Peru Travel FAQs
1. How does Valencia Travel work?
Valencia travel works 24 hours per day, in their differents booking forms and free information: by e-mail, by telephone, and by our web page.
Valencia Travel Tour Operator, will organize all about your trip, hotels, transportation, meals, and others items for give you an amazing trip. If you want to organize your own packages to visit PERU, Valencia Travel is the only tour operator which give you the alternative to do your own packages and choose your hotels and your kind of transportation.
You can book with us with 50% of the cost of your trip, and you will pay the other 50% when you will be in Cusco city with us.
2. Airport information.
Airport and airlines located in the port of city of Callao, Lima´s Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chavez 01-517-3100 www.lap.com.pe; Callao is serviced by flyghts from North, Central and South America, and tow regular direct flyghts from Europe (Madrid and Ansterdam) check the airport website or call 01-511-6055 for update departure and arrival schedules for domestic and international flyghts. Cuzcon has the only other airport with international-al service-to La Paz, Bolivia.
3. Do I need a visa to enter Peru?
With a few exceptions (notably some Asian, African and Communist countries), viasa are not requiered for travelers entering Peru. Tourist are permited a 30 to 90 day stay, wich is stamped into their passports and onto a turist card, called Targeta Andina de Migracion (Andean Immigration card), that you must return upon leaving the country. The actual length of stay is determined by the immigration officer at the point of entry. Becareful not to lose your tourist card, or you will have to queue ua an oficina de migraciones (immigration office), also simply known as migraciones, for a replacement card. It is a good edia to carry your passport and tourist card on your person at all times especially when traveling in remote areas, (it is requiered by law on the Inca Trail). For secority make a photocopy of both documents and keep them in a separate place form the originals.
4. Money in Peru
Peru use de Nuevo Sol (S), wich has traded at S2.50 to S3.50 per US dollar (US$) for several years although you should keep an eye on current events. Prices in this book are generally qoutes in nuevos soles, though some are listed in US dollars.
Carrying cash, an ATM card or traveler´s checks, as well as a cridit card that can be use for cash advances in case of emergency, is advisable. When receiving local corrency, always ask for billetes pequeños (small bills), as S100 bills is hard to change in small towns or for small purchases. Carry as much spare change as posible, especially in small towns. Publics bathrooms often charge a small fee for use and getting change for paper can be darnn near imposible.
The best places to exchange money are mormally casa de cambio (foreing exchange bureaus), which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Many places accept US dollars. Do not accept torn money as it will likely not be aceppted by Peruvians. It is best not to change money on the street as counterfeits are a problem.
5. Do you know what voltage the sockets have (110 or 220)? What are the standard plugs?.
Electrical current is 220V, 60HZ AC, Standard outlets accep round prongs, but many places will have dual-voltage outlets which take flat prongs. Even so, you may need and adapter with a built-in surge protector.
6. What should we pack?
Peru is a diverse country in natural and cultural resources so you only need a passport to enter the country and enjoy their wealth and take some precautions you might help discover.
- Original passport (and International Student card (ISIC) is applicable).
- Travel Insurance is essential.
- Sleeping bag (not included but can be rented from us).
- Walking boots.
- Waterproof jacket/rain poncho.
- Warm jacket, hat and gloves.
- Comfortable pants.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Sun hat.
- Re-usable plastic or metal water container(Nalgene) or camel bags.
- Water (only for first 4 hours of trek, then we will provide you with drinking -previously boiled- water).
- Sun block(SPF 35 recommended).
- Insect repellent.
- Personal medication.
- Camera with extra batteries.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
Public pay phones operrated by Telefonica-Peru (www.telefonica.com.pe) are available on the street even in small towns. Most pay phines wprk with phone cards wich can be purchased at supermarkets and groceries. Often internet cafes have private phone booths with ¨net-to-phone¨ and ¨net-to-net¨ capabilities (susch as skipe), where you can talk for pennies or even for free.
When calling Peru from abroad, dial the international acces code for the cuntry you are in, then Peru¨s country code (51), then the area code without the 0 and finally, the local number. When making international calls from Peru, dial the international access code (00), then the country code of where you are calling to, then the area code and finally, the local phone number.
In Peru any telephone number beginning with a 9 is a cell-phone number. Numbers beginning with 0800 are often toll-free only when dialed from private phones, not from public pay phones. See the inside front cover of this book for more useful dialing codes, including hown to contact an operator or diractory assistance. To make a credit card or collect call using AT&T, dial 080050288. Theris an online telephone directory at www.paginasamarillas.com.pe.
8. What is the time difference between the United States and Peru?
Peru is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It is the same as Eastern Standard Time (EST) in North America.
Daylightb Saing Time (DST) is not used in Peru, so add an hour to all of these times between the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October.
Peru´s grinding poverty more then half of the country lives under the poverty line with a fifth of the population surviving on less than US$2 a day-means that petty crimen is common. The biggest annoyance most travelers will experience, however,is a case of the runs, so do not let paranoia ruin your holiday.
Peru has tree main climatic zones: the tropical Amazon jungle to the east; the arid coastal desert to the west; and the Andean mountains and highlands in between . In the Andes, wich have altitudes over 3500m. average daily temperatures fal, below 10°C (50°F) and overnight temperatures can dip will bellow freezing. Travelers flying straight to Cuzco (3250m), or their hight altitude cities, should allow several days to aclimatize since altitude sickness, or soroche can be a problem.
April to November is the dry season in the mountain and altiplano (Andean Plateau); the wettes months are from Decenber to March. It rains al the time in the hot and humit rainforest, but the driest months there are from April from November. However, even during the wettest months from December to March, it rarely rains for more than a few hours at a time. Along the arid coastal strip, the hot summer months are form December trought March. Some parts of the coastal strip see rain rarely, if at all. From April to November, Lima other areas by the Pacific Ocean are enclose in garua (coastal fot, mist or drizzle) as warmer air masses off the desert and drifts over the ocean wheren the cold Humboldt current hits.
11. Language issues.
|Hello/Good morning/Good evening||Hola/Buenos días/Buenas noches|
|Please/Thank you/You're welcome||Por favor/Gracias/De nada|
|Please give me.||Dame, por favor.|
|Where is …?||Dónde está … ?|
|Is there a bathroom here?||Hay baños aquí?|
|What time is it?||Qué hora es?|
|I don't understand.||No entiendo.|
|Do you speak English?||Habla inglés?|
|I don't speak Spanish.||No hablo español.|
|Please repeat.||Repite, por favor.|
|I don't know.||No sé.|
|I'm sorry.||Lo siento.|
|I'd like to make a booking.||Quisiera hacer reservar|
|How much is it per night?||Cuanto cuesta por noche?|
|EATING & DRINKING||COMIDA& BEBIDA|
|I'd like …Please||Quisiera por favor|
|That was delicious!||Estaba buenisimo|
|Bring the bill/ Check, please||La cuenta, por favor|
|I'm allergic to…||Soy alergico a…|
|I'm ill.||Estoy enfermo|
|Call a doctor||Llama a un medico|
|Call the police!||Llame a la policia.|
|I'm looking for (a/an/the).||Estoy buscando..|
|Embassy||La embajada de|
|Tourist office||Oficina de turismo|
LIMA TRAVEL FAQ.
1. What's the best way to get around Lima?
As you come out of customs, inside the airport to the right is the official taxi service. Outside the airport perimeter itself, you will find local taxis. Takin these tha not always save you money and safety is an issue – local hustlers use this as an opportunity to pick up foreing travelers and rob them. It is best to use the official airport taxis, or arrange pickup with your hotel.
The cheapest way to get to and from the airport is via the combi company known as "La S" (per person S3-4) – a giant letter "S" is pasted to the front windshields – which runs various routes fron the port of Callao ( where the airport is located) to Miraflores and beyond. From the airport, these can be found heading south along Av. El mer Faucett. For the return trip to the airport, La "S" combis can be found traveling north along Av Pettit Thouars and east along Av. Angamos in Miraflores. The most central spot to find these is at the paradero (bus stop) on Av. Petit Thouars, just north of Av. Ricardo Palma. Expect to be charged additional fares for any seats that your bags may occupy. Combi companies change theirs route regularly, so ask around before heading out.
In a private taxi, allow at least an hour to the airport fron San Isidro, Miraflores or Barranco; by combi, expect the journey to take at least two hours – with plenty of stops in between. Traffic is lightest before 06:30.
2. How is the weather in Lima?
Visit Lima en winter (April through October) and you will likely find it steeped – day after day – I the fog Known as garua. It is relentless, a mist that turns the sky an alabaster white and leaves the city draped in a melancholy pall. Sterestingly, this otherworldly microclimate has been the source of much literety inspiration.
3. Can we change money in Lima? What money issues should we be concerned about?
Banks are plentiful and most have 24 hours ATMs, which tend to offer the best exchange rates. Many of the big supermarkets also have ATMAs. Use caution when making withdawals late at night.
Lima´s casa de cambio (goreing exchange bureaus) usually give similar or slightly better rates than banks for cash (although not traveler´s checks). There are several casa de cambio downtown on Ocoña and Camana, as well as along Av. Jose Larco in Miraflores. Street moneychangers hang around banks and casa de cambio. Those around Parque Kennedy in Miraflores are generally the safest option. Even so, examine your bills closely as counterfeits are a problem.
4,5. What are the best places to eat? Drink? Shop?
Eat.- The Gastronomic capital of the continent, it is in Lima that you will find some of the countries most sublime culinary creations: from simple cevicherias (ceviche counters) and corner anticuchu (beef heart skewer) stands to decorous fusion spots where the cuisine is bathed in foam. Limas prime positions on the coast gives it access to a wide variety of staggeringly fresh sea food, while it´s status as a centralized capital assures the presence of all manner of regional especialties.
You will find cocktails infused with Amazon berries, nutty chicken stews from Arequipa (aji de Gallina) and one of the country´s most exquisite renderings (outside of Chiclayo) of Chiclayo style arroz con pato (rice and duck), slowly simmered in cilantro, garlic and beer. The city has such a vast assortment of cuisine, in fact, that it is posible to spend weeks in the city without beginning to taste it all. Pack your appetite. You are going to need it.
Drink.- Lima is overflowing with stablishments of every discription, from rowdy beer halls to high-end lounges to atmospheric old bars. In downtown, you can get from $10. But head furthers south-to San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco and the prices steadily climb. Trendier lounges will charge up to $15 to $20 a cocktail.
Old-world cafes where suited waiters serve frothy pisco sours, raucous watering holes blaring techno and salsa. Miraflores has a little bit of everything. The area around the Parque Kennedy is particularly siuted for sipping and people-watching. There are many Bars that offers a lot of variety of cocktails like Peruvian representative cocktail Pisco Sour.
6. What else can we do in Lima?
Start with the city´s colonial heart, at the Plaza the Armas, which is bordered by the stately Cathedral and the Palacio de Gobierno. From there, head west to the Iglesia de Santo Domingo, where Peru´s most revered saints are entombed, then east, to the centuries-old catacombs at the Monasterio de San Francisco, then south to Iglesia de La Merced, home to awe-inducing baroque altars. For lunch, try the historic El Cordano or the lovely Domus.
Afterwards, continue on to the Plaza San Martin, where you can see Chancay pottery inside a pristine historic mansion at the Museo Andres del Castillo and end the day with a most important pilgrimage; a Pisco Sour at the Bulevarcito, the renowned bar inside the Grand Hotel Bolivar.
7. Do you have any tips for travelers in Lima?
The city´s congested historis heart generally offers the best deals on lodging and proximity to some of the most storied attractions. The roar of traffic begins early, so select yur hotel (and, more significantly, your room) accordingly. Also, note that thought the security situation in downtown has improved greatly in recent years, at night it is advisable to take taxis and not to display expensive camera gear or jewerly. The plaza the Armas and the Plaza San Martin are well policed and are great spots for an evening stroll.
8. Does Lima have any kid-friendly activities?
Lima have a lot of kid-friendly activities like:
- Cycling: Popular excursion from Lima include the 31 Km ride to Pachacamac. Where the are good local trails open between April and December. Expert riders can inquire about the stellar downhill circuit from Olleros to San Bartolo south of Lima. For organizad cycling tours from abroad see international tour companies.
- Paragliding: For paragliding off the Miraflores clifftops. Flights take of from the clifftop "paraport" at the Parque Raimondi and start at about $50.00 USD for a 15 minute tandem flight. Paragliding companies do not have offices on site, so if you want to fly, make a reservation in advance, then wave at the bemused shoppers at the cliffside LarcoMar mall as you glide past.
- Swimming & Surfing: Despite the newspaper warnings about pollution, limeños hit the beaches in droves in Summer (January through to March). Playa Costa Verde in Miraflores (Nicknamed Waikiki) is a favorite of local surfers and has a good breaks year-round. Barraco´s beaches have waves that are better for long boards. There are seven other beaches in Miraflores and four more in Barranco. Serious surfers can also try Playa La Herradura in Chorrillos, which has waves up to 5m high during good swells. Do not leave your belongings unattended as theft is a problem.
- Scuba Diving: There is rasonable deep-sea diving of Peru´s southern Coast, an excellent dive shop owned by Luis Rodriguez a PADI-certified instructor who sells gear and arrange certification and diving trips, including regular excursions to Islas Palomino of the coast of Callao, to see a year-round sea-lion colony.
9. Where can I meet other travelers?
Lima is the capital of Peru and in this city is the Jorge Chavez International Airport, where the great majority of international flights is where visitors can find with other foreigners. In the district of Miraflores is most of the hotel infrastructure of Lima, also in this area you could meet other travelers where you can spend time with them.
10. What should I pack?
Getting to explore the city Lima is very simple, requiring only have a valid passport to embark at the airport by the immigration office will ask you what time to arrive. Lima is like any American cities where you can find everything you need, supermarkets, transportation, hotels, business center.
Cusco Travel FAQ
1. How do I get to and leave Cusco? Is it easy to get around the city?
The airport is about 6km south of the city center. The Combi Lines Imperial and C4M (S0.60, 20 minutes) run from Av El Sol to just outside the airport. A taxi to or from the city center to the airport cost S5.00.An official radio taxi from within the airport costs S10.00. With advance reservations, many hotels offer free pickup.
Local rides on public transportation cost only S0.60, though it´s easier to walk or just take a taxi than to figure out where any given combi is headed. There are no meters in taxis, but there are set rates. At time of research, trips within the city center cost S4.00, and to destinations further afield, such as El Molino, where S7.00, check with your hotel whether this is still correct, and rather than negociate, simply hand the correct amount to your ride; he is unlikely to argue if you seem to know what you are doing. Official taxis, identified by a lit company thelephone number of the roof, are more expensive than safer. Before getting into any taxi do as savvy locals do and take conspicuous note of the registration number.
2. Do I have to pay a tax at the Cusco airport?
Before departing you have to pay an airport tax. For domestic flights is US$.11 (about S28.00). Pay that after getting your boarding pass.
3. Where are the best places to eat, drink, and shop?
Eating.- Cusco´s location nearly dropping off the eastern edge of the Andes, gives is access to un believable range of produce. The Incas had it figured out, working the precipitous altitude changes for all they were worth to create terraces where stodgy highlanders such as potatoes and Quinua grew practically on top of colorful jungle delicacies such as coca, avocado and aji picante (hot chili). Few food stores in the world offer the variety on offer in Cusco´s humblest street market.
The local food escenehas taken off over the last decade as incoming influences from all over the world have seen local products, many of them not available outside Peru. Combined in ever-fresher ways. Cusco explodes with taste sensations from dirt-cheap strets snacks to the world-class quality (and prices)of it´s top restaurants. If you like to eat and are prepared to try something new, you will nedd to loosen your belt a notch after a few days in Cusco.
Drinking.- Clubs open early, but crank up a few notches after about 11pm.Happy hour is ubiquitous and generally entails tow-for-one on beer or certain mixed drinks. In popular discotecas (beware the word nightclub it is often used in Peru to indicate a brothel), especially right on the plaza de Armas, both sexes shoul beware of drinks being spiked.
Cross keys, Northon Rats and Paddy Flaherty´s are good places to track down those all important soccer matches, with satellite Tvs more or less permanently tuned into sports. The tried-and-true stops on the big night out in Cusco are discotecas Mythology Inca Team, Roots, Ukuku´s, and Mama Africa.
Shopping.- San Blas the Plaza itself, cuesta San Blas, Carmen Alto and Tandapata east of the Plaza offers Cusco´s best shopping. It´s the artisan quarter, packed with the workshop and showrooms of local craftspeople. Some offer the chance to wath artisans at work and see the interiors of colonial buildings while hunting down that perfect souvenir. Prices and quality vary greatly, som shop around and expect to bargaing, except in the most expencive stores, where prices are often fixed.
4. Are there tourist information offices, and where are they located?
Travel Agencies are all too willing to help out with travel arragements, for a hefty commissions of course. The following indepemdent tourism informationn centers are recommended: DIRCETUR, it is located in Mantas Street 117,,the official provider of Cusco tourism information; iperu is more informative, is it at airport Main Hall, city center, office 102, Galerias Turisticas, Av El Sol,103.
5. What is the altitude of Cusco?
The City of Cusco is located in the Southeast Andes of the Republic of Peru at 3350 meters above sea level, located in the Valley of the Huatanay River, the weather of the Empiral City of Cusco is a dry one and warm from April to October and the rainy season extends from November to March, but the rain is light on the first months and becomes more intensely in the months of January to February.
6. What is altitude sickness and how can it be prevented?
Those who ascend rapidly to altitudes greater than 2500m (8100ft) may develop altitude sickness, include Cusco (3350m), Machu Picchu (2400m). Being Phisically fit offers no protection. Those who, have experienced altitude sickness in the pass are prone to future episodes. The risk increases with faster ascents, higher altitudes and greater exertion. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizzeness, malaise, insommia and loss of appetite. Severe cases may be complicated by fluid in the lungs (high-altitude pulmonary edema) or swelling of the brain (high-altitude cerebral edema). If symptoms are more than mild or persist for more than 24 hours (far less at high altitudes), descend immediately by at least 500m and see a doctor.
7. Where can I find an ATM?
ATMs abound in and around the Plaza the Armas, and also avilable at the airport, Huanchaq Train Station and the bus terminal. All accept Visa, most accept MasterCard, and many will even allow you to withdraw from a foreign debit account. There are several big bank branches on Av El Sol; go inside for cash advances avobe dayly ATM limits. Casas de cambio (foreign-exchange bureaus) give better exchange rates than banks, and are scatered around the main plazas and especially along Av Ewl Sol. Moneychangers can be found outside banks, but their rates are not much better than casa de cambio and rip-offs are common.
8. What is the Cusco tourist ticket? Where can I buy it? What is included?
Cusco´s official boleto turistico (turist ticket; adult/student under 26 with ISIC card S130/70)is exasperating. Apart from the ruins, the nyghtly show and a couple of the museums, the 17 included sights are eminently miss-able, but you na not visit any of them without it. Since Cusco´s signature attraction, Sacsayhuaman, is included, you really can not avoid forking out.
Valid for 10 days, the boleto turistico covers entry to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pukapukara, and Tambomachay, right outside Cusco: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and Moray, in the Sacred Valley; and Tipon and Piquillacta in the south. It also includes the facinating Museo de Arte Popular, the eclectic Museo Historico Regional and an evening performance of Andean dances and live music at the centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo. The remaining inclusions are the musty, miss-able archaeological museum at Qoricancha (but not Qoricancha itself), the museo Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo and the Pachacutec monument near the bus terminal.
9. What local products can I purchase in the Cusco region?
For many travelers, markets are hightlight of south America. If you are one of them, have no fear, Cusco won´t you down. Keep your wits about you and do not bring valuables, professional pickpockets work them all.
Mercado San Pedro, Cusco´s central market, is a must see. Pig heads for caldo (soup) frogs (to enhance sexual peformance), vats of fruit juice, roast lechon (suckling pig) and tamales are just a few of the foods on offer. Around of edges are typical clothes, spells, incense and other random products to keep you intertained for hours. Less touristed, and just an interesting is the Mercado Modelo de Wanchaq. It is the local destination of choice for breakfast the morning after, especializing in the tow hangover staples-jolting acid ceviche and greasy chicharrones. El Molino just beyond the terminal terrestre, is Cusco´s answer to the departament store. Even more congested than San Pedro, it is a bargaing hunter´s paradise for clothes, housewares, bulk food and alcohol, electrodomesticos (electronic goods), camping gear and pirate CDs and DVDs.
10. Where can I buy local handicrafts?
If you are the type who likes to get your souvenir shopping done fast. Around the Plaza de Armas (main square), it is got everything-clothes, ornaments, toys candles, jewerly, art, ceramic, handbags. Your friends and family willnever suspect you bought all their gifts in one place and it is all handmade and fair trade.
11. When are the main Cusco festivities that I may be able to see while visiting?
Cusco and surrounding highlands celebrate many lively fiestas and holidays. In addition to national holidays, the following are the most crowded times, when you should book all accommodations well in advance: the Lord of the Earthquakes (Señor de los Temblores), this procession on the Monday before Easter dates to the earthquake. Crucifix Vigil, on May 2 to 3, a cricifix vigil is held on all hillsides with atop them. Qoyllority, Less well known than the espectacular inti Raymi are the more traditional Andean rites of this festival, which is held at the foot of Ausangate th tuesday before Corpus Christy, I late May or early June. Corpus Christi, held on the nineth Thursday after Easter, Corpus Christi usually occurs in early June and features fantastic religiuos processions and celebrations in the Cathedral. Inti Raymi, Cusco´s most important festival the festival of the Sun is held on June 24. It attracts tourists from all over Peru and the world, and we whole city clebrates in the streets. The festival culminates in are inacten of the Inca Winter SOLISTICE FESTIVAL AT Sacsayhuaman. Despite its commercialization, it is still worth seeing the street dances and parades, as wel as the pageantry at Sacsayhuaman. Santuranticuy Artisan crafs fair, a crafs fair held in the Plaza de Armas on December 24 (Christmas Eve).
12. What are some interesting places to see while in the Sacred Valley?
The beautiful rio Urubamba valley popularly known as Valle Sagrado (Sacred Valley), is about 15km north of Cusco as the condor flies. The star attracctions are the lofty Inca citadles of Pisac and Ollantaytanbo, which priside over its ondulating tuwist and turns, but the valley is also packet with other Inca sites, as well as hectic Markets and fetching Andean Villages. It is famous for some high adrenaline activities, from rafting to trekking to rock climbing. Most activities can be organized in Cusco or at some hotel in Urubamba.
A multitude of travel agencies in Cusco offer whirlwind tours of the Sacred Valley, stopping at markets and the most significant archaeological sites, but even if you only have a day or tow to spare, it is immeasurably rewarding to explore this paceful, often overlooked corner of the Andes at your own leisure. Visiting the archaeological sites of Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero requires a boleto turistico, which can be bought directly from the guards at the sites.