GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT PERU
Official Name: República del Perú
Current President: Ollanta Humala Type of Government: The Republic of Peru government type is presidential, unitary and decentralized. Capital: Lima
Surface: 1.285.261 Km2
Currency: The official Peruvian currency is the nuevo sol (1 nuevo sol = 100 cents) Population: 29,248,943 (July 2011 est.)
Official language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages. Aymará is spoken in some areas of the region of Puno. Many other dialects exist in the jungle regions. Geography: Peru is divided in three important regions:
Coast: Pacific Ocean
Sierra: Mountain area, Andes Mountain Range
Forest: Mostly of tropical forest Borders: Peru borders Brazil in the East, Colombia in the Northeast, Ecuador in the North, Chile in the South, Bolivia in the Southeast and in the West with the Pacific Ocean. Political organization: 25 regions (regiones, singular - region) and 1 province* (provincia); Amazonas, Ancash, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Callao, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Lima, Lima*, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Moquegua, Pasco, Piura, Puno, San Martin, Tacna, Tumbes, Ucayali Presidential elections: Every 5 years. Bills: 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 nuevos soles
Coins: are of 1, 2 and 5 nuevos soles, and 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Money Exchange: Although the Dollar is generally accepted, we recommend using banks and other official exchange places to avoid possible frauds. Travelers Check:
The use of traveler checks is limited. It is highly suggested to exchange the checks in Banks considering the loss of the 2% or 5% of the total. Exchange type: Approximate 1 dollar = 2.64 nuevos soles Credit cards: Credit cards are accepted in Lima as American Express, Visa, Dinners club and Master Card. Please consider that in other provinces, the use of credit cards is not usual. Airport fees:
International: USD 31.00
National: USD 7.00 Weather:
The weather varies depending on the region.
On the coast, the winter reaches a temperature average of 14°C. In summer, temperatures reach 28°C.
In the Peruvian mountains, the sun shines all year long, but the temperature dips during the nights to an average of 5°C.In the jungle area the weather is tropical.
In the mountains, as in the jungle, the rain season starts in November and ends in April. Seasons:
Peru has two seasons: dry and wet.
The best season to visit Peru is the dry season, between April and October. Electricity:
220 volts and 60 Hertz. You will find adaptation devices in specialized stores. Vaccination:
Currently no vaccines or medical test are required to travel to Peru, although it is highly recommended that you get the yellow fever vaccine if you have plans to visit the Amazon Jungle. International Area Code:
Peru area code: 51. Direct international phone connection is available. Time Reference:
The time in Peru is the same as United States Eastern Time or GMT+5 hours. Work Schedule:
- Banks: 09:00 to 13:00 hours and from 15:00 to 18:00 hours.
- Stores: 09:00 to 20:00 hours.
- Public Administration: 09:00 to 17:00 hours in winter and from 08:00 a 15:00 hours in summer. Public Transportation:
Public transportation is available from 06:00 in the morning to 24:00 at night. The rates are printed on the outside and inside of buses. * Taxis:
Taxi services are very cheap and not regulated. We suggest you negotiate the rate before you enter the taxi. The taxis are yellow. There’s also a large amount of radio-taxi companies that you could take by calling and indicating the place to pick you up. * Trains:
There exists two train services in Peru that connect the coast with the highlands. * Buses:
Public buses are known “combis” and work from 06:00 in the morning to 24:00 at night. To travel between cities and towns, buses are the most convenient and economic way to travel. There are bus routes almost everywhere except Machu Picchu and the interior of the jungle. * Rent a Car:
Renting a car is suggested for short trips or to visit archeological and distant places.
In Lima, there are international and national companies that offer cars to rent. National Holidays
· January 1. New Year.
· May 1. Labor Day.
· July 28. Peru Independence Day.
· June 29. San Pedro y San Pablo.
· August 30. Santa Rosa. Lima’s Patron Saint.
· October 8. Angamos Battle Anniversary.
· November 1. All Saints Day.
· December 25. Christmas.
· December 31. New Year’s Eve.
ATM WITHDRAWALS IN PERU
Please notify your bank in your country one week before traveling to Peru. Let them know how long you will be in Peru and that you will be withdrawing money from the ATMs in Peru with your bankcard. If you don’t inform your bank they will block your card and there will be a delay in withdrawing funds for your travels in this country until you get in contact with your bank. In order to prevent this please inform your bank ahead of time.
ATM SCAMS IN PERU
Increasingly prevalent ATM scams are on the rise.
If you need to use an ATM, especially in tourist heavy areas, exercise caution. When possible, use ATMs inside bank branches during bank hours, which are usually bristling with security. There are three basic scam types:
- Low-tech: Watch as you key in your PIN and then physically steal your card and empty your account. To prevent this, ensure that your PIN cannot be seen when you enter it.
- Medium-tech: Rig the ATM so that it swallows your card and then retrieve the card after you stomp off in disgust. Having someone come and try to "help" you retrieve a lost card at this point is a red flag that you've been scammed — they're trying to get your PIN. To prevent this, ignore offers for help, stay with the machine until authorized personnel arrive, and cancel your card immediately if you absolutely have to leave the machine.
- High-tech version: retrofit the ATM with a card reader that records your card details and PIN and then creates cloned card. This is the nastiest form, as you may not notice a thing until it's too late; the only form of prevention is to ensure that the card slot has not been tampered with.
In all cases, your best effort is to check your statements frequently and regularly change your PIN while traveling. In the case of using an unfamiliar ATM machine, hover nearby and watch to see if any other customers have their cards taken by the machine. Also, pull on the feeder or slider and see if there are any suspicious looking people hanging out in the area.