TIPS TO TRAVEL
Entry Requirements -
Most of the citizens from the Americas and Western Europe do not need a visa to
enter to Perý. Citizens from Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador are exempt from passport
and visa 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 Perý as a tourist, you may stay a maximum of 90
days. You can ask immigration authorities to extend your stay.
When to Go
The peak travel season for tourists is in great part determined by the weather.
Perý 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.
Arriving to Perý.
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 a US$ 4.00 fine. Custom 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 computer and
adventure sports gear. For more detailed information, ask Perý`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 Perý is the same as the Eastern Standard Time in the United States.
Perý is 5 hours behind GMT. (Greenwich Mean Time). Perý does not observe
daylight saving time.
Driver's licenses from any country are valid for 1 year after the tourist has
entered Perý. Thereafter, a local license must be obtained from the Touring y
Automovil Club del Perý. Medical, regulations and driving tests take a full day.
For more information, contact the Touring y AutomÚvil Club del Perý ( the
Ministry of Transport).
A yellow fever vaccination is not required anymore.
Perý has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua. English is spoken at four,
five and most three star hotels and hostels; and main tourist shops.
The electric voltage in Perý 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, restaurants 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 traveller'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 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; Master Card 442-0206;
Diners Club; 221-2050 and Visa 242-5253.
Perý has organized a traveler assistance service to help tourists. This service
has a hot line, 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 safe box. Only take with you the money you intend to spend. Take a copy
of the picture page of your passport 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 Perý, but few are of the cyber cafť variety. Most are simple cubicles
with terminals. The average cost for 1 hour is less than US$ 1.00. Many cabins
now feature software to make very inexpensive international calls via the
Visitors should drink only bottled water, which is widely available. Do not
drink tap water even in major hotels. Agua con gas is carbonated water; agua sin
gas is plain. You are safer eating fruits you can peel. Avoid eating from street
If you are planning to visit cities 8200 feet above sea level, like Cusco
(11,000 ft) or Lake Titicaca (13,000 ft), some people may experience headaches,
loss of appetite, extreme fatigue and nausea. At these altitudes, shortness of
breath and heart pounding are normal, given the scarcity of oxygen. 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: coca-leaf
infusion (its perfectly legal) and the coramina pills. Avoid alcohol and heavy
food intake. You can avoid altitude sickness taking 500 mg a day of
acetozolamide (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 peŮas 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 and around the main
Peruvian cuisine offers travellers a wide range of typical dishes from the
coast, highlands and jungle regions. Always ask if the dished are spiced. You
cannot 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 the masato is a beer made from yuca, this drink is typical
of the Amazon region.
Travel by Air
All major cities can be reached by air, either directly of 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: $ 28, for international
flights and about $ 5 for domestic flights. Tax must be paid in cash before
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 negotiate 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 than the toilet, to avoid clogging.
Perý is one of the top shopping destinations in Latin America, with some of the
finest and best - priced crafts anywhere. Most shops, malls and handicrafts
markets are open every day (including holidays) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Bargaining for prices is acceptable in most establishments.
Photographing airports, military bases, the surroundings of high-tension
electric towers and police stations is forbidden. In some churches and museums,
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 circumstance should you accept packages belonging to strangers, to
carry in your luggage.
Archeological and Historic Heritage
The Peruvian laws prohibit and establish sanctions for 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 , Labour day
• June 29, St. Peter and St. Paul day
• July 28 and 29, Independence day
• August 30, Santa Rosas' day
• October 8, Battle of Angamos
• November 1, All Saints day
• December 8, Immaculate Conception day
• December 25, Christmas day