Must-See Peru Ruins: An Essential Guide


Peru travel FAQs

All you need to know to begin planning your trip to Peru

How easy is it to exchange money in Peru?
The currency of Peru is the sol. It is possible to exchange money at airports, banks and even supermarkets in Peru. While street money changers (cambistas) offer some excellent rates, its advisable to avoid changing money in the open. US dollars are also widely accepted in Peru.

Do I need a power adapter in Peru?
Peru uses 220 volt, 60 cycle electricity. Plugs are typically the two-pronged flat pins used in the US, although some places also use two-pronged round pins. You’ll need a power adapter to fit European and British plugs.

What should I buy in Peru?
Peru is known for its textiles, so look for Andean garments made from alpaca wool such as chullos (hats), scarves, rugs and artisan clothing. Clay bowls were a staple of Inca culture, so look for those painted with geometric designs.

Do I need vaccines for Peru?
All travellers should visit their doctor before choosing to travel to Peru, as they will have the most up-to-date information on vaccinations and any health issues. As of 2019, yellow fever is known to be endemic to certain regions of Peru, while the country is also designated as having a Zika virus risk.

Is travel in Peru safe?
The threat of violent crime in Peru is no greater than anywhere else in the world and the Peruvian government has done much to improve security for tourists. Despite this, Peru does experience low-level petty crime, such as pickpocketing. Take the usual precautions, such as making copies of your passport and bank details, keeping cash and bank cards close to your body and packing your camera away when not in use.

Credit card fraud can also be an issue. Be aware if a shop assistant takes your card out of sight or the transaction takes longer than usual to process.

Do I need a permit for the Inca Trail/Machu Picchu?
Since 2002, all travellers wishing to hike the Inca Trail have required a permit. Only 500 people per day can hike the trail and permits must be booked in advance. Book a minimum of six weeks in advance, although for the peak months of June, July and August, several months notice is advised.

For Machu Picchu, you must purchase tickets prior to arriving at the site. This can be done online, or on the ground in Cusco or Aguas Calientes. Tickets give you a date and entry time. You cannot enter before your entry time, but you can enter after.

How long does it take to walk to Machu Picchu?
The classic Inca Trail takes between 4-5 days to reach Machu Picchu, but other routes exist. Depending on the trek you choose, your walk can take between 3-13 days to complete. It is also possible to take the train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes (3 ½ hours), before using a shuttle bus to reach Machu Picchu.

WIll my cellphone work in Peru?
The easiest way to use your cellphone in Peru is to purchase a local SIM card on a pay as you go contract and swap it into your phone. This avoids high roaming charges and also improves you connectivity. You’ll also have a local Peruvian number.

How much should I tip?
Although tipping is customary in restaurants and hotels in Peru, it isn’t necessary to tip taxi drivers. How much you choose to tip waiters depends on the level of restaurant, but 10% is an accepted baseline.


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