lunes, 29 de abril de 2013

Peru - Travel information


Capital: Lima
Country Code: +51
Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
Local Currency: Nuevo Sol (S/.) - USD 1= S/. 2.50 approx. - Euro 1 = S/. 3.30 approx.
Local Time: -5 GMT


Customs


When arriving to Peru you will receive a white paper called “Andean Immigration Card”, keep it together with your Passport. You will be asked for it when returning to your country and when checking in at hotels to be exempted from taxes.

Controls at borders and airports are comprehensive, conducted by police agents and sniffer dogs. It is extremely difficult to transport drugs abroad without this being detected by local authorities. It is absolutely forbidden to take archaeological or historical items of pre-Hispanic origin such as fossils, pottery, metal or textiles.


Travel insurances and health 

It is advisable to have a travel insurance that covers at least lost of luggage, air tickets and medical costs; which are very high in private clinics. Find out more about policies at: http://www.seguroparaviaje.com/. For climbers it is essential to have medical insurance. Group excursions and the use of a qualified guide are highly recommended.
Vaccinations are not mandatory but if you are planning to travel to the jungle it is very advisable to be vaccinated against yellow fever and tetanus.
In general, you should avoid drinking tap water and eating vegetables and fruits without disinfection. It is not recommended to consume fish, vegetables and fruits in establishments with limited health guarantees. It is also advisable to be equipped with anti-diarrheal medications (although also found in cities). Care in clinics and hospitals is adequate.

Electricity 

Electricity in Peru is 220 volts / 60 Hz and outlets accept flat and round tips. A voltage converter may be necessary depending on the country of origin. Surge protectors are a good option to protect your electrical appliances. 

Money

Be sure to bring brand new dollar bills to Peru as the slightest mark or defect will cause these ones to be rejected by banks and money exchange offices. Most hotels, restaurants and other establishments only accept local currency. Some places accept dollars (most used foreign currency) or euros but offer a disadvantageous exchange rate.
Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards in Peru. However, many establishments only accept cash. When buying with a credit card the issuer bank applies an exchange rate that corresponds closely with the official one. Elementary precautions are recommended when using ATMs (e.g. dial the PIN without anyone else seeing it). In restaurants and shops credit card transactions should be made in the presence of the customer to avoid “cloning”. 

Transportation 

StarPeru and Peruvian Airlines are the companies that offer the most economical domestic flights. However, at times TACA and LAN Peru offer promotional prices.
The bus companies we recommend are Cruz del Sur and Oltursa for being the best and most reliable. However, other options can be found in the bus terminals.
Special caution is recommended when taking a taxi. In the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima (http://www.lap.com.pe/) we advise to use the official ones. Hotels often have trusted taxis. 

Altitude sickness 

In places like Arequipa (2335 masl), Colca Canyon (3000-3800 masl), Puno (3827 masl) and Cusco (3399 masl) visitors can experience what is known as altitude sickness or "Soroche". Symptoms include dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, physical exhaustion or sleep disorder (sleepiness or insomnia).
It is best to gradually adapt to hypoxia (lack of oxygen). It is recommended to stay well hydrated, a light diet rich in carbohydrates and to avoid strenuous physical activity. If you suffer from a heart condition we recommend consulting your doctor.

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