Tour Preparation

In order to have a smooth and enjoyable trip please read the information below, you will find useful information to ensure you have a lifetime adventure in Peru! If don’t find the information you are looking for, or need further information please contac us or read our FAQ’s section.

Documents

For U.S. and European Community citizens no Visa is required for stays of less than 90 days; only a Passport valid for at least six months from date of arrival and at least two blank pages. If you have a different nationality please e-mail us to help. Do not forget to bring a copy of passport pages where your picture and number appears, it will be very useful.

On Arrival at Lima Airport

During your flight, the airline staff will provide you a Customs form (one per family) and the Andean Immigration form (one per person), please fill them out before the flight lands; on your arrival at Lima airport follow the crowds towards the immigration check points, after you get your passport stamped by the immigration officer you will need to walk just some meters to pick up your luggage from the baggage carousel, next go towards Customs check points where you just need to provide the filled out form, after clearing customs you will find people holding signs with names, one of those signs has your name, in case you don’t find your name please wait some minutes or call us at the emergency number +511-996512083.

The Coast

The Peruvian coastline is formed by a long snaking desert hemmed in between the sea and the mountains. Humidity in these areas produces a sensation of cold, although temperatures rarely dip below 54 F (12°C). During summer, meanwhile, the sun beats down and temperatures often top 86 F (30°C). The central and southern sections of the coast feature two well-defined seasons: winter from April to October, and summer from November to March. The north coast, meanwhile, is not touched by the effects of the cold current, which means it enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and warm temperatures all year-long as much as 95 F (35°C) in summer.

The Highlands

There are two defined seasons in the Peruvian highlands: the dry season months are from April to October, marked by sunny days, cold nights and it hardly rains; the rainy season starts in November and finishes in March, during this time there are frequent rain showers, generally more than 1000 mm. A characteristic of the mountain region is the drop in temperature during the day: temperatures commonly range around 75 F (24°C) at midday before plunging to 27 F (-3°C) at night.

The Jungle

The vast Peruvian jungle, which surrounds the wide and winding Amazon river, is divided into two differentiated areas: the cloud forest above 2,290 ft (700 masl), which features a subtropical, balmy climate, with heavy rain showers between November and March, and sunny days from April to October; and the lowland jungle below 2,290 ft (below 700 masl), where the dry season runs from April to October and is ideal for tourism, with sunshine and high temperatures often topping 95 F (35°C). The jungle features high humidity all year long. In the southern jungle, there are sometimes cold spells known locally as friajes, cold fronts which drift up from the far south of the continent between May and August, where temperatures can drop to 46 F (8°C).

Peru is -5 hours GMT and does not observe daylight saving time.

Anyone travelling to Peru should be in good health. Please contact your physician to be sure you are able to travel. If you have any heart or lung disease it is recommended to avoid traveling to high altitudes. If you are taking medicine be sure you bring enough for the durtaion of your trip.

For travellers visiting the jungle region (Manu and Tambopata), it is recommended to be vaccinated and bring your Certificate of Vaccination. You must get vaccinated 15 days before arrving in the jungle area.

It is recommended to rest upon arrival in any city in the highlands, eat lightly the first two days and drink plenty of bottled water. The altitudes experienced in the Andes may have an adverse effect on you if you are not used to such heights. On reaching heights above 4000 feet, heart pounding and shortness of breath are a normal response to the lack of oxygen in the air. However, for some visitors symptoms usually develop during the first 24 hours at altitude. To prevent Soroche, on arrival don't over exert yourself. Be sure to rest. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy food. Drinking mate de coca (an infusion of coca leaves) will help. If symptoms become more severe and prolonged it is best to quickly seek medical attention and make arrangements to descend to a lower altitude. Diamox (acetazolamide) is a good medication for altitude sickness.

Temperatures change rapidly at high altitudes, the sun is very intense but it may be very cold at night so it is important to have layers of clothing in your daypacks.

Please notice it is a basic checklist; if you are doing some trek please contact us for further information.

• Original valid Passport
• Day backpack to carry your camera, water bottle and clothing
• Mid weight wool sweater
• Winter Hat and Gloves
• Fleece pants
• Zip-off hiking pants
• Shorts
• Short and Long-sleeve shirts
• Swimsuit
• Sun hat
• Rain jacket
• Athletic, waterproof and broken-in hiking shoes
• Sandals
• Flashlight
• Pocket knife
• Watch with alarm
• Sunglasses
• Sun block and lip balm
• First-aid kit with Personal Medication
• Hand sanitizer gel
• Insect repellent
• Camera, film and spare batteries
• Altimeter
• Earplugs
• Energy snacks
• Good binoculars

Peruvian Food, is one of the best in the world, however you have to eat at the right place. Avoid eating from street vendors. Only drink bottled water- even for things such as brushing your teeth. Avoid fruits or vegetables that have not been peeled. Food depends on the geography of the country, its climate and the customs of their people.

Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol, which is divided into 100 cents. The currency includes coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2 and 5 sol coins. There are bills in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Nuevos Soles.

There are money changing booths almost everywhere in every major Peruvian city. The cash dollars you bring should be crisp, clean and new-no tears. It is a good idea not to use bills in excess of $10-$20.00, as you might find it difficult for the merchant to change anything larger.

The electric voltage in Peru is 220 volts, however most hotels may have an electrical outlet with 110 volts, but it is better if you bring a 220-240 to 110-120 voltage converter; and a universal plug adapter just in case. Two-pin, flat blade and round plugs are standard

We recommend you to obtain a personal Travel Insurance, including Medical Problems, Baggage loss or damage. If you need help to find a travel Insurance Company please let us know.

Some restaurants add a service charge of 5% or 10%, which will be indicated on the bill. In this case there is no need to tip the waiter, but if service charge has not been added to the bill you can tip up to 10% of the bill amount for exceptional service. In hotels, bellboys expect US$1.00 per bag. Drivers are not tipped at least they help you check in at the airports or stations. Tour guides are customarily tipped.

ECS is ready to help you in case of an emergency. If you encounter a difficult situation in Peru, please contact us ASAP; even if you are traveling in the highlands or jungle we will provide you quick assistance through our network of representatives in every destination, we are just a phone call away.

If you need to call us from another city out of Lima please dial 01, if you are calling from your cell phone please dial +511 and if you call from a local number in Lima no prefix is required.

Emergency numbers:

• (+51-1) 996512083 24/7 English, Spanish, French and Italian speaking Assistance.
• (+51-1) 990206436 24/7 English and Spanish speaking Assistance.
• (+51-1) 2429716 09:00 – 18:00 Mon to Fri, Spanish and English speaking Assistance.
• (+51-1) 4226544 20:00 – 07:00 Mon to Sat, Spanish and English speaking Assistance.
• 105: Police Emergency Number.

Recommendations:

• In case your credit cards are stolen please cancel them very quickly by contacting your bank.
• Avoid exchanging money on the street; you’d better use a “Casa de cambio”.
• Avoid buying food from street vendors.
• In case you lose your passport or it is stolen, report the loss to the police (Our local Agent will be happy to assist you personally)
• In case of a medical emergency please contact our local English speaking Agent or your hotel staff.

Surface Area

With an area of 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third-largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, ranking it amongst the world's 20 largest nations.

Peru also holds sway over the sea up to 200 miles from the Peruvian coast and has territorial rights to an area of 60 million hectares in the Antarctic. Peru is divided into 24 departments. Lima is the capital of Peru.

Population

27.000.000 inhabitants.
• Urban: 72.3 %
• Rural: 27.7 %
Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic origins. Throughout its history, Peru has been the meeting ground for different nations and cultures. The indigenous population was joined 500 years ago by the Spaniards. As a result of this encounter, and later enriched by the migration of African blacks, Asians and Europeans, Peruvian man emerged as the representative of a nation whose rich ethnic mix is one of its leading characteristics.

Language

• Spanish: 80,3%
• Quechua: 16,2%
• Other languages: 3,0%
• Foreign languages: 0,2%

As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages. Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua is a major legacy of the Inca Empire, and is still spoken with regional dialects in many parts of Peru.

In addition, other languages are spoken such as Aymara (in Puno) and a startling variety of dialects in the Amazon jungle, which are divided up into 15 linguistic families and 43 different languages. Please contact us if you need further information.