Peru, a country located in western South America, is one of the most popular travel destinations on the continent. Many people come to the country to hike the Inca Trail and see Machu Picchu, enjoy the amazing food scene of Lima, learn about the local indigenous culture, see the Amazon, explore the jungles, go to Lake Titicaca, or relax in one of its beaches in the north. Not only is Peru popular for its natural beauty, culture, and history, it is also known as a premium destination for medical tourism. In the last several years, a growing number of medical tourists, particularly from North America, travel to Peru to undergo plastic surgery, dental implants, hip replacement, and other medical procedures. Medical tourists can benefit from high-quality yet affordable medical treatments that the country has to offer.
Popular Cities and Regions in Peru
The capital of Peru, Lima, might be chaotic, but it is also a beautiful introduction to Peru. Home to some of the country’s best museums, parks, colonial architecture, and restaurants, tourists can find plenty of things to do. The highlights of the city include the Larco Museum where tourists can see pre-Colombian artifacts, the Plaza Mayor for some colonial beauty, and the Aliaga House for mesmerizing Peruvian art and artifacts. Besides Lima, Cusco is the nation’s prime tourist destination. Bursting with history and tradition, most people come to this city to see its colonial architecture, flourishing Andean culture, and the wonderfully preserved Incan architecture. It is also the gateway to the beautiful Machu Picchu.
Transport in Peru
Peru’s main domestic and international airport is Jorge Chávez International Airport, which is where most overseas tourists will arrive. It connects the country with numerous countries in North and South America, as well as Europe. Since Peru is a big country, flying is the best option to get around. However, there are also many other types of public transport. The most affordable transport mode is the bus, which can reach almost everywhere. The trains are also convenient, although they can be very slow. For shorter distances or traveling inside cities, taxis and moto-taxi are good options. Taxis are easy and convenient, while the moto-taxis are cheap, but not very comfortable.
Visas in Peru
Holders of passports issued by 97 jurisdictions, including all EU countries, the US, and Canada, are allowed to visit Peru without a visa for up to 183 days. Citizens of other countries not listed in the visa waiver program need to obtain a visa beforehand. All visitors must have a passport that is valid for at least six months on entry.
Weather in Peru
Due to its proximity to the equator, Peru has two seasons. These are the rainy/wet season (from December to March) and dry season (from May to September). During the dry season, the country experiences sunny days with a chill in the air, with an average temperature of around 18°C to 19°C. During the rainy season, expect to see a lot of rainfall. The humidity and temperatures will rise as well, to an average of 22°C.
Local Currency: Nuevo Peruvian Sol (PEN) is the official currency. 1 USD converts to around 3.5 PEN.
Money & Payments: Besides Peru’s official currency, tourists can also use US dollars for payments. However, the cost of a product or service could be slightly higher when paying with USD. Therefore, it is best to use local currency. Credit cards are accepted in some restaurants and shops, but cash is still king. ATMs are widely available. Tipping is customary.
Local Language: Spanish is the official and most commonly spoken language in Peru. Since English is not widely spoken outside of tourist areas, learning some common Spanish phrases might come in handy.
Local Culture and Religion: The largest religion in Peru is Christianity (more than 90% of the population), with Roman Catholics having the most adherents. The rest of the population practice Buddhism, Islam, Bahá'í Faith, Seax-Wicca, or irreligious.
Public holidays: Independence Day, St. Rose of Lima Day, Battle of Angamos, All Saint’s day, Immaculate Conception, and Christmas Day are some of the most important holidays in Peru.