Planning the trip
Do I need a Visa for Peru?
A tourist visa allows you to stay legally in Peru for 183 days in a row. Usually you get a visa for this period when entering the country (e.g. at the airport). Sometimes it’s only issued for 90 days, the practice here is quite licentious. For every day your stay exceeds the allowed time, you just pay $1 when leaving the country, which means that also longer stays are possible and non-bureaucratic. Another option is to cross the border and re-enter the country. When travelling to a neighbor country before the visa ends, you automatically get a new tourist visa.
Which immunizations do I need?
When travelling to Peru you should possess the usual immunization protection of your home country (tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella…). Immunization protection against hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhus is also recommendable. If you travel to the Amazon region, you should also consider to be protected against yellow fever and malaria. In general, we recommend to turn to your family doctor in sufficient time before you travel.
How is the climate in Peru?
Since Peru is located in the southern hemisphere, it has – speaking in general – reverse seasons compared to those in the northern hemisphere. This means, when there’s summer for example in Europe, there’s winter in Peru. Anyway, Peru’s special geography offers a broad range of climate zones. The northern coast, close to the equator, has a mild and warm climate during the whole year, so the beaches there can be visited in any month of the year. The rest of the coast has a quite moderate climate. The Peruvian Amazon has a warm and wet tropical climate. The Peruvian highlands on the other hand, la sierra, have a dry climate, with a strong sun during the day and intense cold by night, with precipitation from December to March. From May to August, temperatures fall, producing a cold climate especially in the very high regions. The climate in Lima is very humid, with a 100% of air humidity on some days. The four seasons are not easy to distinguish here, you could even say that there are only two “real” seasons in Lima: spring and autumn, considering that temperatures in the hottest months (December to May) stay around 25 to 30 degrees, while in the coldest months (June to November) the average temperatures are around 13 to 16 degrees. Although temperatures never get very low, winter in Lima feels very cold, because of the high humidity and because on most days the sky is clouded here. In general, apartments and offices in Lima don’t have radiators, so in any case we recommend to bring warm clothes! On the other hand, in the hottest months many restaurants and offices have air condition. In these months the humidity is also slightly lower and the chance to have days with blue sky is higher. On the few rainy days in Lima you only get soft drizzles. This happens above all in the coldest months.
Below the average temperatures in Lima:
- January to March: 21 – 29°C
- April to June: 17 – 27°C
- July to September: 15 – 19°C
- October to December: 16 – 24°C
How do I pay in Peru?
Most things in Peru are paid in the local currency, the Nuevo Sol. Things of big value though, like cars or apartments, are still calculated in dollars. You can take traveller cheques to Peru, but often it’s a very bureaucratic act to change them in banks since they are not very known in Peru. The easiest way is to take out money with your bank card (Maestro) or your credit card on the cash points of the different banks. You can take out a maximum amount of 700 Soles (about € 200 or USD 240) daily (in some banks less). Your bank charges you an amount of approx. 3 to 4 Euros for every transaction. Commissions for taking out cash with your credit card are usually higher. You should check this with your bank before you travel. You can pay in almost any place like in restaurants and supermarkets with your credit card. To change Euros or Dollars to get Nuevo Soles, the best places for this are the money exchanges (Casa de Cambio); they charge less than the banks. You also find persons who offer ambulant money change outside of almost any bank but we don’t recommend to use their service.
Do I need a health insurance for abroad?
For your stay in Peru you should possess an international health insurance. To find one you can contact insurance companies in your home country.