16 Things to Know Before Traveling to Peru

I traveled to Peru in the beginning of February this past year. This was my first time in South America, so I had no idea what to expect. I traveled to Cusco for 7 days and to Lima for 3 days, which I believe was the perfect amount of time. Here are some things I believe everyone should be aware of before traveling to Peru. (This post mainly applies to the cities, Cusco and Lima).

1. Make sure you go to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Lima, Machu Picchu, Inca trail to Machu Picchu, Plaza de Armas, Qorikancha (Temple of the Sun), Sacsayhuaman, and the Inca Museum.

via hotelclub.com

2. Try to travel during dry season, which is from May to October, to avoid the rain. I went during rainy season and I was very lucky that it rained only twice during the week that I was there. It also did not rain at all while I was in Macchu Pichu. There were very little tourists (since I was there during rainy season) and it was a beautiful day.


3. Take a raincoat. Even though it gets hot, it can start raining like crazy when you least expect it.

4. Eat the ceviche. It is one Peru’s most famous dish and it is so delicious. Try to eat it earlier in the day because it will likely be more fresh.

via peruvianrecipes.wikia.com

5. Do not eat their sushi. Yes, they had sushi. Why? I have no idea. I went to a buffet that was serving different types of sushi and for some reason I decided to try it. I’m always hesitant to try foods that are not native to the country I am in and I should’ve acted upon my hesitation because the sushi was not great. Don’t do it.

via zushiwokirving.com

6. Try the Inca Kola. It is one of Peru’s most famous drinks and it tastes like cream soda.

via mancertified.com

7. Make sure to have enough cash (sol) before you get there. A lot of places do not take cards and if they do, they will charge you an extra fee to use it.

via peruforless.com

8. Take running or hiking shoes. The Inca trails all require a lot of walking. And if you go to Machu Picchu then you definitely need some hiking shoes.

This is one of the areas where I hiked up. Definitely couldn't do it without my running shoes.

9. Book your tour of Macchu Pichu or any other tour you are planning to take before you go to Peru.  A couple I met on the trip was ripped off by a travel agency in Cusco by making them spend a lot of money for a short and non-informative tour. If you do decide to buy a tour while you are there, make sure to do your research and ask your hotel staff for guidance.

10. Make sure to take mosquito repellant.

via howitworksdaily.com

11. The altitude is very high in Cusco, so you might experience light headedness or dizziness when you first arrive. Most people do not have any severe symptoms. I didn’t have any symptoms at all, yet my mom became very sick the last few days we were there, so it all depends. If you start feeling sick, take some Diamox (they sell it at the local pharmacies) and drink a lot of water and coco tea.

12. Make sure to constantly apply sunscreen and wear a hat. The UV rays are very strong in Peru. I have been sunburnt once in my life and I ended up coming  back from Macchu Pichu with a red nose and red shoulders.

via skincancer.org

13. Peru is a relatively safe country, but that doesn’t mean you can be less careful with your possessions. Make sure you keep your purse or bag in front of you at all times and do NOT wear expensive jewelry.

14. Haggle excessively. When you go shopping, the people working at the stores will probably try to charge you more when they see that you are foreign. Give them the lowest price and work from there. You can purchase items for a very low price.

15. Make sure to take some tissues with you. A lot of the bathrooms do not have toilet paper.

16. Purchase pink Peruvian salt. It is cheap and you can’t find it anywhere else in the states.

Peru is an absolutely beautiful country that is great for exploring. If you are looking for an adventerous trip to take, then you should start planning a trip to Peru. I truly enjoyed my stay there as well as the hospitality of the people. Peru has a rich culture and beautiful historical landscapes.


What else do you think people should know before traveling to Peru? Let me know! Click here to read 11 things to know before traveling to Istanbul, Turkey!

  • Jim

    I visited Peru some years ago. At the time there was a guerilla group (The Shining?) active and if you got on the train to Mauchu, about 200 solders got aboard with you. I didn’t go. I spent most of my time in the Rainforest. A “guide” took me around Lima while I waited for my plane’s departure. Took me to a great restaurant with very low prices. Also checked out the ice cream vendors before I purchased ice cream. At the airport restroom they gave you three sheets of toilet paper .

  • carlos delrio

    Do not drink the coco tea if you are going to take a drug test you will fail .

  • Ole Nielsen

    How could you forget Pisco Sauer???

    • Lisa Sattler

      I agree Ole. I tried a Pisco Sour at every restaurant I went to!

  • darin

    “I had never been to south america before”
    I spent 10 days and thought it was perfect
    I ate Sushi and didn’t like it.

    You should retitle this:

    “16 things to do in Peru if you have never traveled anywhere before in your life and your from LA.”

  • Tom Duly

    The reason for the sushi is that there is a sizable Japanese population in Peru – the Prime Minister of Peru was of Japanese lineage. Unfortunately, he was also a crook and run out of the country, but nevertheless, there is a large Japanese native population, so sushi and Japanese food should not be a surprise to anyone….

    From Wikipedia; Peru was the first Latin American country to establish diplomatic relations with Japan,[4] in June 1873.[1] Peru was also the first Latin American country to accept Japanese immigration.[4] The Sakura Maru carried Japanese families from Yokohama to Peru and arrived on April 3, 1899 at the Peruvian port city of Callao.[5] This group of 790 Japanese became the first of several waves of emigrants who made new lives for themselves in Peru, some nine years before emigration to Brazil began.[1]

    • John J strell

      Tom, right on about the Japanese-Peruvian population. They also where a big influence for the fisn taco that has become so popular . Orignial in Baja but NOW every where. John Strell

  • Nora

    Not only Cuzco In Peru. You have the Nazca Lines In Ica-South of Peru
    Tarma, The place for the flowers, Trujillo North of Peru, The culture of
    Chimu and Chan Chan, Chiclayo, North of Peru- The Sipan Culture
    Arequipa, where the Vulcano El Misti is located. And of Course the
    Jungle in the Amazon Close to Brasil and more……..