Visit & Explore

Peru

1,285,216 sq kms

Geographic Area

33 million

Population

Peruvian nuevo sol

Currency

General Information

Is tradition around every turn

All Things Ancient

Visitors flock to the glorious Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, yet this feted site is just a flash in a 5000-year history of Peruvian settlement. Explore the dusty remnants of Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian ruins in all the Americas. Fly over the puzzling geoglyphs etched into the arid earth at Nazca. Or venture into the rugged wilds that surround the enduring fortress of Kuélap. Lima’s great museums reveal in full detail the sophistication, skill and passion of these lost civilizations. Visit remote communities and see how old ways live on. Immerse yourself, and you’ll leave Peru a little closer to the past.

Pleasure & the Palate

One existential question haunts all Peruvians: what to eat? Ceviche with slivers of fiery chili and corn, slow-simmered stews, velvety Amazonian chocolate – in the capital of Latin American cooking, the choices dazzle. Great geographic and cultural diversity has brought ingredients ranging from highland tubers to tropical jungle fruits to a complex cuisine with Spanish, indigenous, African and Asian influences. The truth is, fusion existed here long before it came with airs and graces. Explore the bounty of food markets. Sample grilled anticuchos (beef skewers) on the street corners and splurge a little on exquisite novoandina (Peruvian nouvelle cuisine).

Oh, Adventure

From downtown Lima to smack-dab in the middle of nowhere, this vast country is a paradise for the active traveler. Giant sand dunes, chiseled peaks and Pacific breaks lie just a few heartbeats away from the capital’s rush-hour traffic, and all the usual suspects – rafting, paragliding, zip-lines and bike trails – are present. Spot scarlet macaws in the Amazon or catch the sunset over ancient ruins. Take this big place in small bites and don’t rush. Delays happen. Festivals can swallow you whole for days. And you’ll realize: in Peru the adventure usually lies in getting there.

Life is a Carnival

Welcome to a place of mythical beliefs where ancient pageants unwind to the tune of booming brass bands. Peru’s rich cultural heritage is never more real and visceral than when you are immersed streetside in the swirling madness of a festival. Deities of old are reincarnated as Christian saints, pilgrims climb mountains in the dead of night and icons are paraded through crowded plazas as once were the mummies of Inca rulers. History is potent here and still pulsing, and there is no better way to experience it.

Money

How you decide to carry your money in Peru depends on factors such as the duration of your trip and your style of travel. It’s not a great idea to carry large amounts of cash in Peru (dollars or nuevos soles), but it’s certainly a viable option for short visits (up to a week). Otherwise, you can simply withdraw money when needed from ATMs all over Peru. Visa is the most widely accepted debit or credit card in Peru; there will be fees associated with each withdrawal. Traveler’s checks are also an option (ideally in US dollars or Euros) but may be hard to cash in small towns and villages, and the exchange rate can be poor.

There are four options for exchanging money in Peru: Banks, street moneychangers, casas de cambio (“exchange houses”), and hotels. Banks often have incredibly long queues, making any exchange a protracted process. Street changers are handy and offer comparatively fair exchange rates, but changing money in the street comes with its own problems. You need to guard against potentially shady deals and the risk of street theft following the exchange. Overall, casas de cambio tend to be the best option, with good exchange rates, short queues, and a secure environment.

Fake money is a problem in Peru — both nuevos soles and dollars. The problem tends to be worse in certain parts of the country, especially in Peru’s major cities. Spotting a counterfeit banknote can be difficult, so the sooner you become familiar with the local currency, the sooner you’ll be able to spot a fake. You also need to watch out for money scams, such as deliberate short-changing and swindles involving sleight of hand.

Eating and Drinking
  • Cevicherías Lunch restaurants serving fresh fish marinated in lime juice, with many variations on the theme.
  • Picanterías Informal local restaurants serving hearty portions of Peruvian comfort food.
  • Novoandina restaurants Gourmet dining that updates old recipes with new techniques and flavor juxtapositions.
  • Pollerías Rotisserie chicken joints found just about everywhere.
  • Chifas Usually inexpensive Chinese restaurants, but this wouldn’t be Peru if they didn’t add their own twist.
  • Quintas Country-food restaurants serving Andean comfort foods like corn, potatoes and roasted cuy (guinea pig).
  • El Mercado Markets serving hearty soups and other comfort foods with brisk, no-nonsense counter service.

The Essentials Food and Drinks from Peru are: Arroz chaufa Fried rice is ubiquitous,  Ceviche Raw fish and seafood marinated in lime with onions, hot pepper slivers and other additions, Chicha Drink usually made from fermented blue corn and consumed before it ferments, Cuy Guinea pig is a common Andean delicacy, Potatoes With astonishing diversity and varied presentations among others.

Tipping

Tipping isn’t particularly common in Peru, but there are certain situations in which a tip is appropriate. Waiters in higher-end restaurants, tour guides and staff in top-end hotels often expect a tip, whereas taxi drivers and staff in small family-run restaurants do not.

Australian Government Travel Advice

The Australian Government provides up to date information on the safety of travelling to various countries, and all travellers should take note of this advice. Liberty Tours recommends that all travellers take out appropriate Travel Insurance to cover the entire duration of their absence from home.

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/americas/peru

Follow this link for current official assessment:

Advice on health risks and vaccination recommendations can also be found using the same link.

Weather

While you can certainly visit Peru during any time of the year – there really isn’t a bad time to go – certain seasons will offer different scenery, options, and of course weather. Peru has a lot of different ecosystems, so there is no consensus on the best times to go, just differences in each region throughout the year. Whether you want a dry Amazon and Cusco, or a sunny Lima, it is all here in our guide to help you plan your perfect trip.

What to pack

Peru’s sun is unusually hot and strong. Pack a straw or other wide-brimmed hat with a chin strap to protect your scalp and face. A bandanna is advisable both for keeping sweat out of your eyes and wiping your face. In colder temperatures, pack a pair of fleece gloves. If it’s going to be rainy, pack waterproof mittens or gloves.

Facts

Time Zone

Peru Time Standard Time is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Electricity

The supply voltage in Peru is 220 volts at 60 hertz

Language

Spanish (official language). Also Quechua and Aymara

Religion

The official religion of Peru is Roman Catholicism. It plays a significant role in Peru’s culture and society. Aside from Roman Catholicism other religion-based in Peru are Hinduism, Buddhism, Muslim, Hare Krishna, Protestant, Judaism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah’s Witness.

Links

Gallery

See the sights

Peru Tours