1. Do I need a visa?
Members of The USA, Canada, Great Britain, the European Union, Australia & New Zealand do not need to apply for a visa. A visa of up to 90 days will be issued on arrival in the country. However, please note that you need your passport needs to have a validity of six months on entering the country.
2. Are there any obligatory vaccinations for entering Peru?
No vaccinations are obligatory for Peru. The following vaccinations are officially recommended: tetanus, typhoid and paratyphoid, diphtheria, hepatitis A & B. You may opt for ‘homeopathic vaccinations’ instead, consult with a homeopath. You may need malaria medication if you go to certain areas in the rainforest. As the occurrence of malaria is very localized please request more specific information from your doctor. In most areas of Peru malaria medication is NOT necessary.
3. Will I get altitude sick?
The high altitude of some places in the Andes may affect people in different ways. Some people are sensitive to the high altitude and may get symptoms of ‘soroche’ (altitude sickness). If you feel nausea, dizziness or severe headaches this could mean they are the first symptoms of altitude sickness. This can happen, because your body is supplied with less oxygen because of the thin air at high altitudes. The best preventative measure is often some rest and taking some extra oxygen (available at Cusco airport in the arrival hall where you get your luggage) The golden rule is to not overexert yourself, eat lightly and take plenty of liquids (water, juices, herbal teas and soups). You may opt to get some Coca 30 from your homeopath which is an excellent medicine or try our delicious coca tea.
4. Can I travel to high altitudes if I have a medical condition?
This depends very much on the nature and the seriousness of the condition. We recommend that you check with your doctor first if you suffer from any ailments of the heart, blood pressure or the lungs.
5. When is the best time to visit Peru?
You can visit Peru any time of the year. However, when planning your trip you should take the geographical region you are going to visit into account. In the mountains there are two pronounced seasons: the dry season (May – August) and the rainy season (October – March). The months of April and September are transitional periods. Most travelers prefer to visit the Andes during the dry season, when you can usually expect sunshine during the day. However, some of the rainy months can be very pleasant as the scenery turns a lush green, the days tend to be mild and there is no longer any night frost. Usually the rain is confined to some afternoon showers. The months of January and February, however, are best avoided for visiting the mountains as the main precipitation of the years is concentrated in those two months, when on the other hand it is a very good time to explore the Peruvian coast.
6. I’m not a vegetarian. Can I still book a trip with you?
Of course you may book with us. Our included meals are always vegetarian. However you are free to catch up on your usual diet in your free time.
7. I am a vegan. Can I be sure that you provide me with a 100% vegan environment?
We can provide you with a 100% plant-based diet. Your bedding in the hotels may not be vegan though as usually alpaca blankets or feather bedding is used. If you object to this we recommend that you take an extra sleeping bag of the materials of your choice.
8. Is it safe to travel in Peru?
It is safe to travel in Peru taking the normal precautions you would take elsewhere in the world. Unfortunately there are occasionally cases of theft. Make sure that you give potential thieves as little opportunity as possible. It is best to leave any expensive jewellery at home and to be very discrete with your camera and other valuables. Cameras should be in your day pack or pockets when not in use and it is a good idea to put your passport (it is also a good idea to have a copy of your passport in a separate place) and cash into a money belt to be worn under your clothing. Most hotels have safe boxes where you can leave your valuables. As a golden rule only take as much money with you when exploring as you plan to spend on each day. If you take bigger amounts with you on a day trip make sure it is safely put away in your money belt so that no bigger amounts can be seen on you as you make a purchase. Be particularly cautious in Lima and also watch your luggage carefully at any public places like airports, bus terminals and other crowded places that might make you vulnerable.
9. How much extra money should I take for meals and other things not included?
Between US $ 10 – 20 per meal (not including alcoholic drinks), depending on where you eat. Small souvenirs are inexpensive. But if you wish to purchase silver jewellery or alpaca woollen items you may need to budget a lot more for this.
10. Are there any ATM machines in Peru?
There are plenty of ATM machines which will give out money in US dollars or Peruvian soles (you will need your pin number for this). Please make sure that you let your bank know in advance where you are planning to travel in order not to get you credit card blocked. The most commonly accepted credit cards in Peru are VISA or master card. However, a proportion of your money should be brought in US dollar or Euros in cash.
11. What is the Peruvian currency?
The Peruvian currency is the ‘Nuevo Sol’, one sol is divided into 100 centimos. One US dollar is approximately 3.00 soles. You may exchange some dollars into soles at the airport in Lima, in some hotels or in a ‘Casa de Cambio’ that you find in every city (Euros or British Pound Sterling can also be exchanged in most places). Changing money in the streets is not safe. Please make sure that you do not take any tatty or torn dollar bills with you as these will not be accepted anywhere in Peru. The smallest denomination should be US $ 5. Small shops, restaurants and souvenir shops do usually ask for Peruvian soles as payment. Some of the more expensive hotels, restaurants or shops may accept US dollars or credit card payments.
12. Is it customary to tip in Peru?
Yes, it is customary to leave tips in better restaurants (10%, unless the service charge is already included in your bill. It is also customary to tip drivers and guides on your private tours. This is discretionary, of course, and should be a reflection of your satisfaction of the services given.
13. What is the voltage in Peru?
220 volts. It may be a good idea to bring a universal general purpose adapter with you that will fit any type of socket.
14. Will I be able to use WiFi in Peru?
Most hotels have Internet or WiFi in some areas (mostly free of charge). There are also plenty of cheap Internet cafes everywhere. The connections tend to be much slower than in your country and much patience is needed.
15. What about phone calls? And will I be able to use my mobile phone in Peru?
It is very expensive to make international phone calls from hotels in Peru. However, you may purchase phone cards to use in public phone booths (much cheaper!). In order to use your mobile phone in Peru you have to make sure that you have a tri-band handy and that your provider has a partnership with a Peruvian provider (your provider may advise you on this)