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Peru

  • Peru

  • Peru

  • Peru

PERU COUNTRY INFORMATION

Country Name: Republic of Peru
Area: 496.225 Square Miles (1.285.216 Square Km.)
Population: 29.500.000 (growth rate: 1.8% annual, aprox.)
Capital City: Lima
Capital Population: 8.000.000
Peru Country Code: (51) Lima (1)

Language: Spanish predominates throughout Peru with 84% of the population speaking the language.  The indigenous Quechua is spoken by 13.2% of the Amerindian inhabitants and several other native languages are spoken by the numerous and diverse ethnic groups. English is widely spoken in major hotels and the main tourist centers and facilities throughout the country.

Religion: 82% Roman Catholic; 12.5% Evangelical

Currency: The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol

Time Zones: All of Peru: GMT – 5 (No Daylight Saving Time observed at any time)

Measures System: Decimal Metric System.  1 meter equals to 3.3 feet.  1.6 kilometers equals to 1 mile; 1 Kilo equals to 2.2 pounds and 1 liter equals to 0.26 gallons.  Temperatures are measured in Celsius Degrees: 0 Celsius equals to 32 Farenheit and 100 C equals to 212 F.

USEFUL INFORMATION

Passports and Documentation: A valid Passport is necessary for travelling as tourists to Peru. The validity must extend to six months after travel is completed.  Nationals of the United States and Canada do NOT need visas for tourism activities in Peru. For other nationalities, please ask us. Important: when travelling within Peru, you need to carry the passport with you.

Electricity: 220V AC / 60 Cycles.  Some hotels have 110 V AC or adapters.

Water: Tap water is not safe to drink, especially for sensitive stomachs, not used to it. The best option is to drink bottled water, available in various sizes throughout the country. In remote areas, boiling water for a few minutes and sterilization tablets are also good alternatives.

Transportation: Peru is easily accessible by its main International Airport, located in the country’s capital city of Lima.  Other international, regional and local airports serve all of the country’s geographical regions.  Callao, the main sea port, a few minutes west of Lima, is a popular way of access for visitors coming arriving on cruise ships. A good network of roads provides the facilities for land travel in Peru.  An ample network of public bus services in the capital; between cities and in the other major cities complement the transportation facilities to move around in Peru.

Communications: Telephone communications for local, national and international calls are available at public cabins and booths, as well as hotels (some surcharges may apply) and other tourist venues.  Prepaid phone cards are also available, it is recommended to make sure to use reliable and compatible carriers.  Cell or mobile phones are extensively used and can be rented by tourists.  Internet services are also widely offered at hotels (usually free for guests); Wi-Fi zones at most tourist venues and on cyber cafes.  Peru also offers an efficient postal service.

Opening Hours: Offices are open 09:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday. Banks open from 09:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday. Some also open on Saturday morning or may have some extended services until 18:00, Monday to Friday.

Currency Exchange, Credit Cards & Banking Facilities: Foreign exchange transactions can be made at banks or authorized hotels, restaurants and clubs. Visitors are not recommended to be tempted by the premiums offered by street black marketers. Purchases and services can also be freely paid for in US dollars, accepted in most tourist venues.

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at most tourist locations and facilities. Do check with your credit or debit card companies for details about acceptability and possible restrictions.

Shopping and Souvenirs: There are several shopping areas in Lima and other major cities.  Most shops open Monday to Friday from 09:00 or 10:00 am until up to 21:00 pm.  Some stores may close for lunch between 13:00 and 15:00. Peruvians express their artistic sensibilities and creativity through a wide variety of products.  Among the most popular, sought by visitors, are the clothing garments made of fine cotton and warm alpaca and vicuna knits; jewelry in gold and silver made with ancient techniques and diverse decoration handicrafts and artistic objects.  These articles can be acquired at modern stores and shopping centers. However, many visitors particularly enjoy shopping for handicrafts at the artisan or Indian Markets.

Tipping: Tipping, even though customary, is a personal matter, related to your impressions of how you were served.  To express your satisfaction, the following international guidelines, per person, can be followed:
$ 10, per day, for adventure or tour guides
$ 5, per day, for driver

Restaurants and bars add 10% to the bill.  However, waiters will usually expect a 10% cash tip, in addition.

TAXES

Airport Tax: For Lima, Cuzco & Arequipa taxes are already included in the international & domestic air ticket.  For the rest of the domestic flights, clients will need to pay directly and we cannot include them in our service as they varies all the time.  This is approximately $4.00.

Sales Tax: Sales tax (IGV) on goods and services in shops and restaurants is 19%, and is generally included in the prices shown. At hotels if you travel on your own or extend your stay, you can omit paying the sales tax by presenting a photocopy of your passport.

SAFETY AND HEALTH

Security, Valuables: Just like anywhere in the world, normal precautions to be taken are not to venture alone or even in couples into solitary, marginal or poorly illuminated areas; not to accept offers, gifts or unrequested assistance from strangers and not to carry flashy objects such as jewelry, electronic gadgets and others that might tempt thieves.  In wild or nature areas, the main hazard is getting lost if walking or hiking alone.  The company of a certified and reliable guide, ranger or similar is recommended and, otherwise, to advice the nearest authorities or your lodging place what your exploration plans are. Your valuables are best kept at the hotels and lodgings’ safety boxes.  A photocopy of your passport or other photo ID is useful to carry handy with you.

Health and Medical Facilities:  Lima, the capital, as well as other major cities, do have high-level hospitals and medical facilities.  The major hotels offer on-call medical assistance on the main cities and in the most developed tourist centers.  Travelers are suggested to seek the advice of their physicians prior to travelling for dietary restrictions; altitude precautions; vaccines, etc.  The local tour operator should be informed in advance of dietary restrictions and medical conditions which might require special care.

Altitude Sickness (Soroche):  To help prevent altitude sickness the best measure is to acclimatize for at least two days with limited activity, eat light meals, drink lots of water and abstain from alcohol.  Altitude sickness begins affecting people who quickly ascend to altitudes over 8,100 ft (2,500 m). Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, insomnia and loss of appetite. Risk of altitude sickness increases with higher altitudes, faster ascents more physical exertion and severe cases include fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) or swelling of the brain (high-altitude cerebral edema) and can only be treated by descending immediately. Being physically fit does not necessarily mean you are free from risk of altitude sickness.

Immunization:   If you plan to travel to the rainforest, the administration of a Yellow Fever vaccine 10 days in advance is strongly recommended. People with heart conditions or high blood pressure should check with their doctors before travelling to high altitudes. It is advisable to bring a small personal first aid kit with you.

CLIMATE AND CLOTHING

Climate and weather conditions vary widely according to seasonal factors; regional and ecological characteristics; altitude and other elements.  Thus, it is recommended to look for specific advice regarding climate, weather and appropriate clothing, depending on the places you are planning to visit and the time of the year your trip is being planned for.  Please ask us for details.

GASTRONOMY AND CUISINE

Peruvian cuisine has become famous and recognized around the world as one of the most varied, sophisticated and creative in modern gastronomy. Great restaurants, awarded several forks, reflect the diversity of a nation which has blended its native traditions and ingredients with those of Europe, Middle East, China, Africa and Japan.  The result is a unique mix of flavours of the highest international quality. Peru has become the South American beacon of fusion cuisine, using the most varied elements of sea, land and poultry, along with the varied supply of fruits and vegetables which can be found on the vast Peruvian territory.  A new generation of Chefs, who have achieved global recognition and awards, use traditional ingredients and recipes, along with haute cuisine techniques.

To be on the safe side, travellers are recommended to avoid eating from street vendors or in places where good health conditions are not guaranteed.

The country’s flagship drink, also famed and drank as a popular aperitif worldwide, is the Pisco Sour, a white grape brandy served with lemon juice, egg white and powdered sugar.

RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS

LIMA

  • Astrid & GastonRestaurant – Peruvian Cuisine
  • Huaca Pucllana Restaurant – Peruvian Cuisine
  • La Gloria Restaurant  – Peruvian Cuisine
  • La Rosa Nautica – Seafood
  • Mangos Restaurant – Peruvian Cuisine
  • Rafael Restaurant – International Cuisine
  • La Trattoria Dimambrino – Italian Cuisine
  • Brujas de Cachiche – Peruvian Cuisine
  • El Senoria de Sulco – Peruvian Cuisine
  • Wa Lok Restaurant – Cantonese Cuisine
  • La Dama Juana – Peruvian & Criole Cuisine
  • Rodrigo Restaurant – Fusion Peruvian Cuisine
  • Juniius Restaurant – Peruvian & Creole Cuisine
  • Casa Hacienda Moreyra – Peruvian Cuisine
  • Malabar Restaurant – Peruvian & International Cuisine
  • Royal Restaurant – Chinese Cuisine

PUNO

  • Alma Restauran -Fusion & Peruvian Cuisine
  • Pizzeria Giorgio Restaurant – Fusion, International and Italian Cuisine
  • Los Uros Restaurant -Grilled meats, Noveau Andean and Seafood Cuisine

AREQUIPA

  • La Tratoria del Monasterio – Italian – Peruvian Cuisine
  • Zigzag Restaurant – Alpandina Cuisine
  • Chicha Restaurant – Peruvian Cuisine
  • Inkafe Plaza Restaurant – Fusion, International & Peruvian Cuisine
  • Alma Restaurant – Fusion & Peruvian Cuisine
  • Wayrana Restaurant – Peruvian Andean Cuisine
  • Zingaro Restaurant – International, Mediterranean and Noveau Andean Cuisine
  • Sol de Mayo Restaurant – Regional and International Cuisine

CUSCO

  • Inka’s Grill Restaurant – Novuveau Andean Creole Cuisine
  • MAP CAFÉ Restaurant – Comtemporary Peruvian Cuisine
  • Incanto Restaurant – Italian Cuisine
  • Baco Restaurant – South American Cuisine
  • Cicciolina Restaurant – Mediterranean & Andean Cuisine
  • La Cava de San Rafael – Andean Cuisine
  • Green Organic Restaurant – Organic Cuisine
  • La Retama Restaurant & Lounge Bar – International & Peruvian Cuisine
  • Limo Restaurant – Peruvian Cuisine

AGUAS CALIENTES

  • Indio Feliz Restaurant – French – Peruvian Cuisine
RECOMMENDED READING

Lost City of the Incas, The Story of Machu Picchu and its Builders
By Hiram Bingham

The Incas, People of the Sun
By Carmen Bernard

The Incas and their Ancestors, The Archaeology of Peru
By Michael Moseley

Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary
By Peter Frost & Jim Bartle

Exploring Cusco
By Peter Frost. Nuevas Imagenes, Lima, 1999.

A Field Guide to the Birds of Machu Picchu
By Barry Walker

Machu Picchu, the Sacred Center
By Johan Reinhard

A Field Guide to the Birds of Peru
By James Clements • Noam Shany • Dana Gardner

CALENDAR OF FESTIVITIES

Jan – Trujillo – Marinera Festival
Feb – Puno – Virgen de la Candelaria
Feb/Mar – Iquitos – Loreto Carnival
Mar – Ica – Wine Festival
Apr – Lima – Peruvian Paso Horse Festival in Pachacamac
May – Arequipa – Virgen de Chapi
Jun – Cusco – Inti Raymi
Jun – Iquitos – Feast of San Juan
Jul – Cusco – Virgen del Carmen in Paucartambo
Aug – Lima – Santa Rosa de Lima
Oct – Lima – Señor de los Milagros
Nov – Lima – All Day Saints
Dec – Arequipa – Inmaculada Concepcion

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