Cusco is a city high up in the Andes (altitude: 3400m), 1160 km from Lima. You can travel by bus (20 hours) or by plane (1:15 hours). Should you arrive via Bolivia, you have the option between a bus ride and a beautiful train journey.
The transfer to your host family on arrival in Cusco is included in the price. Normally the host family picks you up from the airport, train station or bus station and will also accompany you to ACUPARI on your first day of classes.
We will help you with the organisation of your journey to Cusco, for example book your domestic flight Lima-Cusco, as this is much cheaper in Peru, than from abroad.
Your passport should be valid at least another 9 months, counting from the start of your journey. Travellers from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and most other European countries do not need a visa to enter Peru. When entering, you will get an entry stamp, which permits you to stay a maximum of 183 days, as well as a tourist card (Tarjeta Andina), which has to be returned when leaving the country. Please make sure you keep this small piece of paper safe!
IMPORTANT: We recommend that you make sure at passport control that you get a permit for 90 or 183 days. Sometimes you randomly get only 30 or 60 days. Tell the border control in a friendly and polite manner that for personal reasons, you would like to stay for 90 or 183 days in Peru.
The Peruvian currency is called Nuevo Sol S/., but you can bring Euros or Dollars, as there are exchange offices in all bigger cities. In Latin America, VISA-cards are the most commonly used credit cards.
For current exchange rates, click here:
EC-cards: In all bigger towns and tourist destinations, you will find ATMs. Here, you can withdraw money with your cash-card and PIN-number, which is cheaper than with your credit card.
Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners are accepted without a problem in most restaurants, hotels and service providers.
The German foreign ministry recommends vaccinations against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Rabies and Typhoid.
A vaccination against Yellow Fever is obligatory for the whole Peruvian Amazon region. Bring your vaccination card to prove that you have been vaccinated. Apart from the Ayacucho-district, all endemic areas are in the Amazon region, east of the Andes. If you travel to the Amazon without vaccination, you risk being denied entry, quarantine or compulsive vaccination. If you do not have a yellow fever vaccination and decide to travel to the Amazon, you can always visit the regional hospital in Cusco and get the vaccination for approx. 35 Euros.
If you want to bring a first aid kit, reduce the contents to a minimum: Aspirin, charcoal tablets, Imodium, Soventol, Mobilat...; the pharmacies in Peru offer a broad range of international medications, mostly without prescription and cheaper than in Europe or the USA.
Medical- and travel insurance
It is advisable to take out medical insurance for your journey that covers medical assistance and hospital stays. Talk to your travel agency or find information on the internet.
A luggage insurance is also recommended.
The Peruvian Andes have two seasons: a dry and a rainy season. In November or December the first rain drops fall. January, February and March are mostly quite wet. But it is amazing how quickly the sky clears up after a hefty shower and the sun starts shining again. The temperature varies between 12 and 25 degrees Celsius.
The dry season, Peruvian winter, lasts from May to October. Especially in the high Andes, the temperature differences between day and night, sun and shadow are extreme. During the day the sun makes you sweat, but the nights are really cold, especially in June and July, when outside the city the temperatures sometimes drop below zero. On the coast, rain is quite rare.
The summer – December until March – is warm and humid, the temperatures vary between 25 and 32 degrees Celsius.
Whenever you visit Peru, you'll need clothing for warm as well as cold weather. Absolutely necessary are: sturdy shoes, rain proof jacket, sun glasses, high protection sun screen, lip balm, a hat or cap to cover your head, and rain clothing for the months November – April.
Cusco and its surroundings, as well as the other tourist locations in the country are quite safe for travellers. Even the overland buses are increasingly used by tourists. The larger cities have a special tourist police, recognisable by the white girdle over their shoulder.
Pickpockets have a good eye for when you are distracted. So take care of your possessions when visiting crowded places like bus- or train stations, markets or festivals. Do not walk around by yourself in lonely places. When sightseeing or taking a day trip, leave your documents, passport, cards and valuables in the hotel. But when travelling, keep your documents and valuables on your person, preferably in a body belt.
After your arrival in Cusco, you will receive a copy of your passport, certified by the German consulate in Cusco. Your valuables and documents can be placed in the ACUPARI safe.