If you are traveling to Peru you are in for a treat. This country really has a bit of everything to offer… from Lima’s coastal urban flair, to the majesty of Machu Picchu, and the intensity of the Amazon rainforest… Should you choose the adventurous nature experiences, or rather the urban escapes; here are some general tips for making your trip to Peru a smooth one. 😉
Before your trip:
- Get informed on visas, vaccinations or any other special requirements.
- Be sure to have enough cash and accepted credit cards with you. Cash (preferably in smaller denominations) is the most accepted payment method. Visa and MasterCard are also generally ok, Amex only in some places. Other methods might not be accepted. There are ATMs in most big cities. Exchange houses are also available in the touristic cities and paying in US$ is sometimes an option, but you’ll get charged a high exchange rate.
- Get informed on currency and exchange rate (1 US$ is usually between S/.3 and S/.3.50 soles).
- Know that the Inca Trail is genuinely physically demanding and, should you decide to do it, be sure to prepare accordingly.
- Check your electric appliances. Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz. Plug outlets are either two-pronged plugs with flat, parallel blades, or two round prongs. Some outlets accept both types.
- Drinking age is 18.
What to pack:
- Sunblock, sunglasses, a hat and some repellent.
- Proper hiking boots, waterproof, preferably. Flip-flops are also a good idea for those lazy afternoons.
- A basic first-aid kit with general sickness medication, such as Pepto-Bismol, aspirin, ibuprofen, Band-Aids, cleaning wipes, and any other specific meds you think you might need.
- A small notebook for writing down words in the local language, addresses or any other useful information.
- A rain jacket (although you can also buy a plastic poncho in Cusco).
- Clothes for pretty much every type of weather, sunny and warm, but also cold and rainy. Oh, and, of course, a bathing suit! (You never know.)
- Camera, empty memory cards and extra battery.
While on your trip:
- Cellphone rentals are available at Lima Airport, should you want one.
- Most –if not all- people need some time to adjust to altitude. When arriving in Cusco or other high places, take it easy, rest, drink lots of water and try some coca or muña tea.
- Do not drink water from the tap, unless advised to by locals.
- Always get informed about what is or is not included in any of the tours or services you hire.
What not to miss while in Peru:
- Ceviche is a must-try for any tourist visiting the country; it is the most popular dish, made with fresh, raw fish marinated in lime juice and chili peppers, some salt and onion. Advise your cook or server if you can’t handle much spiciness.
- Pisco in any form, but we specially recommend trying pisco sour, a cocktail combining pisco with lime juice, syrup, egg white, ice and Angostura bitters.
- Try pretty much all the food you can. Average price for a meal varies radically, from S/.10 (US$ 3) to up to S/.170 (US$ 50), depending on where you eat, but generally, S/.70 (about US$ 20) should be enough.
- A walk along the Miraflores seaside parks (malecón).
- Cusco and, of course, the World Wonder Machu Picchu.
Finally, be sure to find the right Peru travel package with us! 🙂