Full country name: Republic of Peru
Population: 30,054,400 (2012 estimate)
Capital city: Lima, population of 11 millions
People: Amerindian (45%), Mestizo (37%), European/White (15%), African, Japanese, Chinese, and other 3%
Languages: Spanish (official), Quechua (official), Aymara, Ashaninka and other native (primarily Amazonian) languages
Religion: Catholic (81.3%)
Currency: Nuevo Sol (1GBP = 4.13 PNS)
Popular cities: Lima (capital), Arequipa, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Huancayo, Ica, Trujillo, Ayacucho, Piura, Iquitos.
Climate: Arid and mild in coastal areas, temperate to cold in the Andes, and warm and humid in the jungle lowlands.
Phone calls and Internet: We can help you getting a SIM card for your phone. Get one unlocked though. Skype is the best way to contact friends and family back home.
Internet cafes are on every corner, just need to pay a couple of soles for one hour or a cup of coffee to get it for free.
Money: Cash points are easy to find. Traveler cheques and debit cards are also good options.
Laundry: It costs 3.5 soles (0.90 GBP) approximately per kilogram. If you are placed with a host family, they are happy to do this for you.
Transport: Peru´s public transportation is a little bit hectic but very cheap. Local bus fares are s/. 1 (or 0.30GBP) mostly.
Buses to travel around Peru are extremely comfortable: food, movies, wifi and restrooms on board.
Food: Peru is a gastronomic tourist destination. Top favourites: ceviche, papa a la huancaína, causa rellena. lomo saltado, rocoto arequipeño, cerveza Cusqueña (beer), pisco sour (national drink).
Visa: You will come to Peru under a tourist visa and get your passport stamped by an immigration officer at your arrival. The stamp will allow you to stay in Peru for 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
Depending on the programme you applied for, you will need to request a work or student visa as soon as you arrive in Peru. We will provide you appropriate advice about this point.
Places to visit and things to do…
- Lima and its beautiful Spanish architecture buildings and museums.
- Arequipa and the Colca Canyon.
- Puno, Lake Titicaca and the floating islands.
- Ica: dune buggies, sandboarding.
- Nazca lines.
- Machu Picchu, Cusco: One of the seven wonders!
- Sacred Valley in Cusco.
- The Amazon jungle of Iquitos, Tambopata or Manu.
- North of Peru, very nice beaches in Mancora, Punta Sal, Cabo Blanco.
- Huaraz: Amazing circuits throughout the Andes
Private tutotring: If you want to earn a little extra cash this way it is so easy to find parents or students at the schools who’d like some time with a native speaker.
Cash cards: They allowed me to take out dollars and make card payment without extra charges. The real advantage of the cash card is that it is easy to cancel and replace while abroad so you can take it out and about.
Injections: Yellow fever. Hepatitis A & B