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!
- 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
- Mostly cash, some credit cards in touristy places
- Not required, but 10% is appreciated if service was satisfactory
- 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
- 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.
- 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
Peru Points of Interest
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
- Need help with packing? Don’t miss our packing guide for Peru.
- Looking for a place to stay in Cusco? We loved El Retablo B&B.
- Deciding on a trek to Machu Picchu? Choose one of these treks or read our side-by-side comparison of two popular treks.
- Don’t forget to book travel insurance! Read about our favorite travel insurance policies here.
- And, if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, scroll down to see all of our Peru content!
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Full of important country information, exchange rates, emergency contact numbers, and more, our Screenshot Travel Guides are the perfect phone-sized travel guides you’ll never want to travel without.