Peru is located in the central west part of South America; To the south of Ecuador and Colombia, to the West of Brazil, to the North West of Bolivia, to the north of Chile, and to the east of the Pacific Ocean.
With an extension of 1.285.216 km² is the third biggest country in South America.
Its population of almost 28 million inhabitants is distributed with 50% in the mountains, 40% in the coastal region and 10% in the Rain Forest
About the 90% of the Peruvian inhabitants is Roman Catholic and the rest is composed of Protestants, and others
The official languages in Peru are Spanish and Quechua, but also Aymara and dialects of the jungle tribes are spoken on certain regions.
The Peruvian economy is based on Agriculture, Mining and Fishing. Producing mainly Sugar Cane, Potatoes, Rice, Corn, Coffee, Coca leaves with its illegal processed product: Cocaine, Copper, Lead, Silver, Petrol, Natural gas, Iron and Gold.
Textiles, handicrafts, and metalwork including motorized vehicles are produced by the Peruvian industry.
Tourism is one of the main "industries" of the country.
The currency is the Sol (or nuevos Intis).
International dialling code
Country code (51).
- Peru is the third exporter of minerals in South America. It is the first tin and zinc producer and exporter; 25.8 and 869 million tons a year respectively
- It is the second copper producer (after Chile); 520 million tons a year.
- Lima is the third largest city of South America with 8 million people.
- Peru is the third cereal producer of South America.
- It is also the third mineral exporter of the area. 1906 million tons.
- Peru shares with Bolivia the highest navigable lake on earth. Lake Titicaca at 3810 mt (12.496 Ft.).
- The Andes of Peru is the head water of the largest river basin of the world, the Amazon.
- The largest population living at the highest elevation: almost 20.000 people living at 5100 mt (16.728 Ft) in "La Rinconada" gold mine in Ananea mountain.
How to get there
Peru has three main international airports in the cities of: Lima, Cuzco and Juliaca (Puno). Most major airlines have daily flights into Lima’s airport from most major cities in the Americas and Europe.
By Land you can take one of the following entry points:
- From Ecuador: by the Pan-American highway.
- From Bolivia: by the international highways from La Paz, borders of Copacabana and Desaguadero.
- From Chile: by the Pan-American highway coming from Arica.
Passports (*) are required when travelling abroad for proper identification. Usually, hotels, banks, Money exchange houses, Post offices, and airports will require proof of passport
Contact the local Peruvian consulate or embassy for more information on proper entry requirements (VISA) since they vary depending on your nationality.
American and most of the European countries citizens do not need VISA to enter Peru while travelling as tourists
In general, Peru grants a 30-day free VISA upon entry to the country. You can obtain an extension of 30, 60 up to 90 days depending on your nationality and proper paper work. Working and study VISAS can also be obtained with completed requirements.
Tourists coming from a country where Yellow Fever is a risk (part of Africa, Central America and Caribbean) must show legal evidence of an up-to-date vaccine.
(*) When booking a Andean Summits trip, you have to provide us a photocopy of your passport and the “form” you get when entering into the country.
Safety & Dangers
Since the defeat of the "Shining path" (Sendero Luminoso) guerrilla and terrorist group in the late 80's, Peru has had a quite stable political and economical situation. The democratic system is getting hold into people's minds and it is giving good results.
As many other “third word countries”, Peru is not free of some protests against the government. Demonstrations and street blockades are relatively common in the country, normally peaceful and usually disappear quickly.
Most of the roads and paths in the cities and villages (with the exception of some big city suburbs) are safe for tourist travelling. Carrying a backpack and other valuables can pose a threat for assault in Lima, some areas of Cuzco, and especially at the city of Juliaca.
Since there are a lot of “pickpockets” and "scammers" on tourist areas, we recommend that you carry your money, airline ticket, and passport in a belt or in a small travel bag, which you can hang around your neck. We suggest that you leave your jewellery and other valuables at home or deposit them in a security box at the hotel.
Be aware of fake police that approach to you supposedly looking for drug dealers or tourists involved in drug consumption. You may be asked to board a “taxi” where your belongings will be stolen. They can be very convincing and get from their victims even their credit card pin numbers. Never get in a car that looks not as a police car.
We consider the following places dangerous and suggest our clients not to go to:
- Some areas in the Amazonian jungle like the "Alto Huallagas" where there are illegal Coca plantations, some strongholds of the cocaine Mafia mixed with the remains of the terrorist groups.
All banks change Dollars and Euros. There are also "Exchange bureaus" in most cities but before trying one you should ask the police for the proper ones. It is almost impossible to pay anything with dollars or euros, most people on businesses or shops will not accept them.
Credit cards such as: Master Card, Visa, and American Express are accepted in hotels, restaurants, and some stores. You can also get cash from them in most of the banks and cashier machines. Local commission varies from 1% to 3%.
Traveler’s checks such as: American Express, Visa, Thomas Cook, Citibank, and Bank of America are accepted in banks and money exchange houses (very few stores will accept traveler’s checks). Do not sign them until the payment and make a photocopy of them in case you loose them. Local commission varies from 1 to 3 %.
It is recommended to carry your money, airline ticket, and passport in a belt or in a small travel bag, which you can hang around your neck. We recommend that you leave your jewellery and other valuables at home or deposit them in a security box at the hotel.
Roads and railroads, cover most of the Peruvian territory; International and domestic airports, provide good air communication, and telephone, television, and internet services are found almost everywhere in Peru.