Entry Requirements – Visas
Most citizens of the Americas, Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand do not need a visa to enter Peru. For more information, consult your nearest Peruvian diplomatic representative. To find the address or phone number you can visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://www.rree.gob.pe Peruvian (it is in Spanish). You can receive up to 90 days with a tourist visa. However, if you need this amount of time because the officials will not be given automatically for entry. If you want to stay longer, you can apply for a month extension at an immigration office or leave the country and receive another 90 days.
Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua. Basic English is widely spoken. Spanish is also relatively easy to learn and many people opt for a week course in a Spanish language school to give them the ability to communicate a bit.
Peru has the same time as the Eastern Standard Time of the United States. Peru is 5 hours behind GMT. (Greenwich Meridian). Peru has no daylight saving time.
A yellow fever vaccine is not required any more, although it is advisable if you travel to areas around the jungle. We suggest that if you travel to areas around the jungle you should talk about protection against malaria with your medical center.
The voltage in Peru is 220 volts, 60 cycles. In most hotel rooms, there is a 110-volt electrical outlet for electric shavers, for irons or hair dryers.
The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol. At the time of writing the exchange rate was 3.35 soles per dollar, but this is likely to change. When you change money, try to get small notes as larger notes are difficult to change. US Dollars are welcome in some high class shops, restaurants and gas stations at the current exchange rate. The most expensive restaurants and hotels that cater to travelers accept major credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, Diners and American Express. The use of traveler’s checks is restricted and generally when you change them you receive a lower rate than for cash.
ATMs are now common in big cities and generally gives you the option of making your withdrawal in soles or dollars.
InfoPerú is a travel assistance service to help tourists. This service has a 24-hour telephone line. For assistance call from Lima 421-1227. Outside Lima, mark 01 first.
While “out and about” we suggest you leave your passport and most of your money, credit cards, etc. in the safe of your hotel. Just carry with you the money you plan to spend. Bring a photocopy of the image page of your passport for identification purposes.
There is no internet access at every corner in the main cities of Peru. The price is usually 1 sol of one hour or USD0.30. Many booths now have software to make very cheap international calls over the Internet (the quality of this service varies). In smaller towns, there are no phones and much less internet!
There are plenty of taxis all over Peru in major cities with very affordable prices. Because no matter the reason, we recommend that you check the probable rate with the hotel and negotiate a price before (never after) accepting a ride. In Lima, it is recommended that your hotel staff write down the taxi plate number before leaving.
Gratuities varies and depend on the satisfaction of the traveler with the quality of service provided. In most tourism oriented restaurants a 10% tip is much appreciated. These people generally earn very low rates of payment and for that tip really helps. Also, if you take photos of the Indians working as “photographic models” in tourist areas, either negotiate a price beforehand or tip generously afterwards! Deciding how much to tip the doormen, the cook and guide is a difficult time at the end of the hike. Generally speaking, if the whole group has been satisfied with the service and then try to ensure that each muleteer takes home an extra USD5.00, the USD10.00 cook, the USD15.00 assistant guide and the USD20 guide.
Public toilets are rarely available, except at bus stations, restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. Public toilets are labeled WC (toilet), Damas (ladies) and Caballeros or Men (men). As not always provides toilet paper so you should bring your own! All of Peru, regardless of the level of the hotel or restaurant, should throw the paper in the wastebasket instead of the toilet or it will create an unpleasant obstruction problem.