I never imagined that I would know another country, until I actually set foot in Peru. Come with me in this text, I’ll tell you all about my first international trip.
Long before I graduated in Tourism I was already interested in the culture and cultural manifestations of peoples. There is no better way to know all this as traveling to the destination and that is exactly what I did. But before embarking on this dream that would also be an adventure, I planned myself.
Starting the works
Not unlike most people, I was very anxious and apprehensive about my first international trip, but I was a little relieved too as I wasn’t going alone.
Me and my boyfriend (Paulo Bruce <3) decided to travel to South America. It was a wish of both of us, but we were unsure of the destination. That was the first (good) challenge: where would we go?
For the trip to get the right price for each one, it would be interesting that the round trip flights were up to 20,000 miles. After thinking about Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, we finally decided to travel to Peru.
Destination chosen: now what?
After completing the arduous task of choosing the destination, we began planning the rest of the trip. And look, there’s plenty to organize. Below I will list the most important. Comes!
Baggage and medicine
Regarding overall health, Peru unfortunately has poor public health. Before we left Brazil, we made sure that our health insurance was covered in Brazil and bought some medicines to take.
Contrary to what we thought, it was very quiet to take the medicine in the luggage. To transport them we removed all of their original boxes and stored in small plastic bags with the leaflets, as a precaution.
For luggage, we both carried a large hiking backpack and a smaller backpack, which would be our handbag. Throughout the outbound flight to Lima, we were able to carry our backpacks on top of the plane without any impediment from the airlines.
Only on the domestic flight from Lima to Cusco did the agents not let me board my bag and I had to dispatch it. On the return flight, we thought it would be better to dispatch without even having to. Be aware of what you carry in your luggage. All the time you have to go through the treadmills and through customs.
Check In and Documentation
We were very apprehensive with check in but didn’t need to. It’s all very simple. Even if you can check in online through the airline’s website, you need to check in at the counter as well. Because it is an international flight, airlines need to make sure you have the right documents for your departure.
A curiosity about Peru is that they do not accept Brazil‘s CNH (Driver’s License) as an official ID. So if necessary remove the duplicate of your identity (RG) in advance.
Passports, visas and vaccines
To travel to Peru you do not need a passport or visa, but it is very important that your identity card is in good condition and up to 10 years from the date of dispatch.
Vaccines are also not required, except for the yellow fever vaccine for travelers passing by Acre or Amazonas by car or travelers traveling in the Peruvian part of the Amazon rainforest. Keep an eye out and get your vaccine at least 10 days in advance of your travel date.
Currency Exchange and Cards
We did a lot of currency research: what would be most viable for us and how would we not lose money on the conversion. We consulted some people who had already gone to Peru and they advised us to buy dollars. Then the orientation when arriving in the country was to exchange for the currency in the country: the New Sun.
It worked super well because, by switching, we had a good amount of money to give for all 14 days of travel. We bought $ 500 from a colleague who sold us at a better price and exchanged it.
Paying for things in the country is pretty quiet. They accept New Sun, dollars and, in some places, even accept real. The problem is that regardless of the currency you use, dollar or real, you will get change in new sunshine.
As a tourist destination, most establishments accept Visa credit card. That’s right! It can be difficult to pay with the card if yours is Mastercard or another flag. Here we learn to always have some money in our pockets.
Means of transport, food and lodging
Public transportation in Peru is not regularized, so it is possible to see minibuses missing headlights, front or some other piece. For those who like to venture out, it can be a cool experience to get around by van or minibus, but if you don’t want to risk it, Uber is not that expensive.
In general, food has the normal price of tourist cities, and may be a little more expensive in city centers. For those who like chicken, eating there is very easy. The main meat they eat there is pollo (our chicken).
In addition to pollo, meats such as fish (Ceviche) and sirloin ( Lomo Saltado) are also typical Peruvian dishes. We are vegetarians, so meat dishes didn’t feel like it, but luckily Peru is the home country of potatoes.
Yes, the country has over 3,500 potato varieties. I don’t need to say what we eat there, right? Their potato is amazing and well worth a try.
In the subject of lodging, we stayed every 14 days in apartments rented by AirBnb. When we put it on the tip of the pen, it was more affordable. Always be judicious with the choice of your hosting. Always talk to the host about the application and do not combine anything out of it.
Domestic Tickets and Tickets
We planned a trip with medium cost and so we did not go on all the tours that the country offers. Our main objective was to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Before that, we landed in Lima, Peru’s capital and after spending 3 days in the city, we took a Sky Airlines plane to Cusco.
We buy tickets on the internet still in Brazil and pay a good price for the service provided by the airline. Cusco is the city you must reach from there to go to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo (which are exactly the same thing), which is the base city of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
Tickets for access to the city of Machu Picchu also bought in advance on the Internet, on the official website of the Peruvian Government. You can shop there too, but as it was our first time, we didn’t want to risk getting there and tickets sold out.
Here, our tip for you is to buy and book everything you can get in advance.
Communication and language
Neither Bruce nor I are fluent in Spanish, but we play well in Portuñol. In fact, I took Spanish classes at the university and I was able to learn the basics because I really liked the language. This does not mean that it is extremely easy to talk and understand Peruvians.
Spanish is the official language of Peru, but you may come across Quechua . The Quechua is a dialect spoken by the elder members of the Inca empire that today, you can hear it in the corresponding territories to the ancient Inca territory. Therefore, you may not understand some words, but it is perfectly possible to communicate. And how beautiful to hear them <3
Peru is an amazing country. The people are very welcoming and you feel very comfortable. If you have a tip that we give is: plan and get to know Peru, its strong people, its colorful culture and its natural beauty.