Peru Facts

GENERAL INFORMATION

CAPITAL: Lima
AREA: 1.3 million sq km
GOVERNMENT: Democratic Republic (President Alan García)
POPULATION: 27 millions
LANGUAGES: Spanish (80%) and Quechua (16%)
RELIGION: Roman Catholic (89%)
CURRENCY: Nuevo Sol (S/.)
TIME GMT: -5 hours
TELEPHONE CODES: 00 51
ELECTRICITY: 220V, 60Hz


PASSPORTS & VISAS

All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity).
Citizens from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not require visas to enter Peru. Bolivians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, and Chileans may enter determined regions of the country just by presenting their national identification documents. The maximum authorized length of stay is 90 days. To remain longer in the country or to enter for other purposes (residence, study, research, work, etc.), you must request the corresponding visa at the Peruvian consulate of your country of residence before traveling. Contact your embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It's your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.


HEALTH CARE

Peru generally maintains good health conditions. Hospitals and clinics provide adequate services, especially in Lima and the other main cities. It is recommended that you take the proper measures to protect yourself, especially from mosquito bites, in order to prevent infection from, among other diseases, yellow fever (vaccination) and malaria (repellant and medication). Consult your doctor before traveling. Also see our Useful Tips section for more recommendations


CURRENCY

The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). Banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 nuevos soles. Coins are issued in 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 céntimos (cents), and 1, 2, and 5 nuevos soles. There are 100 céntimos in one nuevo sole. The U.S. Dollar is accepted in some local businesses, restaurants, and gas stations at the day’s exchange rate. It is possible to exchange foreign currency (US$ and Euros) at hotels, banks, and authorized exchange houses. Working hours for most banks and exchange houses are from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. Monday through Friday and Saturdays to 12:00 P.M.


SAMPLE PRICE GUIDE
  • bottle of Cusqueña beer US$ 1.50
  • local phone call US$ 0.15
  • flight between most cities US$ 95.00
  • litre of petrol US$ 1.00
  • 1l of bottled water US$ 0.90
  • souvenir t-shirt US$ 5.00
  • short taxi ride US$ 1.00
  • short taxi ride US$ 5.00 in Lima

WEATHER

See the following section


SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT

The main hand made craft stores are found in the markets on Avenida La Marina, in Pueblo Libre and Avenida Petit Thouars in Miraflores. It is also possible to purchase crafts in the city’s main shopping centers. The sales tax (IGV) is 19%. Most stores, shopping centers, and hand made craft markets are open seven days a week (including holidays) from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. You may bargain with street, market, and beach vendors on the price of some articles. This is called “regateo”.
Most cities in Peru offer a variety of nightlife. In Lima, there are peñas (locales offering traditional live music), disco techs, pubs, and night clubs in several districts, yet the most popular are found in Miraflores, San Miguel, Pueblo Libre, San Isidro, and Barranco. The location of nightlife locales in other cities is normally in the downtown (main square and its surroundings).


FOOD AND DRINKS

Peruvian cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of traditional dishes from the coast, highlands, and jungle. Some are usually spicy or intensely seasoned, which is why we suggest you learn about them before ordering. Typical food includes lomo saltado (chopped steak fried with onions), cebiche de corvina (white sea bass marinated in lemon, chilli and onions, often served cold with a boiled potato or yam), and sopa a la criolla (a lightly spiced noodle soup with beef, egg, milk and vegetables). An Inca delicacy, often on the menu in the highlands, is roast guinea pig. Pisco brandy is the national drink of Peru and, besides the famous Pisco Sour, it is served in countless other ways. Chicha morada (purple corn juice), chica de jora (corn beer), and aguaje (drink made from aguaje palm fruits) are also traditional drinks from Peru that you can enjoy during your trip throughout all of Peru. FUNNY FACT: The national soft drink Inca Kola outsells Coca Cola in Peru. AVERAGE MEAL PRICES Low US$2-5 Mid US$5-10 High US$10-25 Deluxe US$25+


TELEPHONE

International calls to Peru: 00-51-city code + phone number Public telephones accept coins and phone cards that are sold in kiosks and supermarkets. Make certain that you are buying the phone card from the company you wish to use. It is possible to make collect calls from some public phone booths. To get more information about telephone numbers, call 103 (service in Spanish).


INTERNET

Public internet booths are found in the country’s main cities. Wireless internet service is provided in most 4 and 5-star hotels and in shopping centers.


POSTAL SERVICE

Post offices are located throughout all regions of the country. For more information, go to www.serpost.com.pe


AIRPORT TAXES

Each airport requires that you pay for the use of its installations. This is called the T.U.U.A. or airport use tax, which must be paid before boarding your airplane and differs according to the city of departure. The T.U.U.A. of Jorge Chavez International Airport (Lima) is U.S. $6.05 for domestic flights and U.S. $30.25 for international flights. It is necessary to pay the tax for domestic flights as well as for international flights.


TOURIST INFORMATION & ASSISTANCE SERVICE

Peru features a 24/7 tourist information and assistance service called iperú, where visitors can ask about official tourist information on Peru, as well as assistance. (01) 574-8000