Spanish is spoken in practically every city and town in Peru. Quechua is widely spoken in rural areas in the Andes including Cusco. In the department of Puno, Aymara is also spoken. Across the board, Spanish is the most useful language to speak in Peru, and arming yourself with a little would be helpful, especially on arrival and for ordering food in restaurants, but it's certainly not required. Our Peru travel guides speak fluent English and Spanish, so if you don't have time to learn a little Spanish before arrival it’s no problem... they’ll be on hand to translate for you. We include some helpful, easy phrases in the information we send you when you book your trip.
You've read through our brochure cover to cover, decided which of our adventure tours you're keen on, and told your boss everything will be fine while you're away... Now what? Well, it’s easy to book your trip, and here’s how it works:
1. Hold a spot
The fastest way to reserve your space on a trip is to give Steve a call on 1 877 438 1354 (free call from the USA or Canada), 0508 ASPIRING (free call from New Zealand), 1800 ASPIRING (free call from Australia) or +64 3 489 7474 (from anywhere else in the world!)
Alternatively, send Steve an email ([email protected]) or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you right away to officially sign you up.
2. Send us a deposit
Your deposit secures your spot on the trip of your choice. The amount of the deposit is either US$750 per person, or if your trip costs less than $750 per person, the deposit is 50% of your trip cost.
Your balance is due two months before the start of your trip.
3. Fill out your trip paperwork
After chatting with Steve, he'll send you a booking form to sign. As your trip nears, he’ll also send you a trip questionnaire, a packing list, and handy hints for travel. And of course, Steve's just an email or phone call away if you have any questions before your trip!
4. Research international flights
The earlier you can start looking into flights the better. We keep an eye out for great deals, so feel free to check in with us to ask for our advice. Please run your flights past us before you book them so we can make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible from start to finish, and check that you're getting a good deal. We can often book domestic flights for cheaper than you can find on the internet, so feel free to ask for a quote - we'd be happy to help!
5. Pack your bags and jump on the plane! Woo-hoo!
No tourist visa is required for citizens of countries in the EU, North & South America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Caribbean, Norway, Switzerland, South Africa, Iceland, Andorra or Liechtenstein. On entry to Peru you will be issued with a tourist visa that is valid from 90 to 180 days. There’s no need to organize anything in advance.
All citizens of countries NOT listed above are required to obtain a travel visa from the appropriate Peruvian consular representative before arrival in Peru. Please ask us for help with obtaining your visa!
All travelers to Peru need a passport valid for at least 90 days beyond leaving Peru. However, we strongly recommend traveling with six months validity on your passport at all times. Most destinations, including Peru, require that you have adequate unused pages in your passport, allowing space for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure. We recommend that you have at least two free pages in the visas section of your passport before any international travel.
Many of our Peru trips include the opportunity to experience Peruvian day-to-day life at our hand-picked homestays. Most of these are traditional, subsistence farming homes in the countryside which have set up one or two guestrooms.
Accommodations are nothing fancy, but they’re comfortable, clean and private, and your hosts are kind, gracious, and enjoy sharing their homes and time with you. It can seem a little daunting, but a lack of Spanish is certainly no barrier to having fun, and our homestays are often a highlight of our guests' adventures in Peru.
If you don’t feel like it, you certainly don’t have to give your hosts anything, but obviously it’s a nice gesture. School supplies for kids – pens and pencils, exercise books, paints etc – are great, as are outgrown kids clothes, especially good quality shoes. Please refrain from giving junk food or money to children without parents’ permission.
Little souveniry things from your home country are good (little flags, calendars, clingy koalas, keyrings etc). Homestay hosts open up their homes for a reason – they love to learn about where you’re from – and these are a great way to get communication going.
The exchange rate between the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (known simply as the sol) and the US dollar varies between around 2.7 and 3.5. For rough thumbnail conversions, it’s handy to consider a dollar as being worth three soles.
To see today’s exact exchange rate, click here.
The only foreign currencies which are easy to exchange in Peru and for which you’ll receive a reasonable exchange rate are the US$ and the Euro. If these are not your home currencies, you might want to ask your bank for some US$, which you can then change into Soles in Peru. Big-ticket items in Peru such as artwork or jewelry also tend to be priced in US$.
ATMs all over Lima, Cusco and Puno dispense both Soles and US$. There are also ATMs in the Sacred Valley and at Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu).
Your debit card, Visa or MasterCard will work in these machines to get cash advances - at a price. Please check with your bank to find out the fees. Some shops in Peru accept credit cards but they tend to charge extra for it so you’re usually better off paying in cash.