South America is a backpacker’s paradise. It’s home to some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in the world, and there are wonders both old and new to look at almost everywhere you go. You can find some of the most magnificent of those sights and wonders in Peru. It sometimes gets overlooked by holidaymakers in favor of Mexico, and that’s a shame. We have nothing against Mexico – in fact, we’d suggest that everyone who has the time and money visits both places – but you’ll find a lot of travel tips for backpackers heading to Mexico all over the internet. There’s less information available for those headed to Peru.
We’re going to do something about that with this article, in which we’ll highlight five things about the country that every backpacker ought to know before they set off. We’ll focus on the practical rather than the obvious. Everyone knows about Peru’s numerous historical and archaeological sites. They’re so famous that slot Game providers have inspired games like “Inca’s Treasure” at online slots websites including RoseSlots.com. That isn’t something you can say about the ancient history of most countries. When a region’s ancient history is a big enough draw to persuade people to spend money on online slots, it will lure people in without any help from us or anybody else! The companies who design and develop online slots put a lot of thought into the themes they use to attract customers. If there’s Peruvian history in there, it’s because it sells.
We’ll take for granted that you know the main attractions and give you a little ‘insider knowledge’ instead. Here are five things you definitely need to be aware of in advance when you’re planning to spend time on the road in Peru.
You Need To Pack Altitude Tablets
The shape of Peru might be quite long and thin when you look at it on a map, but it’s far from flat. In fact, Peru is one of the most mountainous countries in the world, and many of the things and places you’ll want to go and see exist at high altitudes. The heights can be a struggle for even the most experienced travelers and climbers, and there’s a real risk of altitude sickness. You wouldn’t want that to spoil your visit, so you’ll want to pack some tablets with you. If you visit Huaraz, you’ll be ten thousand feet above sea level. Take tablets before you set off, and try to plan routes that don’t involve a lot of sudden ups and downs. Climb gradually and descend gradually, and you’ll hopefully avoid the worst of the possible effects.
Stock Up On Essentials
When you run out of essential goods at home, you walk or drive to the nearest store and stock up on them again. That probably won’t be an option for you at a lot of places you might stop for a night or two in Peru. Supermarkets and large stores are confined to the biggest cities and the biggest cities only. You won’t struggle if you’re in Lima, but if you spend your entire vacation in Lima, you’re not getting a true picture of the whole country. Head to the smaller towns, and you’ll find that you’re reliant on local food stalls selling little more than fish, meat, cheese, and a few vegetables. That’s fine if you don’t mind going rustic for a while, but if you want something more specific, you’ll probably have to bring it with you. This is especially important to remember if you have a specific diet.
Peruvian hotels generally don’t give you towels in your rooms. We don’t know why, but that’s just the way things are. You might not even have the option of visiting reception and getting towels from there either – it’s likely that they won’t have any to give to you. It’s expected that guests will bring their own with them. That’s not ideal given how bulky towels are when you’re packing a suitcase, but needs must. As with the ‘essential goods’ problem, this won’t be an issue if you’re staying in a chain hotel in a big city, but that’s not what backpackers tend to do. We imagine you’ll be staying somewhere more remote, like a hostel, and you have no chance of getting towels there. You probably won’t get any breakfast either. It’ll be cheap, but you’ll get what you pay for.
Wear Headphones On The Bus
One way to travel across large distances in Peru is on the bus, which is cheap and convenient. You might also think that it’ll be a scenic and relaxing way to see the Peruvian countryside. You’ll be right about the ‘scenic’ part of that, but wrong about the ‘relaxing’ aspect. Peruvian long-haul buses show movies to pass the time, much in the same way that planes do. The difference is that you won’t get any say in which movie is being shown or whether you want to see or hear it (unless you’re traveling on one of the luxury buses). The audio is played loud enough to be heard no matter where you sit, so you’ll need to bring headphones and your own entertainment if you want to avoid it. Given that the films in question are often strange B-movies or horror movies (a bizarre choice for travelers), it’s more likely for most people that you won’t want to see them than you will.
Check Your Change Carefully
One of the positives for American travelers in Peru is that US dollars are accepted as alternatives to the Peruvian sol almost everywhere you go. The downside is that a lot of the American currency you might be offered as change is counterfeit. Always look very carefully at any US banknote you’re handed while you’re there because once you’ve got one, you’re stuck to it. To make matters worse, Peruvian business owners are obligated to destroy counterfeit currency on sight, so if you accidentally hand one of them a counterfeit $100 bill, it’ll be ripped up in front of your eyes rather than handed back to you so you can take it back to its place of origin and try to argue your case. While you can pay in dollars, it might be easier to stay out of trouble if you use the local currency instead.