peru info

Essential Travel Information for Peru

Trip Preparation

Passports, Visas, and Immigration Cards

Traveling to Peru is straightforward for most tourists. Visitors from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not need a visa, whether entering via Lima airport or overland from a neighboring country.

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport: Must be valid for six months beyond your return date. Children must have their own documentation.
  • Tarjeta Andina de Migración (TAM): This Andean Immigration Card is usually provided on your flight. Fill it out and present it to immigration officials upon arrival. Retain this card for departure to avoid delays or fines. A replacement card costs $4 if lost.
  • Return Ticket: A return or onward ticket is required, although rarely checked. Consider a refundable or e-ticket for flexibility.

Customs officials may require you to declare taxable items. Tax-exempt items include personal clothes, belongings, laptop computers, and adventure sports gear.

Tourists can stay for 30 to 90 days, as determined by the immigration officer at the entry point. Your visa will be stamped in your passport and on the TAM card.

Travel Tips:

  • Make two photocopies of your passport’s data page and itinerary. Leave one at home and carry one with you.
  • Carry photocopies of your passport and TAM card, keeping the originals in a safe place.
  • Store scanned copies of travel documents online for additional security.
  • If you lose your passport, contact the nearest embassy or consulate and the local police.
  • Always carry identification when moving between cities in Peru.

Travel Insurance

Most insurance plans do not cover foreign travel comprehensively. It’s advisable to purchase travel insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses, trip cancellations, and emergencies, especially if visiting remote or high-risk areas. Surtrek recommends WorldNomads.com for comprehensive coverage.

Vaccinations

  • Yellow Fever: Required if coming from infected countries. Recommended for travelers to the Amazon region.
  • Chickenpox, Hepatitis A & B: Recommended for all travelers, with Hepatitis B particularly for prolonged contact with locals in specific regions.

Weather and Best Time to Visit

Peru has three main climatic zones:

  1. Arid Coastal Desert: Driest and hottest from December to March.
  2. Andean Highlands: Rainy season from December to March; dry season from April to December.
  3. Amazon Rainforest: Rains almost daily, with a less rainy period from June to September.

The high travel season is from May to October, with peak periods in June, August, and the Christmas/New Year’s period. For the best weather at Machu Picchu, visit between May and September.

Packing Tips

Pack light and consider the climate of your destinations:

  • Coastal Areas: Lightweight, breathable clothing. Sunblock and insect repellent are essential.
  • Highlands: Layered clothing for varying temperatures. A mix of sun and rain gear.
  • Amazon Rainforest: Light, protective clothing, and strong insect repellent.

Essential items include a daypack, micro-fleece jacket, comfortable footwear, sunglasses, money belt, plastic bags for electronics, and a well-stocked toiletry kit.

Practicalities

Flight and Baggage Information

International flights typically arrive at Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chavez (LIM) in Lima. From there, it’s a 30-50 minute drive to downtown areas. The airport is modern, with dining and shopping options available.

Airline Security and Customs

Check the latest security regulations with your airline. Customs regulations allow one of each type of electronic device and personal items up to a value of $300. Exports of protected plants, endangered animals, and pre-Columbian artifacts are prohibited.

Getting Around

Surtrek provides comprehensive ground transportation. Upon arrival, look for Surtrek drivers and guides holding a sign with your name outside the customs area.