Peru is one of the most popular South American countries and also one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the world.
The country is specifically known for its gastronomy sector. Peru shares its borders with Colombia and Ecuador in the north, Brazil in the east, Bolivia in the southeast, the Pacific Ocean in the west and Chile in the south. It serves as home to the most ancient cultures in the world spanning from the Inca Empire to Pre-Columbian America and the Norte Chico Civilization. Couple this attribute with its fascinating geography varying from Pacific, then Amazon and then Andean and you will have a country that tourists cannot resist. It is a country that should be the mist-visit list of every avid traveler.
The restaurants and the museums of Lima, the attractive handicrafts of Sacred Valley and the mysterious Machu Picchu, there are many incredible spots to experience and visit. But, as is the case with all exotic destinations, doing some homework prior to verging out can help you in making the experience more magical. So, have an idea of the things to know before traveling to Peru below:
Book Airport Hotels Early
Majority of the flights from the Unites States to Lima arrive later during the night and individuals who are on tight schedules might look forward to taking connecting flights to other destinations such as Iquitos or Cusco early the next morning for getting a jump in their itineraries. If you are in this situation then there is a hotel that operates in coordination with the Jorge Chavez International Airport and it is the Wyndham Costa de Sol. This hotel can serve as your perfect base for a short overnight stay.
Things to know before traveling to Peru
There are other nice hotels in the city that are a thirty-minute drive from the airport. One of the most important things to know before traveling to Peru is that hotels near the airport get booked up very early. So, make sure to book early stays at the Wyndham Costa del Sol if you really want to avoid the hassle of going into the city itself.
Avoid Drinking the Water
It is absolutely true that Peru is a developed country and when you fly to Lima, you will find that it is an enormous nation as well. However, the bad news is that the public drinking water of the country has not yet caught up to the industry for tourism in terms of modernity. Hence, avoid drinking tap water. Out of all the different things to know before traveling to Peru, it is important to understand that the majority of the hotels in this country provide bottled water even in washrooms. Take other precautions in this relation like making sure that the ice in your drink is made of purified water and the fruits are washed using pure water. Avoid getting water into your mouth when taking a shower.
Budget Extra Money and Time
One of the most important things to know before traveling to Peru is that getting around the country might not be budget-friendly or easy at the same time. Once you land up here, you can easily fly to some of the major cities on Avianca, Peruvian Airlines and LATAM. That being said, if you happen to be a foreigner or you are buying tickets outside Peru, the rates will be higher in comparison to what the locals have to pay. This is probably not the best way of getting around the country and therefore avoid doing just preliminary research on airline fares.
The best thing that you can do is book one or two of the air tickets you might be interested in, to get a better understanding of the amount that you would have to spend. Here, it is also important for you to note that because Peru’s two important hubs are Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport and Jorge Chavez in Cusco and Lima respectively; flying between the other destinations might take up a lot of time. So, book buses instead of flights for maximizing your time in Peru.
Visit Machu Picchu before Visiting Cusco
Despite the fact that majority of the traditional guidebooks recommend visiting the high altitude of the Peruvian Andes in Cusco prior to heading towards Machu Picchu because you have to fly into Cusco either way, it would be better going off straight to Machu Picchu and then coming to Cusco. Cusco is around 3, 400 meters above sea level while Machu Picchu is 2m 400 meters. This means that it will be easier and more convenient for you to time your visit to Machu Picchu prior to visiting Cusco. If you have got sufficient time then you can plan to put up a stay at the Sacred Valley. There are many adventurous and cultural activities that can keep you thoroughly busy. You will also have a better time making adjustments to the thin air gradually and prepare for your trip to choquequirao.
Get Proper Medicines
Medical services tend to vary across Peru. You can find high-end clinics and hospitals and even low-end clinics and hospitals. The medical services in this country are quite decent in the bigger cities with doctors having the ability to speak in English. The pharmacies will also provide you with everything that you need. However, it would be better for you to stock up on pharmacy beforehand considering the altitude of the different places to travel throughout Peru.
It is always a good idea to get altitude medicines when traveling to Peru. However, one of the most important things to know before traveling to Peru is that if you have plans of visiting the Amazon regions and the surrounding Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos then you must surely pack heavily on anti-malarial medicines. Apart from this, you must also get shots for typhoid and yellow fever. Discuss all your options of medications and shots with your healthcare professional before visiting Peru. For more healthy tips check out our article here.
Get the Services of a Reputable Travel Agency
This is one advice that works for individuals traveling not only to Peru but to different regions across the world. Considering the logistical challenges that you would have to face when planning a trip to Machu Picchu, it is important for you to hire the services of a reputable and experienced travel agency. This way you will be planning your trip to Peru in the most perfect manner without having to face any problems. This is probably one of the most important things to know before traveling to Peru. Have a professional travel agency handling all your travel arrangements to the country. If you fail to do so, you might end up having a frustrating journey.
Book Tickets to Machu Picchu Ahead of Time
Out of all the different important things to know before traveling to Peru, one thing that you must know for sure is that there are only a limited number of trains running from Urubamba and Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu. This means that the tickets on these trains are likely to sell out during high season which is generally between the months of July and September. Take the stress out of this by getting early tickets for Machu Picchu. Also, make sure that you are booking your tickets from official sources. This is because scams abound and in case you do not possess legal tickets, you might have to purchase new ones or you might even be turned away from visiting Machu Picchu. There are several hotels that can also help you in arranging the purchase of Machu Picchu tickets simply by getting your passport details.
Carry Peruvian Currency
If you have never visited any country with a developing economy, then this might be one of the most significant things to know before traveling to Peru. You must get used to the habit of traveling with the currency of the country that you are visiting. The same goes for Peru as well. Carrying the Peruvian currency is necessary because there are hardly any places in Peru that accept the currency or the cards of other countries. There are some places in Lima that accept specific cards and also some important tourist centers such as Cusco that deal in other currencies but enquire everything prior to indulging in the procedure.
This is because there are many restaurants and stores that put Visa acceptance stickers on their doors but do not accept them in the first place. Another good thing to know about Peru, is that you must never restrict yourself to the places that accept different cards.
Peru is one of the most phenomenal places to travel in this world. It speaks of dynamic cities, an awe-inspiring landscape, and honest and friendly locals. However, keeping the above-mentioned things to know before traveling to Peru will help you in making your trip to this country a success. If you really want to make the best out of your travel and the money spent on it, beware of the things that you must know about Peru.
As a bonus, here are a few more things you should know about Peru:
Where is Peru?
Peru is located in western South America where it shares a border with the Pacific Ocean. Its neighbors include Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile.
What’s Peru like?
Peru is a country that is rich in natural beauty. With its coastline that connects to the Pacific Ocean, its lands that hold the Andes mountain range and a large part of the Amazon rainforest, it remains a very popular tourist destination.
What is Peru’s currency?
Peru’s currency is Peruvian Sol. It is available in different denominations with currency notes starting from 10 Soles and going up to 200 Soles.
What’s the best way to get from the airport to your hotel?
The best way to get from Lima airport to your hotel is Welcome Pickups. You can easily Book Your Lima Airport Transfer here for the same price as a taxi from the line, skip all the hassle and arrive safely to your accommodation. You will experience a 5-star service with local, fluent-in-English drivers who meet and greet you at the gate and will give you useful tips and information for the city. Another perk of the service is that you can cancel for free up to 48 hours before the transfer. So, book your Lima airport transfer (link) now and don’t worry about finding a taxi at the airport!
When to go to Peru according to Lonely Planet?
Lonely Planet recommends that you visit Peru between any parts of the year but December-February since the season is full of rain, cold weather, and other issues. The Inca trail also closes in February for cleanups.
Peru is in which region?
Peru is located in the western South American region. Its neighboring countries include Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Bolivia.
Is Peru through to the world cup?
Peru made it to the Group Stage of FIFA World Cup 2020 but it couldn’t make it past it, following two lost matches to Denmark and France.