Peru Travel Guide

Useful Tips and Information

Manu turtles

Useful Tips

Food
Peruvian cuisine is extraordinary and diverse. Ask locals for recommendations on where to go and avoid overeating during your stays in high-altitude zones. Keep in mind that for some it can be quite seasoned or spicy.
Souvenirs
If you don't wish to carry your purchases with you throughout the entire trip, you can buy artisanal good in Lima towards the end of the trip; if time permits, there exists an excellent selection of the best artisanal goods the country has to offer.
Electrical Current
The current in Peru is 220 volts, although most 4-star hotels do also have 110 volt installations.
Potable Aqua
As the water in Peru can be treated differently than in your country, we suggest that you drink bottled water.
Taxis
In Peru taxis do not have meters, it is necessary to enquire, and if necessary to negotiate, the price before entering the taxi. If you choose to travel by taxi, we suggest that you use known companies or request that the receptionists in the hotels or restaurants call a reliable service.
Currency
The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which can be divided into 100 centavos. Bills have denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles, while the coins are available in 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavos.
Foreign Currency Exchange
The exchange rates offered in Peruvian banks, and the lines tend to be long. It is possible to find better rates of exchange in the casas de cambio, or exchange houses. This is preferable to changing money in the street with roving money-changers, although even in the former you should be on guard against fraud, as there have been cases in which tourists have received counterfeit bills or an erroneous amount. One of the most convenient and secure ways of obtaining local currency is using your credit or debit card in the Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), which is a safeguard against fraud. Counterfeit bills are a serious problem, which is why it could be a good idea to carry American dollars, which are accepted in the majority of businesses. Be sure that your bills are in smaller denominations, in American dollars as well as Peruvian nuevos soles, because many businesses reject larger denominations.
Banking Hours
Banks generally operate Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 4:00pm, although some remain open until 6:00pm. Banks in the principal cities and towns generally open on Saturdays from 09:30am to 12:30pm as well.
Security
It is necessary to use common sense to avoid becoming the victim of a pickpocket; stay alert at all times, keep valuable objects out of sight, including expensive watches and jewelry, and apparent to know what you are doing and where you are going (whether this is so or not).
Lima, Cuzco and Arequipa are the cities in Peru where the most violent crimes occur, including assaults, carjackings, and theft, but simple awareness and common sense is your best defense
Climate
Especially in the cities of the mountainous region, such as Cusco, Puno, and Arequipa, the climate can be quite extreme and unpredictable. We suggest that you dress in layers in order to adjust to the shifts in temperature and wind.

Altitude Sickness Precautions

People react in different ways to the altitude, but the following recommendations have proven generally helpful:

  • Rest for a few hours after your arrival in a higher-altitude zone.
  • Hydrate constantly, taking a water bottle with you. Rehydrating products such as Gatorade or Powerade are helpful as well.
  • Most hotels in high-altitude cities offer free mate de coca, a traditional drink which favors the acclimatization process.
  • Avoid eating in excess, and prioritize the consumption of carbohydrates.
  • Don't overexert yourself, pace yourself while walking.
  • If you can, plan your itinerary with a gradually incrementing climb in altitude.

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