Peru - Need to Know
Read on for more information about preparing for your holiday to Peru. Information about getting there, entry requirements, money and vaccinations should answer many of questions. If you have any other queries about travel to Peru, then please don't hesitate to contact us.
Before your trip, we strongly recommend that you check the latest travel advice to your destination. For visitors to Peru from the UK, we suggest the Foreign Office Website.
You can't fly direct to Peru from the UK, so you will need to change planes en route. You have the choice of flying via Madrid (Iberia, BA, Lan Peru), Amsterdam (KLM), Paris (Air France) or via New York or Miami in the USA and then take a connecting flight to Lima. From Lima, you can connect with one of Peru's several domestic airlines to take you to your next destination. Most flights from Europe fly over night, landing in Lima in the morning and departing Lima in the evening. Prices start from £600 in the low season, to £900 in the peak season.
Tourdust can help you to arrange your flights, please contact us for further information.
Visas are not generally required for travellers entering Peru, but you will need your passport to be valid for at least 6 months. Tourists are granted a 30 - 90 day stay on arrival and are also given a tourist card, which you need to give back at the end of your trip. Don't lose this, or you will need to join a long queue at the airport on your way out.
Depending on the type of air ticket you have purchased, you may be liable to pay taxes at the airport. This can pertain to domestic as well as international flights. International departure tax is around $30 from Lima and internal departure tax is around $6. Check with your ticketing agent to see if this fee is applicable to you.
The currency in Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sole, although the US Dollar is also in circulation. Many businesses working in the tourism industry accept both forms of currency, but you will need Soles for tipping. We recommend you take some USD with you. ATM's can be found in most major towns, cities and airports, you can withdraw USD & Soles from most. Credit cards are accepted at more upmarket shops and restaurants.
It is very important that you go to your local travel clinic at least 8 weeks before departure to confirm which immunisations you need and to check whether you need anti-malarials. The information below should be used as a guide and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice.
Travellers to Peru should make sure that they are immunised against the following: Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid.
You may also want to consider protecting yourself against the following: Diptheria, Tuberculosis, Rabies (there are a lot of stray dogs in Cusco), Hepatitis B, Cholera
If you are visiting jungle areas in Peru, you will need a yellow fever vaccination. Please remember to take your certificate with you, as spot checks for this can be performed at Puerto Maldonado airport. Depending on where you are in the jungle, you may need to take anti-malarials. In the north of the country, they are an absolute must. The Tambopata Reserve has not had any recent cases of Malaria, but if you are travelling ion the wet season (October - March) they are recommended.
Altitude Sickness - most people get some form of altitude sickness when they fly into high-altitude destinations from sea level. In Peru, this includes Cusco, Puno, Arequipa and Huarez. The best remedies are rest, plenty of fluids and coca tea. For more information, please read our notes on acclimatisation.
For more information on health in Peru, please go to this excellent site: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Please ensure that you have insurance in place that covers you for all the activities you are undertaking on your holiday. It is worth double-checking that you are covered for trekking at altitude, as sometimes you need to pay a premium for this activity.
Weather & Climate
There are two seasons in Peru - wet and dry - although weather patterns and temperatures fluctuate throughout the country depending on the geography of the region.
In the highlands, the dry season is from May - October. Days are bright and sunny and whilst rain is a possibility, it is unlikely. Average highs are 19C - 20C with night time temperatures hovering around 0C - 1C June - September is the high tourist season in Peru and at this time of year accommodation, transport and the treks can sell out months in advance. The Incan celebration of Inti Raymi (The festival of the Sun) falls on the 24th June, making it a particularly busy time to visit.
November to March is the wet season. Trekking in these months will be wet, especially in January - March when a soaking is pretty much guaranteed. Average day time temperatures are 19C - 20C with night time temperatures around 6C. The Inca Trail is closed throughout February, although Machu Picchu itself is still open and other treks are available.
In the rainforest, the wettest months are November to March. At this time you can expect high humidity with rain showers every day, full rivers, wet paths and mosquitoes. In the dry season, it is still very humid, with average temperatures in the mid 30's. However, sometimes a cold wind blows though, bringing lower temperatures for a few days. In general, the dry season is a better time to visit.
To see an uptodate weather forecast for the region you are visiting, check www.weather.com