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Peru

Local Time

The local time in Peru (PET) is UTC/GMT -5 hours. There is no daylight saving time in the country.


LANGUAGE

The great culture of ancient Peru is also expressed by a legacy of wide variety of native languages that co-exist in its territory. Spanish is the official language and is used in most of the country. Other languages have been recognized by the Constitution, such as Quechua, which is spoken in many Andean regions in different varieties, and Aimara, the predominant language of the southern Andes. 


Shipibo, Ashaninka and Aguaruna, used by Amazon communities, are just some of the country's 43 native languages. 


RELIGION

Freedom of religion is a fundamental right in Peru’s culture, although Catholicism is the main religion, another legacy of the Spanish. Religious festivals have strong Spanish influence, but they are also an example of how different beliefs and religions of Peru's pre-Hispanic cultures coexist.


CUSTOMS

Festivals: The coming together of different creeds, customs and experiences have created close to 3,000 annual popular festivals in Peru, including patron saint feasts, processions, carnivals and rituals, encompassing the expression of belief in God, respect for nature and the celebration of freedom. Peruvian festivals have a mystical side to them; most of them are the result of a fusion between Catholicism and pre-Hispanic religious traditions. Repaying the earth is part of the main celebrations in all regions, and is about rewarding and recognizing the Pachamama (Mother Earth) for her endless generosity.


VISA REQUIREMENTS

Citizens of Canada, United States do not require a Tourist Visa to enter Peru. The maximum length of stay for a tourist visa is 90 days. 


ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS

All travelers must carry a valid passport to visit Peru, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from Peru.


All travellers will need to complete a form called the Andean Migration Card (Tarjeta Andina de Migración) upon arrival. This document must be presented prior to departure from Peru. Failure to produce this document may prevent exit, and result in delays and/or fines until a replacement is obtained.


CURRENCY

The currency is the Peruvian nuevo sol (PEN). The US dollar is widely accepted. Credit cards are widely accepted in Lima, but less so outside major cities. Travelers checks are not widely accepted. In small towns, automated banking machines (ABMs) may not be readily available. ABMs in large cities may accept out-of-country bank cards and credit cards. You should inform your banking company of your travel prior to departing and confirm whether you will be able to use ABMs in Peru. For example, 1.00 USD=3.09200


ELECTRICAL CURRENT

Most of Peru uses 220V, 60Hz. Talara uses a mixture of 110V, 60Hz and 220V, 60Hz. Arequipa uses 220V, 50Hz. Most outlets are Type A and Type C, that is they will accept either plug, however sometimes they will either be Type A or C and will not accept the other style. It's uncommon to find grounded outlets (Type B) but you may come across them occasionally. It's not recommended to adapt a three pin plug for use in a two pin outlet.


WEATHER

Peru is a very large country that is crossed by the Andes and has a vast Amazonian region, so you are likely to notice differences from one place to the other, which may be more or less intense depending on the month of your visit.
It hardly ever rains on the coast, where there are usually two seasons: a warm season and a cold season.


  • The warm season runs from November 15th until the end of March.
  • The cold season occurs from April to mid-November and it is very humid.


Unlike the coastal area, the mountains and the jungle have a warmer rainy season running from mid-November to late March, and the least warm season occurs between April and mid-November.


Below is an altitude and weather table by city

City

Altitude

HighTemp

Low Temp

Arequipa

2,335 (7,661 fasl)

24°C (75°F)

5°C (41°F)

Ayacucho

2,761 (9,058 fasl)

24°C (75°F)

11°C (52°F)

Cajamarca

2,720 (8,924 fasl)

21°C (70°F)

5°C (41°F)

Chiclayo

29 (95 fasl)

33°C (91°F)

17°C (63°F)

Cusco

3,395 (11,138 fasl)

17°C (63°F)

2°C (28°F)

Ica

406 (1,332 fasl)

30°C (86°F)

8°C (46°F)

Iquitos

104 (341 fasl)

36°C (97°F)

17°C (63°F)

Lima

133 (436 fasl)

25°C (77°F)

13°C (55°F)

Puerto Maldonado

183 (600 fasl)

34°C (93°F)

21°C (70°F)

Puno

3,827 (12,556 fasl)

19°C (6°F)

2°C (34°F)

Tacna

562 (1,844 fasl)

28°C (82°F)

6°C (43°F)

Trujillo

34 (112 fasl)

30°C (86°F)

16°C (61°F)

Tumbes

6 (20 fasl)

38°C (100°F)

19°C (66°F)

LOCATION, AREA AND FRONTIERS

Peru is located in the west of South America, and has borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. It has sovereignty over 1,285,215 km2 of land and 200 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean, as well as 60 million hectares of the Antarctic.

GEOGRAPHY

Peru is an extremely diverse country, with 11 ecological regions and 84 of the world’s 117 different types of “life zone”. It has a huge variety of scenery thanks to its geography, which also provides it with a wide range of natural resources. The country has 3 main regions according to the traditional method of dividing the country by altitude: coast, mountains and jungle.

COAST

The Coast of Peru is characterized by a narrow band of deserts and fertile valleys alongside the Pacific Ocean. The fertile valleys spring from the rivers that flow down from the Andes mountain range itself, as opposed to the lower-lying sierra, and into the sea. The coast has a warm-temperate climate, without extreme heat or cold but with high humidity and dense fog that makes it feel extremely cold in winter. In the summer there is very little fog and temperatures reach 30°C. In the north, the coast is hot almost all year round, with a short rainy period in November and December. The central and southern coast has two distinct seasons, winter (April to October) and summer (November to March).

HIGHLANDS

This is the mountainous region of Peru, where the Andes mountain range dominates the landscape and contains various ecological regions and altitudes. The northern Andes are lower and more humid than the rest, while the central Andes are the tallest and steepest, and it is here where you find the country’s highest peak, Huascarán, at 6,768 meters above sea level. The southern Andes are wider, and are also known as the altiplano, or high Andean plateau. The sierra has two seasons: summer (April to October) with sunny days, cold nights and little rain – this is the perfect time to visit; and winter (November to March), when it rains heavily. During the day, temperatures can reach 24°C, and at night they can fall to -3°C.

JUNGLE

Located in the east, this is a vast region of plains covered by vegetation in the Amazon River basin, which begins at the confluence of the Marañón and Ucayali rivers. It is Peru’s largest region, and consists of highland jungle, or ceja de montaña – the mountain’s eyebrows, (over 700 meters above sea level), which is characterized by its cloud forests, and lowland jungle (less than 700 meters above sea level). Like the sierra, the jungle has two distinct seasons. From November to March it rains frequently, while from April to October it is fairly dry, making this the ideal time to visit as the rivers subside and the roads are easily accessible. There is high humidity all year round. Occasionally, between May and August, there are "friajes" or "surazos", cold snaps caused by winds from the extreme south of the continent, during which the temperature can fall to between 8 and 12°C. Information about the weather of the country’s different regions can be found here.

GASTRONOMY

Peruvian cuisine is another expression of a national identity that embraces multiple cultures co-existing in one territory; a unifying element in Peru that can be seen everywhere.

Peruvians have become experts at experimenting with new flavors, harmonizing aromas and discovering new ways of cooking. The diversity of Peru's agricultural production, microclimates, geography, multiple cultures and the genius of its chefs have enriched the culinary nature of Peru to the point where it is now recognized as one of the finest expressions of the global cuisine.

Mistura is the main gastronomic fair in Peru. It is held every year in Lima, bringing together the leading chefs and restaurants of Peru. The fair has been named the Gastronomic Capital of America and is one of the main events on international tourism itineraries in the region.

Information courtesy of PromPeru:

For more information: www.peru.travel

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