We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently answered questions for travel to Peru but please don’t hesitate to contact us if any of your questions are not answered below.
What money do I need in Peru?
The local currency is soles and at the time of writing £1 was worth about 4 soles. Hotels or bigger businesses will occasionally accept dollars but you will often get better exchange rates with soles and most shops and restaurants will not accept dollars.
Most ATMs accept visa and MasterCard but try to use bank ATMs to avoid hefty fees. It can be hard to withdraw large denominations in one transaction – the norm is 400 soles but we have found ATMs that allow a withdrawal of up to 700. Most places will accept card but we have found that Visa is more widely accepted than MasterCard and you will need change for smaller transactions.
What clothes should I pack?
The climate of Peru is extremely varied throughout the country – expect heat and humidity in the Amazon up to 35 degrees, dry and balmy weather of about 20 degrees in Lima and varying temperatures in high altitude areas which tend to be very cold at night and hot in the day. Because of the high altitude in many areas the sun is very strong so be prepared for hot weather even if temperatures don’t reflect this. Due to this high altitude we recommend some lightweight long sleeved tops to protect you from the sun. Temperatures tend to drop dramatically in these areas and you will want warm layers for the evenings. Please bear in mind this is general advice and you should bear in mind what season you are travelling in eg winter/summer/dry or rainy season. However, some our favourite items to pack are long sleeved lightweight tops, fleeces, a light down jacket, walking trousers, t-shirts, a waterproof jacket, a sun hat or visor, sun glasses and good walking shoes. Layering is the key in Peru! Also don’t forget you can buy lovely alpaca jumpers, scarves and hats once there so good to leave some room in your suitcase!
What else should I pack?
High-factor sun cream, sun hats, sun glasses and mosquito spray are all essentials in Peru. We also recommend travelling with a small backpack which you can use for your overnight trip to Machu Picchu and in the day time. Binoculars are also handy as birdlife is abundant in Peru, and of course your camera. Be sure to pack the right adaptor (see our note below on electricity) and tissues will be useful as you may still find some basic toilets at ruin sites etc.
What adaptor should I pack?
We’re not 100% sure why but you will find a mix of the European two-pronged sockets and the American style socket which has two flat pins. Due to this we recommend taking a worldwide travel adapter so you are not caught out.
Is there good WiFi and do I need a local sim card?
There is WiFi throughout Peru at all hotels and most restaurants, bars and cafes. Generally it’s okay but you may find it a bit slow at times or occasionally not working. It is difficult for foreigners to buy a local simcard due to various regulations but if you really want one we recommend you heading to a small mobile store/market stall that is not an official store and your guide will be able to help with this – please let us know if you need this service and we will try to help. Your phone must be unblocked and it costs about £10 for a simcard with about 2GB of data and some calls. Popular phone carriers include Movistar, Bitel, Claro and Entel.
What language is spoken in Peru?
Spanish is the spoken language throughout Peru so if you speak a little bit of Spanish it will always be appreciated. However, in the tourist areas English is widely spoken and it should not be a problem if you speak no Spanish. There are many native languages in Peru, the main one being Quechua, which has been reinstated as the second language of Peru and is therefore widely spoken.
Is it safe in Peru?
Peru is generally a safe country. Like all major cities around the world Lima does have a mixture of different neighborhoods but Fleewinter has chosen boutique properties in the safest areas of the city which you can enjoy. As always when travelling keep your belongings safe.
Can I haggle when shopping?!
Yes it is totally expected to haggle especially on the markets when in Peru. From our experience the selling is relatively relaxed and you don’t feel hassled which makes it a pleasant place to shop!
Do I need a Visa to travel to Peru?
You do not need a visa to enter Peru on a UK passport if you are travelling for less than 60 days. On arrival in immigration you will get a stamp in your passport. If you are not travelling with a UK passport please do let us know. Please check you have 6 months validity on your passport after the date of departure from Peru.
Another note is that it can be an issue if you have a different passport at time of travel to that we would have booked your Machu Picchu tickets with. Therefore if you will be applying for a new passport between booking and travel, or if you have to replace it, do let us know immediately.
Do I need vaccinations?
We are not medically trained but we do recommend you look at NHS fit for travel page, which is a great resource for health and vaccination advice. You may wish to make an appointment with a travel doctor.
Should I tip in Peru?
Tipping is very much appreciated in Peru. Generally speaking for our private tours, if you are of course happy with everything, the recommended amount is about $10-20 per day for the guide and half of that for the driver. For restaurants we recommend 10% like the UK.
How do I arrive to Machu Picchu?
If you are taking a train to Machu Picchu your train will take as far as Aguas Calientes which is the nearest town. from here you will be taking a bus to the entrance which takes about 25 minutes (a Fleewinter assistant will lead you to the bus stop). This is the only way to reach the entrance for all travellers (if you want a private transfer you have to book the whole bus!) After disembarking the bus please look for your guide who will show you around this phenomenonal site – or if you are visiting on your own you can go straight to the ticket barriers and show your ticket. Please note the only toilets are here, before you go in. After visiting the site you will need to take the bus back to Aguas Calientes. Please note in peak season you may have to wait 2 hours in the queue for this back – unfortunately this is unavoidable and there is no alternative option so please allow ample time if you are catching a train.
Can I take my Luggage to Machu Pichu?
Officially you are allowed to take only one bag of 5kg per person on the train to Aguas Calientes. We advise taking a small rucksack with essentials and leaving your suitcase in your hotel. We will arrange for your suitcase to be delivered to your next hotel so you can travel light and free!
What do I need to take to Machu Picchu?
PASSPORTS! These are essential for boarding the train and entering Machu Picchu so please do not leave them in your big suitcase at the hotel. You will also need your train pass and Machu Picchu train tickets which will be have been given to you by your guide. We also recommend taking your rain jacket (just incase!), Mosquito spray, sun protection cream and good walking shoes.
Will I get altitude sickness?
Fleewinter will plan your journey through Peru with the best route to help you acclimatise. Our recommendation on your first day in high altitude is not to drink alcohol, eat red meat, consume sugar or over-exert yourself. It’s said to take eight hours to acclimatise so please take it easy on your first day and that will help with the rest of the trip running smoothly. If you are worried about this or have suffered with altitude sickness in the past please talk to us. Many hotels and restaurants have oxygen available should it be needed and the locals are well versed on what to do so don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel unwell at all on the trip.
Do I need special travel insurance for my trip to Peru?
Please check with your travel insurance provider about cover to Peru. If you are doing a trek then please do also check it covers trekking at high altitude.