Peru holiday travel tips

The stonemasonry in the photograph below is typical throughout the five square kilometres of Machu Picchu, situated about 2,500m above sea level, the historic ruins you'll see during your Peru holiday travel.

It's not possible to push a piece of paper between the stones in this window yet it was built more than 600 years ago within thick forest on a high mountain plateau in South America by a people who hadn't yet invented the wheel.

(Read more Peru holiday travel tips ... )

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Peru health risks during your holiday travel

Be aware that medical facilities are often of a low standard outside the major cities of Peru. Holiday-makers with pre-existing conditions should take all necessary precautions before their Peru holiday travel.

It's well worth ensuring your travel insurance includes adequate medical cover for emergencies such as air evacuation from Peru, more so than for most other countries where you might choose to holiday or travel.

Tourists to the highlands of Peru sometimes suffer altitude sickness, particularly above 2,500 metres. To minimise the risk of such illness, avoid carbonised drinks, eat fresh fruits and lemon candies, and even consider taking tablets of coramina.

Peru travel tip ... An effective local remedy against altitude sickness is coca tea. It's legal in Peru and you can boast about drinking it to your more liberal friends when you get home from your Peru holiday travel.

Some people with prior cardiac or respiratory ailments have died because of the sudden low level of oxygen in the air, and even moderately healthy tourists are advised to rest for a couple of days without alcohol or even cigarettes so that their bodies can acclimatise before they resume their holiday travel.

They're not essential, but immunisations you should consider before your holiday flight to Peru include polio, typhoid, tetanus, Hepatitis A and perhaps dengue fever if you intend going deep into the jungle during your Peru holiday travel.

Anti-malaria tablets might also be considered in jungle areas. Various malaria strains in the jungles of Peru are resistant to chloroquine.

Vaccinations usually aren't necessary unless you travel into various eastern jungle areas of Peru such as as Puerto Maldonado, where a yellow fever vaccine certificate is required and should be received at least 10 days before arriving in Peru's eastern lowlands, even though this potentially deadly disease hasn't been reported in many years.

Malaria is also a health concern if you travel in the Amazon and a regime of preventative tablets is advisable before, during and after your Peru holiday travel.

Also be aware that rabies remains fairly widespread in Peru and you should immediately seek medical attention if bitten by a dog.



Avoid tap water in Peru unless it's been disinfected. Preferably use purification tablets or drink only bottled water, which is cheap.

Bottled water is sold everywhere you travel in Peru. Check that the seal on top of the bottle hasn't been broken as unscrupulous storekeepers have been known to fill empty bottles with tap water.

Peru travel tip ... If you wisely decide to avoid tap water, make sure you even brush your teeth with bottled water throughout your Peru holiday travel.

The food can also be a health concern in many places. If it doesn't look hygienic, avoid it.

Fruit and vegetables should be washed thoroughly before eating and meats should be thoroughly cooked.

Shellfish are risky, as is ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime).

There are many precautions about food safety during your travel in Peru. Basic travel tips to avoid a bad case of diarrhoea (or worse) are to only drink bottled water, avoid dairy products likely to have been made with unboiled milk, eat only hot, well-cooked meat and fish, avoid salad and mayonnaise, peel all fruit, cook all vegetables, avoid street food vendors and cheap restaurants, and always check the use-by date on processed foods.

Diarrhoea is a health concern for many people who holiday in Peru and it's worth keeping in mind that this condition is usually attributable to meat, seafood, eggs and unpasteurised cheese.

Diarrhoea can be a problem for as many as 50% of tourists in a two week tour of Peru.

Peru has numerous exciting holiday destinations and journeys but it's worth noting that medical and rescue services are poor or non-existent in some remote mountain and jungle regions.

It can be dangerous climbing all those mountains during your Peru holiday travel so be aware that health facilities outside major centres such as Lima and Cusco are often poor.

Make sure your travel insurance has adequate medical cover, particularly if you plan hazardous excursions such as mountain climbing or river rafting in Peru.

Also be prepared to pay cash up front if you need medical treatment in Peru.

Peru travel tip ... It's smart to wear light, full-length clothing that covers almost all your skin and to continually apply insect repellent during your travel through South America.

Quality walking shoes should be worn as you'll spend plenty of time on your feet during your Peru holiday travel.

Bring a raincoat if you plan travel into the mountains during Peru's wet season. A hat and sunscreen lotion are also recommended.

Sun exposure can be a problem for tourists and it's worth taking plenty of sunscreen lotion as the better brands can be more expensive in Peru.


Cusco travel guide

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Holiday tips in Peru

Machu Picchu travel images

Peru travel tips for tickets

Alpaca in Peru

Peru holiday money advice

Peru landscape and culture

Peru weather for holiday travel

Peru travel crime hazards


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