The answer is "Absolutely Yes". You may have read or heard on TV, websites or newspapers about terrorism, crime and economic and political instability. But the truth is that terrorism has been defeated a long time ago; Peruvians live in peace and work very hard every day to build and democratic and safe society the average tourist is unaffected. The only inconvenience one may experience is the occasional one-day transit halt (“Paros” strike). This phenomenon is endemic to almost all of South America. We can assure visitors that all they need to do is follow the normal precautions taken in order to visit other destinations.
When is the best time to go to Peru?
Travelers can visit Peru any time of the year. Dry season runs from May to November and this is typically the time that is most recommended. However, this is also the cooler time of year. Nighttime temperatures can drop to freezing at the height of the dry season. June, July and August are the most popular months to visit so you will tend to encounter much larger crowds during these months.
In the wet season (December to April), you can expect showers three to four afternoons a week. For travelers that don’t minds a little drizzle and muddy trails, this time of year offers smaller crowds and greener hillsides, with wildflowers and orchids often in bloom.
The shoulder seasons, April to June or September to November can often provide the best of both worlds. They typically have fewer crowds and warmer temperatures than the height of the dry season, but still tend to have relatively little rain.
Do I need a visa?
Citizens of most Western Europe nations and of the USA and Canada who are entering Peru as tourists do not require visas. Travelers who require visas can normally obtain them from embassies or consulates in their countries of residence. If the purpose of your visit is tourism, the maximum length of your stay will be 90 days (you can apply for extensions with the immigration authority.
What about my passport?
You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.
How about domestic flights?
We can book your domestic flights in Peru at a lower price and better schedules. We recommend LAN, Taca, Star Peru and Peruvian Airlines.
Where can I exchange Dollars and Euros for Peruvian Soles?
You can exchange DOLLARS and EUROS in banks and Casas de Cambio (exchange houses), TRAVELLER CHEQUES are possible to change in Banks with a small fee. The airport in Lima has a number of exchange houses. In Cusco you can find exchange houses around the Main Square (Plaza de Armas) and the Sol Avenue (Avenida Sol). The exchange rate is about 2.61 soles for 1 dollar. It is recommended not to accept torn bills because they have less value.
Are there any ATM machines in Cusco?
Yes, there are many ATM machines in Cusco so you can use your Visa or ATM card. Most ATM machines are found around the Sol Avenue and the Main Square. Please inform your bank one to two weeks before traveling so you will not encounter any problems. We recommend you use ATM´s in Banks during business hours for your safety.
What about food and water?
Peruvian cuisine is a real delight. The country is divided into three very distinct geographic zones (coast, mountain and jungle) with their own culinary traditions. All should be tried and enjoyedTap water should be avoided. This is no problem as bottled mineral water (with and without gas) is available virtually everywhere for a very reasonable price.
What SHOULD I bring?
Everyone has their personal style as far as traveling goes. For a general idea, we’ve compiled a basic list (several actually, depending on where you plan to go – check them out). Note: Internet cafés are found just about everywhere in Peru.
What precautions should I take in regards to taxis and streets?
In general Cusco city is a safe place. You can take marked taxis during the day, but after sunset and early morning to go to the airport or the train station, it is recommended that the hotel receptionist call a taxi for you. It is much safer to use those taxis that belong to a taxi company. To walk on the streets take the same precautions like in a major city in the USA or Europe. Pay attention to the advice of your tour leader and hotel receptionist and take common-sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night.
What about electricity?
Peru’s electric grid runs on 220v so if you are going to bring an appliance, like an electric razor, make sure you bring an adapter or purchase one that has a switch or automatically selects the appropriate voltage. Our sockets allow for two-flatted or two-rounded plugs.
What inoculations do I need?
No inoculations are compulsory to enter Peru. Yellow fever is highly recommended for the rainforest areas. Other recommended inoculations include: tetanus, polio, typhoid and malaria for certain areas. Please be reminded that if you travel to Brazil or Bolivia from Peru you will need a yellow fever inoculation.
Is good quality medical care available?
Medical care is generally quite good in private health care facilities in urban areas, but less so in the rural parts of the country. Urban facilities usually have modern equipment and someone on staff that speaks English. It is highly recommended that you take out travel insurance before you leave home. However, hospitals and clinics often ask for cash payment up front. Make sure that you keep all receipts so that you can be reimbursed once you return home. Also, make sure that your travel insurance includes medical evacuation. If you plan on doing any “adventure sports” such as riding motorcycles, scuba diving or even trekking, ask if those activities are covered. They usually aren’t, but youcan buy supplemental insurance to cover you.
Are there discounts for students with ISIC cards?
We offer discounts with a valid ISIC card and the amount depends on the program.
What about altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness, or soroche as it is called in Peru, is sometimes a problem for visitors to the Peruvian highlands. The solution: an infusion, called “mate de coca” or coca leaf tea, is made with the leaves of the coca plant (considered to have been a sacred plant for the Incas and still seen as such by many people in the highlands of Peru).