Whether you’re embarking on a luxury tour or heading on a backpacking adventure, Peru can be a fantastic experience for travellers of all ages. However, travelling through Peru is quite different to staying on the European continent. In this guide, we provide you with some hints and tricks for getting by.
Learn the Language
In many of the main tourist hotspots, the locals can speak English to at least some standard. But, if you’re looking to venture off the beaten track, then it can be wise to learn some Spanish, so you can communicate effectively.
Change is always useful, particularly when paying for souvenirs. However, it has other uses, too. Many locals in tourist spots will expect payment if you’re photographing them. In addition, most public toilets require a small fee for use.
Don’t Drink the Water!
Peru is a highly developed country, especially the city of Lima, which you’ll fly into. However, it has developed largely due to the tourism trade, which means that its infrastructure still hasn’t caught up to the increased demand.
Hotels should provide you with bottled water during your stay, but it’s best to buy extra for brushing your teeth, washing any fruit etc.
Stay in Aguas Calientes
The town itself may be a tourist trap but spending the night there before you visit Machu Picchu provides a strategic advantage. Many people do Machu Picchu as a day trip, which means they commute in. This means that they often do not arrive until late morning. By staying the night before, you’ll be able to beat the crowds early-morning, giving you more room to explore during the first few hours of your visit.
Try the Tea, but Leave it in Peru
Coca leaves have been used by locals to counteract altitude sickness for centuries. Leaves can either be chewed or used to make tea. The plant holds cultural significance in Peru, so it’s well worth trying during your visit (you’ll be offered it countless times). However, if you like it (most people do), don’t be tempted to bring it home. Taking the leaves to the US, for example, is illegal.
Consider a Guided Tour
The one problem with Peru? There’s too much to see and do! For this reason, if you’re short of time, then you may be better booking a tour rather than going it alone. This way, you’re guaranteed to not miss out any of the most important bits and can rest assured all the travel details are in hand.
Peru is an excellent place to explore. Do your research, learn a little Spanish and you could have the holiday of a lifetime.