Peru is located in the southwest of South America at 13° southern hemisphere limited with the Pacific Ocean, Peru is where born the widest river of the world (The Amazon River). Peru is a large, mountainous country on the Pacific coast of South America that borders Ecuador and Colombia to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west.
Peru has the most spectacular and varied scenery in South America. The Peruvian Andes are the most beautiful on the continent, the mountains are home to millions of highland natives who still speak the ancient language (Quechua) and maintain a traditional way of life. The Amazon which occupies half of Peru is one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity «hot spots», a species- rich area of tropical rainforest that will make your head spin when you start to learn about its ecology. The coastal deserts are beautiful with huge rolling dunes, farmland oases and fishing villages.
The citizens from the following areas will be issued a visa (30-90 days, usually 90) on arrival: North and South American, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and India. If in doubt, check in the nearest Peruvian consulate. Upon entering Peru, travelers must fill- out a double entry form. The original stays with immigration. The duplicate is given to the visitors and must be surrendered upon leaving. Do not lose it. It costs US$5 to replace.
Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 24 departments, 11 regions; Its geography varies from the arid plains of the pacific cost to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forest of the amazon basin.
The main economic activities include Agriculture, fishing, mining, and tourism.
The population estimated at 28 million; is multiethnic country, including Americans, Europeans, Africans and Asians.
Capital Lima. Population: 8.5 million (2007).
Area.- 1,285,220 sq km (496,225 sq miles).
Population 30 million The population of the country is largely Indian and Mestizo
Time GMT – 5.
Gained independence from Spain in 1824, having declared it in 1821
President: Ollanta Umala since 2011
Religion 81% Roman Catholic, 2.7% other denominations, 16.3% unspecified or none.
Although the majority of city and town dwellers speak Spanish, Qechua is spoken in most mountain areas and Aymara /Spanish on the Lake titicaca Islands.
Many people in City tourism areas speak English.
220 volts AC, 60Hz. (110 volts AC is available in most 4- and 5-star hotels.)
Varies according to area; On the coast winter lasts from June to September. During this period, the mountainous areas are often sunny during the day but cold at night. This is high tourist season and the best time to visit most regions. Heavy rains in the mountains and jungle last from December to April. It hardly ever rains in Lima or most of the coast, except for Tumbes and Piura, which have tropical climates
You must know to drink tap water is not advisable in Peru. Bottled water is that you must use to drink. Water is available in most hotels and stores all over Peru. 3-4 liters of water per day is enough to avoid dehydration which can be a real problem in high altitudes like Cusco. Other ways you can avoid parasites is to boil and/or filter water or add purification tablets.
Currency and credit cards in Peru:
In 1991 the Peruvian government introduced the «Nuevo Sol», divided in 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and S/.10, 20, 50,100 and 200 banknotes or bills. US dollars are welcome at most shops, restaurants and service stations at the current exchange rate.
Most Shops and stores accept the most common credit cards, including Visa, Master card, Diners and American Express.
ATM cards can now be used in city locations: airports, bank machines and shopping centers. The main banking systems are: visa/plus, MasterCard/cirrus.
It’s possible to obtain local currency Nuevos Soles (sometimes dollars) with your card. Don’t forget there’s always a small service charge when you use credit and ATM cards. The use of traveler’s checks is welcome. When using a credit card makes sure you are charged the right amount for your purchase. In case of lost or stolen cards, don’t forget to have the telephone number of the bank in order to cancel your card.
Changing money on the street is very common but risky. Banks or «casas de cambio» are a better choice.
Important note: old or damaged US bills (i.e. a very slight tear) either won’t be accepted or will be exchanged at lower rates. When exchanging cash be sure to have crisp, new bills. Bring bills of various denominations.
TAXATION IN PERU
The price of food and services is included the 18% national tax (airline tickets, included). In almost all restaurants there is a 10% service charge. However, when in doubt consult your guide. Tax for international flights is $25 and $4.50 for domestic flights, which you will need to pay in cash at the airport.