Peru is an amazing country with a great range of activities if you just want to party your Summer away or you want to experience the excitement of seeing the Amazon, experience spiritual cleansing by a shaman deep in the jungle, see the beauty of enormous amounts of gold used by the Spanish on their historical buildings, or trek the Inca trails and discover early human mythology and technology. Here are some important warnings and tips when travelling to Peru. Make sure you have travel insurance and go today!
Photo: Jake G
Visas. Most people do not require a visa, and despite the need for an onward ticket and sufficient funds required on entry, they never really ask. Most visas on arrival should be issued for 90 days however this is at the discretion of the immigration official. The culture of Peru is generally quite polite, especially in formal situations, and by saying ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’ to the immigration official will normally guarantee this, not doing so may end up in only 15 to 30 days. Don’t worry too much if you overstay your visa, it is normal and common procedure to pay your fine at a departure counter on your exit. The fine is 1USD per day. Arranging visa extensions with the department of immigration is time consuming and redundant.
Don’t get into trouble. Jails in Peru are notorious for their nasty and corrupt nature. It is commonly known that they will try to milk you and your family for every cent you have while you are incarcerated – even by offering free cocaine to those inside to get them addicted for future profit. If you are in trouble for anything in Peru, a few dollars under the table is a good way to get out of the situation.
Safety in the cities and tours. There are a huge amount of tourists to Peru each year. Stay in the usual down town areas of the larger cities and you will be very safe. It is only in outer lying extremely poorer suburbs that you are at real risk. In the beautiful and accommodating city of Lima, as a foreign tourist, you are well cared for and respected by Police. You will find them very helpful, and they are very likely to take your side in any incident with a local, especially if you behave properly. Never push your boundaries. Tours are a great way to travel to must-go places and you will meet people from all over the world. You don’t want to try going into the Amazon or climbing up Inca trails without them.
Cost and accommodation. Peru is very inexpensive. The quality caused by competition results in great accommodation. So-called backpackers in Peru are often more like 3 star hotels in other countries. Very affordable and very good places to stay and meet other people and find out all those tips on where and how to go. Food and transport is cheap, and most accommodation even includes breakfast. Tours are cheap and most include cheap travel insurance.
Spanish. Don’t be worried if you cannot speak Spanish, with a couple of words you will find your way. Most people are quite accommodating and very used to tourists. Sometimes it is better if you don’t as it ensures you are not Spanish to the locals who are not particularly fond of the damage, destruction and financial rape of their country in the past.
Reliability. Peruvian people are known for their laid back style and persona. On personal matters don’t be offended if someone is late. Despite this, buses to airports and airlines are particularly good, especially LAN, the largest carrier in the region. Internet is stable and available for little or no cost in many areas. Phone call reliability is good, but some areas are not serviced as are the norm with large open countries. Health care is very good, and a great reason to travel to Peru. Some people I know travel regularly from the US for all their health care needs. Day trips and other excursions are also very reliable.
What a better adventure than to explore Peru. Get online book your ticket because so many people in the world cannot be wrong.