruvian sanitary authority may decide to burn the plants or kill the animals.

TIME ZONE
The hour in Peru is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the United states. Peru is 5 hours behind GMT (Greenwich mean time). Peru does not observe daylight saving time.

VACCINES
If you are thinking of visiting the jungle, remember that a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory.

LANGUAGE
Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua. English is spoken at four and five star hotels and main tourist shops.

ELECTRICITY
The electric voltage in Peru is 220 volts, 60 cycles. In most hotel bathrooms there is an electrical outlet with 110 volts for electric shavers but not to be used for irons or hairdryers.

CURRENCY
Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), divided in 100 cents. There are 5,10,20 and 50 cents coins and S/. 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 banknotes.
To know the current rate of exchange, visit www.xe.com/ucc/full.shtml
US dollars are welcome at most shops, restaurant and service stations at the current exchange rate.
Most establishments accept the main credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, Diners and American Express. The use of traveler’s checks may be restricted. Ask the individual establishment if they are accepted. When using a credit card, make sure you are charged the right amount for your purchase. Visa is the most widely accepted card in Peru.

The general information telephone numbers for these cards in Peru are: American Express 690-0900; MasterCard 442-0206; Diners Club 221-2050 and Visa242-5253

TRAVELER ASSISTANCE
Peru has organized a traveler assistance service to help tourists. This service has a hotline which attends tourist’s calls 24 hours a day. For assistance call: in Lima 421-1227. Outside of Lima dial 01 first.

FOR YOUR SAFETY
While touring or shopping leave your passport and the bulk of your money in the hotel’s safebox. Only take with you the money you intend to spend. Take a copy of the picture page of your passpor to carry in your wallet you may need to exchange traveler’s checks or in case your passport is lost.
Do not change money with street changers.

INTERNET ACCESS
Public internet booths or cabinas are widely available in major cities throughout Peru, but few are of the cybercafe variety. Most are simple cubicles with terminals. The average cost for 1 hour is less than $ 1. Many cabinas now feature software to make very inexpensive international phone calls via the internet.

HEALTH
Visitors should drink only bottled water, which is widely available. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels. Agua con gas is carbonated; agua sin gas is plain.
You are safer eating fruits you can peel.
Avoid eating from street vendors.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS
If you are planning to visit cities 8200 feet above sea level, like Cuzco (11,000 ft) or Lake Titicaca (13,000 ft), shortness of breath and heart pounding are normal, given the scarcity of oxygen. Some people may experience headache, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue and nausea. Most symptoms develop the first day at high altitude, though, occasionally, travelers have delayed reactions. The best advice is to rest on your first day in the highlands. Drink plenty of liquids, including the local remedy: mate de coca or coca - leaf tea (It’s perfectly legal). Avoid alcohol and heavy food intake.
You can avoid altitude sickness taking 500 mg a day of acetazolamide (Diamox) taken 24 hours before departure and continued up to 48 hours after arrival to these cities. Acetazolamide should not be given to persons allergic to sulfa drugs.

TAXES
A general sales tax (IGV) is added automatically to most consumer bills (19%). Restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee. Tour packages contracted outside the country are tax exempt.

NIGHT LIFE
You can spend an enjoyable night out in most major cities. Information about places to visit is usually available at hotels. Some restaurants locally known as peñas offer live music shows.

In Lima, most popular discos, pubs and nightclubs are located in the Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco districts. In other cities, they are usually located downtown, near around the main square.

FOOD AND DRINKS
Peruvian cuisine offers travelers a wide range of typical dishes from the coast, Highlands and Jungle regions. Always ask if the dishes are spiced.

You can’t miss trying Peru’s world-renowned pisco sour cocktail made with pisco, the Peruvian national drink, a grape brandy. Chicha morada is a nonalcoholic beverage prepared with purple corn. Chicha de jora is a fermented drink made from yellow corn and Masato is a beer made from yucca, this drink is typical of the Amazon region.

TRAVEL BY AIR All major cities can be reached by air, either directly or through a connecting flight. Huancayo, Ica and Huaraz are the only exceptions. If you are flying locally you must reconfirm 48 hours in advance. For international flights, reconfirm 72 hours before your flight.

DEPARTURE TAX
Pisco At all airports, passengers must pay a departure tax: $30.25 for international flights and about $5.00 for domestic flights. Tax must be paid in cash before boarding. An arrival fee of $15.00 is required for passengers arriving to Peru.

 

TAXIS
There are plenty of taxis in Lima and the main cities with very affordable rates. Because none use taximeters, we recommend you check the likely rate with the hotel and negociate a price before (not after) accepting a ride. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.

TIPS
Tips vary and depend on the traveler’s satisfaction with the quality of the service rendered. It is customary in many Indian populated areas to give a small tip to the subject of your photographs.

TOILETS
Public toilets are rarely available except in railway stations, restaurants, bars cafes. Public restrooms are labeled WC (water closet), damas (Ladies) and Caballeros or Hombres (Men). Toilet paper is not always provided so you should carry this item. All establishments, including the best hotels, request that travelers throw it in the wastebasket rather that the toilet, to avoid clogging.

SHOPPING
Peru is one of the top shopping destinations in Latin American, with some of the finest and best - priced crafts anywhere.

Most shops, malls and handicrafts markets are open every day (including holidays) from 10am to 8 pm. Bargaining for prices is acceptable in most establishments.

PROHIBITIONS
Photographing airports, military bases, the surroundings or high tension electric towers and police stations is forbidden.
In some churches and museums it is forbidden to take photographs or make video recordings. Ask beforehand.

It is strictly forbidden to transport drugs. Offenders will be arrested and jailed. Under no circunstance should you accept packages belonging to strangers, to carry in your luggage.

PROTECTED NATURAL SPECIES
All exports of protected plant and animal species, whether alive or dead are strictly forbidden. Do not buy them. This ban also applies to any object manufactured with these species, such as headpieces or necklaces made with macaw feathers and “rain sticks”, unless duly authorized by the Natural Resources Institute (INRENA), the government agency charged with promoting the responsible use and conservation of natural resources.

ARCHEOLOGICAL AND HISTORIC HERITAGE
The Peruvian laws prohibit and establish sanctions for the selling and exportation of original pieces of work of its National Cultural Heritage. Do not buy these items. Examples of these items are pieces of pre-hispanic ceramic, textiles, paintings, etc.
If you want to buy a reproduction of these pieces of pre-hispanic and colonial art make sure to obtain a certificate from the National Institute of Culture, a government agency that protects the nation’s cultural heritage. This institute has offices in all major cities of Peru. If you are unable to obtain this certification, your last chance is the Institute’s kiosk located at Lima International airport before boarding your plane. Authorization is granted immediately.

HOLIDAYS IN PERU
January 1, New year’s day
Good Friday
May 1 Labor day
June 29 st Peter and Paul
July 28 and 29 Independence day
August 30 Santa Rosa’s day
October 8 Battle of Angamos
November 1 All Saints
December 8 Inmaculate Conception
December 25 Christmas day

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