Practical information about Peru
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. Summers (December – April) are hot here, with temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees. 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 November – March, and typically comes in brief 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:
Weather statistics for Cuzco:
Excursions and transfers are conducted in small, international groups led by an English-speaking guide.
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. The driest months match the European summer (June–August). The weather in Lima is fine all year round.
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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
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.
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 rules on visas can be checked on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
If you are travelling via the US, the following applies to British citizens:
To travel via the United States, you must apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Without ESTA, you will not be allowed to travel through the United States. Apply for the travel authorization in good time at least 72 hours before your departure to the US. ESTA costs 14 USD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. You should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 2 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your ESTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.
If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new ESTA.
If you have you travelled in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on 1 March 2011 or later, you must apply for a visa at the American Embassy. You cannot apply for ESTA. The same applies if you have dual nationality in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.
If you are travelling via Canada, the following applies to British citizens:
To travel via Canada, you must apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Without eTA, you will not be allowed to travel through Canada. Apply for the travel authorization in good time. eTA costs 7 CAD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp. You should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your eTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.
If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new eTA.
We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here
Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another South or Central American country where yellow fever is present.
Some countries require proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entry. So be sure to bring your vaccination certificate with you in these cases.
The most famous Inca ruins in Peru are undoubtedly Machu Picchu. The ruin complex is visited by many tourists every year (up to 5,000 a day), so entry takes place in teams at set times of the day to avoid long queues and unnecessary waiting time.
The day before you leave for Machu Picchu, your guide will inform you about your entry time. We make use of the morning entry times between 06.00 and 08.00, unless they are sold out. If you have walked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you will also arrive in the morning through the Sun Gate to the Machu Picchu Inca Complex.
Since January 2019, you may remain at the ruin complex for up to 4 hours Your guided tour takes around 2 hours and then you have around 2 hours to explore on your own.
If you wish to climb Huayna Picchu Mountain, this will take place before your guided tour of Machu Picchu. The Huayna Picchu Mountain climb should be booked at the same time as your holiday. Please note that there are a limited number of permits to climb Huayna Picchu – only 400 a day.
Admission and entry times to Machu Picchu are governed by the Ministry of Culture in Peru (Ministerio de Cultura de Perú) and the rules are subject to change without notice.
Transport to/from Machu Picchu:
Transportation between Cusco and Aguas Calientes is by minibus and train. Depending on the season, you drive by minibus from Cusco to either Ollantaytambo or Poroy and by train from here to Aguas Calientes. The same goes for the return trip. The trip from Cusco to Aguas Calientes takes around 5–6 hours.
You will be told the departure times by your guide the day before.
Please note that there is a limit of 5 kg hand luggage per person on the train.
Transportation between Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu is by bus. The buses depart every 10 minutes from 5.30 am.
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.
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.
The currency in Peru is called Sol (PEN). At http://currency.euroinvestor.co.uk/, you can can check the exact exchange rate at any time. We recommend that you bring both credit cards and US dollars (USD) in cash. Credit cards are accepted at many hotels, restaurants and shops, and there are plenty of cash machines (ATMs) in all major towns and cities and at the airports. You can exchange US dollars (USD) at the bureau de change at airports and major towns and cities. Hotels also often offer to exchange dollars to Sol, but the exchange rate is not as good.
In Peru, the voltage is 220 V. Depending on where you are in the country, the sockets may vary We therefore recommend that you bring a multi-adapter with you, so you are sure of being able to charge your camera, phone or laptop.
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.
Tips are given to hotel staff, at restaurants and to guides and drivers on the tours. So it is a good idea to have a few small notes or coins ready.
Tipping on the Inca Trail:
After dinner, the cook and the porters perform a small farewell ceremony, as they do not go up to Machu Picchu the next morning. The custom here is for the group to tip them for their help. Below is an indication of what you should pay:
80 Soles per porter. The number of porters depends on the size of the group. This amount should be given on the last evening as the porters do not go up to Machu Picchu with you the next morning.
100 Soles to the cook. This amount should be given on the last evening as the cook does not go up to Machu Picchu with you the next morning.
120 Soles to the guide. This can be paid after the guided tour of Machu Picchu.
Please note that the above amounts are not for each participant on the trek, but a total amount from the group as a whole. We recommend that the group pools the tips and gives them to the recipient together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 find any 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.
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.
The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.
Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.
Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.
If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.
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 should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.
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.
NB! When you visit Machu Picchu, there are limitations to how many kg you can bring with you on the train between Cusco and Aguas Calientes. You should therefore bring a small bag with you for your stay at Machu Picchu. The rest of your luggage will be stored at the hotel in Cusco.
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.
Please note: There will be porters on the Inca Trail to carry camping equipment, food and up to 6 kg of personal baggage per participant.
On the Salkantay trek, there will be horses on the first two days to carry camping equipment, food and up to 6 kg of personal baggage per participant. On the 3rd day, you and the horses and their horsemen go your separate ways. Your luggage is carried down to the train, where you are reunited with it before the last part of your journey to Aguas Calientes.
The horses on this trek can be used for extra support on the 2nd day to cross the hard pass at an altitude of 4,600 metres.
On both treks, you will have to carry your day rucksack containing a change of clothes, rain wear, water, snacks and camera yourself.
- 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
- Sun cream
- Head lamp
- Swimming costume
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.
Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.