Perú has one of the premier travel destinations in the
world - the Incan site of Machu Picchu. That's not the only area of
interest though. Cusco is a small town with colonial and Incan
influences and is on the access route to Machu Picchu. The reed
islands of Lake Titicaca are unique and still have indigenous
people. On the east side of the Andes, the Amazon tributary
Tambopata River provides a very different experience from the rest of
Perú. The gateway to Perú is Lima, but this is caused by government
restrictions that currently prevent international flights from landing
elsewhere in Peru. Specifically Cusco is not currently permitted to
land international flights.
Most American and Western European countries do not require a tourist visa
for visits of under 183 days. Check your specific country at VisaHQ.
For a list of exempt countries, visit Project
Visa. Make sure your passport is good for six months at the time
of entry. Citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Chile may enter with their valid national identification document.
You can expect to spend a long time at immigration upon
arrival, as there is a thorough review of documentation and an Andean
Migration Card (TAM) is issued. This card must be presented at every hotel used in Perú
(for tax exemptions) and must also be retuned prior to leaving the country. Guard
safely like a passport. There is no requirement for a yellow fever
certificate in Perú and malaria medication isn't recommended for the
Tambopata River in the Amazon basin of Perú.
The currency of Perú is the Neuvo Sol.
Don't drink tap water anywhere in Perú. Some documentation
indicates it may be safe in some cities, but it is not worth the
risk. Bottled water is readily available throughout Perú, even in
the more remote locations.
one of those countries that doesn't put any toilet paper into their
toilets. This applies in restaurants, hotels and even
airports. It's quite an adjusment for many tourists. Also,
make sure to bring your own toilet paper supply when traveling. Public toilets often charge a small fee and don't supply paper.
This is an issue for many destinations in Perú. It can cause headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue and/or nausea or vomiting.
Symptoms usually disappear in four days, but in some cases, AMS may be fatal.
Generally elevations above 9,000 feet expose you to symptoms. Try to
arrange itineraries so you gradually ascend to higher levels.
Flying directly from Lima to Puno can be a formula for
disaster. For a group of 10 travellers doing this, we found that 4
needed oxygen at the hotel, 3 of those needed a doctor's visit and one needed
attention in a medical facility. Some hotels provide oxygen for
visitors and coca tea is a standard offering, either in tea packets or by
using coca leaves. Coca leaves can also be chewed to intensify their
impact. Coca tea is the cure all for everything in Perú, including
altitude sickness, stomach problems and energy levels. Many
countries don't allow you to bring coca leaves back from Peru, as the
leaves are the starting ingredient for producing cocaine.