To have a smooth and enjoyable trip please read the information below, you will find useful information to ensure you have a lifetime adventure in Peru! If don’t find the information you are looking for, or need further information please contact us or read our FAQ’s section.

Documents

U.S. and European Community citizens do not need a Visa for stays of less than 90 days; only a Passport valid for at least six months from date of arrival and at least two blank pages. If you have a different nationality please e-mail us to help. Do not forget to bring a copy of passport pages where your picture and number appears, it will be very useful.

On Arrival at Lima Airport

During your flight, the airline staff will provide you a Customs form (one per family), please fill it out before the flight lands; on your arrival at Lima airport follow the crowds towards the immigration check points, after you get your passport stamped by the immigration officer you will need to walk just some meters to pick up your luggage from the baggage carousel, next go towards Customs check points where you just need to provide the filled out form, after clearing customs you will find people holding signs with names, one of those signs has your name, in case you don’t find your name please wait some minutes or call us at the emergency number +51-996512083.

Time Zone

Peru is -5 hours GMT and does not observe daylight saving time.

Health

Anyone travelling to Peruvian Andes should be in good health. Please contact your physician to be sure you are able to travel. If you have any heart or lung disease it is recommended to avoid traveling to high altitudes. If you are taking medicine, bring enough for the duration of your trip.

Altitude Sickness

Please see below what it is recommended to deal with altitude:

  • Sleep properly the night before you arrive in any city in the Andes (Cusco, Arequipa, Puno (Juliaca), Huaraz).
  • Upon your arrival in the Andes, it is advised to rest for at least a couple of hours for a better adjustment to the altitude.
  • Drink plenty of bottled water or coca tea to stay hydrated (Don’t drink tap water).
  • Have only light meals at least the first two days in the Andes, eat a light dinner and go to bed early.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food.
  • Catch your breath, don’t push yourself and be ready to enjoy a lifetime experience in the Peruvian Andes.
  • Diamox (acetazolamide) is a good medication for altitude sickness, please ask your Physician before leaving home.

If symptoms like headaches, tiredness our shortness of breath become more severe and prolonged, it is best to quickly seek medical attention and decide to descend to a lower altitude.

Clothing

Peru has coast, Andes and jungle, this means temperatures change rapidly. At high altitudes, the sun is very intense but it may be very cold at night, but in the Amazon usually is very hot and humid so it is important to have layered clothing no matter what season you are visiting Peru. The clothes needed should be made of light weight material.

What to pack for your Peru trip

Please notice that your packing list will depend on the type of tour you are taking and the length of your trip too.

Below you will find three lists, the first one is a general packing list for a standard tour (for everyone), the second one is a more specific packing list for hiking tours, and finally, the third packing list is for Amazon tours.

Peru Standard Tour Packing List

A standard tour means that you will travel to Machu Picchu by train and most of your excursions include short walks and bus travel.

Places visited on a standard tour:
Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, Colca Valley, Nazca Lines, Huacachina Oasis, Ballestas Islands, Paracas, Huaraz, Trujillo and Chiclayo.

The list below is a basic checklist for everyone visiting Peru.

  • Original valid Passport and photocopy
  • Suitcase, Travel Backpack or Duffel Bag.
  • One Daypack (20 – 30 Liters)
  • One Money/Passport Belt
  • Money/Cash
  • Debit Card or Credit Card
  • One pen and one pencil
  • One bottle or canteen to carry water
  • One Lightweight Rain Jacket or long poncho, Winter Hat and Gloves
  • One Lightweight Down Jacket (For nights in the highlands)
  • Two pair of Jeans
  • One pair of Convertible Pants
  • Three short-sleeve Shirts or T-Shirts
  • Three long-sleeve Shirts or T-Shirts
  • Socks and underwear
  • One pair of Shorts
  • Swimsuit, Personal towel and Sun hat
  • One pair of waterproof and broken-in Hiking Shoes (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • One pair of Sandals (Flip Flops)
  • Sunglasses and Reading Glasses
  • One telescoping small umbrella (For visitors to Cusco during rainy season Dec – March)
  • One LED Headlamp or Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Watch with alarm
  • Binoculars (Waterproof recommended)
  • Camera, Charger and SD cards or memory cards
  • Electronics Chargers
  • Earplugs
  • High SFP sunscreen lotion and lip balm
  • Insect repellent (40 percent DEET)
  • First-aid kit with Personal Medication
  • Personal Wipes
  • Personal toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Energy snacks (Optional)
  • Spanish Phrasebook (Optional)

 

Peru Hiking Tours Packing List

Please notice that If you are taking a Hiking tour, you can add this packing list to the Standard Tour Packing List. This Packing List applies to the following Hiking Tours: The Short Inca trail & The Classic Inca trail to Machu Picchu, Salkantay trek, Choquequirao Trek, Lares Trek, Huchoy Qosqo trek, Colca Canyon Trek or any Cordillera Blanca trek.

  • Duffel bag, medium-size (used while trekking, approximately 65 liter)
  • One pair of lightweight, waterproof and broken-in Hiking Boots (Gore-Tex recommended)
  • A pair of Camp shoes or other Comfortable Footwear for use in campsites
  • Sleeping Bag (rated to 15°F – 30°F). If you prefer to rent them in Peru, please let us know.
  • Sleeping Bag Liner
  • Trekking Poles with rubber tips. If you prefer to rent them in Peru, please let us know.
  • Midweight fleece or wool sweater
  • Two Synthetic short-sleeve T-Shirts
  • Two Synthetic long-sleeve T-Shirts
  • Midweight thermal underwear tops and bottom
  • Two pairs of Fleece pants or tights
  • One pair of Convertible Hiking Pants
  • One pair of Waterproof Pants
  • One pair of Hiking Shorts
  • A pair of Hiking Gaiters
  • Wool Hiking Socks
  • Knee Support
  • A Blister Kit
  • Ziploc plastic bags
  • Plastic Bags (For dirty or wet clothes)
  • Small towel
  • Pocket Knife (Don’t forget to pack it in your checked Baggage during Airport check-in)

 

Peru Amazon Tours Packing List

Please notice that If you are taking an Amazon tour, you can add this packing list to the Standard Tour Packing List.

This Packing List applies to the following Areas: Tambopata Reserve, Manu Park and Amazon River.

  • One waterproof bag (For Camera or Cellphone)
  • Mosquito Bite Relief
  • One light colored Long Sleeve Hoodie T-Shirt
  • Two light colored quick-dry short-sleeve T-Shirts
  • Two light colored quick-dry long-sleeve T-Shirts
  • Money/Cash

Please note that while in the Amazon, it is advised that you wear clothes which you do not mind getting slightly dirty or wet. Sun cream, insect repellent, hat and waterproof clothing should be carried in your daypack. It is recommended to pack properly one day before you start your Amazon Trip.

Yellow fever vaccination is not required to visit the Amazon rainforest in Peru, however if you feel safer having this vaccination, it must be administered AT LEAST 10 days before your arrival in Peru.

Zip-line Adventure

Use light clothing and comfortable shoes (tennis, light hiking boots, etc. No sandals). Use pants rather than shorts. Note that as you go upper the weather will be colder and windy, you can carry extra clothing in a small backpack. Bring at least 1 lt. of water. You can bring your empty bottle, we do have purified water at our base, so you can refill it at the beginning and at the end of the activity. Eco friendly Attitude; please recycle bottles, we provide the water you bring the bottle.

Food and Water

Peruvian Food, is one of the best in the world, however you must eat at the right place. Avoid eating from street vendors. Only drink bottled water- even for things such as brushing your teeth. Avoid fruits or vegetables that have not been peeled. Food depends on the geography of the country, its climate and the customs of their people.

Peruvian Cuisine
Peruvian cuisine has gained international recognition in the last years. You cannot miss the opportunity to have of one of the best dining experiences.
Please find below information about five of the best Restaurants in Lima, where you can find the best Peruvian specialties:

  1. N°6 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – 2018.
    Style of food: Peruvian/International fusion.
    Remarkable dishes: Octopus with purple corn and white quinoa.

Address: Calle Santa Isabel 376 Miraflores
Tel: +51-1-242 8515
Hours:
Lunch: Mon – Fri 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Dinner: Mon – Sat 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm.

  1. N°7 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – 2017.
    Style of food: Nikkei Japanese/Peruvian fusion.
    Remarkable dishes: 50-hour wagyu beef short rib

Address: 399 San Martin Street, Miraflores, Lima

Tel: +51 1 444 2568
Hours:
Lunch: Mon – Sun 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Dinner: Mon – Sat 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm.

 

  1. Astrid & Gastón. N°39 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – 2017.

Style of food: Peruvian meets haute cuisine.

Remarkable dishes: Ceviche made of raw sea urchin, clam, squid, mussel and shrimp marinated in lemon juice, lacquered goat cooked with chicha de jora (corn beer).
Address: Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro Lima.
Tel: +51-1-442 2777
Hours:
Lunch: Tue – Sat 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Dinner: Tue – Sat 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm.

  1. Chez Wong.
    Javier Wong’s restaurant, inside his house, has no menu. Meals start with Lima’s finest ceviche, sliced and seasoned by Don Javier Wong; the next course depends on the chef’s whim and the day’s catch.
    It is the most authentic dining experience in Lima! For reservations please contact us.
    It’s only open for lunch from Mon to Sat.
  2. La Mar Cebicheria.
    Style of food: Ceviche
    Remarkable dishes: sea bass, octopus, Dover sole ceviches.

Address: Av. La Mar 770 Santa Cruz – Miraflores.
Tel: +51-1-421 3365
Hours:
Lunch: Mon – Sun 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Money

Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol, which is divided into 100 cents. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2 and 5-sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.
There are money-changing booths almost everywhere in every major Peruvian city. The cash dollars you bring should be crisp, clean and new-no tears. It is a good idea not to use bills in excess of $10-$20.00, as you might find it difficult for the merchant to change anything larger.
The highest exchange rate for US dollars is found in Lima Casa de Cambios. Avoid exchanging money at Lima airport.

ECS Travel provides an exclusive currency exchange service; you receive your Peruvian Soles directly in your hotel. For further information please contact us by email at info@ecstravel.com or by telephone at +51 – 996 512 083.

Electricity

The electric voltage in Peru is 220 volts, if you bring 110-volt electrical appliances, you need to bring a 220-240 to 110-120 voltage converter. However please note that many electrical appliances like laptops, cameras and other appliances can take 110 and 220 volts, in this case there is no need to bring a power converter. Two-pin flat blade and round plugs are standard in Peru, if your appliance has a different plug attachment; you’d better bring an adapter from home.

Travel Insurance

We recommend you obtain a personal Travel Insurance, including Medical Problems, Baggage loss or damage. If you need help to find a travel Insurance Company please let us know.

Baggage Allowance during domestic flights per passenger:

Carry-on Luggage: passenger is allowed 1 bag that does not exceed the following measurements: 21” long x 14” wide x 9” tall (55 x 35 x 23 cm) and must weigh a maximum of 17 pounds (8 Kilos)
Not permitted as hand baggage: Firearms, sharp objects (metal files and nail clippers, needles or knitting needles, tools, among others), liquids, gel and aerosols may only be transported in the aircraft’s hold and the airport security team will take them from you if enter the cabin of the aircraft with them.
Personal Item: passenger is allowed 1 personal item that includes: a purse, a laptop computer or a briefcase.
Checked Baggage allowance: a passenger is allowed to check in up to 2 pieces of luggage weighing up to 50 pounds (23kg) in total.

Excess Baggage fees on domestic flights:
1. Excess weight: when the weight limit is exceeded but the number of pieces of luggage is respected fees will apply as follows:
From 50 pounds (23 Kilos) to a maximum of 70 pounds (32 Kilos), you will be charged US$25.00
2. Additional pieces of luggage: when the maximum number of pieces of luggage is exceeded fees will apply as follows:
For a third piece of luggage, you will be charged US$40.00
* Charges are subject to change without notice

Baggage Allowance per passenger during train journeys:
Route Cusco to Machu Picchu or vice versa: passenger is allowed only one bag or backpack that does not exceed 62 linear inches or 157 cm (high + length + width) and must weigh a maximum of 22 pounds (10 Kilos)

*Passengers taking the Inca Trail are eligible to our Exceptional Flexibility Policy for carry-on luggage (on the route to Machu Picchu. Not on the return trip), showing their UGM permission.

If passengers require luggage transfer service with more than the allowable amount, please contact us, we will attend your requests prior coordination.
Free luggage storage for Peru Rail passengers.
Ollantaytambo station: Monday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (complimentary).
Machu Picchu station: Monday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (complimentary).
Route Cusco to Puno or vice versa: there is no limit for luggage transfers, which can be kept in luggage storage.

Tipping

It is customary to leave a 10 % tip in Restaurants. Some restaurants add a service charge of 10%, which will be indicated on the bill, this is not tip so please be sure you leave a tip. In hotels, bellboys expect US$1.00 per bag. During airport transfers, drivers expect to be tipped like bellboys. Please, notice that tip rates are suggested, you can find more information below:

  1. Hotels: you can tip US$1 – US$2 per bag if your bags are brought to your room by a bell Staff.
  2. Restaurants: in Peru the bill will come with a 18% sales tax, and some tourist Restaurants will add 10% to net prices as a service charge. Service charge is not a tip for your waiter, a 10% tip is still expected by waiters.
  3. Drivers: you can tip US$1 – US$2 per bag if your driver helps carry your luggage.
  4. Guides: tour guides may be tipped US$5.00 (If your group size is between three and six participants) US$10.00 per passenger (If your group size is between one and two participants) for a half-day tour and for a full-day tour you can add 50% of the half-day tour tip rates.

Twenty-four-hour Emergency Assistance
ECS is always ready to help you in case of an emergency. If you encounter a difficult situation in Peru, please contact us ASAP; even if you are traveling in the highlands or jungle we will provide you quick assistance through our network of representatives in every destination, we are just a phone call away.
If you need to call us from another city out of Lima please dial 01, if you are calling from your cell phone please dial +511 and if you call from a local number in Lima no prefix is required. Emergency numbers: (+51) 996512083 24/7 English, Spanish, French and Italian speaking Assistance.
(+51) 990206436 24/7 English and Spanish speaking Assistance.
(+51-1) 2429716 09:00 – 18:00 Mon to Fri, Spanish and English-speaking Assistance.
(+51-1) 4226544 20:00 – 07:00 Mon to Sat, Spanish and English-speaking Assistance.
105: Police Emergency Number.

Weather by Region

The Coast
The Peruvian coastline is formed by a long snaking desert hemmed in between the sea and the mountains. Humidity in these areas produces a sensation of cold, although temperatures rarely dip below 54 F (12°C). During summer, meanwhile, the sun beats down and temperatures often top 86 F (30°C). The central and southern sections of the coast feature two well-defined seasons: winter from April to October, and summer from November to March. The north coast, meanwhile, is not touched by the effects of the cold current, which means it enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and warm temperatures all year-long as much as 95 F (35°C) in summer.

The Highlands
There are two defined seasons in the Peruvian highlands: the dry season months are from April to October, marked by sunny days, cold nights and it hardly rains; the rainy season starts in November and finishes in March, during this time there are frequent rain showers, generally more than 1000 mm. A characteristic of the mountain region is the drop, in temperature during the day: temperatures commonly range around 75 F (24°C) at midday before plunging to 27 F (-3°C) at night.

The Jungle
The vast Peruvian jungle, which surrounds the wide and winding Amazon river, is divided into two differentiated areas: the cloud forest above 2,290 ft (700 masl), which features a subtropical, balmy climate, with heavy rain showers between November and March, and sunny days from April to October; and the lowland jungle below 2,290 ft (below 700 masl), where the dry season runs from April to October and is ideal for tourism, with sunshine and high temperatures often topping 95 F (35°C). The jungle features high humidity all year long. In the southern jungle, there are sometimes cold spells known locally as friajes, cold fronts which drift up from the far south of the continent between May and August, where temperatures can drop to 46 F (8°C).

Recommendations:
1. In case your credit cards are stolen please cancel them very quickly by contacting your bank.
2. Avoid exchanging money on the streets; you’d better use a “Casa de cambio”.
3. Avoid taking taxis in the streets; always ask our local guided or your hotel front desk for advice
4. Avoid buying food from street vendors.
5. In case you lose your passport or it is stolen, report the loss to the police (Our local Agent will be happy to assist you personally)
6. In case of a medical emergency please contact our local English speaking Agent or your hotel staff.

If you need further information please contact us at info@ecstravel.com