Peru travel guide
South America doesn’t get much more evocative of generations gone by than Peru. Its mix of ancient civilisations and dramatic archaeology, set among some of the most extraordinary landscapes on the planet, means few destinations have as much to offer cultural visitors.
The old Inca settlement of Machu Picchu, now said to be the most visited site on the entire continent, is just the poster-child – it’s utterly magnificent, of course, but it’s just one of many highlights served up by the country. From mountain range to jungle, beach to desert, colonial town to cosmopolitan city, it’s a truly wonderful place to travel.
The coastal capital, Lima, can seem chaotic at times, but scratch the surface and you’ll unearth some great museums and nightclubs, not to mention some of the region’s best food and drink – from ceviche (raw fish in citrus) to cecina (dried pork) and from Peruvian wine (yes, really) to pisco sours.
But the country’s real appeal lies outside the capital. Contrasting beautifully with Lima is the ancient capital of Cusco with its winding cobbled streets and 1,000-plus years of history. It’s the gateway for visitors to the unmissable Machu Picchu, as well as those walking the Inca trail, but it makes for a colourful destination in its own right. There’s no better place to learn more about the country’s earlier times and the upheaval of the Spanish conquest.
Elsewhere in the country, the Nazca Lines, the beautifully excavated ruins of Chan Chan and the Chachapoya fortress of Kuelap boggle the mind. These extraordinary complexes are all set amid stunning landscapes.
But Peru doesn’t solely involve rushing up and down mountains or traipsing around ruins. If you’re searching for a relaxing beach destination, head to Máncora, which is popular with sun-seekers and surfers. A little more subdued, but no less beautiful, is the quaint coastal town of Huanchaco, where you can sit on the beach and watch fishermen ply their trade on traditional reed canoes. It’s a far cry from the lofty Andes and a testament to Peru’s staggering diversity.
1,285,220 sq km (496,226 sq miles).
31,774,225 (UN estimate 2016).
23.7 per sq km.
President Dina Boluarte since 2022.
Prime Minister Alberto Otárola since 2022.
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Peru’s current entry restrictions and requirements.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
Political protests in Peru are unpredictable and can escalate quickly and include violence. You should take particular care to avoid large gatherings and all areas of protests. If there are protests and it is possible, you should remain in a safe place. You should follow the local authorities’ advice and also monitor local media, including social media channels.
Protests may cause travel disruption, including with road blockades, suspension of train services and airport closures including in tourist areas. See Safety and Security.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
There may be a higher risk to your safety in areas where there is organised crime and terrorism linked to the production of drugs, notably in the border areas with Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil and the Valley of Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers (VRAEM). See Local travel.
Where there are greater security concerns or local authorities currently have limited presence, the British Government will have limited ability to offer assistance, and may not be able to provide emergency or consular support. While we will liaise with local authorities to request assistance, their ability to respond may also be very limited if circumstances are unfavourable.
Where protests, natural disasters or criminal activity results in travel disruption or damage to infrastructure, the British Government’s ability to provide consular support will be limited, as may that of local authorities.
For specific advice on conditions in the different regions of Peru, in English or Spanish, visit the i-Peru website (the official source of information for tourists in Peru) or call them on +511 574 800 (option 2 for English).
Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Peru (including Cusco, Puno, the Colca Canyon and Kuelap). See Health.
Drug trafficking is a serious crime and drug smugglers face long periods of imprisonment. See Local laws and customs
There are risks involved in flying over the Nazca Lines. See Nazca Lines
There is a risk of robbery by bogus taxi drivers, especially to and from the airports and at bus terminals. See Crime
Driving standards are poor. Crashes resulting in death and injury occur frequently. See Road travel
Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Peru. See Terrorism
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Peru on the TravelHealthPro website.
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial airlines are operating to and from Peru. If travelling via another country, it is essential you check the travel advice for that country.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Peru.
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
The Peruvian authorities provide guidance on public health centres in Lima and laboratories that process tests in the country (only available in Spanish). COVID-19 PCR tests are widely available in both public clinics and private labs in Peru. Some regions in Peru, outside Lima, do not have private lab facilities and rely entirely on public facilities.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in Peru
Local authorities promote vaccinations against COVID-19 and the use of masks, however these are both optional.
For full information on restrictions, you should visit the El Peruano website. You should follow official guidance and the local media for updates.
Please note that previous requirements relating to Covid-19 vaccinations for travel in Peru were removed on 26 October 2022.
Healthcare in Peru
More information (in Spanish) is available on the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) website or by calling the 24/7 call free number 113, sending a WhatsApp message to +51 95284263 or emailing email@example.com. Some private labs are also offering the COVID-19 test.
Availability of medical care and hospital beds may be limited in some areas.
For contact details for English speaking doctors, visit our list of healthcare providers. Whilst many medications are available over the counter in Peru, local prescriptions will be required for some. Our medical panel list includes details of English-speaking doctors who can assist.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health
View Health for further details on healthcare in Peru.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, you can contact the British Embassy on +51 1 617 3000. For consular enquiries please write to Help for British people in Peru
Political protests in Peru can lead to road blockades, suspension of train services, disruption in immigration services of land borders and airport closures - often without prior notice or estimated reopening timelines. Protests can be unpredictable, can include violence, and can spread and escalate quickly. Clashes between protestors and the security forces have resulted in casualties in the past, which included significant violent civil unrest in the Puno and Apurimac regions in December 2022 and January 2023. Local police and emergency services do not have the same capacity to respond to traveller emergencies in these regions as elsewhere in Peru.
Where protests or criminal activity result in travel disruption or damage to infrastructure, the British Government’s ability to provide consular support will be limited, as may that of local authorities, especially if infrastructure such as airports, roads and railroads are affected.
In Lima protests often have a focus in the historic centre, where access can be restricted, but can also spread to other areas. Other regions that have seen recent protests include Cusco, Arequipa and Puno.
Foreign nationals in Peru cannot participate in political activities by law, including in demonstrations against the government.
You should be especially vigilant and take particular care to avoid all areas of large gatherings, demonstrations and protests. If possible, you should remain in a safe place, follow the authorities’ advice, and monitor local media, including social media channels. Be wary of unverified, unofficial information.
Travellers arriving in Peru should be aware that travel to some parts of the country or the return to Lima could be affected by protests and should be prepared for delays or disruption. You should ensure you travel with a sufficient supply of food, water, cash in local currency and personal medication, and allow extra time to reach your destination. You should liaise with your local airline, hotel or tour operator for further advice and assistance that they may provide to mitigate disruption, and for information on alternate arrangements that may need to be made for onward travel, including bus and rail journeys.
Due to protests, the following States of Emergency are in place, which amongst other things allow the military forces to assist the local police and authorities in maintaining law and order:
a 30-day extension to the State of Emergency in Pataz province in La Libertad region starting on 16 November 2023
a 60-day extension to the State of Emergency on the Southern Apurimac-Cusco-Arequipa road corridor starting on 12 October 2023
For more information on states of emergency, please see the El Peruano official newspaper.
Protests may lead to airports suspending operations. For information on airport operations, please visit the Lima airport website.
Some train services in the South, including trains to or from Machu Picchu, are occasionally temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure, or disrupted, due to protests. Visitors should check with travel providers in advance of travelling.
In general, local protests are common, can start with very little notice, and can turn violent quickly, potentially causing lengthy disruption to travel and services. Protests can disrupt road, rail, river and air travel and affect tourist areas like Lima, Ica, Cusco, Arequipa, Puno, Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos. Protests in Puno can result in the closure of the border crossing with Bolivia, including Lake Titicaca. Protests in Machu Picchu can result in the suspension of train and bus services. Protests in the centre of Lima can disrupt access to the historical centre and to some public offices. Protests in Ica can result in the blockade of Panamericana highway. 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. Protests in the Amazon area can result in the disruption of tour vessels in remote areas where access to food and water can be limited and evacuations are only possible by boat. This may result in the temporary detainment of tourists.
Local groups often announce strike action with little or no notice. These are normally around mining interests and may quickly spill over from one region to another. These demonstrations can become violent and may lead to roadblocks. You should avoid large gatherings and follow the advice of local authorities.
On 19 November 2023 a 60-day state of emergency for security reasons was declared in San Martin de Porres and San Juan de Lurigancho districts in Lima region, and in the districts of Sullana, Bellavista, Marcavelica, Salitral, Querecotillo, Ignacio Escudero and Miguel Checa in Sullana province, Piura region.
On 9 October 2023 a 60-day state of emergency for security reasons was declared in Cercado de Lima (which includes Lima historical centre) and Lince districts in Lima region.
The states of emergency reflect a government focus on ensuring security and you should ensure you follow relevant instructions from the authorities. For more information please visit El Peruano newspaper (in Spanish).
Street crime, including muggings and thefts, is a significant problem in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and other major cities. Be vigilant in public places and when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night.
There have been a number of thefts at gunpoint affecting foreign nationals, including British tourists and residents. These have happened in tourist areas of Miraflores and Barranco, including outside hotels popular with tourists, during the day and at night. In early 2019 there were a small number of robberies in and around luxury lodges near Puerto Maldonado city in the Madre de Dios region, including on tour buses. Some of these have been at gunpoint and involved British tourists. As with travel across the country, you should remain aware of your surroundings and avoid wearing or displaying expensive items. In the event of a robbery, do not attempt to resist attackers or take any action that puts you at greater risk. Report the matter to local police as soon as possible. If the incident takes place in a lodge or hotel, staff will be able to assist.
Passport theft is also common on inter-city buses and at bus stations. Keep your passport with you at all times during your bus journey and take particular care of valuables if you travel on a bus at night. Provincial and inter-city buses are sometimes held up and the passengers robbed.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching is common, and occurs even in crowded, public areas. Pickpockets and bag snatchers may work in pairs or groups and employ a variety of ruses to divert their victim’s attention.
- Avoid wearing expensive watches and jewellery, or showing signs of affluence.
- Ensure that your belongings are secure at all times.
- Never leave bags unattended.
Tourists have been targeted and robbed by bogus taxi drivers. Do not hail a taxi on the street. Use licensed telephone or app-based taxi services whenever possible, or ask your hotel to book one for you. Be particularly careful when arriving at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and at bus terminals. Bogus taxi drivers and thieves pretending to be tour operators sometimes approach arriving passengers. At the airport, use one of the official taxi companies located at desks directly outside the arrival hall. Further details are on the Lima Airport Partners website. At bus terminals, use one of the taxis registered with them. Cars travelling from Lima city to the airport have been targeted by thieves when diverted off the main route by GPS navigation applications.
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 organised gangs. Do not attempt to resist attackers or take any action that puts you at greater risk. Report the matter to local police as soon as possible. Fake kidnappings occur throughout the country. Criminals use stolen cell-phones to contact family members claiming to have kidnapped the owner of the phone and then ask for ransom money.
There have been a number of cases of rape, mostly in the Cusco and Arequipa areas. Be alert to the use of ‘date rape’ and other drugs. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. If you’re in a bar and don’t feel well, try to seek help from people you know. Unscrupulous tour agents have targeted lone young female travellers in the Cusco area.
If you’re a victim of crime, try to report it to the police as soon as possible so they can start investigations.
The army has been called in to support the police tackle crime in Lima and Callao. You should follow instructions given to you by military, police or other officials.
The website of the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism has useful information for tourists and visitors in English, and its local tourist Information and Assistance service - telephone +51 1 574 8000 (24 hours a day) can handle enquiries in English. On the Ministry of Tourism website you will also find information about the government offices that help tourists around the country. The Tourist Protection Network has launched a new 24/7 free line to contact the Tourist Police on 0800 22221. They can handle enquiries in English.
Drugs, organised crime and terrorism are inextricably linked. There is a higher risk to your safety in regions where there is intensive coca cultivation and processing, including the border areas with Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil and the Valley of Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers (VRAEM). Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group in the VRAEM continue to conduct occasional ambushes and attacks mainly targeting the police, military forces and local authorities. Seek local advice about dangerous areas and be alert to possible threats. Take official warnings seriously, follow the advice of local authorities, and report any suspicious activity or items to the police. If there’s an attack, leave the area as soon as it’s safe. Avoid areas affected in case of secondary attacks.
Where there are greater security concerns or local authorities currently have limited presence, including in the VRAEM and the border areas with Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil, the British Government will have limited ability to offer assistance, and may not have the ability to provide emergency or consular support. While we will liaise with local authorities to request assistance, their ability to respond may also be very limited.
Illegal drug use and drugs trafficking in Peru is subject to severe punishment, with lengthy jail sentences. Prison conditions in Peru are extremely poor and the Embassy cannot intervene in police or judicial matters, nor is it able to secure more favourable conditions for those in detention.
A state of emergency for security reasons is in force in some districts of Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Junin, Madre de Dios and Cusco regions (Cusco city, Machu Picchu and Manu Park are not affected). A 60-day extension to the State of Emergency in Putumayo and Mariscal Ramon Castilla provinces in Loreto region has been declared starting on 16 October 2023. For further information you should contact Iperu. If you do decide to visit any area under a state of emergency you should follow instructions given to you by military, police or other officials.
Unregulated tour services
If you’re planning to undertake adventure activities like canopy/zipline, bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, rock climbing, sand buggies, surfing etc, the agency providing the service must have a licence for these activities. For more information, contact the Ministry of Tourism, as they can provide you with updated information on tour and sport services. You should also check with companies for their health and safety precautions.
We are aware of unregulated surfboard rentals at the beaches of Miraflores, that do not operate with the Municipality permission. To our knowledge, there is no life-guard provision.
Be especially alert to the local security situation in the border areas with Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil, where there is a higher risk to your safety due to intensive coca cultivation and processing. There are reports of increased drug trafficking and other organised crime in the area around the Putumayo river. Seek local advice about dangerous areas and be alert to possible threats. Take official warnings seriously, follow the advice of local authorities, and report any suspicious activity or items to the police. If there’s an attack, leave the area as soon as it’s safe. Avoid areas affected in case of secondary attacks.
If you’re crossing the Peru-Ecuador border (by land) you should do so at official checkpoints only. Other parts of the border may still have unexploded landmines, and some tourists have been targeted and robbed by fake taxi drivers. You should exercise extra vigilance in these areas.
To protect the Inca trail, where only guided groups are allowed, there is a government fee and restrictions on numbers. During the high season (June–August) you should make reservations with a travel agency well in advance. Always register when entering national parks and be particularly careful in steep or slippery areas which are unfenced or unmarked. Several climbers have died or suffered serious injuries after falling while climbing Huayna Picchu, a peak near Machu Picchu. Only very basic medical assistance is available at Machu Picchu.
The alternative route to Machu Picchu, also known as ‘the Inca Jungle Trail’ can be difficult for vehicles due to poor road conditions and fatal road accidents have been reported.
Travel in groups when walking along the banks of Lake Titicaca. There have been incidents of armed robberies against travellers walking on their own. Take care at all times and contact the local tourist information centre for advice about known safe zones. Local authorities advise against travelling alone at night in the Desaguadero area on the Peru-Bolivia border at the southern end of Lake Titicaca.
If you’re planning to overfly the Nazca Lines, check the airline company is licensed and has a good safety record before you book. There have been several fatal accidents in recent years. For more information, please contact Iperu.
Shamans and other individuals offer ‘spiritual cleansing’ to tourists in the Amazon area, Northern Peru and Cusco. This service is often referred to as Ayahuasca or San Pedro and typically involves the consumption of a brew containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an hallucinogenic drug which is prohibited in the UK as a Class A substance. Consumption of this brew is not regulated and its interaction with existing medical conditions isn’t well understood. People have suffered serious illnesses and in some cases death after participating in these ceremonies. There have also been reports of sexual assault during these ceremonies. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped in Peru and you wish to seek assistance or to report the incident, you can refer to this guidance.
Spiritual cleansing retreats are usually some distance from populated areas making it difficult to access medical attention for those who need it. Some retreats have basic medical services, including first aid, but others don’t. Some don’t even have an established plan for how clients can access medical facilities in case of an emergency.
Criminal activity has been reported along the Amazon river near the tri-border area with Brazil and Colombia. Thieves can be armed and are known locally as ‘river pirates’. Independent travellers have been targeted, with foreign nationals having been involved in recent incidents. Be especially alert to the local security situation in these areas.
Luxury Cruise ships
Passengers’ security arrangements vary between different cruise operators in the Amazon region. For more information about safety and security on cruise ships, contact your cruise ship operator or iPeru (official tourist information and assistance).
Huaraz Region of the Cordillera Blanca Mountains
Several hikers have died and others have had to be rescued after serious accidents in the Huaraz region of the Cordillera Blanca Mountains, where Peru’s highest peaks are located. Most rescues are carried out on foot because helicopters can’t fly to the areas where hikers are experiencing transport difficulties. Contact iperu offices in Huaraz (telephone: +51 (43) 428812) before you set off.
River rafting and boating
Check that the company you use is well established and make sure your insurance covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. The weather can impact on white-water rafting and boating conditions.
There have been deaths and injuries involving recreational sand buggies, particularly in the sand dunes around Ica and Lake Huacachina. These buggies are unregulated and the drivers and agencies take no responsibility for the welfare of passengers.
You can drive in Peru with a valid UK driving licence for up to 6 months or with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to one year.
Carry your passport or a valid ID (‘carne de extranjería’ if you are a resident) with you at all times when driving.
Take particular care if you are driving close to places where protests are taking place. Don’t attempt to pass blockades.
Driving standards in Peru are poor. Stop signs and traffic lights are often ignored. Fatal crashes occur frequently. Drivers don’t always show concern for pedestrians.
Bus crashes are common, especially at night. Only use reputable transport companies, and where possible avoid overnight travel, especially in mountainous and remote regions. Always wear a seat belt.
Terrorist attacks in Peru cannot be ruled out.
UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.
Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners. You should remain vigilant and avoid large gatherings and demonstrations.
The internal terrorism of the 1980s and 1990s has largely ended, but remnants of the Shining Path terrorist movement are still active in some of the main coca growing areas in central Peru (Alto Huallaga, Aguaytia and Apurimac-Ene VRAE river basins).
There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.
You should carry an identification document with you at all times should the Peruvian Police request to see it.
A small number of British nationals are currently in prison in Peru, most of them for drugs offences. Drug smugglers face long terms of imprisonment and conditions in Peruvian prisons are unpleasant. Pack your luggage yourself and keep it with you at all times. Don’t carry anything through customs for anybody else. Don’t take coca leaves or coca tea out of the country. It’s illegal to import these items into the UK.
Some British nationals are being targeted for recruitment as drug couriers through email scams, where online fraudsters, through the promise of financial reward, ask people to travel to Peru where they are unexpectedly presented with some items/gifts to take with them out of the country. These items contain drugs and the person carrying them will face detention for drug trafficking. You’re strongly advised to ignore this type of e-mail or online request.
Sex with a child (in Peru this means under 14 years old) is illegal. Offenders will face long term jail sentences.
You are not allowed to take any archaeological artefacts from the country without the proper authorisation.
In Peru you will likely find products made using wild plants and animals. The vast majority of these animals and products are of illegal origin and could involve protected or endangered species. Their commercialization and export are also illegal or may require special permits when leaving Peru.
The following common products, which are often found for sale in Peru, could be illegal. We recommend avoiding them. At the very least, you should ask about their origins before buying or consuming them:
- Products made from the skin of felines, deer, bears, snakes, and other animals
- Crafts made with preserved invertebrates (butterflies, spiders, beetles, starfish, etc) and vertebrates (sea horses and fish)
- Crafts and jewelry made with wild bird feathers (including condor feathers), turtle shells, teeth, bones, and other animal parts
- Live monkeys and birds, such as finger monkeys, parakeets, and macaws
- Dishes made with caiman, paca (wild rodent) or turtle meat, and beverages made with frog.
For more information, go to the Campaign Against Illegal Wildlife Trafficking website.
The sale of souvenirs made with any animal parts, including condor feathers, is illegal. These feathers are often sold in tourist markets in Cusco.
You should carry identification with you at all times. You can carry a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport and keep the original document in a safe place. You may be asked to show your passport to enter some archaeological sites. You should check with your tour operator in advance.
Homosexuality is legal in Peru but social attitudes are generally conservative. Crimes against the LGBT community are not included in recently adopted hate crime legislation and same-sex partnerships are not formally recognised. Public displays of affection between same-sex couples are likely to be frowned upon. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
You should avoid taking photographs of anything of a military nature.
If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
Medical treatment is less readily available and can be more difficult to access outside of Lima. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice at TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the foreign embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Peru (including Cusco, Puno, the Colca Canyon and Kuelap). More information about altitude sickness is available from TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel health Network and Centre).
If a passenger shows signs of mpox (monkeypox) upon arrival in Peru through the Jorge Chavez international airport, the local authorities will escort them to the airport medical centre for screening. If a test result is positive, authorities will arrange for the passenger to quarantine in the nearest hospital for 21 days. If the case is considered low by the hospital, the passenger can spend their 21-day quarantine in their accommodation. The passenger will need to cover all costs. There are no known protocols for mpox at land borders in Peru. Please note that this can change at short notice.
Following a countrywide floods in Peru, the country is experiencing a major dengue outbreak. On 25 May 2023 the Peruvian authorities declared a 120-day national health emergency in 222 districts following an outbreak of dengue fever. The north western region of Piura has been particularly badly affected. For further information about dengue fever visit the TravelHealthPro website.
UK health authorities have classified Peru as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Yellow fever is endemic in certain areas.
Diarrhoea caused by contaminated food or water is common and is potentially serious. See NaTHNaC’s Food and Water Hygiene page.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial one of the following numbers: 225 4040 (Lima - Alerta Med); 467 4861 (Lima - Clave 5); 241 1911(Lima - Plan Vital) and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
This page has information on travelling to Peru.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Peru set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Peru’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.
Normally, you don’t need a visa to travel if the purpose of the visit is tourism/visit. If you’re travelling for any other purpose, check entry clearance requirements with the Peruvian Consulate-General in London. For information see the Visas section.
Please note that previous requirements relating to Covid-19 vaccinations for entry in Peru were removed on 26 October 2022.
Some airlines and bus companies are not allowing foreign visitors, whose passports have been lost/stolen, to travel internally carrying a Police report only. They require a new passport or more documents. If your passport has been lost/stolen and you plan to travel internally, please contact your travel agency/airline/bus company first to check on requirements.
Clashes between the police and migrants were reported on the border between Peru and Chile in April and early May 2023. This led to delays in processing at this border crossing. As a result, on 24 November 2023 a state of emergency was extended for 60 days on all border areas of Peru, covering different districts and provinces in the regions of Tumbes, Piura and Tacna. States of Emergency, amongst other things, allow the military to assist the local police and authorities in maintaining law and order. For full details, please visit El Peruano newspaper.
Passports do not get an immigration entry or exit stamp in any international airport in Peru. The entry into and exit from the country is registered digitally only. You can find the registration of your immigration control and the number of days granted to stay legally in Peru in this link.
If you enter Peru overland from Bolivia, either by walking, by bus or taxi, you must make sure your passport is stamped with a Peruvian entry stamp at the immigration office. You need to go to the immigration checkpoint proactively, as they may not reach out to you.
If you enter Peru overland from Ecuador, you must make sure your passport is stamped with a Peruvian entry stamp at the local immigration office. Most people crossing the border with Ecuador enter Peru through Aguas Verdes (Tumbes region) - you may need to ask for directions to the immigration office. If your passport is not stamped at the border with Ecuador, you can have it stamped at the Immigration Office in the city of Tumbes.
If you enter Peru without an immigration entry stamp through any land border, you may still be able to enter Peru with no problems, but once in, you will not be able to leave Peru until you have obtained a new entry stamp. That is required by law.
In order to obtain a new entry stamp the immigration authorities will need you to complete a form (fully in Spanish) and provide your passport and evidence of your entry to Peru, e.g. air/bus ticket in your name, exit stamp from the last country you visited, and any other documentation they deem necessary. This process is fully online and has very specific guidelines to follow.
If you’re unable to provide any such evidence you must apply for an exit or expulsion order at the Immigration Office in Lima. You won’t be allowed to leave Peru without this, and these orders may prevent you from re-entering Peru for the next five to ten years. The British Embassy cannot intervene in immigration decisions.
If your passport was not stamped on entry into Peru through a land border, we can assist you in requesting a new entry stamp or the exit order. The sooner you start that process, the better.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are visiting Peru, your passport should be valid for six months from the date you arrive.
Some airlines have been allowing non-resident passengers to travel to Peru without the six-month passport validity requirement. These passengers have not been allowed to enter Peru upon arrival.
Normally, you don’t need a visa to travel if the purpose of the visit is tourism/visit. If you’re travelling for any other purpose, check entry clearance requirements with the Peruvian Consulate-General in London.
If you have tourism status in Peru, you’ll need to apply online for a special permit in order to sign any type of contract, eg, purchase of a home, business contracts, at a notary public. For more information, please contact the Peruvian Immigration Office or the Peruvian Consulate-General in London.
On arrival, you’re normally given permission to stay for up to 90 days.
Double check the period of time you’ve been granted. If you overstay, you’ll need to pay a fine. In the worst case scenario you could be held in detention.
While it is not required by the immigration authorities, some airlines require passengers to show proof of onward travel (e.g. an airline ticket) in order to travel to Peru.
Travelling with children
Children under the age of 18 years travelling on a British passport who have resident status in Peru need written permission (Autorización de Viaje Notarial) from the non accompanying parent(s) to leave the country.
This permission is obtained by a notary public in Peru. The letter must mention the proposed destination, the purpose of the trip, the date of departure and the return date.
If unable to obtain a notarial permission, the child will need a judicial written permission (Autorización de Viaje Judicial) issued by a judge. If one of the parents has committed certain crimes, the other parent can request a judicial written permission from the judge. If one of the parents is deceased, the other parent would need to submit the death certificate to a notary public, so that an indefinite notarial permit to travel with the child is issued.
Children who have tourist status do not need these permissions, but immigration officers are free to request them in circumstances considered suspicious by the immigration authorities or if the child has stayed in Peru for over 90 days.
You can enter Peru with one laptop and two mobiles phones maximum per passenger without paying taxes. You should familiarise yourself with Peruvian immigration or customs procedures before you enter the country. For further details contact the Peruvian Consulate in London.
If you are returning to the UK via Europe, be aware that the customs authorities in European airports frequently confiscate duty free alcohol and other liquids purchased at the duty free shops in Lima airport from passengers in transit.
Rains, snow, flooding and landslides
In 2023 heavy rains and sometimes snow have affected different parts of Peru, including Cusco and the Northern Coast, leading to the disruption of some travel services, the restriction of some inter-provincial travel by road, flight delays and the temporary closure of some tourist sites.
The rainy season in Peru runs from November to May. It can rain and snow heavily in the Andes and there have been occasions of torrential rains in some parts of the country, including Cusco. River levels may be higher during this period.
During the rainy season land, rock and mudslides, or snow can cause disruption to road and rail travel as well as to walking routes in mountain and jungle areas. These normally include Cusco, the routes to Machu Picchu (including the alternative Santa Maria-Santa Teresa-hydroelectric plant route, and the Salkantay route), the route to Manu (in Cusco and Madre de Dios) and the north of Peru. Weather conditions can also lead to the delay of flights, including in Cusco and Arequipa.
Take care when travelling in these areas during the rainy season and check the latest conditions with your tour operator. You should ensure you travel with a sufficient supply of food, water, cash in local currency, personal medication, and warm clothes should travel be disrupted. Monitor local media for updates on travel information before starting your journey and contact Iperu (the official source of information for tourists in Peru) beforehand.
Peru is in an active earthquake zone and there are frequent tremors. If in a building when an earthquake strikes keep away from the windows and make your way to the safe zones marked in most buildings with an ‘S’ sign. If you are outside keep away from buildings and other areas where objects, like trees or power lines, could fall.
Where natural disasters result in disruption to travel and/or communications, the British Government’s ability to support will be limited. While we will liaise with local authorities, their ability to respond may also be very limited if circumstances are unfavourable, including if infrastructure such as airports, roads and railroads are affected.
To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.
If you’re planning to visit areas of known volcanic activity, pay careful attention to all warnings and follow the advice of the local authorities. On 5 July 2023, the Peruvian Government declared a state of emergency in the area surrounding the Ubinas volcano in Moquegua region due to Ubinas’s increased volcanic activity. See the Ingemmet website (Peruvian Institute of Geology and Mining) (in Spanish) for more information and follow the alerts of the National Geophysical Institute (in Spanish) and the National Emergencies Centre (in Spanish).
Tsunamis and High tides
Although tsunamis are rare in Peru higher tides are often experienced either after an earthquake or for other reasons throughout the year.
See the Peruvian Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation website for information.
When using an ATM, try to do so during business hours inside a bank, supermarket or large commercial building. Be particularly vigilant before and after using an ATM on the street, especially at night. Some ATMs don’t automatically release your card when you receive your money. You may have to push a button to release your card.
Not all shops, restaurants, bars and hotels accept credit cards, or may not accept all credit card types, and it is worth checking whether they do before ordering anything. Keep credit and debit card receipts.
Western Union is represented in Peru, with bureaux in all main cities. If you need more cash this is a quick, reliable way of receiving money from abroad. You will just need to identify yourself with valid ID.
Be alert to the possibility of being passed counterfeit US dollars or local currency, especially from street money changers. There have been reports of Intis (former Peruvian currency out of circulation) being provided by street money changers in Cusco tourist areas.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.