They boast some of the world’s most beautiful destinations, but you have to prepare for a handful of things in different parts of Perú: the shy people and weak Wi-Fi, under-budgeting and potent coca leaves, and the good and bad of all the cuisine.
Well, there you have it, my five tips for traveling in Perú. Thanks for reading. Just kidding. Let’s talk about them.
1. Third-world Wi-Fi
This is the first thing that got my attention. Working online, you notice this kind of stuff immediately. It’s hard to get work done when you’re connection drops more often than you are used to, depending on where you live.
But even in Cusco, a tourist trap, I had problems. And Huacachina and Puno? So bad. One good thing came out of it, though: it forced me to enjoy my vacation more.
2. A Bigger Budget is Better
The title probably makes you say, “Duh!” I bet it even makes you wonder why I would include something obvious among my five tips for traveling in Perú. But what I mean is, expect to pay more than you think.
Cusco and Lima are no longer cheap. They’re affordable, but I spent a lot more than I expected, probably $800 more.
There is so much to do, so much to see. A big part of that is…
3. Food (Pros and Cons)
The downside is the third-world aspect of Perú becomes apparent after the first time you get sick.
“Everyone does,” my roommates in Medellín told me. “You will too.”
I almost made it the whole month there without getting sick, but on my last night, I ate a plate of fried seafood that didn’t agree with my stomach. I was sick my entire first week back in Medellín.
4. The People Are Shy
Peruvians, like other people from places where the indigenous culture thrives, can be very shy.
This means they might not want their picture taken. All you have to do is ask politely, and everything should be fine.
In some cases, they want you to take their picture because they are wearing traditional garb and have an alpaca with them. I think I paid 2 soles (about 66 cents) so I could take the pic above.
5. Coca Helps Nausea
Cusco and Puno are way up in the mountains, Cusco at 11,200 feet, Puno at 12,468.
There is a way to cure altitude sickness. Drink coca leaf tea. You can chew on the leaves too, from what I’ve heard, but I prefer the tea.
I would drink two cups in the morning with breakfast, then another two in the afternoon. After a day or two, I was acclimated.
Dave's 160-page, all-original Lima Travel Guide is now available for Kindle.