Where is Peru located?

What countries border Peru?

Peru Weather

What is the current weather in Peru?

Peru Facts and Culture

What is Peru famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Peruvians tend to be very tenacious and nationalistic people, they have a good sense of humor, they are very hospitable... More
  • Family: The family is important in Peru. The father is the undisputed head of the family, while the mother spends... More
  • Personal Apperance: Although Western-style clothing is worn regularly in Lima, the capital, and other urban areas, rural campesinos (farmers) often wear traditional... More
  • Recreation: Soccer is the most popular sport. In the evening young people go to peñas where traditional Peruvian folk music is... More
  • Diet: The main staples in the diet include rice, beans, fish, and a variety of tropical fruits. Soups are common. Corn,... More
  • Food and Recipes: A polite guest eats all the food that is offered. Table manners are important in Peru. The continental style of... More
  • Visiting: The most common ways to socialize with people doesn't necessarily involve food and drinks. Any person can socialize by talking.... More
  • Dating: Some group dating occurs in the late teen years, but dating in couples is almost strictly reserved for courtship. ... More

Peru Facts

What is the capital of Peru?

Capital Lima
Government Type presidential republic
Currency Peruvian (Nuevo) Sol (PEN)
Total Area 496,222 Square Miles
1,285,216 Square Kilometers
Location Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador
Language Spanish (official) 84.1%, Quechua (official) 13%, Aymara (official) 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.7%, other 0.2%
GDP - real growth rate 2.4%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $12,300.00 (USD)

Peru Demographics

What is the population of Peru?

Ethnic Groups Mestizo (mixed Indigenous and White) 60.2%, Indigenous 25.8%, White 5.9%, African descent 3.6%, other (includes Chinese and Japanese descent) 1.2%, unspecified 3.3%
Languages Spanish (official) 82.9%, Quechua (official) 13.6%, Aymara (official) 1.6%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.8%, other (includes foreign languages and sign language) 0.2%, none 0.1%, unspecified 0.7%
Nationality Noun noun: Peruvian(s)

adjective: Peruvian
Population 32,600,249
Population Growth Rate 0.48%
Population in Major Urban Areas 11.204 million LIMA (capital), 959,000 Arequipa, 904,000 Trujillo
Urban Population urban population: 78.9% of total population

rate of urbanization: 1.33% annual rate of change
Population: Male/Female male: 15,952,556

female: 16,647,693

Peru Government

What type of government does Peru have?

Executive Branch chief of state: President Dina Ercilia BOLUARTE Zegarra (since 7 December 2022); first vice president (vacant); second vice president (vacant); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Dina Ercilia BOLUARTE Zegarra (since 7 December 2022); first vice president (vacant); second vice president (vacant)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for nonconsecutive terms); election last held on 11 April 2021 with a runoff on 6 June 2021 (next to be held in April 2026)

election results:

2021: Jose Pedro CASTILLO Terrones elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Jose Pedro CASTILLO Terrones (PL) 18.9%, Keiko Sofia FUJIMORI Higuchi (FP) 13.4%, Rafael LOPEZ ALIAGA Cazorla (RP) 11.8%, Hernando DE SOTO Polar (Social Integration Party) 11.6%, Yonhy LESCANO Ancieta (AP) 9.1%, Veronika MENDOZA Frisch (JP) 7.9%, Cesar ACUNA Peralta (APP) 6%, George FORSYTH Sommer (VN) 5.7%, Daniel Belizario URRESTI Elera (PP) 5.6%, other 10%; percent of vote second round - Jose Pedro CASTILLO Terrones 50.1%, Keiko Sofia FUJIMORI Higuchi 49.9%

2016: Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI Godard elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Keiko FUJIMORI Higuchi (FP) 39.9%, Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI Godard (PPK) 21.1%, Veronika MENDOZA (FA) 18.7%, Alfredo BARNECHEA (AP) 7%, Alan GARCIA (APRA) 5.8%, other 7.5%; percent of vote in second round - Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI Godard 50.1%, Keiko FUJIMORI Higuchi 49.9%

note 1: First Vice President Dina Ercilia BOLUARTE Zegarra assumed the office of the president on 7 December 2022 after President Jose Pedro CASTILLO Terrones was impeached and arrested; BOLUARTE is the first woman to become president of Peru

note 2: Prime Minister Gustavo ADRIANZÉN (since 6 March 2024) does not exercise executive power; this power rests with the president; on 5 March 2024, Prime Minister Alberto OTÁROLA resigned amid allegations of corruption
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory until the age of 70
Citizenship Citizenship by birth: yes

Citizenship by descent: yes

Dual citizenship recognized: yes

Residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 28-29 July (1821)
Constitution history: several previous; latest promulgated 29 December 1993, enacted 31 December 1993

amendments: proposed by Congress, by the president of the republic with the approval of the Council of Ministers or by petition of at least 0.3% of voters; passage requires absolute majority approval by the Congress membership, followed by approval in a referendum; a referendum is not required if Congress approves the amendment by greater than two-thirds majority vote in each of two successive sessions; amended many times, last in 2021
Independence 28 July 1821 (from Spain)

Peru Video

YouTube, Devin Graham Road to Machu Picchu

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Peru Geography

What environmental issues does Peru have?

Overview Peru is on the West Coast of South America, south of the Equator, between 0 and 18 degrees south latitude and, 70 degrees and 81 degrees west longitude. With a population of about 27.94 million people, Peru is the fifth most populated country in Latin America.

The country has four distinct geographic areas: the narrow coastal desert region (about 25 to 40 miles wide), barren except for irrigated valleys; the Andean highlands or sierra, containing some of the world's highest mountains; the "ceja de montana" (eyebrow of the mountain), a long narrow strip of mountainous jungle on the eastern slope of the Andes; and the selva or rain forest area which covers over half the country, including the vast Amazon River Basin and the Madre de Dios River Basin.

The Sierra, covering one-fourth of Peru, is an area of uneven population distribution, rich in mineral wealth. Many of its inhabitants live at elevations above 10,000 feet. The Selva region is sparsely populated and only partially explored. The climate in the "ceja de montana" varies with the elevation from temperate to tropical.

Because Lima lies on an axis of instability in the Earth's crust, seismic activity is common. Light earthquakes called "temblores" occur but seldom cause damage. A strong earthquake occurred in Lima, Callao, and environs on May 24, 1940, causing major damage with over 2,000 casualties. Serious earthquakes also occurred in Cuzco (1950), Arequipa (1958 and 1960), the Lima-Callao area (1966-74), and Chimbote and the Callejon de Huaylas (1970).

Between May 1998 and May 1999, 85 light earthquakes occurred and the strongest of these earthquakes were in Arequipa, Lima, and Huancayo.
Climate Peru lies below the Equator, therefore, its seasons along the Pacific Coast, which includes Lima, are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer lasts from about mid-December through April in that region and is generally pleasant, with warm, sunny days and cool, comfortable nights. February is usually the warmest month, with an average temperature of 79 (F) and humidity of 83%. Temperatures rarely range above the mid-80s. Only two distinct seasons occur in the highlands/sierra: the rainy season from December to April and a dry period the rest of the year. Temperatures fluctuate considerably depending on the weather and altitude.

Winter along the coast lasts from May or June to November and the weather is chilly and damp. Sunny days in Lima's winter are rare, particularly in July, August, and September. Rain is virtually unknown; however, a fine mist often falls and fog is common. The coolest, dampest months are July and August, with average temperatures about 60(F), rarely falling below the low 50s.
Border Countries Bolivia 1,075 km, Brazil 2,995 km, Chile 171 km, Colombia 1,800 km, Ecuador 1,420 km
Environment - Current Issues Deforestation (some the result of illegal logging); overgrazing of the slopes of the Costa and Sierra leading to soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Lima; pollution of rivers and coastal waters from municipal and mining wastes
Environment - International Agreements Party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain Western coastal plain (Costa), high and rugged Andes in the center (Sierra), eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (Selva)

Peru Economy

How big is the Peru economy?

Economic Overview Peru's economy reflects its varied topography - an arid lowland coastal region, the central high sierra of the Andes, and the dense forest of the Amazon. A wide range of important mineral resources are found in the mountainous and coastal areas, and Peru's coastal waters provide excellent fishing grounds. Peru is the world's second-largest producer of silver and copper.

The Peruvian economy grew by an average of 5.6% per year from 2009-13 with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. This growth was due partly to high international prices for Peru's metals and minerals exports, which account for 55% of the country's total exports. Growth slipped from 2014 to 2017, due to weaker world prices for these resources. Despite Peru's strong macroeconomic performance, dependence on minerals and metals exports and imported foodstuffs makes the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices.

Peru's rapid expansion coupled with cash transfers and other programs has helped to reduce the national poverty rate by over 35 percentage points since 2004, but inequality persists and continues to pose a challenge for the Ollanta HUMALA administration, which championed a policy of social inclusion and a more equitable distribution of income. Poor infrastructure hinders the spread of growth to Peru's non-coastal areas. The HUMALA administration passed several economic stimulus packages in 2014 to bolster growth, including reforms to environmental regulations in order to spur investment in Peru’s lucrative mining sector, a move that was opposed by some environmental groups. However, in 2015, mining investment fell as global commodity prices remained low and social conflicts plagued the sector.

Peru's free trade policy continued under the HUMALA administration; since 2006, Peru has signed trade deals with the US, Canada, Singapore, China, Korea, Mexico, Japan, the EU, the European Free Trade Association, Chile, Thailand, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Honduras, concluded negotiations with Guatemala and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and begun trade talks with El Salvador, India, and Turkey. Peru also has signed a trade pact with Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, called the Pacific Alliance, that seeks integration of services, capital, investment, and movement of people. Since the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in February 2009, total trade between Peru and the US has doubled. President Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI succeeded HUMALA in July 2016 and is focusing on economic reforms and free market policies aimed at boosting investment in Peru. Mining output increased significantly in 2016-17, which helped Peru attain one of the highest GDP growth rates in Latin America, and Peru should maintain strong growth in 2018. However, economic performance was depressed by delays in infrastructure mega-projects and the start of a corruption scandal associated with a Brazilian firm. Massive flooding in early 2017 also was a drag on growth, offset somewhat by additional public spending aimed at recovery efforts.
Industries Mining and refining of minerals; steel, metal fabrication; petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas and natural gas liquefaction; fishing and fish processing, cement, glass, textiles, clothing, food processing, beer, soft drinks, rubber, machinery, electrical machinery, chemicals, furniture
Currency Name and Code Peruvian (Nuevo) Sol (PEN)
Export Partners China 18.3%, United States 15.2%, Canada 11.4%, Japan 5.4%, Spain 5.3%, Chile 4.8%, South Korea 4.6%, Germany 4.1%
Import Partners United States 24.5%, China 13.7%, Brazil 6.7%, Chile 5.9%, Ecuador 4.4%, South Korea 4%

Peru News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Peru?
Source: Google News

Peru Travel Information

What makes Peru a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Peru is a developing country with an expanding tourism sector. A wide variety of tourist facilities and services are available, with quality varying according to price and location.


Approximately 350,000 trips are made by U.S. citizens through Peru each year. A small but growing number of U.S. travelers have been victims of serious crimes. The information below is intended to raise awareness of the potential for crime and suggest measures visitors can take to avoid becoming a victim.

Violent Crime: Violent crime, including carjacking, assault, sexual assault, and armed robbery is common in Lima and other large cities. The Embassy is aware of reports of women being sexually assaulted in their place of lodging, or after their drinks were drugged while visiting bars or nightclubs. Women traveling alone should be especially careful to avoid situations in which they are vulnerable due to impaired judgment or isolation. Resistance to attempted robberies often provokes greater violence, while victims who do not resist usually do not suffer serious physical harm. "Express kidnappings," in which criminals kidnap victims and seek to obtain funds from their bank accounts via automatic teller machines, occur frequently.

In the recent past, there have been a number of cases of armed robbery, rape, other sexual assault, and attempted rape of U.S. citizens and other foreign tourists in Arequipa and in Cusco city, as well as in the outlying areas in the vicinity of various Incan ruins. These assaults have occurred both during daylight hours and at night.

Taxis and Road Crime: Passengers who hail taxis on the street have been assaulted and robbed. Street taxis are not well regulated and are often used as a front by criminals to rob unsuspecting victims. The Embassy’s Regional Security Officer recommends that all Embassy personnel use telephone-dispatched radio taxis or car services associated with major hotels and not hail taxis on the street.

In the city of Arequipa, express kidnappings have become such a problem that all U.S. government personnel are prohibited from hailing taxis off the street. U.S. government personnel there must utilize cabs from well-established dispatch taxi companies. The Embassy’s Regional Security Officer recommends that all U.S. citizens visiting Arequipa also use dispatch taxi companies.

Some crimes in the city of Cusco and in Arequipa have involved the drivers of rogue (or unregistered) taxis. Travelers should use only licensed, registered taxis such as those available from taxi stands in Cuscodisplaying a blue decal issued by the municipal government on the windshield of the vehicle. Visitors should not accept offers of transportation or guide services from individuals seeking clients on the streets. In recent years there have been several reports of U.S. citizens falling victim to so-called “express kidnappings” in Arequipa after taking taxis hailed on the street. On occasion, the victim was bound, beaten, and held for over 24 hours as the assailants attempted to empty cash from bank accounts with the victim’s stolen ATM card.

Theft: Travelers should guard against the theft of luggage and other belongings, particularly U.S. passports, at the Lima airport. Passengers arriving at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport should be cautious in making arrangements for ground transportation. Upon exiting the airport, travelers may be approached by persons seeming to know them, or who claim that a pre-arranged taxi has been sent to take them to their hotel. Some travelers have been charged exorbitant rates or been taken to marginal hotels in unsafe parts of town. Travelers who are not being met by a known party or by a reputable travel agent or hotel shuttle are advised to arrange for a taxi inside the airport. At least two taxi companies maintain counters inside the international arrival area (between immigration clearance and baggage claim). An additional two companies have agents at the information kiosk just before the exit from the passenger arrival area.

Travelers should not leave any valuables in sight or unattended in parked vehicles as these become inviting targets for thieves. Visitors should also ensure they secure purses and other personal belongings when in cafés and restaurants as street criminals are adept at surreptitiously removing items of value from purses or clothing slung over chairs.

Street Crime: Thieves often smash car windows at traffic lights to grab jewelry, purses, backpacks, or other visible items from a car. This type of assault is very common on main roads leading to and from Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport, specifically along De la Marina and Faucett Avenues and Via de Evitamiento, but it can occur anywhere in congested traffic, particularly in downtown Lima. Travelers are encouraged to put all belongings, including purses, in the trunk of a car or taxi.

The threat of street crime is greatest in areas that attract large crowds, particularly crowds of tourists or wealthy Peruvians. A crowd allows a thief (or thieves, since petty thieves often operate in a group) the opportunity to select and approach the potential victim without attracting attention. Visitors should be especially careful when visiting tourist areas in Lima such as the Plaza de Armas (Government Square), the Plaza San Martin, Acho Bullring, Pachacamac, and any location in downtown Lima. Additionally, visitors to municipal markets as well as the Gamarra textile district of La Victoria should be extremely cautious. Street crime is also prevalent in cities in Peru's interior, including Cusco, Arequipa, Puno, and Juliaca. U.S. citizens traveling alone or in unescorted groups are more vulnerable to street crime.

Visitors are advised to keep cash and identification in their front pockets and to limit their cash on hand and unnecessary credit cards. Replacing items such as credit cards, U.S. driver’s licenses, and other identification while in Peru can be difficult and time-consuming. Handbags should not be carried, but if they are, they should be tucked into the crook of an arm or, if carrying a bag with a shoulder strap, do not allow the bag to hang freely, but keep a hand over the clasp. It is generally recommended that all jewelry be removed prior to going to a market or other crowded areas.

Visitors are advised not to carry their U.S. passports if they are not needed. If the police request identification, a copy of the passport is acceptable. A copy of the data page, the page with the Peruvian visa, and a copy of the page with the Peruvian entry stamp should be carried.

Tourists should be particularly cautious when visiting the Sacsayhuaman ruins outside Cusco. They should not travel alone, but rather in as large a group as possible. Visitors should also avoid these areas at dawn, dusk, or nighttime since roving gangs are known to frequent these areas and prey on unsuspecting tourists. There have also been reports of tourists hiking near the ruins of Choquequirao being robbed by armed men who may be affiliated with politically motivated terrorist groups. U.S. citizen backpackers have also been victims of armed robbery while hiking on trails other than the Inca Trail.

Crime also occurs on roads, particularly at night and outside urban areas. Clandestine, impromptu roadblocks can appear on even major highways, where bus and automobile passengers are robbed. The risk is even greater on rural roads after dark. In addition, numerous U.S. citizens have reported the theft of passports, cameras, and other valuables on overnight bus rides, by thieves who take advantage of sleeping passengers or their stowed luggage in the cargo area underneath when opened during scheduled stops for passengers to disembark or enter the bus.

Fraud: Counterfeit U.S. currency is a growing and serious problem in Peru. In many areas of Lima, moneychangers openly change money on the street. These individuals should be avoided as they are a conduit for counterfeit currency, and in many cases, work together with pickpockets by pointing out potential victims. In addition, these individuals have frequently been the victims of violent robberies in which bystanders have been injured. There have also been several reported incidents of counterfeit currency being paid out as winnings by casinos, though the Embassy has not received reports of this happening at larger, well-known casinos.

Incidents of credit card fraud are on the rise, particularly the electronic “skimming” of credit card data. Travelers should keep their credit cards within their sight while making transactions.

Don't buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, but you may also be breaking local law.

One increasingly common extortion technique is known as the “grandparent scam.” It involves calls placed by persons alleging to be attorneys, local law enforcement, or U.S. government employees claiming that a person’s relative—nearly always a grandchild—has been in a car accident (or other ruse) in Peru and has been arrested/detained. Often the caller will put another person on the line purporting to be the grandchild, who claims he doesn’t sound like himself because he has a cold or has been crying. The caller asks for a large sum of money to be sent by Western Union to ensure the subject’s release and admonishes the relative not to speak to any other family members. If you receive a call like this, BEFORE YOU SEND ANY MONEY, contact family members to confirm the actual whereabouts of the supposedly detained grandchild. If it turns out he or she might actually have traveled to Peru, contact the State Department's Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 or the U.S. Embassy in Lima for assistance.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Peru, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have a copy of your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Peru, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Peru, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.


Spanish (official) 82.9%, Quechua (official) 13.6%, Aymara (official) 1.6%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.8%, other (includes foreign languages and sign language) 0.2%, none 0.1%, unspecified 0.7%

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical care is generally good in Lima and usually adequate in other major cities, but it is less so elsewhere in Peru. Urban private healthcare facilities are often better staffed and equipped than public or rural ones. Public hospital facilities in Cusco, the prime tourist destination, are generally inadequate to handle serious medical conditions. Although some private hospital facilities in Cusco may be able to treat acute medical problems, in general, the seriously ill traveler should return to Lima for further care as soon as is medically feasible.

Visitors to high-altitude Andean destinations such as Cusco (11,000 feet), Machu Picchu (8,000 feet), or Lake Titicaca (13,000 feet) should discuss the trip with their personal physician prior to departing the United States. Travel to high altitudes could pose a serious risk of illness, hospitalization, and even death, particularly if the traveler has a medical condition that affects blood circulation or breathing. Several U.S. citizens have died in Peru from medical conditions exacerbated by altitude. Tourists or business visitors, particularly those who suffer from cardiac-related problems or high blood pressure, who wish to travel to high-altitude areas in Peru should undergo a medical examination before traveling. New arrivals, even healthy and fit persons, will feel symptoms of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) at high altitudes, and most will need time to adjust to the altitude. Most people will have increased respiration and heart rate. Many will have headaches, difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, minor gastric and intestinal upsets, and mood changes. To help prevent these complications, consult your personal physician, avoid alcohol and smoking for at least one week after arrival at high altitudes, and limit physical activity for the first 36 to 48 hours after arrival at high altitudes.

In jungle areas east of the Andes mountain range (cordillera), chloroquine-resistant malaria is a serious problem. Cholera, yellow fever, hepatitis, dengue fever, and other exotic and contagious diseases are also present. Yellow fever is endemic in certain areas of Peru; in general, those areas are located on the eastern side of the cordillera and at lower elevations in jungle areas. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Peruvian government recommend that travelers to Peru receive a yellow fever vaccination and carry documentation of the vaccination with them on their trip. Diarrhea caused by contaminated food or water is very common in Peru and is potentially serious. If suffering from persistent symptoms, seek medical attention. Local tap water in Peru is not considered potable. Only bottled or treated (disinfected) water should be used for drinking. Fruits and vegetables should be washed and/or disinfected with care, and meats and fish should be thoroughly cooked. Eggs, meat, unpasteurized cheese, and seafood are common sources of the bacteria that can cause travelers' diarrhea, and they should be properly prepared or avoided.

Philanthropic groups and individuals planning to enter Peru with medical supplies in quantities greater than for personal use are strongly advised to consult with a Peruvian consulate in the United States prior to arrival in Peru. Medical, dental, and other kinds of charitable donations are subject to confiscation by Peruvian authorities for failure to comply with Peruvian regulations. Medical teams, non-profit organizations or visitors to Peru who plan to donate medical supplies, medicines, or other similar items may wish to review Peruvian regulations governing such donations (Spanish only) or contact Agencia Peruana de Cooperacion Internacional (APCI) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 51-1-319-3632 before proceeding. The U.S. Embassy cannot accept such items by mail, assist in evading customs requirements, or provide a broker to secure their release if they are held.

Safety and Security

The Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) terrorist group remains active in Peru and has previously expressed an intention to target U.S. interests. Sporadic incidents of Shining Path violence, mainly against Peruvian security services, have occurred in the recent past in rural provinces within the Regions of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, Huánuco, and Junín. Incidents have included attacks by large, heavily armed groups of Shining Path on Peruvian army and police patrols in remote areas, as well as kidnappings of Peruvian and foreign workers. Local community self-defense groups (“rondas campesinas”) may operate legally in some rural areas with minimal police presence; visitors are encouraged to cooperate with the rondas’ directions. Mining prospectors, adventure travelers, and others considering travel to remote areas of Peru are strongly advised to contact the U.S. Embassy in Lima for current security information.

Night-time road travel between towns or cities is generally prohibited for all U.S. Embassy employees due to the risk of robbery and unsafe road conditions. The only exception is nighttime travel on the Pan-Americana Highway. U.S. Embassy employees are permitted to travel at night on the Pan-Americana Highway south from Lima to Paracas or north from Lima to Huacho.

The U.S. Embassy restricts travel of U.S. government employees in Emergency Zones designated by the Government of Peru (where certain rights are restricted and the military may be in charge of providing security) and areas where terrorist groups or narcotics traffickers are known to operate or have recently resorted to violent actions. Overland travel in or near these areas, particularly at night, is risky. The Embassy also strongly recommends that, when traveling in areas near the Emergency Zones, U.S. citizens heighten their security awareness and implement additional security measures. The following list contains the current restricted zones:

Apurimac: Restricted: Provinces of Andahuaylas and Chincheros.

Permitted: Everywhere else.

Ayacucho: Restricted: Provinces of Huanta, and La Mar. Road travel from Ayacucho to San Francisco.

Permitted: Daylight road travel from Ayacucho City to the city of Huanta. Staying within the city limits of Huanta. Daylight road travel from Pisco to Ayacucho City.

Cusco: Restricted: The province of La Convención. The districts of Kimbiri, Pichari, Vilcabamba, and the Echarate.

Permitted: Everywhere else, including the Machu Picchu area and the city of Cusco.

Huancavelica: Restricted: Provinces of Pampas, Churcampa, Acobamba and Tayacaja. In the province of Concepcion, travel east of the cities of San Antonio de Ocopa and Santa Rosa (located northeast of Concepcion city). Travel to Huancavelica City.

Permitted: Daylight road travel from Pisco to Ayacucho City.Train travel from Lima to Huancayo. Daylight road travel from Lima to Huancayo.

Huánuco: Restricted: All zones; ground travel is permitted only with Deputy Chief of Mission authorization.

Permitted: Flying into and staying within the city limits of Huánuco and Tingo María.

Junín: Restricted: Provinces of Satipo and Concepción east of the Rio Mantaro. The District of Santo Domingo de Acobamba in the Province of Huancayo.

Permitted: Daylight road travel from La Merced to Satipo.

Loreto: Restricted: a 20-kilometer swath of territory contiguous to the Colombian border. Travel on the Putumayo River.

Permitted: Everywhere else.

San Martín: Restricted: Provinces of Tocache, Mariscal Caceres, Huallaga, and Bellavista. Ground travel is permitted only with the Deputy Chief of Mission's authorization.

Permitted: Flying only into and remaining within the city limits of Tocache, Saposoa, Juanjui, and Bellavista.

Ucayali: Restricted: Provinces of Padre Abad and Coronel Portillo west of Pucallpa City and west of Ucayali River. Road travel from Pucallpa to Aguaytia and all cities west of Aguaytia.

Permitted: Flying into and remaining within the city limits of Pucallpa and Aguaytía. The province of Coronel Portillo east of the Ucayali River.

A number of assaults on rivers in the Amazon jungle have been reported in recent years. River pirates continue to operate on tributaries of the Amazon. Inca Trail hikers are significantly safer if they are part of a guided group trail hike.

Political demonstrations and labor-related strikes and marches regularly occur in urban and some rural areas. They can also cause serious disruptions to road, air, and rail transportation. Demonstrations are often—but not always—announced in advance. While these activities are usually peaceful, they can escalate into violent confrontations. As a general rule, it is best to avoid large crowds and demonstrations. Visitors are encouraged to keep informed by following the local news and consulting hotel personnel and tour guides.

The Peruvian government is working to remove mines and unexploded ordnance left over from the 1995 Peru/Ecuador border conflict, but crossing or approaching the Peru-Ecuador border anywhere except at official checkpoints can still be hazardous. The entire Peru/Colombia border area is very dangerous because of narcotics trafficking and the occasional incursions of armed guerrilla forces from Colombia into Peru’s remote areas. Although there are no mines on the Peruvian side of the Peru/Chile border, seasonal heavy rains occasionally wash unmarked and unexploded mines across the border from Chile into Peru.

The U.S. Embassy in Lima has put tours over the Nazca Lines in Nazca, Peru, off-limits to its direct-hire personnel if the flights originate out of Nazca’s Maria Reiche Airport, due to potential safety hazards of small commercial aircraft based at that airport.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Peru, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Peru is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving conditions in Peru are very different from those found in the United States and can be considerably more dangerous. Visitors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with local laws and driving customs before attempting to operate vehicles. Road travel at night is extremely dangerous due to poor road markings and frequent unmarked road hazards. Drivers should not travel alone on rural roads, even in daylight. Convoy travel is preferable. Spare tires, parts, and fuel are needed when traveling in remote areas, where distances between service areas are great. Fog is common on coastal and mountain highways, and the resulting poor visibility frequently causes accidents. Inter-city bus travel is dangerous. Armed robbers, who force passengers off buses and steal their belongings, sometimes hold up inter-city buses at night. Bus accidents resulting in multiple deaths and injuries are common, and they are frequently attributed to excessive speed, poor bus maintenance, and driver fatigue. Because of these safety concerns, the U.S. Peace Corps in Peru restricts Peace Corps volunteers’ use of overnight inter-city buses and requires Peace Corps volunteers who make inter-city bus trips to use certain bus lines with good safety records. Current approved lines are Cruz del Sur, Linea, Movil Tours, CIAL, OLTURSA, Ormeño, TEPSA, and ITTSA. The Peruvian Ministry of Transportation also publishes a list in Spanish of the intercity bus companies with the highest rates of traffic accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries. For further information, travelers may contact their nearest automobile club, or (for information in Spanish) the Associacion Automotriz del Peru, 299 Avenida Dos de Mayo, San Isidro, Lima 27, Peru, telephone 51-1-440-0495.

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