This wiki page will be updated periodically to help guide travelers with quick and relevant information to travel to and within Peru. It is difficult to find all the relevant information you need on culture, safety, travel restrictions, and things to do, so we summarize it all here. If anything is stale or outdated, please reach out and let us know! Let’s dive in and explore more high-level information as a Peru trip planner!
Last updated September 5th of 2022.
Table of contents
National Information & Culture
Peru is one of the world’s most varied and diverse countries. It is a multicultural nation, home to many languages and ethnic dialects filled with traditions, unique and sumptuous gastronomy, and vast nature reserves. It is situated in the western part of South America and shares borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. Its enormous territory, covering over 1.2 million square kilometers, comprises three regions: the coastal area, the highlands, and the jungle. Its current population exceeds 33.7 million inhabitants. In addition, it is home to 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 84 of the planet’s 117 life zones. Can you imagine how many days to explore these tourist attractions and destinations?
These beautiful places are not the only must-see experience in Peru. Somebody can never forget the great culture created by a people keen to show you the best hospitality. Of course, not to forget the fantastic foods every local culture and place can offer.
It is difficult to explain in words what being in Peru means. Because whether you find yourself exploring the Sacred Valleys, archeological sites, and museums; eating a fine ceviche; surfing waves and exploring the islands; hiking a jungle trail, or visiting Machu Picchu with clear forest clouds under the bright sun on your face, no words can give you a sense of what it feels like to be in Peru than experiencing it for yourself.
The Official Tourism Website of Peru has beneficial information, hints, and tips for travelers, and it is worth checking before your visit.
Special Travel Considerations
Flight cancellations, emergencies, accidents, and other unforeseen events can happen anytime. Therefore, while not required, it is always advisable to get travel insurance coverage for Covid-19.
Peru has implemented some restrictions and considerations when entering the country, especially with the Covid-19 concerns.
As of February 28, 2022, all travelers 12 years of age and older must present their COVID – 19 vaccination card with the complete vaccination doses, whether in Peru or abroad, before boarding the plane. Otherwise, those travelers must show a negative PCR test issued up to 48 hours before their flight.
Persons over 18 years will also need to show their physical or virtual ID cards proving that they have completed their vaccination doses against COVID-19. It should be presented together with an official identity document. Also, a third booster dose is necessary for those over 18.
Covid-19 vaccinations are not a requirement for children under 12 years old, but they must not present noticeable symptoms of COVID-19 to take the flight.
Before boarding your flight, every traveler must complete the electronic health sworn statement. During your visit, using a KN95 mask or a 3-fold surgical mask with a fabric mask is mandatory for being on public roads and enclosed spaces.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for entering Peru. But suppose you are thinking of visiting the Amazon region of the country. In that case, the Ministry of Health recommends that you are vaccinated against yellow fever and must be given at least ten days before traveling to be effective. For more information about vaccinations, click this link.
Tourists from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not need a tourist visa to enter Peru, with a maximum stay of 183 days, which somebody cannot extend. If you wish to stay longer for business, studies, and work, you need to request the relevant visa at a Peruvian consulate in your own country. To check if you need a visa, please click here. You can also visit the consulates and embassies near you through these directories,
Directory of Peruvian Consulates Abroad and Directory of Peruvian Embassies Abroad, respectively.
When traveling to Peru, everyone should present a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months from entry into the country. On the other hand, citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile can enter using their national ID documents.
Machu Picchu always comes first to our minds when thinking of Peru. Also known as the Lost City of the Incas, you’ll be stunned by how the ancient Peruvians created and designed the buildings that lasted for centuries. Trekking along the way to the ruins of the Incas allows you to see and witness the magnificent views of the Sacred Valleys of the Incas. It can be challenging, but you will be astonished by its beauty when reaching the citadel of Machu Picchu.
The Imperial City of Cusco is the gateway to Machu Picchu. It was created and developed as a complex urban center with distinct religious and administrative functions, perfectly defined, distributed, and organized as a spiritual and government center.
The Nazca Lines are a series of ancient figures of animals like spiders, monkeys, fish, lizards, and others that dominate the San Jose desert and the Nazca Valley. Over 10,000 lines, with 300 different plant and animal geoglyphs as enormous as 200 meters above the ground, are estimated to be created between 400 and 650 AD. The mystery of how it was made and got there remains unknown. Can you imagine how the ancient people did these beautiful wonders of Peru?
Colca Canyon is considered one of the best Peru treks, along with the Inca trail, and is one of the deepest canyons in the world, thought to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon at certain parts. It is a great place to spot the giant Andean condors flying overhead. Unlike the Grand Canyon, Colca is habitable, and the oasis at the bottom of the canyon can serve as a sanctuary after the hike.
Paracas is a town on Peru’s west coast known for its beautiful beaches. It is home to sea lions, pelicans, and penguins. Water activities like scuba diving, fishing, and windsurfing are best available in its coastal areas. For nature lovers, one should not skip visiting the Paracas National Reserve, the oldest marine reserve in Peru and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lima is the capital city of Peru, and your visit will never be complete without a stop in the capital of each country. The city is defined by its historical significance during the colonial era, as evidenced by the architectural designs depicted by Plaza Mayor.
Lake Titicaca is the largest freshwater lake in South America and the largest high-altitude lake in the world. It covers over 3,000 square miles, sits at 12,500 feet above sea level, and lies along the borders of Peru to the west and Bolivia to the east. The town surrounding the lake is a popular tourist hub and offers a mix of colonial architecture and bustling markets.
Primary Spoken Language(s)
Spanish is the official language of Peru. However, the country has 47 indigenous languages, including Quechua and Aymara. Though not required, speaking some basic Spanish will help you in many situations. If not, start with an app like Duolingo or Memrise to learn basic vocabulary, or take a more comprehensive course like Rosetta Stone. The Google Translate app can also be your best friend for this!
Peru is considered one of the safest countries for travelers in South America, but it does require you to be careful and vigilant. Checking out your country’s travel advisory for Peru plays a significant part in this, or you may also consider the US travel advisory for Peru before your trip.
Taking the same precautions as visiting any other country or tourist destination would be best. Always keep a copy of your identity documents like passport and ID with you and have the originals in a safe place with other valuables, in your hotel safe or at home. Watch out for bag snatchers and do not carry large sums of money, as it is rampant in the bigger cities and on overnight buses. Do not flaunt expensive jewelry, and keep objects of value hidden. As much as you can, avoid taking your phone out in public. Also, always keep an eye on your belongings. Do not change money in the street. Instead, call a cab by telephone or use a mobile app when taking taxi companies. When availing of excursions, ask for advice at your hotel or your trusted travel experts.
Tap water is not potable in Peru; you should always bring your water bottle. That is to keep you hydrated and safe while protecting Mother Nature. If you plan to go hiking, check the weather in advance, and if you are going to Machu Picchu, arrive early to adjust to the high altitude.
In an emergency, dial 105 for the police department and 116 for ambulance and health emergencies.
Peru is not an expensive country to visit. Here, let us classify your estimated budget for a two-week stay into three categories: budget travelers, average tourists, and luxury stays.
|Category||Accommodation||Food||Transportation||Attractions||Average Daily cost (USD)|
|Budget travelers||Hostel dorm||Cheap local street foods or cooking||Bus||Mostly free activities like hiking and staying by the beach||$40|
|Average tourists||Private Airbnb room||Eat out for all meals with occasional drinking||Taxi||Do more paid activities like surfing or a day trip to Machu Picchu||$105|
|Luxury Stays||Hotel||Eat out anywhere and drink to your content||Take some domestic flights and private transfers||A multi-day trip to Machu Picchu, a helicopter tour for the Nazca lines, etc.||$200|
Thus, a budget traveler can explore the country in two weeks at around $560, $1470 for mid-range tourists, and a $2800 minimum ceiling for luxury trips.
Keep in mind that these are just estimates. Some days you spend more, and some days you might pay less.
Customs And Import Restrictions
Per Peruvian customs regulations, all new and used articles that a traveler may reasonably require for their use or consumption, which do not appear to be for commercial use, are exempt from duty. When entering Peru, a traveler must correctly complete the Baggage Declaration if they have articles or goods to declare. In addition, all taxable articles must be listed. Visit this link for the list of exempt goods.
Peru’s position close to the equator makes it a tropical country, with the highest temperature recorded at 38 degrees Celsius in low-altitude places and as low as -12 degrees Celsius in high-altitude areas.
It is considered Summer from December 22 – March 21 (the rainy season in the highlands and jungle), Autumn between March 22 – June 21, Winter between June 22 – September 22, and Spring between September 23 – December 21.
Tacna to Piura has a warm temperate climate, moderate but high humidity, and thick mist during the Winter. In Summer, there is very little mist, and the temperature reaches as high as 30 °C. On the other hand, Piura to Tumbes has a warm and arid climate. Heavy rains usually occur between December and April, mainly on higher ground. The average temperature is 24 °C.
The highlands have two seasons. Summer, between April to October, and the ideal time to visit. It is sunny during the day, and the nights are cold with little rain. Winter is from November to March, when rain is frequent and heavy. During the day, the temperature can reach as high as 24 °C and drops to -3 °C at night.
Like the highlands, the jungle has two well-defined seasons: the rainy season between November to March, with abundant rainfall, and the relatively dry season from April to October, which is the ideal time to visit. Humidity is very high throughout the year, with occasional “cold snaps” or “surazos” occurring between May and August when the temperature falls to 8 °C – 12 °C.
Primary Transportation Options
Peru has five international airports: Lima, Arequipa, Cusco, Iquitos, and Piura. They also have over a dozen airports with domestic flight services in the biggest cities. Though flying between destinations is not always the cheapest option, it is much quicker. For example, a flight from Lima to Cusco takes just over an hour instead of more than 21 hours by bus.
Riding by bus is the primary public transportation in Peru. The main roads are in good condition and safe for the riding public, with visible highway police. Most cities also have bus terminals, with many bus companies operating almost everywhere and services varying by comfort level, speed, and price.
Taxis in Peru do not have meters. If you flag one down in the street, you better negotiate the price there and then, but there is a risk to your safety. Therefore, it is much better and advisable to use secure taxi companies by phoning for a cab or using a mobile app to book.
Car rental services are also available. If you wish to rent, always have your license ready, with a copy of your passport and the rental contract. International driving licenses are valid for one year, while those of any other country are for 30 days.
Tourist trains are available to some of the most visited attractions. Available tourist rail routes are Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu, Cusco-Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo), Puno-Cusco, and Lima-Huancayo which only operates the route on certain dates (July, August, October, and November).
Mass Transportation In Lima
Lima, the capital of Peru, is the only Peruvian city developing an integrated mass bus and train transportation system. These urban transportation services include the Metropolitano (a rapid bus service) and the Lima Metro (an electric train). You can find out more about these services at www.metropolitano.com.pe/. Aside from that, Uber is also available in Lima and other big cities in the country.
Start Trip Planning
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