Peru travel advice
Latest updates: Editorial change.
Last updated: ET
On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Peru - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Peru due to high levels of crime, as well as social conflicts and strikes that may occur across the country.
Regional advisory - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the following areas due to instances of domestic terrorism and criminal activity such as drug trafficking, robberies, kidnappings, extortion and raids:
Border area with Colombia - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to areas within 20 km of the border with Colombia due to drug trafficking and occasional incursions by armed guerrilla forces from Colombia into Peru.
Border area with Ecuador - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to areas within 20 km of the border with Ecuador, especially in the Cordillera del Cóndor region, due to the safety threat posed by landmines.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Border area with Colombia
Criminal activity related to narcotics trafficking and occasional incursions by armed guerrilla forces from Colombia at Cordillera del Cóndor, Peru, pose a threat to personal security.
Border area with Ecuador
Cross the Peru–Ecuador border at official crossing points only due to the presence of landmines along the border.
Basic services in the Tumbes district have become increasingly difficult to access due to an increased number of migrants entering Peru from the North land border with Ecuador. The increased population has limited the provision of these services.
Valle de los Ríos Apurímac, Ene y Mantaro (VRAEM)
Cocaine production and trafficking occurs inVRAEM. Travel is particularly dangerous in areas where there is coca cultivation and processing.
Incidents of domestic terrorism have occurred in VRAEM, particularly the region where the Apurímac, Ayacucho, Cuzco and Junín departments meet.
Crime rates are high throughout the country.
- Maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness, especially at night
- Avoid walking in deserted or under-populated areas
- Travel in groups whenever possible
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in Lima, in other cities and even in crowded, public areas. Theft occurs frequently in hotels, restaurants, bus stations and airports, on intercity buses and microbuses and while hailing taxis.
- Avoid wearing expensive watches and jewellery, or showing signs of affluence
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Never leave bags unattended
Pickpockets and bag snatchers may work in pairs or groups and employ a variety of ruses to divert their victim’s attention. A common scam involves spraying a substance on victims and then robbing them while pretending to help clean the stain, or distracting the victim by asking questions while another person perpetrates the theft. In some cases, thieves on motorcycles will snatch purses, backpacks or cellular phones.
Violent crime occurs. Incidents have included:
Armed robberies are on the rise. While most victims are not physically injured, criminals will not hesitate to use force when opposed.
- If you are robbed, hand over your cash, electronic devices and valuables without resistance
- Be particularly vigilant after visiting a bank, an ATM or a change bureau, as thieves may follow and rob victims.
- Use ATMs inside banks and during regular hours of service, when guards are on duty
Assaults have occurred along the Inca Trail and in the Huaraz region of the Cordillera Blanca mountains. Hiking in these regions should be done in groups.
Express kidnappings involving tourists have occurred. Victims are usually abducted for a few hours and forced to withdraw money from ATMs for their release. Most express kidnappings take place at night, but incidents also occur during daylight hours. Incidents often involve criminals posing as taxi drivers, or taxi drivers working for organized gangs. Virtual kidnappings occur throughout the country. Criminals use stolen cellphones to contact family members claiming to have kidnapped the owner of the phone and then ask for ransom money.
- Be suspicious of strangers approaching you on the street
- Never leave your cellphone unattended
- Be cautious when using cellphones and smart devices in public as they are often targeted by thieves, especially while people are using them
- Ensure your phone is password protected
Incidents of domestic terrorism occur, particularly in remote jungle areas such as:
- parts of the Huancavelica and Ucayali departments
- the Upper Huallaga river valley in the Huánuco and San Martín departments.
Incidents have included:
- temporary ambushes of small villages
- bombings or threats of violence against local security forces or community figures
Overland travel in these regions is unsafe.
Counterfeit currency in both sol and U.S. dollars is a growing and serious problem. Counterfeit bills are widely distributed, including by banks, casinos and local stores.
- Avoid moneychangers on the street, as they may carry counterfeit currency or work with pickpockets.
Credit card fraud
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Criminals posing as taxi drivers often rob tourists along the route to and from Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport.
- Use a secure taxi service when arriving at and leaving the airport
- Exercise caution en route to and from your hotel
- Find information on registered taxi companies from the Lima Airport Partners website
Thieves also pose as police officers to gain the confidence and cooperation of their potential victims.
- If you are stopped by local authorities, ask to see official identification and record the officer’s name, badge number and district.
- For traffic violations, request that the officer issue you a fine in writing, which is payable at a later date.
- You should also note the location of the arrest.
Legitimate police officers have also extorted money in exchange for dismissing minor offences or traffic violations. They have also stolen money and valuables during searches.
- If you are searched, even at the airport, ensure you have all your belongings before leaving
If you are planning to participate in volunteer activities in Peru, ensure that the company organizing your trip is legitimate. Make sure your accommodations and return arrangements are secure before travelling.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Incidents of sexual assault, including rape, occur throughout the country, particularly in tourist destinations. In some cases, tour guides have been implicated.
- Do not travel alone, especially after dark.
- Remain particularly vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis.
- Be careful when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances, especially regarding the acceptance of rides or other invitations.
- For information about tours and tourist assistance and information, contact iPeru.
Women reporting sexual assault should contact police immediately. Medical examinations at identified clinics are part of the investigation process. Women who have delayed reporting may experience more scrutiny by local authorities.
Demonstrations and strikes
Demonstrations take place regularly throughout the country. They can lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Police have used tear gas or other methods to disperse crowds in the past.
Strikes and roadblocks are frequent and may also cause service disruptions, including to:
- public transit
- government offices
Impromptu road blocks may affect travel in southern Peru, especially travel to and from the cities of:
Demonstrations around Puno can sometimes result in the closure of the border with Bolivia.
Protestors may also block rivers essential for transportation in some remote regions, including the Manu region of Madre de Dios and in the region of Iquitos. This may result in the temporary detainment of tourists.
Peruvian law prohibits political activities by foreigners. You may face detention and/or deportation if you take part in a demonstration.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
- Always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company if you travel in remote areas
- Contact iPeru by phone or email for the latest developments
Each year, several hikers and climbers are victims of serious, sometimes fatal, accidents in the Andes, including at the Huayna Picchu peak near Machu Picchu, and the Cordillera Blanca region in Huaraz, where Peru’s highest peaks are located. Trails, such as those found in Ollantaytambo, may be poorly marked. Hikers have become lost. Be aware that steep or slippery areas are neither fenced nor marked.
If you intend to hike, trek or climb:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- only use licensed companies recommended by the Ministry of Tourism for adventure tours and sports
- exercise extreme caution while climbing, as local authorities have limited rescue capabilities
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- make sure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Remote areas of Peru, where popular jungle excursions operate, may not have cellphone coverage or internet access.
- Always leave the contact information of tour operator with your family and friends
- iPerú - Peruvian government’s Tourist Information and Assistance
- APOTUR - Asociación Peruana de Operadores de Turismo Receptivo e Interno
- APAVIT - Asociación Peruana de Agencias de Viaje y Turismo
- APTAE- Asociación Peruana de Turismo de Aventura, Ecoturismo y Turismo Espacializado
- Qualified Tourism Service Companies - Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo (in Spanish)
There have been several recent white-water rafting accidents and drownings involving tourists, particularly on the Urubamba River near Cuzco. Companies offering white-water rafting, their guides and their equipment may not be held to the same standards as similar companies in Canada. Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Strong currents exist in the Pacific Ocean and in rivers. Life guards are not always present or properly trained at beaches.
Swimming in jungle lakes and rivers can be dangerous due to the presence of parasites and wildlife.
Seek advice and consult residents and local authorities about conditions before swimming, surfing or participating in other aquatic activities.
Spiritual cleansing and ayahuasca ceremonies, offered by shamans and other individuals, involve consuming substances that can cause medical complications and severely impair cognitive and physical abilities. Exposure to these substances has led to serious illness, injury, assault and even the death of several tourists.
Ceremonies often take place in remote areas with no access to medical or mental health facilities or resources and limited communication with local authorities. Most of the time, the facilities lack basic first aid or emergency plans for those suffering from physical or psychological illness from these ceremonies. Ayahuasca ceremonies are not regulated and there is no way to assess the safety of any of the services, the operators or the shamans.
Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Drivers are extremely aggressive, and they do not respect traffic laws. Mountainous roads can be particularly dangerous, especially at night. Poor signage also poses a hazard. Accidents causing fatalities are common.
Regular police spot checks can cause traffic delays.
When renting a vehicle, always purchase insurance. Most drivers in Peru have only the minimum required car insurance, which may not adequately cover accidents.
Vehicles are a target for robbery. Criminals have thrown objects in front of oncoming traffic in the hope that cars will stop. If this occurs and you need to stop, do so only in a safe location, such as a gas station.
- While travelling by car, keep your doors locked and windows shut at all times
- Keep your personal belongings in the trunk of the vehicle, as criminals have been known to shatter windows to “smash and grab” and to attempt entry when they see travel bags or merchandise
- Avoid travelling by road outside of major cities after dark, when there is a higher risk of robbery
Thefts on boats by river pirates occur along rivers in the Amazon jungle.
Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
Many of the buses and combis in Lima are old, poorly maintained and overcrowded. Drivers of these vehicles tend to dominate the roads and disregard other drivers or pedestrians.
Intercity bus travel can be dangerous due to the risk of bus accidents, which are usually caused by excessive speed, poor vehicle maintenance and driver fatigue. Armed gangs have been known to stop buses to rob travellers, especially at night. Incidents of assaults on buses have also been reported.
- Only use reputable transportation companies
- Contact your travel agency for a list of recommended intercity bus companies
The Peruvian Ministry of Transportation publishes, in Spanish only, a list of those bus companies with the highest rates of involvement in fatal or serious injury traffic accidents.
Licensed taxis are not metered. Taxi drivers sometimes do not provide change or will continue to drive until they can obtain change.
- Do not hail taxis on the street
- Reserve a taxi by calling a reputable taxi company or use taxi services associated with major hotels
- Agree to a fare prior to departure and do not pay until you have reached your destination
- Try to carry the exact fare
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:
- entry or exit bans
- mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
- suspensions or reductions of international transportation options
Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.
- verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
- consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
- monitor the media for the latest information
- reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator
The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Peruvian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Peru.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
If you entered Peru with a business visa, you must obtain a certificate from the Peruvian Ministry of the Economy to prove that all Peruvian taxes on income earned during the trip have been paid prior to leaving the country. The certification is required even if no money was paid or earned and must be presented to the central Peruvian immigration office in Lima before departure.
Entering the country
You must register your entry into Peru at the port of entry or checkpoint.
- Only cross the border at official checkpoints
- Ensure the immigration office at your port of entry is open at the time you intend to cross the border
Length of stay
The length of stay as a visitor is determined by immigration officers. The number of days given by the officer cannot be extended.
Overstaying is a criminal offence. The fine is 4.60 Peruvian soles for each day of overstay. This fee must be paid upon exiting the country.
Peruvian–Canadians entering Peru using their Canadian passport are subject to visit restrictions, including length of stay and associated fines. Dual nationals must use the same nationality to enter and exit the country.
See Laws and culture for additional information.
Children and travel
Travellers under 18 exiting Peru after a stay of 183 days are automatically protected by Peru’s law on minors and will require the authorization of both parents/guardians to exit the country.
Children who have resident status in Peru must have written permission from the non-accompanying parents to leave the country.
Children born of Canadian parents in Peru require a Peruvian passport to leave the country for the first time. Contact Peruvian immigration officials for more information.
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like, American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunya, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), West Nile virus yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Cutaneous and mucosal Leishmaniasis
Cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis causes skin sores and ulcers. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly.
Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.
- In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There is a risk of plague in this country. Plague is a bacterial disease that can cause serious illness, and if left untreated, death.
The occurrence of cases in areas where the plague bacteria are known to circulate can be influenced by weather and environmental conditions. In some countries, this results in seasonal outbreaks.
Travellers to areas where plague routinely occurs may be at risk if they are camping, hunting, or in contact with rodents.
Plague is spread by:
- bites from fleas infected with the plague
- direct contact with body fluids or tissues from an animal or person who is sick with or has died from plague
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
- Local COVID-19 testing facilities - Government of Peru (in Spanish only)
Quality of care varies throughout the country.
Private hospitals and clinics in urban centres are well-staffed and -equipped to handle any emergency or medical issue. Public hospitals and rural facilities, even in some tourist destinations and major cities, may not meet Canadian standards or may be inadequate to treat serious conditions.
Cases of serious injury or illness in remote areas may require evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility in the country. Clinic, hospital and evacuation expenses can be costly and the service provider often expects immediate cash payment or confirmation of payment from an insurance company.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences, regardless of the amount of narcotics seized at arrest.
Pack your luggage yourself and keep it with you at all times, as there have been cases of airport smuggling. Do not carry anything through customs for anybody else.
You must carry photo identification at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated. Failure to show identification could result in detention.
Peruvian authorities may impose fines and other penalties for any action considered to be disrespectful at historical and archaeological sites such as Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo and Saqsayhuaman. Visitors to Machu Picchu must adhere to strict regulations regarding entry restrictions and behaviour within the site. Check with your travel guide or agent for the latest information.
Peruvian law strictly prohibits the export of antiques and artefacts (huacos) from pre-colonial civilizations. Purchase reproductions of colonial or pre-colonial art from reputable dealers only and insist on obtaining documentation from Peru’s National Institute of Culture to prove that the object is a reproduction and may be exported.
The export of coca tea bags and products is prohibited.
It is illegal to remove certain fauna and flora items from Peru. Items made from or displaying animals, insects or plants may be seized. If you are convicted of possession of such items, you could face heavy fines or jail sentences.
- National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) - Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of Peru (in Spanish)
It is forbidden to photograph military installations.
Peruvian law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Peruvian society.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Peru.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Peru, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Peru.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Peru, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Peruvian court.
If you are in this situation:
- act as quickly as you can
- contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Peru to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You must carry an international driving permit. A foreign driver’s licence can be used only in Lima and only for 30 days after arrival.
Carry identification and vehicle registration at all times.
The currency is the Peruvian sol (PEN). The U.S. dollar is widely accepted.
Credit cards are not commonly accepted outside major cities. Many establishments will request to see a passport to confirm the identity of the person using the credit card.
ATMs are not easily accessible in small towns. They often have limits to the amount and number of daily withdrawals.
Natural disasters and climate
Peru is in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes.
Dangerous landslides can also occur, even after minor earthquakes.
- Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil (INDECI) (in Spanish)
- Latest earthquakes - Government of Peru (in Spanish)
Tsunamis can occur following seismic activity. Tsunami evacuation routes are posted along the Costa Verde in Lima and several locations on the coast.
Dirección de Hidrografía y Navegación (in Spanish)
There are active and potentially active volcanoes in southern Peru. Debris from erupting volcanoes may clog rivers and cause them to overflow, resulting in potential flash floods and mudslides. Transportation and services may be affected. Ash clouds may cause disruptions to domestic and international flights. If you live or are travelling near active volcanoes:
- monitor levels of volcanic activity through the local media
- pay careful attention to all warnings issued and follow the advice of local authorities.
- Be prepared to modify your travel arrangements or even evacuate the area on short notice.
Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP) (in Spanish)
Higher tides are experienced several times throughout the year and may cause flooding and damage along the coast.
Rainy season and El Niño
The rainy season extends from November to May in the Peruvian Andes.
Seasonal flooding, mudslides and landslides can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services such as utilities, emergency and medical care, food, fuel and water supplies. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
- Police: 105
- Tourist police: +51 980 122 335 (Whatsapp number)
- Medical assistance: 116
- Firefighters: 116
Due to the ongoing pandemic, our consular services could be limited. Contact us by email or telephone before visiting our offices.
Lima - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Lima and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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