Peru is the third largest country in South America,. Located on the Central Pacific Coast, it borders Bolivia, Brazil and Chile to the east and the south, Colombia and Ecuador to the north. Lima, the capital city also known as “the city of kings”, is located on the central coast. It is a beautiful city due to its architectural and colonial structures that you can see in different parts of the city.
Peru is divided into 24 departments and has 3 important geographic regions, such as: the coast (Pacific Ocean), the highlands (Andes) and the Amazon rainforest. Its geographical feature gives it great versatility of ecosystems and diverse climatic zones, making it one of the most ecologically diverse nations in the world.
There is a variety of climate for each region.
Coast: The temperature reaches 82°F during the summer season (December-April). In the rest of the year the temperature can drop to 57°F C with 90% humidity.
Highlands: the main rainy season is from December to April, with temperatures that fluctuate between 68 and 41°F. From May to November there are sunny days with an intense cold at night, being the best time of the year to visit all the different tourist attractions of the highlands.
Rainforest or Jungle: The climate is tropical, hot, humid and rainy, the annual temperature exceeds 86°F.
* The Inca Trail is open from March to January. It is closed in February due to heavy rains during that period of the year. The best time to do the trek is from April to October. However, it is possible that it rains at any time of the year. June, July and August is the peak season.
HOW TO TRAVEL TO PERU
By plane: Most international flights arrive at Jorge Chávez airport, in Lima.
These are the airlines: Iberia, Delta Airlines, Continental Airlines, KLM, American Airlines, Alitalia, Lan Chile, Avianca, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico.
Domestic or National airlines:
The airlines that use domestic flights to travel through Peru are: LAN (LA), Avianca (AV), Peruvian Airlines (PG), Star Peru, LC Peru.
By boat: Another option in those days to get to Peru is onboard cruises. Cruise liners get to the country mostly as part of a tour of South America. some of them are the following: Cunard, Princess Cruises and Hapag Lloyd, among others. The main ports where these lines are located are: Callao 8, País Constitucional de (Callao – Lima) and San Martin (Pisco – Ica).
– Always carry with you all the necessary documentation that you require, during and after the trip.
– We advise you to take out a travel insurance in case of inconvenience during your trip, mainly due to climatic factors.
-If you travel to the mountains or the jungle, bring an insect repellent and a safe raincoat.
– Bring any special medication you may need. It might be difficult to find it in Peru.
– Always have some cash on you as in some cases you will need it.
HEALTH AND HYGIENE
-Only drink bottled or boiled water.
– Be careful with eating raw vegetables and fruits.
– Avoid eating food prepared by street vendors. (Some of it is not hygienic).
– Rest the first day of your arrival and consume light meals to avoid altitude sickness (soroche). It is recommended to drink “muña tea” and “coca tea”.
– Do not take taxis outside the airport, make sure to make arrangements with a formal company (you can get information at the airport).
– Do not leave your luggage or packages and always keep an eye on your belongings.
– Ignore any request to carry luggage or packages for strangers. They may contain some illegal items.
– Do not exchange money with people on the street. (Go to the currency exchange offices).
– Do not walk alone at night ans especially through dark areas that have poor lighting.
CALLS TO PERU
International area code:
Peru area code: 51. Direct international telephone connection available.
-To make an international call, dial: 00+ country code + city code + number.
-To call from one city to the next, dial: 0 + City code + Number.
Vaccinations or medical tests are not specific or usual as a requirement at the time of a trip to Peru. However, in case you are planning to go to the Amazon rainforest, it is highly recommended to acquire the vaccine against yellow fever. It must be provided 10 days before reaching the rainforest.
Banking hours in Peru are normally from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. In addition, most banks open for the public half a day on Saturdays.
– Stores: usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
– Public administration: from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in winter and from 08:00 to 15:00 in summer.
It is recommended that all money be exchanged at banks, hotels or at specific currency exchange offices. As for the cash in US$ or in your own currency that you bring, keep in mind that all the notes must be in good condition, clear and clean. It would also be best not to use notes that exceed an amount of $20, since it can be difficult to change them. (ATMs) are easily found in Peruvian cities, as well as in major airports and bus terminals.
The use of traveler’s checks is limited. It is strongly recommended to change checks at banks considering there will be a loss of 2% or 5% of the total value.
Credit cards are usually accepted in Lima and in touristic cities, such as American Express, Visa, Diners Club and Mastercard. Keep in mind that in some provinces paying with a credit card is not something usual and that most credit cards that might be accepted are the followings: Visa, American Express and Master Card.
Most cities in Peru have a very active nighttime entertainment. In Lima, the most popular discos, pubs and night clubs are found in the districts of Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco. In Cusco and other Peruvian cities, most places are concentrated in the center or around the main square.
Peruvian cuisine offers a delicious variety of dishes from its 3 regions. The most typical and famous dishes are: Cebiche (made with fish and lemon), Lomo Saltado, Anticucho (from the heart of the cow), juane (a typical dish from the jungle, based on rice), ají de Gallina, Grilled chicken , Pachamanca … etc.
Do not forget to try the authentic Peruvian drink, “Pisco Sour”, which is a cocktail prepared with Pisco, lemon, egg white and sugar. In addition to the “Chicha Morada” (purple corn juice) among other drinks.