Travel Tips

In this section we include some practical information and tips you may find useful when planning
your trip to Peru. Feel free to share this link with your friends.

Travel packing list

This is a quick packing list of things you should be thinking of bringing to your next trip to Peru. Some items on this list may not be necessary for your particular trip. What you bring may vary depending on the destiny and the kind of travel you will be doing; however this list could help you as a guide in order to do a good packing. For adventure routes and trekking expeditions weight is a very important factor so please pack smart and lightly.

Travel documents & money

  • Passport and visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Photocopies of important documents (we also recommend to e-mail a copy to yourself)
  • Flight tickets
  • Money (cash/credit cards)

Clothing:

  • Long trousers (lightweight)
  • Long sleeved shirts
  • Shorts
  • Thermal clothing, light clothing, warm clothes
  • Thermal underwear and socks
  • Waterproof  trekking shoes with good grip
  • Waterproof & windproof jacket
  • Gloves

Personal items:

  • Toiletries
  • Personal medications with prescription
  • Rubber flip-flops for shower
  • High protection sunscreen (25+)
  • Lipstick with sun protection
  • Insect repellent

Travel accessories:

  • Comfortable daypack to carry your personal needs during the day
  • Camera equipment and spare battery
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle or canteen to carry water on outings
  • Flashlight

Trekking expeditions

  • Small backpack with a change of clothes for the whole trek
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Sandals or jogging shoes for a higher comfort while at camp
  • Walking stick

Should I worry about altitude sickness?

Soroche is a common problem that some of the travelers are afraid of when travelling to the altitude or when trekking at high altitude trails. Soroche is caused by exposure to low pressure oxygen at high altitude which can result in headaches, stomach illness, fatigue or to a more serious degree- fluid accumulation in the lungs or cerebral edema which could be very dangerous. However, don’t be afraid of this because it can be combated just by doing the basics: Drinking plenty of water! Make sure you are hydrated properly and you will be alright. You must take it easy and ascend slowly so you can get acclimatize properly. Another good option is to chew coca leaves. Coca leaves are easily obtainable, and are considered by many as the best way to combat potential altitude sickness. A pharmaceutical option is the drug Acetazolamide sold under the trade name Diamox, which works as an effective altitude sickness preventative, however please ask your doctor before taking any medicine.

In brief, to avoid altitude sickness we suggest you to acclimatize for at least 2 days with limited activity, eating light meals and drinking lots of water.

If you are joining one of our adventure trips we highly recommend you to prepare yourself at home physically in order to enjoy your adventure. We suggest you to prepare yourself at least 2 months before the departure date. We suggest participants to do at least 2 miles of hiking or jogging, 2 or 3 days a week. Swimming is another good option as it will help your lungs capture more oxygen.

Travellers with heart conditions or high blood pressure should check with their doctors before traveling to high altitude.

What should I know before entering Peru?

Visa & personal documents

Citizens of most countries of America and Western Europe do not require a visa to travel to Peru if the purpose of the visit is tourism. A passport valid for at least six months beyond your departure date is required. Upon arrival you are normally given permission to stay up to a maximum of 183 days.

No vaccinations are officially required, but you are wise to take certain precautions, especially if you are planning to travel to the jungle. A yellow-fever vaccine is strongly recommended for trips to the Amazon.  On the other hand, tourists coming from a country where yellow fever is a risk (part of Africa, Central America and Caribbean) they must show legal evidence of an up-to-date vaccine.

Finally, we recommend you to make various copies of your personal documents (Passport, travel insurance) in the case the originals are lost.

Airport taxes

Since early 2011 the departure tax of US$30.25 (per person) for international flights from Peru is included in most flight ticket prices. There is also an airport tax for internal flights, which is included in flight ticked prices as well.  If not, departure taxes must be paid in cash on departure at the airport. The fees vary according to the airport but internal departures from Lima cost US$6.05 per person. The equivalent amount in Peruvian soles is accepted.

Andean Migration Card

When entering Peru, you will be asked to fill out an embarkation card, called Andean Migration Card. This piece of paper is very important since it has to be given to the migratory authority when leaving the country. Additionally, you will need to show this paper plus your passport when checking in at hotels; otherwise hotels will charge you an extra 18% of the room value. The bottom part of the form will be handed back to you; the rest is kept by the border official when you enter the country.

 

What other safety concerns or healthy matters should I have on mind?

Travel insurance:

We strongly advised all travellers to take out full health insurance and to check the coverage of the policy before travelling. We highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems for the duration of your trips. If you are taking part in an extreme sport activity you should ensure that your travel insurance covers this activity.

Food and drink

We recommend you to drink only bottled water or previously boiled water and to bring a water bottle or stainless steel bottle especially if you will be doing a trek for several days so we can refill you with water when you need it. We also suggest you to carry bottled water with you at all times (especially on long bus or train rides); the heat of the desert and the high altitudes of the Andes will dehydrate you very quickly.

Regarding food, we suggest to eat only well-cooked meat and fish. You will find that there is plenty of street food available in stores and at markets, and you should try to ensure that what you buy has been heated properly and not been left out. In particular, you will find lots of ceviche, a cold seafood dish made using raw fish, which is the Peruvian national dish. It is heavily acidic, which must kill the bacteria’s; nevertheless we recommend trying it in a reputable restaurant. You will probably love it.  If you eat salads or fruits be sure that they have being washed with purified water o peeled when possible.

Natural disasters

The rainy season in the mountains and to the east of the Andes runs from November to April.  It rarely rains on the coast.  During the rainy season land, rock and mudslides can cause disruption to road and rail travel in mountain and jungle areas and the north of Peru. Safety is Peruvian Soul’s number one priority, so if we have any doubts about the conditions we would take alternative roads or change the itinerary activities to guarantee the safety of our clients.

How to enrich my trip being an ecotourism traveler?

While travelling in Peru have these tips on mind so you act as a responsible tourist. Having a greater sense of understanding of other cultures will enrich your travel experience and will help you leaving a positive mark in the places you visit.

  • Before leaving home, try to learn as much as possible about Peru and the region you are visiting. Try to learn some words in Spanish or even in Quechua to use them with the local people when you arrive, you will hear incredible stories and they will appreciate your interest for learning more about their culture.  Travelling with respect earns you respect.
  • Be respectful of local citizen’s privacy. Ask permission before entering sacred places, homes or private lands and always ask for permission when taking a photo of a person and respect their wishes if they refuse. Travellers should avoid paying for the right to take a photo as this has been found to encourage a begging mentality in the locals. Instead send their photos when you return home or teach the kids some words in English as a way to give something back. If you promised to send pictures or gifts to local people remember to do so, many are promised and not all arrive.
  • Avoid giving money to the local people in the communities we visit as it can promote a “begging culture”. We don´t support the concept of giving money for being poor. Rather than doing that, we suggest buying the locals their crafts and food or using their services. If you want to donate, please contact us and we will be very happy to help you make an organized project for a specific community.
  • Do not bargain aggressively for lowering the price. Almost all the products you will find in markets are handmade products which require a lot of work. Pay them fairly and you will be respecting their work.
  • Respect the natural environment, minimize your footprint.  Always follow designated trails. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to protected areas. Take care of the environment as you would your own home. Take out all you take in especially in remote areas.
  • Limit your personal energy use, including air conditioning and hot water. Also, turn off all lights and water taps when you leave your hotel.
  • Don´t forget to carry always a water of bottle or even better a stainless steel water bottle so you can hydrate yourself constantly and you will also be helping the environment avoiding the generation of waste of plastic bottles.
  • Buy local products instead of imported goods in order to help the local economy but never buy crafts made from protected or endangered species.
  • Try to make a contribution but not necessary monetary. Share your knowledge with locals, enjoy a conversation, give the local business a truly recommendation or just be grateful and say “thanks” when you get a good service.
  • Remember that the concept of time is very different in Peru and almost in all South America. Be patient, respectful and friendly and you will get the best of your Peruvian hosts.
  • Take every opportunity to experience new things, try to be curious, try to get to know the work of the local people, their language, their culture, etc. Be open minded and you will have a great time.