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Peru - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

The local bus network is cheap but not very comfortable; security is sometimes uncertain. For urban journeys, the use of standardized taxis (yellow) is very common. As these taxis do not have meters, you should always negotiate the fare and check that the company you have chosen is reliable.
Maps of urban networks: Maporama

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

Several airline companies cover domestic links very well: Lan Peru, LC Busre, Star Peru, Aerocondor. Their fares are almost identical. There are 4 railway lines: Lima-La Oroya-Huancayo; Cuzco-Juliaca-Puno, Cuzco-Machu Picchu ; Juliaca-Arequipa-Matarani. There are several large bus companies: Cruz del Sur, Tepsa, Ittsa, Linea, Ormeno.
Rail companies: Peru rail
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Aerocondor Major YES -
Aerotransporte S.A. Major YES -
Cielos Airlines Major YES -
Lan Peru Major - Yes
Lc Busre Major YES -
Star Peru Major YES -
Taca Peru Major - Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: Except in the cities and on the PANAMERICANA highway the condition of the roads is generally bad. Mountain roads are difficult, or even dangerous as they are badly maintained and very steep. There are no problems in finding fuel. It is not advisable to drive by night. In case of a vehicle rental, take out an insurance policy for yourself and for possible damage caused to third parties before you travel. A good option is to hire a taxi driver through your hotel. They normally have access to friendly drivers who know the areas of interest and will even speak English.
Road maps: Map of Lima

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: - The most important historic city in Peru: Machu Picchu.
- The capital of the Chimu Kingdom, Chan Chan.
- The Nazca lines, famous geoglyphs.
Cultural: The archeological complex of Chavin, one of the most ancient constructions in the Americas, declared a World Heritage Site in 1985.

Arequipa and the Colca canyon, declared a World Heritage Site in 2000.

Cusco, the navel of the world in the Quechua language, an important crossroads on the Inca roads which linked all of South America, declared a World Heritage Site in 1983.

Nature: The National Park of Huascaran, World Natural Heritage Site in 1985. 600 glaciers, 300 lakes and 27 summits which rise to about 6 000 meters.

The National Park of Manu (Puerto Maldonado), World Natural Heritage Site in 1987. A great tropical forest reserve in the world.

Thermal: The hot springs of Colcamayo on the Inca Jungle Trail, near Santa Teresa. Extremely pleasant after a day's trekking.

The hot springs of Aguascalientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu (about 8 km away), ideal after the Inca Trail.

Beach: Cerro Azul: on Peru's central coast. The beach is very popular with surfers.

La Herradura: on Peru's central coast, in the Chorrillos region. A very popular beach.

Mancora: undoubtedly Peru's most beautiful beach, Mancora delights people with its heavenly peacefulness.

Winter sports: Not practiced very much.
Outdoor activities: Trekking (the Inca Trail, the Llama Trek: Olleros-Chavin, the Valley of the Colca, the walk around the Alpamayo, the Trail to Choquerirao,  the Valley of the Cotahuasi, the heights of Taraco, Quebrada Santa Cruz).

Mountain climbing in the Andes (the White Cordillera, the Volcanic Cordillera, the Vilcabamba Cordillera).

Surfing (Organos, Cabo Blanco, Puerto Chicama or Malabrigo, Lima's beaches)

Canoeing (River Tumbes, River Santa, Apurimac Canyon, Rio Colca).

Cycling, climbing, kayaking, paragliding, fishing, diving.

Shopping: Manufactured goods are the best value for money, especially gold, silver and copper items, as well as textiles such as alpaca clothes and woven tapestries. Many tourists take home with them reproductions of pre-Columbian pottery and calabashes.
Tourism organizations: Peruvian Tourism Board

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions:

A certificate of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers who intend to travel in jungle areas of the country under 2 300 m.  The risk of malaria  P. vivax (70%) and P. falciparum (30%) is high in 21 of the 33 health districts.
You are advised to avoid the foods which present the most risk. Only drink potable water (in sealed bottles, treated, boiled or filtered). 
Insect bites (flies, mosquitos, midges) can transmit diseases. Be careful of altitude sickness.

For further information on sanitary conditions: Theme-based travel

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Lima (GMT-5)
Summer time period: From December to April - on the coast
Climate: Peru has a great diversity in its climate. On the coast, there are two distinct regions: the region with an arid subtropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 18.2° and the region with a semi-tropical climate, situated in the north of Peru, with an average annual temperature of 24°. The forest has a tropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 24°.

Eating

Food specialties: Pisco Sauer: Peruvian cocktail based on Pisco (grape spirit).
Papas a la Huancaina: potatoes in a spicy sauce.
El ceviche: raw fish marinated in lemon, spices and red onions.
Drinks: Common Peruvian drinks are Inca Kola, chicha morada (a purple corn drink), masato (based on fermented yucca cassava). There are also a dozen local beers, including Cusquena, Cristal and Arequipena; there are some good wines and, especially, Pisco.
Dietary taboos: There are no dietary restrictions in the country.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Yes: Si 

No: No

Please: Por favor

Thank you: Gracias

Don't mention it: De nada

Good day: Buenos dias

Good afternoon: Buenas tardes

Good night: Buenas noches

Welcome: Bienvenido

How are you?: Como estas?

Very well, very good: Muy bien

Hello: Hola

Goodbye: Chao

See you soon: Hasta luego

I don't know: No sé

I don't understand: no entiendo

My name is...    Me llamo...

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