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Trip Tips and What to Pack For Your
Machu Picchu Singles Vacation by Train

Passport and Visas

Northen Americans and citizens of the European Union do not need visas to enter Peru. If you are from a citizen of a different country you can check the Peru Consualate's website for visa requirements.

Local Currency

The local currency is Nuevos Soles but US dollars are widely accepted. 1 Nuevo Sol is divided into 100 Céntimo. ATMs will be available in all cities just remember you will need your pin code. Do not change money with street changers.

Most establishments accept credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, Diners and American Express.. When using a credit card, make sure you are charged the right amount for your purchase. Visa is the most widely accepted card in Peru. If you are planning on using your credit cards then you should call the credit card companys and let them know that you are traveling to Peru.


Peru has two official languages: Spanish and Quechua. English is spoken at most hotels, tourist attractions and shops.

Local Time

Peru is 5 hours behind GMT (Greenwich mean time), which is the same time as Eastern Standard Time in the United states.. Peru does not observe daylight savings time.

Electric Plugs

The electric system of Peru works on 220 volts. So check your equipment (phone and camera chargers, hair dryers, flat irons. In most hotel bathrooms there is an electrical outlet with 110 volts for electric shavers but not to be used for irons or hairdryers. Purchase a converter/adaptor before you leave home.

Peru Weather

The high altitude of Machu Picchu makes for mild temperatures with the average ranging between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit with only slight variations throughout the year. Machu Picchu is almost always surrounded by fog. November to April is the rainy season, although daily short showers are common thoughout the year. Peak tourist season corresponds with dry season in July and August when the nights are cool and the days are generally dry. January and February are the rainiest months, and many people visit the area in November and April to avoid the heaviest crowds.

The tempertaure can vary from hot during the day to cold at night – so be prepared. It can get rather chilly in the shade, thus you should always keep a warm garment with you when you're out and about.

What to Pack for Your Peru Vacation

The key to packing for a vacation to Peru is to pack for a variety of conditions while keeping the weight to a minimum. Easier said than done when you have to deal with the heat of the high altitude and the cold mountain nights. The best way to deal with these changes is to dress using layers.

You have to be prepared for fluctuating temperatures. It would be ideal to bring along a sweater, mittens and a wind-jacket, inside a small backpack. During the day, you can wear long sleeve cotton shirts and comfortable trousers to move around easily. During the dry season (May-November), the sun forces you to wear sunglasses and a hat, and apply sunscreen.

If you are taking a medium or large suitcase on your vacation, then you should also have a carryon bag for the overnight trip to Machu Picchu. The larger suitcase will remain at the Cusco hotel. What you should have in your overnight bag:

  • Insect repellent - insects and mosquitoes appear during sunny days, and their bites can produce skin irritation.
  • Raincoat, umbrella, and plastic bags to protect your camera, cell phone, and other valuables from getting wet.
  • Sunblock, sun hat, and sunglasses: the sun can be very strong at Machu Picchu and there is little shade.
  • Good walking shoes as you will be climbing steps and walking on uneven stone paths.
  • A swim suit if you want to visit the famed thermal baths of Aguas Calientes. You can purchase or rent a towel at one of the many shops along the way.
  • If you are a light sleeper you might want earplugs, many of the Machu Picchu hotels are not well insulated.
  • Don't forget your Altitude medication.
For what to pack on all singles vacations and more tips - Click Here
Phone Service

When dialing Peru from overseas dial your country's international access code 001 followed by the country code (51), followed by the regional code (see below) minus the initial 0, followed by the number.

Regional codes for the largest cities:-
01 Lima
084 Cusco
084 Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes)
056 Nasca

Shopping in Peru

Peru is one of the top shopping destinations in South America and known for local crafts and artwork. Small shops line the streets with handmade alpaca clothes, woven items and pottery. Items purchased in shops and restaurants have fixed prices and usually cannot be bargained for. However, items on the street or in the market are bargainable.

Outdoor markets are very popular with locally made items laid out and bargaining is the norm. Traditional Peruvian items are very colorful and unique. Lima and Cusco have the best shopping for touristy souvenirs, with reasonable prices and the most variety.

Before you start shopping have enough nuevo sol coins and small denomination bills with you. Large bills can be hard to use as many shops won’t have enough change to give you. Some shopkeepers will just refuse to accept large bills, especially if what you are buying is inexpensive. Others will send someone to find change, which can take awhile.

Local Foods

reflects local cooking practices and ingredients—and, through immigration, influences from Spain, China, Italy, West Africa, and Japan. Due to a lack of ingredients from their home countries, immigrants to Peru modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients available in Peru. The three traditional staples of Peruvian cuisine are corn, potatoes, and ajies (chili). These ingredients have been combined with a number of staples brought by the Spanish, such as rice, wheat and meat (such as beef, pork and chicken). Many traditional foods—such as quinoa, kiwicha,chili peppers, and several roots and tubers have increased in popularity in recent decades, reflecting a revival of interest in native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques.

Important Local Information

* Travelers should drink only bottled water, which is widely available. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels.
* It is customary in many Indian populated areas to give a small tip to the subject of your photographs.
* Public toilets are rarely available except in restaurants, bars and at railway stations. Toilet paper is not always provided so you should carry tissues.

Altiitude Sickness

You will be visiting cities high above sea level, like Cuzco (11,000 feet ) and Lake Titicaca (13,000 feet), shortness of breath and heart pounding are normal, given the scarcity of oxygen. Some travelers may experience headache, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue and nausea. The best advice is to rest on your first day to get accustomed to the altitude. Drink plenty of liquids, including the local remedy: coca leaf tea (It’s perfectly legal). Avoid alcohol and eat lightly.

Check with your doctor to see if you can avoid altitude sickness by taking 500 mg a day of acetazolamide (Diamox) taken 24 hours before departure and continued up to 48 hours after arrival to the high altitude cities. Acetazolamide should not be taken persons allergic to sulfa drugs.

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