Before you go on your trip to Peru check these handy travel tips to help make your mountaineering experience more enjoyable
As with most international destinations, your passport must be current and valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure.
Perú uses the Peruvian Nuevo Sol, simply the ‘Sol’.
Approximate exchange rates in June 2019 were:
1 USD = 3.3 Soles
1 EUR = 3.7 Soles
1 AUD = 2.25 Soles
1 NZD = 2.15 Soles
1 GBP = 4.2 Soles
You cannot purchase the Peruvian Sol PEN overseas so you’ll need to arrive with new bills in the major currencies. Old, tattered or torn USD won’t be accepted at the smaller exchanges (which usually have the best rate). Traveling with large amounts of cash in Perú is not recommended. There are numerous ATM’s in Huaraz which accept debit cards, VISA and Mastercard. It’s a good idea to have a mixture of payment facilities. Our trips generally include all expenses except some meals back in town, so it’s a good idea to have about $50USD per day for meals and other miscellaneous costs.
Cover is compulsory on all Peruvian expeditions. Make sure you have both personal travel and high mountain insurance. In order to make best use of the insurance, purchase it as soon as you pay your expedition deposit. First Light Guiding cannot carry the burden for any losses due to cancellation, curtailment or variation from the normal schedule. Please make sure you carry a printed version of your insurance documents with you.
Travel insurance is widely available and easy to obtain. This should cover you in any event related to your travel to and from Peru as well as your entry into the mountains but will not normally include mountaineering. Make sure to purchase the most comprehensive insurance you can find to allow for cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances.
High Mountain Insurance:
Mountaineering Insurance can be acquired from the New Zealand Alpine Club and a number of mountaineering councils. This insurance covers most mountaineering and some restrictions may apply above certain elevations, so check your insurance carefully. Check with the Austrian Alpine Club, the British Mountaineering Council, Dogtag and others.
Staying healthy in Perú is usually as easy as following common sense – Only consume bottled water in town, and don’t drink directly from the streams in the mountains. All water will be boiled for at least three minutes for drinking, dish-washing and cooking purposes. Be vigilant about where and what you eat and that you wash your hands frequently. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser for extra security.
You should check this with your doctor prior to leaving for Perú. It is also recommended that you find out as much as possible from the appropriate authority in your country. All our expeditions are at altitude, eliminating many of the infectious diseases found lower down in the jungle. You may still want to bring mosquito repellent as well as being mindful of other health related issues.
Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Peru but approximately 13% of the population speak Quechuan as a first language, and many of the people we meet in the mountain villages will be cheerful if you greet them in their own tongue.
Learning as much Spanish as you can will enhance your experience enormously.
Commercial flights to Lima, Perú’s capital, are available from most major hub airports in North America, Europe and other South American countries. Latam operate flights from Sydney via Auckland to Santiago de Chile, where you can pick up a connection to Lima. Air New Zealand operate a daily flight to Buenos Aires with onwards connections to Lima.
Getting to Huaraz:
Huaraz is an 8-9 hour bus ride from Lima and climbs up to 4,000m over a journey of 400km. There are numerous bus companies operating twice daily departures, and you can enjoy the fascinating journey by daytime, or get some rest on the overnight shuttle. Huaraz has a small airport, and there are flights every few days to Lima.
Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of altitude sickness, high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) and high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). There is a lot of literature available on line.
Customised private itineraries can be arranged to suit individuals on request.