Regions and weather

The Coast

This region features deserts, fertile valleys and beautiful beaches in the north.
In Lima and on the coast in general, December to April are the hottest and sunniest months ( summer ), but it´s warm all over the year on the norhernmost part of the Peruvian coast. From June to October it´s more humid and a light drizzle may occur ( winter ).

The Highlands

A mountainous area dominated by the Andes, where Mount Huascaran soars to an altitude of 6768 meters. Seasons are opposite to the coast. The Highlands have a dry season ( May to October ) and a rainy season ( November to April ), the tempertures vary considerably between day and night: very cold at night and in the early morning (+ 5 to – 7 C ) and warm at noon ( 16 to 21 C ). It is advisable to use clothes that you can change easily. Dry season is ideal for trekking and mountaineering.

The Rainforest

A vast region of tropical vegetation and humid, hot climate in the Amazon River Basin. Wet and dry seasons are similar to the highlands, but in the rainforest it may rain at any moment all over the year. Carry always suitable clothes like long cotton trousers and shirts with long sleeves, waterproof boots for walking, hat, waterproof jacket and a bathing suit.

Population and language

Aprox. 32 millions with around 10 millions in and surrounding the capital, Lima. 52,1 % of the population live on the coast, 36,9 % in the highlands and 11 % in the jungle regions. Peru is a multiracial and multiethnic country, composed of Amerindians 45%, Mestizos 37%, Whites 15%, and 3 % Asians, Afro-Peruvians, and others. Peru has two official languages, Spanish ( spoken by aprox. 80 % as mother tongue ) and Quechua. There are other 46 native languages like Aymara ( spoken around Titicaca lake area ) and the others are spoken by ethnic groups in the Peruvian jungle, some of them threatened by extinction. English is spoken in most hotels and tourist centers.

Public holidays

-  January 1 New Year
-  Easter Weekend  ( Easter Monday is not a holiday )
-  May 1 Labour Day.
-  June 29 St. Peter and St. Paul.
-  July 28 & 29 National Holidays; Peru's Independence.
-  August 30 Santa Rosa de Lima.
-  October 8 Battle of Angamos.
-  November 1 All Saints.
-  December 8 Immaculate Conception.
-  December 25 Christmas.

Food and drinks

Peruvian cuisine is delicious and diverse, you may taste exotic fruits, excellent fish and seafood, typical dishes in each department and hot peppery sauces. Try the famous "cebiche" - fresh fish or seafood marinated in lime juice-, or "anticuchos", meat skewer of spicy marinated meat fried over charcoal, or Chifa restaurants which provide Peru's exotic alternative to Chinese cuisine. There are also Andean specialities such as roast guinea pig with peanut sauce, or the Pachamanca, where different meats, potatoes and vegetables are roasted together in pits covered with hot stones. Peruvian beers and  wines are good, but the national drink is the "Pisco Sour", made from grape brandy with lime juice and egg white. Also try the tradtional, non-alcoholic "Chicha" made from local purple corn.

Shopping

Shopping hours are Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 hours. Shops and markets in Lima offer a selection of most of Peru's fine handicrafts, such as hand-woven textiles, alpaca and llama rugs, sweaters and shawls, pottery, straw and basketwork and elegant woodwork. The quality of the gold and silver jewellery is excellent.

Transport

Daily flights of the national airlines connect Lima with most major cities in Peru. Bus services are also available. The railway network operates on three major trunk lines.

Currency, traveler checks, ATM´s and credit cards

The Nuevo Sol is the official currency of Peru, divided into 100 centavos. At the moment 1 USD = 3,40 Soles
Many hotels, good restaurants and supermarkets accept US dollars. It´s recommendable to change money at “casas de cambio” ( Exchange houses ), where you get higher rates than in banks and you don´t have to stand in line.
We recommend bringing some cash for the first days, because in smaller towns it´s still difficult or imposible to get cash for traveler checks or to use credit cards. ATM cards ( Automated teller machines ) are generally the best way of getting cash quickly in Peru; you can find them in most cities and towns. Visa and master card are accepted in nearly all tourist places ( hotels, restaurants, stores ).

Tipping

Similar to other South American countries, in Peru you give tips in restaurants ( 5 – 10 % ), hotels and airports ( for porters of luggage, 2 – 3 Soles ).

Safety

The safety situation for tourists in Peru has improved in recent years, nevertheless it is important to take some precautions in order to avoid bad experiences:

  1. Leave important documents and valuables ( passport, flight tickets, jewellery etc. ) at  the hotel in your room safe. If there is only one collective safe for all guests, ask for a receipt with each item registered.
  2.  Copy all important documents and carry only these copies with you
  3. In case it´s necessary to carry original documents, keep them together with cash in a belt under your clothes
  4. Take care of your things, especially camaras, and be cautious at crowded places like markets.
  5. Try to avoid walking alone in desolate areas, particularly at night.
  6. It´s forbidden to export cultural ítems like original pre-Columbian objects and drug trafficking is a serious crime which is punished by severe imprisonment.
  7. In case you get into trouble with authorities, insist on checking their identification and, if necessary, contact your embassy or consulate.

Health

Before you begin your trip to Peru, you should visit a physician for a check-up and in order go get the latest informations about the recommended vaccinations for Peru ( tetanus, polio, typhus, hepatitits A/B ). For trips to the jungle, especially to Iquitos and Madre de Dios, a yellow-fever vaccination is recommended, but it's not necessary for the tours we offer across the different regions on the coast, highlands and jungle. Don´t forget to buy a mosquito repellent for trips on the coast and to the jungle.
You should only drink bottled water, avoid drinking water from the tap and be careful with drinks with ice. Have your meals and drinks at clean restaurants and avoid eating at markets or from food vendors.
Very few people suffer from altitude sickness during our tours in North Peru, as we don´t stay overnight at places higher than 2800 meters above sea level. Nevertheless we recommend to eat light food, drink coca tea and enough water during the first 2 days, when you travel to Cajamarca and Amazonas ( Chachapoyas ).  

Packing Check List

  • Passport and flight tickets
  • Cash
  • Credit or debit cards
  • Copies of all important personal documents
  • Medium weight and fleece jacket ( only for highland tours )
  • Plastic raincoat
  • Sweatshirts and T-shirts
  • Trousers and shorts
  • Underwear
  • Hat or cap
  • Hiking boots and sneakers
  • Sandals
  • Swimsuit
  • Small backpack ( for short excursions )
  • Small flashlight ( Jungle excursions )
  • Pocket knife
  • Binoculars
  • Camara and batteries
  • First-aid kit ( incl. aspirins )
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun blocker
  • Sun glasses
  • Small presents ( pens, toys etc. for poor children )

Peruvian embassies

Peruvian Embassy AUSTRIA
Address: Gottfried Keller-Gasse 2/12 1030 Viena
Telephone: +43-1-713 4377
Fax: +43-1-712 7704
Mail:embajada@embaperuaustria.at
Web: www.embaperuaustria.at

Peruvian Embassy GREAT BRITAIN
Address: 52 Sloane Street London SW1X 9SP Londres
Telephone: (020)7838-9223
Fax: (020)7823-2789
Mail: consulate@peruembassy-uk.com

Peruvian Embassy FRANCE
Address: 50 Avenue Kléber75116 París (Metro Kléber)
Telephone: 00 33 1 53 70 42 04
Mail: 00 33 1 53 70 42 04
Web: http://www.amb-perou.fr

Peruvian Embassy GERMANY
Address: Schadowstrasse 6 10117 Berlín
Telephone: (49-30)2291455
Fax: (49-30)2292857
Mail: conper.berlin@t-online.de
Web: www.embassyofperu.nl

Peruvian Embassy ITALY
Address: Via Francesco Siacci, 2B - 00197 Roma
Telephone: (+39) 06 80691510
Fax: (+39) 06 80691777
Mail:embperu@ambasciataperu2.191.it
Web: www.ambasciataperu.it

Peruvian Embassy NETHERLANDS
Address: Nassauplein 4, Residencia: Schouwweg 106, Wassenaar
Telephone: (31-70)365-3500
Fax: (31-70)365-1929
Mail:info@embassyofperu.nl
Web: www.embassyofperu.nl

Peruvian Embassy SPAIN
Address: C/Príncipe de Vergara, 36; 5º derecha; 28001 Madrid
Telephone: 91 431 4242
Fax: 91 577 6861
Mail: lepru@embajadaperu.es
Web: www.embajadaperu.es

Peruvian Embassy SWEDEN
Address: Brunnsgatan 21B, 2TR 111 38 Estocolmo
Telephone: 08 – 440 8740
Fax: 08 – 20 55 92
Mail:info@peruembassy.se
Web: www.peruembassy.se

Peruvian Embassy SWITZERLAND
Address: Thunstrasse Nro. 36, 3005, Berna
Telephone: (41-31)3518555
Fax: (41-31) 3528261
Mail:infoperu@bluewin.ch
Web: www.embajadaperu.ch

Peruvian Embassy USA
Address: 1700 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Washington D.C. 20036
Telephone: (1-202) 8339860 al 8339869
Fax: (1-202) 6598124 y 7850933
Mail: lepruwash@aol.com
Web: http://www.peruemb.org/main.html

 

 

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