During your stay with us you may need information about tourist service centres, health centres and more.
The tourism industry in the country has experienced remarkable growth in recent decades, with large investment in hospitality, new roads and various services across Peru that allow travellers with different budgets and travel styles to relax and explore.
It is advisable to only hire services from travel agencies that are authorised by the National Department of Tourism and to always demand a receipt and a voucher including the detail of services purchased from the agency.
Services hired from people in plazas or main airports do not offer a guarantee that your payment will be acknowledged or that you will obtain the desired services.
iPerú is the Tourist Information and Assistance System provided free of charge by PromPerú. A network of offices across Peru offer:
Official tourist information about attractions, routes, destinations and tourist services companies.
Assistance with complaints and claims in the form of conciliation and mediation, for cases when tourist services are not provided by travel operators according to the original agreement.
The majority of the country receives mobile phone coverage. Payphones are available in most cities and towns; they can be operated using coins or prepaid cards, which can be purchased in most shops.
Unlike the rest of the countries in the region, public Internet booths in Peru are cheap and easily available. A large number of tourist establishments and businesses are beginning to offer wireless Internet.
There are post offices in all regions of the country. For more information visit www.serpost.com.pe
Altitude or Mountain Sickness (soroche)
Some cities of Peru are over 4,800 metres above sea level (15,748 feet), particularly in the southern and central mountains. If you travel to the mountains by land, it is advisable to ascend gradually in order to prevent altitude sickness, and take a rest upon arrival in order to acclimatise yourself to high altitudes. It is best to take a rest on the first day, eat light food, drink plenty of fluids and mate with coca leaves. If you have a heart condition, consult your doctor before travelling.
Food and Water
Drink bottled water and refrain from eating food from street stalls to avoid being taken ill.
Shopping and Entertainment
Shopping is always fun when there's variety, safety and choice, from trendy shopping centres in the cities to handicraft fairs in small towns. Most shopping centres and stores are open 7 days a week, including holidays, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
All prices must include the General Sales Tax (18%) and a payment receipt must be provided.
In Peru it is common to “regatear” (barter) over prices when shopping in informal situations, such as at fairs, markets, or from street or beach vendors.
Peruvian nightlife is most vibrant in the big cities. Every day there are shows, concerts and various artistic performances at discos, pubs, nightclubs, folk and salsa clubs, theatre cafes and other venues that specialise in regional music for tourists.
The major cities have airports for domestic flights. In the majority of cases, the T.U.U.A. (Airport Use Fee) is included in the airfare, but in some cases it must be paid before boarding the flight. An increasing number of airlines are covering domestic routes from different points in the country.
There is a large variety of buses connecting destinations across the country, as more and more cities have their own bus terminals. Road transport services vary depending on the desired levels of comfort, speed and budget. The main national roads are in very good condition, with a dedicated police force, and fast emergency and assistance services.
The city bus, known as a "combi", is the main mode of transport in cities. They have pre-defined routes but there are no bus stops, so they stop at every corner to let passengers on and off the bus. Bus rides might be a bit uncomfortable and last a long time. Before using them it is advisable to have a good understanding of the routes.
Taxis in Peru do not have meters. If you flag down a taxi in the street you may get a cheaper fare, but your safety will be in danger. It is very important to only use taxis from taxi companies (phone booking) or those authorised by the local council (yellow and with a number plate on both sides of the car); particularly if you are travelling at night.
The underground system (Metropolitano) and the Lima Metro (light rail) are also available. More information here: http://www.metropolitano.com.pe/
Tourist trains cover the following routes:
Cusco-Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu. There are currently three companies offering this service: Perú Rail, Inca Rail and Andean Railways.
Puno-Cusco. Operated by Peru Rail.
Lima-Huancayo. Operated by Ferrocarril Central Andino, but current departures are only once a month.
If you wish to travel by car, it is important to bring with you your driver's licence, a copy of your passport and the car rental agreement, if you are driving a rental car. International licences are valid for one year and licences from other countries are valid for 180 days.
It is important to find out about the condition of the roads. In Peru all the main highways are paved, but many secondary roads are unpaved.
If a traffic officer signals for you to stop, you must stop. Traffic officers must be wearing uniforms and carrying identification (they are required to wear identification cards including their last name on their chest.) Under no circumstances are they allowed to enter the vehicle.
Bear in mind that traffic officers are not allowed to retain any personal or vehicle documents. Under no circumstances should you offer money to traffic officers.
In case of an accident or collision, call a traffic officer. If your car is a rental, call the representative of the insurance company provided by the rental agency. Do not leave the scene of the accident.
Do not stop if unknown people signal for you to stop alongside the road.
Do not park in dark areas or leave valuable items in sight in your car.
It is forbidden to take photographs of airports, military bases, police stations and areas surrounding high voltage towers. At some monuments and museums, filming and taking photographs is not allowed. Get information in advance.
Peruvian legislation forbids and punishes the removal, transportation, sale and export of species of wild flora or fauna, alive or dead, without the corresponding authorisation.
Peruvian laws forbid and punish the sale and export of original objects of national cultural heritage (pottery, textiles, metal artefacts and other archaeological, historical or artistic objects). However, replicas certified by the Ministry of Culture are permitted.
Peru is committed to contributing to the rights and happiness of our greatest heritage: our children. For that reason, people seeking child sex or engaging in the sexual exploitation of our children and teenagers will be sent to prison (Law 28.251).
Protected Natural Areas (ANP)
It is important to obtain information about the requirements for visiting a Protected Natural Area (ANP), the activities that can be carried out and the restricted zones inside the area.
For more information visit www.sernanp.gob.pe
Hire services from companies specialised in the activities in which you wish to participate, and make sure they provide the necessary safety equipment.
For hikes around rural areas, it is advisable to ask locals about the characteristics and challenges of the routes and to obtain permission before hiking across private property.
All archaeological sites are managed by organisations reporting to the Ministry of Culture. It is advisable to obtain information about authorised activities for visitors in those areas in advance.
The use of rubber-soled or hiking footwear is encouraged in order to minimise the impact of your visit on the environment and contribute to its preservation.