- Visitor information
- Entry requirements - Visas
- When to go
- Upon arriving in Peru
- Time zone
- Traveler assistance
- For your safety
- Internet access
- Altitude sickness
- Night life
- Food and drinks
- Travel by air
- Departure tax
- Protected natural species
- Archeological and Historic Heritage
- Holidays in Peru
Peru does not maintain national tourism offices abroad,
so your best source of information before you go is
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
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
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
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.
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.
If you are thinking of visiting the jungle, remember
that a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory.
Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua.
English is spoken at four and five star hotels and main
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Peru is one of the top shopping destinations in Latin
American, with some of the finest and best - priced
Most shops, malls and handicrafts
markets are open every day (including holidays) from
10am to 8 pm. Bargaining for prices is acceptable in
Photographing airports, military bases, the surroundings
or high tension electric towers and police stations
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
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
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