What to Bring
What you bring to Peru will depend on what you want to do and how long you will stay. There is no need to bring large supplies of soap and toilet paper or other such toiletries as all of these are available and affordable in Peru. What you will need to consider may be a Peruvian phrasebook or dictionary especially if you are unfamiliar with any of the Spanish language. Not only will this help you get by in basic conversation, but the locals do appreciate it more.
Depending on what you will be doing on Peru will definitely influence the type of shoes you may want to bring. Good hiking boots and walking shoes for exploring the city are a definite must have! Do be sure to bring these from home, as a range in sizes is not always available. Clothing is less of a problem, but if you take extremely large clothing, again you may have a limited choice in Peru. Peru’s culture is not a flashy one so basic clothes and maybe a few things for going out should be on the menu. You will learn quickly that you do not need much and anything that you do not have you can certainly purchase. It is advisable to bring some good sun block, a rain jacket if you are going during rainy season and bug spray or repellent if you decide to head out towards the jungle region. Make sure to bring a great camera and some extra batteries so you can capture both the beauty of the land along with the wonderful memories you will make.
The central post office in Lima is found about half a block away from the Plaza Mayor on the street left from the presidential palace. Continue through the long and crowded gallery and halfway on the right hand side you will find the post office. For those who are looking to send you mail while you are in Peru it is best they use the following directions. On the envelope they must write your full name (for passport check afterwards) and "Correo Central, Lima, Peru".
If you will be continuing on to other cities such as Cusco, or Arequipa and would like mail to be sent there, you can have them address it to "Correo Central, Cusco, Peru", or "Correo Central Arequipa, Peru", etc. Even the smallest of places still have their correo central and all taxis will know the way. Generally, most post offices are situated on the Plaza de Armas or a few blocks away. Sending international letters usually takes about 5 to 10 days to end up in Peru. Sometimes letters are received after two working days, but only in Lima and possibly in Cusco as well. Opening hours are the same of the banks.
For the moment the only telephone company in Peru is the Spanish Telefónica. Calling abroad is possible in any city or town in Peru, with public phones or in a telephone office. ALWAYS ask the price per minute before calling as several calling centers have rates that vary. Recently Telefónica has dropped prices for calling abroad about 60%. For example, calling to the States costs less than 3 soles per minute and a phone call to Europe is less than 5 soles. Telephone cards are common and public phones accept them as well. Be aware though that public phones really should only be used in case of emergency. The rates for using a public phone or much higher then if you use a call center. If you need to send a fax, this usually costs around S./10.
The easiest and cheapest way to let everyone back at home know how you are doing is through usage of the public internet cabins. They are cheap (S./6 to as low as S./2 per hour) and are becoming more and more common in Peru. In Lima, Cusco and Arequipa you can find them on nearly every street.