Staying healthy, staying safe, where to go when traveling in Peru
Take care of your personal health and diet: The best way to enjoy your Peru vacation is to start it well-rested and in good health. For travelers anywhere in the world, the most common health problem is an upset stomach caused by unwashed or uncooked food. Be careful when buying tasty looking local food from street vendors and try to avoid unpeeled fruits and vegetables, or drinks containing ice. If you have an upset stomach when you are on holiday, be sure to drink plenty of water (and avoid coffee, tea and alcohol until you feel better). When traveling, remember to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and carry an alcohol based hand sanitizer in your hand luggage or daypack.
Don’t drink water from the faucet, unless the water has been boiled or treated with iodine. Bottled water is available throughout Peru. Also, when walking at high altitude remember that your body will need plenty of sugar as well as fluids. In Peru, this can be carried easily when hiking or trekking in the form of natural cane sugar blocks known locally as chancaca. Tipping and gifts: In Peru many people’s salaries are low and tips for good service are greatly appreciated. In many restaurants and hotels in Peru, a 10% service charge may already be included.
In Peru, at major travel destinations it is also common to see children asking travelers for money. It is best not to give young children money or candies (dental hygiene among Peruvian children is an issue). It is much better to offer modest gifts. These may include pens and notebooks, or other items children can use for their schoolwork. At Andean Adventures Peru, we contribute to local life in selected Andean villages by supporting local schools and employing adults on our trekking and hiking routes as guides or porters. Personal safety: All popular tourist destinations around the world experience some theft. In Peru, such incidents are more common in cities than in rural areas. Be sure to check with your guide or tour leader, so you’ll know which parts of the cities you visit as part of your Peru itinerary are safe for you to explore independently. When you are out on the streets, make sure you don’t wear expensive jewelry, and don’t carry any more cash than you will need for the day. Use hotel safes for valuables and cash. And if you need to buy local currency, use money exchange houses or banks, instead of the many money changers you will see on city streets.