Handcrafting adventures in Ecuador and Peru since 1979
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Peru overview

Area

1,285,215 sq. km (501,234 sq. miles) divided in 25 departments.

Population

Over 30 million.

Language

Spanish is the official language, though about 36% of the population speaks Quechua and a smaller percentage speaks Aymara, plus other local languages. Our guides are typically trilingual: Spanish, English and Quechua!

Capital city

Lima (9 million).

Currency

Nuevo Sol (S/.). Dollars and Euros can be changed in banks and exchange offices, located in Lima at the airport and major towns including Cusco, Arequipa and Puno. The majority of hotels, stores and restaurants accept most major credit cards and U.S. Dollars. VISA is the most widely accepted credit card. The best way to obtain money is through ATMs. If you plan to bring U.S. Dollars to Peru, they must be in absolute, pristine condition, or they will likely be rejected. Traveler checks are generally not accepted.

Local time

Eastern Standard, GMT-5 (no daylight savings time).

Government

Democratic republic. The president and members of Congress are elected every five years by universal suffrage.
Religion

Roman Catholic (90%) and other ancestral beliefs.

Electricity

220 volts. Some hotels now offer both 220v. and 110v. Hotel room outlets are limited. We suggest you bring a multi-plug adaptor (2-prong).

Food

Peruvian cuisine has attained worldwide prestige, including its delicious seafood and its creative Andean gastronomy. What makes South American cuisine so distinctive is the combination of wholesome, natural ingredients and the traditions of three distinctive regions: the coast and its desert, the Andean Mountains, and the Amazon Rainforest.

Health

Yellow Fever vaccination is required to visit the Peruvian Amazon. Also, you should check with your local physician about visiting high-altitude regions. Hospitals, clinics and drug stores are staffed with experienced professionals. The Social Security Hospital offers modern and well-equipped facilities.

Other details

Telefónica del Perú is the major telecommunications company, providing local and international call service through home and mobile phones. Phone calls at public cabins are available at less expensive prices. Public internet cafes are well-equipped with computers and internet access available everywhere at a cost of one sol an hour.
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