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Travel Tips to Peru
Best time to Visit Peru
You can vacation in Peru year round, but depending on the time of year/area you choose to visit, you will find changes in the seasons and weather.
The average temperature is 20ºC, and the average low is 8ºC. But in the cold months, May-August temperatures drop to 1ºC. In Lima the low temperatures average 15ºC.
The dry season (May-October), with sunny days, cold nights and little rainfall; the rain season (December-March).
Passport and Visa Requirements
Peru is a country of open doors. Canadian and American Passport Holders require a valid Passport and do not need a Visa. Passport must be valid for six months past your return date. Your Passport must have empty pages. Other Nationalities, please consult your local Peruvian Consulate.
Some Tips to keep you healthy while travelling in Peru
Due to Peru's high altitude in certain Cities such as Cusco, it is recommended to rest on the first day of arrival and have light meals. Drink plenty of water and have some lemon candies handy. If you have a heart condition, please consult your Doctor before traveling.
Only drink water bottle, inspect the seal cap before drinking it. To be on the safe side, you should brush your teeth with bottled water as well. Eating food from street vendors, although tempting is not recommended. If your system is susceptible take extra precautions like eating only fruits you can peel and making sure your food is freshly prepared and well cooked. Fruit juices may not be advisable to drink unless they are bottled.
Wash your hands frequently, do not touch any stray animals. Do not overload your stomach especially on the first days of your arrival; give your body time to acclimatize, if you keep a special diet back home continue while on your trip. Drink more water than you usually do at home especially while touring the sites on hot days. Bring a small medic kit with headache tablets, allergy and stomach medication, etc. Public hospitals are available in most major Cities, but you will be asked to pay for your treatment; medical travel insurance that covers hospital bills and repatriation to your Country is strongly recommended.
Bring sunblock with you especially if you are fair skinned, SPF lip balm is also a good idea.
If you are visiting the Peruvian Rainforest, you will need to have a Yellow fever vaccination ten days before your trip.
Language
Spanish is Peru's official language. But Quechua, Aymara, and English are widely spoken.
Currency
The "Nuevo Sol" (S/.) is the official currency of Peru. There are notes of the following denominations: 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles. Coins are 10, 20 and 50 cents, as well as 1, 2 and 5 Nuevos Soles. Most shops, restaurants, hotels and gas stations accept US Dollars. Exchanging currency in banks and currency exchange agencies is possible.
Currency exchange agencies are regularly open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, from Monday to Friday, and half day on Saturdays. Most cities in the country have ATMs connected in most cases to Plus (Visa), Cirrus (MasterCard/Maestro), American Express and other networks. You may withdraw Nuevos Soles or US Dollars, although the exchange rates tend to be less favorable.
Clothing
The dress code in Peru is the same as the western standards.
Bring light colored clothing, loose linen/cotton trousers or a below knee skirt and sleeved blouse. A good hat and sunscreen are a must; you should also bring sunglasses.
Comfortable, strong shoes are a must. In general, having closed shoes is the better option. Restaurants tend to be okay with casual wear though evenings are smart casual.
In the cold months, May-August long slacks or long walking shorts are recommended, as well as sweaters since you encounter cold evenings. It may also be windy a warm hat is suggested. Bring a Rain jacket when traveling December to March.
Suggested Travel Essentials
  • Valid Passport for six months past your return date with blank pages (blank two-sided), please note insufficient blank pages will deny you boarding.
  • Travel Insurance/numbers who to call for emergency assistance.
  • Flight Tickets.
  • Trip invoice confirmation.
  • Photocopy of passport.
  • Money (cash / debit / credit cards).
  • Money belt or pouch.
  • Pens.
Suggested Packing:
  • Two T-Shirts and one long sleeved cotton shirt.
  • Two Pairs of Shorts or Two Skirts.
  • Two Pairs of long pants.
  • Underwear and socks.
  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Rain Jacket Dec-March.
  • Light Jacket.
  • Warm sweater or Fleece warm Jacket for early mornings or evenings.
  • Hat / windproof, and a brimmed hat.
  • Swimsuit / cover-up. Some Hotels may have a Swimming Pool.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Toiletries including moisturizer.
  • Good Quality Sunglasses.
  • Sleepwear.
  • Personal medication / prescriptions copy in case of need to refill.
  • First aid kit / over-counter essentials.
  • Extra Eyeglasses/contact lenses.
  • Antibacterial gels / wipes.
  • Batteries / Charger / USB chord.
  • Small Binoculars.
  • Electrical adapter.
Electricity - Time Zone
You need to bring an electricity converter since electricity is 220 volts and uses rounded plugs. Peru is GMT +3 or 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Telephone and Internet
Long distance charges can be expensive at most hotels, calling cards are widely available, and you should try that instead. The Internet is usually reliable; WI-FI is generally available, extra charges apply for both. Internet Cafes are always found in most major Cities and Towns.
Mail
Regular mail will take over a week to reach USA or Canada.
Shopping
Peru is known for its handicraft markets and boutique stores.
Many different souvenirs in Peru are worth the trip; these include Alpaca clothing, Textiles, Musical instruments, carved gourds and many other handmade objects (Dolls, Weaves, Paintings, ETC).
Cuisine
Peruvian food is all about spices and big flavors some clean and crisp, others dark and heavy. Peru is home to dishes you won't find anywhere else. Few places on earth offer such a variety of indigenous ingredients, and a plethora of flavors and techniques from Europe, Africa, and East Asia.
Some of these well renown dishes are Ceviche (Peru's national dish, raw fish marinated in citrus juice), Lomo Saltado (Stir Fried Beef), Aji de Gallina (Creamy Chicken), Papas a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce) and Cuy (Guinea Pig) a dish that has made Peruvian cuisine quite famous. Speak to your Guide if you are interested in sampling real Peruvian food he/she will take you to a good restaurant. In regards to drinks wine, spirits and beer are usually found at major hotels and restaurants catering to tourists. Legal drinking age is 18.
Photography
Keep your camera well protected from sand and dust while traveling to the archeological sites, please note that many Museums and historic sites restrict video or photography to protect the antiquities, you may be asked to leave them at the entrance. Other outdoor places may charge a fee to use them. But at the majority of the outdoor sites, you are free to take pictures and video. Many places will not allow Flash photography, be careful to comply.
Travel Insurance
Having Travel insurance is essential for any vacation, and Peru is not an exception, the cost of medical emergencies or home repatriation can be extremely high, make sure you read your policy carefully and understand all the applicable exclusions and limitations. Usually, you pay for small medical bills while on destination and claim upon arrival, but in the case of a major emergency you must call the insurance company immediately (or have someone call on your behalf), not doing so affects the eligibility of your claim. Is always a good idea to give details of your policy to a close relative back home and your travel companion. Protect your investment by also having trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Tipping
Tipping is expected in Peru. Take with you plenty of small notes (1 and 5 USD notes) for you to tip small amounts frequently (especially the 1.00) refrain from giving coins since they are not easy to exchange.
For the Tour guides, you can leave around $10 to 20 dollars per person per day.
For the Bus driver around $5 per person per day.
For the Meet/Greet Representatives around $5 per person per day.
Airline Fees
Please note Airlines have advance seat selection and may have checked luggage Charges. Contact the airline with your airline reservation code for exact fees and terms and conditions.
Delayed or missed Flights
Should these events occur let us know as soon as possible 1-800-842-6943 for USA and Canada.
Or e-mail us at savemore@traveldiscounters.ca.
To call long distance dial 416-481-6701
Lost or Delayed Luggage
You must file a report with the airline before leaving the airport and keep a copy of the report with you for insurance purposes.
Hotels Check In
The check-in time for most Hotels is 15:00 and check-out time 11:00 am, regardless of your arrival or departure times. Check-in/check-out policies differ by Hotel and will therefore vary. Passengers wishing to make arrangements for a late check-out/check-in and baggage storage must negotiate this service directly with the Hotel. Our Local Representatives will do their best to assist you in this matter. Guaranteed early check-in/check-out can be arranged by paying the applicable fees in advance before departure.
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