Travel tips for Peru: currency, money exchange, credit cards, visas, passports, Peruvian taxes
Currency: In Peru the national currency is the sol (one US dollar is worth around S/. 3.40 soles, but check current exchange rates when you travel). US currency is widely accepted throughout Peru. Remember to carry as many small bills as possible, so it will be easier for small businesses to make change. In the Peruvian capital, Lima, and in other major cities around Peru (Cusco, Arequipa, Trujillo) euros are also widely accepted at money exchange houses from foreign travelers buying Peruvian currency. Remember when buying local currency that banks offer a lower exchange rate than exchange bureaus. Other foreign currencies are subject to higher commissions and less favorable rates of exchange. Remember never to use street money changers; always go to an exchange bureau or bank. Also, make sure your dollar bills are in good condition. No one in Peru accepts worn, damaged or torn dollar bills. Credit cards and ATMs: Visa is the most widely accepted credit card in Peru. MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are also accepted. Travelers can also get cash from ATMs throughout the country. The biggest network of ATMs in Peru is Global Net and it accepts credit and debit cards from all banks. When using credit cards, remember that commissions are often charged. In smaller towns where credit cards are not accepted, remember to carry cash in local currency.Traveler’s checks: American Express, Visa and Citicorp traveler’s checks can be exchanged at banks and money exchange bureaus for Peruvian currency or dollars. Exchange rates for traveler’s checks are lower, and if you want dollars a commission will be charged. Tourist visas, passports and identity documents: Travelers from the European Union, United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South American countries do not need a visa to enter Peru. Travelers must carry a valid passport, and when entering the country must fill out an immigration form. Staple this form to your passport. You must show it when you leave the country! Make photocopies of your passport or other identity documents and carry them separately from your original documents. Taxes in Peru: In Peru, general sales tax (IGV) is 18% and is usually included in the cost of purchases; however, hotels and restaurants often add IGV to the bill. Tax exemption: Save money on travel in Peru! Foreign nationals traveling in Peru for between 2 and 60 days can request exemption from the 18% general sales tax, upon presentation of their passport and immigration card.