Are you coming to Peru for the first time? Are you coming to do business or tourism?
Check out this list with useful information you should be aware of when coming to Peru.
1. Lima is the first city you are going to visit.
Lima is the capital and the main city. If you are coming to Peru for business most likely you are going to stay in Lima. And where in Lima? Most people stay in San Isidro, most headquarters are in San Isidro, lots of hotels and restaurants too. Miraflores is the second neighborhood people visit, mostly for tourism but businesses are placed in Miraflores too and again, lots of hotels and restaurants to visit.
Barranco is the bohemian neighborhood of Lima, worth to visit it and walk around. And if you want to take a look at our historical past go around Lima downtown and enjoy a good walk or take the tourist bus.
If you are coming for tourism you might want to be in Lima for a few days but maybe you already have the plan to go somewhere else, like Cusco to visit Machu Picchu or the jungle.
If you have to stay in Lima waiting for the next plane to go somewhere else, there’s a hotel right in front of the airport you may want to use to stay the night.
There are different options for getting around in Lima and the rest of the country: taxi (cab), a bus system called Metropolitano (only in Lima), and smaller buses called “micros” and “combis”.
Hailing a taxi on the street is fairly easy, but there have been incidents of assault and robbery as street taxis are unregulated by the government. Likewise, many of them will attempt to overcharge inexperienced tourists. It is always safer to have your hotel hail a cab for you, or the restaurant you are dining at call ahead and order one for you.
Other safer ways to get a taxi include calling a taxi company by phone or using an app, like Uber.
No buses to get out or to the airport, only taxis. You can get safety taxis at the airport with fix prices.
3. Money and credit cards
You will find several places to exchange money called “Casa de Cambio”. They don’t charge extra fees to exchange money.
You can use American dollars in almost every supermarket, hotel and some stores; just make sure they are in pristine shape because they can be rejected. Simply ask the rate the establishment offers if you decide to pay with dollars.
Same thing with credit cards. Before using them, ask the establishment what kind of credit cards they accept.
4. Go mobile
Do you want to use your smartphone in Peru? First, check if your mobile plan includes free-of-charge international roaming.
If it doesn’t, check if you have a GSM and unlocked phone to buy a pre-paid SIM card from Movistar, Claro, Entel or Bitel retail stores and add credit to make the calls.
If you can’t use your smartphone but need to communicate, you can buy a really cheap cell phone, with the same companies, and choose a pre-paid plan.
5. And what about the food?
Peru is a famous gastronomical country. Peruvians are known for our fabulous food, using a wide range and variety of ingredients from the coast, highland and Amazon regions. Some of our restaurants are listed in the 50 best restaurants in Latin America.
6. Local business customs
- Peruvians value neat and elegant business clothing so dress formally. Also, several companies employ a casual Friday policy.
- It is essential to know that there is such a thing as Peruvian time (hora peruana). This means that Peruvians will often come at least half an hour later than the scheduled time. This is not always the case for business meetings, but I advise you to always confirm your appointments a day or even hours before it is to take place.
- People will address you as “señor”, “señora” or “usted” which express respect and formality.
- Formal greetings will be shaking hands but some people may greet you with a kiss on the cheek (our traditional greeting).
Don’t forget to check the public holidays in Peru before your trip.
What other information or tips can you share after your visit to Peru?