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What you need to know for your trip to Peru
The Republic of Peru borders Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and the Pacific, covers an area almost four times the size of Germany, making it the third largest country in South America. The country can be roughly divided into three areas: The coast - one of the driest areas on earth - the Andes and the rainforest areas. About a third of the country consists of mountains, other large parts belong to the impassable jungle areas around the Amazon.
Peru is famous and widely known for the legendary Inca ruin Machu Picchu and a trip to the land of the Incas is a must for anyone interested in the past cultures of South America. In addition, the country has a lot more to offer. Cultural sights such as the Nasca Lines are just as much a highlight as breathtaking desert landscapes, trekking tours in the high mountains, boat trips in the incredibly species-rich coastal areas of the Paracas Peninsula or jungle tours in the Amazon region. The diversity of nature and culture of Peru offers a wealth of sights for every taste and is a guarantee for a varied and impressive trip.
For Germans, Swiss and Austrians, no visa is required for stays of up to 90 days. A passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry is sufficient to enter Peru.
For your trip to Peru, we recommend that you consider vaccination against typhoid, hepatitis A and possibly B as well as against rabies on longer trekking trips. Please inform yourself about this in good time before your departure from your family doctor or the nearest tropical institute.
At the latest two months before departure, you should also check the effectiveness of the standard vaccinations that apply to us, because if you need booster vaccinations, you often have to keep relatively long intervals between travel vaccinations. Standard vaccinations required include tetanus (tetanus), polio (polio) and diphtheria.
Yellow fever: According to the Peruvian immigration authorities, proof of a valid yellow fever vaccination upon entry into Peru is currently not required. There is no risk of yellow fever in the coastal areas and in the highlands above 2,300 m. However, when traveling to the designated yellow fever endemic areas of Peru, in particular for the entire Peruvian Amazon region, a vaccination is strongly recommended for all travelers from the age of 9 months. However, if you are traveling on to or coming from Brazil, you must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination upon entry and exit, as vaccination is compulsory in Brazil. Coming from Peru, the vaccination can also be requested when traveling to other third countries. The protection against yellow fever lasts for about 10 years after a vaccination; the vaccination is entered in the yellow vaccination card.
Important: The vaccination regulations can change at short notice due to legal regulations! You should find out about infection and vaccination protection in good time before your departure from your doctor or from a tropical institute.
It is always important to protect yourself adequately: Long and light-colored clothing, mosquito nets and the application of insect repellent are essential.
Zika Virus: The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and occurs in many Latin American countries, particularly in Colombia and Brazil. The course of the disease is similar to dengue fever. There is no vaccine that protects against the Zika virus. As with dengue fever, a good mosquito repellent and long clothes should be provided in the appropriate areas. You can find more tips on mosquito repellent under “Malaria”. An infection with the Zika virus can have serious health consequences for the unborn child in pregnant women. We therefore advise pregnant women not to travel to affected areas. For more information, please consult a doctor.
Safety and health
The times of the extremist and violent movement "Sendero Luminoso", which made a trip to Peru risky, are finally over. Today it is basically no longer a problem to travel in Peru. As a traveler, however, you should always be aware that despite its popularity as a travel destination, the country is still a third world country and tourists are considered rich in the eyes of the locals. In this respect, it is not surprising when thefts happen again and again. In general, however, most dangers can be avoided by using logical thinking and common sense.
Here are some tips:
Do not leave any valuables lying around openly - not even in the hotel room. Carry your money and documents invisibly under your clothes - e.g. in a money belt - and have your valuables locked in the safe in the hotels for a receipt. Preferably travel during the day and avoid unsafe and unlit areas at night. Travel with reputable bus companies and only take registered taxis. Make sure that the trunk of a taxi is locked. Avoid crowds and large crowds, or pay special attention to your valuables in such situations. Do not go with strangers alone, no matter how friendly they are.
In addition, on a trip through Peru there may occasionally be delays due to strikes or road blockades, which means that the travel itinerary may have to be changed at short notice. However, this is not a cause for concern and should be accepted calmly.
Medical care in Peru in expensive private clinics can be compared with European standards. In public clinics, however, the hygienic and technical standard is often problematic and communication problems with the often purely Spanish-speaking staff can arise. If you have any health problems, contact your guide or the reception at your hotel. In the tourist regions in southern Peru there are often so-called "tourist doctors" who are trained according to European standards and speak fluent English, sometimes even German. We definitely recommend taking out travel health insurance and repatriation insurance. You should also have an individual first-aid kit with you.
The diseases that occur include altitude sickness (Soroche) and various diarrheal diseases. In the tropical areas of Peru, malaria occurs in rare cases. Good prevention through appropriate clothing and mosquito repellent as well as carrying a stand-by agent against malaria keep the risk of infection very low.
In the winter months, the time difference between Germany and Peru is 6 hours. During summer time the difference increases to 7 hours. So if it is 6:00 p.m. in our country, it is 12:00 p.m. in summer or 11:00 a.m. in winter in Peru.
The voltage in Peru is generally 220 volts (60Hz) with the exception of Iquitos, where the mains voltage is 100 volts (50 Hz). Most electrical appliances available in Europe are designed for a voltage between 110 and 220 volts. Sometimes it is possible to change the device. To be on the safe side, however, you should check the information on your device.
The shape of the plug is usually that of the American flat plug. You should therefore purchase an adapter (preferably already at home) if you want to use electrical devices that you have brought with you during your stay.
Currency and means of payment
The national currency is the Nuevo Sol (abbreviation PEN). A sol is divided into 100 centimos. There are coins of 10, 20 and 50 centimos, 1, 2 and 5 Nuevos soles and notes of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 soles. You should make sure that bills over 20 soles are rarely accepted in shops. Especially in smaller shops and markets, even 10 Sol notes are often viewed critically or even rejected. If you always pay attention to enough change, you have a clear advantage.
In most tourist areas, the American dollar, and in some cases even the euro, is accepted as a means of payment, although you should always pay attention to the exchange rate.
We cannot recommend travelers checks as a method of payment in Peru, as they are only accepted by banks and a few hotels. Bank exchanges are long and complicated, with high fees and poor exchange rates.
Credit cards, especially Visa, are now widely accepted, and credit and debit cards can be used to withdraw money in local currency or in US dollars in all major cities.
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