Useful information of Lima, Peru

Access by air:
There is the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima to which direct and stopover flights, coming from the most varied national and foreign cities, arrive. It is the threshold to enter Peru and it is connected by air with the main cities of the country and abroad.

Access by land:
The Pan American Highway links all the cities along the coastline, and connects with Ecuador to the north and with Chile to the south. The inner cities of the Sierra and the Rainorest are reached through the Central Highway.

International bus lines link the Peruvian capital with the main South American cities.

Some distances within the country:
Lima to Arequipa: 1009 kilometres
Lima to Trujillo: 557 kilometres
Lima to Cusco: 1154 kilometres
Lima to Tacna: 1293 kilometres

Access by sea:
El Callao is the most important seaport of the country and one of the most active in the south Pacific.
Large ships including cruise ships arrive at it.

Commerce (Working hours)
The stores are usually open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Many small businesses close a couple of hours during lunchtime, and work in the morning only on Saturdays. The bank working hours vary according to the bank and the season of the year. The largest ones close for a couple of hours for lunch, and then remain open until 6:00 PM. Some banks open on Saturdays' mornings. Most museums open Mondays through Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Some close for lunch, usually from 1:00 PM to 3:00 or 4:00 PM.

In general terms, stores, shopping malls and craftsmanship's markets, work every day from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

It is acceptable to bargain about the price of an article in markets, and with beach and street hawkers. This bargaining process is known as regateo.

The national currency is the Nuevo sol (S/.), available in notes and coins.

Hotels, restaurants and stores in the main cities accept most major credit cards, and sometimes traveller checks too. However, it is important to always carry some cash money with you. You can use the US dollar as well, and you can pay with such notes at the exchange rate of the day, or in soles.

Legal tender:
The national currency of Peru is the sol, which is divided into 100 cents. The bank notes have 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 denominations. The coins are of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2 and 5 soles. Be aware of old currencies out of circulation.

Money exchange:
The US dollar is accepted in most of the businesses, restaurants and gas stations at the rate of the day. Even though exchange peddlers can offer you better rates than those of a bank, you take the chance of being deceived. Changing your money at the hotel is a lot safer but rates can be up to 5% higher. You can also change your dollars and euros in banks and exchange establishments; they do not charge a commission.

Most businesses take the best known credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Diners and American Express. The use of traveller checks has its limitations; ask if they would be accepted.

When purchasing something with a credit card, check that you are paying the amount of the service or goods acquired only.

The bank branches work Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. They work in the morning on Saturdays. The banks work with the main credit cards, therefore you won´t have any problems using yours.

- Peru's country code: 51.
- Lima's area code: 01.

You can use coins to call from public telephones or purchase a 147 phone card from the telephone company.

Taxis in Lima:
Airport - Lima S/. 10.00 - 20.00
Lima - Districts S/. 5.00 - 8.00

Food / Drinks
Eat and drink at guaranteed places only. Beware of dishes too spicy, tourists are not used to them. The fruits should be disinfected with a spoon of chlorine in 5 litres of water for 2 minutes.

Typical dishes: Carapulcra, Cau-Cau, Anticuchos, Arroz con Conchas. Sweets such as Mazamorra Morada and Arroz con Leche.

An 18% tax, known as general sells tax or IGV, is imposed on all articles, except those purchased in the streets. The use of the airport has a fee of 18.00 US dollars for international flights and of 4.00 US dollars for domestic flights.

Important tips / Customs / Departing tax:
- International: 25.00 US dollars
- National: S/. 14.00 approx

Between 5 and 10% of the total would be enough in most restaurants. Porters at hotels and the airport expect a 1.00 US dollar tip for each piece of luggage. There is no need to tip the taxi drivers. Tourist guides and tour drivers expect a 5 to 10 soles tip per day.

Restaurant 10%.
It is customary to tip minor services with 2 soles.
It is not usual to tip taxi drivers.

Travelling papers
Visitors coming from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom need a valid passport and a return plane ticket to get a 60 or a 90 day visa.

Documents: You must carry a photocopy of your passport with you, and keep the original at the hotel's safety box.

Tourist information
Tourist Information Office (Jirón de Unión 1066, Tel. 01/432-3559), opens Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Municipal Tourist Office of Miraflores (San Martín 537, Tel. 01/447-9539 or 01/444-3915), opens Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 to 5:00 PM.

Lan Chile offices: Avenida José Pardo 805, 5th floor, Miraflores, Tel. (51-1) 446 7044 - 241 5522 Fax (51-1) 445 6237.

Airport:The Jorge Chavez International Airport (Tel. 01/452-3135) is 10 kilometres (6 miles away from the centre of the city.

Time difference: It is 6 hours earlier than central Europe, and 7 hours during the northern hemisphere summer time.

LIMA 12:00 h
NEW YORK 12:00 h
LONDON 17:00 h
BERLIN 18:00 h
PARIS 18:00 h
TOKYO 2:00 h (*)
SIDNEY 3:00 h (*)
(*) Del día siguiente

Electric power
220 volts. Most 4 and 5 star hotels offer 110 volts plugs.

Electricity: 20 V, 60 Hz.

It is recommendable to carry an adaptor for flat plugs.