Staying in Peru

During your stay in Peru you may not only need information about visas, but also about tourist service centers, health centers and more.

General Information

Tourism Services

The tourism industry in the country has received a huge boost in the last few decades: major investment in hotels, new tourist routes and various services for relaxation and adventure are available throughout Peru, to suit different budgets and traveling styles.

However, visitors are advised to use travel agencies authorized by the National Tourism Board, as well as demanding confirmation of payment and a voucher specifying all the contracted services.

Purchases made from people offering tourism services in the main squares and airports are not covered by payment or service guarantees.

IPerú

IPerú is the System of Tourist Information and Assistance offered by PROMPERÚ free of charge through a network of offices across Peru, which provide the following services:
Official tourist information about attractions, routes, destinations and companies offering tourism services.
Support and advice when the tourism services were not provided in accordance with the service offered by the tour operators, providing a suitable channel for advice and complaints.

Communications

Telephones

Wireless coverage reaches the majority of the country. Payphones are available in most cities and villages; they can be operated using coins or prepaid cards, which can be purchased in shops and businesses.

Internet

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.

Postal Service

There are post offices across different regions of the country. For more information visit www.serpost.com.pe

Health

Altitude sickness soroche

Some cities in Peru are above 4,800 masl, especially in the mountains of the southern and central regions. If you climb up into the mountains by road it is recommended that you travel gradually to prevent altitude sickness and that you rest when you arrive to allow your body to acclimatize. It is advisable to rest on the first day of your arrival, to eat light meals and to drink enough liquids and coca tea (“mate de coca”). If you suffer from heart trouble consult your doctor before traveling.

Food and water

Drink bottled water and avoid eating street food to avoid infections.

Shopping and entertainment

Shopping

Shopping is always fun when there’s variety, safety and choices: from trendy shopping malls in the cities to handicraft fairs in small towns. Most shopping malls and stores are open 7 days a week, including holidays, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

All prices must include the General Sales Tax (18%) and a payment receipt must be provided.

In Peru it is common to “regateo” barter over prices when shopping at fairs, markets, or from street or beach vendors.

Night Life

Peruvian nightlife is most vibrant in the big cities. Every day there are shows, concerts and various artistic presentations at discos, pubs, night clubs, folk and salsa clubs, theater cafés and other venues specialized in regional music for tourists.

Transportation

Airports

Main cities in the country have air terminals 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.

Interprovincial busses.

There is a large variety of busses connecting destinations across the country, as more and more cities have their own bus terminals. Road transportation 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.

Urban transportation

The urban bus, known as “combi”, is the main means of transportation in the cities. They have pre-defined routes but there aren’t 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 find information about routes.

Taxi cabs in Peru don’t have taximeters. 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 hire only taxi companies (by phone) or vehicles authorized by the municipality (yellow and with license numbers on both sides of the car); particularly if you are traveling by night.

The Metropolitano and the Lima Metro (light rail) are also available. More information here: http://www.metropolitano.com.pe/

Trains

Tourist trains cover the following routes:
Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu. There are currently two companies that offer this service: Perú Rail and Inca Rail.
Cusco (Poroy) – Machupicchu (Aguas Calientes). Perú Rail is the sole operator. (The service resumes on 22 July 2013)
Puno-Cusco. Operated by Peru Rail.
Lima-Huancayo. Ferrocarril Central Andino operates this route but departures are infrequent and only at certain times of year (July, August, October and November).

It is important to find out about the condition of the roads. In Peru all the main highways are paved, but several secondary roads are unpaved.

If a traffic officer signals you to stop, you must stop. Traffic officers must be wearing uniform and carry 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 retain any personal or vehicle documents. Under no circumstances should you offer or agree to pay 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 you to stop alongside the road.
Do not park in dark areas or leave valuable items in sight in your car.

Prohibitions

It is forbidden to take photographs of airports, military bases, police stations and areas surrounding high voltage towers. It is allowed to take photographs or to record video at some monuments and museums. Get information in advance.
Peruvian legislation forbids and punishes the removal, transportation, commercialization and export of wild flora or fauna species, live or dead, without the corresponding authorization.
Peruvian laws forbid and punish the commercialization and export of genuine objects belonging to national cultural heritage (ceramic, textile, metal and other archeological, historical or artistic objects). Nevertheless it is possible to obtain replicas with a certification by the Ministry of Culture.
Peru is committed to contribute to the rights and happiness of our greatest patrimony: our children. For that reason, people seeking child sex or engaging in the sexual exploitation of our children and teenagers are punishable with prison (Law 28.251).

Special Recommendations

Protected Natural Areas (ANP)
It is important to obtain information about the requirements to visit 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

Adventure Sports

Hire services from companies specialized in the activities you wish to participate in 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 trails and to obtain permission before hiking across private property.

Archeological sites

All archeological sites are managed by agencies reporting to the Ministry of Culture. It is advisable to find information about authorized activities for visitors in those areas.

Use of rubber or hiking footwear is encouraged in order to minimize the impact of your visit on the environment and contribute to its preservation.

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