Travel Advise Before you Come To Peru
“Join Alternative Inca Trails and enjoy unforgetable experience in the andes.”
Entry Requirements – Visas
Most citizens from the North America, Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Peru. 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 (it is in Spanish).
You can receive up to 90 days on a tourist visa – however, if you need this amount of time- ASK FOR IT – because officials will not automatically give it to you when you are check in to Peru. If you want to stay longer, you can either apply for a month’s extension at an Immigration office or leave the country and receive another 90 days.
Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua. Basic English is widely spoken. Spanish is also relatively easy to learn and many people opt for a week’s course at a Spanish School to give them the ability to communicate a little.
Peru has the same time as the Eastern Standard Time in the United States. Peru is 5 hours behind GMT. (Greenwich Mean Time). Peru does not have daylight saving.
A yellow fever vaccination is NOT required anymore, but we strongly recommend if you are travelling to jungle areas. We suggest that if you are traveling to jungle areas you should discuss malaria protection with your medical advisor.
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 which cannot be used for irons or hairdryers.
This is a brief collection of peru travel advice – for a detailed and comprehensive overview check out
Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.) There are 5, 10, 20 and cents coins and S/. 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 banknotes. At the time of writing the exchange rate is 3.25 soles to the US dollar, but this is likely to change. When changing money, try to get small notes as larger notes are difficult to change. US dollars are welcome at some high class shops, restaurants and service stations at the current exchange rate. The more expensive restaurants and hotels catering for travellers accept main credit cards, including Visa, Master card, Diners and American Express. The use of traveler’s checks is restricted, and generally when changing them you receive a lower rate than for cash. We do not recommend changing money on the street!.
ATMs are now common in all larger cities and generally provides you with the option of making your withdrawal in soles or dollars.
InfoPeru is a traveler assistance service to help tourists. This service has a 24 hour hot line. For assistance call in Lima 421-1227. Outside of Lima, dial 01 first.
While “out and about” we suggest you leave your passport and the bulk of your money, credit cards etc in the safe deposit box of your hotel. Only take with you the necessary amount money you intend to spend. Carry a photocopy of the picture page of your passport for ID purposes
There is public internet access on every corner in the major cities of Peru!!!! The price is generally about 1 sol an hour or US$0.40. Many cabins now feature software to make very inexpensive international calls via the internet. (The quality of this service varies). In smaller villages, there aren’t any phones, let alone internet!
At all airports, passengers must pay a departure tax: $ 28, for international flights and about $ 5 for domestic flights. This tax must be paid in cash (soles or dollars) before boarding.
There are plenty of taxis all over Peru in the major cities with very affordable rates. Because none use meters, we recommend you check the likely rate with the hotel and negotiate a price before (not after) accepting a ride. In Lima it is recommended that the staff of your hotel write down the license plate of your taxi before you depart.
Tips vary and depend on the traveller’s satisfaction with the quality of the service rendered. In most tourist oriented restaurants, a 10% tip is most appreciated. These people generally earn very low rates of pay and so the tip really helps. Also, if you take photos of indigenous people who are working as “photographic models” in tourist areas, either negotiate a price beforehand or tip generously afterward!.
Deciding how much to tip the porters, the cook and guide is a difficult moment at the end of the trek. Generally speaking if all the group have been pleased with the service then try to ensure that each porter/muleteer takes home an extra US$10, the cook US$15, the guide US$30 and the assistant guide about US$20. We believe that ultimately you tip according how much you appreciate their service, so tipping the guide and cook should be depending on the quality of the service that you received.
Public toilets are rarely available except in bus stations, restaurants, bars, cafes etc. Public restrooms are labeled WC (water closet), Damas (Ladies) and Caballeros or Hombres (Men). As toilet paper is not always provided so you should bring your own! All over Peru, regardless of the standard of the hotel or restaurant, you should throw the paper in the wastepaper basket rather than the toilet – or you will create a nasty clogging problem.