How to Enter Peru

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

A valid passport is required to enter and depart Peru. Tourists must also provide evidence of return or onward travel. Travelers to Peru will receive a card from Peruvian Immigration upon arrival stating the length of approved stay (usually 90 days). Extensions are not available, and overstays will result in fines. Visit the Embassy of Peru Website for the most current visa information. Peru does not require any immunizations for entry, although it recommends vaccination against Yellow Fever.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Peru.

Minor children with Peruvian citizenship traveling with only one or neither legal parent or legal guardian are required to have authorization from the non-traveling parent/guardian(s). In Peru, the non-traveling parent/guardian(s) can complete this process at most public notaries or through a travel authorization issued by a family court. In the United States, the non-traveling parent/guardian(s) should visit the nearest Peruvian Consulate and complete a Permiso Notarialde Viaje. Please be aware that these authorizations are valid for 30 days and one trip only.

If the minor child has only one legal parent or guardian, the traveling parent/guardian must present evidence of sole custody, as well as a completed Permiso Notarial de Viaje from a Peruvian notary.

Peruvian Immigration has changed the procedure for travelers exiting Peru with an emergency passport or a full-validity passport issued during their stay in Peru. In cases of passports that have been lost or stolen, the passenger will not have the entry stamp with which they entered Peru. In cases of newly issued passports, the entry stamp will be in the canceled passport. Therefore travelers must “transfer” the entry stamp to their new passport before they are allowed to pass through Peruvian immigration. Previously, travelers were able to complete this process at the Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima. Now, travelers must take their new passports to Peruvian Immigration headquarters at Av. España 730, Breña, Lima, is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in order to pay for and process the transfer. The current fee is approximately $8.00, or S/21.

Information about dual nationality and the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

The government of Peru prohibits the exportation of archaeological artifacts, colonial art, and some natural artifacts such as fossils. These restrictions include archaeological material from the pre-Hispanic cultures and certain ethnological materials from the colonial period of Peru, which are considered protected Peruvian cultural patrimony. U.S. law enforcement authorities can take action even after importation into the United States has occurred. For more information, contact the Ministerio de Cultura (Ministry of Culture; Spanish only). Travelers buying art should be aware that unscrupulous traders might try to sell them articles that cannot be exported from Peru. Peruvian customs authorities may seize such articles, and the traveler may be subject to criminal penalties.

Visitors who purchase reproductions of colonial or pre-colonial art should buy only from reputable dealers, and they should insist on documentation from Peru's National Institute of Culture (INC) showing that the object is a reproduction and may be exported. Peruvian customs authorities may retain articles lacking such documentation and forward them to INC for evaluation. If found to be reproductions, the objects eventually may be returned to the purchaser, but only after the purchaser pays all storage and shipping charges.

Vendors in some regional cities and airports sell live animals and birds, as well as handicrafts made from insects, feathers, or other natural products. Under Peruvian law, it is illegal to remove certain flora and fauna items from their place of origin to another part of Peru or to export them to a foreign country. Travelers have been detained and arrested by the Ecology Police in Lima for carrying such items.

Information on U.S. regulations for the importation of plant and animal products is available from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Travelers bringing animals to the United States may also wish to consult with U.S. Customs or the Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of Interior. Travelers wishing to bring animals from the United States into Peru should consult the Peruvian Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria (SENASA) at 51-1-313-3300. Information regarding current restrictions is available on the SENASA website (Spanish only).

Peruvian customs regulations require that many electronic items or items for commercial use be declared upon entering the country. Failure to make a full and accurate declaration can lead to arrest and incarceration or significant fines. Undeclared items, including personal laptop computers, may be seized and held.

Travelers should be aware that some drugs and other products readily available over the counter or by prescription in Peru are illegal in the United States. The prescription sedative flumitrapezan (Rohypnol) is one such drug; others may come on the market at any time. Although coca-leaf tea is a popular beverage and folk remedy for altitude sickness in Peru, possession of these tea bags, which are sold in most Peruvian supermarkets, is illegal in the United States.

Special Travel Circumstances in Peru

Adventure Travel: To protect natural resources along the Inca Trail, the Peruvian government charges fees for hiking the trail and instituted limits on the number of hikers permitted on the trail. Hikers in peak season (June–August) are advised to make reservations for the Inca Trail well in advance via a travel agency. The Inca Trail is closed for maintenance each year for the month of February. Visitors should always register when entering national parks. Hikers should exercise extreme caution in steep or slippery areas, which are neither fenced nor marked. Several climbers have died or suffered serious injuries after falling while climbing Huayna Picchu, a peak near Machu Picchu. Only very basic medical assistance is available at Machu Picchu.

The historic site of Machu Picchu has a daily visitor limit of 2,500 guests. This limit is strictly enforced. The government of Peru recommends purchasing tickets in advance to avoid possible disappointment if the maximum has been reached for the day of an intended visit. The website of iPeru, Peru’s tourist information and assistance agency, has detailed information on how to obtain tickets. It is possible to reserve and pay online, although the website may be slow to load.

Adventure travelers should be aware that rescue capabilities are limited. Few rescue helicopters are in service, and cell phone service may be unavailable. U.S. citizens who plan to visit mountainous areas in Ancash province should contact the Peruvian National Police's High Mountain Rescue Unit ("USAM") at telephone 51-1-575-4696, 51-1-575-4698, 51-1-575-1555; fax 51-1-575-3036, or e-mail: Some USAM officers read and/or speak English.

Swimmers, surfers, rafters, and boaters should be aware of strong currents in the Pacific Ocean and fast-moving rivers. Seasonal rains can exacerbate the already dangerous conditions in Peru. Those considering white-water rafting should consult local authorities about recent weather and the impact on white-water rafting conditions. Be cautious in relying on those with a commercial interest in gauging conditions. Companies offering white-water rafting in Peru, their guides, and their equipment may not be held to the same standards as similar companies in the United States. Travelers are advised to seek advice from local residents before swimming in jungle lakes or rivers, where large reptiles or other dangerous creatures may live; caimans, resembling alligators, are found in most jungle areas of Peru. All adventure travelers should leave detailed written plans and a timetable with a friend and with local authorities in the region, and they should carry waterproof identification and emergency contact information. Due to cell phone and internet limitations in remote areas, communication with family and friends may not always be possible, and travelers should plan accordingly.

Travelers to all remote areas should check with local authorities about geographic, climatic, and security conditions.

Ayahuasca: Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychotropic plant, generally brewed as a tea that has traditionally been used for religious, ritual, and medicinal purposes by the indigenous peoples of the region. It is said to elicit intense modifications in thought processes, perception, and emotion. The psychoactive ingredient is Dimethyltryptamine(DMT), a drug classified as Schedule I in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”

Ayahuasca tourism, in which shamans “guide” visitors through psychedelic rituals, is a burgeoning industry in the jungle regions of Ecuador and Peru. There is no way to thoroughly vet ayahuasca tourism operators, and if you choose to participate, please be aware of the potential risks involved. Some participants have reported adverse experiences during the rituals, including being seriously assaulted and robbed. Victims report a range of scenarios, from being alert but unable to maintain control of their surroundings, to total amnesia. In 2012, a U.S. citizen died in Peru while under the influence of the drug.

Disaster Preparedness: Peru is an earthquake-prone country. U.S. citizens in areas affected by earthquakes can expect to experience temporary difficulty communicating with family and friends in the United States and in securing prompt onward overland transportation out of the affected areas.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, and health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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