Helpful links about travelling in Peru
Organized individual travel packages Tour Operator
Organised Trekking tours in Huaraz, Cusco, Arequipa. Cultural holidays highlight of Peru. Travel packages Luxury travel hotel bookings group departures. Organized individual travel packages Tour Operator.
Best travel in Peru. Hiking and trekking in the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash. Vilcanota Ausangate. Cusco and Machu Picchu
Peru Hiking Tours, Machu Picchu Walking Tours.
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu, Choquequirao Trail, alternative Lares Trek, Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.
Organized individual travel packages Tour Operator.
Bus to the Huacachina Oasis, Paracas Peninsula & Ballestas Islands. Trips from Lima. Nazca Lines night bus to Arequipa. Colca Canyon and Misti Vulcano. Chachani Peru Hiking Tours, Tour Operator Machu Picchu Walking Tours Climb, Copacabana to Sangalle Trek in the Colca Canyon. Bus Chivay to Puno and Lake Titikaka. Taquile Organized individual Island and Urus floating reed islands. Inka Express bus to Cusco or Andean Explorer. Andahuayllilas Church.
Peru - General information
Peru covers 1,285,216 Km².
It embraces three regions: coast, mountain range and jungle.
Coast - The coast is 2,500 Km in length, with a maximum width of 200 Km to the north and 40 Km to the south: The greatest concentration of the population is centred in the south.
Mountain Range - The Andes, the mountainous range, which is the most extensive in the world, cuts through Peru from north to south.
Jungle - This enormous region, lush and green as no other, is the region that is the least populated of Peru.
One finds, in Peru, almost all of the climates of the world.
It is curious that the difference of relief can modify the climate of a region.
The climate of the coastal region (Lima, Trujillo) - From April to September is the coldest period. It is hot in the summer mornings and between the end of December and March the sky is clear. During the night, it can become somewhat cool, thereby making it necessary to wear a jacket.
The climate of the Andes (Mountains) - There are two distinct seasons, marked by the presence or lack of rain. The rainy season is between November and March, with frequent and heavy rainfall which can last some hours, especially during the afternoon. The altitude and the almost constant presence of clouds avoid the temperatures becoming too hot. although it is summer in the southern hemisphere. The dry season is characterised by a blue sky during the day. The temperatures remain comfortable while there is sunshine, but it is generally cool at sunrise and sunset.
Jungle Climate (Amazon Rain Forest) - As in the Hight Andes (mountains), there are also two seasons: one from November to May, during which it rains practically every day, for various hours, and another from June to October, known as the dry season, when heavy but short periods of rain can fall. The climate of the jungle is essentially characterised by humidity that varies from between 80% to 100%, depending on the seasons, and the temperature, which varies little, is on average about 28ºC.
Nowadays, the economy is dominated by the service sectors, which provide more than half of the Gross National Product (GNP) and employs more than half of the working population. Industry, mining and construction, providing a third of production, only represents 15% of the working population. Lastly is agriculture and cattle raising, with less than 15% of the GNP, but employing a third of the work-force.
With just over 23 million inhabitants (data from June, 1994), Peru is the seventh most highly populated country of America.
70% of the population is concentrated in the cities. In Lima, there are presently more than 8 million inhabitants, which means a third of the total, whereas in 1940, when the first census of this century took place, the inhabitants of the capital were only 850,000.
Trujillo and Arequipa represent about one million inhabitants.
The average density of the population is 18 inhabitants per Km², although the differences between the areas are enormous.
Spanish is the official language of Peru and it is the mother tongue of more than 80% of the population.
16.5% of the Peruvians speak "Quechua" as their first language, the remaining inhabitants speak other native languages, such as diverse dialects used by the natives of the Amazon Jungle.
Since the arrival of the Spanish in Peru, the country has become mainly Catholic. Today, 90% of the population follows this religion, even though recently there has been a slight decrease in the number of followers due to the appearance of other religious groups, mainly in the rural areas.
People who arrive from European countries or US do not need a visa.
Arrival - On arriving in Peru it is necessary to fill in a customs declaration, on which is listed the objects which carry duty. These are listed on the back of the document. The articles which are of free entry into the country are those normal to any traveller.
After having completed passport control and before leaving the airport, if you arrive in Lima by plane, you have to go through a control system that consists of the following: the passenger pushes a button: if a green light turns on, they can go their way; if it is a red light, the customs officer must thoroughly check all the luggage.
Departure - It is absolutely prohibited to take out objects of pre Colombian art, although some locations freely sell them. Also, it is not advisable to take leaves of coca, even though it is not specifically prohibited. In the country, the consumption of coca leaves is normal and the leaves are sold legally to make tea or to chew. Departure with this product can lead to a 'fright' or cause some loss of time at customs.
Currency and Exchange
The currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol.
The most acceptable foreign currency is the American dollar, preferably cash as travellers cheques are more difficult to exchange. The present exchange rate is One American dollar = 3.48 Nuevos Soles
It is not advisable to drink the water in any city in Peru. The Peruvians boil their own water from the fountans or only drink bottled water.
City water can, nevertheless, be used in showers and for brushing your teeth without any problems whatsoever.
The 'Soroche' or the effect of the altitude is another point to keep in mind when you travel to a country of such high altitude such as Peru. In General, altitudes higher than 3,000 metres, with people who are not accustomed to such heights, can produce a sensation of queasiness and general weakness, accompanied by headaches, as a consequence of a lower concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere.
The effect of high altitudes can be experienced in the regions of the highest altitudes in the country, such as Cusco and Puno.
Yellow Fever - a vaccine certificate is needed for some jungle regions, such as Puerto Maldonado.
Best Season To Visit Peru
None of the seasons of the year is bad to visit Peru. Bearing in mind the climate, the best time to go is from between May and September, coinciding with the dry season on the Range and in the Jungle. The rains in the middle of November to March can make activities such as walks and jungle trips difficult. Some of these activities may eventually be suspended.
Both the traffic in and the consumption of drugs are equally penalised. Coca leaves can be acquired easily in the markets. It is probable that, after a certain time in Peru, you will develop the habit of drinking coca tea and will probably want to take some home. It is best not to fall into this temptation and, even though it is less colourful, it is preferable to buy it in tea bags (such as with apple tea), with the health registration seal. In this way, you will avoid any problems with the police in the case of customs inspection, both in your country of origin or with the Peruvian police when you leave the country.
As there is a great variety of climates in Peru, luggage should be varied according to the regions that you have planned to travel through.
Independently of the season of the year, if the journey includes visits to the coast, Andes (mountain range) or jungle, you will need clothing that is comfortable: large shirts and trousers, to avoid mosquito bites, blouses, trousers, comfortable walking shoes and tennis shoes.
During the rainy season, it is necessary to carry an umbrella and in the jungle it is best to wear a raincoat. It is also advisable to take a solar protector and a hat.
As for taking money and documents, the shops specialised in travel goods offer various models of wallets and belts which can be used on various parts of the body.
On international flights, the luggage which is allowed is two suitcases per passenger and on domestic flights it is 25 to 30 kg per person.
The time difference between Peru and Greenwich Meridian is five or six hours, depending on the yearly season: The Hour in Peru remains the same throughout the year.
The electrical current is 220 volts.
General Information About Restaurants
In the most important cities, there are establishments for all tastes and wallets.
Good Peruvian food is found all over and the best places almost always offer a menu which includes international dishes.
In the villages, the number of restaurants is much more limited and generally offer only local food.