Peru Travel Tips
South America

From: Peru Travel Guide

See also: Peru Travel InformationPeru Travel Advice

Peru Travel Tips
Here are a few tips for travelling in Peru:

Time Keeping
You will find that most Peruvians are fashionably late for meetings and appointments and it is quite normal to be around 30 to 60 minutes late.

Best Time to Visit
Although Peru has something going on all year round you will find one of the best times to visit is between June and August due to the weather conditions.

Trekking conditions are made more difficult due to the heavy rainfall that can can occur during the rainy season of December through to April.

If you are invited around to someone's house for dinner then take a small gift for the host and hostess and dress in formal attire.

Shopping Guide
Arequipa is the place to go for top quality antiques, galleries and Alpaca clothing. Top quality Alpaca garments are often made out of Bebe which is the soft fur from under the jaw and not from a baby. Some of the best hand painted pottery and exquisite jewelry containing gold and silver filigree work can be found in Catacaos in Piura. Miraflores is the place to go if you are seeking an upmarket shopping area.

Only use official taxis and fix the price before you enter the cab. If you are at an airport use the taxi kiosks inside the airport rather than hailing one from outside.

Food and Drink
Travellers diarrhoea is very common so it it worth taking your own fluid replacement medication ready for when you need it and drink plenty of bottled water.

Avoid foods that have not been properly prepared or that have been washed in untreated water. Do not have ice in drinks, or watered down drinks and keep an eye on them to prevent them from being spiked.

Due to the chaotic driving conditions and culture it is far better to hire a car and driver to take you around, this can be arranged via your hotel and often proves to be a safer and far less stressful option.

Allow plenty of time to get to your next destination as transport in Peru is not known for its punctuality. This especially applies to the rainy season where landslides can cause services to be delayed or cancelled.

Altitude Sickness
Spend a good couple of days acclimatizing at a new destination before embarking on any strenuous activity as this will help you to prevent altitude sickness and allows you a couple of days to explore a new city.

The climate is hot and humid so remember your sun hat, sun cream and insect repellent. Taking your own mini first aid kit can also be a great help, especially when travelling outside the major cities. Remember to pack plenty of sterilizing tablets and a suitable water bottle especially if you plan to embark on the Inca Trail.

Peruvian Souvenirs
A great souvenir is to have your passport stamped at the main Machu Picchu office.

A few phrases worth remembering are "No Gracias" which means no thank you and can be a useful one if you are being bombarded to buy something off the street. "Buenos Dias" good day should be said when entering a shop or establishment and "Adios" which means goodbye can be used when leaving. At the end of the evening "Buenos Noches" can be used which means good night.

Inca Trail
Remember to tip your porters who will have helped make your Inca Trail considerably easier and they will certainly appreciate it. Wear a comfortable backpack and hiking boots and remember your insect repellent, sun cream, rain coat, camera and spare batteries.