Frequently Asked Questions
Citizens of most American and Western European countries are not required visa to enter Peru. Citizens of Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile do not require passports or visa to visit certain regions of Peru. Contact the Peruvian diplomatic representative in your country for further information. Addresses and phone numbers are included in the website of Peru's Ministry of Foreign Relations: www.rree.gob.pe 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.
Reality shows that it is very safe. You may have read or heard on TV, websites or newspapers about terrorism, crime and economic and political instability. But the truth is that terrorism has been defeated a long time ago; Peruvians live in peace and work very hard every day to build and 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 municipal authorities (in ima they are painted yellow and carry a bright identification sign on the roof).
When visiting the cities:
- Always carry your driver's license, a copy of your passport and the rental agreement if you're driving a rental car. International driver's licenses are valid for one year, while driver's licenses from other countries are valid for 30 days.
- If a traffic officer signals you to stop, you must stop. Traffic officers must be wearing uniform and carry identification (they are required to wear identification cards including their last name on their chest.) They are not allowed to enter the vehicle.
- Bear in mind that traffic officers are not allowed retain any personal or vehicle documents. Under no circumstances should you offer or agree to pay money to traffic officers.
- In case of an accident or collision, call a traffic officer. If your car is a rental, call the representative of the insurance company provided by the rental agency. Do not leave the scene of the accident. Keep the windows closed and the doors locked.
It is forbidden to take photographs of airports, military bases, police stations and areas surrounding high voltage towers.
In Peru we believe in the idea of "Tourism for Everybody". This is why many public and private organizations have been working for years to ensure that their services are equally accessible for the differently-abled. We advise you to contact your service provider in advance to ensure that your accessibility needs will be met.
In order to provide you with useful references we have created a table including the approximate arrival flight times.
|Country||City||Approx. flight time|
|United Stated||Dallas||7 hours 12 minutes|
|United Stated||Houston||6 hours 45 minutes|
|United Stated||Los Angeles||8 hours 35 minutes|
|United Stated||Miami||5 hours 45 minutes|
|United Stated||Atlanta||7 hours|
|Argentina||Buenos Aires||4 hours 15 minutes|
|Chile||Santiago||3 hours 25 minutes|
|Spain||Madrid||11 hours 30 minutes|
Flights with stopovers
|Country||City||Approx. flight time|
|United Stated||New York||8 hours 35 minutes / via San José|
|United Stated||San Francisco||10 hours / via Los Angeles|
|United Stated||Washinton||9 hours / via Newark|
|Germany||Dusseldorf||18 hours 40 minutes / via Madrid|
|Germany||Frankfurt||15 hours 30 minutes / via Madrid|
|France||Paris||14 hours 50 minutes/ via Miami|
|Italy||Milan||14 hours 50 minutes / via Madrid|
|Italy||Rome||15 hours 10 minutes / via Madrid|
|UK||London||15 hours 10 minutes / via Madrid|
|Japan||Tokio||20 hours 35 minutes / via Los Angeles|
This answer depends on your personal preferences and the level of comfort you desire. Bartering is generally accepted in Peru, with the exception of larger stores and restaurants. In larger cities prices in general may be higher, particularly in Lima, and may increase during festivities such as the National Holidays (July), Easter (April) or Christmas due to higher demand for services such as bus and air transportation. Below is a price list of products and services that you may use as reference in order to prepare a travel budget.
|Reference product or service||US Dollars|
|Mineral water bottle 1.5 Lt (51 fl. oz.)||1.40|
|Medium soda pop 0.50||0.50|
|Blank video tape||8.50|
|Pair of sneakers||30.00|
|Public internet booth or cybercafes (1 hour)||1.50|
|Train Cusco - Machu Picchu (return)||30( backpakers) - 70 (Autovagon)|
|Bus (one way)||5.00|
|Flight to Cusco (return)||140.00|
In general, using the ATMs here is fine, however we DO NOT recommend using them at night for obvious reasons. We recommend using ATMs of the bigger banks in Peru and not the small ATMs in petrol stations etc. as they tend to have higher charges. The biggest and safest banks in Peru are Scotiabank, Interbank, BCP, Banco de la Nacion, BBVA.
Generally, it is recommended to give yourself a day or 2 to acclimatize before doing any treks at altitude. It is also recommended to take some altitude sickness pills, chew Coca leaves and drink Coca Tea… our guides will assist you with any issues. Arequipa, Puno and Cusco are the 3 places where altitude could affect some travelers. We recommend Arequipa as a place to acclimatize on the way to Cusco and Puno.
Vaccines are not necessary for any portion of the Peru. However, if you plan on visiting the Amazon jungle, you may need some vaccines so please consult your local doctor. We recommend getting the Yellow Fever vaccine if you are travelling to Bolivia, as it is a requirement if going to the Bolivian jungle. You do not need it if you are only travelling to La Paz and Uyuni.
Phone and internet coverage is quite good in cities and even some rural areas, including Machu Picchu - though there is no phone coverage on the train ride to Machu Picchu. Most foreign smartphones work in the region if you have an international calling and data plan. If your phone is unlocked you can buy a local SIM card that will work for use while traveling.
Tips are entirely at your discretion. All of our guides and drivers are paid fairly so tipping is not a requirement, though always welcomed. It is best to leave a tip in cash.
Tipping in Restaurants:
You may tip 10%, but it is totally discretionary. Credit cards and traveler’s cheques are widely accepted in smarter restaurants. Tips are already included in the price if the meal is part of your program.
Tipping for guided excursions per day:
- For a group of 2 passengers: $20br
- For a driver per day for a group of 2 passengers: $10
- For a guide per day for a group of 4+ passengers: $20-$40
- For driver per day for a group of 4+ passengers: $10-$20
Tipping for camping treks per day:
- For a guide for group of 2 passengers: $20
- For a cook for group of 2 passengers: $10
- For each member of support staff (porters) for a group of 2 passengers: $5
- For a guide per day for a group of 4+ passengers: $40
- For cook per day for a group of 4+passengers: $15
- For each member of support staff (porters) for a group of 4+ passengers: $5
Travel insurance is not usually a requirement, but we strongly recommend you do have insurance. We will request proof of medical insurance for some specific activities (e.g. lodge-to-lodge treks) that includes evacutation coverage if you're in a remote location. We strongly recommend you travel with insurance whatever your activities, to cover you for flight cancellations, theft, lost luggage and general cancellation by you in the event that you are unable to carry out your trip due to illness or unforeseen circumstances. It should also cover you for potential medical expenses incurred during travel in case of illness or accident. We can also assist you with a travel insurance, let your travel specialist you need one.
Given Peru's diverse geography, you're likely to experience different climates whatever time of year you travel. We strongly recommend brining layers which makes it easier to deal with changing temperatures, especially in the Andes.
- Comfortable sneakers or hiking boots
- Short and long-sleeved t-shirts
- Rain gear
- A fleece jacket
- Jeans or casual trousers
- Insect repellent, lip balm and sun block
- Personal Medicine
Peruvian Sol is the currency of Peru. Although US Dollars are often accepted in larger hotels, shops and restaurants in larger cities and tourist destinations like Cusco, they are not always accepted. As such, we recommend you always travel with local currency especially for smaller purchases in shops, markets and local restaurants.