Before the trip to Peru
Peru offers a mix of ancient civilizations, dramatic archeology and a unique landscape. Few countries have so much to offer their visitors. The ancient Inca settlement of Machu Picchu, which is said to be the most visited place on the entire continent, is absolutely magnificent. But that is just one of Peru’s many highlights. From mountain ranges to jungle, beach to desert, colonial to cosmopolitan cities, the country offers numerous contrasts on your journey. The ancient capital of Cusco with its winding cobbled streets and millennial history is the gateway for visitors to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. But Cusco itself is an interesting and colorful destination that bears traces of the country’s early history and the Spanish conquest.
In the stunning scenery of Peru you will also find the Nazca Lines, the beautifully excavated ruins of Chan Chan and the Chachapoya Fortress.
Passports and Visas
Nordic citizens can travel to Peru and stay for 90 days without a visa. Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months at the date of the return journey and contains 2 unstamped pages. The passport must not be cracked or broken anywhere.
When traveling to Peru, you should know that the country has strict customs regulations regarding archaeological and historical objects and these must not be taken out of the country. Drug smuggling is severely punished. You should keep your eyes open at the airport so that no one puts anything in your luggage before returning home. Pickpockets are common in crowds. If someone is suspiciously nice or assertive, this could be a pickpocket. Never put your bag away. Exchange money in a bank or at a casa de cambio – an exchange office. Always be formal if you are contacted by the police. Sometimes the police may demand payment to avoid a certain situation. You then have the choice to pretend that you do not understand what he means or pay so that the police do not take further action.
Vaccination and Health
In addition to the basic protection against tetanus, polio and diphtheria, it is recommended to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and to drink Dukoral some time before departure to avoid “tourist stomach”. Contact your doctor or a vaccination center for advice well in advance of your trip to Peru. Feel free to check with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and / or your insurance company that you have comprehensive travel and health insurance coverage that applies in Peru.
Do not drink tap water but buy bottled water. Avoid ice cubes in drinks and other beverages. Eat well-cooked and cooked food. Feel free to bring your home pharmacy, which should contain stomach regulators. Do not forget to bring your prescription medication with you. In the Andes you can get altitude sickness. The symptoms are headache and nausea. To acclimatize, one should avoid physical activity on the first day and avoid alcoholic beverages. Eat light meals and drink plenty of water. Contact your doctor about any medicine for altitude sickness. Do not forget sunscreen and sun hat!
Weather and Climate
You can travel to Peru all year round, but since the country is south of the equator, you have summer from December to March and winter from June to September. The location in the tropics means that there are no large variations between the seasons. It rains most in the summer in the Andes and in the Amazon, otherwise it is sunny on the coast. During the winter months, it is colder and drier in the Andes and there is less rainfall in the Amazon. Fog often occurs on the coast during this period. Daytime temperatures along the coast vary between 25º – 35º in summer and 12º – 18º in winter. In the Andes it is cooler due to the high altitude of 20º – 25º in summer and cooler nights and 10º – 20º in winter and cold nights.
Currency and exchange rate The
currency in Peru is called Nuevo Sol and has the abbreviation PEN. We recommend that you exchange to US dollars before your trip to Peru as this currency is common throughout Peru. Credit cards can be used to withdraw money at ATMs in Peru. Visa, Mastercard and Diners can be used even if Visa is what is accepted in most places. Remember that credit cards can be used to a lesser extent outside the major cities. Switch at an exchange office or bank, not on the street.
Transport and communications
Traveling around Lima and other major cities works well with public transport (minibus / bus). You should keep your eyes open if you take public transport when pickpockets occur. Taxis are cheap and safer to travel with. Agree on the price in advance. Ask at the hotel reception or the guide about how much to pay for a certain route. Transport between larger cities often goes by buses with a very good standard and service with film, food service and comfortable seats.
Food and drinks
During a trip through Peru, you get to experience the Peruvian cuisine which is simply absolutely fantastic. Lima is known as the gastronomic capital of South America, and with a long coastline with its marine life, seafood is superb. The most popular is the dish Ceviche, which is made from raw fish, lime juice, onions and spices. The Peruvians prepare this with pride and eat it with great pleasure. Peru is also known for a number of other dishes such as Aji de Gallina – spicy stewed chicken with rice and the dish Lomo Saltado – fried sliced meat fillets and vegetables. Peruvian beer is good and the dessert wines may be worth trying as well as the Peruvian brandy Pisco. The wines come mainly from Argentina and Chile, but there are some good red wines produced in Peru.
On a trip to Peru, you can buy pots, handicrafts, gold, silver, sweaters in alpaca and other textiles such as wall hangings, hats, gloves, scarves, etc. Feel free to ask the local guide about shopping and shopping.
If you are looking for souvenirs, there are many beautiful Peruvian crafts such as alpaca wool sweaters, alpaca and llama rugs, Native American masks, colorful fabrics and silver jewelry. These goods are available all over the country. They are generally cheaper in small villages but the largest cities sell articles of the highest quality. The shops’ opening hours vary, but they are usually open Monday – Saturday 10 – 13 and 16 – 20. Please note that it is forbidden to bring out antique objects and certain natural products such as feathers and animal skins.
Peru offers a varied nightlife. There are many good bars, pubs, discos and casinos in major cities and tourist resorts. Peñas (clubs with traditional music and dance) always serve snacks and some serve whole meals. Here you can enjoy criolla or folk music, especially on the weekends. The nightlife in Lima and Cusco has a wide range, as do coastal cities in Asia and Máncora. In smaller towns and villages throughout the country you will find local bars serving beers and Peruvian wines of various qualities. Facilities that serve as restaurants during the day and evening are often kept open later for those who want to drink when the kitchen is closed. There is a culture among younger Peruvians to go out to eat salchipapas (sausages and chips).
General and mixed
Local time: Peru has Swedish time minus 7 hours. When it is 12:00 on the day in Sweden, it is 5 in the morning in Lima.
Electricity: In Peru, 220 or 110 volts apply. You need an adapter that can be bought at, for example, Claes Ohlson. In some hotels you can borrow an adapter.
Baggage: It sometimes happens that the checked baggage gets lost. Therefore, pack important medicines with a certificate from your doctor in your hand luggage. The same goes for valuables.
Tips: Sometimes bars and restaurants automatically include 10% tips on the bill. If you have been satisfied with the service, you add an additional 10%. It is not common to tip the taxi drivers.
Languages: Spanish is the official language, but the traditional languages Quechua and Aymara are used to some extent. English works well in major cities and at tourist attractions throughout the country.
Travel insurance: Can be purchased through Phoenix. Check what your home insurance or card insurance covers when traveling to Peru. It is recommended that you have comprehensive health and travel insurance in Peru.