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Peru Travel Information

The Basics


GMT -5


Electrical current is 220 volts, 60Hz. Two-pronged plugs with flat blades as well as plugs with two round prongs are in use.


Spanish is the official language. In areas where they are predominant, Quechua, Aymara and other aboriginal languages also have official status. English is spoken only in major tourist centres and hotels.

Travel Health

Travellers heading to Peru will need a yellow fever certificate if they're entering from an infected area, and are advised to take precautions if travelling to jungle regions. Immunisation against typhoid is sensible, as are precautions against malaria, dengue fever and zika virus. Vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are recommended, as well as a course of rabies injections if journeying into the wilderness. Diarrhoea and altitude sickness are the most common ailments, so travellers should only drink bottled water, avoid drinks with ice and be wary of street food. Healthcare is good in the major cities, particularly at private clinics rather than public hospitals, but travel insurance remains essential.


Most restaurants add a service charge of 10 percent, which will be indicated by the words propina or servicio near the bottom of the bill. Even if a service charge has been added, the waiter can be offered an additional 10 percent for exceptional service; this is also the going rate for tipping where a service charge has not been added. In hotels, porters expect about US$1 per bag. Taxi drivers are not tipped (the fare should be set before departure). Tour guides are customarily tipped.

Safety Information

Most visits to Peru are trouble-free and sensible precautions should be enough to keep travellers safe. There have been a few incidents on treks through the Huayhuash region near Huaraz and should seek safety advice before setting out. Travellers should only take official taxis as thieves can pose as drivers or tour operators.

Local Customs

Visitors should not take photographs of anything relating to the military. Many locals will ask for a tip in return for being the subject of a photograph. In some places, this is the primary source of income. Homosexuality, although legal, is frowned upon. Gay travellers should keep a low profile outside gay clubs. Visitors should avoid wearing any native Indian clothing as this will be seen as insulting, regardless of their intentions.


Business centres on the capital, Lima, and is usually conducted in a formal and somewhat conservative manner. It's worth noting that foreigners will need a business visa from a local Peruvian Consulate.

Dress should be formal, with suits and ties being the norm. Titles and surnames are usually used upon greeting, and handshakes are standard for men and women. Business cards are usually exchanged and it is useful to have them printed in Spanish on one side, though English is fairly common. In fact, any effort to speak Spanish will be well received.

Women may encounter sexism. Punctuality is important, though meetings are not likely to begin on time. Business hours can vary but are usually from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Some businesses close for a siesta from 1pm to 3pm.


The international access code for Peru is +51. Wifi access is available in most hotels, modern restaurants and cafés.

Duty Free

Travellers over the age of 18 do not have to pay duty on 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 3 litres of alcoholic beverages; and gifts to the value of US$500. Items such as sausages, salami, ham and cheese may only be brought in if accompanied by an original sanitary certificate. The import of ham from Italy and Portugal is prohibited. The export of cultural or artistic items from the country is not permitted.

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