Peru is as complex as its most intricate and exquisite weavings. Festivals mark ancient rites, the urban vanguard beams innovation and nature brims with splendid diversity.
VISA & PASSPORT
In general citizens of the countries in the listing below do NOT have to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate before entering Peru. A passport valid at least six months with at least 2 free pages in the visa section is enough to get a Tourist Visa (actually it’s only an entry stamp) directly at the border or the airport.
Regardless of the season and the area of Peru you are visiting, it is advisable to carry warm clothes, loose pants, cotton tops, hiking footwear, good sunblock and a hat (to protect you from the sun and the cold).
Don’t let your personal belongings out of your sight. Avoid using unofficial or unmarked taxis during the night. Avoid exchanging currency in the street or carrying large sums of money. Currency exchange agencies are safe.
Peru does not require any immunizations for entry, although it recommends vaccination against Yellow Fever when traveling to the Amazon.
In case of altitude sickness, rest well during the first days avoiding physical strain; drink mate with coca leaves or take coca pills. Drink plenty of fluids, particularly in high altitude zones, using only bottled or previously treated water. Purchase your food at restaurants, avoiding street food.
Another good option is to chew coca leaves. Coca leaves are easily obtainable and are considered by many as the best way to combat potential altitude sickness. A pharmaceutical option is a drug Acetazolamide sold under the trade name Diamox, which works as an effective altitude sickness preventative, however, please ask your doctor before taking any medicine.
In brief, to avoid altitude sickness we suggest you drink the coca tea leaves and lay down for 1 hour before any activity.
Peru’s electricity runs on 220 volts and 60 cycles (except for Arequipa where it is 50 cycles).
There is no pre-established amount for gratuities; it depends on the customer’s level of satisfaction with the service. 10% of the check is usually considered adequate.
Our suggestions for daily tipping are the following:
Drivers: $ 2.00 to $ 5.00
Tour Guide: $ 10.00 to $ 20.00
House Keepers: $ 2.00
Porters: $ 1.00 per luggage
The Peruvian currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). One Nuevo Sol equals 100 céntimos. There are S/. 200, S/.100, S/. 50, S/. 20, and S/. 10 bills. There are coins for 1, 2 and 5 Nuevos Soles, and 50, 20, 10, and 5 céntimos.
Note: US Dollars are also in use and accepted for payment, particularly in tourist areas. While effectively interchangeable, it is best to use local currency wherever possible, and it is always good for tourists to have some local currency in small denominations, to pay for buses, taxis, and goods in some small establishments.
All major credit cards are accepted, but users may be limited outside of Lima and tourist areas. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted. It is also sensible to carry some cash rather than rely on cards.
ATMs are now generally regarded as one of the best ways to obtain money in Peru. They are found almost everywhere, including in small towns, although when traveling in remote places it is best to have some cash just in case the nearby ATMs are not working or have run out of money. In bigger cities, use ATMs inside banks for greater security, especially at night. Many banks have gun-carrying security guards.