Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century and later abandoned.
Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos

PERU

South America

Peru Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Lima

Location:

Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador

Currency:

nuevo sol (PEN)

Area:

1,285,216 sq km

Population:

32,201,224 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Spanish (official) 82.9%, Quechua (official) 13.6%, Aymara (official) 1.6%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.8%, other (includes foreign languages and sign language) 0.2%, none 0.1%, unspecified 0.7% (2017 est.)

Religion:

Roman Catholic 60%, Christian 14.6% (includes Evangelical 11.1%, other 3.5%), other 0.3%, none 4%, unspecified 21.1% (2017 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC-5

Tel Code:

+51

Weather

Climate

Peru is a country located in South America and it has a diverse climate, with different regions having different weather patterns. The country can be broadly divided into three regions: the coastal region, the highland region and the jungle region.

The coastal region, which includes places like Lima and Paracas, has a mild and arid climate with temperatures averaging around 20°C (68°F) and little rainfall.

The highland region, which includes places like Cusco and Machu Picchu, has a temperate and humid climate with temperatures averaging around 15°C (59°F) and moderate rainfall from November to March.

The jungle region, which includes places like Manu and Tambopata, has a tropical and humid climate with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F) and heavy rainfall throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Peru depends on the type of activities you want to do and your preferences. The dry season, from May to October, is considered the best time to visit as the weather is more stable and the chances of rain are lower. This is also considered the peak tourist season, and the prices for accommodations and activities may be higher.

The rainy season, from November to April, is considered the low season for tourism, but it's also the time when the nature is more lush and the wildlife is more active, making it a great time for nature lovers. The weather during the rainy season is still warm and tropical, with occasional rain showers.

It's worth noting that the best time to visit the highland region, like Machu Picchu, is from April to October, as the weather is dry and the visibility is better. The best time to visit the jungle region, like Manu and Tambopata, is from December to April, when the weather is dryer, and the wildlife is more active.

Transportation

Air travel

Peru has several international airports including Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) in Lima, which is the capital city, Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) in Cusco and Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport (IQT) in Iquitos. From there, you can take a domestic flight to reach other destinations in Peru. Most of the domestic flights are operated by major airlines such as LATAM, Avianca and Star Peru, and they connect the main cities and tourist destinations.

Bus travel

Buses are a popular and convenient way to travel around Peru, with extensive networks of long-distance and local buses that connect most of the cities and towns. Bus travel is relatively inexpensive, safe and comfortable. There are several bus companies that operate in the country, such as Cruz del Sur, Ormeño and Oltursa.

Car rental

Car rental is a great option for those who want to explore Peru at their own pace, it's widely available in most cities and towns. It's worth noting that the road conditions can be challenging in some remote areas, and it's important to have a valid driver's license and insurance. It's also important to be aware of the traffic rules and regulations, and be prepared for long-distance drives, as some of the tourist destinations can be far away from the major cities.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in most cities and towns, and they are a convenient and safe way to get around. It's worth noting that it's best to use a licensed taxi and to agree on the fare before starting the journey.

Train travel

Train travel is a popular way to get to Machu Picchu, with the main train station being located in the city of Cusco. There are several train companies that operate in the country, such as PeruRail, Inca Rail and Andean Explorer.

Accommodation

Hotels

Peru has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. You can find hotels in most of the major cities, towns, and tourist destinations. Many of the hotels in Peru are eco-friendly and have a strong focus on sustainability.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a popular option in Peru, as they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations. They are typically run by local families, and they offer a unique way to experience the local culture and hospitality.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, villas, and houses can be rented on a short-term basis. This is becoming an increasingly popular option in Peru, and it can be a great option for those looking for more privacy and space.

Tented camps and lodges

Tented camps and lodges are a popular option for those who want to experience the natural beauty of Peru, they are typically located in the national parks and reserves, and they offer comfortable and eco-friendly accommodations.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality. They are typically run by local families, and they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations.

Luxury lodges

Peru is also a popular destination for luxury lodges, which offer a range of facilities and activities, and all meals and drinks are included in the price. They are popular with families and couples, and can be found in the major tourist destinations such as Machu Picchu, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Colca Canyon.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Peru Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Peru, a country located in South America, is known for its rich history, diverse cultures, and beautiful landscapes. From the bustling cities to the ancient ruins, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Peru. Here are the top 10 things to do in Peru that should not be missed:

      1. Visit Machu Picchu

      Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ancient Incan citadel located high in the Andes Mountains. Visitors can hike the Inca Trail to reach the citadel and also explore the many terraces, plazas, and temples that make up the site.

      2. Visit the Sacred Valley

      The Sacred Valley, located in the Andes Mountains, is known for its beautiful landscapes, traditional villages, and ancient Incan ruins. Visitors can explore the valley's many traditional villages, such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo, and also see the many ancient Incan ruins, such as the fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

      3. Visit Cusco

      Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and rich culture. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, such as the Cusco Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun, and also see traditional Incan stonework and take part in local festivals.

      4. Visit Lake Titicaca

      Lake Titicaca, located on the border of Peru and Bolivia, is the highest navigable lake in the world and it is known for its beautiful landscapes and traditional floating islands. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lake and also visit the many traditional villages located on the islands.

      5. Visit the Nazca Lines

      The Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert. Visitors can take a flight over the lines to see them from above, and also explore the many nearby ancient sites, such as the Chauchilla Cemetery.

      6. Visit the Colca Canyon

      The Colca Canyon, located in southern Peru, is one of the deepest canyons in the world and it is known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife. Visitors can take a guided tour of the canyon and also see the Andean condors and other wildlife that call the canyon home.

      7. Visit the Amazon Rainforest

      The Amazon Rainforest, located in eastern Peru, is one of the most biodiverse places on earth and it offers visitors the opportunity to see a wide variety of plant and animal life. Visitors can take a guided tour of the rainforest and also see the many indigenous communities that call the forest home.

      8. Visit the Huascarán National Park

      The Huascarán National Park, located in the Andes Mountains, is known for its beautiful landscapes, diverse wildlife, and many hiking trails. Visitors can hike the park's many trails and also see the many species of birds and other wildlife that call the park home.

      9. Visit Lima

      Lima, the capital city of Peru, is known for its rich history, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can explore the city's many museums, such as the Museum of the Nation and the Museum of the Santa Inquisicion, and also enjoy the city's delicious seafood and traditional Peruvian dishes.

      10. Visit Puno

      Puno is a city located on the shore of Lake Titicaca, known for its traditional culture and beautiful landscapes. Visitors can explore the city's many traditional markets, such as the Mercado de Artesanías, and also take a boat tour of the lake to see the many traditional floating islands.

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