Practical Info

Visas

For people from most countries, a visa is not necessary to enter Peru (United States and Europe), although you should check with the Peruvian Embassy in your home country.

If arriving by air, you will be issued a 90-day tourist visa at the airport. If arriving by land, you will be issued a visa for up to 90 days, although the immigration official can issue one for less than 90 days.

You are allowed a maximum of three 30-day extensions for up 180 days (6 months) in Peru. Each extension will cost around $25. One way to get around the extension cost is to simply cross the Bolivian or Chilean border and return the same or next day.


Communication

Communications is not a problem in Peru. There are plenty of places that offer phone, fax and Internet service. There are a myriad of places that offer Internet access for around $1 an hour, as well as cheap international phone service.


Health

Recommended vaccinations include: hepatitis A, typhoid fever, yellow fever, tetanus, malaria – if visiting the jungle.

Also recommended: medication for travelers’ diarrhea and altitude sickness.


Travel Insurance

Before you travel make sure that you take out good travel and medical insurance.


Currency

The Peruvian currency is the Nuevo Sol and consists of 100 centimos. Banks, hotels and shops accept U.S. Dollars without any problems.

The most common U.S. Dollar exchange practice is through “cambistas” in the streets. These are people who display their calculators in one hand and currency bills in the other, but foreign currency can also be exchanged at any local bank or hotel. Exchange rates vary between places so be to sure to ask if U.S. Dollars are accepted and what the exchange rate is before making any purchases.

Traveler’s checks are not commonly accepted in Peru. Banks will exchange them but at a very high commission rate. Most businesses will not accept them at all. Credit cards, such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Diners Club are all accepted, but usage facilities may be limited outside the major cities.


Altitude Sickness

Called “soroche” in Peru. Visitors to high-altitude Andean destinations, such as the Cusco and Lake Titicaca areas may need some time to adjust to the altitude. We recommend for several hours rest upon arrival and before taking a tour. Also, eating light meals for the first day helps.

Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food. Drinking Coca leaf tea called “mate de coca” generally helps. If symptoms become more severe and prolonged it is best to quickly seek medical attention and make arrangements to descend to a lower altitude.