Peru has an uncommon diversity and wealth of culture. This South American country offers a unique traveller's experience filled with diverse history, culture, nature, and adventure. Imagining Peru inevitably brings to mind images of Machu Picchu and the Empire founded by the Incas. Travelling through the country today, you will also encounter the impressive archaeological heritage bequeathed by other, older civilizations that bear witness to their art, customs, rites and development.
**Requirements due to COVID-19 are constantly changing. Please check your own country's international travel advice as well as the airline requirements before travel.
UK guests please see the UK Government Foreign Office Travel website for latest entry and exit advice; https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/peru/entry-requirements
US guests please see Travel State website; https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/peru-travel-advisory.html
Many of our Peru tours also combine Ecuador (including the Galapagos Islands). Please ensure you also check the requirements for entry to Ecuador, as they may differ to those for Peru.
Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry. It is advised to have 1 blank page for entry stamps. Please be sure to fill out the "Emergency Next of Kin" section in your passport
U.S., Canadian, Australian and most European citizens may enter Peru for up to 90 days for tourist purposes without a visa. All other nationalities must check the visa entry requirements before your departure. You will need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
N.B. - If entering Peru from Ecuador, make sure your passport is stamped with an exit stamp from Ecuador as well as a Peruvian entry stamp at the immigration office. Furthermore, please double check the date of entry on your Peru entry stamp is correct – immigration authorities may also not let you leave Peru without a valid exit stamp from the last country you visited without paying a fee, or with an incorrect arrival date.
• Consular Information
There are a number of major international embassies located in Lima, including those for the US, Canada, Australia and UK. However, embassies for other countries, including New Zealand are located in other South American cities, offering coverage to Peru. Please check with your relevant government for the relevant contact details.
N.B. Please note, visa and entry requirements, regulations and restrictions can vary on a regular basis. Please ensure you check in good time prior to travel the current requirements applicable to you.
HEALTH, INSURANCE AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
• Travel Insurance
It is company policy that all passengers should have valid travel insurance prior to travelling, to include but not limited to health insurance and cancellation insurance. It is vital that ALL members of the travelling party are fully insured for the dates of travel. All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared to the insurer and the correct cover must be taken in regard to the specific type of holiday you are taking.
Please let The Big Journey Company know your insurnace details prior to 6 weeks before your departure date. Please make sure to write down important information from your insurance policy, such as the company’s 24hr emergency telephone number (including dial code from abroad) and your policy number and take these with you on tour.
• General Health
Please talk to your doctor or travel health clinic in person at least eight weeks before you travel, where a health professional can provide you with the necessary health information for your personal needs.
There is a risk of Yellow Fever in parts of Peru. Please discus with your doctor if vaccination is required.
We will be at high altitudes on our journey and you may wish to speak to your doctor about how this may affect any existing medical conditions. You might also want to discuss precautions available to you to avoid the inconveniences that altitude causes to some people. Cusco is located at 3,400m or 11,200ft above sea level and Machu Picchu is located at 2,400m or 8,000ft.
Malaria is also present in some areas - your best defence for avoiding mosquito borne-diseases is through the use of a good insect repellent and keeping well covered during dawn and dusk.
Wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, washing your hands properly before eating and avoiding insect bites should keep you healthy on tour.
We recommend you carry a simple travellers’ first-aid kit containing any basic items that you feel may be required, including remedies for minor stomach complaints.
If you do need to see a doctor during the tour, please speak to your Big Journey Company tour escort.
• Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility
The Peru Tour is an Activity Level 2 tour and will require moderate physical activity and include various forms of transport. Please check our Activity Levels description page to see if this level is suitable to you or contact us if you require further information on the activities involved in the tour.
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking, or as soon as possible at the time they occur, so that we can try to advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Please note, we may require you to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour.
• Medical Conditions and Personal Medication
Please advise us prior to travel if you have any medical conditions requiring special attention during your trip. If you have a specific medical condition, it is wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you.
- Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you are taking, copies of the prescriptions and the telephone/fax numbers of your doctor.
- Please note, some countries require that prescription drugs be carried in their original container, with the label clearly visible. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement.
Prior to travel, please consult your doctor to discuss the destinations you are visiting, the latest immunisation information and requirements as well as advice according to your unique medical needs.
Although there are currently no specific certificate requirements under International Health Regulations, Yellow Fever is present in large areas of Peru. Travellers should be up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended. These vaccinations include for example measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccine. Vaccinations for Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Cholera, Tuberculosis, Rabies and Malaria may be recommended depending on the tour you are taking and your medical history. For further information, please see: wwnc.cdc.gov/travel/countries
You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Any feverish illness during or after returning from travel must be reported to a doctor immediately
• Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Please inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible, and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or smaller cruise ships. Also,
- Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
- Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
- Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
- Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
- Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.
Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel, so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.
• Special Dietary Requirements
Please let us know in good time prior to travel if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, etc.). We will make every effort to accommodate your request with the resources available to us.
• What to Pack and Wear
Given the varied weather you are likely to experience as we travel through Peru, you will need clothes for hot weather as well as a warm, waterproof jacket. We would recommend comfortable clothes and good walking shoes for this tour Decent, absorbent (but not thick) walking socks are a good idea for keeping feet comfortable. For the Amazon it’s wise to pack tropical apparel – always wearing long-sleeved lightweight cotton clothes (not to keep you warm but to protect against insects for walks through the jungle along with waterproof boots or sneakers and absorbent socks. Feel free to include a smart-casual outfit for dinner if you wish, however there is no pressure to follow a dress code. The weather should largely be warm and sunny throughout the journey, however it is always good to be prepared for every eventuality, so make sure you pack a light jacket in case of rain and the fact that it may be cooler in the evening.
Insect repellent, a sun hat, sunglasses and sun cream are also essential items. Don't forget your camera, with charger/spare batteries and memory cards and a good pair of lightweight binoculars.
• Luggage Allowances
International airlines are often strict about the size and weight of checked in baggage and carry-on luggage. Prior to your departure, please contact your airline or visit their website for specific luggage requirements, as size and weight limitations may vary according to the airline and destination.
Most Peru tours include internal flights and the luggage restrictions are;
Maximum weight and size: the maximum weight for checked baggage is 23 kg (51 lb) and cabin baggage is 10 kg (22 lb) 55cm x 35cm x 25cm
Luggage handling is not included in our Peru tour. It may be available at the hotel for a local charge.
Laundry services will be available in some hotels on the tour. We would always suggest requesting a laundry service at hotels where we are staying for 2 nights to ensure that the laundry is returned to you in good time before we depart.
The main languages of Peru are Spanish and Quechua. Indigenous languages are also official in the areas where they are spoken. English is spoken widely across the country in the hospitality sector.
The time zone in Peru is GMT-5, 5 hours behind London GMT.
Peru is a huge country and due to this, it has 28 different types of climate. In general, the weather is mild, without heavy winter rainfall in the nor excessive summer heat. However, the country can be split into three climatic areas. Peru’s subtropical coast has summertime temperatures exceeding 29°C, while winters there, from June-September, are humid and rainy with temperatures around 14°C. The climate is cold and dry in the Peruvian highlands, where temperature range between 9-18°C, according to the time of the day. The sun usually shines every morning of the year, but in the evening, temperatures drop to 5ºC. Inland, Cusco experiences a mild temperate climate. Winters are dry and summers warm, with temperatures averaging around 18°C in the daytime. In the capital city, Lima, average temperature is 25°C in the summertime, and 12-15°C in winter.
In Peru, the standard voltage is 220V and the frequency is 60Hz. They use two types of plug – Type C (European plug adapter) as well as Type A (US/North American style). You may need to bring an adaptor, and/or converter depending on which electrical appliances you bring with you.
MOBILES & INTERNET COMMUNICATION
Peru has a good communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone/mobile phone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. In populated urban areas, there should be good mobile signal but as we head into rural areas, signal may fluctuate and be patchy. It may be better to purchase a local SIM card; your guide can help with this. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas and most hotels and restaurants provide free WIFI, but the signal is not always reliable. Please check data roaming charges for Peru with your service provider before leaving home as these can quickly become very expensive.
The currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (PEN). Though credit cards are often accepted at mid-high range establishments, but it is advisable to carry money in cash with you as well as not all shops and restaurants accept them.
ATMs are widely available in cities, but not so in smaller villages. Due to a high occurrence of card fraud and potential theft, is best to use an ATM during business hours and select one inside a bank, supermarket or large commercial building. Be particularly vigilant before and after using an ATM on the street, especially at night.
Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards, and some places, but not all, accept cards such as Diners Club or American Express. If you intend to use any of your debit or credit cards whilst away, please make sure that you contact your bank before you leave to inform them that you will be travelling in order not to cause any problems using your cards or whilst on the trip.
Peru is still relatively inexpensive for western travellers and you will be able to pick up some bargains along the way. Please remember, due to the nature of this tour, most meals and all transport are included already in the tour cost.
• Bank Opening
Bank opening hours are short, especially in summer. Banks in Peru are usually open 9am – 1pm and from 3pm – 6pm Monday to Friday.
After feedback from previous guests, we offer a group tipping package for this tour. Look out for more information in your pre-tour emails.
Peruvian cuisine is very varied and can be spicy. Some of the typical dishes include Ceviche, raw fish marinated in key lime juice as well as Ají de Gallina, shredded chicken cooked in a sauce made with milk, bread and chili or Anticuchos a brochette made of beef heart and meat marinated in a spicy sauce, among many other possibilities. Do not forget to drink Pisco Sour, a cocktail drink prepared with Pisco, Peru's flagship grape brandy, key lime juice, egg whites and gomme syrup.
Many meals are included as part of your tour – please check your itinerary for the relevant meal inclusions.
The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink, and you should stick to bottled water. Bottled water can be bought at supermarkets, kiosks and many shops.
Peru offers lots for visitors to buy. You will find a great variety of silver, alpaca and vicuña wool goods, and several pima cotton garments. Peru produces a variety of crafts that are highly valued worldwide. However, please note, original antiques (huacos, pottery, Colonial paintings, Inca and pre-Inca textiles, metal artefacts, etc.), which could be considered cultural heritage, cannot leave the country.
• Opening Hours
In the cities and towns, most retail shops are open from 9am – 8pm Monday–Saturday, though may vary locally and many will close for a few hours for lunch. Most shops are closed on Sundays, with the exception of certain grocery shops and souvenir shops.
• VAT/Tax Refund:
Numerous shops in Peru offer a VAT refund when leaving the country. Please ask the salesperson whether tax-free shopping applies to the shop in question.
SAFETY & SECURITY
In Peru, there’s a high risk of petty theft and pickpocketing, particularly in airports, in popular tourist attractions and on public transport. Please take sensible precautions to protect your belongings, particularly your passport, money and credit cards. For this reason, we advise you to take money and credit cards in belts, preferably do not carry a wallet. Hotels offer a safety box service and we suggest that you put your valuables, jewels (or preferably leave these at home), passports and airplane tickets in them. Be cautious when you carry handbags, cameras, and be extremely careful in crowded places. Muggings often happen at ATMs and it is advisable to be cautious when using them. Do not walk alone at night-time. Protests are common and can turn violent. When in large crowds or major tourist destinations, you should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities. If in doubt, ask your guide or at your accommodation for safety guidelines.
Smoking is banned in most indoor public places, but there are usually designated outdoor areas where people can smoke. Smoking is prohibited on all means of public transport.
Whilst Peru is mostly Catholic, Amerindian beliefs still largely held as well and traditions are incorporated into daily life as well as catholic feasts.
Peru offers photo opportunities one after another. You will return with many photos that can never be repeated. Remember to pack your camera, along with the charger, spare batteries and a spare memory card!
ARRIVAL IN PERU
Please note, standard hotel check-in is around 3pm, so should you arrive earlier than this, your room may not be available upon arrival. For those arriving early morning, we will do everything we can to work with the hotel to get you an earlier check-in subject to availability.
TOUR HOTEL INFORMATION
Please check your tour paperwork for hotel information pertaining to your tour itinerary.
OTHER COUNTRIES ON TOUR ITINERARY
For those continuing their stay in Ecuador or other South American countries, please check the relevant Travel Tip pages for information on these countries.
FLYING & TRAVEL HINTS
• Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, and take a copy with you, but pack it separately from the passport itself.
• It is advisable to carry all your travel documentation as well as valuables and essential items in your hand luggage, such as camera, toiletries, reading material etc.
• Duty-Free shopping is always tempting, but please check the current Duty-Free limits applicable in the country of your destination.
• Longer flights can be made a little more enjoyable by wearing loose clothing and good, comfortable shoes. Walking in the aisles regularly, eating sensibly and drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is also advised.
• Where possible, try to get some sleep during the flight and upon arrival at your destination, most people adjust better to the local time if they wait until the evening before sleeping – this should relieve some of the effects of jet lag.
If you have any other questions that we have not covered here; then please send us an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, the above information is provided as a guideline only. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, The Big Journey Company makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. The Big Journey Company assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained in the website.
Updated Jul 2023