Horseback riding in Peru

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Equestrian tours in Peru

Peru Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide

Overview

Few destinations have as much to offer visitors as Peru, an astonishingly varied country. Here you'll find panoramic mountain ranges, vast deserts, beautiful beaches and tropical jungle, not to mention fantastically rich history, archaeology, wildlife and enduring indigenous cultures.

Images of the extraordinary remains of ancient civilizations will inevitably jump to mind. The Inca stronghold Machu Picchu is one of the most famous and photogenic archaeological sites in the world and the mysterious Nazca Lines boggle the mind, but there are hundreds of similarly fascinating and even older sites to discover.

All are set in stunning landscapes, whether parched desert costa (coast), soaring sierra (mountains) or remote selva (rainforest) overflowing with wildlife. Such a diverse landscape generates diverse pleasures; the visitor can hike through snowy peaks one day, and relax on the beach the next; paddle a dugout through lowland rainforest or hop on a traditional reed boat on some of the world's highest lakes.

There are a wealth of sports and activities on offer, from sandboarding and surfing to extreme mountain biking and rafting. Add to this medicinal hot springs, mesmeric music, well-stocked museums, rich culture and uncommonly friendly people and you have a destination with something for everybody.

 

Passport/Visa

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

Visa Required?

British

No

Australian

No

Canadian

No

USA

No

Other EU

No

Return Ticket Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

Yes

 

Passports

Valid passport for the duration of the stay is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.

Visas

Visas are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above travelling as tourists for stays of up to 183 days.

Note: Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements (see Contact Addresses).

Visa Note

A business visa is required for all nationals if the purpose of the visit is business. Any business-related unpaid work can be made on a tourist visa. You have to complete a form from the Peruvian tax authority, which you can obtain from the embassy in advance or fill out at the airport on arrival..

Nationals applying for a tourist visa require a bank statement showing a minimum balance of £1,000 and a mini statement taken from a cash machine on the date of application.

All nationals are advised to check with the Peruvian Consulate prior to departure to obtain current details of any documentation which might be required. Postal visa applications are not accepted unless submitted through a travel agency.

Types of Visa and Cost

Tourist/business visa: £21.90. Costs are subject to change according to exchange rates.

Validity

Up to 183 days, but you must ask for this and the discretion lies with the officer. Stamps have been issued for as few as 30 days. You can extend your visa in Peru.

Applications to:

Consulate (or consular section at embassy); see Contact Addresses for details.

Working Days Required

At least 24 hours; longer if authorisation from the immigration office in Lima is required.

 

Money

Currency

Nuevo (new) Sol (PEN; symbol S/.) = 100 céntimos. Nuevo Sol notes are in denominations of S/.200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of S/.5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 céntimos.
Note: US Dollars are also in use and accepted for payment, particularly in tourist areas. While effectively interchangeable, it is best to use local currency wherever possible, and it is always good for tourists to have some local currency in small denominations, to pay for buses, taxis and goods in some small establishments.

Currency Exchange

Only a few bureau de change in Lima and Cusco will exchange currencies other than US Dollars. Outside Lima, it is virtually impossible. US Dollars can be exchanged everywhere and banks, hotels and many shops also readily accept US Dollars (although very old, torn or damaged notes are usually rejected). It is not recommended to exchange money from street vendors.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

All major credit cards are accepted, but usage may be limited outside of Lima. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted. It is also sensible to carry some cash rather than rely on cards.

Traveller's Cheques

Banks will exchange traveller's cheques although it can be a slow process outside Lima. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars. The ability to use traveller's cheques is also quite limited in some areas so you should check whether or not they will be accepted in the area you are visiting prior to travel.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1800, Sat 0900-1300 (may vary during the summer).

Exchange Rate Indicators

Date

June 2016

£1.00=

S/.4.9

$1.00=

S/.3.37

€1.00=

S/.3.76

 

Health

Vaccinations

 

Special Precautions

Diphtheria

Yes

Hepatitis A

Yes

Malaria

Sometimes*

Rabies

Sometimes

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

Yes

Yellow Fever

Sometimes*

Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

* Vaccination is recommended for travellers visiting jungle areas below 2,300m (7,546ft). Travellers who are only visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu do not require a vaccination.

Food and Drink

Drink only bottled water, and take purification tablets in case bottled water is unavailable. Pasteurised milk is widely available, but if you are staying in mountain towns you will also find that unpasteurised milk is often sold in shops, served in plastic bags. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk.

Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. You will find that there is plenty of street food available in stores and at markets, and you should try to ensure that what you buy has been heated properly and not been left out. In particular, you will find lots of ceviche, a cold seafood dish made using raw fish, which is practically the national dish. It is heavily acidic, which must kill some bacteria; nevertheless be aware that unless the fish is very fresh the potential for food poisoning is high. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other Risks

Dengue fever outbreaks are common in the Amazon Basin. Altitude sickness can be a problem if visiting the highlands. Visitors should take time to acclimatise. Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended, for those who are planning to stay in Peru longer than six months or who could have sexual relations with the local population. If you do require vaccinations for your trip, ensure they are administered sufficiently in advance of your trip.

Health Care

International travellers are strongly advised to take out full health insurance and should be prepared to pay up front for medical services.

 

Getting There

Getting There by Air

The principal international airlines are LAN (www.lan.com) and Avianca (www.avianca.com). Note that LAN and TAM are merging to becoming LATAM (www.latam.com).

From May 2016, British Airways (www.ba.com) flies direct from London to Lima. Airlines operating direct flights from the USA include LAN and United (www.united.com). Prices of flights to Peru are fairly consistent around the year, with a slight rise in the summer and over the major holidays.

Approximate Flight Times

From Lima to Madrid is 12 hours and to New York is 9 hours.

Main Airports

Lima (LIM) (Jorge Chávez International Airport) (website: www.lap.com.pe) is 16km (10 miles) northwest of the city centre (journey time – 25 minutes). To/from the airport: Taxis to the city centre are available. Facilities: Duty-free and handicrafts shop, banks/bureaux de change, left luggage, pharmacy, medical centre, Internet cafe, car hire, coffee shops, bars and restaurants and tourist information.

Cusco (CUZ), located in the central south, receives flights from La Paz (Bolivia).

Air Passes

oneworld Visit South America Pass: valid for travel to more than 60 destinations within Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile (except Easter Island), Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. You must buy the pass outside South America in your country of residence and you must book a minimum of three flights; prices depend on the amount of flight zones. For further details, go to www.oneworld.com.

Departure Tax

Included in the air fare.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Callao and San Martin. Some international cruises occasionally call at Callao.

Getting There by Road

The main international highway is the Pan-American Highway running north–south through the coastal desert of Peru from Tumbes to Tacna.

Coach: Transport from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela is available through companies like Bus Tas Choapa Internacional (tel: (01) 431 1400; www.taschoapa.cl), El Rápido and Rutas de América. It is also possible to go from La Paz in Bolivia to Puno on Lake Titicaca (south Peru) by coach.

 

Climate

Varies according to area. On the coast winter lasts from June to September. During this period, the mountainous areas are often sunny during the day but cold at night. Heavy rains in the mountains and jungle last from December to April. It hardly ever rains in Lima nor most of the coast, except for Tumbes and Piura, which have tropical climates.

Required Clothing

Lightweights during summer with much warmer clothes worn in upland areas, especially at night. Mediumweights are advised during cooler months.

Contacts

Embassies and tourist offices

Embassy of the Republic of Peru in the USA
Telephone: (202) 833 9860. Website: http://www.embassyofperu.org Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1700.
Embassy of Peru in the UK
Telephone: (020) 7235 1917. Website: http://www.peruembassy-uk.com Opening times: Mon-Fri 0900-1330 and 1430-1700.
British Embassy in Peru
Telephone: (01) 617 3000. Website: http://www.gov.uk/government/world/peru Opening times: Mon-Thurs 0800-1300 and 1400-1700; Fri 0800-1300.

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