Peru

Peru is the land of the Inca’s, nestled amidst the soaring Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean with lush expanses of Amazon rainforest in between. An empire of hidden treasures, cultures and rich colonial tradition, its local cuisine draws inspiration from ingredients both native and contemporary to create a mix of unique flavours. Discover a wealth of different worlds all within one country and travel back in time to ancient civilisations to share the great cultural heritage of the Peruvian people.

When to Visit

The weather in Peru varies greatly depending on the region, and temperature is mostly influenced by elevation; the higher you clim, the cooler it becomes. The peak tourist season is from June to August, which coincides with the cooler dry season in the Andean Highlands.

Highlights

CUZCO Cuzco was once the foremost city of the Inca Empire, and is now the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas. The landscapes of the Sacred Valley are sprinkled with small villages and ancient ruins, all nestled within towering peaks.

MACHU PICCHU A crowning glory of the Inca civilisation and one of the most stunning archaeological sites anywhere in the world, Machu Picchu overlooks the sacred Urubamba Valley. The city lay lost for many centuries, before being “rediscovered” in 1911.

LLAKE TITICACA Aside from having the title as being the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is famous for its floating reed islands. The islands are home to the Uros tribe, a tribe that pre-dates the Incan civilisation.

THE NAZCA LINES Located on the Nazca Desert plains, the Nazca Lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs with designs ranging from wildlife to geometric. There are several theories regarding their creation but they are one of Peru’s most interesting and peculiar attractions.

COLCA CANYON The Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States. The region is well known as the home of the rare Andean condor, an enormous bird with the largest wing span of any land bird.

AMAZONAS The Peruvian Amazon creates a unique and diverse ecosystem when combined with the mighty Andean Mountain range and Pacific Ocean. The Amazon is famous for its cloud forests and exceptional microclimate.

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Useful Information

Visa's

Official travel advice regarding visas is available by calling 04 439 8000 or visiting their website www.safetravel.govt.nz

Customs

Possibly as a legacy of the strongly hierarchical pre-Hispanic cultures or European colonialism, self-discipline is strongly advocated among Peruvians. The control of one's emotions and feelings is highly valued among all Peruvians, but especially among men. Respect for elders, shown through such actions as giving up one's seat for elderly people on buses, also has a strong place among public values. These values of discipline and respect for others are in sharp contrast to a political scene marked with great levels of authoritarianism and widespread corruption. Youths are also responsible for providing a strong alternative counterculture to main normative values. This counterculture is mainly expressed through musical outlets, such as the national adaptation of rock and punk music, and North American tastes in fashion and popular culture. Public expressions of sexuality, including that of homosexual behavior, is strongly discouraged.

Getting around

Because of its size and natural barriers, including difficult mountain terrain, long stretches of desert coast, and extensive rainforest, Peru is complicated to navigate. Train service is very limited, covering only a few principal tourist routes, and many trips take several days by land. Visitors with limited time tend to fly everywhere they can. Travel overland, though very inexpensive, can be extremely time-consuming and uncomfortable. However, for certain routes, inter-city buses are your only real option.

Language

Spanish 84.1%, Quechua 13%, Aymara 1.7%.

Health

The following information is intended as a guide only and in no way should it be used as a substitute for professional medical advice relative to a travellers individual needs and vaccination history. No guarantee is made as to its accuracy or thoroughness. For further information, please contact The Travel Doctor on (+64) 9 373 3531. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is recommended for travellers to Peru. Vaccination against Hepatitis B and Rabies (particularly if working with animals) should be considered by frequent or long stay travellers. Vaccination against Typhoid should be considered particularly when travelling to areas with poor sanitation and hygiene. Cholera is reported in Peru, but immunisation is usually not recommended. Care with food and beverage selection is recommended. There is a medium risk of Malaria in Peru and Dengue Fever also occurs, insect avoidance measures and anti malarial medication may be necessary depending on your itinerary. As Yellow Fever occurs in Peru, vaccination may be recommended depending on itinerary. Travellers should be aware of the risk factors, symptoms and treatments of Altitude Sickness. Please consult a medical practitioner or contact The Travel Doctor for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. New Zealanders travelling to Peru should ensure that they have adequate travel insurance to cover the length of their stay. Medications that are legal in New Zealand may be illegal in other countries. 

Electricity

Electrical Socket: European and Japanese sockets  Voltage: 220-240 volts (same as New Zealand), although many hotels also have 110-120 volts Modem Plug: USA Source: Korjo Travel Products. Please view the Korjo adapter guide at www.korjo.com.au for further information on this matter.

Communications

Country Code for Peru: +51 Offical Travel Advice: Visit www.safetravel.govt.nz Tourist Information Office: (+51 1) 574 8000 Emergency Services: 105 The emergency services have Spanish speaking staff. While they may be able to take calls in English, to avoid delay it may be best to seek the assistance of a Spanish speaker to call the emergency services.

Shopping

Peru is one of the top shopping destinations in Latin America, with some of the finest and best-priced crafts anywhere. Its long traditions of textile weaving and colorful markets bursting with tourists have produced a dazzling display of alpaca-wool sweaters, blankets, ponchos, shawls, scarves, typical Peruvian hats, and other woven items. Shops: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 3 p.m. to 8 p.m Monday to Saturday -- Many larger stores and supermarkets remain open all day and are more likely to open on Sundays (some only until midday). Smaller family-run businesses often have erratic opening hours and are more likely to shut for lunch.

Tipping

When tipping in Peru, always keep in mind that the wages are very low. However, they do see a lot of tourism and because of that have come to rely on tips to make up the difference. They tend to consider tourists as “cheap” if they aren’t properly tipped. As always though, only tip if the service was at least acceptable. Increase the amount for outstanding and friendly service. You should be rewarding great service, not just throwing away your money because you feel you have to. Chances are most of your tips in Peru will make someone’s day, and put a smile on their face.

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