From the coast, highlands and to the jungle Peru is a place to add to your list if adventure is calling your name, or you consider yourself a backpacker. Located in western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, this country is well known for its traditional views and Incan heritage. Expect to marvel in a variety of ecological layers, climates, lifestyles and regions with spectacular natural landscapes. For the extra adventerur you can always opt to spend a night in a hotel that hangs 1,300 ft above ground. Gaining popularity as a bucket list stay for the adrenaline seeker, the Skylodge Adventure Suites offer a picturesque view where you must hike or zipline to get to your room. While most visitors bee-line it to Cuzco or Arequipa, Lima, the country’s capital also has a lot to offer with less of a crowd. Wherever you plan to dedicate the most time, organization and preparation is essential for a smooth quest. With an ever increasing amount of tourists, tours and hotels are experienceing bookings quicker than other locations.
Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Peruvian Soles. United States dollars may be accepted at some establishments.
Important dates in Peru
- Jan 1 New Year’s Day
- Apr 13 Maundy Thursday
- Apr 14 Good Friday
- Apr 16 Easter Day
- May 1 Labor Day / May Day
- Jun 29 St Peter and St Paul
- Jul 28 Independence Day
- Jul 29 Independence Day (day 2)
- Aug 30 Santa Rosa De Lima
- Oct 8 Battle of Angamos
- Nov 1 All Saints’ Day
- Nov 2 All Souls’ Day
- Dec 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- Dec 25 Christmas Day
- You’ll find coca tea bags, coca candy, and the ever-present bay-leaf-like coca leaves immediately landing at the airport, every hotel, restaurant and market. Feel free to take advantage of this source of personal energy!
Good to know
ENTRY: Citizens of the USA, including those visiting by cruise ship, require only an identification, no visa is required. If you travel by plane, the passport book is required by the US for travel; otherwise it is possible to use a US passport card. Canadian citizens require a passport or a birth certificate and ID card. Citizens of countries in the Commonwealth of Nations require a passport valid for at least 6 months, a return ticket, and sufficient funds. No visa is required except for citizens of Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone.
GOOD TO KNOW: Don’t forget to drink water often to stay hydrated when visiting the high altitude. Peru is a developed nation and enourmous city, but unfortunately, the country’s public drinking water has not caught up to its tourism industry in terms of modernity. For safety, continuously grab bottled water to hydrate when hiking and brushing your teeth. It’s always a good idea to carry local currency on you, but particular if you have a weak bladder. Public restrooms, even at Machu Picchu cost a small cash fee to use.
Culture and Etiquette in Peru
DRESS CODE: There is no formal dress code required when visiting Peru, but casual conservative is always a good choice Unwanted attention is never needed when a tourist in a foreign country. There are no strict taboos or religious attire mandatory, however you will notice Peruvians wearing traditional woven fabrics.
GREETINGS: There is a fair amount of touching between men and men, men and women and women and women while conversing. This includes hand on shoulders, hand on arms, and hand on hands.
TIPPING: Taxi drivers do not expect a tip when providing their services. When dining out, a 10% tip (if not already added) is suffice. Be wary when receiving what seems like kind, generous gestures from strangers. If a local offers to show you the way he may expect a tip at the end.
ALCOHOL: The official drinking age in Peru is 18, however drinking generally starts around the age of 15. Beer is by far the most popular alcoholic drink. Most Peruvians enjoy partying, socializing and having fun and alcohol is an accepted part of life, even with parents drinking with kids etc.
FOODS TO TRY: Cuy (guinea pig) is Peru’s most notorious taste experience. It is most easily found in highland towns like Cusco and the Urubamba valley. Potatoes have been cultivated in the Andes for 10,000 years and even today, there are 3,800 different types to try. Northern-style ceviche, which is cited as a favorite by many locals, can be pleasantly found in Lima.
THINGS TO AVOID: Try to restrain from taking photos without permission of general folks doing their day-to-day operations. If you don’t, your unwilling subject(s) may well start shouting at you, perhaps with a financial compensation in mind. If you must take a photo, always ask before doing so out of respect. If you are in a church or other religious building, make sure to inquire if photography is acceptable.