Jetfarer’s Peru Destination Guide

From its snowy mountains to its rugged coastline, Peru is one of South America’s most varied countries. Almost 1 million people flock to Peru to see its most famous landmark, the incredible Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, each year. Although Machu Picchu is beautiful, there’s so much more to see this incredible country. Read on to learn everything you need to know before traveling to Peru!


Basic Information

Basic Information

  • Population: 31.8M
  • Capital City: Lima
  • Language(s): Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
  • Currency: Peruvian Soles (PEN)

Payments & Exchange Rates

  • Exchange Rates
    • 1 USD = 3.27 PEN
    • 1 CAD = 2.50 PEN
    • 1 GBP = 4.56 PEN
    • 1 EUR = 4.02 PEN
  • Payments
    • Mostly cash, some credit cards in touristy places
  • Tipping
    • Not required, but 10% is appreciated if service was satisfactory

Connectivity

  • Electricity: Adapter/converter likely necessary
  • WiFi/Internet: Typically available in hotels and restaurants
  • Phone: Movistar and Claro are main cellular networks; SIM cards available for GSM unlocked phones

Transportation

  • Within cities: Buses, taxi, uber
  • Between cities: Flights, buses, shuttles

Etiquette and Laws

  • Fashionably late: Peruvian culture typically means being 30+ minutes late to social outings.
  • Finger-pointing: Don’t use your finger to motion to someone to come towards you; it’s considered impolite.
  • Bargaining: Negotiating in markets and shops is acceptable, but don’t be a jerk.

Basic Phrases

  • Hola = Hello
  • Buenos dias = Good morning
  • Buenas tardes = Good afternoon
  • Como esta? = How are you?
  • Gracias = Thank you
  • Cuanto cuesta? = How much?
  • Donde esta…? = Where is…?
  • Necesito ayuda = I need help
  • Habla ingles? = Do you speak English?
  • Baño/sanitario = Bathroom

Safety Information


Phone numbers:

Police – 105
Fire – 116
Ambulance – 117

*Most foreign embassies are located in Lima.


Peru Points of Interest

Peru Highlights

A. Lima – Peru’s capital city, Lima, is an urban sprawl located next to the Pacific Ocean.
B. Cusco – A colonial Incan city high up in the mountains that now serves as a historic center and a hub for several attractions in the near vicinity.
C. Machu Picchu – Peru’s most famous set of Incan ruins located high in the Andes, near the town of Aguas Calientes. Click here for more information on Machu Picchu.
D. Sacred Valley – Region that boasts beautiful landscapes, bustling markets, and some of Peru’s most famous ruins. Also home to a pretty salt mine and adventure activities.
E. The Amazon – One of the largest and most famous rivers and rainforest areas in the world. A popular jumping off point to the Amazon is the town of Iquitos.
F. Colca Canyon – A beautiful canyon and nature area in Southern Peru.
G. Lake Titicaca – A gorgeous lake situated on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Many people stay in Puno when visiting the region.

Peru Hidden Gems

H. Nazca Lines – An impressive set of ancient geoglyphs drawn into a desert landscape.
I. Huacachina – A picturesque town located in a desert oasis in Southwestern Peru.
J. Huaraz – Jumping off point for many treks in the Cordillera Blanca, one of the most beautiful areas of the Andes.
K. Arequipa – A picturesque colonial city situated between three towering volcanoes. There’s also some really awesome traditional ice cream here.
L. Máncora – A buzzing beach town located in Northwestern Peru.
M. Chan Chan – An awe-inspiring ancient adobe settlement located near the city of Trujillo.


Know Before You Go

Important Travel Information

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