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PERU - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Peru. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to potential social conflicts and strikes that may occur across the country.
Regional advisory - Avoid non-essential travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the following areas:
- the districts of Kimbiri, Pichari and Vilcabamba in La Convención province, Cuzco department (the city of Cuzco and Machu Picchu are not affected);
- the Upper Huallaga and Ene river valleys in the Huánuco and San Martín departments;
- Huanta and La Mar provinces, in the department of Ayacucho;
- Huacaybamba, Humalíes, Leoncio Prado and Marañón provinces in the department of Huánuco;
- Huallaga and Tocache provinces in the department of San Martín;
- Padre Abad province in the department of Ucayali;
- Tayacaja province in the department of Huancavelica; and
- Concepción and Satipo provinces in the Junín department.
In remote jungle areas, remnants of the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) terrorist group continue to conduct occasional ambushes, kidnappings and attacks. In addition, criminal activity related to narcotics production and trafficking poses a threat to personal security.
See Safety and security for more information.
Border area with Colombia - Avoid non-essential travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to areas along the Peru-Colombia border due to drug trafficking and occasional incursions by armed guerrilla forces.
See Safety and security for more information.
Border area with Ecuador - Avoid non-essential travel
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the Peru-Ecuador border area, especially to the Cordillera del Cóndor region, as landmines pose a security threat. Crossing the Peru-Ecuador border should be done at official checkpoints only.
See Safety and security for more information.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a Travel Health Notice for the Global Update: Zika virus infection recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Peru. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Terrorism (see Advisory)
Incidents of terrorism and violence are largely restricted to the remote jungle areas of Peru; however, recent incidents, including grenade attacks, have occurred within Lima.
The security risks remain high in the jungle area where the Apurímac, Ayacucho, Cusco and Junín departments meet, and in the Upper Huallaga river valley in Huánaco and San Martín departments, because of the presence of the Shining Path guerrilla group. Over the last few years, incidents have included robberies, kidnappings, extortion, raids and temporary takeovers of small villages and, although rare, bombings or threats of violence against local security forces or community figures. Overland travel in these regions is unsafe.
Cocaine production and trafficking occurs in Central Peru, including the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river valley (VRAEM). Travel is dangerous in areas where there is coca cultivation and processing.
Crime is a problem throughout the country. Carjackings, assaults and armed robberies are frequent throughout the country. Maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness at all times, especially at night. Travel in groups whenever possible throughout the country.
Vehicles are regularly attacked and robbed along the route from the airport in Lima. Tourists are often targeted by criminals posing as taxi drivers along this route. When arriving at Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport, use a secure taxi service to go into the city, and exercise particular caution en route to your hotel. Further information on registered taxi companies is available on the Lima Airport Partners website.
Remain vigilant due to the threat of express kidnappings, in which victims are usually abducted for a few hours and forced to withdraw money from automated banking machines (ABMs). Most express kidnappings take place at night, but incidents also occur during daylight hours. Express kidnappings often involve criminals posing as taxi drivers, or taxi drivers working for organized gangs. Kidnappers tend to select victims according to outward signs of affluence, such as their clothing, vehicle or place of work. Do not accept transportation or guide services offered by individuals seeking clients on the streets. Book a registered taxi from a reputable company. Resisting a robbery can lead to further violence.
Petty crime is prevalent in Lima and other cities. Purse snatching, pickpocketing, theft from vehicles and break-ins occur, even during daylight hours and in crowded public areas. Theft also occurs frequently in hotels and restaurants, and while hailing taxis. Avoid walking in deserted or under-populated areas. Do not carry large amounts of cash, do not display signs of affluence such as jewelry, and leave unnecessary credit cards at home. Keep your valuables and identification on your person (in your pocket or in a pouch under clothing, for example).
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. Criminals have also been known to throw 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.
Theft on intercity buses and microbuses and at bus terminals is also very common. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Never leave personal belongings unattended. Avoid travelling after dark, when armed gangs have been known to stop buses to rob travellers. Recent incidents of assaults on buses have been reported.
Drink spiking is common. 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.
If you are stopped by police or security forces, ask to see official identification and record the officer’s name, badge number and district. Thieves have been known to pose as police officers in order to gain the confidence and cooperation of their potential victims.
Avoid moneychangers on the street, as they may carry counterfeit currency or work with pickpockets.
Credit card skimming is also a concern. You should keep your credit cards within sight while making transactions.
Thefts on boats by river pirates have been reported along rivers in the Amazon jungle. Contact your tour operator to enquire about security procedures and arrangements in place.
Incidents of sexual assault including rape have been reported throughout the country, even when travelling in groups. Women should not travel alone, especially after dark. Remain particularly vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis. See Her own way - a woman’s safe-travel guide for travel safety information specifically for Canadian women.
Demonstrations and civil unrest
Demonstrations and protests are common throughout the country. Strikes and roadblocks are frequent and may cause the interruption of services, including public transit, and the closure of businesses and government offices. Impromptu road blocks may also affect travel within the southern region of Peru, especially travel to and from the cities of Arequipa, Cusco and Puno. Protests in the area of Puno can sometimes result in the closure of the border crossing with Bolivia.
In November and December of 2015, large-scale protests and strikes caused transportation disruptions throughout Madre de Dios, causing flight delays and cancellations and the closing of borders between the Cusco and Madre de Dios provinces and the border with Brazil. Food and water shortages were reported and many tour companies cancelled tours within the area. In September 2015, protestors in the Manu region of Madre de Dios blocked rivers essential for transportation and caused the temporary detainment of tourists.
Avoid large crowds, political gatherings and marches as they can turn violent without notice and may lead to injuries and death. Participating in demonstrations may lead to detention or even deportation by Peruvian authorities. Monitor local media reports for up-to-date information and follow the advice of local authorities. Confirm your travel plans with your travel agency or tour operator, and ensure they have made appropriate security arrangements. Contact iPeru by phone or email for the latest developments.
Poor road conditions, aggressive driving practices and a lack of traffic signs are common in rural areas. Mountainous roads can be particularly dangerous, especially at night. When renting a vehicle, always purchase insurance. Avoid travelling by road outside of major cities after dark, when there is a higher risk of robbery. Police spot checks are common and can cause delays. Carry identification and vehicle registration at all times.
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. 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.
Do not hail taxis on the street. Reserve a taxi by calling a reputable taxi company or use taxi services associated with major hotels. Licensed taxis are not metered, so agree to a fare prior to departure and do not pay until you have reached your destination. Having the exact fare is recommended, as taxi drivers sometimes fail to provide change or will continue to drive until they can obtain change.
There have been a number of incidents involving small aircraft in the area of the Nazca Lines, some resulting in fatal accidents.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
There have been a number of incidents involving small aircraft in the area of the Nazca Lines, some resulting in fatal accidents. Ensure that your airline has a good record and appropriate safety measures in place.
Before partaking in an adventure travel activity, ensure your travel health insurance includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation in the case of serious illness or injury.
Treks and hiking excursions should be undertaken in groups, with experienced tour guides only.
If you intend to trek:
a) never trek alone;
b) always hire an experienced guide and ensure that the trekking company is reputable;
c) ensure that you are in top physical condition;
d) advise a family member or friend of your itinerary;
e) register when entering national parks;
f) know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal;
g) register with the Embassy of Canada to Peru; and
h) obtain detailed information on trekking routes before you set out.
Each year, several hikers and climbers partaking in adventure activities are victims of serious, sometimes fatal, accidents in the Andes. Climbers should be well informed concerning the possible hazards and exercise extreme caution in steep or slippery areas, which are neither fenced nor marked. Exercise extreme caution while climbing the Huayna Picchu peak near Machu Picchu, where serious injuries and deaths have occurred. Assaults have also been reported along the Inca Trail and in the Huaraz region of the Cordillera Blanca mountains.
Contact the Peruvian national police’s High Mountain Rescue Unit (USAM) before visiting mountainous areas in Ancash by telephone, +51 1 575 1555; fax, +51 1 575 3036 or email, email@example.com.
There have been several recent accidents and drownings involving tourists whitewater rafting, particularly on the Urubamba River near Cuzco. Companies offering whitewater rafting in Peru, their guides and their equipment may not be held to the same standards as similar companies in Canada.
Swimming in jungle lakes and rivers can be dangerous due to the presence of parasites and wildlife. Strong currents exist in the Pacific Ocean and in rivers. Seek advice from local residents before swimming and consult local authorities about recent conditions.
Recently, spiritual cleansing and ayahuasca ceremonies, offered by shamans and other individuals, have led to serious illness and even the death of several tourists. Ceremonies involve taking substances that can cause medical complications and severely impair cognitive and physical abilities, and often take place in remote areas with no access to medical facilities. Tourists have also been assaulted or injured while participating in such ceremonies. These services are not regulated and there is no way to assess the safety of any of the services, the operators or the Shamans.
General security information
The Ministry of Tourism of Peru recommends using the services of tour companies and agencies associated with either APOTUR (La Asociación Peruana de Operadores de Turismo Receptivo e Interno), APAVIT (La Asociación Peruana de Agencias de Viaje y Turismo) or APTAE (La Asociación Peruana de Turismo de Aventura, Ecoturismo y Turismo Responsable) for your travels in Peru (websites in Spanish only). Review the security arrangements with your travel agent, tour operator or tour guide prior to travelling. You may also contact the Peruvian government’s Tourist Information and Assistance website, iPerú, for the latest information on situations throughout Peru that may affect your safety.
For tourist assistance and information, contact iPerú (tel.: (01) 574-8000, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Peruvian government has opened tourist police offices in most tourist destinations. The local telephone numbers for the tourist police in Lima are:
Miraflores: +51 1 715 6554
Lima North: +51 1 423 3500
Lima South: +51 1 243 2190
Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima (open 24 hours a day): +51 1 517 1841
There are also tourist police offices in 15 other cities, including all major tourist destinations such as Arequipa, Cuzco and Puno.
Tourists may register complaints on a 24-hour hotline provided by the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI). INDECOPI operators speak English; dial 224 7777 in Lima, 01 224 7777 outside Lima or toll-free 08 004 4040 throughout Peru). In Lima, the INDECOPI office is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; there is an answering machine after business hours. The INDECOPI office at the Jorge Chávez International Airport operates 24 hours a day.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Peruvian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Peru or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Peru, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Although Canadians do not need a tourist visa to visit Peru, all travellers must complete a form called the Andean Migration Card (Tarjeta Andina de Migración) upon arrival. This document must be presented prior to departure from Peru. Failure to produce this document may delay your exit and/or result in a fine until a replacement is obtained.
The length of stay—up to a maximum of 183 days—is determined by immigration officers. Overstaying is a criminal offence and Peruvian immigration charges a fee of US$1 for each day of overstay. This fee must be paid upon exiting the country.
If you entered Peru on a business visa, upon exit you must show certification from the Peruvian Ministry of the Economy that all Peruvian taxes on income earned during the trip have been paid. The certification is required even if no money was paid or earned. This certification must also be presented to the central Peruvian immigration office in Lima before departure.
Ensure you receive an entrance stamp in your passport from Peru’s immigration office at the port of entry, even at land borders, where immigration offices may not be open at all hours or may be difficult to locate. Make sure to cross at official checkpoints only and obtain the required exit stamp from the country you are leaving in addition to getting a Peruvian entry stamp. By law, Peruvian immigration officials will require anyone who does not obtain a stamp upon entry to apply for an expulsion order before leaving the country. The application for the expulsion order is lengthy and may take weeks to complete. Expulsion will result in being barred from re-entry. Returning to the original point of entry to obtain the stamp before leaving Peru is no longer acceptable by Peruvian immigration officials.
If your passport is lost or stolen, a new Andean Migration Card and a new entry stamp on the replacement passport must be processed at the National Superintendent of Immigration (Superintendencia Nacional de Migraciones) (Spanish only).
If travelling to Canada, all dual citizens require a valid Canadian passport. You may face delays or be denied boarding by your airline if you attempt to return to Canada without a Canadian passport. See Laws and culture for additional information.
Travellers carrying more than US$10,000 or its equivalent in any currency or any monetary instrument must declare the amount exceeding US$10,000 when entering or leaving Peru. Furthermore, it is prohibited to carry currencies or monetary instruments exceeding US$30,000 when entering or leaving Peru.
Consult the government of Peru's Essential Guide for Tourists Visiting Peru for more information on entry and exit requirements.
Children and travel
We strongly recommend that Canadian children carry a consent letter if they are travelling abroad alone or travelling with only one parent/guardian, friends or relatives or with a group. A consent letter may be requested by immigration authorities when children enter or leave a foreign country or by Canadian officials when children re-enter Canada. Failure to produce a letter upon request may result in delays or refusal to allow children to enter or exit a country.
Minors exiting Peru after a three-month stay are automatically protected by Peru’s law on minors and will require the authorization of both parents/guardians to exit the country.
Children born of Canadian parents in Peru require a Peruvian passport to leave the country for the first time.
See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
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.
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.
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.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
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 (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow Fever Vaccination
|* 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.|
|Country Entry Requirement|
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 for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider 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 currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Leishmaniasis, cutaneous and mucosal
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.
Locally acquired mosquito-associated Zika virus is currently being reported in this country. Zika virus infection is primarily spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause fever, rash, and joint pain. It can also be transmitted through blood, semen and from an infected pregnant woman to her developing baby. Most people do not develop symptoms and recover fully without severe complications. There is scientific consensus that Zika virus infection is a cause of both microcephaly and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Other neurological disorders have also been associated with Zika virus infection. Protect yourself from mosquito bites in daylight and evening hours. There is no vaccine for Zika virus infection.
- 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.
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.
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 provider.
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
If you have a medical emergency while abroad, officials at the nearest Canadian government office can provide you with a list of licensed health-care providers. Consult Well on Your Way—A Canadian’s Guide to Healthy Travel Abroad for more information.
Private hospitals and clinics in urban centres are well-staffed and -equipped to handle any emergency or medical issue. Public hospitals or 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 may require evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility in the country. Be aware that 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 have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and medical evacuation.
When travelling to the Peruvian Andes, you may experience health problems caused by high altitude. Altitude sickness can be life-threatening and may require medical evacuation from the area. A health care professional can advise you on how to prevent or reduce the effects of altitude sickness.
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
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. 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. Do not carry anything through customs for anybody else.
Prison conditions in Peru are poor.
Foreigners are required to carry photo identification at all times. Be cautious when you carry your passport, especially in entertainment venues. A photocopy of your passport—specifically the information, visa and entry-stamp pages—is generally acceptable. However, police may require that you produce the original. Failure to show identification could result in detention.
Fines and other penalties may be imposed by Peruvian authorities for any action considered to be disrespectful at historical and archaeological sites such as Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo and Saqsayhuaman.
Peruvian law strictly prohibits the export of antiques and artefacts (huacos) from pre-colonial civilizations. Travellers who purchase reproductions of colonial or pre-colonial art should buy only from reputable dealers and should insist upon documentation, from Peru’s National Institute of Culture, showing that the object is a reproduction and may be exported.
The export of coca tea bags is prohibited and it is illegal to remove certain fauna and flora items from Peru.
It is forbidden to photograph military installations.
A foreign driver’s licence can be used only in Lima and only for 30 days after arrival. To drive outside of Lima or for an extended period, an international driving permit is mandatory.
There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations in Peru; however, same-sex partnerships are not formally recognized. While homosexuality is increasingly socially accepted, much of Peruvian society remains conservative.
States of emergency
A state of emergency allows a regional government to access funding and resources immediately prior to/before, during or after an emergency event. It also gives the Peruvian armed forces responsibility for law and order alongside the police. Some civil rights may be suspended and curfews may be imposed. Confirm with your insurance company how a Government of Canada travel advisory or a state of emergency declared by Peruvian authorities may affect your insurance coverage.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Peru. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Peruvian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Peruvian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The currency is the Peruvian nuevo sol (PEN). The U.S. dollar is widely accepted. Credit cards are widely accepted in Lima, but less so outside major cities. Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted. In small towns, automated banking machines may not be readily available. ABMs in large cities may accept out-of-country bank cards and credit cards. You should inform your banking company of your travel prior to departing and confirm whether you will be able to use ABMs in Peru.
Counterfeit currency in both nuevo sol and U.S. dollars is a growing and serious problem. Counterfeit bills are widely distributed, including by banks, casinos and local stores. Tourists should be aware of the security features of the currency they are using and be aware of scams that involve switching legitimate bills with counterfeit bills.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Peru’s national defence institute provides information on emergency preparedness, alerts and emergency response regarding natural disasters in Peru at Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil (INDECI) (in Spanish only). You can also follow INDECI on Facebook and Twitter (@indeciperu) to receive emergency messaging in Spanish.
Peru is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes. If you are indoors when an earthquake strikes, make your way to a safe zone. Safe zones are usually marked in public buildings with an “S,” which indicates where the structural pillars are located. If you are outdoors, keep away from buildings and other areas where objects could fall. Dangerous landslides can also occur following even minor earthquakes.
Tsunamis and high tides
Tsunamis are a series of large waves caused by events such as underwater earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions and, less commonly, meteoric impacts. Tsunami evacuation routes are posted along the Costa Verde in Lima and several locations on the coast. Further information is available on the Spanish website Dirección de Hidrografía y Navegación.
Higher tides are experienced several times throughout the year and may, albeit rarely, flood or cause damage along the coast.
There are active and potentially active volcanoes in southern Peru. Ubinas Volcano has erupted multiple times in recent months. Two government department websites provide up-to-date information on volcanic activity (in Spanish): the Geophysical Institute of Peru Instituto Geofisico del Peru (IGP) (in Spanish) and the Geology, Mineralogy and Metallurgy Institute Instituto Geologico Minero y Metalurigico (INGEMMET) (in Spanish).
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.
The rainy season extends from November to May in the Peruvian Andes. Heavy rains and resulting flooding and landslides may cause transportation delays. Utilities, emergency and medical care, as well as food, fuel and water supplies may be affected. Water- and insect-borne diseases may also become a threat. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
A complex weather phenomenon called El Nino is expected to generate particularly disruptive and damaging weather patterns throughout Peru in 2015 and 2016, including heavy rain fall in the normally rainless coastal regions. In recent years, unusually heavy rains associated with El Niño have caused flooding, landslides and mudslides. Tourist areas were affected and travel was severely disrupted. 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.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 105
- tourist police: 0800 2221
- medical assistance: 116
- firefighters: 116
Lima - Embassy of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the embassy of Canada in Lima and follow the instructions. You may also call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 001 800 387 3124 or call collect to +1 613 996 8885.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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