Peru Travel Basics
Nuts-and-bolts information to plan your trip, plus a checklist of essentials to include when you pack to travel throughout Peru.
Capital City: Lima (Metro Area Population: 9 million)
Location and Borders: Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador.
Administrative Divisionsor States: 25 regions (regiones, singular: región); Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Ucayali.
Area: Total: 1,285,220 sq km
Land: 1.28 million sq km
Climate: varies from tropical in the East to dry desert in the West; temperate to frigid in the Andes
Demographic Growth Rate: 1.3%
Industries: mining and refining of minerals; steel, metal fabrication; petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas; fishing and fish processing, textiles, clothing, food processing
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, and a large number of minor Amazonian languages
Government System: Constitutional republic – democratic
Peru Entry Requirements: You need a valid passport and tourist visa (available at entry point) to visit Peru. Standard tourist visas are valid for up to 5 months.
Security: Peru’s capital Lima is bit unsafe, avoid wearing ostentatious jewelry or fancy watches on the streets or in public transport, do not take street cabs, and be alert when out drinking, Cusco City in contrast is safe but use common sense.
Time Difference: Lima is one hour behind U.S. eastern standard time.
Money: The currency is the Peruvian Sol. The June 2015 current conversion rates goes $1 USD for S./3.15 Soles. The exchange rate fluctuates daily.
Phone Calls: Peru’s area code is 51, Cusco’s area code is 84, and the area code for Lima is 1. For phone calls to Lima from abroad, dial 51 1 -nine digit phone number for mobile phones throughout Peru. From within each city dial only the nine-digit mobile phone number. However, many businesses are using land-line phones, that have different digits for local calls make sure to get the right number and city code.