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Peru is located in the central and western part of South America facing the Pacific Ocean on the West.
Weather & Climatic zones
The weather in Peru varies on both the season of the year and on the region to which you are traveling. Generally speaking, May through October is the dry season; November through April is the rainy season, and the wettest months are January through April. The weather and climate zones in Peru are markedly different among its three vastly different regions. The coast is predominantly arid and mild, the Andean region is temperate to cold, and the eastern lowlands are tropically warm and humid.
It is divided into three distinct regions – the arid coast, contrasted against the immensity of the Pacific Ocean, the highlands of the towering Andes Mountains, backbone of South America, and the lush Amazon Rainforest, a sea of everlasting green stretching across the continent to touch the Atlantic coastline.
+ 30.0 million of the following ethnic strains: European, Oriental, African, Indoamerican.
+ In Lima: 8 million.
Language and Religion
+ Spanish with 80% literacy rate
+ Quechua is also an official language. Aymara is spoken around Lake Titicaca and dozens of languages are spoken by the native inhabitants of the Amazon basin.
+ Roman Catholic: 95%. Protestant and others: 5%.
Peru’s official currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.), which is further divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, as well as 1, 2 and 5 Nuevos Soles; bills come in 5, 10, 20,100, and 200 Nuevos Soles.
Banking hours in Peru are generally Monday – Friday, 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. However, certain bank branches located in shopping centers or supermarkets do remain open for business 7 days a week until 8 P.M. ATMs are also conveniently placed in all Peruvian cities.
We recommend that you exchange money at a hotel, bank, or authorized exchange broker, locally known as “casa de cambio” (normally open for business from 9:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.). If you wish to know the current exchange rate, it is posted online at the website of the Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFP: www.sbs.gob.pe.
In terms of personal safety, we recommend taking the precautions customary to any tourist destination the world over, namely:
+ Always be aware of your surroundings to prevent theft
+ Carry a copy of your identification documents and airline tickets/itinerary with you and leave your originals and other valuables in the hotel safe.
+ Use a money belt or case with concealed sections for valuables and don’t carry large amounts of cash.
+ Keep an eye on your bags and luggage.
+ Only change money in banks, hotels, and authorized exchange brokers. Avoid making transactions on the street.
+ You should only use reputable dispatch taxi services, and ask the hotel reception desk for assistance.
Electrical devices in Peru run on 220 volts. Most four and five star hotels do, however, offer 110 voltage outlets.
+ Since you may not be accustomed to the water sources in Peru (as in many other places in the world), it is advisable to drink only bottled or boiled water.
+ Be certain to wash raw fruits and vegetables very well.
+ You should avoid eating food from sidewalk vendors.
+ If you are planning to travel to the mountains, you can avoid experiencing altitude sickness (soroche, as it is locally known) by resting on the first day of your arrival and eating light meals.
+ There is also a local remedy you can try called “mate de coca”, an herbal tea brewed from coca leaves.
+ If you require medical care, contact your hotel staff or a LUMLE representative. You can also call the numbers provided on your Condor Assistance card.
+ If you are planning to travel to the rainforest, a yellow fever vaccine is recommended, yet be advised that it must be administered at least 10 days before your trip for it to be effective.
The amount of a tip varies in Peru, yet it always depends upon the patron’s satisfaction with the service. Nevertheless, it is customary to leave a 10% tip in restaurants.
Taxis and public transportation
We recommend you use a dispatch taxi company, one that you request by phone. When at the airport, you should use only authorized taxi services. City buses are identified by colors and numbers that are established according to the route, the majority of these being rather long, hence resulting in an uncomfortable trip. If you are planning to use public transportation in Lima, we suggest using the Metropolitano Bus Service.
Value Added Tax (IGV) exemption
All non-resident foreign tourists in Peru who remain in the country less than 60 days (the total amount cannot exceed 90 days each year) are exempt from paying the IGV, which is 18% for hired services. For that reason, tour operators do not include that tax in the packages they quote. Nevertheless, to be exempt from paying this tax, you must present your passport or photo identification card and the Andean Migration Card (TAM) with the appropriate stamp showing the date of entrance into the country when checking in at any hotel. If you fail to fulfill all regulations for tax exemption you will have to pay the difference directly to the service provider or through your travel agency, after having made the proper arrangements.
We recommend carrying:
> Rain jacket
> Light hat or visor
> Sunscreen lotion
> Light hiking shoes or sneakers
> Cotton long sleeved shirts and T-shirts
> Wool sweater
> Blue Jeans
> Wool Socks
> Photographic camera
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