Peru has a system of information and assistance to passengers provided by PromPeru (Government Organization). Visitors can ask about official tourist information on Peru, as well as assistance by calling the telephone number below.
Government Peru is a democratic republic. The president and members of Congress are elected every five years by universal suffrage. The current constitutional president of Peru is Ollanta Humala (2011-2016).
Surface Area With an area of 1,285,215 square km, Peru is the third-largest country in South America after Brazil and Argentina, ranking it amongst the world's 20 largest nations. Peru also holds sway over the sea up to 200 miles from the Peruvian coast and has territorial rights to an area of 60 million hectares in the Antarctic. Peru is divided into 24 departments. Lima is the capital of Peru.
Roman Catholic: 89,03% | Evangelical: 6,73% | Other religions: 2,56% | Any Religion: 1.65%
Spanish: 80,3% | Quechua: 16,2% | Other languages: 3,0% | Foreign languages: 0,2%
As part of its rich cultural tradition, Peru features many different languages. Although Spanish is commonly spoken across the country, Quechua is a major legacy of the Inca empire, and is still spoken with regional dialects in many parts of Peru.
In addition, other languages are spoken such as Aymara (in Puno) and a startling variety of dialects in the Amazon jungle, which are divided up into 15 linguistic families and 43 different languages.
27.000.000 inhabitants. - Urban: 72,3 % - Rural: 27,7 %
Peru is a nation of mixed ethnic origins. Throughout its history, Peru has been the meeting ground for different nations and cultures. The indigenous population was joined 500 years ago by the Spaniards.
As a result of this encounter, and later enriched by the migration of African blacks, Asians and Europeans, Peruvian man emerged as the representative of a nation whose rich ethnic mix is one of its leading characteristics.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit cards or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash, travelers’ checks and cards is best, although you will usually be charged a commission or given a less-favorable exchange rate for travelers’ checks. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers’ checks, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while traveling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When traveling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time.
The hot and spicy nature of Peruvian food, created by ajíand ajo (hot pepper and garlic), has become celebrated at home and abroad. Peruvians enjoy a wide variety of vegetables; there are over 2,000 kinds of indigenous and cultivated potatoes alone. Table service is the norm in hotels and restaurants and many also offer buffet-type lunches.
There are many good bars, pubs, discos and casinos in the major towns and tourist resorts. Peñasalways serve snacks and some serve full meals. Here you can enjoy criolla or folk music, especially at weekends. Nightlife in Lima and Cusco has a wide array of choices, as do the beach towns of Asia and Mancora. Strict dress codes and entrance prices that go as high as 50 Soles are common in upscale Lima nightspots, while in other towns standards and prices are considerably lower. Most discos, peñas, pubs and karaoke bars are open until 0300 or 0400.
There are many attractive Peruvian handicrafts such as alpaca wool sweaters, alpaca and llama rugs, Indian masks, colourful weaving and silver jewellery. Galleries and handicraft shops abound in Cusco and the Miraflores, Pueblo Libre and downtown districts of Lima. Handicrafts markets are located in Miraflores (Avenida Petit Thouars, blocks 52 to 53) and Pueblo Libre (Avenida La Marina, blocks 8 to 10), as well as Cusco (Avenida El Sol) and Arequipa (the streets leading from the plaza). The best deals can generally be had at outdoor Andean craft markets in places such as Pisac near Cusco and the Mantaro Valley near Huancayo. Bargaining (regateo) is an expected practice with beach vendors and at markets.