Peru travel guide

Travel essentials

PERU

  • Languages: Spanish 85% , Quechua 12%, Aymara 1.7, %

  • Ethnic groups: 45% Amerindian (native Peruvian) , 27% Mestizo (mix of native and Spanish and or other ethnicities) , 15% white, 2% other.

  • Demonym: Peruvian ('peruano' for men and 'peruana' for women)

  • Area: 1,285,216 Km2 (19th largest country)

  • Population: 31,151,643 (estimate)

  • Currency: Sol peruano (please note that many people still use the old currency name 'Nuevo Sol'

  • Regions: 25 total  

  • Visas: Citizens of the U.S. and most other Western countries don’t require a tourist visa. The maximum period of stay granted is 183 days (you will need to specifically ask the customs officer for more than 90 days, which is otherwise the default period of stay). 

  • ATMs: Widely available in big cities and towns. ATMs will allow you to withdraw either Soles or American Dollars US$. Please note that most ATMs limit withdrawals to about 700 Soles per day (or the equivalent in US$). If you need larger amounts of money, tell your bank in advance so they can raise your limit.

  • Credit & debit cards: Accepted at many businesses. Note: VISA is more popular in Peru than Mastercard, and very few places accept other cards, such as AMEX.

vaccines

  • Hepatitis A & B

  • Typhoid

  • Malaria*

  • Rabies*

  • Yellow Fever*

* Especially if you are planning to go to the jungle. 

electricity

Electricity in Peru is 220V/60Hz: Most cellphone and laptop chargers are compatible with this voltage, but we recommend you to confirm this before bringing any device to Peru.

sales tax

All sales prices in Peru already include an 18% IGV sales tax by law (However please note that visitors get an automatic 18% IGV sales tax exemption at hotels during their stay).

tipping

Tipping has become very popular at restaurants, and a 10% tip is suggested. However, please note that tipping taxi drivers is not customary. 

water

Stay safe: Faucet water is NOT drinkable. Instead, buy bottled water, use a water filter, or boil faucet water before drinking it. 

Costs of Living

Banana

PEN 0.3

Bread

PEN 0.3

SIM card

PEN 15

Milk 

PEN 3-5

Lunch 

PEN 8-12

Water

PEN 1.5

Apple

PEN 0.8

Beer 

PEN 4

Taxi

PEN 5-15

Movie tkt 

PEN 15

Bus

PEN 2.5

Coffee

PEN 8

Your estimated daily budget

On a budget
PEN 60-70 (about $22)

High end
PEN 300+ ($90+)

  • Hotel room with breakfast = PEN 200+

  • Restaurant lunch = PEN 20+

  • Fancy dinner = PEN 70+

  • Private city tour = PEN 150+

  • Airbnb = PEN 55-90

  • Set menu lunch = PEN 10-15

  • Restaurant dinner = PEN 20-45

  • Museum tickets = PEN 7

  • Transportation = PEN 5-20

  • Shared dorm bed = PEN 25-30

  • Budget lunch = PEN 8

  • Budget dinner = PEN 10-20

  • Museum tickets = PEN 7

  • Transportation = PEN 5

Mid-range
PEN 90-150 ($25-$45)

Top travel itineraries

Little time, big expectations

Time investment

2 weeks average

Travel plan:
 

1) Visit the city of Lima & learn Spanish 

 

2) Paracas

  • Visit the town of Paracas and coastline

  • Tour the natural reserve of 'Islas Ballestas'
     

3) Sandboard in Huacachina 
 

4) Nazca

  • Fly over the Nazca Lines

5) Arequipa

  • Visit the ''white city'' of Arequipa

  • Trek the incredible Colca Canyon or the Cotahuasi Canyon
     

6) Puno

  • Quick visit to the city of Puno

  • Hire a classic tour to the Titicaca Lake or a more complete tour to additionally visit the ''Taquile'' Island
     

7) Cusco

  • Explore the city of Cusco

  • Visit the archeological sites around the city and in the Sacred Valley

  • Explore Machu Picchu and hike the Wayna Picchu mountain 

Jungle adventure

6 weeks average

Travel plan:
 

1) Visit the city of Lima & learn Spanish 

 

2) Cusco

  • Explore the city of Cusco

  • Visit the archeological sites around the city and in the Sacred Valley

  • Explore Machu Picchu and hike the Wayna Picchu mountain 

3) Manu National Park

4) Puerto Maldonado

5) Pucallpa

  • Explore Yarinacocha and the tribal villages of Shipibos
     

6) Iquitos

  • Hire a tour to go deeper into the Jungle 

7) Pacaya Samiria National Park

PLEASE NOTE: We strongly suggest hiring local tour agencies to visit most of the trips listed above, since exploring the Peruvian jungle requires professional experience to do it safely and easily. 

The best of Peru

4 weeks average

Travel plan:
 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 same as first travel itinerary

8) Explore Iquitos and the Peruvian amazon 

9) Huaraz 

  • Trekking to the peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and turquoise glacial lakes
     

10) Chimbote

  • Quick visit to the city of Chimbote

  • Visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipán (20 miles of the city of Chiclayo)

11) Trujillo

  • Visit to the city of Trujillo and its beaches

  • Visit the Huaca del Sol y de la Luna

  • Explore the pre-columbian archeological site of Chan Chan 

12) Mancora/Pisco

  • Take a seaside break at the surfing town
    of Mancora
    or

  • Take a seaside break at the more quiet beach town of Punta Sal 

Time investment

Time investment

Travel around Peru by air

Travel around Peru by bus

The following recommended companies have buses with restrooms, free WIFI,

and serve lunch, dinner, and/or breakfast depending on trip length: 

CRUZ DEL SUR:

Website: www.cruzdelsur.com.pe

Phone: 311-5050

Address: Avenida Javier Prado 1109, La Victoria. 

Travel classes:

  • Cruzero Suite: Extra wide seats / recline up to 160 ̊ / personal screens

  • Cruzero Plus - VIP: Extra wide seat / recline up to 160 ̊/ personal screens

  • Cruzero Plus - Bus cama: Recline up to 130 ̊ / personal touch screen

  • Cruzero Tour Peru - VIP : Extra wide seats / recline up to 160 ̊

  • Imperial Tour Peru - Bus cama: Seats recline up to 130 ̊ 

OLTURSA

Website: oltursa.pe

Phone: (+51) (1) 708-5000

Address: Avenida Aramburú 1160, San Isidro
Travel classes:

  • VIP Relax: 180 ̊ recline

  • Double VIP: Extra wide 160 ̊ recline seats

  • VIP : Recline up to 160 ̊

  • Premier: Recline 140 ̊ / own touch screen

  • Bus cama: Recline up to 140 ̊ 

TEPSA 

Website: www.tepsa.com.pe

Phone: (+51) (1) 617-9000

Address: Avenida Javier Prado Este 1091, La Victoria
Travel classes:

  • Suite: Extra wide seats / Recline up to 160 ̊

  • Presidencial cama: Recline up to 160 ̊

  • Presidencial: Recline up to 145 ̊ 

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Address: Avenida Larco 743, Suite. 603, Lima, Peru / Phones: (+51)(1) 683-0030 / Celphone: (+51) 987-724-577 / Website: www.peruwayna.com / Email: contact@peruwayna.com

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am-1pm & 2pm-6pm.