Things to consider when visiting Peru

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.

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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.

2. Transportation

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 cards100

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.

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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?

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Business trip in Latin America…working and having fun?

Nowadays a lot of people have to travel because of work.  You can travel inside your country or overseas; it doesn’t really matter, the routine is pretty much the same: you work and you look to do some tourism if you have the time.

I have lived and worked in 3 countries in South America and had the chance to explore those countries while on vacation or any long weekend holiday (which we have a lot!, although Argentina wins the gold in that area).

But I also have traveled through Latin America because of work, looking for business opportunities, and exploring the country is not part of the deal.  Does it sound familiar?

The business trip started with previous research to find out the best way to get from the airport to the hotel.  In almost all Latin American countries, you will find taxi companies at the airport so you can take a safe ride to get to the hotel.  In a city like Buenos Aires, you will find companies that offer private bus rides to principal places inside the city (mostly downtown); in other cities, like Bogota, you find public transportation just leaving the airport.  Another option is to hire a private driver, it can be more expensive but if you need to deal with traffic jams in a crowded city, like Sao Paulo, you can save time to get wherever you need to go.

Once you are settled in Hotel, the routine starts:  breakfast business meetings, office business meetings, lunch business meetings, dinner business meetings and if you still have time and energy maybe some drinks before you go to bed, to start all over again the next day.

Meetings can be done in Spanish, spanglish or English (mostly inside large companies), so you have the chance to practice your Spanish if you are still learning, but if you’re not, be aware on having someone to help you with the language.

If your trip includes a weekend, and you don’t have much work to do, go ahead and explore the city.

If language is not a barrier for you, take a break from taxis and take public transportation.  In cities like Lima and Bogota public transportation can be tricky;  you would need to ask someone local which bus to take to get where you want to go, but in cities like Buenos Aires, Medellin, Mexico DF or Sao Paulo, you can take the subway, this way you will have the chance to experience tourism in a different way.

My advice, if you are in Buenos Aires go to Tigre and take a boat trip through the river;  if you are in Bogota go out of the hotel on Sunday morning and join thousands of people out in the street for a walk, run or bike and later that day visit the Usaquen flea market.

Santiago offers a different scenario:  you can get to the beach or to the high hills to ski (during winter of course), in an hour more or less, by bus or with a private transportation.  It is easy and fast to change the city view.

Last but not least, if you have a weekend in Lima and want to visit Machu Picchu (which is in Cusco), my advice is to plan your trip when you have more time than 2 days available because you will need to take a flight to Cusco, take the morning train to Machu Picchu, stay there for a few hours, take the train back and take a flight back to Lima… you will miss to visit Cusco city and other ancient attractions and be very tired to go back to work.

 

Traveling to Lima? Watch this!

Wondering if Lima is a city? a countryside?  an archeological site?

Where on earth is Lima located?

Whether you are going to Lima for business or vacations trip, watch this video and find the answers to these questions and some tips to have a safe and fun stay on your next trip to Peru.

And don’t miss the chance to download your Lima free guide.


Penny for your thoughts… share your story about your next trip to Peru.