Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). You may exchange money at the
airport, at banks and at public exchange houses (casas de cambio). The
Dollar/Euro exchange rate can vary slightly on a daily basis and from place to
place. For example, a bank may give you less for your dollar than a casa de
Foreign bills with rips, folds or stains are usually exchanged at a lower rate.
Make sure your bills look new. Exchange shops generally prefer to exchange
large foreign bills (twenties, hundreds) and may give you less per Dollar/Euro
for smaller bills (ones, fives). When exchanging your money, request small bills
or coins in Soles (Peruvian currency). Shops and other service providers do not
always hold large amounts of cash, so it is better to pay in the exact or close to
exact due amount.
Most establishments operate on a cash only basis. Be sure to find out if an
establishment accepts credit or debit cards before paying with them.
Establishments that do accept credit or debit cards may charge an additional
You may withdraw money from your bank account at ATMs in Peru for a small
The weather in Peru does not follow the four defined seasons of winter, spring,
summer, and fall. The weather can be better described as having a cold, an
intermediate, and a warm season; or a dry, an intermediate, and a rainy
season, depending on the place.
The weather in Lima is hot and humid from December to approximately the
beginning of April. If you will be in Lima during these months, pack shorts, t-
shirts, light pants, light sweaters for the evening, light pajamas. This is a good
time to enjoy the beach. The weather is cold and humid from April to August. If
you will be in Lima during these months, pack pants, long sleeved shirts,
sweaters, a jacket, and warm pajamas. The weather is moderate between
August and December. If you will be in Lima during these months, pack pants, t-
shirts, long sleeved shirts, light sweaters, a light jacket.
The weather in Cusco is warm and rainy from mid-November to the beginning
of April. If you will be in Cusco during these months, pack pants, t-shirts, long
sleeved shirts, light sweaters, a rain jacket, and rain boots. The weather is cool,
dry, and windy from April to end of August. This season may have sunny days,
but cold nights. If you will be in Cusco during these months, pack pants, t-shirts,
long sleeved shirts, sweaters, a jacket, and warm pajamas. In September and
October, the weather is comfortable with sporadic rain.
The weather in the Sacred Valley of the Incas follows the same climate as
Cusco, but it is slightly warmer.
Note that houses and establishments in Peru do not usually have heating nor
Keep your valuables unexposed. You may ask the lodge where you are staying
if they have a safe deposit box to keep your money and/or important
Carry small amounts of money with you.
When walking in the street at late hours of the night, try to have someone else
walk with you.
If you need a taxi for your local transportation, try to ride a cab that belongs to an
agency. If you are on the street you can spot legit taxis by the phone number
posted on the top or on the side of the taxi. If possible find out the cab rates in
the city where you are, ask the taxi driver how much they will charge you before
you get in.
To stop a taxi in the street, just wave your hand in front of the taxi. If you are
staying in a hotel, request a taxi from the front desk.
Avoid accepting rides from overly pushy taxi drivers.
If you ride a bus, take coins with you; if possible, the exact bus fare amount.
Make sure you have all directions before you board. If you are staying in a hotel
or hostel, ask the front desk for bus directions.
One or two days
Avoid purchasing food from the street vendors.
Tap water may not always be safe. It is preferable to buy bottled water.
If you are going to buy food to cook, specially meat, it is preferable to buy at the
supermarket instead of in the open market.
You may find a greater variety of fresh fruits at the open market.
Servers at restaurants expect a tip.
Workers in restaurants, guides, private drivers, Inca Trail porters, hotel porters,
bell boys, indigenous people whose picture is taken expect a tip.
Cyber cafes or “cabinas de internet” are common. Computers can be rented
for 1 to 3 Soles per hour. Hotels and hostels often offer free internet.
Visitors to Cusco and the highlands may experience altitude sickness or
“soroche.” Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, upset stomach, and
tiredness. These symptoms can be managed by reducing alcohol intake,
drinking lots of fluids, eating light meals, and getting plenty of rest. Visitors may
also buy soroche pills at any drug store.
To avoid soroche, it is recommended that visitors rest upon their arrival and take
the day off to acclimatize. Ideally, begin touring activities one or two days after
Coca tea is said to prevent and/or lessen soroche. This tea is often offered in
hotels and hostels for this purpose.
Stores have set prices. Visitors may bargain in open markets and in art-and -
crafts markets when buying handicrafts and souvenirs.
Carry toilette paper with you. Restrooms in some establishments or in public
places often do not offer toilette paper.
When greeting or meeting people, expect to shake hands or to be kissed on the
Social meetings or gatherings may start 5 to 30 minutes late. Lunch and dinner
invitations may start an hour late.
Keep your Andean Migration card (Tarjeta Andina de Migracion), which you will
receive and fill out upon entering the country. Some lodges may request it.
Peru: +51 992 767 064
Canada: +1 604 368 5119
USA: +1 786 985 6746
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