Peru is 5 hours behind London or 6 hours in British Summer Time (BST). Other time differences are listed below
Los Angeles -3 (or -2 Pacific Daylight Time PDT)
New York +0 (+1 Eastern Daylight Time EDT)
Toronto +0 (+1 EDT)
London +5 (+6 BST)
Cape Town +7
Sydney +15 (+16 Eastern Standard Time EST)
Auckland +17 (+18 EST)
The local currency is Nuevo Soles but dollars are widely accepted. See our webpage Money for information about how best to travel with money in Peru.
When dialling Peru from overseas dial your country's international access code (see below) followed by the country code (51), followed by the regional code (see below) minus the initial 0, followed by the number.
International access code:
New Zealand 00
Regional codes for the largest cities:-
084 Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes)
(see full list of regional telephone codes in Peru)
Example: You may see the number of a hotel in Cusco as 231424. From the UK dial 00 51 84 231424. From Lima dial 084 231424. From Cusco dial 231424
As a traveller you will be best served knowing a little Spanish (about 80% of the population speak Spanish). Until 1975 this was the sole official language of Peru but since then Quechua, which is main language of the highland Indians, has also been made official (about 16% of the population speak Quechua). Around Lake Titicaca Aymara, another Indian language, is also spoken. Many Indians speak Spanish too but if you venture into the more remote areas you will find few people who speak any Spanish at all. In most large hotels, airline counters, and tour companies English is generally understood. For more information about learning the basics in Spanish visit our webpage Learn Spanish for Free
The supply is 220 volts AC, 60Hz - twin flat blade (as used in the USA) and twin round pin plugs (as used in continental Europe) are both standard here. (The only exception is Arequipa which is 220 volts AC, 50Hz) If you travel to Peru with a device that does not accept 220 Volts at 60Hz then you will need a voltage converter/transformer which can easily be bought in electrical shops in the main cities. However many electrical devices such as battery charges, shavers & laptops are multi-voltage but it is always best to check the device BEFORE plugging it in!!
Typical wall socket in Peru 220V
Both flat blade and round pin plugs are accepted
Toilet doors are marked with "baño", "S.H" or "SS.HH" which is an abbreviation for Servicio Higienico. In some of the cheaper hotels and many restaurants toilet paper is not provided so always carry a roll with you. Toilet paper should not be thrown into the toilet but placed in the adjacent basket/waste bin otherwise the toilet will soon become blocked. This applies throughout Peru even in 5 star hotels.
There's a very good saying that goes 'bring twice as much money and half as many clothes as you think you'll need'!
The key to packing for a trip to Peru is to pack for a variety of conditions while keeping the weight to a minimum. Easier said than done when you have to deal with the intense heat of the high altitude, the cold mountain nights spent camping on the Inca Trail and the heat and humidity of the Amazon Basin. The best way to deal with these extremes is to dress using several layers rather than one thick jumper. If you forget something, don't despair since most things can be bought in most Peruvian cities frequently visited by tourists including excellent and cheap alpaca jumpers.
Below you'll find a suggested packing list:
1. Suitcase or backpack (65 litres should be quite sufficient)
2. Day pack
3. Comfortable walking boots with good ankle support.
2 pairs long trousers (lightweight)
1 short-sleeved shirt
1 long-sleeved shirt
1 pair shorts
Underwear and socks (thermal underwear is highly recommended, being light, warm and makes good nightwear on cold nights).
5. Fleece jacket
6. Hat or cap to protect from the sun.
7. Towel plus washing items.
8. Sun cream, lip salve, sun glasses.
9. Alarm clock, torch
10. Basic first aid kit.
11. Insect repellent.
12. Money belt.
13 Camera, battery charger, spare battery and plenty of memory.
Optional extras include:-
14. Sleeping bag (3 season)- but can be rented in Cusco for the Inca Trail if you don't have one.
15. Plastic sandals - useful for in the shower.
16. Several good novels, pack of cards.
17. Binoculars particularly if you plan to go to the jungle
18. Water bottle (mineral water can be bought throughout Peru)
19. Water sterilizing tablets for trekking including the Inca Trail. (Micropur tablets can be bought in Cusco and are very efficient).
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