Peru Visa, Passport and Money Advice
When you’re planning a trip to Peru, it’s important to get clued up on the essential information before your adventure begins. From passports and visas to local currency, we’ve compiled a page of handy tips to give you a helping hand.
Passports & visas
As long as you hold a valid British passport and are staying in Peru for no longer than three months, you won’t require a visa to travel. All travellers (including children and infants) must have an individual machine-readable passport and it must be valid for six months beyond your intended return date. You can check the latest requirements via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
Flying via the USA?
If you’re flying to Peru via the USA and want to use the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), you will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System Travel Authorization) in advance. All travellers on UK passports (including children and infants) must have an individual machine-readable passport and must complete an ESTA prior to departure. Without an approved ESTA, you could be denied entry into the US and therefore denied boarding your flight(s). It’s worth also checking the US embassy ESTA for current customs regulations, as they change frequently.
Local currency and exchanging money
The local currency in Peru is the Peruvian Nueva Sol, however US dollars are also widely accepted, so it’s a good idea to carry some change and small denomination notes ($10, $20) with you. But make sure your bills are undamaged, clean and unwritten- they’re very strict about this!
You can exchange Dollars or Euros in most places but beware of fake notes from the street vendors. Casas de Cambio or hotels are safest but double-check the rates. Euros are also accepted in the larger towns and cities and we advise using your larger banknotes whenever you can and ensuring you carry enough small change just in case.
Credit Cards and Travellers Cheques
Credit/Debit cards are widely accepted however we suggest withdrawing some cash for payments. You can use your credit card to withdraw cash from most ATMs but there will be differing daily limits, commissions and rates. ATMs commonly have both US$ and local currency.
Traveller’s cheques can be cashed at most banks but it’s a slow process, and you won’t get a very good rate. We would recommend avoiding the use of Travellers Cheques in Peru.
Service charges are generally included in the more expensive restaurants in Peru. In the cheaper restaurants, service isn’t included but tipping isn’t customary and rounding off the bill is enough. It’s not customary to tip taxi drivers but make sure you agree on a reasonable price beforehand. If you’re taking part in a trek, please be aware that it is customary to tip the guide/porter/cook etc.
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