Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
While the country has two main seasons, the dry season from May to October and the rainy season from November to April, the wide range of landscapes makes such generalities far more complicated…
We advise going to Peru between May and October which are ideal to go hiking in the Andes or tour the Cuzco-Machu-Picchu. All the more so as June is very festive at Cuzco. This is also the peak tourist season when prices rise and bookings are essential!
If you travel between November and April, you may want to stay along the Pacific seaboard, when the warm temperatures are ideal for beach activities. This is also a good time to explore Lima, as the winters can be grey, relatively cold and subject to the garúa, a fine drizzle.
If you want to able to swim whatever the season: head to the north coast around Tumbes or to the south, to Arequipa on the Chilean border. As for the Amazon, where it is hot and humid all year round, we strongly advise against going during the rainy season.
Formalities and useful addresses
Money and budget
The Peruvian nuevo sol is used in everyday life but big purchases are all made in US dollars. The best option is to bring relatively small bills to exchange as needed. Don’t forget to take some dollars as well.
Banks are open Mon-Fri from 9am to 1pm then 3-6pm (except a few that are open from 9am until 1pm on Saturdays). They are closed at the weekends and on public holidays.
Easily identifiable by their yellow vest or jacket adorned with the dollar sign, street exchangers can be found near banks and shops, often not far from a policeman. They charge less than banks.
Credit cards tend to be largely accepted, but beware of the commission taken by the hotels, shops and banks (especially concerning transactions made in foreign currency).
Withdrawing cash (dollars or sols) is possible thanks to the many ATMs in banks and shopping malls.
Car rental for 1 week (small model): £150.
1 night in a 2-star hotel: S 150/500 (£35/45).
1 meal in an ordinary restaurant: S 40/50 (£9/11).
1 gourmet meal (without wine): S 60/80 (£13/18).
1 day of sightseeing all included: £21/19.
1 cafe americano on a terrace: S 8/12 (£1.85/2.70).
1 large bottle of mineral water: S 4 (£0.9).
Health and safety
Current is 220 V with plugs featuring 2 round or flat pins. An adaptor may be necessary.
January 1 – New Year (día de Año nuevo)
Maundy Thursday – Jueves Santo
Good Friday – Viernes Santo
Easter Sunday – Domingo de Pascua
May 1 – Labour Day (día del Trabajo)
June 13 – Corpus Christi
June 24 – Farmer Day's and Inti Raymi Day (día del Campesino, día de San Juan Bautista)
June 29 – Saint Peter and Saint Paul (día de San Pedro y San Pablo)
July 28-29 – Independence Day (Fiestas Patrias)
August 30 – Saint Rosa de Lima (fiesta de Santa Rosa de Lima)
October 8 – Battle of Angamos
November 1 – All Saint's Day (Todos los Santos)
December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception (fiesta de la Inmaculada Concepción)
December 25 – Christmas (Navidad)
With the exception of a few far-flung villages and small towns, most towns in Peru, as long as they are near to one of the main tourist roads, feature a range of comfortable hotels.
Lodges – Small villages native to Amazonia and built on traditional wooden stilts. They tend to be at least 2 or 3 hour boat ride from the nearest town. Around $100 to 200 per day and per person (transport and food included).
Only the main towns have a post office.
Lima International Airport – www.lima-airport.com