What to Know When Traveling to Peru

Peru is a country on the western coast of South America. It's home to several geographic wonders, including the expansive Andes mountain range, the South Pacific Ocean and rain forests dripping with exotic plant and wildlife. It is a historical hub with architectural structures like Macchu Pichu dating back to the pre-Colombian and Inca eras.
Geography

Peru is comprised of three geographical terrains. Those include the coast, a 1,500-mile stretch of land in the southern portion of the country. The Andes mountain range, the most extensive range of mountains in the world, stretches from the top to the bottom of the country. An enormous amount of Peru is in the Amazon rain forest. That area is the least populated by humans and full of wildlife.

Climate

Each geographical region of Peru has its own seasons and climate patterns. The coastal area can be scorchingly hot in the summer months, with highs in the low 100s (October through March) and much cooler in the winter months with averages around 70 to 80 degrees (April through September).

The Andes climate has two seasons: rainy and non-rainy. The rainy season occurs from November to March with rainfall that can last for hours at a time, usually in the afternoon. The dry season means clear skies almost daily. Both seasons have comfortable temperatures ranging from the 60s to 90s.

The rain forest climate is fairly consistent and also has a rainy and non-rainy season. The jungle terrain has high humidity, ranging from 80 to 100 percent, year-round. On average, the temperature in the Amazon is 70 to 100 degrees.

Health Safety

Visitors should only drink sterile water (boiled or bottled) and avoid any foods that have been washed with tap water. Drink beverages without ice, brush your teeth with bottled water and keep your mouth closed while showering in order to avoid traveler's diarrhea. Another common ailment for travelers is "Soroche," also known as altitude sickness. If you're unaccustomed to high altitudes, you may experience queasiness, weakness and headaches.

Documents

A valid passport is required to enter and exit Peru. Tourists receive a visa for up to 90 days, although the actual amount of time allowed is determined by the Peruvian immigration officer when you enter. You may apply for an extension at any immigration office (located in major cities) for a fee. When you leave Peru, you must pay an international flight airport fee, payable in U.S. or local currency. Peru does not require visitors to get any inoculations before entering, but it is recommended that you get a yellow fever vaccine if visiting a jungle region.

Resources
Wendy Rose Gould is a professional journalist who has contributed to "Glamour" magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. After internships at the "Indianapolis Business Journal," "Kiwanis International" and "NUVO Newsweekly," she earned B.A. degrees in journalism and philosophy from Franklin College in 2008. Gould specializes in health, beauty and fashion topics.