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Practical information about Peru

1. Climate

In contrast to many other equatorial countries, Peru does not have an exclusively tropical climate. The influence of the Andes mountains causes great variation in the climate. In fact, the country has three distinct climate zones. Near the coast you will find the driest desert region, with moderate temperatures, low rainfall and high humidity – apart from in the warmer and wetter northern areas. The summers (December–April) are hot here, with temperatures of 25–35 °C. In the cold Andes mountains, it often rains in the summer and both temperature and humidity levels fall as the altitude increases. The rainy season lasts from December until the end of February, with the rain usually falling in short showers. The Amazon jungle is distinguished by heavy rainfall and high temperatures – except in the most southerly region, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall. It is most likely to be dry in this region between April and October.

Weather statistics for Lima:

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Day temp. 26 27 27 25 22 19 18 18 19 20 22 24
Night temp. 19 19 19 17 16 14 14 14 14 14 15 17
Precipitation, mm 1 0 1 0 2 4 5 6 5 2 1 1
Day
temp.
Night
temp.
Precipit.,
mm
JAN 26 19 1
FEB 27 19 0
MAR 27 19 1
APR 25 17 0
MAY 22 16 2
JUN 19 14 4
JUL 18 14 5
AUG 18 14 6
SEP 19 14 5
OCT 20 14 2
NOV 22 15 1
DEC 24 17 1

Weather statistics for Cuzco:

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Day temp. 20 21 21 22 21 21 21 21 22 22 23 21
Night temp. 7 7 7 4 2 1 -1 1 4 6 6  7
Precipitation, mm 163 150 109 51 15 5 5 10 25 66 76 137
Day
temp.
Night
temp.
Precipit.,
mm
JAN 20 7 163
FEB 21 7 150
MAR 21 7 109
APR 22 4 51
MAY 21 2 15
JUN 21 1 5
JUL 21 -1 5
AUG 21 1 10
SEP 22 4 25
OCT 22 6 66
NOV 23 6 76
DEC 21 7 137

2. The following are not included in our package tour prices

  • Meals except those specifically mentioned
  • Cancellation and travel insurance
  • Gratuities

3. Form of travel

Excursions and transfers are conducted in small, international groups led by an English-speaking guide.

4. When is it best to travel to Peru?

It is best to travel to Peru between April and October. The rainy season affects the highlands (Puno and Cuzco) from November until the end of March. For this reason, there is a risk of mudslides after heavy rainfall on the Inca trail in February, for example. The driest months match the European summer (June–August). The weather in Lima is fine all year round.

5. Terms and conditions of travel

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from llamatours.co.uk. Click here to read our terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

6. Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

7. Passport/Visa/ESTA

Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return home.

UK citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days.

The following regulations apply if you are flying via the United States:

UK citizens with a clean criminal record may visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa. UK citizens are covered by what is known as the ‘Visa Waiver Program’ and must therefore apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) – a mandatory travel permit valid for 90 days on arrival. ESTA registration replaces the green form that was previously distributed on the aircraft. Without an ESTA, you will not be permitted to enter the United States. You will need to apply for approval at least 72 hours before departing for the United States. ESTA registration costs USD 14 per person, and all travellers must fill in the relevant form online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. It is important to stress that the authorities in the United States may reject applicants under the ESTA programme, both in connection with the application process and actually on arrival in the United States. However, this is extremely rare, and the vast majority of travellers enjoy a problem-free journey to the United States. We recommend that you carry a physical copy of your ESTA approval with you – in case the system is down when you arrive, for example – but this is not an absolute requirement. ESTA registration is valid for two years, but you will need to renew it if you visit the country again.

If you have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on or later than 1 March 2011, you will need to apply for a visa at the American Embassy. You cannot apply for an ESTA. The same applies if you hold dual citizenship in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.

8. Vaccinations

We recommend that you contact a medical specialist, your GP or an authorised vaccination clinic.
Visit the CDC website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list for more information about vaccinations and Peru.

9. Language

Spanish is the language spoken in Peru, but the people are very helpful and love the chance to use the English words they know. In more rural regions, English speakers may be few and far between, which is why we use bilingual (English/Spanish) guides. It is a good idea to end questions and queries with the words ‘por favor’, which mean ‘please’. Another good word to know is ‘gracias’ – which means ‘thank you’ and is sure to prove useful in many situations.

10. Time difference

The difference between Central European Time (CET) and the time in Peru varies depending on whether Europe is on summer or winter time.
Summer time: – 7 hours. This means that when it is noon CET, it is 5 a.m. in Peru
Winter time: – 6 hours.

11. Currency

The unit of currently in Peru is the sol. Go to www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ to view the currently applicable exchange rate. We recommend that you bring some US dollars with you in cash, and then exchange these for local currency at an official bureau de change. Also bring a credit card and make sure to memorise your PIN code. NEVER write your PIN code down! There are cashpoint machines (ATMs) almost everywhere. You can use most common credit cards at hotels and in many shops and restaurants. Once again, however, the farther out into the country you travel, the harder it may be to use your credit card.

12. Electricity

Mains electricity in Peru is 220 V. European two pin plugs are used with the same type sockets.

13. Price level

Prices are generally lower in Peru than in the UK. It is usually cheaper to eat out, although you can naturally find drinks and meals in all price classes. Prices are generally also lower outside the large towns and cities.

14. Tipping

It is customary to tip hotel and restaurant staff and other people who provide a service. So make sure to have some small denomination notes or coins with you at all times.

15. Telephone and Internet

The international dialling code for Peru is +51. It can be expensive to call home to Europe from Peru. Ask your own mobile service provider about coverage and call charges.
There are Internet cafés in most large towns and cities.

16. Safety

Whenever you travel to a poor country anywhere in the world, it is important to be discreet. It is not a good idea to flaunt your valuables or to leave them unattended. We work exclusively with properly trained, experienced and certified travel guides, who can always provide you with good advice about safety, and know precisely where it is safe for you to walk/visit. If you follow your travel guide’s instructions you should always be able to stay out of trouble.

17. Food and drink

Peruvian cuisine is excellent and local dishes often involve pepper and garlic. There is also a wide variety of excellent vegetables to enjoy. In coastal regions, you are sure to find plenty of good restaurants serving fish and seafood, while farther inland you can try an old Inca delicacy: roast Guinea pig. All meals are generally served with potatoes or rice. The most famous drink in Peru is ‘Pisco Sour’, a local spirit made of lime juice, egg white and sugar. Otherwise, you can wash your meal down with excellent Peruvian beer or well-known soft drink called ‘Inka Kola’, which, despite the name, tastes more like lemonade.

18. Altitude sickness

It is difficult to predict who will suffer from altitude sickness. It is not a question of being in good physical shape or not – it can affect everyone. While it is possible to take some precautions against altitude sickness, there is no guarantee that they will have the desired effect. The best way to guard against altitude sickness is to take the appropriate medicine (consult your GP or ask at your local pharmacy), drink plenty of fluid (water), avoid alcohol and eat only light meals.
The likelihood of suffering from altitude sickness increases the higher the altitude and also depends on how quickly you ascend. It is therefore important to climb steadily and to take plenty of breaks. The symptoms of altitude sickness are dizziness, headache and vomiting. If these symptoms persist, there is only one sure cure: descend to a lower altitude. All in all, it is best to ascend slowly, which means that the order in which you visit different areas of Peru is important.

19. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport.  If you have any comments on the itinerary or find mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

20. Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

21. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

We recommend that you make a seat reservation on the plane. Many airlines also offer to upgrade reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort, e.g. Economy Comfort at KLM and Premium Voyageur at Air France. You can do this through the airline’s website. Most airlines have a point in the menu called “manage my booking”. Please note that many airlines require payment for seat reservation, so you should have your credit/debit card to hand when you get started.

Unfortunately, rules differ as to when seat reservation is opened. We recommend that you try to make a seat reservation as early as possible and you will then know when you can make a seat reservation if it cannot be done right away. It is very common for seat reservation to be opened between 72 and 24 hours before departure.

22. Checked luggage and hand luggage

We work with many different airlines to Peru, so there may be variations in the amount of luggage you are allowed to bring with you as both checked luggage and hand luggage. Check the information about this on your airline ticket, and contact us if you have any questions.

You and your travel guide should pack your luggage so that you can both make so without one item of luggage if the other is lost or delayed. While it is unlikely to happen, the problem may arise. If it does, it may take a few days before your luggage is delivered to the hotel where you are staying.

So make sure to carry all your important, indispensable items in your hand luggage: passport, visa, plane tickets, insurance papers, credit card(s), cash, prescriptions, information about any special medical conditions you may have along with essential medicine, allergy medicine, treatments for sudden stomach problems (such as Imodium) and pain killers (Panodil and/or Ipren, for example). You should also carry your camera, binoculars and other valuables in your hand luggage.

You may find yourself sitting in a draught from the air conditioning in the plane, so make sure to pack a warm jumper or jacket in your hand luggage.

23. Transfers to and from airports

On arrival at the different airports in Peru, you will be met by our local representative who will be waiting for you in the arrival hall with a sign bearing your name. You will be driven to the airport again on departure. You will be informed of your pick-up time when you arrive in Peru.

24. Suggested packing list for the Inca Trek

NB: On the trek, the bearers will carry up to 6 kg of luggage per participant.

  • A rucksack (up to 30 litres is a reasonable size)
  • Good hiking boots
  • Sandals or other comfortable footwear to use in the evening at the camp.
  • Wind and waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex®, for example)
  • Water bottle
  • Water purification tablets
  • Camera (ideally with a waterproof cover)
  • Extra batteries for the camera
  • Photocopies of travel documents such as passport, airline tickets, travel insurance, health insurance card
  • Mosquito balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Hat
  • Pocket torch
  • Swimming costume
  • Binoculars

Sleeping bags are available for hire for around USD 8 per day. Therefore, we recommend that you bring a liner bag with you.
Of course, you can also bring your own sleeping bag.