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Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

New Orleans
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Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

Hi everyone! As my trip fast approaches (October), I keep going over my lists of things to do/buy/pack before we get there. So naturally, I wondered what things ya'll wish you'd known about before your own trip. We'll be on our own so your suggestions/ideas/tips are appreciated. Thanks, nola44.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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1. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

I suggest you read the Inside pages on Peru on this forum. Then you can also read the Inside pages for Cusco and Urubamba.

Lots of useful info is found on these pages.

Sugar Land, Texas
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2. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

We came back from Peru a week ago, and I wish I had known before going there how safe it actually is if you take minimal common sense precautions.

In 2 weeks of traveling on our own by bus (Cruz del Sur), train (to MP), plane, local bus, taxis and of course doing a lot of walking, we did not experience or witness any type of attack, theft, pickpocketing whatsoever. I always took my purse with me in Lima and we were carrying my husband's small videocamera and my small digital camera fairly openly (how else would we be able to shoot pictures ?), but of course didn't wear jewelry or wave around dollar bills.

As a precaution, I always had a phone card ("147", available and usable everywhere), a credit card, some cash and a copy of my passport in a hidden pocket in my pants.

Whereever we used storage in hotels or at Lima airport, it was VERY safe.

People were very nice and helpful whenever we needed directions and we had an incredibly good time with ZERO PROBLEMS.

I got a little worried when we came back and realized that none of the postcards I wrote fairly early into the trip had yet arrived. It took the first one 17 days to make it to Germany (!), so hope is still permitted for the other 24... No idea why it takes so long - airmail is actually pretty expensive (6 soles for Europe, 5.50 for the US).

I'm also wondering why some tourists prefer to pay with US$ in Peru. It's much easier to get local money w/ a bankcard at one of the numerous ATMs. Soles (even a little older or torn bills) are accepted much easier than $$.

So you're very lucky to go where we've just been ! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Otherwise, just rely on Xochitl - he really knows what he's talking about.

Have fun in Peru !

louisville, ky
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3. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

I wish I had known clothes would be so cheap to buy in Lima. I would not have packed anything!

Also, since the summer season was beginning there, all the winter merchandise was on sale big time. Perfect for returning to winter here in the US.

There is a place on Larco ave. in Miraflores called 5uinta (thats how it is spelled) that sells clothes really cheap. And, the dept stores Ripley and the other one, were really cheap.

Also, wish I had used more bug repellent on the Inca Trail.

New Orleans
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4. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

Thanks so much for the replies. It makes me feel good to know that some of the safety concerns are alleviated by common sense precautions which I take everywhere I go anyway. Also glad to hear that soles are easily accepted everywhere because I prefer to use the currency of the country that I am in rather than US $. We are definitely planning on doing some clothes shopping, especially for alpaca items. Just a few more days now, yay!

Sugar Land, Texas
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5. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

Alpaca shopping ... We bought all sweaters and scarves at Alpaca 111 because the quality seems very good and the prices are reasonable (and the same in all stores). They have stores a little everywhere, including at both Cusco and Lima airports, so you don't have to carry the stuff with you during the whole trip.

Something else to buy, if you're a chocoholic like me, is the Chocotejas they sell at Cusco airport. Oh my, are they yummy !!! Filled with pecans or prunes and soft caramel. Wish I had bought more. They're made in Cusco.

They also sell 100% pure cocoa paste in thick bars, very convenient to make hot chocolate.

Winchester, United...
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6. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

Hi there - looks like I will be buying lots of christmas presents in Cusco airport! To help reduce the amount of cash I will bring, do you know if they take visa in Alpaca 111? Thanks Andy :)

Salt Lake City, Utah
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7. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

Three more tips:

1) Never pay hotel rates for laundry. Nearby laundry services will clean clothes for about 1/8 the hotel rate.

2) Don't carry a wallet. All your valuable stuff (passport, credit cards,etc.) should be in some safe belt (such as a waist belt tucked beneath your shirt). For spending money, just carry a wad of cash in your pocket. Pickpockets will not be able to feel the loose cash (as they would be able to feel a wallet). I was pickpocketed in Cusco, but all I had in my wallet was cash and my driver's license (I later wondered why I had a wallet in my pocket at all).

3) If you still have some room in your itinerary, head up north to Huaraz to see the Cordillera Blanca. It was amazing and completely unlike anything else we did.

Other than the pickpocket, we never had a negative experience. You'll have a great time.

Sugar Land, Texas
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8. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

Andy,

I'm pretty - but not 100% - sure Alpaca111 accept credit cards. Maybe you can check their webpage http://www.alpaca111.com.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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9. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

I´m 100% sure Alpaca 111 accepts VISA cards.

CA
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10. Re: Things you wish you'd known BEFORE your trip to Peru!

I was just doing a little research for my upcoming trip and think this is an awesome thread (esp. for airport stores in Cusco).

As a knitter I have one word of caution about buying Alpaca sweaters. No, not to look for specific quality. Alpaca is extremely warm and you may not be able to wear your souvenir unless you live in a place where the temperature regularly is below freezing. Even then, you might boil over. I plan on picking up accessories which suit my home climate a bit better.