General info In Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel, we have put together some essential travel information to Peru to help you plan and prepare for your journey, from currency exchange rates, to vaccinations and notes on how to remain healthy throughout your travels and other tips to make your trip to Peru safe and enjoyable. If you have further questions regarding any information on our website, or regarding information not found on our website, please contact us.

Email: reservations@casasanblas.com

USA/Canada Toll free: +1 888 223 2806

USA/Canada: (303) 539-9300

Overseas: +51 84 254852

Travelling and money
In Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel, we do recommend that during your trip to Peru, you travel with a combination of credit cards and cash, as there will be certain occasions where ATMs will not be available to you. The amount of money you will require for your travels is completely subjective, according to the activities and length of time you will be away while visiting Cusco. However, it is always a good idea to have US dollars with you, on top of any credit cards, debit cards, and traveler’s checks that you may be travelling with. If you do run out of US dollars, it is possible for you to withdraw more from ATMs found in most major cities. Your cash should be in new crisp US dollar bills as the exchange offices and banks will not accept old or torn bills. When exchanging money it is important to ask for smaller bills and coins, to make small purchases, consider that very few people have adequate change, if any at all. So, please follow these little money tips and your vacations in Cusco will not have any problems.

Most major Peruvian bank ATMs will dispense both Nuevo Soles and US dollars.

To make your trip to Peru a pleasant experience free of money or bank issues, check with your bank prior to departing regarding the exchange rate they use as well as their own fees for withdrawing money while overseas. It is also recommended to let them know your travel dates and the length of time you are planning to stay in Peru, so they are aware that there will be activity on your accounts from overseas.

Currency Exchange
The Peruvian Nuevo Sol (Soles) is divided into 100 cents. The notes in circulation are S/. 200, 100, 50, 20, and 10. There are coins of S/. 5, 2, 1, 0.50, 0.20, 0.10, 0.05. The exchange rate to the US dollar fluctuates daily. For the latest information regarding exchange rates in Peru please click on the following link: http://www.xe.com/ucc/

In Peru all currency you will be exchanging must be new and crisp. Any worn bills or bills with slight tears or rips will not be accepted in money exchange offices or banks. To prevent falling victim to counterfeit money, always exchange money at reputable exchange houses or banks, usually located within the city centers.

Learn about Nuevo Sol bank notes at:

http://www.limaeasy.com/money/peruvian_money.php

Credit Cards in Peru

Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted. There is the possibility of withdrawing funds at ATMs, but it is recommended that you check with your bank before leaving to Peru to determine the fees involved. It is important to remember that each bank has different international ATM fees, and this may be on top of any fees from ATMs in Peru.

If you decide to place your lodging costs on your credit card while traveling around Peru, it is important to be aware that each card charges a different exchange rate, and this will vary from what is offered at the front desk of our hotel. This extra expense can be avoided by pre-paying your lodging prior to your arrival in Cusco by contacting us directly or by finalizing payment of your final bill in cash, in US dollars.

Please check with your card provider before leaving your home country to come to Peru, to find out their current exchange rate and any other possible fees involved in using your card overseas.
To prepay your stay with us here at Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel simply contact our reservations department on the following, and we can make this arrangement for you:

Email: reservations@casasanblas.com

USA/Canada Toll free: (888) 569-1769

USA/Canada: (303) 539-9300

Overseas: +51 84 254852

Traveler’s Checks
Traveler’s checks in Peru are not widely accepted in stores, restaurants, hostels or hotels. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the most common forms of payment other than cash. Traveler’s checks can be exchanged in any exchange money store or bank in Cusco, with a commission which may range anywhere from 2% to 7% depending on the exchange bureau visited.

Luggage
It is important to remember to lock and secure your luggage upon getting through customs at the airport in Lima and Cusco. Make sure to secure your valuables in a piece of luggage that is lockable; declare them when necessary at the airport in Peru. Also, it is crucial that you are aware of your luggage at all times, even when it is not in your direct possession aka when it is in the possession of a hotel, a travel agency, or separated from you during transportation. Be aware of the policies of hotels, travel agencies and transportation services concerning your valuables. We also highly recommend that you Take extra insurance to protect yourself, your loved ones, your valuables, and any unforeseen event that might make you incur in extra expenses, such as missing your flight and having to book extra hotel nights.

Airport departure taxes in Peru

Domestic flights (for example: Lima to Cusco and back to Lima) are approximately US$6.00 and International flights (your return trip home) will be about US$32.00. These taxes must be paid in cash, and both Soles and US dollars are accepted.

It is recommended that you ask your airline upon your arrival to Peru, as most will now include the departure tax in the cost of your airfare.

Shopping
In the city of Cusco there are plenty of places for great bargains on knits, scarves, jewelry as well as authentic handmade Peruvian weavings and much more. The major artisan’s markets are situated in Cusco, Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero, where you will be able to take care of all your shopping needs to take home a piece of your vacations in Peru.

Keeping healthy
Peru has become well known the world over for its foods, spices and unique produce to these fertile lands. In more recent years Lima has flourished as the Gastronomic Capital of South America, and rightly so. The cuisine in Peru is a fusion of Asian, Mediterranean, French and local styles and is unique to our country, so make sure you are able to enjoy it all in the healthiest, cleanest way possible to ensure a pleasant vacation in Peru. There exists a great variety of fabulous restaurants in and around the main Plaza de Armas in Cusco, and the districts of Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco in Lima that rival some of the higher end restaurants from the mayor capitals of the world, in terms of safety, quality and cuisine. However, if you do enter a restaurant that gives you the impression that their kitchen is not sanitary, then it is best to look for another option. Foods prepared and sold on street carts are best avoided, especially if you have a sensitive stomach, though it may taste great, quality cannot be guaranteed and may be upsetting to your stomach.

While traveling in Peru, it is recommended that you carry Imodium (or your preferred anti – diarrhea medicine) in case of unforeseen events or if you are planning to take chances with street food vendors. If you do come down with a case of an upset stomach, pharmacies at all mayor and minor cities stock medicine for this problem.

Bottled water is readily available in major cities of Peru, from Lima to Cusco, Puno, Arequipa and Nazca. While visiting Peru, it is recommended for you to purchase bottled water for the duration of your trip and also use bottled or treated water to brush your teeth. It is best to simply avoid drinking tap water, and be aware that sometimes ice cubes in some restaurants are made with untreated water, so ask your waiter before ordering your cocktail.

When necessary do not hesitate to consult a Physician in order to avoid any further complications that may ruin your vacations in Peru.

Health, Medical, Inoculations
It is recommended for you to consult with your doctor about your physical condition and any vaccination you may need for this trip to Peru. Your doctor will be best suited to give you these recommendations taking into account your medical history. Common vaccinations needed in Peru include Hepatitis, Typhoid, Tetanus, Yellow Fever and Measles.

You can find more detailed information on the following websites:

http://www.cdc.gov/travel/destinationPeru.aspxhttps://www.tripprep.com/scripts/main/default.asp

Medical Insurance
It is recommended to purchase travel insurance (it also covers your luggage) prior to your visit to Peru. Here are two options which combined cover travelers from over 150 different countries http://www.hthtravelinsurance.com and http://www.sevencorners.com. Before your trip to Peru, read the insurance plans carefully, take note if emergency evacuation to your country of residence is included and that they provide a 24-hour assistance line, making them available to answer your questions at any moment. This type of insurance usually covers unforeseen expenses caused by flight delays or cancelations.

Personal First Aid Kit
It is best to prepare a personal first aid kit prior to your visit to Peru, as some items of your preference may not be available abroad. Consult with your physician on what medications you should take for your individual needs. A quality insect repellent and sun block should be on your list as these items are costly and your prefered brands may be hard to find once in Peru.

High Altitude Medicine Guide

http://www.high-altitude-medicine.com/AMS-medical.html

The City of Cusco is 3,400 meters above sea level (11,200 ft). People who visit Cusco react differently to the altitude; some are not affected at all while others react adversely. In Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel we recommend for you to take it easy the first few days, drink plenty of water, and rest as much as you need. You will begin to feel better as you get adjusted to the altitude.

Safety
Peru is still considered a third world country, and with this comes the possibility of encountering pickpockets and other thieves. To make your travel experience in Peru pleasant and prevent from being a target to them, avoid wearing expensive jewelry, do not dangle your camera or backpack from your shoulder while walking, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Common sense will get you a long way, try to stay with your fellow travelers and away from unknown crowds and your vacations in Peru will have no inconveniences.

Travel Documents
A valid passport is required to enter Peru. No special visas are necessary for citizens from the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and many other countries. Before coming to Peru, make sure to bring color photocopies of your passport (photo page), to carry with you at all times, allowing you to leave your passport in the safety deposit box of your hotel.

Upon entering Peru you will receive your immigration card, also known as TAM, Tarjeta Andina de Migraciones.  This small piece of paper may seem insignificant but it is in actual fact very important. If you lose your TAM you will have to pay a fine when leaving the country. On top of that, if you do not have this document when checking into hotels in Peru, according to law DL 919 you are not exempt from the 18% Government Value Added Tax and you will have to pay this amount on top of your hotel fees.

For more questions regarding travel documents, please visit:

http://www.digemin.gob.pe/en/tam/tam_en.pdf http://www.worldtravelguide.net/country/224/passport_visa/South-America/Peru.html http://www.wordtravels.com/Travelguide/Countries/Peru/Visa

Embassies and Consulates 

Here you will find a list of Embassies and Consulates in Peru:

Abroad: http://www.embassiesabroad.com

In Peru: http://www.infoperu.com/en/view.php?lang=en&p=34

Electricity
Electricity in Peru is 220 volts A.C. at 60 hertz. Electricity in the U.S. and Canada is 110 volts A.C. at 60 hertz, and in the UK, Asia and Australia it is 220 volts A.C. at 50 hertz. If you are going to travel to Peru with electrical items, make sure to purchase an electrical transformer suited to your needs prior to travelling. It is not necessary to travel with a hairdryer as Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel provides one in each and every one of its rooms. Many newer electronics (digital camera chargers, iPods, laptops) can run without any problems at 220 volts, but make sure to read the manuals carefully before plugging it in.

Keeping in Touch
Before your departure to visit Peru it is ideal to leave a list of contact telephone numbers with your family and friends so they have a way to reach you if need be. As for making phone calls from Peru back home we suggest you obtain a Skype account prior to your departure. It is very easy to set up over the internet and is automatically recharged via a credit card. A Skype account is best as internet cafes are readily available throughout Peru, and due to Skype’s popularity as a medium to connect with friends and family internationally, most internet centers offer this services. At Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel we provide you with complementary WiFi for your laptop.

We also provide direct-dial international calls from Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel, so if you are unable to arrange a Skype account prior to your departure, you will still have the opportunity to contact your family and friends hassle free and tell them all about your vacations in Peru!

Language
Peru’s official language is Spanish, though many of the native people also speak the ancient language known as Quechua, and if you travel in Southern Peru (near the Bolivian border) you will find groups that continue to speak Aymara, another pre-Spanish language.

Due to the exponential growth of tourism in Peru, you will also find many people who speak English in popular tourist destinations as well as popular restaurants, bars and hotels.

Weather in Peru
It is important for your trip to Peru to be aware of the weather before coming. Peru is situated in the Southern Hemisphere and hence the summer months are November to April, and winter is May to October. However, due to Peru’s proximity to the Equator, “winter” in the city of Cusco means blue skies with little rain, warm days up to about 78ºF (depending on the altitude), and cold nights (possibly down to freezing).

The city of Cusco, at 3,400 meters above sea level (11,200 ft) experiences a unique climate with only two seasons, a wet season (summer) and a dry season (winter). During the dry season (cooler winter months) the evening and early morning temperature will drop below 0° Celsius (32°F). During the rainy season (warmer summer months) there will be sunny days that reach about 26° Celsius (78°F). While traveling in Cusco it is important to bring warm cloths, as most of the year will be chilly at nights.

- The wet season (Summer)

Months: November to April

The city of Cusco will experience frequent showers with sunny spells in between.

Temperature range: 10.3° Celsius (50.54°F) to 26° Celsius (78°F)

- The dry season (Winter)

Months: May to October

The city of Cusco will experience a dry winter, where no rain will fall, but the coolness of the early mornings and evenings intensifies, particularly during the months of June, July and August.

Temperature range: 0° Celsius (32°F) to 26° Celsius (78°F)

To maximize your comfort while your vacations in Peru, it is best to pack accordingly. This entails packing many layers, a warm jacket, and perhaps a scarf, hat and gloves (unless you prefer to buy them here!). It is recommended to bring lightweight, quick-drying clothes with thin layers to put underneath.

For up to date weather information, visit:

http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/84686.html

http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel or http://www.senamhi.gob.pe

Service and Tips
If you feel that you have received a good service during your trip to Cusco or anywhere in Peru, we would like to encourage you to tip your guides, drivers, hotel staff, restaurant waiters, etc. This will show your appreciation and recognition for their work and will further enhance the experience of future travelers that visit Cusco.

Children
In the city of Cusco and Peru in general many of the children you will encounter in streets, trails, archeological sites and other locations will ask for candy. As you know sweets promote tooth decay and these children do not have access to a dentist. At Casa San Blas Boutique Hotel we suggest that instead of giving away candy, you distribute multi vitamins that come in the shape of animals and cartoon characters. You can find these at any drugstore in your home country.

Peru Information
Here are a few informational websites that will help you prepare for your trip to Peru:

Peru Information, South American Explorers: http://www.saexplorers.org

Peru Information Formers guidebook: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/cusco/2873010001.html

Cusco General Information: http://www.cuscoperu.com/en.html

Lonely Planet´s Travel Guide of Cusco: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/peru/cuzco-and-the-sacred-valley/cuzco

Cusco´s Page on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cusco