Travelers will need a passport valid for at least 6 months after they depart. Citizens of most American and Western European countries are not required a visa to enter Peru. Citizens of Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile do not require passports or visa to visit certain regions of Peru. If the purpose of your visit is tourism, the maximum length of your stay will be 90 days (you can apply for extensions with the immigration authority) All travelers must carry a valid passport, or a safe-conduct issued by the Peruvian immigration authority.
Is it safe to travel in Peru?
Travelling to Peru is safe. Peruvians live in peace and work very hard every day to build a democratic and safe society. We can assure visitors that all they need to do is follow the normal precautions taken in order to visit other destinations.
When visiting the cities:
- Take the logical precautions to avoid pickpockets and purse-snatchers.
- Carry a copy of your identification documents. Keep the originals and the rest of valuable personal effects in the safety deposit box of your hotel.
- Wear valuable items discretely; don’t carry large sums of cash and watch your bags and luggage.
- Refrain from exchanging currency on the street.
- It is advisable to use taxi companies for transportation (they can be requested by phone) or cabs authorized by the local authorities.
What’s the weather like throughout the year?
Peru is a very large country that is crossed by the Andes and has a vast Amazonian region, so you are likely to notice differences from one place to the other, which may be more or less intense depending on the month of your visit. It hardly ever rains on the coast, where there are usually two seasons: a warm season and a cold season.
- The warm season runs from November 15th until the end of March.
- The cold season occurs from April to mid November and it is very humid.
Unlike the coastal area, the mountains and the jungle have a warmer rainy season running from mid November to late March, and the least warm season occurs between April and mid November.
What immunizations are recommended/ required?
No immunizations are currently required for visiting Peru. A yellow fever vaccination is recommended for travelers to the Peruvian Amazon. This vaccination, which is valid for 10 years, must be administered at least 10 days before your arrival in Peru. Travelers must bring along their International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) as proof of vaccination. However, those who are only visiting the highlands do not need this vaccination. We advise you to consult with your doctor.
What is Peruvian traditional food like?
Traditional food in the highlands include potatoes, corn, rice, and meat dishes, often with a spicy sauce. In jungle areas, fresh fruits, fried plantains, and other vegetables are also common. Though vegetarians can be easily accommodated in all areas, options typically leave out the meat rather than adding vegetarian mainstays such as tofu, beans, or nuts.
What time zone is Peru?
Peru is five hours behind GMT (same as EST). They do not observe daylight-savings time so during these months (April-October), Peru is on CST.
About our Tours
What if I have paid a deposit for the trip and I can no longer go?
If you can no longer go, it may be possible to transfer the booking to another suitable person, provided that written notice is given at least 14 days prior to departure. Train tickets are not transferable, An administration fee of $50 US Dollars will be charged plus any costs imposed by Into Peru’s suppliers.
How will I be identified once I arrive at the airport?
An Into Peru representative will be waiting for you at the international terminal reception area where you will be directed to go after collecting your luggage. Our representative will be holding up a sign with your name or the group’s.
Once we have been contacted by the representative, will we have to show a coupon or voucher?
- No, all you have to do is identify yourself. Our personnel will have the necessary documents on hand that list the services you have purchased, which helps avoid any uncomfortable situation and streamlines your arrival.
What type of assistance will I receive upon arrival?
An Into Peru representative will help you with your luggage, check to see if your entrance papers are in order, and hand you a document pack with a detailed itinerary, and other useful forms. Additionally, our representative will give you a brief introduction of the city, provide a concise summary of the program, and provide useful tips that will make your stay more comfortable.
Will I need to show a coupon or voucher for each service?
No. In order to serve you more efficiently, we have coordinated all services in advance, having sent all necessary coupons electronically to our suppliers as a means of avoiding loss, reducing unneeded printing (which is part of our environmental protection policy), and maximizing your experience by relieving you of that concern. So, just relax and enjoy the trip.
Why do I have to show my identification and immigration form when registering at the hotel?
When registering, you need to show your identification card or passport with the immigration stamp on it as well as your Andean Immigration Card so the hotel can make a copy of them; these will be used as supporting documentation to exonerate you from paying the 19% general sales tax. Our quotes do not include this tax to non-resident foreigners whose stay does not exceed 60 consecutive days.
What type of transportation is used?
We use a variety of transportation including private vans/ cars, comfortable tourist buses, flights, canoes, etc. We use a mix of private/ public transportation to provide travellers with the safest and most efficient transportation in each area. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us.
Are these trips a good choice for solo travellers?
Yes! Our Peru tours tend to attract a great mix of solo travellers, families, friends, etc. We can often match you with a roommate if desired, to save on single supplement costs or you can request a private room if you prefer.
Do tour rates include international flights?
Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travellers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. You can purchase international flights on your own, or we can certainly help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator who specializes in international flights to South America.
How far in advance should I book?
You can book your Peru tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (4 months or more recommended) is especially important for travellers visiting during the height of the dry season, June to August, as many of these departures fill up months in advance. Travellers visiting outside of these busy months can often book a bit more last minute, though 2-3 months notice is still recommended. We are often able to accommodate last minute travellers as well (some even departing in less than one week!!), so give us a call and we will do our best!
If you wish to do the classic 4-day Inca Trail, we certainly recommend to book at least 6 months in advance as this trek tends to sell out very quickly.
Additional Tips for traveling to Peru
- Don’t drink the tap water – boil the water or drink bottled instead. You should also avoid ice.
- Avoid eating from street vendors unless you can see that food is freshly cooked, untouched and served on clean dishes.
- Wear sunblock. The sun’s UV rays at particularly strong in altitude.
- Rest for a few hours on arrival at altitude and take it easy for the first couple of days
- If you feel unwell, Coca tea (mate de coca) and ‘Soroche’ pills helps alleviate symptoms.
- Keep hydrated, wear a hat in hot sun and avoid alcohol
- Leave paper valuables in hotel safe (caja fuerte), taking only what you need for the day.
- Carry a copy of passport (leave original in safe).
- When travelling, if you want to be extra careful you can carry paper valuables in a money belt under clothing.
- Be suspicious of ‘overly-friendly’ locals or ‘tourists’
- More care is needed in downtown Lima. Only take a daypack if you’re in a group. We suggest you carry this on your chest.
- At night, avoid quiet streets or streets with poor lighting, especially if you are alone.
- NEVER leave your bags unattended, especially in airports, bus terminals and hotel lobbies.
- We suggest you do not exchange money with street changers (cambistas). Use either a casa de cambio (bureau de change) or bank, ATM machine.
- In general, Peruvians like their soles (the currency is the nuevo sol) in small denominations: a fifty (roughly $20) is OK, but denominations of twenty and under are better to ensure merchants can make change.
- Travellers are advised to carry some funds in US dollars as a back up, bringing mostly cash, in medium to high denomination bank notes.
- Many shops and restaurants also accept the major international credit cards, though their use may incur a fee.
- Bank notes, including dollars, which can be used everywhere, will only be accepted if completely free from blemish.
How to dress in Peru:
- If you’re sticking to the coastal strips in the summer months between December and March, pack light clothing. During the rest of the year, bring a light jacket or jumper and pants.
- Cusco’s rainy season falls between December to March or April, and while days may be warm, you will need a raincoat or waterproof jacket and good shoes. It can get cold in the winter months, so pack warm clothes.
- If you’re trekking to Machu Picchu, bring comfortable clothes and shoes. While it can be hot, make sure you have a jumper or jacket with you, as it can get chilly.
- The Amazon is hot all year round and tends to be rainy, so bring plenty of changes of clothes.
- Regardless of the season and the area of Peru you are visiting, it is advisable to carry warm clothes, loose trousers, cotton tops, hiking footwear, good sunblock and a hat (to protect you from the sun and the cold).
- The temperature can vary widely from morning to noon to evening, so it’s a smart idea to dress in layers – t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweater or jacket. It’s especially practical if you plan on being out all day.
Top foods to try:
- Lima is one of Latin America’s top culinary destinations. Here are some of the top foods to try when you’re in Peru.
- Cuy, or guinea pig, is a gamey meat that tends to be baked or barbecued on a spit and served whole, with the head still attached.
- Ceviche is a sliced raw fish marinated in citrus juice.
- Causa is a casserole layered with avocados, potatoes and other ingredients; it’s served cold.
- Aji de Gallina is a spicy chicken stew made with condensed milk, bread and Parmesan cheese. Its bright yellow colour comes from the aji chilli.
- Lomo saltado is a stir-fry-like dish with beef, tomatoes and onions over fried potatoes and rice.
- Papa rellena are mashed potato croquettes filled with spicy minced beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes and herbs.
- Pollo a la Brasa is a very popular grilled or roasted chicken dish.
- Anticuchos are skewers of grilled and marinated meat. The beef heart variety, called anticuchos de corazon, is a popular street food.
- Lucuma, a bubblegum/maple syrup-flavoured fruit, is in all sorts of desserts including ice cream and drinks.
Others: Peru’s electricity runs on 220 volts and 60 cycles (except for Arequipa where it is 50 cycles) There is no preestablished amount for gratuities, it depends on the customer’s level of satisfaction with the service. 10% of the check is usually considered adequate.
Emergency contacts in Peru:
Peru country code: +51
Tourist police: 0800 22221 (24 hours)
Ambulance: 117 or 106
iPeru information offices for English-language tourism information in major cities: +51 1 574 8000, 24 hours a day.
Consumer protection agency: INDECOPI operates a 24-hour hotline with English-speaking operations on +51 1 224 7777