You can exchange money in your home country or in Peru, and it is best to take care of it before your trip officially begins so you do not have to worry about exchanging money as you immerse yourself in your experience. ATM machines, banks and currency convertors are normally located within major tourist locations, but not easily accessible in many remote areas and ancient sites. It is a good idea to always have some cash on you for meals, attractions or any unforeseen items, but it is not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash on you.
Major credit cards are widely accepted. You can use traveller’s checks in some places as well, however the exchange rate is quite high, so you may want to avoid these.
Be sure that your Peruvian bills are clean and free of any tears or damage as they may not be accepted by stores or vendors.
Although Peru does have a tropical rainy season, at any time during your visit to Peru you may experience some rain. An umbrella is not a practical way to go as you need your hands free for various things amidst hiking and sightseeing. Instead bring a rain poncho, specifically a traveller’s sized one so it can be with you at all times without taking away too much space in your day trip bag.
Due to some very high altitudes and being close to the equator, the sun in Peru is very strong and proper care must be taken to avoid unpleasant sun burns and discomfort. Even during warm or hot periods light and loose, long sleeved clothing is best, along with a good, protective hat and sunglasses.
Additionally it is important to bring some sun block. Natural varieties based on zinc oxide are the safest options for your health.
When packing for your Peru trip, while it is important to come well prepared, both airlines and trains have bag size and weight restrictions. Regardless of the weight permitted on your International flight it is better to have your luggage weight reflect what the domestic Peru flights allow, as their restrictions are limited to 50lbs per person. The train from Cusco to Machu Picchu has little room for luggage. One medium sized piece of luggage and one carry-on per person is the typical limit.
In some places you will have to carry your own luggage, so the less you carry, the easier traveling will be.
Next, consider that you will be out and about for the full day on most days. Therefore the most important thing to have is a secure, comfortable and practical backpack or bag of some sort in which you will carry whatever you may need for your day of hiking, shopping, sightseeing or other activities.
It is always advisable to keep your luggage locked during your stay in Peru and have a proper identification tag on all bags
Depending on what time of the year you visit Peru, you can expect anything from heavy rain to dry heat. Due to the fact that Peru also has drastic altitude differences, large variations in temperature can be experienced within the same region, and between the day and night time. It is best to be prepared therefore for both hot and cold weather. Bringing some t-shirts, long sleeved tops, comfortable pants, heavier sweaters and a proper coat is the best idea.
It is always best to dress in layers in Peru to account for the drastic temperature changes during the day and your level of physical activity during hiking and sightseeing. Depending on your hotel’s amenities, or if you want to visit any swimming pool, hot springs or spa facilities, be sure to also bring a swimsuit
A valid passport is required for all international travel, and it must be valid for 6 months after the date you enter Peru. Depending on the country of your citizenship, you may be required to get a visa to come to Peru. (Citizens of the U.S., Canada, and the European Union do not need a visa). Check with your local tour operator for details, or simply look online on the website of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the ministry of foreign affairs of your country of citizenship.
By Peruvian law, you must always carry your passport with you at all times in case of random document checks in towns, hotels or other areas. It is also advisable to make some photocopies of your passport and store them in different bags.
If you are on any medication, or have any health issues, be sure to bring a copy of your most up to date medical records as well.
It is highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. To get the best coverage be sure to obtain your insurance 10 days after you make your trip deposit.
Wherever you purchase your travel insurance make sure the minimum coverage includes: Trip cancellation & Interruption, Baggage Delay, Baggage & Travel Documents lost, or stolen, Medical Expenses; Emergency Assistance, Accidental Death & dismemberment.
Have the copy of your insurance policy easily accessible during your entire trip
The electrical supply in Peru is 220 volts AC at 60Hz. A twin flat blade (as used in North America) and twin round pin plugs (as used in continental Europe) are both standard. If you travel to Peru with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 60Hz then you will need a voltage converter or transformer.
Food and Water
Although Peru has an exquisite cuisine that brings together a medley of mouthwatering dishes, you should be careful when eating on your trip. Lighter, plant-based but cooked meals are most recommended during your stay. The water in Peru is not recommended for drinking, washing your food, or brushing your teeth with. Purified bottled water is easily available everywhere, and most hotels provide it as well for your convenience. High end hotels have water purification systems in place.
It is highly recommended to bring your own healthy snacks. These will come in very handy during day trips, specifically when hiking is involved. Meals may be eaten at different times each day, depending on the itinerary, so it is always best to have personal snacks with you to easily re-fuel and feel comfortable.