Peru travel advice
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Last updated: ET
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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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
State of emergency in regions bordering Ecuador
On January 10, 2024, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency in the northern regions bordering Ecuador following the Government of Ecuador’s declaration of a nationwide state of “internal armed conflict” on January 9, 2024. The state of emergency is in effect in the following regions:
If you are in these regions, you should carry identification with you at all times.
Demonstrations and strikes
Demonstrations and strikes take place regularly throughout the country. Strikes can complicate travel and disrupt public transport and services, including your ability to travel to or leave isolated tourist destinations such as Machu Picchu. They could also lead to border closures with Bolivia. Protestors may also block rivers essential for transportation in some remote regions, including the Manu region of Madre de Dios and Iquitos region. This may result in the temporary detainment of tourists.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Police have used tear gas and other methods to disperse crowds in the past. Authorities often declare a state of emergency in response to demonstrations.
Peruvian law prohibits political activities by foreigners. You may face detention 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
- Consult local media to be aware of strikes and demonstrations that may affect your stay or travel plans
State of Emergency
The Peruvian government periodically declares a state of emergency in certain areas to allow the military to assist police forces to respond to security incidents and natural disasters. When a state of emergency is in effect, security forces have increased rights to:
- restrict freedom of movement
- monitor correspondence
- conduct search and seizures
- detain persons of interest
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
Organized crime is reportedly increasing in parts of Lima Province and in some districts of the Department of Piura. In some parts of the country, military and security forces have been deployed to assist police in combatting organized crime.
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
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
Snacks, beverages, gum and cigarettes may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
- Be wary of accepting these items from new acquaintances
- Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers
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.
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.
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.
The Inca Trail is usually closed each year in February for maintenance. Other 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.
In November 2023, the Cusipata District in Quispicanchi Province closed two access routes to Vinicunca, the “Rainbow Mountain.” The closure follows violent disputes between the municipalities surrounding the access routes. Access to Vinicunca from Quispicanchi Province will be closed indefinitely, but access remains open via the Pitumarca District in Canchis Province.
Remote areas of Peru, where popular jungle excursions operate, may not have cellphone coverage or internet access.
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
- always leave the contact information of the tour operator with your family and friends
- always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company if you travel in remote areas
- iPerú - Peruvian government’s Tourist Information and Assistance
- APOTUR - The Peruvian Association of Incoming and Domestic Tour Operators (in Spanish)
- APAVIT - Peruvian Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (in Spanish)
- APTAE- Peruvian association of adventure, eco, and specialized tourism (in Spanish)
- Qualified Tourism Service Companies - Ministry of foreign trade and tourism (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
State of the roads in Peru in real time – Government of Peru (in Spanish)
Thefts on boats by river pirates occur along rivers in the Amazon jungle.
Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau
Buses and minibuses operate between most major cities. Demonstrations and strikes can lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
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.
The Government of Peru publishes a list of the bus companies with the highest rates of involvement in fatal or serious injury traffic accidents.
- Only use reputable transportation companies
- Contact your travel agency for a list of recommended intercity bus companies
Ministry of Transportation - Government of Peru (in Spanish)
Trains operate between Arequipa-Cusco-Puno and between Cusco-Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu. Demonstrations, strikes and derailments can disrupt travel by train, including trains to or from Machu Picchu.
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
Entry restrictions at land and river borders with Ecuador
On January 11, 2024, the Government of Ecuador announced new entry restrictions in response to the ongoing state of internal armed conflict.
All foreigners entering Ecuador at crossing points with the land or river borders will need to present a criminal records check from their country of origin or residence. Both the original criminal record check and the Spanish translation must be apostilled, and cover the past five years. Minors travelling with their family members will generally be exempt.
The Apostille Convention took effect in Canada on January 11, 2024. An apostille is a standard certificate allowing documents to be accepted in all countries where the convention is in effect.
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 for a stay of less than 90 days per 365 day period
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
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them:
- a return or onward ticket
- proof that you have a place to stay
- proof that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay
Length of stay
As a Canadian tourist, you may stay in Peru for up to 90 days in a 365-day period.
Overstaying is a criminal offence. There is a fine 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.
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 potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations 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 may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
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.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination.
Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:
• Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
• Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
• Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
• Wear permethrin-treated clothing.
If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living.
In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
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 risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
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.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
The flu occurs worldwide.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to April.
- In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and October.
- In the tropics, there is flu activity year round.
The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.
The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
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.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
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.
American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) is a risk in this country. It is caused by a parasite spread by infected triatomine bugs. The infection can be inactive for decades, but humans can eventually develop complications causing disability and even death.
Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from triatomine bugs, which are active at night, by using mosquito nets if staying in poorly-constructed housing. There is no vaccine available for Chagas disease.
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.
During your trip:
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.
If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel.
For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with 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
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
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
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.
If you are arrested in Peru, you should expect lengthy delays to resolve your case, pre-trial detention in harsh conditions and significant related expenses.
- Pack your own luggage and monitor it closely at all times
- Never transport other people’s packages, bags or suitcases
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
The effects of “Coastal El Niño” are expected to begin in November 2023 and continue until April 2024.
Severe weather could occur, such as:
- excessive rains
- severe droughts
The complex weather phenomenon called El Niño happens at irregular intervals of 2 to 7 years. El Niño generally generates heavy rainfalls, occurring at the same time as the rainy season, from November to May.
- Keep informed of regional weather forecasts before and during your travels, and plan accordingly.
- Ensure you have adequate insurance to cover the consequences of such events, including the disruption of travel plans.
Peru is in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes.
Dangerous landslides can also occur, even after minor earthquakes.
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.
Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation (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
Geophysical Institute of Peru (in Spanish)
Higher tides are experienced several times throughout the year and may cause flooding and damage along the coast.
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
Lima - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada to Peru, 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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