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HOW TO PLAN YOUR TRAVEL TO PERU? – GUIDE AND TIPS

HOW TO PLAN YOUR TRAVEL TO PERU? – GUIDE AND TIPS

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Information for your trip to Peru

Traveling to Peru is one of the best alternatives to enjoy your vacations; For this reason, this is the decision that most people around the world choose, so its planning is a very important point. If you are one of the travelers who likes to have everything planned. It is always good to know a few things about the country you are going to visit. Therefore, we are going to tell you how to plan your travel to Peru. Preparing a trip is always a job, but doing it to Peru is even more complicated. There are few countries with such a variety of climates and landscapes, in addition, the distances are enormous and there are many places to visit. Peru is one of the most fascinating countries in Latin America and one of the great travel dreams for all lovers of history and nature. It has a great variety of landscapes, an incredible heritage, charming cities and delicious cuisine.

Information is always important, knowing some details of the trip to follow helps how to plan your travel to Peru any itinerary of activities. With the information at hand you will be able to find new options and even visit beautiful places that very few know or dare to visit. We will never tire of mentioning that Peru is a special country. There is a great variety of climates, languages, tourist destinations and cultures. National identity in Peru is difficult to understand or establish, precisely because of all the diversity that composes it.

How to plan your travel to Peru

What documents are needed to enter Peru?

There are many nationalities that only require a valid passport to travel to Peru (check that it is valid for more than 6 months from the date of your trip), including Mexicans and those who have a European Union passport. They will give you 90 days allowed to be in the country.

In the same way, it is always advisable to check this in advance on the page of the embassy of your country. Also, it is always convenient to take your accommodation reservations in case they ask for them in migrations, in addition to your exit ticket from the country.

The maximum time allowed for a stay as a tourist is 183 non-extendable days and cumulative for 365 days. People from countries such as Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay can enter with their national identity document.

Tourist Visa: Depending on the region of origin, citizens of different countries have different requirements to enter Peru as tourists.
  • If you come from North America: No tourist visa is required for citizens of Canada, the United States and Mexico.
  • If you come from Central America and the Caribbean: Only the inhabitants of Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua need to obtain a visa before traveling, while the other countries in the region do not.
  • If traveling from South America: Only citizens of Venezuela need a tourist visa to enter Peru.
  • In Europe: Visa is only required for citizens of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Kosovo.
  • If you come from Asia: Most Asian citizens do need a Visa to enter the country, but Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand with some exceptions, these countries do not need this document if your stay in Peru does not exceed 90 days.
What documents are needed to enter Peru?

Best season to travel to Peru

First of all, let’s talk about when it is best to visit Peru as such. Although honestly, this subject can be a bit confusing to understand, given the large size of the country and its various areas, but I will explain it as simple as I can so that it is clear.

Basically it can be said that the best season depends on which regions of the country you want to explore or what is your main interest. Most people visit the country between May and September, which is the dry season in the Sierra (the mountains and cordilleras of the Andes) and in the Jungle (Amazon area), but that does not mean that you can travel in other months.

That is, for a trip through the areas of Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa, etc., it is a very good season to travel during these months because practically the chances of rain are few. Just consider that within this period of months, July and August are usually the months in which more visitors from many parts of the world arrive in Peru (and Peruvians travel too), so it is very likely that you will find many people and higher prices .

If you prefer to avoid the crowds, the high prices and the cold (and you want to visit mainly the places I mentioned above, let’s say the “classic” route through Peru), then I would recommend traveling during the months of late April, May, October and even November. . Personally, I traveled during the end of October and practically all of November and it almost never rained, but be aware that especially during November, there are more chances of rain and bad weather.

For its part, the low season, which runs from the middle to the end of November and February, coincides with the rainy season in the highlands and in the Amazon. It must be added that the rainy season in the Amazon is beginning in May, and for example February is the month that usually rains the most, so the famous Inca trail is closed for maintenance. Therefore, it is recommended not to travel these months, since it is very likely that the vast majority of people want to include, for example, Machu Picchu, Cusco and nearby areas within their visit. And although it may not rain torrentially, it can prevent you from fully enjoying the places (or even make them inaccessible due to rain and even snow in various areas of the mountain).

But for example, despite this, if what you plan during your trip more to the coastal area and beaches is a great season. The best period is the sunny and humid months between December and March, when the coast is free from the cold fog that covers it during the rest of the year.

Visiting the jungle area during the rainy season is also a good option, because the water level is high and that makes it easier to navigate the lakes and also, you can see much more flora and fauna.

Best season to travel to Peru

Climates and temperatures in Peru

Completely linked to the best season to go to Peru, you cannot stop talking about the weather. It must be remembered that Peru is located in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed, that is, summer for them goes from December to March. And for its part, winter runs from the end of June to the end of September. Speaking of the other fall, it generally goes from the end of March to the end of June. Spring runs from the end of September to the end of December.

During the four seasons obviously the temperatures vary, again depending on which zone or which region we are talking about. For example, here I put a table with average average temperatures during all months in the most visited areas of Peru so that it is better understood:

MONTH AVERAGE TEMPERATURE (LIMA) AVERAGE TEMPERATURE PERU COAST (TRUJILLO) AVERAGE TEMPERATURE THE ANDES (CUSCO) AMAZON AVERAGE TEMPERATURE (IQUITOS)
January 22°C 24°C 12°C 26°C
February 23.3°C 25°C 12°C 26°C
March 23°C 23.5°C 12.5°C 27°C
April 20°C 20°C 12.5°C 26.5°C
May 19°C 19.5°C 11°C 26°C
June 18°C 18°C 10°C 25.5°C
July 17°C 17°C 10°C 26°C
August 16°C 17°C 10.5°C 26.5°C
September 17°C 17°C 12°C 27°C
October 17°C 18°C 13°C 27°C
November 19°C 18°C 13.5°C 27°C
December 21°C 19°C 13.5°C 27°C

It is very important to mention that Peru is a country with places at high altitudes (including Cusco), do not forget that above 3,000 meters above sea level, the climate is much colder. The more you go up, the more you will find even freezing weather and a very strongly variable climate during the night and day, with the possibility of several snowfalls.

Climates and temperatures in Peru

What to pack for a trip to Peru?

Once the subject of the different seasons and climates that you will find throughout Peru has been explained, it is clear that what to pack depends on where you are going and when you are going. If you plan a trip through several regions, you will need a good variety of clothing, from shorts to a jacket or down jacket that covers you very well in freezing temperatures. Bring different layers of clothing that you can put on and take off depending on the weather you are experiencing.

If you visit the Amazon or the Andes during November or May, don’t forget to pack clothing that is waterproof and preferably take a way to protect your suitcase or backpack, as well as bags for your items such as cameras and other technological things that You must protect as much as possible from the rain. Although regardless of the season of your visit and where you are going, I recommend that you do not forget your raincoat (or poncho) and a good umbrella.

Something that is basic and super important to consider to take wherever you go (it will help you a lot), is at least two pairs of shoes: some very comfortable for walking and good boots, preferably trekking and waterproof.

Do not forget two very important items that will be very useful during your trip to Peru: Sunscreen and mosquito repellent.

Even if you are in a cloudy or cold place, it is very important that you use every day (and that you put on several times) a good sunscreen. Many people forget this, but you must also remember that cold burns, be very careful, especially in very high places.

Insect repellent is essential in places like the Amazon and Machu Picchu, but it can also be found in the Arequipa area. A good tip is to buy things like gloves or hats directly when you arrive in Peru, in Cusco it is a good option because the prices are good and the material is quite warm (alpaca or llama). As an extra recommendation, always try to take some medicines that can help you with simple conditions, for example some pain reliever, aspirin, antidiarrheal, lip balm (for the cold), it is also important if you tend to get very dizzy, some antivertiginous. It is recommended to consult everything with a doctor.

Note: As a curious fact that attracts a lot of attention, in Peru if you need to buy any medicine, in the vast majority of times they will sell it to you per unit and not by the complete box.

What to pack for a trip to Peru?

What vaccinations are recommended to travel to Peru?

It is important that you know the health risks in Peru and that you take the necessary measures to avoid getting sick. Before each trip we always consult the Ministry of Health page to find out all the recommendations. In addition, we make an appointment at our international vaccination center. We advise you to do the same.

There is no mandatory vaccination to travel to Peru, but there are recommended vaccines and prophylaxis:

  • Hepatitis A. You should have it on for this and for all the trips you make outside of Europe. It is transmitted by water and/or food.
  • Yellow fever. Of special importance if you are going to visit the Amazon. It depends on the countries in which you have been before, they can demand it when you enter the country. You must get vaccinated at least 10 days in advance and travel with the card that is given to you.
  • Malaria. In jungle areas you should take prophylaxis against malaria, a serious disease that is transmitted by mosquito bites. In our case we take Malorone. The dosage indicates a daily tablet during the exposure period, one day before and in the 7 days after.
  • Dengue. Also located in jungle areas. The prevention measures for this disease that, like malaria, is transmitted by mosquito bites are: use of repellent whose composition contains DEET (we use Goibi Xtreme, in case the recommendation works for you), long sleeves and mosquito nets to sleep .
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting. Gastrointestinal disorders are one of the most common on a trip. It is important to prevent dehydration with the use of low sodium serum, as well as taking antidiarrheals and medications to combat nausea and/or vomiting.

Water. The golden rule says that never drink water directly from the tap, only bottled water.

Food: Avoid eating raw foods, as well as those that have been exposed to the sun and peeled fruit.

What vaccinations are recommended to travel to Peru?

Safety in peru

It is essential that you inform yourself about security conditions before your trip. Compared to neighboring countries, Peru is, in general terms, a safe country for tourism. But this comparison does not make it without problems, so you should take into account the following recommendations to minimize the risks.

  • Safety on the streets. In cities such as Lima, Cusco, Trujillo, Arequipa, Iquitos and the Loreto region, thefts and robberies of tourist groups are recorded. Try not to display mobile phones, wallets or other valuables. Maximum caution also at the Desaguadero border crossing with Bolivia, it is not recommended to travel at night or before dawn.
  • Highway safety. It is recommended not to travel at night as assaults on vehicles are relatively frequent, including tourist buses. In addition, the season and the region must be taken into account: they can be affected by frost, floods, etc.
  • Taxi safety. Cities are plagued with unlicensed taxis and despite some advice to recognize them. Licensed taxis must carry a license plate number both outside and inside the vehicle, the file with the data of the driver. As far as possible, book the taxi from your accommodation.

Theft type “pick-pocketing” can be common especially in very touristy and crowded places, such as bus stations or markets. So always carry your belongings inside your backpack, always in sight and well attached. Preferably do not carry valuables in sight (for example your camera), in places where there are few people or little movement. In the same way, in very crowded or popular places, it is better to leave it at the hotel or take it well protected in your backpack.

You should also avoid walking at night or in dangerous areas (ask this at your accommodation so they can tell you which places to avoid). In the same way, try not to take taxis on the street (except if it is at night), always ask your accommodation to call one or use an application.

Safety in peru

What currency to take to Peru?

This is one of the most recurring questions among any of the travelers who plan to go on vacation to the country of the Incas. The currency of Peru is the sol (S/). Although Nuevo Sol can still be read on some pages; this is because until 2025 it received that name to distinguish it from the old Sun; however, dollars are also accepted in some parts, this is due to the current widespread spread of the dollar in much of the world.

This acceptance has made the dollar widely accepted in the country, since it is possible to make purchases in the vast majority of establishments, such as restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. Especially if they are from the tourist field. However, you must also carry national money on hand at all times, not all establishments in Peru work with dollars, this only applies to large cities, so if you travel to a distant place you should have the national currency to avoid any problem.

  • Bills: Bills of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles circulate.
  • Coins: You can find coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 soles, as well as coins of 1, 2 and 5 soles.

It is possible to exchange foreign currency at banks and travel operators. There are automated teller machines (ATM) in most cities that accept all types of cards (you should check the fee that applies to you).

Exchange rate in Peru

The exchange rate in the country is variable and depends on the exchange rate made for the day by the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP) and also on the amount of exchange offered by the country’s exchange houses.

  • American Dollars: As we said, the most widespread foreign currency is dollars, so it is much easier to make purchases by paying with this currency or with soles, the exchange rate from dollars to soles usually ranges between 1 USD = 3.70 or 3.80 PEN.
  • Reais: There are quite a few places that exchange reales for soles; however, it is not possible to make purchases in stores throughout the country, 1 BRL = 0.70 PEN.
  • Pounds sterling: It is only possible to change these currencies in the city of Lima, and neither can you make payments or purchases in this currency. 1 GBP = 4.60 PEN.
  • Euros: This is another of the most widespread currencies in the country, unlike other currencies if it is possible to buy in some establishments with this currency. 1EUR = 4.7 PEN.
What currency to take to Peru?

Altitude sickness

One of the issues that worry a lot is the issue of altitude sickness, or soroche. It mostly affects people who live near sea level. The symptoms begin to appear from 2,400 m altitude. They are usually fatigue, difficulty breathing with effort, difficulty sleeping, dizziness or dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or even vomiting. These are mild symptoms that we can all suffer from. There is no need to be alarmed, since normally with a correct acclimatization process they can be avoided. There are extreme cases with more severe symptoms. To avoid greater evils, what should be done is to descend immediately if they get worse. Of course each person is different and not all of us are affected equally.

How to avoid and combat altitude sickness?

The only way to avoid it is acclimatization, ascending little by little and not making excessive efforts the first days that you are at a significant altitude. If your trip goes through the highlands (Lake Titicaca) and Cusco, it is a good idea to go through Arequipa, for example, which is almost 2,400 m above sea level. If you are going to go to the Mountain of 7 Colors (5,100m), do not do it the first or second day you arrive in Cusco.

Hydration is key, it is a way to provide extra oxygen to the body. Drink plenty of water, even if you are not thirsty. Coca tea also helps control headaches or dizziness. When you go trekking in the mountains, take coca leaves to chew like gum, it will control dizziness and headaches. For mountain excursions, the guides are equipped with oxygen bottles in case someone needs it. They also sell them in pharmacies if you suffer from respiratory distress. There are also pills for altitude sickness for sale in pharmacies, it will depend on the person’s body since in some cases they are not effective. Keeping a paracetamol handy for a headache can also give you relief. However, if the pain persists and is strong, do not hesitate to see a doctor for a better diagnosis.

Altitude sickness

Offer of accommodation in Peru

Since Peru is such a tourist country, in practically all the places you go you will find a wide range of all types of accommodation. From shared rooms in hostels, to private rooms with all the comforts. You will find cheap prices, but there are also places where prices are a bit high, for example in Lima, Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu), or Huacachina. The best thing to find the best options at a good price is to search with plenty of time (especially in those places that are more popular or touristy).

Accommodation prices in Peru are quite reasonable. You can stay in simple hostels for about $18 dollars per room with a private bathroom. Most include breakfast and the value for money is acceptable.

Offer of accommodation in Peru

Test everything

World-renowned, Peruvian gastronomy has more than 500 typical dishes. Cuisine in Peru is experienced and enjoyed in every corner. From trendy restaurants to street stalls; the offer is infinite.

Generally the dishes will vary depending on the region you are visiting, these can be included in:

  • The capital (Lima). It has one of the widest varieties of Peruvian food (and also international, such as the fusion with Chinese called chifa). Something that is recommended is that you do not miss the opportunity to visit the city for its attractions, because the food is just one of them.
  • The coast. When you talk about the vast cuisine of the coast, you have to talk about fish and shellfish.
  • The highlands. In this area foods like potatoes and quinoa are very good, in their different varieties they are a delight.
  • The Amazon. Fish is the raw material for dishes in this area, including specific species.

In addition to the well-known ceviche, you can treat your palate with huancaina potatoes, one of the dishes that is recommended to try. Another of the representative dishes of Peruvian gastronomy is lomo saltado, beef sautéed with onion and peppers. It sounds basic, but we assure you that it is an exquisite dish. Along the same lines are the salted noodles, the chaufa rice, both introduced by Chinese migration in the 19th century. The stuffed cause, mashed potato stuffed with hard-boiled egg, olives, avocado. The shrimp chupe, the inevitable salchipapa, which is found in every corner of the country, like the anticuchos that are banners of cuisine in Peru.

Quinoa is also very present, generally in soup. It is the best thing you can take to warm up and prepare for the altitude. To accompany meals, try chicha morada, a drink made from Andean corn.

It is also recommended that you visit the local markets, you can eat very tasty and at really low prices. In addition, you can see how the sale of some of the main supplies of Peruvian gastronomy is. A very good option to live and enjoy Peruvian gastronomy at the hands of a local, is to be able to book a gastronomic course or tour.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the opportunity to try all the available fruits (many of them you may never have tried in your country) and they are also very cheap. A great option is to take them in juices or smoothies, an excellent way to start the day.

And speaking about the drink, be sure to try the classic Pisco Sour, the traditional drink. Although do it with caution because sometimes you don’t feel how strong it is.

Test everything

Other tips for your trip to Peru

Book the tour to Machu Picchu in advance.

If you also go up to Huaynapicchu, you will have to do it at least 6 months before, because the demand for the purchase of tickets to the Inca citadel is very high in certain seasons of the year, also if you want to do the traditional and very popular Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in the same way In this way, a reservation must be made in advance with an authorized travel agency since the number of travelers per day is limited. It is recommended to make the reservation with an authorized travel agency since they make all the purchases of permit tickets both for the Inca Trail and for the entrance to Machu Picchu and if you want to Huaynapicchu.

Voltage

Peru handles a voltage of 220 V and a standard frequency of 60Hz. Today most electronic devices handle a range of 100-240V and 50-60 Hz. Check the label on your chargers and electronic devices to make sure they can be used without risk. The plugs are type A, B and C. If you arrive in Peru from Mexico or the United States, for example, you won’t have a problem with it.

Save a copy of important documents in the cloud

A good tip for traveling to Peru regarding your most important documents, such as your passport, is to try to have a saved copy of them in the cloud or in your email. In this way, it is much easier to access them if necessary or if something happens. Always leave the original passport well kept in the hotel, unless you need to take it (to Machu Picchu for example). In the same way, you can make a copy of your passport, laminate it and carry it in your wallet.

Never drink tap water

Tap or tap water in Peru is not drinkable, so always buy bottled water in a super market or store. Unless you boil the tap for several minutes.

If you want to buy handicrafts, ask in several places.

Peru is a country where you will come across a huge offer of beautiful handicrafts, of which you will most likely want to buy several to take with you. It is recommended that before buying, ask prices in several places. Generally, in areas like Cusco, handicrafts can be cheaper (also because many people sell them directly without intermediaries or without paying local rent). A special piece of advice that I can give you is that everywhere in Peru you will see sweaters (mostly) that you swear are alpaca. They are usually very colorful and beautiful, you will see many people with one. The problem is that they are not made of alpaca, the vast majority are synthetic. If you want to buy one, perfect, but it is important that you know about it. If you really want an alpaca sweater, they are much more expensive than what they will sell you, depending on the quality and model.

Try not to take photos with animals.

In many tourist sites in Peru you will see many women (mostly) with animals such as llamas, alpacas, etc., who offer tourists to take photos with them for a tip. It is not recommended to do it, the reason is basically that the poor animals are left standing there for many hours, just for the entertainment of the tourist. I understand that it’s nice to have a photo like that, but the question is at what cost. So better, preferably only see the animals (hopefully in their natural habitat).

Accommodation

Book the accommodations in advance if you are going to travel in the high season. Not only will you ensure a place to sleep, but you will also save money.

Other tips for your trip to Peru

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