Our list of things to know before you travel to Peru.
If you’re going backpacking in Peru, chances are you’ll hear a lot about Machu Picchu.
1. When is the best time to travel to Peru?
There really isn’t a bad time to go depending on what your plan is. The climate varies by location and altitude, so regions with different height may be significantly different in temperature or the amount of rain. Although, May to August is considered to be a peak season to visit Machu Picchu.
So if you are planning on visiting Machu Picchu we suggest booking your permit at least 4 or 5 months prior to your trip. Permits are available year round, but they do sell out so make sure you plan ahead.
2. Don’t underestimate the altitude. Treat it with reasonable respect and it won’t give you any trouble!
It does not matter how fit you are, or how many times you’ve been at high altitudes before. The symptoms are as unpredictable as snow in Poland, and the only real antidote is acclimatising. Also, don’t forget about the strength of the sun’s UV rays at altitude. Always have sunscreen and lip balm with you as the altitude makes your lips dry.
Be very careful when you’re travelling to Peru as the country has a high level of crime. Full of wealthy tourist, Peru is a heaven to scams, scams, scams… Be aware of someone bumping into you, particularly in crowded areas, offering you food or drink and starting the random conversation, playing kids or someone spilling something on your clothes – all to provide a distraction for a pickpocket. NEVER take a taxi off the street alone, especially if you are a woman wandering alone.
4.Learn basic Spanish
Few months before you go to Peru, do yourself a favour and start learning some Spanish with a free online course like Duolingo. With some knowledge of Spanish, your ability to negotiate prices, haggle, set prices in advance and avoid scams will be less limited.
Beware of Inca Kola is a national obsession and there is 99% chance it will become yours.
5. Money, money, money…
Find out which ATMs charge the lowest withdrawal fees abroad. Get to know the local currency well.
6. Plan your route well.
The country is huge and the must-see places are spread all over the place.