The Incas and Machu Picchu are fascinating and a visit to Peru has always been a dream for us. It was waiting for the right time to go and especially for cheap flight tickets. When these elements finally came together, we decided to pack our suitcases. The outcome was a beautiful journey through the land of the Incas, the Amazon forest, the Andes mountains with a lot of culture and nature. A trip in South America to remember!
OUR EXPERIENCES IN PERU
USEFUL FACTS for PERU
BEST TRAVEL TIME
The best time to visit Peru is in the dry period. This runs from April to October. Especially if you want to go to the Amazon forest, you have to take it into account. Do you only want to visit Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu? Then you can also visit Peru in other months. We did this trip in January and were not bothered by the weather. Only at Machu Picchu the weather was bad. But even in summer you can experience bad luck. In addition, our flights were also a lot cheaper because we traveled out of high season.
The easiest way to get to Peru is with a direct flight with KLM from Amsterdam. The price for a single ticket starts at 600 euros and can go up to 1000 euros in high season (and sometimes even more). If you want a cheaper option, a flight with a transfer is certainly an option. The prices for a one-way ticket outside high season can be found from 350 euros. A layover often happens in Madrid.
You don’t have to pay that much in Peru for good accommodation. And that is one of the biggest advantages of this country. For example, you can already find a hotel room in Lima for 25 euros per night (breakfast included). You can even find a decent Airbnb for 15 euros for a night. And this is not yet the cheapest option. You pay an average of 10 euros for a bed in a hostel. So you make Peru as expensive as you want. Because there are of course also a lot of more expensive options possible.
travel in Peru
The easiest way to transport yourself in Peru is with Uber. IF you have an arranged SIM card with internet, of course. It is often said online that this method of transport is not yet fully developed in Peru, but we did not experience any problems and even found this method of transport very pleasant and fast. The advantage of Uber is that you don’t have to negotiate the price and you don’t have to explain in Spanish where to go. Because most Peruvians unfortunately speak little or no English.
Bus and train
The most used mode of transport by the Peruvians themselves is certainly the bus. This is cheap and will take you almost anywhere. However, these buses are often of bad quality. If this is for a short drive it doesn’t really matter. But for a long drive this can be disappointing. In addition to the regular buses for the locals, you also have luxury buses. These are a lot more expensive but comfortable and perfect for long distances. You can easily find these buses via Google. A train is rarely used in Peru. The only commonly used train route is from Cusco to Machu Picchu. This is called the Inca Rail or the Peru Rail.
Taking a taxi is also a good option to get from A to B. In large cities like Lima, there are often fixed prices for a ride. In the smaller villages it is often necessary to negotiate. And that can sometimes be very tiring. Taxis are very cheap and, above all, safe. At least if you take the taxis autorizados (the registered taxi companies). They can also always present a valid license. Doesn’t it feel safe? Then don’t get into the car.
Often a domestic flight is the best and cheapest way to get around Peru. For example, for a flight from Lima to Cusco you only pay 40 euros for a single ticket. Which is as much as the bus. Only the bus takes you 8 times longer compared to the plane. Watch out! If you go from Lima to Cusco by plane, the chance of altitude sickness is much higher. With the bus, your body will have more time to adjust to the different heights.
WHAT TO DO IN PERU?
food in Peru
Food doesn’t have to be expensive in Peru. A dish at a restaurant costs an average of 25 Soles (7 euros). What makes a daily budget of 30 euros with drinks very realistic. If you stay in an Airbnb and have your own kitchen, this budget can decrease. Peruvian cuisine is mainly about chicken and lots of vegetables. Although one of the dishes you must have tasted is ‘Ceviche’ (raw fish). Pay attention to what you order in Peru, because guinea pig and alpaca is also a traditional dish here. In addition, a delicious lemonade or Pisco Sour is a good idea in Peru. Watch out! Pisco is not that cheap.
Documents for Peru
For a normal stay as a tourist you do not need a special visa in Peru. All you need is an international passport that is valid for another 6 months upon arrival in the country. You will receive a stamp in your passport upon arrival that gives you permission to travel through Peru for 90 days. An flight ticket for departure from Peru can be requested at customs. Furthermore, your driving license is also valid in this country, so you do not have to make any special requests.
VACCINes FOR PERU
There are currently no mandatory vaccines in Peru. However, it is recommended to take a vaccines against DTP and Hepatitis A. If you go to the Andes mountains, a vaccine against Yellow Fever is also recommended. Although this is not necessary when visiting only Cusco and Machu Picchu in the Andes.
Most hotels in Peru have a WiFi connection that is decent but not excellent. This is the same with an Airbnb. If you would like to use the internet while using Uber, for example, you have two options in Peru. Or you can buy a SIM card with internet in one of the numerous shops, such as with providers Claro or Movistar. You must charge this card whenever you used your data. Or you can take the second option, which we recommend, which is a portable WiFi hotspot with SIM card that you can use indefinitely for a month with 5 different devices. You can also buy these in one of the above stores in Peru. Only disadvantage for this option is the cost. Because with 50 euros this is not cheap. Never buy a SIM card at the airport (unless you have no other choice)! The prices are considerably higher here!
TIPs IN PERU
The better restaurants in Peru automatically charge 10 percent of the bill. In all other restaurants this is a free choice but certainly not mandatory. However, this is common and most waiters count on a tip. Especially with tourists. A taxi driver is often given 15 percent and the maids 4 soles (1 euro) per night. But again: this is not an obligation!
Souvenirs in Peru
In Peru there is a wide range of nice souvenirs that do not have to cost that much. So keep this in mind when packing your suitcase in the outward journey. Peru is best known for its handmade sweaters and ponchos made from alpaca wool. You can recognize the real alpaca wool sweaters by the price. Because these sweaters are more expensive than the other souvenirs. In addition to these sweaters, you can also find decorative objects, jewelry and ceramics here.