All your Lima questions answered!
Welcome to our Peru travel FAQ section. We want to make your trip to Lima as amazing and as easy as possible. On this page you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about travelling to Lima in one place.
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Most frequently asked Lima travel questions:
Lima is the capital of Peru.
Peru uses the Peruvian Sol which is denoted as S/. US$1 equals approx. S/.2.80 and €1 equals approx. S/.3.30 Dollars are widely accepted in hotels and the main tourist areas including large tourist shops. (link to currency article)
The official language in Peru is Spanish spoken by over 84% of the population. The indigenous Quechua language is spoken in the highlands by 13% of the population and Aymara is spoken by 1.7% of the population in the region around Lake Titicaca.
Lima is the capital city of Peru and is located on the eastern coast of Peru. Peru is on the Pacific coast of South America and is located between Ecuador and Chile.
The easiest option is to go to the Official Green taxi stand when you come through arrivals in Lima airport. These are the official airport taxis and are generally safe. At the desk ask for a receipt when you book the taxi and for them to write down the driver’s name on the receipt also. Taxis to Miraflores cost approx. S/.50 (Approx. US$17) and to Barranco S/.45 (Approx. US$15).
You can also ask your hotel to organize a pre-booked taxi to meet you when you arrive.
Weather in Lima is divided into two seasons – summer and winter. Summer runs from December to April and is generally sunny with blue skies and temperatures between 77°F to 95°F (25°C-35°C). Lima is notoriously grey from May – November with its famous grey mist called ‘garúa’. Peak season is between December to April.
Unfortunately Lima’s summer coincides with Cusco and the highlands’ rainy season, so if you are planning to visit both the coast and the highlands good months are early November and April if you want the best of both worlds.
Lima is located on the coast of Peru so is at sea level. The highest point in Lima is the Cerro San Cristóbal at 400m. The Plaza de Armas in the historic centre of Lima is at an altitude of 154m. You don’t need to worry about altitude sickness when in Lima.
Lima is in UTC -05.00
Like any big city there are areas of Lima that are more dangerous than others. Our advice is to stay in the safer districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro which are more up-market residential areas and as such tend to be safer and better policed. As tourism is such an important industry to Lima and Peru there is a strong tourism police presence in all of these three main areas as well as the main tourist attractions in the historic centre of Lima.
The historic centre of Lima tends to be more dangerous and there are regular accounts of muggings and petty theft in this area as well as other areas such as La Victoria. Just remember to remain alert, use common sense and stick to the usual travel rules below:
Top Tips for Staying Safe In Lima:
- Only take licensed taxis. Ask your hotel or restaurant to order you a licensed official taxi when moving around Lima. Negotiate the fare before you get in the taxi and keep valuables out of sight in the taxi.
- Always get a taxi home at night and don’t wander around dark, unlit and quiet areas after dark.
- Don’t wear flashy items like valuable jewellery and watches.
- Use the hotel safe or safety box to store valuables.
- Stay aware at all times of what is going on around you.
- If in crowded areas wear your daypack on the front of your body.
- Keep valuables like cameras, smartphones and tablets out of sight and when using them in public secure the hand strap around your wrist or arm.
- Be suspicious if street sellers or unknown people stop to talk to you and try to keep your attention for long periods of time.
- Be careful who you trust with sensitive information such as your hotel address, financial information, travel plans etc.
Like in any destination, it’s best to exchange your money in official banks to ensure you get authentic notes and the right amount of money back. Avenida (Avenue) Jose Larco in Miraflores, Lima has several foreign exchange shops where you can change your currency. All the major banks including BCP (Banco de Credito del Peru) BBVA and Scotia Bank are located on Avenida Jose Larco in Miraflores but there are also bank branches located in all of Lima’s main suburbs.
ATM’s abound in Lima so it is easy to withdraw money in either US$ or Soles, once you get to Lima. There is usually a charge of between 10 – 12 soles for withdrawing money from ATM’s plus whatever amount your own bank charges back home. This can add up quickly so be prepared.
Lima is a typically dry city so you won’t need an umbrella but do be prepared for warm and humid weather and cooler temperatures between April and November.
We recommend layers that can be added to or removed throughout the day if the temperature changes. Lima is a casual city so shorts or jeans and a t-shirt are fine. For cooler evening weather, a long-sleeve shirt or top and light sweater is ideal. Summer between December and April can get very hot so wear natural, breathable fabrics to keep you cool. Bring a good pair of walking shoes, sunblock, hat and sunglasses and if you are hoping for some beach time, a swimming costume and a towel are a must!
If you are planning on visiting any of Lima’s wonderful fine-dining restaurants be sure to bring something a little more formal so that you fit in with the well-heeled crowd.
The main emergency number for ambulance, fire and police departments in Lima is: 105.
The tourist police number is (01) 460 1600 or (01) 460 0844.
iPeru is the official tourist information service in Peru. iPeru provides information on attractions, routes, destinations and tourism providers as well as providing advice if you have a problem or aren’t happy with the service you received.
iPeru have a 24-hour hotline where you can call them on (+51) 1 574 8000 or e-mail them at email@example.com
They also have offices in the following Lima locations:
Larcomar Shopping Centre – Miraflores
Address:Plaza Gourmet Nivel 1 – stand 211
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 – 21:00 and 15:00 – 20:00
Telephone: (01) 234-0340
Jorge Chávez International Airport
Address: National Boarding, International Arrivals and Mezzanine.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 24 hours
Telephone: (01) 574-8000
Address: Jorge Basadre 610. San Isidro
Opening hours:Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00
Telephone: (01) 421-1627 / (01) 421-1227
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you plug in a 110-volt appliance, your piece of equipment may break.
If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, we suggest you buy a power adapter to protect your equipment. Do check first though, as many laptops and digital cameras are now dual voltage and can take both 110 and 220 volts. Most four and five star hotels have outlets for 110-volt appliances in the rooms.
There are two types of electrical outlets in Peru. One takes two-pronged plugs with flat blades, while the other takes plugs with two round prongs. Many Peruvian electrical outlets are designed to accept both types but we have found ourselves in situations where this wasn’t the case so we do recommend you bring an adapter on your trip so you have no problems. We’ve found the Skross World Adapter MUV USB https://skross-online.com/Skross-Shop-1.302150-Unearthed-2-pole-World-Adapter-MUV-USB-.html to work really well in Peru with all plug types and we love the two USB charger ports which are very handy.
We recommend you stay in the main tourist areas of Miraflores, Barranco or San Isidro. These are upper class residential areas that tend to be safer and visually more attractive.
Miraflores: This is the main tourism hub in Lima and as such has a strong police presence and is quite safe. The downside is it feels quite western and is full of tourists from all over the world. It is however centrally located with lots to see and do including the ‘malecon’ or boardwalk with stunning views of the Pacific and lots of great restaurants, cafes and hotels. A good option if it is your first time travelling to Lima and Peru.
Barranco: Known as the artsy bohemian district of Lima, Barranco has had a face lift in recent years and is now a safe alternative to Miraflores. Barranco is our favourite place to stay in Lima with lots of great galleries, shops and cafes and a blossoming arts and cultural scene.
San Isidro: San Isidro is the posh residential area of Lima and is also the financial and business hub of the city. It’s a safe area but can feel quite empty on weekends and once the office workers go home in the evenings. It has a more conservative feel to it but is also home to some of Lima’s top restaurants including Astrid & Gaston and Malabar.
Some countries in Africa, Central America and Asia will need to obtain a tourist visa before travelling to Peru. Click here for the Peruvian Immigration Bureau list of countries that require visas to visit Peru. Passport holders from South America, EU member countries, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico don’t need to organize a visa prior to travelling to Peru and will receive a tourist card (Tarjeta Andina de Migracions) from Peruvian Immigration upon arrival in Peru stating the length of approved stay (usually 90 or 180 days). Keep the tourist card with you as it exonerates you from paying 18% tax in hotels in Peru and you will need to show it upon leaving the country. Remember, overstaying your visa can result in fines.
This information is intended as a reference guide only. Consult the Peruvian Embassy in your country for up to date information on visas required for Peru.
Click here to see the Directory of Peruvian Consulates overseas
Lima is a large city with over 8 million inhabitants and has a wide variety of medical services available.
Pharmacies are found throughout Lima and supply most of what you will need for minor medical emergencies like dodgy tummies, headaches and pain relief. The better brands of pharmacy that have fully qualified pharmacists working behind the counter include Inkafarma, Boticas BTL and Boticas Fasa. Check the items you purchase are in date and are the real deal as false and out of date medications can be a problem in Peru.
For more severe medical problems Lima has several clinics of international standard that are recommended by consulates and insurance companies alike. Many of the doctors working in these clinics have studied abroad and are well qualified so these private clinics tend to offer a reasonably good, safe service. Suggested private clinics include:
Clinica Anglo Americana
Address: Calle Alfredo Salazar, 3rd block, San Isidro
Telephone: (01) 221 3656
Clinica San Borja
Address: Av. Guardia Civil 333, San Borja
General switchboard: (01) 221 3656;
Clinica El Golf
Address: Av. Aurelio Miro Quesada 1030, San Isidro
Telephone: (01) 264 3300
This information is intended as a reference guide only. Consult your health or travel insurance provider for further information if required.
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