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How to Prepare for your Trip to Peru?

Best Travel Tips

helpful tips travel peru

Looking for information on how to prepare for a trip to Peru? Worried about your next travel experience with all of yours? Here you will find very useful information and travel tips for planning your memorable vacation!

  1. Tips on choosing the right operator for your travel
  2. Tips on preparation for your trip to Peru (video)
  3. Tips on luggage & packing
  4. Tips on what kind of clothes you will need
  5. Tips on what kind of shoes to bring
  6. Tips on travel documents and travel insurance
  7. Tips on snacks
  8. Tips on toiletries and personal items
  9. Tips on health, supplements & medication
  10. Other tips to be well prepared for your Peru trip
  11. Tips on electricity outlets in Peru
  12. What to eat/food safety
  13. Tips for personal preparation

1. Tips on choosing the right operator for your travel

A Better Company for the World: We won’t tell you that TOUR IN PERU is the best company in the world, but with your choice, you’ll contribute to our goal of becoming a better company for our world! We’ll take you on this exciting adventure to show you the beauty and magic of Peru. We assure you of quality service, a memorable experience, and your satisfaction is our top priority!

Thousands of Satisfied Clients: With years of experience and a dedicated team of travel experience creators and advisors, professional guides, drivers, chefs, support staff (porters), community-based rural tourism initiatives, and other stakeholders, we are committed to designing unique and personalized adventures that align with your interests and preferences. We take pride in having genuine testimonials from satisfied clients that endorse our commitment to excellence.

Experiences That Transcend: We operate responsibly and sustainably, valuing and respecting Peru’s natural and cultural environment. Our efforts and commitments are endorsed both by our national and international certifications: ISO 9001 – Quality, ISO 14001 – Environment, ISO 45001 – Occupational Health and Safety, TourCert – Sustainable Tourism and Corporate Social Responsibility, SABP CALTUR – Quality in Tourism, SABP – Good Practices in Trekking, and other recognitions we have earned through our work.

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2. Tips on preparation for your trip to Peru (video)

Watch this video that includes useful information and recommendations regarding transportation, what to bring, how to prepare, and much more for your next travel experience; we’ll show you what to pack in terms of clothes and personal items, what not to bring, how to deal with health and medical needs, such as avoiding altitude sickness, and more!  If you have decided to take an unforgettable trip to the ancient land of the Incas, proper preparation is key to make sure your trip is pleasant and memorable!  

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3. Tips on Exchanging Money

You can exchange money in your home country or in Peru, and it is best to take care of it before your trip officially begins so you do not have to worry about exchanging money as you immerse yourself in the trip experience. ATM machines, banks, and currency converters are normally located within major tourist locations but are not easily accessible in many remote areas and ancient sites. It is a good idea to always have some cash on you for meals, attractions, or any unforeseen items, but it is not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash on you.

Major credit cards are widely accepted, so you can use them regularly, however, the exchange rate may be a bit higher, so it is better to ask for the exchange rate before.

Be sure that your Peruvian bills are clean and free of any tears or damage as they may not be accepted by stores or vendors. Also, it will be very useful to read our article about tipping in Peru.

Pay with notes in good condition, whether you carry US dollars, your payment should be made with bills in good condition (no tears or stains in them, neither $100 bills from the series CBB2 are accepted).

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4. Tips on Weather and Climate

Peru has three very distinct geographical zones, each with its own weather seasons:

  1. The coast, is a desert all along, besides the Pacific Ocean. The main cities are Lima, Tumbes, and Ica and we can find great tourist destinations like the Palomino Islands, the Pachacamac Inca holy site, Tumbes’ beaches, and the Nazca lines, among others. From April to mid-September it’s a cold season (Autumn and Winter), which is moderately low in temperature. From mid-September to late March it’s a hot season (Spring and Summer), with temperatures that can reach 86°F (30°C). However, as we go north, the climate tends to be warmer all year long. Rains are quite scarce.
  2. The Andes range has different weather. The dry season goes from early April until late October and is mainly cold to very cold, with little or no rain. Now rainy season spans from November until March, with heavy downfall although brief and not daily. The main cities are Cusco, Puno, and Arequipa and some tourism highlights are Machu Picchu, the Inca Trails, Lake Titicaca, and the Colca Canyon.
  3. Our Amazonian jungle is a tropical paradise with high temperatures all year long (many days it can be 104°F or 40°C) but also with heavy rains during all months. Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado are the biggest towns, while there are amazing destinations like Manu National Park and the Tambopata Wildlife Reserve.

Additionally, it is mandatory to bring sunblock anywhere, anytime in Peru, a high SPF factor, also a sun hat, and dark glasses.

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5. Tips on Luggage and Packing

When packing for your Peru trip, while it is important to come well-prepared, both airlines and trains have bag size and weight restrictions. Regardless of the weight permitted on your international flight, it is better to have your luggage heaviness reflect what the domestic Peru flights allow, as their restrictions are limited to 50 pounds (23 kg) per person. The train from Cusco to Machu Picchu has little room for luggage. One medium-sized piece of baggage and one carry-on per person is the typical limit.

In some places, you will have to carry your own luggage, so the less you carry, the easier traveling will be.

Next, consider that you will be out and about for the full day on most dates. Therefore the most important thing to have is a secure, comfortable, and practical backpack or bag of some sort, in which you will carry whatever is needed for the day of hiking, shopping, sightseeing, or other activities.

It is always advisable to keep your luggage locked during your stay in Peru and have a proper identification tag on all bags.

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6. Tips on Clothing

Depending on what time of the year you visit Peru, expect anything from heavy rain to dry heat. Due to the fact that Peru also has drastic altitude differences, large variations in temperature can be experienced within the same region, and between the day and night time. It is best to be prepared therefore for both hot and cold weather. Bringing some T-shirts, long-sleeved tops, comfortable pants, heavier sweaters, and a proper coat is the best idea.

It is always best to dress in layers to account for the drastic temperature changes during the day and your level of physical activity during hiking and sightseeing. Depending on your hotel’s amenities, or if you want to visit any swimming pool, hot springs, or spa facilities, be sure to also bring a swimsuit.

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7. Tips on Shoes for the Trek

Many of the sacred ancient sites, like Machu Picchu, and also the Inca Trail, are located in areas that vary from mild to challenging hiking terrain, therefore proper trekking shoes are a must for your personal safety and pleasant trip experience. Shoes should be comfortable and have good tread. Closed shoes are best to keep your feet warm, safe, and protected, but a pair of sandals can be enjoyed on city excursions, especially if staying in the coastal regions of Peru.

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8. Tips on Documents and Travel Insurance

A valid passport is required for all international travel, and it must be so for 6 months after the date you enter Peru. Depending on the country of your citizenship, you may be required to get a visa to come to Peru. (Citizens of the U.S., Canada, and the European Union do not need a visa). Check with your tour operator for details, or simply look online on the website of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the same in your country of citizenship.

By Peruvian law, you must always carry the passport in case of random document checks in towns, hotels, or other areas. It is also advisable to make some photocopies of your passport and store them in different bags, for it is the main ID for traveling in our country. See our article about visa and passport requirements for Peru.

If you are on any medication or have any health issues, be sure to bring a copy of your most up-to-date medical records as well.

It is highly recommended that you purchase travel insurance. Wherever you buy travel insurance, make sure the minimum coverage includes: trip cancellation and interruption, baggage delay, baggage, and travel documents lost or stolen, medical expenses, and emergency assistance.

Also, do not forget to have the copy of your insurance policy easily accessible during the entire trip.


Choose one of the Travel Insurance Companies for your next trip

We present some travel insurance companies for you to choose.

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9. Tips on Snacks

    1. Natural, whole food bars like Vega, Lara, Raw Organic Food bars, Salba, and other similar natural fruit and nut bars. It is best to avoid granola, chocolate, and similar sugar-based bars which are nutrient-poor and cause blood-sugar imbalances.
    2. Whole Meal Replacement Shakes that can be easily mixed in a travel cup with some bottled water to offer a rich variety of beneficial nutrients. Examples include Vega, Living Fuel Garden of Life, and similar products that can be found in single-serving or travel-sized packets.
    3. Dried fruits and nuts – be sure to buy sealed travel-sized packages if you are bringing these from your own country.
    4. To feel your best, especially in high altitudes, it is best not to overfill yourself at mealtimes and not go to sleep with a full stomach.

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10. Tips on Toiletries and Personal Items

Even though most hotels today provide soap and shampoo, it is a good idea to have travel-sized versions of your own personal care items. Typical personal care items to consider bringing include:

    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Soap
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Floss
    • Deodorant
    • Razor and shaving gear
    • Comb and/or brush
    • Feminine hygiene products

During various times of the year, and in different places, you may encounter mosquitoes and other insects that are attracted to scents or that bite. For your personal safety, as well as the comfort of other travelers, it is best to use unscented products, and not bring any perfumes either.

A natural insect repellent is mandatory. Products like tea tree oil, citronella, musk oil or peppermint oil can come in handy as well.

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11. Tips on Health, Supplements and Medication

One of the most common occurrences for newcomers to Peru’s highlands is altitude sickness. This can range from a headache, shortness of breath, and fatigue to insomnia, and heart palpitations. In rare cases, more severe symptoms may require medical care. The basic idea is oxygen gets lower in the air as you go higher, which may trigger discomfort. Thus, all measures must be oriented to compensate for such decreased oxygen in the body.

1. Give yourself at least 12 hours for acclimatization (for example, staying in Cusco City, which is at 11,154 feet -3,400 meters- above sea level). The body will automatically start adjusting, avoid any strong physical activity until you feel ready.

2. Avoid smoking and alcohol, as well as stimulants like coffee or energy drinks. Do drink a lot of bottled water, staying hydrated is advisable. Also, coca leaves tea is a millenary Andean secret: it gives you a major mental and physical boost and helps with digestion too. Another good measure is eating as light as possible, particularly skipping greasy foods.

3. In case you still need pills for headaches, slow digestion, etc, ask your physician before. Also, there are altitude sickness tablets, but they are expensive and based on natural herbs (so it’s better to try them before), ask your doctor first in this case too.

For more information, read our blog entry about dealing with altitude sickness, its prevention, and its symptoms.

For those who experience jet lag, helpful items to consider include:

    • A homeopathic product called No-Jet-Lag
    • Ginger caps, eating crystallized ginger, or drinking Ginger tea
    • Melatonin supplements

According to the World Health Organization, some vaccines are requisites to visit Peru, and also some are specific for the Amazon jungle. Our article on vaccines for the Inca Trail and Peru provides detailed information. And of course, don’t forget to bring any medication you are on.

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12. Tips on Electricity Outlets in Peru

The electrical supply in Peru is 220 volts AC at 60Hz. A twin flat blade (as used in North America) and twin round pin plugs (as used in continental Europe) are both standard. If you travel to Peru with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 60Hz then you will need a voltage converter or transformer.

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13. What to Eat and Food Safety

Although Peru has an exquisite cuisine that brings together a medley of mouthwatering dishes, you should be careful when eating on your trip. TOUR IN PERU’S food is totally safe and we can also recommend good restaurants. Tap water in Peru is not recommended for drinking. Purified bottled water is easily available everywhere, and most hotels provide it as well for your convenience. High-end hotels have water purification systems in place.

It is highly recommended to bring your own healthy snacks. These will come in very handy during day trips, specifically when hiking is involved. Meals may be eaten at different times each day, depending on the itinerary, so it is always best to have personal snacks with you to easily re-fuel and feel comfortable.

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14. Tips for Personal Preparation

Finally, the most important thing to bring along on your trip is a positive attitude and optimistic mindset.

As beautiful and magical as Peru is, and as much care as our trip leaders and guides put into making sure you have a fantastic experience, the biggest deciding factor in the quality of your experience is you. Especially for the Inca Trails, there may be times when you’ll need a little patience, strong will, and as we said, an optimistic approach to the sometimes demanding adventure. But hey, this is part of a challenge that will enable you to brag about it for the rest of your life!

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15. Other Tips to Be Well Prepared for Your Peru Trip

Other items you may want to bring for the trip:

    • Antibacterial hand gel
    • Ziploc bags – you will find many reasons to use them
    • A small flashlight – this is a good idea in case of any power failures, and for personal safety
    • A notebook or journal, and pen to record any reflections, insights, names, or even directions
    • A cell phone or other small device to act as a travel alarm
    • Some bandaids, or a small first-aid kit
    • And of course a great cell phone, a photo and/or video camera with proper battery or charging equipment

Also a few items that you should not bring for the trip:

    • Valuables, such as jewelry
    • Unnecessary electronic devices
    • Pocket knives or any similar weapon-like items
    • Any illegal substances.

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Let’s be GREAT travelers! You can go on reading our guides of GOOD PRACTICES FOR TRAVELERS, and start making a difference and have not only a great experience, but a travel that gives back. 

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