The Andes, Maccu Piccu, and many other exciting and beautiful locations can be found in Peru. A trip to Peru is one you will never forget, but it does necessitate some careful planning. Before you leave, make sure you’ve booked your flights and accommodations. Bring the necessary equipment for your trip, such as clothing, shoes, and money. When visiting Peru, keep local customs in mind as you see both ancient and modern wonders.
Part 1 Booking Your Trip
1. Investigate the best times of year to visit. Peru’s tourist season runs from May to September. Consider the weather as well as the hours that attractions are open when planning your trip.
The months of June to August are the driest of the year, making them ideal for hiking the Inca Trail and seeing Machu Picchu.
Tourists who want to avoid the high season but don’t mind a little rain should visit between March and May or September and November. These are ideal times to visit Arequipa or the surrounding rainforests.
Many trails, including the Inca Trail, are closed between December and February. This is Peru’s rainy season, and it is also the least popular time for tourists. During this time, many people visit the beach and coastal areas.
2. Plan a trip to Lima. The majority of flights land in Lima, the capital city. Flights to Peru are available from anywhere in the world. To find the best deal, use travel comparison websites. When travelling, keep in mind that you may have a few layovers.
Expect a ticket to cost between $1000 and $1500 USD if flying from the United States. Flights depart directly from Newark, Atlanta, Miami, and Houston.
Flights from Canada typically cost between $900 and $1500. All direct flights depart from Toronto, which is an eight-hour journey.
Traveling to Lima from the United Kingdom can take anywhere between 12 and 22 hours. These flights range in price from £750 to £1200. There are only seasonal direct flights from the United Kingdom to Peru as of 2018.
Flights from Australia and New Zealand can cost between $2800 and $4000 AUS or $3600 and $5,000 NZ. You will have to change planes at some point during your journey.
3. Book a room in a hotel or hostel. Always read online reviews of your hotel or hostel to ensure that it is clean, safe, and legitimate. Reserve your hotel rooms ahead of time so that you can walk straight from the airport to your accommodations.
A low-cost hotel room may cost as little as 40 Sol ($12.50 USD), whereas a high-end hotel room may cost as much as 300 Sol ($93 USD) per night.
Hostels are typically priced at around 24 Sol ($7.50 USD) per night. Look for well-reviewed hostels on the internet. Look at a map to see if they’re close to any tourist attractions.
4. Contact a travel agency to assist you in planning your trip. An authorised tourist agent can assist you in planning your trip and ensuring that you see popular attractions. They may also provide exclusive discounts that you won’t find anywhere else. Inform the travel agent of your travel dates and budget.
5. If you want easy transportation, sign up for a Peruvian guided tour. A guided tour may be right for you if you’re nervous about travelling in a foreign country or if you want an easy, stress-free trip. This tour will be led in your native language alongside other tourists. You can take the bus directly to popular destinations. Some tours will even book your flights and hotel rooms for you.
6. Protect yourself from infection by getting vaccinated. Malaria prevention is advised prior to travel. Yellow fever vaccinations are also required if you plan to visit jungle areas such as Iquitos or Manu National Park.
To obtain a vaccination, contact your doctor and inform them that you will be travelling to Peru. Your doctor will either order the necessary vaccinations or refer you to a doctor who can provide them immediately.
7. Get travel health insurance. Most health insurance policies exclude international travel. Check with your health insurance provider to see if they have a plan that will cover you during your Peru trip. Some travel agents may also offer travel insurance that includes a health plan.
These plans will typically cover illness, injury, unexpected death, or medical evacuation (in case of an emergency).
Part 2 Packing for your Trip
1. If necessary, obtain a passport or visa. Passports are available at post offices across the country. If you intend to stay in Peru for more than 90 days or are visiting for work, study, or research, you must obtain a travel visa from the Peruvian consulate.
If you already have a passport, you will need at least one blank page for your Peruvian stamp. If you’ve run out of pages, get in touch with your country’s embassy or passport agency.
2. Purchase an electrical adapter for Peruvian outlets. Peruvian electrical outlets are 220 volts. Plugs are also shaped differently than in the United States or the United Kingdom. Bring electrical adapters and transformers with you so you can charge your phone and computer.
Adapters and converters are available at electronics stores, luggage stores, and online.
Peru employs flat 2-pronged plugs, similar to those used in the United States, or rounded 2-pronged plugs, similar to those used in Europe (but not the U.K). Some US plugs, however, will not fit into Peruvian electrical sockets.
3. Take extra medication in case you become ill. Bring extra medication if you take prescription medication in case you are delayed. Anti-diarrhea medications, such as Imodium or Pepto-Bismol, are also recommended. Bring ibuprofen or acetaminophen for altitude sickness if hiking the Inca Trail.
While you may be able to buy some medications in Peru, the brands may be unfamiliar to you. It is simpler to bring it from your home country.
4. Bring appropriate clothing for the time of year and location of your stay. Peru is a large country with numerous regions. Investigate your destination to determine what you should bring. A light jacket, raincoat, comfortable pants, and t-shirts are recommended.
If you’re going to the Andes, dress for the weather. The temperature in the highlands can drop quickly, so bring warm clothing and a coat, especially if visiting the highest elevations.
If you’re going to the Eastern lowlands, bring some cool clothing and rain gear. Temperatures can reach 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius), and the weather is hot and humid for much of the year. A light jacket will be required at night.
If you’re going to the Pacific Coast, bring some warm clothes. Bring lighter jackets for the colder months. Pack shorts and short sleeves or other cooler clothing all year.
If you’re going to the central or southern coasts, prepare for mild weather and rain.
5. Wear shoes that are suitable for walking. Many of Peru’s attractions necessitate some walking and physical exertion. Bring hiking boots or other sturdy closed-toe walking shoes with a rubber sole with you.
If you’re going to the beach or coastal areas, bring sandals with you.
6. Convert your currency to Nuevo Sol. Many Peruvian shops and restaurants do not accept credit cards. It is best to bring small bills of Peruvian currency, Nuevo Sol. Before you leave, get your money exchanged at a bank, airport, or currency exchange. Some hotels in Peru also offer currency exchange services.
In order to obtain Sol in your home country, go to a currency exchange or bureau de change. Airports, banks, and some post offices have these. In exchange for Sol in cash, you will pay them money and a fee.
The US dollar is accepted in many places in Peru. While it is preferable to use Nuevo Sol, keep some cash on hand just in case.
Denominations of 50 Sol or less will be the most practical.
Part 3 Getting Around Peru
1. When you arrive in Peru, go through border control. When you arrive, you will be taken straight to customs. Wait in line and fill out any forms that are handed to you. When you are called to the window, present your passport and return ticket to the agent.
They may inquire as to whether you have anything to declare. Any cash in excess of $10,000 USD must be declared.
Your return flight out of Peru serves as proof of departure. Show your tickets or reservations to the customs agent if you are leaving Peru by bus or boat to another South American country. You may be denied entry if you do not have proof that you intend to leave the country.
In some cases, you may be chosen at random for a search of your belongings. If you try to bring drugs, weapons, plants, animals, or pesticides into the country, you may be denied entry or even arrested.
2. To get around, only take official, licenced taxis. Only enter taxis with “taxi” signs on top of the card. The licence plate on the front of the vehicle should have a yellow strip with a Peruvian flag on top. Inquire about the driver’s taxi licence, which should be visible in their mirror.
Taxis in Peru are not metered. Inquire about the fare with your taxi driver ahead of time. Do not be afraid to bargain. A cab from the airport to Lima will typically cost around 40 Sol (or $12.50 USD).
Some unregistered taxis will have a “Taxi” sticker on the window or dashboard. These are not legally licenced taxis. Do not get into any of these vehicles.
Taxi drivers in Peru are frequently paid to transport tourists to specific hotels. They may try to convince you that your booked hotel is closed or that you should go somewhere else. This is a common swindle. Insist on being taken to your correct hotel, or take another taxi.
3. To get around, use ride-hailing apps like Uber. If you’re concerned about identifying taxis in Peru, Uber is available in major cities such as Lima and Cusco. Launch your Uber app and request a ride, just as you would in your home country.
4. Travel between cities by bus. Buses are one of the cheapest ways to travel between Peruvian cities. Between Lima, Cusco, and other cities, there are several major bus lines. You can purchase tickets online prior to your journey or in person before boarding.
Peru Hop caters to international tourists visiting Peru. It runs between Lima and Cusco, with stops in Nazca and Arequipa along the way. It comes to a halt in front of many major hotels.
Cruz del Sur is a well-known and trusted bus company that can take you to any major city. The drivers, on the other hand, are unlikely to speak English.
The Lima airport has an airport shuttle that takes you into the city. This is known as Airport Express Lima. It runs every 30 minutes and takes tourists to Miraflores, which is close to many hotels.
When travelling by bus in Peru, keep your belongings close at hand. Theft on public buses and in bus depots is common.
5. Take care when using colectivos. Colectivos, a popular mode of transportation among locals, are minibuses that provide both local and long-distance transportation. These are a low-cost mode of transportation in Peru, but they are not the safest. Accidents involving colectivos are common, and they are more likely to be targeted for theft.
Part 4 Sightseeing in Peru
1. To visit Machu Picchu, make a reservation as soon as possible. Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most famous ancient sites. Visit the historic city of Cusco to get to this destination. Tickets can sell out quickly, so plan your trip months in advance.
Get your tickets at http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/, the official government website. You must use a Visa credit card to make your payment. If you do not have one, print out your reservation and pay at any Banco de la Nación de Peru branch once you arrive in Peru.
Alternatively, you can take a guided tour. These tours will buy your tickets for you, but be wary of scams. Plan ahead of time by researching your tour company. Do not buy tour tickets on the street in Peru because they may be a scam.
Take a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes to get to Machu Picchu. There are many trains that leave every day, but it is also a good idea to book ahead of time through Peru Rail or Inca Rail.
2. To hike the Inca Trail, you must first obtain a permit. The Inca Trail begins in Cusco’s Sacred Valley and ends at Machu Picchu. It takes several days to finish. Permits to hike this trail are only issued to 500 people per day. You must hire a guide through a government-sponsored tour company to obtain a permit.
Andean Treks, Mountain Travel Sobek, and Peru Sur Nativa are among these tour companies. You can check the Machu Picchu website at http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ to see if a tour company is legitimate.
The Inca Trail is a challenging hike. It should only be attempted by experienced hikers.
3. Take a plane tour of the Nazca Lines. The Nazca lines are ancient designs carved into the earth. Visit the cities of Pisco or Nazca to see them. Hire a flight tour to soar above the lines and marvel at their ingenious designs.
In order to ensure the safety of the tour company you are using, request the flight registration information. Look for this information on a website such as Aviation Safety Network. This will provide you with information about the history of the aircraft you may be flying on.
You can book a flight ahead of time by searching for Nazca line tours on the internet.
Be aware that these flights may result in motion sickness.
4. Visit the Flotantes Islas de los Uros. The Uros people live in this floating city. Once there, you can admire their beautiful boats and learn about their fascinating culture. To get there, travel to Puno and take a boat tour. It will take approximately 2 hours to reach the Islas Flotantes on Lake Titicaca on this tour.
To avoid being duped, do not purchase a ticket before arriving. When you arrive at the boat, make your payment.
Look up reputable tour companies online ahead of time. Read reviews to ensure that your trip will be safe and legal.
5. Discover Lima’s museums and plazas. Peru has some stunning architecture. Lima is a cosmopolitan metropolis with plenty to see and do. Before you leave, spend some time exploring Lima’s churches, plazas, and art. Museo Larco, for example, is a museum with a well-known gallery devoted to erotic sculptures.
Miraflores District: a lovely beach district with excellent dining and memorable sights.
Plaza de Armas (also known as Plaza Mayor): Lima’s historical centre.
Convento de San Francisco: an old church with a beautiful library and extensive catacombs.
Part 5 Learning Peruvian Customs
1. Learn a few basic Spanish phrases. Because Spanish is the national language of Peru, make sure you brush up on your Spanish before going. Bring an English-Spanish phrasebook with you on your trip to facilitate communication, or download an app like Google Translate. Some simple phrases are as follows:
Do you speak English?: ¿Habla inglés?
Where is the bathroom?: Dónde está el baño?
How much does it cost?: Cuánto cuesta?
I do not understand: Yo no comprendo.
3. Try the local cuisine and beverages. Peruvian cuisine is delicious, fresh, and sourced locally. While you’re in the country, make sure to try some of their unique and tasty dishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Cuy: a dish of guinea pig, often served roasted.
Ceviche: raw fish marinated in lime juice and spices.
Pisco: a grape brandy that can added to many cocktails.
Pollo a la brasa: A rotisserie chicken that comes with many dips.
4. To avoid drinking tap water, bring bottled water with you. Many visitors to Peru get sick from the tap water. Many hotels will provide you with water bottles in your room. Brush your teeth, wash your food, and drink from these. Also, buy bottled water to bring with you on your trip.
5. Toilet paper should be disposed of in the trash can, not in the toilet. When travelling, there should be trashcans next to every toilet. Instead of flushing your toilet paper, place it in one of these bins. When toilet paper is flushed, some Peruvian pipes become clogged.
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