Here are some things to keep in mind when traveling to Peru!
- Taxis are not metered, so be sure to get the price before getting in the taxi. If a hotel arranges a taxi for you, it will probably be one of the safer taxis, but it might be twice as expensive.
You are given an Immigration Card (small white piece of paper) when you go through immigration at the Lima Airport. You NEED this paper every time you check into a hotel and also when you leave the country. If you do not have the Immigration Card, the hotels will charge you an 18% VAT tax, and it will be complicated leaving Peru.
- Some of the airports will have stairs, so be prepared to carry your carry-on luggage.
- DO NOT drink the water from the tap. Most nicer hotels will provide 1 bottle of water per person per day at no charge. Others will have it available for sale. Or bring your own Steripen or sterilization pills.
- Have toilet paper handy just in case. Some public toilets will not have toilet seats. It is preferred that you throw toilet paper in the trash instead of flushing it down the toilet.
U.S. dollars (no other currency) are accepted at large stores and hotels in major towns, but not at smaller establishments or in smaller towns. Local markets will only take local currency. U.S. dollars can be used for tips of $5 or more. US$1 bills are harder for local people to exchange. No tears in the bills and no old or worn bills, or the merchant may refuse to take them. Look at each bill that you plan to use in Peru.
- ATM’s are a good way to get Peruvian currency (Nuevo Soles). However, it can be challenging to get smaller bills. You can get Peruvian soles at your bank at home, but may need to order them. You can also exchange your money when you get to Peru.
- You can buy a Sim card and a phone at the Lima Airport. You can also buy them at any Claro store, but their English may be limited.
- Do not bring any “coca” products back to the U.S. — no coca leaves, no coca tea, no coca candy.