Electrical current is 220 volts, 60Hz (Arequipa 50Hz).
Two-pin, flat blade and round plugs are standard.
Spanish and Quechua are the official languages, but many
other dialects are spoken. English is spoken only in major tourist
centres and hotels.
Some restaurants add a service charge of between 5% and 10%,
which will be indicated by the words
near the bottom of the bill. Even if
service charge has been added the waiter can be offered an
additional 10% for exceptional service; this is also the going rate
for tipping where service charge has not been added. In hotels
porters expect about US$0.50 per bag. Taxi drivers are not tipped
(the fare should be set before departure). Tour guides are
Safety in Peru is improving. Thieves are the biggest problem; be
especially cautious in crowded areas, on public transport, in bus
and train stations, and in the centre of Lima at night. Special
care should be taken in the cities of Lima and Cuzco against street
and violent crime. There have been attacks on foreigners trekking
in the Huayhuash region near Huaraz and trekkers should be cautious
and seek advice before setting out. Thieves and muggers also
operate in Huaraz and Arequipa. Women should take particular care
to only take taxis that have been pre-booked by a hotel or official
company, and travellers arriving at Lima International Airport
should be wary of thieves posing as taxi drivers or tour operators.
There has been an increase in the number of crimes associated with
taxis in the main cities. Visitors should avoid all political
gatherings and demonstrations as these have the potential for
Do not take photographs of anything to do with the military.
Homosexuality, although legal, is frowned upon. Visitors should
avoid wearing any native Indian clothing as this will be seen as
insulting, regardless of intention.
Business in Peru centres on the capital, Lima. Business is
usually conducted in a formal and somewhat conservative manner, and
it is worth noting that a business visa is needed from a local
Peruvian Consulate. Dress should be formal, with suits and ties the
norm. Titles and surnames are usually used upon greeting, and
handshakes are standard for men and women. Business cards are
usually exchanged and it is useful to have them printed in Spanish
on one side. Although English is fairly common, it will be an
advantage to have business materials translated into Spanish; an
effort to speak Spanish will be well received. Women may encounter
some sexism. Punctuality is important, although meetings are not
likely to begin on time. Business hours can vary but are usually
from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Some businesses can close for
siesta from 1pm to 3pm.
The international access code for Peru is +51, and the outgoing
code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for
the UK). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)1) for Lima. A mobile
phone operator provides a GSM 1900 network with coverage limited to
major towns and cities. Peru is well connected to the Internet with
a proliferation of inexpensive Internet kiosks, called
available on street corners in most towns
Travellers to Peru over 15 years old do not have to pay duty on
400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 50g of tobacco; 2kg of food; 3 bottles
of alcoholic beverages not exceeding 2.5 litres; and gifts to the
value of US$300. Items such as sausages, salami, ham and cheese may
only be brought in if accompanied by an original sanitary
certificate. The import of ham from Italy and Portugal is
prohibited. The export of cultural or artistic items from the
country is not permitted.