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From the Inca splendor of Machu Picchu, to the verdant jungle waterways of the majestic Amazon River, to the rich artistic expressions of its people – Peru has something for everyone. Families will love to spend time in the Andes, where Quechua natives dressed in bright, hand-woven garb, still walk their herds of llamas to graze on the mountainsides as they have done for thousands of years. History enthusiasts will find themselves explore the pre-Columbian ruins and colonial Spanish architecture that cover the country, and nature lovers will find an abundance of flora and fauna in the depths of the virgin rainforest.
In Peru, there are 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the city of Cusco, Machu Picchu, the temple of Chavin de Huantar, the Huascaran National Park, Chan Chan, the Manu National Park, Lima’s Historical Centre, the Rio Abiseo National Park, the Nasca Lines and Pampas de Juma, Arequipa’s Historical Centre, Caral.

The country is located on the Pacific coast of Central America and offers visitors a unique mix of historical and natural wonders, a modern infrastructure, and a safe and prosperous environment.

Facts & Figures

  • Best time to travel

In Peru there are two main seasons, but the weather is highly dependent on the geographic region. There is a wet and a dry season, and temperatures are influenced by elevation; the higher you travel, the cooler it gets.
The hotter and wetter months are from December till March, and the cooler dry season is in June, July and August. In the wetter months it can get quite muddy on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but at the same time this is the period when the major fiestas (La Virgen de la Candelaria, Carnaval and Semana Santa) take place.

 

  • Money matters

The Nuevo sol (PEN) is the currency of Peru. It is subdivided into 100 cents (centimos in Spanish).

It is easy to change your US Dollars or Euros in your hotel, at the bank, or at one of the many exchange offices.

Cash can be withdrawn from one of the countries many ATM’s. Normally a fee applies that can differ per bank. It is best to withdraw your cash during daytime only and at guarded ATM’s.

All well-known international credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere in the bigger cities. You do need to identify yourself with your ID card or passport however. Make sure that you can always watch closely to what a cashier does with your credit card and sign the slip before they confirm your payment.

  • Visa information

Most tourists visiting Peru are permitted a 30- to 90-day stay. The visa is stamped into your passport and onto a tourist card, called a Tarjeta Andina de Migración (Andean Immigration Card), that you must return upon leaving the country. For further details, please click here.

  • Food

The cuisines in Latin America are very diverse. The Peruvian kitchen has influences of Spain in stews and soups, of Arabia in sweets and desserts, it has African contributions to Creole cooking, and Italian pastas. The Japanese preparations of fish and shellfish and Chinese culinary methods have even given birth to one of the most popular gastronomic traditions in Peru: chifa.

Peruvian recipes that you are likely to come across are ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon juice), pachamanca (meat and vegetables cooked underground), chupe de camarones (shrimp soup), ají de gallina (spicy chicken) and juane (cornmash pastries).

In the mountainous region of the Andes, delicious ingredients such as potato, sweetcorn, ají chili pepper, and cuy (guinea pig!) are the basis of cooking.
The jungle adds its own touch of wild game with a side serving of fried banana and manioc root.

Local fruit varieties such as chirimoya (custard apple) and lucuma produce incomparable deserts.

The bigger cities like Cusco and Lima have Thai and Asian restaurants. Outside the city it will be less likely to find these types of venues; a perfect reason to go and discover the Peruvian cuisine that is mentioned to be pretty similar to some of the Asian flavors.

  • Tipping

Giving tips in for example restaurants is not very common in Peru. When you have experienced great service, it is polite to give a 10% tip. 

  • Useful phrases

 

Hello                                                  ¡Hola!

Thank you                                         Gracias

Goodbye                                            Adios

I do not eat …                                   Yo no como …

Can I have some water please?  ¿Puedo tener un poco de agua por favor?

 

 

 

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