Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Peru Travel Information 1

Visiting Peru? So, you're on the way to explore such a territory of innumerable mystery.This is a country of invaluable cultural and natural wealth. Most of the country's territory is virgin rainforest. Lots of secrets were already discovered; yet a plenty of hidden treasures are on the process of being unveiled. This very job is being done by the foreign tourists like you and me.

The Republic of Peru, located in the central and western part of South America is an Andean State. Peru is surrounded by Ecuador, having 1529 km long border, by Colombia with 1506 km long border, by Brazil with 2822 km long border and by Bolivia with 1047 km long border. At the west side of the country has a 3080 km long beach with Pacific Ocean. The population density is 16.5 inhabitants per km2 with a 2% growing rate per year. The urban population is 71% whereas rural population is 29%. Main cities of Peru are Arequipa, Callao, Trujillo, Chimbote, Chiclayo and Piura, Cusco and Iquitos. Peru has 1285216 km2 surfaces. Most of population lives in the coast. Peru has a Presidential, unitary and decentralized Governmental system.

The total Peruvian population is approximately 23 million. National population is divided into equal parts. Among the entire population 52% lives in the coast, 36% in the highlands and 12% in the jungle. About 6 million inhabitants live in Lima, the capital.

As Peru is located near equator, winter and summer have their distinctive feature. It is relatively hot all the year round except for areas above 3000m where it is quite cold during night. The influence of dry and rainy season is a factor to mention. Usually the coast doesn't experience any wet season with an exception of unexpected disaster. Normally wintertime in the coast (from May to September) has the disadvantage of being cloudy.Rain is scarce and is limited to drizzle. One can see the low hanging clouds in and around Lima. In wet season (from November to April) it is wet for rain in the Andes and the Selva. This is the time of hot burning summer in the coast. Temperature is around 30°C .Thus Peru can be explored all the year round and extreme circumstances are very rare.

Peru won a world contest of culinary local kitchen at France in 1998 and got the first prize with 406 various dishes. In Peru, food is absolutely cheap and delicious. But for the cheapest, don't venture to eat in streets or in remote locations. I can't guarantee the quality of the cheapest food you may find there. So, step to a reliable restaurant, pay some soles and get a better service. Isn't it better than paying hundred dollars in hospitals? A hub of fine restaurants you may find around the plaza everyday. When you have swallowed a poor quality food, don't worry. Peep into a shop or a bar; ask for a 'pisco puro' or any alcoholic drink. Anyway, your valuable stomach is now disinfected.

The cost of traveling depends on your plan as well as your luxury. Suppose, you choose an organized holiday and eat everyday in luxury and purchase a lot of souvenirs, it may cost USD 150 a day per person. The next option is the budget traveler. You may be satisfied with local menus of just 10 soles and you may do with USD 30 a day in average.Everyone wishes 5-star luxury. So, count on USD 300 a day each person; for, quality hotels are fairly expensive. If you are a budget traveler, sleeping three persons in a room sharing a bathroom and eat in a cheap restaurant, you can manage with USD 80 or less a day. That doesn't include local trips. Thus a planned holiday of three weeks where you wish to see as much as possible will cost approximately USD 1000 but, of course keep an extra USD 300-500 with you to keep yourself tension free. Use of credit cards is wise in Peru. Avoid Dinner's Club and Company, American Express is enough. You may excess cash with Visa and American Express at cash points in the city centers of Peru.Visa is very common in Peru. In better shops and restaurants, in hotels all over the country, you can pay with Visa and American Express. If you insert your card in a cash point, a menu will display for choice USD or the Nuevo Sol. The dollar is cheaper due to the better rates on the streets to change them to Nuevo Sol. Generally banks are open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. On Saturday, from 9am to 12pm (in Lima). In provinces banks close from 1pm to 3pm. It is better to avoid going to bank on Friday or Saturday morning. You will find long queues because this is the pay days for many a people. Usually cash points are less crowded. So, for a quicker service, deal with Credit card. Note that your passport has to be produced for withdrawal of money from a bank but not at a cash point. If you happen to receive a fake note from a cash point, don't worry.Company putting the money inside the cash point, puts an invisible stamp on every bill.Straight go to the bank even after days, they'll check the stamp & instantly change the note for a real one. Avoid taking torn or old looking money from banks, moneychangers or brokers. No problem, banks of Peru are at your services. 
For Peruvian banks visit: Banco Latino, Banco Republica, Interbank Corp., Banco Central de Reserva.