Destinations,  Peru,  South America,  Travel Resources

5 Tips For Your Next Peru Trip

If this is your first time visiting Peru just like it was mine, there are quite a few things you must take into account to stay safe, healthy and get the most out of your time in such a great country.

Water

The water in Peru is definitely not considered potable water and only bottled or treated (disinfected) water should be ingested by visitors. Some people take this advice to different extremes and might obsess over it or throw caution to the wind. While you might not catch a deadly disease or infection form consuming tap water in Peru, you might be spending a couple days attached to a toilet.

During our time in Peru we where pretty strict with ourselves on sticking to only to bottled water bought at stores and while it was an extra expense it wasn’t horrible. I will say I did brush my teeth using tap water which I later found out was rather risky but I never thought about and luckily came out unscathed.

Mosquito Repellent and Deet

I thought I was used to mosquito bites and would be ok with just some regular Off spray from the store, but BOY WAS I WRONG! To this day I have never been bitten so badly or been covered in so many mosquito bites so quickly. This isn’t an issue in Cusco since it is at such a high altitude you tend to be OK. The narrative quickly changes when you go to lower altitudes and these little flying needs come for you.

Everyone in our group seemed to be covered all over their legs in small bites and regular Off Mosquito spray just didn’t seem to cut it. We ended up0 having to switch to Off Deep Woods repellent which seemed to work quite well. My favorite mosquito repellent though was one my friend bought at REI called Jungle Juice! Now this stuff is not a joke and its extremely concentrated deet but it works!

My advice would be to pack some long pants or leggings to avoid having to put so many chemicals on your skin throughout your trip.

Spare Change and Loose Bills

While most places will accept Visa across the country even in remote villages and rest stops. Loose change and coins are still a necessity for a lot of the small shops across the cities. On top of this none of the taxis that I took accepted a card so change became extremely valuable when traveling inside a city.

Lastly while Visa works in most places I would still stick to using loose bills and coins when it come to shopping in small rest stops across the Inca Jungle Trail to make sure no funny business happens with your card info. I mostly stuck to using my card at restaurants in the cities.

Machu Picchu Permits

While you dont need a permit to enter Machu Picchu the two big summits of Machu Picchu Mountain and Huayna Picchu do require a daily permit. I put these two as big tips for everyone, since the permits do sell out fast and sometimes weeks in advance. While I did not climb Huayna Picchu, I can say that Machu Picchu Mountain was a spectacular hike that I recommend highly.

Toilet Paper

Yes, I am listing toilet paper as a tip for visiting Peru, something I never thought I would do for a country. While there is general plumbing, albeit not the best, toilet paper seems to be shockingly absent in most places. Now I don’t mean the fancy ceviche restaurant wont have toilet paper, but if you are on the Inca Trail chances are you will find yourself most often than not needing your own toilet paper.

I am glad this was something I heard of before flying down to Peru and embarking on our trip. I recommend the brand above off amazon or heading to your local REI for some camping/travel toilet paper rolls. I essentially was carrying toilet paper without the cardboard center roll. While you can make this yourself, I tend to be lazy with the at home DIY sometimes.

I cannot stress this enough, since the rolls I bought online ended up being used by my entire group since no one else thought it would be necessary. If you are anywhere used to using toilet paper, especially as a female, please BRING SOME ROLLS!

Have you been to Peru? Any must have items you would take next time?

Follow along the adventures on:

Instagram @gusontherun or Twitter @gusontherun

7 Comments

  • Riana.AngCanning

    Great tips! I visited Peru way back in 2011 and definitely remember needing to stock up on water and tissues before leaving the homestay where we were living. Sadly, never made it to Machu Picchu but hope to in the future!

  • Brooklyn

    I’ve never visited Peru (but keep planning trips, so I think I’ll be visiting within the next few years finally!) So all of these tips are exactly what I need! Good to know I should pack toilet paper haha!

  • The.Holidaymaker

    I’ve never been…yet! It’s long been on my list, but sometimes I wonder what’s holding me back from going. Great tips to share, as for when you go, you definitely want to be prepared, and not let anything get in your way in enjoying the experience to the fullest!

  • Emma

    Great tips. I’d love to visit Peru and do the Machu Picchu trail. I’m always being attacked by bugs and have terrible reactions to mosquitoes so big spray is always high on my list. After traveling around Asia a lot I also always carry small packs of tissues as I know a lot of toilets don’t have toilet roll, but great idea for the little roll you have there

  • stephakk

    Great tips! I’ve been planning my trip to Peru for a while now and was hoping to go there in early 2021, but I didn’t even think of bringing toilet paper

    • Gus

      I hope you can make the trip! Toilet paper was definitely not on my list but OMG such a necessity!

      I actually lucked out while in Thailand also since so many small islands didnt have it either!

  • Sarah

    Peru is very high on my to-visit list as I’d love to visit Machu Picchu and will definitely keep that tip about toilet paper in mind! China’s the same so ever since visiting there, I’ve always carried some with my just in case but I’ll know to take extra for going to Peru!

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