Tourist Useful Information
In every significant touristic city in Peru there is an office of "el ministerio de turismo". In Lima, this office is located at half a square of the Plaza de San Martín in Jirón de la Unión 1066. The street is also known as Jirón Belén. The place is open from 9am to 6pm and closes Saturday at 1pm. They even offer you a free magazine with information directing you to different locations, restaurants and attractions located in the city. With a little bit of luck you will even find an English-speaking staff. On the same street a bit further down, there are some other places to obtain advice about hotels, transport and local tours. Stick to seeking out information about Machu Picchu when in Cusco. There is an office of the ministry of tourism in Cusco at the Plaza de Armas.
If you should arrive in the tourist and beautiful district of Miraflores in Lima, you can always knock the door of Aventura Latino Americana. Mr. Guy Vanackeren and his sympathetic wife Carine Beckers offer information in English, French, Spanish and Dutch. You can find the office of Aventura Latino Americana on Avenida Mariscal la Mar, 146 in Miraflores (Lima 18) or call them on (51-1) 447.96.85. You can also send them an email and let them know about your questions. They are also willing to have any mail that you may need to receive sent to their address and will reconfirm your fly-back ticket. Remember that reconfirmation has to be done at least 72 hours before your flight and that companies are sometimes difficult to reach during weekends and holidays.
A classic address to obtain tourist information in Lima is the South American Explorers Club. You will find up-to-date information about everything in Peru: detailed maps, addresses, useful tips, travel reports, weather conditions, trips for the adventurer or for business and 5-star excursions. Those who want to obtain information have to pay a fee of $30 per person or $40 for couples. You can find their location on Republica de Portugal 146, Lima. Office hours are from Monday to Friday from 9h30 to 17h.
Tourist Information Office (Jirón de Unión 1066, Tel. 01/432-3559), opens Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Municipal Tourist Office of Miraflores (San Martín 537, Tel. 01/447-9539 or 01/444-3915), opens Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 to 5:00 PM.
Lan Chile offices: Avenida José Pardo 805, 5th floor, Miraflores, Tel. (51-1) 446 7044 - 241 5522 Fax (51-1) 445 6237
Airport:The Jorge Chavez International Airport (Tel. 01/452-3135) is 10 kilometres (6 miles away from the centre of the city.
Peru's country code: 51.
Lima's area code: 01.
You can use coins to call from public telephones or purchase a 147 phone card ( Hola Peru is the name of the brand) from the telephone company or local markets that sell them.
COSTS OF TAXIS IN LIMA
Airport - Lima S/. 10.00 - 20.00
Lima - Districts S/. 5.00 - 8.00.
Food / Drinks
It is best and most to safe to only eat and drink at places that look clean and have a good reputation. Beware of dishes that are too spicy as most tourists are not used to them and it can upset the stomach. The fruits and veggies should be disinfected with a spoon of chlorine in 5 litres of water for 2 minutes or at least washed thoroughly. If there is any complaint that you will hear amongst travellers in Peru, it is usually a problem with digestion caused by unclean food. Be smart and stick to eating cuisine that you know your body can handle.
Typical dishes: Try Carapulcra, Cau-Cau, Anticuchos, Arroz con Conchas or for those with a sweet tooth indulge in Mazamorra Morada and Arroz con Leche.
An 18% tax, known as general sales tax or IGV is imposed on all articles except those purchased in the streets. The use of the airport has a fee of 18.00 US dollars for international flights and of 4.00 US dollars for domestic flights.
It is most common and of good etiquette to tip between 5 and 10% of the total bill at restaurants when dining out. Porters at hotels and at the airports will expect a 1.00 US dollar tip for each piece of luggage that they assist in carrying. There is no need to tip the local taxi drivers when travelling in and around the city, however tourist guides and tour drivers expect a 5 to 10 soles tip per day.
Visitors coming from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom need a valid passport and a return plane ticket to get a 60 or a 90 day visa. It is best however, that each traveller check with their local embassy if any other type of documents or applications for visas are needed.
Documents All travellers are advised to carry around a photocopy of your passport. You can check in the local internet cafes to see if there are copy machines there. Best to then keep the original in a hotel’s safety box or somewhere else where you know that it will be safe and locked up until your departure.