The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Peru. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
For entry requirements for Peru, please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy or Consulate.
You should take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
In the event that your passport is lost or stolen, obtaining a replacement passport can take up to two weeks, due to time and distance factors. You should take all precautions necessary to keep your travel documents secure at all times.
Irish citizens entering Peru by land need to obtain an entrance stamp in their passport. If you fail to do so, Peruvian Immigration Officials could oblige you to go back to the border to obtain the stamp before leaving Peru.
Although Irish citizens do not need a tourist visa to visit Peru, all travellers are given an Andean Immigration Card upon arrival. This card must be presented prior to departure from Peru. Failure to produce this document may result in delays until a replacement card is obtained. If your passport is lost or stolen, a new card and a new entry stamp on the replacement passport must be processed at the Peruvian Immigration Office in Lima:
Dirección General de Migraciones y Naturalización (DIGEMIN)
Address: Prolongación Av. España 734, Breña, Lima
Telephone (from Lima): 433 0789
Business hours: Monday to Friday from 08:00-12:00"
SAFETY & SECURITY
There are ongoing concerns about a possible resurgence of terrorist activity by subversive groups, including remnants of the Shining Path. Isolated terrorist incidents have occurred in remote areas and cities within the departments of Puno, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Junín, Ayacucho, Cuzco, Ucayali, San Martín, Huanuco, Huancavelica and Apurímac. These were mostly robberies, temporary takeovers of small villages and, very occasionally, violence (including bombings) or threats of violence against security forces or local community figures. On 9 October 2008 a terrorist attack on an army patrol killed twelve soldiers and seven civilians in the district of Tintaypunco, Tayacaja province, Department of Huancavelica.
Overland travel in these regions can be dangerous. In large centres, terrorist activity has been restricted to propaganda. Irish citizens should avoid large crowds and public areas, particularly areas frequented by foreigners."
Political and labour-related demonstrations are common and may suddenly lead to violent disturbances. Irish citizens should remain particularly alert when travelling in the departments of Amazonas, Apurímac, Ayacucho, Arequipa, Cuzco, Huancavelica, Huanuco, Junin, Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura, Puno and San Martín. You should take care to avoid any area in which large crowds are gathering and you should check with your travel company or airline before travelling. Roadblocks may occur on main roads and cause traffic disruptions. You should not attempt to cross blockades, even if they appear unattended. Curfews may also be put into effect and airports may be closed in response to unrest.
Protests occasionally cause disruption to airports and rail services. You should maintain contact with your airline or tour operator before travelling, and monitor local media reports for up to date information.
We advise against all travel to the border area between Peru and Colombia, which is heavily patrolled and monitored by the Peruvian army for armed narcotics gangs and other illegal armed groups. If travelling overland to Ecuador or in the region of the Peru-Ecuador border, especially the Cordillera del Cóndor region, you should only use official border crossings due to the presence of unexploded ordinance and land mines. Isolated areas in the Southern Highlands including San Martin, Huanuco, Pasco, Junin, Ucayali, Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Apurimac, may still harbour sympathisers of the Shining Path rebel group. Irish citizens should also carefully consider their need to travel to these regions.
In 2008 there have been a number of incidents involving small aircraft flying over the Nazca Lines. In October 2010 six tourists were killed when a light airplane overflying the Nazca lines crashed. There have been a number of fatal accidents and emergencies at Nazca over many years, including four fatal accidents since 2008. It is unsafe to assume that proper safety and maintenance standards are now being reliably adhered to.
You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Violent crime occurs, including sexual assault, armed robbery, muggings and car-jackings, particularly in the cities of Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. To reduce the risk of being targeted you should avoid walking alone after dark, especially when leaving bars or nightclubs. Female travellers should take particular care at bus terminals and when taking taxis and should avoid isolated areas, particularly after dark.
There has been a significant increase in reports of serious crimes, including robbery, assault and rape, against travellers using unlicensed taxi operators, particularly in Lima and Cusco. You should arrange transport at taxi counters within the international terminal or to book transport in advance through your hotel when arriving at Lima's international airport. Travellers are often approached by thieves masquerading as taxi drivers or tour operators. Seek assistance from staff at hotels, hostels, restaurants or places of entertainment to book a licensed taxi or tour. Some assaults on inter-provincial buses in rural areas have included the rape of female passengers and crew. You should also be alert to the availability and possible use of "date rape" and other drugs. You should purchase your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times to make sure they cannot be spiked. Police report that most of the crimes against bus passengers happen between the hours of 22.00 and 05.00. If you choose to travel by long distance bus at night, you should keep your valuables (passport, money, credit cards etc.) in a safe place if you intend to sleep.
There have been incidents of tourists having had money taken from their accounts after using ATM machines, particularly in the Cusco area. You should take the same precautions when using these machines in Peru as you would in Ireland. Also be aware that, unlike in Ireland, ATM machines in Peru do not automatically release your credit or debit card at the time you receive your money. You have to request its return by pushing a button. Please remember to do so. Many ATMs in main towns have instructions in English.
The Peruvian government has opened Tourist Protection offices in many tourist destinations. Tourists may register complaints or seek assistance via a 24-hour hotline. The contact number is 424 2053 in Lima and 01 424 2053 when outside the city of Lima. English speaking operators are available.
LOCAL LAWS & CUSTOMS
Drug trafficking is a serious crime in Peru and drug smugglers face severe penalties, usually receiving long terms of imprisonment. Pack your luggage yourself and keep it with you at all times. Do not carry anything through customs for anybody else. You are advised not to take coca leaves/coca tea out of the country.
Driving standards are low in Peru and travel by road outside major cities is not recommended after dark. Bus crashes are commonplace, especially at night. You should only use reputable transport companies for travel between the major tourist centres.
Bus crashes are commonplace, especially at night. Inter-city bus crashes have resulted in loss of life and serious injury. You should use only reputable transport companies, and where possible avoid overnight travel, especially in mountainous and remote regions. You should always wear a seat belt when travelling by inter-city bus. Make enquiries when planning long bus journeys and where possible try to take a bus which operates using two crews, allowing drivers an opportunity to rest and reducing the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue.
There have been cases of injury to tourists from recreational sand buggies, particularly in the sand dunes around Ica and Lake Huacachina. These buggies are unregulated and the drivers take no responsibility for the welfare of their passengers.
Peru is in an earthquake zone and tremors are frequent. You should check with your tour operator or local authorities for current updates before visiting the area.
The central coast of Peru was struck by an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale on the evening of 15 August 2007. The most severely affected areas were the cities of Chincha, Pisco and Ica, about 100 miles to the south of Lima. These areas remain seriously affected by the devastation the earthquake caused.
The rainy season in Peru runs from November to April. Landslides can occur, sometimes causing fatalities and making local travel difficult, particularly in mountainous areas. You are advised to keep up to date with current weather conditions via your local guide, travel agent or local tourist information point.
Intending travellers should be aware that the rainy season in Peru runs from November until April. However, unusually heavy rains in late January 2010 caused extensive flooding and landslides throughout the popular tourist areas in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Any Irish tourists planning overland travel in areas affected by floods should take local advice and contact their tour operator before commencing their journey to ensure that their planned route is open.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
A State of Emergency declared for security reasons gives the armed forces responsibility for law and order. A State of Emergency declared for natural disasters or health alerts means that the standard service providers in the region cannot guarantee to provide normal services and frequently require assistance from central government. However, in these cases the armed forces do not take responsibility for law and order. States of Emergency declared many years ago as well as those described in this advice remain in force throughout many regions of Peru.
The altitude in Cusco, Machu Picchu, Puno and Lake Titicaca can cause problems for travellers, particularly those who suffer from lung, heart or chest problems. Healthy travellers may also feel the effects of the lack of oxygen.
If you intend to travel on to the neighbouring countries in Latin America from Peru, you may not be allowed to do so without production of a Yellow Fever Certificate. You should confirm with the authorities of your next destination whether they require a certificate following your visit to Peru.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS
The Embassy of Ireland in Mexico is accredited to Peru - for contact details, please click here. (Opens in new window).Top