With approximately 30 million inhabitants and an area of 1,285,216 square kilometers, Peru contains some of the most varied geography in South America, consisting of three distinct regions: the dry coastal desert, the Andean highlands and the Amazon Basin. The capital city is Lima, located 12º south of the equator on the Pacific coast. The time zone in the whole country coincides with Eastern Standard time in the U.S. and is five hours behind GMT. Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua, the language of the Inca Empire. English is spoken by some people, mostly in the major tourist areas.
The Coast: From December to April, temperatures reach 27ºC; from May to November, temperatures may fall to a mild 12ºC with high humidity.
The Highlands: From May to November, days are sunny, nights cold and rain scarce, creating the perfect weather for a visit. Rainfall is abundant from December to April. In a single day, temperatures may fluctuate from 20ºC to 5ºC.
The Amazon Forest: From May to October is the dry season with sunny days that heat up to 30ºC. During the rainy season, rivers swell.
28th of July (28 de Julio)
If you plan to visit Peru at the end of July, during the national holiday, be sure to arrange transport and lodging in advance because of the high demand.
CURRENCY AND MONEY EXCHANGE
The Peruvian currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). It circulates in coins of 10, 20 and 50 centavos and 1, 2 and 5 Nuevos Soles, and in bills of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles. Generally, the banks and currency exchange offices will change most foreign currency. Major credit cards are widely accepted and even required to rent a car and register at hotels. The most common credit cards are: Diner’s Club, Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Travelers checks in American dollars are not always accepted at hotels, businesses and restaurants (specially in areas far from big cities), so it is always good to carry another form of payment. It is better to have bills in good condition, since torn ones may not be accepted.
Valid passport required. No visa is necessary for U.S. tourists holding a valid passport, but a formal extension is required if the visit exceeds 90 days. If you lose your passport, obtain a temporary replacement from your embassy in Lima.
Photographing airports, military bases and police stations is forbidden. In some churches and museums, it is also forbidden to take photographs or make video recordings.
It is strictly forbidden to transport illegal drugs. Offenders will be arrested and jailed. Under no circumstance should you accept to carry in your luggage packages belonging to strangers.
If you wish to visit the jungle, you should get an immunization for yellow fever.
As in any big city, tourists in Lima may be the target of robberies and other unpleasant situations.
We recommend that you take certain precautions wherever you travel:
• Use a money belt and carry only the amount of money you plan to spend on a given day.
• Leave your airline tickets, money and other valuables in your hotel.
• Don’t walk on dark, deserted streets at night.
• Avoid areas with crowds and many street vendors.
• Keep close track of bags, cameras and other valuables.
• Avoid talking with people who approach you to offer services in bus terminals or isolated areas.
• In case of robbery, report the incident at the nearest police station and for emergencies call 105.
220V. Appliances using 110V will require a transformer.
Drink only sealed, bottled water of a known brand. When hiking in the mountains, boil or purify the water. Be careful to wash raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly. Avoid eating food from street vendors. The change of food can cause diarrhea. Ask in a pharmacy for local anti-diarrheal medication.
Because of the altitude, travelers with heart problems or high blood pressure should check with a doctor in advance or if any problem arises. If you plan to visit the highlands, take it easy for the first 2 or 3 days and drink a lot of water to avoid mountain sickness (soroche). If you get a headache, drink coca tea (mate de coca) for some relief. Always carry sunscreen, glasses and a cap for UV protection.
CULTURAL HERITAGE AND PROTECTED SPECIES:
Peruvian law prohibits and prosecutes the sale and export of all types of wild plants and animals and original objects of national cultural heritage, without special permissions from INRENA or the National Institute of Culture. Avoid buying such materials.
There are hotels and lodgings of all categories and costs. It is highly recommended to make reservations well in advance of the peak tourist season (May – September). Other possibilities are family-run bed and breakfast lodgings. Ask about check-out times at hotels to avoid additional charges.
You can make your Peruvian trip easier by booking with a travel agency. There are various packages and prices. Avoid contracting services from people who circulate around the airports and bus stations.
Choosing a travel agency comes with some risks and and responsabilies. Be careful in choosing it _ You get what you pay for.
BY AIR: From Lima you can find flights to the main cities in Peru, including Huaraz. Flights can be full in the high season so make your reservations in advance.
BY LAND: Traveling by land is very popular in Peru, so many routes and types of bus service are available. Ask about the conveniences included in each fare class before purchasing your ticket. Ask if it is direct service or with various stops along the way.
BY RAIL: There are three tourist routes:
1. Arequipa – Juliaca – Puno
2. Puno – Cusco
3. Cusco – Machu Picchu
Prom Peru, iPerú, is a free government service offering travelers information and assistance when in Peru.
• Official tourist information about attractions, routes, destinations and businesses who offer tourist services
• Provide information and assistance when a tourism provider does not provide a satisfactory product or service.
A) FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES: dial 51 first, then the city code and number.
B) NUMBERS INSIDE THE COUNTRY
(CODE) + (Telephone Number)
Lima: 01 Trujillo: 044
Huaraz: 043 Arequipa: 054
Cuzco: 084 Iquitos: 065
Ica: 056 Piura: 073
Chiclayo: 074 Ayacucho: 066
Tumbes: 072 Puno: 051
C) COLLECT CALLS: 108
D) TELEPHONE INFORMATION: 103
E) INTERNATIONAL CALLS:
00+Country code+City code+Phone number.
CONVERSIONS BETWEEN ENGLISH AND METRIC SYSTEMS:
1 Centimeter 0.3937 Inch
1 Inch 2.5401 Centimeters
1 Meter 3.2808 Feet
1 Foot 0.3048 Meters
1 Kilometer 0.6214 Mile
1Terrestrial Mile 1.6093 Kilometers
1 Gram 0.0353 Ounces
1 Ounce 28.3495 Grams
1 Kilogram 2.2046 Pounds
1 Pound 0.4536 Kilogram
Centigrade = 5/9(Fo – 32o)
Fahrenheit = 9/5Co + 32o
Chan-Chan is the largest complex of adobe architecture in America. Many of its walls bear designs of marine life. The huacas El Brujo, Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna, which has brightly-painted clay relief panels of Moche deities.
Grande, Huaca Rajada (Sipán) and Dos Cabezas.
The famous tomb of the Lord of Sipán is without a doubt the most important recent discovery of the Moche culture. Visit the fine museums: Royal Tombs of Sipán and the Brüning Museum in Chiclayo and the Sicán Museum in Ferreñafe.
The archaeological sanctuary of Machu Picchu, constructed in stone in the 15th century, is considered to be the maximum expression of Inca architecture and organization. Sacsayhuamán is an Inca fortress constructed with enormous blocks of worked stone up to nine meters high. The Inca Trail is one of the most famous hiking routes in the world.
The Paracas culture is celebrated for its incomparable textiles, tombs and cranial trephinations. In the Paracas National Reserve, one can visit the Ballestas and San Gallán islands, national reserves of marine fauna and flora. The Nazca Lines are believed to be the largest astronomical calendar in the world.
The second most important city in Peru and the location of the great Misti volcano. The Colca Canyon is a splendid place to observe condors, the Cotahuasi canyon and beautiful towns.
MADRE DE DIOS:
The Manu Reserve, Tambopata-Candamo, the Sanctuary of the Heath Pampas and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park are considered to be some of the best preserved territories on the planet for their diversity of natural elements.
Within the vast complex of archaeological monuments, several outstanding examples are the ruins of the Fortress of Kuélap, Levanto, Karajía, Molinopampa and the sarcophagi embedded in the cliffs around the Laguna of the Condors.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world at 3,812 meters above sea level. It has a few islands, such as Taquile, of great ethnic and cultural value, since the people there still preserve the ancient Inca traditions.
The downtown of Lima used to be the heart of Spanish culture in the New World. Its beautiful colonial palaces, museums and churches still contain precious treasures which, despite the turmoil of modern life, recount the history of the City of Kings. This is where you will find the Plaza de Armas and the Government Palace.
One of Lima most attractive residential, business and commercial districts, San Isidro reflects the tranquility and practical spirit of its inhabitants. The area has fine parks such as the “Olivar San Isidro”, commercial centers, excellent hotels and restaurants.
Miraflores has excellent commercial centers and an intense nightlife to offer visitors. Excellent hotels, restaurants, cafes, galleries and boutiques are in harmony with the gardens that border the attractive beaches of the Pacific Ocean. It is a great place for all types of travelers and offers great options for tourism, cultural and shopping activities.
You will find information about the Panoramic Bus and different touristic circuits available in Lima, both in English and Spanish. at the Information Kiosk in Parque Kennedy.
In Callao you will find the International Airport, the Main Maritime Port and the “Real Felipe” Fort. As well , the San Lorenzo and Fronton Islands offer a great place to observe sea lions in their natural habitat.
In Lima there are taxi services everywhere. The most reliable service is from inside the bus station or airport. Always ask in advance how much the fare is before taking a taxi. The minimum taxi charge is about US $3.00-4.00 for short distances, US $6.00-8.00 from downtown to most suburbs and about US $20.00 to and from the airport from many parts of Lima.
Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chavez: www.lap.com.pe
Domestic and International
Phone: (511) 511 6055 – (511) 517 3100
RECONFIRMING AIR TICKETS:
Domestic flights: 48 hours and International: 72 hours before departing.
AIRPORT TAXES: (T.U.U.A.)
Domestic flights: US $10.02
International flights: US $30.74
The most famous dishes in Peru are Cebiche de Pescado (raw fish marinated with lemon juice and hot pepper), Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken), Ají de Gallina (chicken with hot pepper sauce), Lomo Saltado (sliced beef with onions and french fries), Pollo a la Brasa con papas fritas (roasted chicken with french fries) and Trucha Frita (baked trout). Pachamanca (Pacha=earth, manca= oven) is a dish handed down from the Peruvian ancestors as an offering to mother earth. It includes a variety of meats (beef, chicken, mutton) and vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, ocas). The food is cooked in an oven excavated in the earth and filled with heated stones. Another Peruvian delicacy is Picante de Cuy (roast guinea pig and potatoes covered with spicy sauce). Typical fruits such as lúcuma and chirimoya are used to flavor ice cream. Don’t forget to try the great Peruvian beers, such as Cristal, Pilsen and Cusqueña. Of course, you can’t leave the country without trying Pisco sour, our world-famous cocktail. Huaraz has many restaurants that offer a variety of regional and international dishes.