All Around The Country, Lima
We only exchanged our dollars in Lima, so my advice here may not be relevant in other areas of Peru. Although banks are probably the safest place to exchange money, the street exchangers give a better rate. Look for the official exchangers - in the San Isidro area, they were wearing tan vests, with an orange government seal printed on them. The vests may be different in other areas - check with your hotel staff.
Know what the current exchange rate is, and agree upfront before handing over any cash. Count your money before the exchanger walks away. Also, do not accept any bills that are ripped or look old. Many merchants will not accept them, making them effectively worthless.
Favorite thing: When visiting Peru going to Cuzco and its surroundings is a must! Specially for those who like to see archeological sites, you can't miss Cuzco. From the Coricancha (Temple of the Sun) to the ruins of Machu Picchu, there is so much to see! I took this picture at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman where we came across this guy who had a live condor. Cool! That's my sister and her husband on the right.
I recommend you always carry in your pocket 100 new soles (Peruvian currency) that is more than enough to eat and pay in cash, equivalent to 35 or so U.S. dollars, for the rest you can pay by card at any restaurant in the same city; since most restaurants away, no payment system by credit card ..... remember only 100 new soles as cash to eat anything here .... I have to serve and they can help.
Fondest memory: I have many beautiful memories of Lima and in general in some parts of Peru ... in the city center you can visit the main square, the convent of Santo Domingo, the catacombs of St. Francis, the government palace and lunch in a good restorant in the same plaza San Martin and then go cycling around the boardwalk where you can appreciate the beauty of the coast of Lima, all beaches, from the place called San Isidro Chorrillos up ... it's wonderful. And very comfortable accommodation to pay $ 80 a month near the beach.
Depends where you eat! If you eat in a market as Peruvians do you can eat for just under a dollar. If you eat in a more up-market area the prices could be like 10 dollars. A nice 2 course meal in a decent restaurant will probably set you back 2-3 dollars.
Fondest memory: Fondest memory of a restaurant in Lima is eating at the festival de la comida in Barranco off the plaza de armas there and then taking a walk with my wife (then my girlfriend) to the Mirador to watch the sun set into the Pacific followed by a delicious pisco sour.
Hello friend: My name is Rocío and I`m from Peru,first thank like you I work like a volunteering here in Perú, and I know lot of volunteer from another countries (from Canada, Holland) and I think is a nice work but is not easy, well when you will see the smail of the children you will think that nothing is better, I would like to know where are you going to be here? In Lima? because I`m in Lima, if you want I can help you if you have any doubt, well see you my new friend if you want to know more information about me, just write me: email@example.com
well see you and sorry because my English is not so good!
You may be considering Peru as a travel destination, but are concerned about whether you'll like the local cuisine, especially if you're allergic to seafood.
Have no fear - there are dozens of pizza and pasta places in Lima - as well as the major tourist destinations. These restaurants also fill up with locals - especially if there's a futbol match. The food at these restaurants is quite good.
There are also North American fast food restaurants in Peru - although who travels to Peru to eat at McDonald's? :)
Thank god for garbage. Driving north frm Lima you drive along the deserty coastline. And the garbage is scattered across this part of Peru like coloured candies across the top of a bithday cake. It is a welcome and colourful distraction from what would otherwise only be a boring and featureless desert landscape. Peru is festooned with non-biodegradable garbage; fanta bottles and plastic bottles of all colours, garbage bags, shopping bags, car parts, adidas sneakers, vinyl etc.This multi coloured garbage is found strewn across the country side. And where that there are people...anywhere near some mud huts, there are literally mountains of it all mixed in with the desert sand. It is very pretty to look at. like so many christmas decorations.
Fondest memory: Lima is a typical South American capital. All of these cities have the same problems. But poeple are people and the people of Lima can be very gracious
Get on an airplane and go to Iquitos. Here is an interesting story. When the Spaniards had Atahualpa in prison (moments before they killed him), they asked him where the capital of the colony should be placed. He replied: 'near the ocean' and he described the location of today's Lima. This was his revenge. It's the worst place to put a city!
Fondest memory: Getting on an airplane and seeing the dry plain below me as I headed northeast toward Iquitos and the warm jungle. The house in the photo shows where we are headed.... to a research center called Global Awareness Institute near Iquitos.