Peru Travel Information
Peru is one of the most culturally diverse locations in the entire world. Comprising such a vast area of geographical differences, Peru is often culturally broken up into three distinct regions – The Amazon, the Andes & the Coast. Although Peru is most renowned for its Incan culture there are hundreds of Pre-Columbian archaeological sites as well and those cultures greatly contributed to the overall success & rapid development of the Incan civilization, which lasted from 1438 – 1532. The downfall of the Incans was due to the arrival of the Spanish beginning in 1531 and the conquest lasted until 1572. Peru eventually gained their independence from Spain in 1824. Spanish is the most widely spoken language as well as the official language of Peru. In the Andean Highlands the native Quechua language is still spoken, which was also the language of the Incans. There are also numerous other indigenous languages spoken, mostly in the Amazon & Andean Highlands.
Reference site to the Lima Airport:
US citizens and most foreign nationals are not required to secure a visa prior to entry into Peru. Upon arrival at the airport, the immigration official will issue a tourist visa for the maximum amount of stay of 90 days at no charge.
Please refer to the Peruvian visa entry requirements below for country specific information:
Passports for entry into Peru must be valid more than 6 months post travel dates.
It is no longer required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter Peru.
Resource for US Citizens – US Embassy in Lima:
Health affidavits are no longer required to be filled out in order to travel to Peru.
RE-ENTRY INTO HOME COUNTRIES:
It is the personal responsibility of the traveler to follow the covid protocols for re-entry into their home countries. If required, Peru Eco Expeditions can help arrange covid testing.
COVID-19 TEST TO RE-ENTER THE US:
As of June 12, 2022 it is no longer required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to re-enter the United States.
Additional vaccinations are not required for travel to Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu or Lake Titicaca. The CDC does recommend the yellow fever vaccine for travel into the Amazon, but this is not mandatory.
There are no mask mandates in Peru.
The tourism areas in Peru are safe for travelers. Police and surveillance cameras patrol the touristy areas to deter any criminal activity. Travelers should be aware of their cash and valuable items at all times when in Peru as pick-pocketing is not uncommon.
Tap water in Peru is not potable. Travelers should only drink bottled water or water that has been properly boiled. Bottled water should also be used for teeth brushing as an extra safety precaution.
WEATHER – CUSCO REGION:
May – September is the winter season in Peru, which also means the dry season that has very little precipitation. This is also considered high season for travel. Temperatures vary greatly with highs during the day being in the high 60’s F to low 70’s F (15 – 24 C) and nights being in the 30’s (0 – 2 C). Due to the high altitude of this region as well as the proximity to the equator the sun’s rays are exceptionally intense. Travelers should bring a hat and ample sunscreen with them for daily use.
November – March is the summer season in Peru, which also means the rainy season. Temperatures vary greatly with highs during the day being in the high 60’s F to low 70’s F (15 – 24 C) and nights being in the 40’s F (4 – 9 C).
April & September are considered the shoulder seasons in Peru, where weather may vary, but the main tourist sites are less crowded.
ALTITUDE – CUSCO REGION:
Cusco is located at an elevation of 11,151 feet (3,400 meters). High altitude affects every person differently. Some may not feel the change at all, while others may develop altitude sickness, known locally as soroche. The reason for this is that every person’s body processes oxygen differently. Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, stomach discomfort, dizziness and sleep disturbance. Physical activity, heavy meals and drinking alcohol aggravates the symptoms, therefore it is recommended to eat light and refrain from consuming excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages and partaking in demanding physical activity upon arrival into Cusco. Staying extremely well hydrated can prevent and elevate symptoms of soroche.
WEATHER – LIMA REGION:
Lima temperatures range from the low to mid 60’s F to mid 70’s F (15 – 24 C). The coldest month is August and the average daily temperature is 63 F (17 C), which is the winter season. The hottest month is February and the average daily temperature is 75 F (24), which is the summer season.
WEATHER – AMAZON REGION:
The Amazon lowlands can have highs up to the 90’s F (32+ C) and the lows at night in the 70’s (20 C). High humidity is also to be expected. For travel into the Amazon cloud forest, expect colder nights that can get down in the 40’s F (5 C) with warm days. In the Amazon the weather is unpredictable and guests should always pack plenty of rain gear while traveling in this area. It is also recommended to take Vitamin B or B-15 a few days before arrival to the Amazon. These vitamins are the best natural repellent against insect bites.
Voltage in Peru is 220 volts. Most hotels have plug-ins that can accommodate the 110 and 220 prongs. Please make sure your electronics can withstand a 220 voltage – if they cannot than a converter will be necessary to charge your devices or else your electronics are at risk of becoming damaged from the high voltage.
Peru does not utilize the chemicals in toilet water that can breakdown toilet paper. Please do NOT throw any toilet paper or other items directly into the toilet. Every Peruvian bathroom has a wastebasket located directly next to the toilet and this is where all toilet paper should be discarded.
MONEY EXCHANGE & CREDIT CARDS:
Major credit cards are widely accepted at most locations in Peru. Please note that transactions charged in Peruvian Soles may incur a currency transaction fee from your bank. Most establishments can charge in US Dollars as well. It is recommended to also have small, petty cash with you as well for local vendors, artisans and market purchases. Money exchange should be avoided at all airports due to the low exchange rate. Your private guide can suggest the best places to exchange money.
Regardless of what airline you are flying you MUST claim your luggage in Lima, clear customs and re-check your luggage into your domestic air carrier (even if it has been tagged all the way to Cusco). All luggage transfers and/or storage required during the expedition is included with the expedition package.
GRATUITY / TIPPING:
Guide gratuity for the private guide is not included, nor solicited. However, should guests receive excellent service it would be welcome. All supplemental gratuity (drivers & wait staff for included meals) is included with the expedition price. Extra gratuity would include if you choose to utilize bellman services at the hotel, which would be the same as the international standard. In restaurants it is standard to leave a 10% gratuity on your final bill.
If you have booked a multi-day trek with us the trekking staff and driver gratuity is not included and at your own discretion, unless otherwise noted. It is customary to leave a gratuity for the hardworking trekking staff. General guidelines are below, but are up to the sole discretion of the guests as well as the quality of service they have received.
Group of 1 – 3 Trekkers:
*Suggested Amounts Listed Are Per Group
– Muleteer and/or Porter: $4.50 USD Per Day
– Head Porter: $5.50 USD Per Day
– Assistant Cook: $5.50 USD Per Day
– Assistant Guide: $10.00 USD Per Day
– Cook: $10.00 USD Per Day
– Guide: $20.00 USD Per Day
Group of 4+ Trekkers:
*Suggested Amounts Listed Are Per Group
– Muleteer and/or Porter: $5.50 USD Per Day
– Head Porter: $6.00 USD Per Day
– Assistant Cook: $8.00 USD Per Day
– Assistant Guide: $12.50 USD Per Day
– Cook: $15.00 USD Per Day
– Guide: $25.00 USD Per Day
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
– Insect Repellent
– Personal Toiletries / Medication
– Sunglasses & Hat
– High SPF Lip Balm, Hand Sanitizer & Biodegradable Toilet Paper
– Thick, Warm Winter Coat
– Light Jacket
– Long Sleeved Shirts & T-Shirts (Clothes should be layered for varying daily temperatures)
– Long Hiking / Athletic Pants
– Hiking Boots (Waterproof) & (1) Pair Extra Shoes (Suggest Waterproof)
– Hiking / Athletic Socks
– Rain Gear (Raincoat, Rain Pants & Poncho)
– Bathing Suit, Sandals & Towel
– Daypack with Rain Cover
– Plastic Bags or Wet/Dry Bags (To Protect Electronics & Store Wet Items)
– Extra Batteries
– Power Bank (Solar Powered Recommended for Multi-Day Treks)
– Electronic Device Chargers (Outlets are 220 Voltage)
– Electrical Converter (If Required)
– Refillable Water Bottle
– Walking Stick with Rubber Tip (Optional)
– Binoculars (Optional)
High Altitude Trekking:
*Ausangate / Salkantay / Humantay / Choquequirao / Inca Trail
– Warm Hat and/or Ear Warmers
– Flashlight / Headlamp with Extra Batteries
– Thermal Sleeping Wear with Warm Socks for Overnight Treks
– Light, Wind Resistant Jacket
– Light, Airy and Long Sleeve Clothing in Neutral Colors (Quick Dry Material Ideal)
– Thin Socks
– Flashlight / Headlamp with Extra Batteries
– Extra Plastic Bags or Wet/Dry Bags for Wet Items