Peru Hop - Tips & Advice For Travelling In Peru

Our excellent tips and advice guide for backpacking or travelling in Peru

Tourist Visa Requirements:

  • Visas NOT required to enter as tourist (some exceptions – people from parts of Asia, Africa, communist countries)
  • Can be given up to 183days visa at immigration
  • Sometimes officer may only give you 60/90days, can ask for longer but depends on their mood
  • Do NOT lose tourist card (white sheet of paper you fill out) – need this when leaving or pay a fine
  • Need pay $1 per day for every day you stay over your visa – pay in airport or at border when leaving

Machu Picchu:

  • Original Inca Trek sells out months in advance as only certain amount of permits given each month
  • Highly recommend 4 day Inca Jungle Trek (less than half the price, arrive at sunrise for best views, can book 1 or 2 days in advance)

Identification:

  • Valid passport needed, bring 1 or 2 photocopies though to use for nightclub entrance etc
  • Drivers Licence needed if you intend rent a car, although we highly recommened not to, drivers here are crazy!

Money:

  • Currency – Peruvian Soles
  • Dollars (up to a certain amount) also accepted in many places
  • Avoid paying by credit card as hostels sometimes put a surcharge on this
  • ATM fees can be high at some machines so try to use atms at banks like Scotiabank/BBVA
  • Currency exchange sellers on street are not always bad and give good exchange rates, ask hostel for advice
  • Don´t carry large amounts, use lockers provided in hostels
  • Be aware of gringo taxes in markets/taxis – always haggle prices
  • Average cost of meal in a middle class restaurant – $10 (25 soles)
  • Average cost of dorm bed in hostel – $10 lima (25 soles), $8 elsewhere (20 soles)

Lima Airport Arrivals:

  • Try to arrive with minimum 100 soles, no large bills as taxi drivers don´t have change
  • ATM charges in airport are high and exchange rates are bad
  • As you pass customs many taxi companies with people in suits…safe but expensive ($40/$50 to miraflores)
  • Taxis outside generally safe and prices can be haggled, average price 25/30 soles ($15 to miraflores)
  • Take care if you arrive at night
  • Be sure you agree the price in SOLES – Some drivers might say 30, then when you get to hostel they say it was in DOLLARS
  • Have clear directions to your hostel printed off BEFORE you arrive

Taxis:

  • No metres, always haggle and agree the fare BEFORE you get into the taxi
  • Average 15/20minute journey should cost approx $4 (10 soles)
  • Be careful, keep belongings close at all times at your feet, NOT in your lap
  • Try to share cabs with another tourist where possible
  • Always ask hostel reception/Peru Hop guide for approximate costs and best places to find taxis

Hostels:

  • Recommended to book in advance, many can be full – miraflores is main area to stay in
  • Use hostelworld review functions, check location rating and security ratings, usually a good signal
  • Use lockers provided for all valuables
  • Be wary coming home at night to your hostel, avoid walking if at all possible

Language:

  • Spanish is the national language
  • English spoken by most hostel receptionists, waitresses in touristy areas etc
  • Taxi drivers in general don´t speak English unless in touristy area

Medication and vaccines:

  • Bring some altitude sickness tablets for Arequipa and Cusco
  • Vaccinations may be required if visiting Amazon regions, consult your local GP

Luggage:

  • Use a backpack if possible, easy to store in hostels, carry around etc
  • Bring a small backpack for day trips/treks
  • Bring clothes and flip flops for summer weather, up to 30 degrees in some cities ALL year round
  • Bring a rainjacket for Arequipa and Cusco as rain possible ALL year round
  • Bring warm hoodies and pants as can get cold in places, especially at night
  • Bring comfortable trainers for trekking and activities
  • Usual items such as suncream, camera, sunglasses etc
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