Peru

Peru

Use Normal Level of Caution

Peru is a country in the western part of South America located between Chile and Ecuador and bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The population is over 29 million people.

Peru's government is a constitutional republic. The president is the chief of state and head of government. There is a prime minister, however, this position does not exercise executive power.

Some of the world's oldest civilizations were located in Peru, including the Inca civilization. The Spanish defeated the Inca's in 1533, and Peru remained under Spanish rule until independence was declared in 1821. Most visitors travel to Peru to see Cusco, the Inca Empire capital, and the ruins of Macchu Picchu or any of the activities afforded by the Andes Mountains, Amazon rainforest, and beaches on the coast.

Currency PEN: Peruvian sol
Language Spanish and Quechua
Capital Lima
Recent Alerts 4
Latest Alert April 04, 2018 - Dengue Fever in Piura, Peru

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Peru. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Peru through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Peru.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Peru, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

Peru does not have a country requirement. However, there is a risk of yellow fever in Peru. The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age or older going to the following areas at altitudes below 2,300 meters: the Regions of Amazonas, Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martin, Ucayali, Puno, Cusco, Junín, Pasco, and Huánuco, and areas of the following regions: far north of Apurimac, far northern Huancavelica, far northeastern Ancash, eastern La Libertad, northern and eastern Cajamarca, northern and northeastern Ayacucho, and eastern Piura. The yellow fever vaccination is generally not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to the following areas west of the Andes: regions of Lambayeque and Tumbes and areas of western Piura and south, west, and central Cajamarca. Also, the vaccination is not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to the following areas: all areas above 2,300 meters elevation, areas west of the Andes not listed above, the city of Cusco, the capital city of Lima, Machu Picchu, and the Inca Trail.

Malaria

The World Health Organization states that malaria risk exists throughout the year in rural areas at altitudes below 2000 meters. The 23 highest‐risk districts are concentrated in the regions of Ayacucho, Loreto, Madre de Dios, Piura, and Pasco. Most of the severe malaria strain called P. falciparum is found in Loreto, which is situated in the Amazon and contains 17 of the highest‐risk districts in the country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that there is a risk of malaria in all departments at altitudes less than 2,000 meters, including the cities of Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado and only the remote eastern regions of La Libertad and Lambayeque. None in the following areas: Lima Province; the cities of Arequipa, Ica, Moquegua, Nazca, Puno and Tacna; the highland tourist areas (Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca); and along the Pacific Coast.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in Peru, and the risk to travellers is significant, particularly in the districts of Salitral, Castilla, Morropon, Bellavista and Piura.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs in the mountain and jungle departments of Peru. It is usually more common in rural than urban areas. The risk of acquiring leishmaniasis is increased in travellers who spend time outdoors in rural areas and at night, when sand flies typically feed.

Epidemic Louse-Borne Typhus Fever

Epidemic louse-borne typhus has occurred in Peru, particularly in the mountain areas. It is common in areas of overcrowding and poor sanitation. The risk for travellers is very low unless staying or working in remote areas where infestations of body lice can occur.

Chagas Disease

American trypanosomiasis occurs in the western and northeastern areas of Peru. This disease is more common in rural areas, however, the risk of travellers acquiring this disease is low unless staying in very poor quality housing or camping.

Plague

Outbreaks of plague have occurred in Peru, particularly in the departments of Cajamarca, La Libertad, Piura, and Lambayeque in the northern part of the country. This disease usually occurs in rural areas, and urban outbreaks are rare. The risk to travellers is low unless they have contact with fleas, infected rodents, or suspected plague patients.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Peru, including multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Travellers are at risk if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in some regions of this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Peru.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Peru does not have a country requirement. However, there is a risk of yellow fever in Peru. The yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age or older going to the following areas at altitudes below 2,300 meters: the Regions of Amazonas, Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martin, Ucayali, Puno, Cusco, Junín, Pasco, and Huánuco, and areas of the following regions: far north of Apurimac, far northern Huancavelica, far northeastern Ancash, eastern La Libertad, northern and eastern Cajamarca, northern and northeastern Ayacucho, and eastern Piura. The yellow fever vaccination is generally not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to the following areas west of the Andes: regions of Lambayeque and Tumbes and areas of western Piura and south, west, and central Cajamarca. Also, the vaccination is not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to the following areas: all areas above 2,300 meters elevation, areas west of the Andes not listed above, the city of Cusco, the capital city of Lima, Machu Picchu, and the Inca Trail.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Peru.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malarial drugs are atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Peru

Emergency Numbers

105
116
117
460-1060 Tourist police central office number

Personal Safety

Be alert and aware of your surroundings and exercise a high degree of personal security in Peru. Violent crime, such as assault, armed robbery, rape, and kidnapping is common. Travel in groups and avoid travelling at night. Do not walk alone at night. To reduce the chance of becoming a target, avoid showing signs of affluence, such as expensive clothing or vehicles. Petty crime, such as pick-pocketing and purse-snatching, is common in the cities of Peru, particularly in crowded public areas and hotels. Travellers should ensure their personal belongings and travel documents are safe at all times. Be wary of thieves posed as police officers. Ask to see identification if stopped, and record the officer’s name, badge number and district.

Be aware of the possible use of date rape drugs. There have been reports of travellers being drugged and robbed through the use of drugs. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers, and never leave your drinks out of your sight. There have been reports of rape, particularly in the Cusco and Arequipa areas.

Only use secure taxi services booked from a reputable company. Tourists have been robbed by people posing as taxi drivers. Avoid hailing a cab on the street if possible. There have been robberies from taxis where luggage and bags have been visible. Make sure your luggage is in the trunk of the taxi and out of sight. Do not leave your luggage in the taxi with only the driver. Be very cautious of taxis offering cheaper fares, as this could be a ploy to get customers and then rob them.

When travelling to and from Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport, use only official companies for transportation. Official taxi companies are located at desks outside the arrival halls. Be cautious at the airport. Some thieves may pose as tour operators.

Passport theft is common on public transportation and stations. Buses have sometimes been held up and robbed. Keep your passport secured at all times.

You are required by law to carry photo identification with you at all times. You may carry a notarized photocopy of the photo and visa pages of your passport.

Same-sex relations are legal in Peru, but due to the conservative nature of the country, social attitudes may not be tolerant. Crime legislation does not include crimes against the LGBTI community. Avoid public displays of affection.

Check with your embassy regarding entry and exit requirements. You are required to have a Peruvian entry stamp in your passport. You may need to show an exit stamp from the last country you visited in order to leave Peru.

There are severe penalties for drug offenses.

If you hike the Inca Trail, be sure to go with a reputable guided group.

If hiking around Lake Titicaca, check with local tourist information for safe zones. Travel in groups. There have been some armed robberies against tourists hiking alone.

Safety standards for sports and equipment, such as river rafting, boating, dune buggies, may not be up to expected standards.

Road travel can be hazardous. Drivers may not follow standard rules of the road. Bus crashes are common.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid unnecessary travel to border areas with Ecuador in the regions of Loreto, Amazonas (Cordillera del Condor) and Cajamarca. Landmines are being removed in these areas, but still pose a threat.

Avoid all travel to areas bordering Colombia due to activities by organized crime.

Travel may not be safe in the isolated areas in the Southern Highlands including San Martin, Huanuco, Pasco, Junin, Ucayali, Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Apurimac. Members of the Shining Path terrorist movement could still be in the area.

Political Unrest

Strikes occur frequently in Peru and can create traffic congestion that hinders sightseeing. Protesters may block access to tourist sites, as well as making travel to and from Machu Picchu difficult. Always minimize safety risk by avoiding public and political gatherings and demonstrations in any city since even peaceful protests can quickly and unexpectedly become violent.

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