PERU is located on the central
West coast of South America. This privileged
location provides to this country an amazing
diversity of landscapes. Peru is divided
into 3 large regions: the coast (beaches
bathed by the Pacific Ocean), the Andes
(snow-capped mountains and fertile valleys),
and the Amazon jungle.
The Peruvian population is 26 millions
inhabitants. The official language is Spanish,
and in the highlands people speak also “Quechua”
and "Aymara" (native languages).
In the Peruvian Amazon jungle, there are
other 55 native languages. Only few people
speak English, hence it can be difficult
to travel by yourself if you don't speak
The Peruvian currency is the “Nuevos
Soles” (symbol: S/.) and the exchange rate
is US$ 1.00 = S/ 2.80. It's very easy to
exchange US dollars into the local currency,
you can exchange any amount and no fee is
charged. In many places as restaurants,
travel agencies, hotels, and shops, you
can pay with US dollars too. Indeed, don't
be surprised that the prices at some shops
are in US dollars. Other currencies as Euro
or British Pounds can be exchange only at
money exchange places in the big cities.
There are many ATMs in the big cities as
Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and Puno. Most of
the ATMs take VISA, MasterCard and American
Express Credit cards; and bank cards of
the Electron, Cirrus and Maestro networks.
In regard to traveller's checks, you have
to cash it personally at the bank. The process
takes 15 minutes and they will charge you
a fee (1% to 3% of the amount you want to
cash, it depends on the bank). If you cash
them into the local currency, there is no
fee, but the exchange rate is low. Very
few shops take traveller's checks.
Credit cards are not widely accepted in
Peru, especially outside of Lima and Cusco.
Some stores and restaurants charge a fee
if you pay with a credit card, so ask before