<p>Peru is a Christian country so almost every festival is related to Christianity. Some of the most important are: New Year (1st January), Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Labour Day (1st May), Inti Raymi, Sun festival Cuzco (24th June), St Peter and St Paul’s Day (29th June), Independence Days (28th and 29th June), Battle of Angamos’ Day (8th October), All Saints’ Day (1st November), Immaculate Conception Day (8th December) and Christmas Day (25th December).</p>
The official currency is the Nuevo Sol (PEN) divided into 100 céntimos. There are approx 6.5 Nuevos Soles to the pound. Travellers cheques may be difficult to exchange in small towns and villages so travellers are advised to bring cash. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange and plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars as payment. Casas de cambio (exchange bureaux) often give better rates than hotels and banks and can be found in any town on the tourist circuit. ATMs are available in the main cities.
Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in Peru. You could also consider taking a universal electric plug adaptor.
Please check the world clock in order to find out the exact time in Peru.
Bring along warm clothing including a fleece, sweater or jacket. By day, it will mostly be sunny, so thin, cotton clothes and shorts are indispensable items. However, please note that extra warm clothes are a must for this trip, especially in the summer season (May to October) when temperatures may drop as low as -15°C at night. Gloves, hat and/or a scarf should be part of your packing items! An umbrella and a light waterproof jacket might also come in handy, the former protecting against both the rain and the blazing sun. You need a good pair of worn-in hiking boots with good tread and a pair of flip-flops. Other important items are sunglasses, sun cream, toiletries, a first-aid kit, a hat/scarf, a (video)camera and sufficient film/videos and spare batteries, a torch, towel, a pen-knife, a lighter, an alarm clock, writing equipment, books, passport, money, copies of your passport and travel insurance.
We advise you to bring a weekend bag or backpack. A solid suitcase is inconvenient if you have to carry it yourself on and off trains etc. Also, bring along a small backpack or shoulder bag for hand luggage. A thin money belt, to be carried underneath your clothing, is also advisable for storage of valuable documents. Remember to put some clean clothes in your hand luggage, in case your main luggage is delayed. For example, any medication and your toothbrush should be in your hand luggage. Check that your luggage is not too heavy: any more than 12 kg is an unnecessary hindrance.
In Peru it is customary to start with a greeting and to inquire about someone’s well being. You will often hear "Buenos dias ¿cómo está?" On meeting and saying goodbye, men and women give a short kiss on the cheek to all women, even if they hardly know each other. Indigenous people do not kiss, but sometimes give a weak handshake. Politeness is highly appreciated. Peruvians have a different notion of privacy to what we are used to and subsequently can get very close to you, invading your personal space. They emphasize the importance of being well dressed and therefore do not expect tourists to be dressed scruffily. Shorts are not actually considered improper. However, in less touristy regions long trousers are more appropriate. In reality, most of the time it will be too chilly for shorts anyway. It is considered offensive to call someone of indigenous descent an Indian: indigena is preferred.
If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.
Yes you can pre-book arrival transfers and extra nights with Shoestring.You can add these on to your booking form.
At present a visa is not required to enter Peru but you are responsible for having a valid passport and visa (if required) when you travel. Please check the embassy if you do need a visa for Peru and check here for info about the current situation. Make sure you inquire at least a month before departure so that you do not run into time problems.
The international access code for Peru is +51. City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)1) for Lima. A mobile phone operator provides a GSM 1900 network with coverage limited to major towns and cities. Peru is well connected to the internet with a proliferation of inexpensive internet kiosks, called cabinas pública, available on street corners in most towns and cities.
If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller ( from the same sex when possible ) unless you have booked a single room.
Theft does occur in the cities. A simple way of avoiding pickpockets is to store money and important documents close to your body, ideally in a money belt. Have some cash to hand so you do not have to search for it in the middle of the street. Keep an eye on your possessions and on what is going on around you. Robberies tend to take place in the places you should avoid anyway, like dark alleys and deserted beaches.
Stay away from people offering drugs and do not go anywhere with ‘plain-clothes policemen’ who don’t show proper identification. Your belongings will be reasonably safe in your hotel room, but do not leave valuables behind. If you use your common sense and stay alert, you shouldn’t have any problems.