Each year, millions of tourists travel to Peru to explore the country’s incredible landscapes, wonderful culture, and delicious cuisine. Home to one of the Wonders of the World and the planet’s highest navigable body of water, the country of Peru is full of incredible things to explore. Whether you are an adventure traveler looking to hike the Inca trail, a foodie excited to try some of Lima’s extraordinary restaurants, or just want to soak in the culture, Peru has something for all travelers.
Please feel free to use this page as you start to plan your next adventure. To help you navigate the information I have included on this page, I have provided a quick-navigation menu for you to use below. This will make it quick and easy for you to see which top destinations I recommend, which popular cities in Peru you should consider visiting, as well as links to all of the travel guides, itineraries, and packing articles that I have written to help you plan your adventure.
I have also included some key information that you will need when planning your travel to Peru. Information such as the languages spoken, the currency used, emergency contact numbers to be aware of, VISA and passport considerations, required vaccinations, and important driving information (if you plan on driving while on your visit).
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|>||Visa, Passport, and Immunization Info|
|>||Relative Guides, Itineraries, and Articles|
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Top Things to See
Before you start planning your Peru travel, make sure you check out my gallery of the top things to see in the country below for some inspiration. There is so much to see and do in the country, so you won’t want to miss out on the top sights!
If you are looking for some additional ideas, please see my 15 Spectacular Things to do in Peru for Visitors blog post linked below.
As you start to plan your Peru travel, you will want to familiarize yourself with the largest and most popular cities (which are not always one and the same) in the country.
Not only to see if you would like to visit and tour these cities, but because these cities will typically be your ports of entry and transportation hubs as you visit on your trip. To help you with this, I have included a map of some of the key cities within Peru that you will want to become familiar with below.
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Most people don’t realize just how large of a country Peru is. In fact, it is the third largest country in South America and the nineteenth largest country in the world. Not surprising because of its size, quite a few different languages are spoken throughout Peru.
In fact, it is estimated that over fifty different languages are used in the country, with many being native dialects. However, the top languages spoken in the country are Spanish, Quechua, Aymara. Out of these three, Spanish is the most commonly spoken.
The official currency of Peru is the Sol (S/). Common denominations of bank notes are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 soles. In addition, there are also coins. These coins come in denominations of 1, 2, and 5 soles, as well as 10, 20, and 50 cents. In addition to the Peruvian Sol, many stores and restaurants also accept US dollars ($) in Peru.
In case of an emergency when travelling in Peru, there are three numbers that you will want to write down or commit to memory.
- 105 – For the Police.
- 116 – For the Fire Department.
- 106 – For an Ambulance (medical emergency).
Visa, Passport, and Immunization Info
Before booking your Peru travel, you will want to be sure that you meet all of the necessary passport, VISA, and immunization requirements so that you can ensure you will be allowed into the country. In order to assist you, I have listed the requirements you will need to consider below for you to review.
All visitors must have a passport that is valid at least 6 months passed the end of your stay in Peru.
Before you are allowed to enter Peru, you will need a travel VISA. Depending on your nationality, there may be a fee associated with acquiring a VISA. If you are from one of the countries on the list below, you can obtain a travel VISA at your port of entry for free. If you aren’t from a country on the list below, you will need to review the VISA requirements for Peru on the VISA Guide website.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Hong Kong
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and Grenadines
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States
- Vatican City
Depending on where you are traveling to Peru from, certain vaccinations may be recommended or even required. For more information on the vaccinations, you will need to consider when traveling to Peru, please see the detailed information I provided below. If you have additional questions on vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) webpage for Peru vaccination recommendations is a great resource.
- Typhoid (either a shot, which is good for 2 years or live virus pill, which is good for 4 years).
- Yellow Fever – The Yellow Fever vaccination is not required to enter Peru. However, if you are also traveling within the regions of Amazonas, Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martin and Ucayali, Puno, Cusco, Junín, Pasco, and Huánuco it is recommended that you get the Yellow Fever vaccination. Please see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) map of the areas where a Yellow Fever vaccination is recommended for more detail.
- Hepatitis A & B (if you haven’t had them).
- Tetanus (if you aren’t current).
- Dukoral (gives you 3-month protection against travel diarrhea).
- Flu Shot
- COVID Vaccination (not required for entry but recommended).
Customs and Currency Restrictions
When entering and exiting Peru, you are allowed to bring $30,000 USD or its equivalent in cash or negotiable items without having to declare with customs.
In addition to this, the following list of common items are allowed to be brought into Peru by customs:
- 2 cellphones (1 cellphone for minors age 7 to 18).
- 1 tablet or 1 digital organizer.
- 1 Laptop.
- 2 conventional or digital cameras.
- 1 video camera or camcorder (not for professional use).
- 1 radio or audio player/recorder (not for professional use).
- 1 video game device and up to 10 games
- 2 external hard disc drives and 4 USB sticks.
- 4 memory cards for the digital camera or video camera.
- 4 USB sticks.
- 10 rolls of film for the cameras and 10 cassettes for video cameras.
- 20 CDs or DVDs.
- Cooked sausages, ham, and other cooked or cured meat products.
- Matured and processed cheese.
- Canned food.
- Pasteurized milk products.
- Processed honey.
Tobacco and Alcohol
- 20 packs of cigarettes (max. 400 cigarettes), 50 cigars, or 250 grams tobacco (for travelers older than 18 years)
- E-cigarettes and e-liquids aren’t covered in Peruvian legislation, but bringing a mod and some liquid generally isn’t an issue. Both can also be purchased in Peru.
- 3 liters of liquor (for travelers older than 18 years). However, any product named “Pisco” that isn’t produced in Peru is prohibited.
You are prohibited by Peruvian law from brining the following items into Peru:
- Drugs, narcotics and medication containing narcotics.
- Used clothes and shoes due to amount and value not considered for personal use.
- Any beverage named “Pisco” not produced in Peru.
- Any weapon or ammunition.
- Used car spare parts.
- Some pesticides and other chemicals.
Key Phrases to Know
As a part of your Peru travel preparation, you will need to prepare yourself for how they talk in Peru so that you can understand the dialog as you interact with Peruvians. This includes understanding key phrases so that you can ask for things, respond to others, and get around the country much easier.
Here are some common phrases that you may need to use while visiting Peru:
Greetings and Introductions
- My name is… – Me llamo…
- What is your name? – ¿Cómo te llamas?
- Hello – Hola.
- How are you? – ¿Cómo estás?
- I’m fine, thanks – Estoy bien, ¡gracias!
- Nice to meet you – Mucho gusto.
- Good morning – Buenos días.
- Good afternoon – Buenas tardes.
- Good night – Buenas noches.
- See you later – Hasta luego.
- See you tomorrow – ¡Hasta mañana!
Asking for Directions
- I am lost – Estoy perdido/a.
- To the right – A la derecha.
- To the left – A la izquierda.
- Stop (verb) – Pare.
- Stop (noun) – Parada.
- Where is the bathroom? – ¿Donde esta el baño?
- Can you give me directions to… – ¿Puedes darme direcciones para…?
- Where is the…? – Dónde está (el/la)…?
- Do you speak English? – ¿Habla Inglés?
- I don’t speak Spanish – No hablo Español.
- Can I take your picture? – ¿Le puedo tomar una foto?
- Can you take my picture? – ¿Me puedes tomar una foto?
- Please – Por favor.
- Excuse me – Disculpe.
- Thank you -Gracias.
- You’re welcome – De nada.
- I am …. years old – Yo tengo … años.
- Excuse me – ¡Perdone!
- Can you speak more slowly? – ¿Puede hablar más despacio?
- Do you have any…? – ¿Usted tiene alguna…?
- I would like to purchase…. – Me gustaría comprar….
- I would like to order… – Me gustaría pedir….
- How much does this cost? – ¿Cuánto cuesta esto?
- The bill, please – La cuenta, por favor.
- Help me! – ¡Socorro!
- I need a doctor – Necesito un doctor.
- I have altitude sickness – Tengo soroche.
- I need a pharmacy – Necesito una farmacia.
- Where is the tourism police – ¿Dónde está la oficina de la Policía de Turismo?.
- I have an emergency – Tengo una emergencia.
If you would like to familiarize yourself with other important phrases that you will want to know when visiting Peru, please refer to the “What Spanish phrases are good to know in Peru?” page on TripAdvisor.
An important part of your Peru travel planning will be deciding on how you will get around while inside the country. Many visitors to Peru will rely on public transportation, taxis, and ride sharing to get around the country, but renting a car is an option if you would like the added convenience and flexibility.
If you are planning on renting a car while visiting Peru, I have included some key information on driving in Peru that you will want to review below.
- In order to drive in Peru, you must be 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license from your home country. For travelers who are planning to stay in Peru for more than 30-days or plan to drive frequently, you should also plan on obtaining an International Driver’s Permit before your visit.
- In addition to a valid driver’s license, you must also have the proper insurance before driving in Peru. To be compliant with Peruvian law, you must purchase the national vehicle insurance. This insurance, which is called “Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes de Tránsito” or SOAT, is purchased annually and is mandatory to drive in Peru.
- Like in the United States, vehicles travel on the right-hand side of the road in Peru and the driver’s seat is on the left-hand side of the vehicle. If you aren’t accustomed to this, you will want to make sure you get comfortable before driving too much in the big cities or busy areas.
Driving Regulations and Tips
You will also want to keep the following driving regulations and tips in mind when driving in Peru:
- Generally, you are allowed to drive at speeds up to 90 kilometers per hour (kph) or 56 miles per hour (mph) on open roads, 50 kph (31 mph) within towns, and 100 kph (62 mph) on highways. Be aware that Peru uses traffic cameras extensively, so you can get ticketed for speeding even if there are no police around. So, I recommend never speeding.
- It is against the law to talk on a cell phone or text while driving in Peru, unless it is hands-free. You will get ticketed if caught doing this.
- Like most countries, seat belts are required for all passengers while driving in Peru.
- All children under 3 years of age must be fastened in a car seat and children between 4 and 12 must be seat belted in the back seat when driving in Peru.
- Avoid drinking and driving completely when in Peru. If you know you are going to be drinking, use public transportation.
- Driving in Peru at night can be dangerous because roads are sometimes not well lit and vehicles may not have the proper safety lights. When possible, only drive during the daylight hours when in Peru.
- Gas stations are called petrol stations in Peru. These stations are not as prevelant as they are in some countries, so make sure you never run low on fuel. In addition, when fueling up at petrol stations, make sure the meter is set to zero before you start pumping.
- Unless it is specifically marked that you are allowed to do so, never turn right on a red light when driving in Peru.
- In Peru, the amber traffic light is typically regarded as a sign to speed up, not slow down, so be careful entering intersections when the traffic light turns green.
- If a police officer signals for you to stop (a long whistle), pull over as soon as possible. However, you should know your rights. You are not required to get out of the car and the officer cannot comfiscate your driver’s license or other documents.
Relative Travel Guides and Articles
In order to assist you as you start to put together your travel plans for Peru, I have provided a comprehensive list of all of my travel guides, travel itineraries, and travel inspiration articles for Peru for you to review below.
Packing and Planning Tips
Once you start putting together your Peru travel plans, you may want to reference some of my handy travel packing and planning guides that I have put together. To make it easy to find and access these guides, I have included them for your reference below.