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Country Information

Peru

Peru
Republic of Peru
Exercise increased caution in Peru due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Peru due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • The Colombian - Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region due to crime.
  • The Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), including areas within the Departments of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junin, due to crime and terrorism.

Country Summary: Crime, including petty theft, carjackings, muggings, assaults, and violent crime, is a concern in Peru, and can occur during daylight hours, despite the presence of many witnesses. The risk of crime increases after hours and outside the capital city of Lima where more organized criminal groups have been known to use roadblocks to rob victims.

U.S. government personnel cannot travel freely throughout Peru for security reasons.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Peru.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Peru has a moderate level of COVID-19.  Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

If you decide to travel to Peru:

Colombian - Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Drug trafficking and other criminal activity, combined with poor infrastructure, limits the capability and effectiveness of Peruvian law enforcement in this area.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling within 20 kilometers of the border with Colombia in the Loreto region, except on the Amazon River itself, without permission. This includes travel on the Putumayo River, which forms most of the Peru-Colombia border.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM) includes areas within the Departments of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junin – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group are active in the VRAEM. The group may attack with little or no warning, targeting Peruvian government installations and personnel.

Drug trafficking and other criminal activity, combined with poor infrastructure, limit the capability and effectiveness of Peruvian law enforcement in this area.

In urban areas, the crime rate has increased. U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling in the VRAEM except for certain areas during daylight hours. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens due to these travel restrictions.

U.S. government officials and their families are permitted to travel within many areas of the Department of Cusco, including the Machu Picchu area, the Sacred Valley, and city of Cusco.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Travel Restrictions for U.S. Government Personnel

U.S. government personnel must request advance permission for any travel to the Peruvian-Columbian border and the VRAEM. Sometimes, they are required to travel in armored vehicles or carry personnel trackers. They cannot not use inter- or intra-city bus transportation or travel by road outside urban areas at night except for:

  • Travel by commercial bus on the Pan American Highway, between the Pan-American Highway and Huaraz, or between the Pan-American Highway, Arequipa, and Cusco.
  • Travel by car on the Pan-American Highway south from Lima to Paracas or north from Lima to Huacho (approximately three hours north and south of Lima).

In the restricted areas, they are permitted to use only the following routes during daylight hours:

  • Road travel from Ayacucho city to Huanta city, staying within the city limits of Huanta, and from Pisco city (Department of Ica) to Ayacucho city.
  • Train travel from Lima to Huancayo city (Department of Junin) and Huancavelica city.
  • Road travel from Lima to Huancayo city.
  • Road travel from La Merced city to the Satipo provincial boundary.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Must have six months validity at time of entry.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for entry stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Free, issued at the port of entry.

VACCINATIONS:


None Required.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


$30,000 USD. More than $10,000 USD must be declared upon entry.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


Same as entry.

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Lima
Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n
Surco, Lima 33
Peru
Telephone:
+ (51) (1) 618-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (51) (1) 618-2000
Fax: + (51) (1) 618-2724
Email: LimaACS@state.gov

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agency - Cusco
Av. El Sol 449, Suite #201
Cusco, Peru
Telephone: + (51) (84) 231-474
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (51) 984-621-369
Fax: + (51) (84) 245-102
Email: CuscoACS@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Peru for information on U.S. - Peru relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

The Government of Peru requires Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners 12 years of age or older seeking entry to Peru to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (14 days following their final dose) prior to boarding at their point of origin. Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners 12 years of age or older who are not fully vaccinated must present a molecular test with a negative result (within 72 hours) prior to boarding an incoming flight to Peru, in accordance with current health regulations. Children under 12 years of age must only be asymptomatic prior to boarding an incoming flight to Peru. Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Peru.

Requirements for Entry:

  • A passport with six months validity is required to enter Peru. Migraciones (Immigration) authorities may also require evidence of return/onward travel.
  • Be sure your date and place of entry is officially documented by Migraciones, whether you arrive at a port, airport, or land border.
  • Your length of approved stay will be determined by border officials at the time of entry, and can range from 30 to 183 days. Extensions for tourists are usually not approved, and overstays result in fines.
  • The Embassy is unable to assist if you are denied entry. Peruvian immigration requires airlines to return travelers who are denied entry to their point of origin.

Requirements for Exit:

  • If you do not have an entry record, you will not be allowed to exit the country until immigration authorities confirm the time and place of your entry into the country. This can be a difficult process, costing considerable time and money to resolve.
  • Make sure Migraciones (Immigration) records your entry, and then save the record for your exit. An entry record is required even at remote border crossings, where often the proper officials are not present.
  • Immediately report lost/stolen passports to local police and keep the report. You must apply for a new passport at the Embassy and obtain a replacement entry record from Migraciones using your police report prior to exiting Peru.

Travel with Minors:  Regardless of nationality, all children who are traveling with both birth parents are required to have a valid passport and the necessary visa or citizenship of the country where they are traveling.  Peruvian immigration procedures are complex for minors traveling without one or both parents/legal guardians.

For entry/exit from Peru, U.S. citizen minors under the age of 18, traveling alone (or with only one parent), generally do not require additional documentation if entering as a tourist for less than 183 days. However, if the stay lasts more than 183 days, then a Permiso Notarial de Viaje is required (see below).

U.S. citizen minors who are dual national Peruvians, traveling alone (or with only one parent), require a Permiso Notarial de Viaje. Furthermore, step-parents or guardians accompanying a dual U.S.-Peruvian citizen minor must provide a Permiso Notarial de Viaje from the non-traveling minor’s parents (as listed on the birth certificate). Finally, if an accompanying parent has sole custody, legal documentation is required (such as a foreign court-approved custody document stating sole custody, a death certificate, a Peruvian court-approved document for travel, or a birth certificate listing only one parent).

A Permiso Notarial de Viaje is a written, notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent(s). Peruvian immigration will not accept a document notarized by the U.S. Embassy or a document notarized by a U.S. notary in lieu of a Permiso Notarial de Viaje. Please be aware that these authorizations are valid for 30 days and one trip only.

How to get a Permiso Notarial de Viaje:

  • In the United States, at the nearest Peruvian Consulate. There are multiple locations.
  • In Peru, at most Peruvian notaries. An apostilled U.S. birth certificate is required for issuance.

The U.S. Embassy is unable to assist travelers who are prevented from traveling for lack of a Permiso Notarial de Viaje.

HIV Restrictions:  The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to, or foreign residents of, Peru.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as: 

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.) 
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists 
  • Places of worship 
  • Schools 
  • Parks 
  • Shopping malls and markets 
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)  

U.S. Embassy Lima enforces a Restricted Travel Policy for Embassy personnel, which is based on its assessment of conditions and developments throughout the country. See the Overseas Security and Advisory Council’s Country Security Report for Peru. See the latest Travel Advisory for Peru.

The VRAEM (Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers) is particularly remote and a known safe haven for narcotraffickers and the last operational remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group.

For more information, see our Terrorism page.  

Crime: Crime is a widespread problem in Peru.

  • Sexual assaults and rapes can occur, even in tourist areas. Travel in groups, do not leave food or drinks unattended, and use caution if a stranger offers you food or drink.
  • Intoxicated travelers, including U.S. citizens, also have been sexually assaulted, injured, or robbed while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • Pick-pocketing, robbery, and hotel room theft are the most common crimes. Armed robberies have occurred throughout the city, including popular tourist destinations. Armed assailants usually target victims for their smartphones, wallets, or purses. If confronted by someone with a weapon, it is best not to resist.
  • Incapacitating drugs, such as rohypnol and scopolamine, have been used to facilitate robberies and sexual assaults. Seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.
  • On routes to and from the airport in Lima, robberies have occurred where the assailant uses a tool to break a window while the vehicle is stopped in traffic.  Keep your belongings in the trunk or out of sight. Authorized taxi booths are present at the airport in Lima that will charge a flat rate according to the destination.
  • Use hotel safes, if available. Avoid wearing obviously expensive jewelry or clothing, and carry only the cash or credit cards that you need.
  • Stay alert in crowds and on public transportation. Be aware that thieves might create distractions to target you.
  • Avoid isolated areas when on foot, especially after dark.
  • Be alert for robberies in which criminals enter a taxi and force victims to withdraw money from ATMs.
  • Use an app-based taxi service, order a taxi by phone, or use a service affiliated with a major hotel, as it is usually safer than hailing an unknown taxi on the street.
  • Use ATMs in well-protected indoor areas such as banks or shopping malls. Avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash at one time.
  • Do not let your credit card out of your sight in order to avoid credit card “skimming.” You should expect the vendor to use a credit card reader in your presence. The vendor will ask for your passport or ID number on the receipt.
  • To avoid carjacking or theft from your car while you are stopped at intersections, drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up. Do not leave valuables in plain view.

There is little government presence in many remote areas of the Andes and Amazon basin. Illicit activities, such as illegal mining, logging, and coca production, are common.

Drug trafficking and other criminal activity, combined with poor infrastructure, limit the capability and effectiveness of Peruvian law enforcement in these areas.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens along the Colombian border and in the VRAEM, as U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling in these regions.

Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable; avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.
  • Past demonstrations have turned violent.
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories. 

International Financial Scams:  See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Financial scams are prevalent in Peru. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:

  • Money transfers 
  • Grandparent/Relative targeting 

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police and contact the U.S. Embassy in Lima. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

  • U.S. Embassy: +51-1-618-2000 (phone is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
  • Local police: 105 (National Police)
  • Tourist Police: 0800-22221
  • IPeru: 01-574-8000 (a tourist information service that has English-speaking personnel)

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care.
  • Assist you with reporting a crime to the police.
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion.
  • Provide a list of local attorneys.
  • Provide information on victims’ compensation programs in the United States.
  • Provide information on assistance programs for victims of crime in Peru.
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution.
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home.
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport.

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. Telephone (answered 24 hours): +51-1-618-2000

Tourism: The tourism industry, including adventure activities (e.g. paragliding, sandboarding, etc.), is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. U.S. citizens are encouraged to pay attention to waiver and liability policies of tour companies, as they may vary or not exist. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.

Ayahuasca/Kambo/Hallucinogens: Traditional hallucinogens, often referred to as ayahuasca or kambo, are often marketed to travelers as “ceremonies” or “spiritual cleansing,” and typically contain dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a strong hallucinogen that is illegal in the United States and many other countries.

  • Intoxicated travelers, including U.S. citizens, have been sexually assaulted, injured, or robbed while under the influence of these substances.
  • Health risks associated with ayahuasca are not well understood, and, on occasion, U.S. citizens have suffered serious illness or death after taking these drugs.
  • These incidents often occur in remote areas and far away from modern medical facilities, making the risks even greater.

Drugs:

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Peru are severe.
  • Offenders can expect long pre-trial detention and lengthy prison sentences under harsh conditions with significant expense for themselves and/or their families.
  • Never agree to carry a suitcase or package through customs for anyone.
  • Peru uses strict screening procedures for detecting narcotics smuggling at its international airports.

Customs Currency Regulations:

  • $30,000 USD or its equivalent in cash or negotiable items is the maximum allowed for entry or exit.
  • Any amount in excess of $10,000 USD must be declared and the legal source proven.

Artifacts:

  • Peruvian law forbids the export of pre-Columbian objects and other artifacts protected by cultural patrimony statutes.
  • U.S. customs officials are required to seize pre-Columbian objects and certain colonial religious artwork brought into the United States.

Animal Products/Plants:

  • Avoid products made of wild plants and animals, as many are of illegal origin and may involve protected or endangered species, whose sale and export are illegal.
  • Peruvian authorities will seize any protected species that is sold or transported, either live or transformed into food, medicinal beverages, leather, handcrafts, garments, etc.
  • Some products, including live animals, require special permits when leaving Peru.
  • Knowingly importing into the United States wildlife or plants that were taken from the wild or sold in violation of the laws of Peru (or any other country) is a violation of the Lacey Act (16 USC § 3371).

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Special Circumstances: Many popular destinations in Peru are remote. These areas have few facilities that are able to provide advanced or emergency medical care.

  • Local rescue capabilities are severely limited. Many mountain areas are too high for helicopters to reach safely. Accidents or injuries while hiking or climbing are common; crisis responders may take hours or even days to reach you if they are traveling over great distances and/or rough terrain.
  • When using tourist company services, travelers are encouraged to use qualified and licensed operators. Many do not meet international safety standards. Inquire about safety standards prior to engaging in adventure activities. The Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo (Tourism Ministry) website provides information on tourism companies.
  • Always check with local authorities before traveling about local geographic, climatic, health, and security conditions that may impact your safety.
  • Be aware that you may not have access to phone or internet for days at a time. Check in with family prior to going to remote areas and leave detailed written plans and timetables. Use of a personal GPS beacon is encouraged.

Seismic Activity:  Earthquakes are common throughout Peru. On May 26, 2019, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Loreto region of Peru. One fatality in the Cajamarca region and 11 injuries as well as isolated power outages and some infrastructure damage were reported.

Legal Issues in Peru:

  • The legal system in Peru may require victims or their families to hire lawyers to advance their cases through the legal system, even for victims of serious crimes.
  • U.S. citizens have reported unethical practices by lawyers and others, resulting in costly losses and little hope of remedy through the local judicial system.
  • Peruvian laws are subject to change with little notice. The Peruvian government publishes little information in English. The U.S. Embassy cannot give detailed advice about Peruvian law.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTQI+ Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Peru.

See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities: Peruvian law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities, and the law is enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. The most common types of accessibility may include ramps, special cashiers for those with disabilities, and elevators. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, and common in lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. There is a significant difference between Lima (and other large cities) and the rest of the country.

  • Rental, repair, and replacement services are available for aids/equipment/devices.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a list of translators.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

The Government of Peru requires Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners 12 years of age or older seeking entry to Peru to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (14 days following their final dose) prior to boarding at their point of origin. Peruvians, resident foreigners, and non-resident foreigners 12 years of age or older who are not fully vaccinated must present a molecular test with a negative result (within 72 hours) prior to boarding an incoming flight to Peru, in accordance with current health regulations. Children under 12 years of age must only be asymptomatic prior to boarding an incoming flight to Peru. Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Peru.

Medical Care:

  • Specialized medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and you are expected to pay in full at the time of discharge.
  • Pharmacies are widely available. However, some medications might not be offered, and brand names will differ from products in the United States.
  • Exercise caution if you explore herbal and folk remedies.

For emergency services in Peru, dial 113.

Ambulance services are not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except Lima and other major cities. Training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Government of Peru to ensure the medication is legal in Peru.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Air Quality:  Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Health Facilities in General

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Lima and other major cities, but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission. Credit card payment is usually available. Some hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment.
  • Private and public hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
  • Travelers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight in non-emergency wards.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals if they do not have insurance.
  • Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery:

  • U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died during or after having cosmetic or other elective surgery.
  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism.
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on Medical Tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Peru.
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
  • Your legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Peru.
  • Although Peru has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely. If you plan to undergo surgery in Peru, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and professionals are accredited and qualified.

Pharmaceuticals

  • Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.   
  • Please review Peru’s rules on medication: https://www.digemid.minsa.gob.pe/. 

Non-Traditional Medicine

  • U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died while seeking medical care from non-traditional “healers” and practitioners in Peru. Ensure you have access to licensed emergency medical facilities in such cases.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:

  • If you are considering traveling to Peru to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.
  • Surrogacy is illegal for foreigners in Peru, subject to complex local regulation.
  • If you decide to pursue parenthood in Peru via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with a gestational mother, be prepared for long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship. Be aware that individuals who attempt to circumvent local law risk criminal prosecution.

Water Quality

  • In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water. 

Altitude

  • Many cities in Peru, such as Puno, Cusco, Arequipa, Ayacucho, and Huaraz, are at high altitude. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, and take precautions before you travel. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Travel to High Altitudes.

Adventure Travel

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel

General Health:

The following diseases are prevalent:

Use the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents and sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets. Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for all travelers even for short stays.  

HIV/AIDS: For more information visit MINSA’s website (in Spanish): https://www.dge.gob.pe/vih/.

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Peru.

Air Quality

  • Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in Peru. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary.  
  • The air quality varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons.  It is typically at its worst year round [SEASON]. People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include:
    • Infants, children, and teen.
    • People over 65 years of age.
    • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
    • People with heart disease or diabetes.
    • People who work or are active outdoors. 

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Driving conditions in Peru are very different from those found in the United States, and can be considerably more dangerous. Visitors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with local law and driving customs before attempting to operate vehicles.

  • Roads are often poorly maintained and may lack crash barriers, guard rails, signs, and streetlights.
  • Fog is common on coastal and mountain highways, making conditions more treacherous.
  • Slow-moving buses and trucks frequently stop in the middle of the road unexpectedly.
  • Road travel at night is particularly hazardous. Due to safety concerns, U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling on mountainous roads at night.
  • Traveling in a group is preferable to solo travel. Spare tires, parts, and fuel are needed when traveling in remote areas, where distances between service areas are long.

Traffic Laws: Traffic laws are often ignored and rarely enforced, creating dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians.

  • Seat belts are mandatory for driver and front-seat passengers in a private vehicle.
  • It is against the law to talk on a cellular phone while driving, and violators may be fined.
  • When driving in urban areas, taxis and buses often block lanes impeding traffic.
  • Directional signals are often not used, and vehicles frequently turn from the middle through traffic lanes.
  • While driving outside major cities and on the Pan-American Highway, you must drive with your lights on.
  • If a traffic officer signals you to stop, you must stop.
    • Traffic officers must wear uniforms and identification cards that include their last name on their chest.
    • Traffic officers are not allowed to retain your personal identification or vehicle documents.
    • Under no circumstances should you offer or agree to pay money to traffic officers.
  • If you are involved in an accident, you MUST contact local police and remain at the scene without moving your vehicle until the authorities arrive. This rule is strictly enforced, and moving a vehicle or leaving the scene of an accident may constitute an admission of guilt under Peruvian law.
  • If your car is a rental, call the agency or representative of the insurance company provided by the rental agency.
  • Always carry your driver's license, a copy of your passport, and the rental agreement when you drive a rental car.
  • International driver's licenses are valid for one year, while driver's licenses from other countries are generally valid for 30 days.

Public Transportation: Many buses are overcrowded, poorly maintained, and lack safety features such as seat belts.

  • Bus accidents resulting in multiple deaths and injuries are common due to routes along narrow, winding roads without a shoulder and steep drop-offs.
  • Accidents are frequently attributed to excessive speed, poor bus maintenance, poor road conditions, and driver fatigue.
  • Individuals should use private taxi companies or car-share applications when traveling as opposed to hailing taxis on the side of the road for safety.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Peru’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Peru’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Peru’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Peru should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Peru was cited in the State Department’s 2020 Annual Report to Congress on International Child Abduction for demonstrating a pattern of non-compliance with respect to international parental child abduction. Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Peru. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: January 12, 2022

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Lima
Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n
Surco, Lima 33
Peru
Telephone
+ (51) (1) 618-2000
Emergency
+ (51) (1) 618-2000
Fax
+ (51) (1) 618-2724

Peru Map