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Peru Trip Planning Advice

Location: Rediscover Machu Picchu > Travelling & Activities > Peru Trip Planning Advice




Elementary Issues in Planning a Trip to Peru


You have to imagine how Peru is before travelling there.

This is a country where health-related risks are high, while safety issues are moderately high. You will have to focus on your health and safety primarily. Though, there are other issues that you must check as well (difficulties in transportation etc.).


A trip to Peru can be a wonderful fulfilling experience for those well-prepared or can be a dreadful experience for the naive and unprepared!


Never Forget Before Travelling to Peru...


The main issues that you must understand...


Peru is a Spanish-speaking country: you might want to exercise words and phrases or attend a Spanish course before travelling to Peru; you will scarcely meet any Peruvians who speak English!

Traditional environment, mostly Roman-Catholic society: you are not going to feel in Peru like in Western Europe or North America - Peruvians are mostly Roman-Catholic and most of them live in a traditional way, family and respect for women and the elderly, religion and friendliness are very important to them; please make an extra effort to understand local customs, show respect to Peruvian value systems and avoid showing any negative signs to the locals (anything that might be considered disrespectful or offensive)

Exotic country, exotic diseases: check out Peru health risks-related advice section in order to understand and take the necessary precautions; Peru is has quite high health-related risks, many of the diseases that can be contracted there are potentially deadly!

Theft, pick pocketing: this is a problem, especially in the big cities and in areas with many tourists; it is advised to take good care of your belongings, but in case you are implicated in a theft, don't try fighting back, because some thieves carry weapons and might harm you

Swindles, frauds: try looking "less rich", wear cheaper, simpler clothes and take that "naive foreigner" look off your face; you will most probably be approached several times by "friendly" locals who will offer you various services and products (some will offer to be your guide, others will want to sell you products or will want to take you with a "taxi" to a "cheap hotel") - excuse yourself politely, but categorically: "No, gracias" - be polite, but categorical whenever you meet suspect people potentially trying to "draw you into something"...

Kidnapping: this is a problem that is very frequent in Latin America, not so much in Peru, but rather in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil; avoid travelling alone, especially if you are a woman or youngster 

Travelling around: by airplane you can reach the distant corners of Peru (even many small cities have own airports), on land, usually by bus or car (4x4 vehicles are recommended in most areas), as there are very few


Packing Smart and Making a "What to Take Checklist"


Pack as light as possible and try reducing the volume as much as you can!

You might need to carry your luggage more in Peru than in other countries, especially in a rural area!


Documents: passport, i.d., driver's license... rarely, you will require medical documents, such as those proving that you have received vaccine against various local diseases (rare case, rather required for those working or studying in Peru)

Travel insurance: never travel to Peru without it!

Money, credit cards - well hidden: take enough money with you to be able to buy a new plane ticket to fly home, in case you loose your plane ticket, miss your flight or anything else similar happens; split your money and credit cards into different small bags, wallets and hide them... in case one of them gets lost, stolen, then you will have the other one; try not to show a whole wallet whenever you pay for anything (this can be done by keeping a smaller amount of money in your pockets: for drinks, for entry ticket payments etc.)

Smart clothes: don't take the most expensive clothes, as this will make you look an ideal target for thieves; take rather more thin clothes than several thick ones that take up space

Maps, schemes: you must take paper maps with you, but if you have a small netbook with you and digital map software installed, it will be great!

Backpack or hand carry luggage: you will have to decide yourself what is comfortable for you; both a backpack and a hand-carried luggage with wheels can be practical, but for hiking take exclusively a backpack; in either cases, you must have a small backpack for city trips and short hikes

List of important places, others than attractions: not down a list of hotels (in case for some reason you cannot get to your hotel), note down airlines and travel agents, also the address of your embassy, consulate

List of attractions: you can best plan your itinerary with Google Earth, which is a handy software... set yourself the most important attractions that you want to see and secondary, possibly 3rd category attractions that are not as important

Medicine: take medicine with you, always (especially pain relief, anything for treating cold, stomach and digestive problems etc.)





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