Top 5 Peru Travel Tips
Here are five tips we like to share with our travelers before arriving to Peru so they are prepared to enjoy their trip to the fullest!
Most travelers who come to Peru usually visit Cusco and Machu Picchu, which are at an altitude of nearly 11,000 ft (3,350m) and 7,700 (2,350m) above sea level, respectively. Altitude sickness can really make it hard for you to enjoy and appreciate the incredible historic landmarks and landscapes that surround you. So, make sure you rest upon arrival, take plenty of fluids, and eat lightly the first few days to minimize the symptoms of altitude sickness. For more precise information, read this article.
The best months to visit the Andes (i.e. Cusco, Arequipa, Puno) and the Amazon region are April through October as it is typically the dry season. Lima has very stable weather throughout the year, so you can visit it anytime.
Related: The Best Times to Travel to Peru
Altitude has a marked effect on climate. Normally, the higher you go, the colder it gets. If you are on the Western side of the mountains (i.e. Lima) it tends to be pretty dry. If you are on the eastern side of the Andes (i.e. Amazon), it can be pretty wet.
Also, remember that there is a seasonal inversion between the northern and the southern hemispheres. That is, when it is summer in the north it is winter in the south.
- Clothing & Other Essentials
Peru is very close to the Equatorial line. Sunshine is more intense so bring a hat, sunglasses, moisturizing cream, sunscreen lotion, insect repellant (for the Amazon) and a reusable water bottle. Also, the Andes highlands have warm days and cold nights, so you should dress in layers so that you can adjust your body temperature depending on local conditions and the time of day.
Bring a small foldable pouch, duffle bag, daypack or backpack to carry your valuables. If traveling to the Amazon or staying a night in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu), you’ll need this bag to take the essentials, as suitcases will not be allowed, due to train/boat weight restrictions.
Hiking Machu Picchu or walking through the Amazon Rainforest requires proper footwear. Sturdy, impermeable shoes with good ankle support are best. Heavier hiking boots for the more extreme hikes like the Inca Trail, Salkantay or Ausangate Mountain, are recommended.
It is important that you take the precautions that are shared among the world’s main cities and tourist destinations. These include not neglecting your belongings in public places or avoiding deserted areas at night. Also, do not take taxis out in the street, rather have your hotel concierge fetch you a taxi, or use one of the many transportation Apps available internationally (i.e. Uber, Cabify).
Consider getting a copy of your passport, airplane tickets, and credit cards and leaving your personal documents in your hotel’s safety box. Also, if you must exchange money, do so in banks, exchange houses, or in your hotel. Avoid doing this in plain sight.
Most of the hotels we work with offer free WiFi service in common areas, such as the lobby or bar area, or have computers with Internet access available for their guests. Some hotels (4 stars or 5 stars) offer WiFi in rooms at a cost.
If you need to stay connected, we recommend you talk to your current cell phone carrier and ask for a temporary international plan, or purchase a chip locally while you’re in Peru. However, be aware that in many areas of the country (i.e. Andes, Amazon, rural areas) connectivity is limited.
Also, be aware that the electricity in Peru is 220 volts, so make sure your devices can be plugged in at this higher voltage. Most 4 and 5-star hotels do have outlets equipped with 110 volts.
These Peru travel tips should help you better prepare for your travels, however, make sure you discuss any special needs or questions with your travel advisor. Ideally he/she should be local and have first-hand experience traveling throughout Peru. Not only will this ensure you get the best quality information, it will also come in handy if you have problems while in Peru and need someone to take care of them quickly. Happy travels!