Do not buy your souvenirs at the airport. The same stuffis available all over Lima , Cusco and Aguas Calientes at a fraction of the price. I bought a Peruvian football shirt at Aguas Calientes for 30 soles... They sell the same shirt at Lima Airport for 99 soles. A key chain in Cusco costed 4 soles.... The same one, identical, at Lima airport... 29 soles. What a rip off!
Fun Alternatives: Walking around small stalls at the Inca market in Miraflores, Lima is more fun, more choice, and cheaper. The market at the train station in Aguas Calientes ise even better. They leave you in peace, you can browse at your leisure, and if you really want to baryer, 5 or 10 soles can often be haggled off the price (although I believe it is not necessary, as the prices they give are fair enough).
The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol. The value of the Nuevo Sol to the U.S. Dollar fluctuates pretty wildly. If you need to exchange money from US Dollars or Euros to Nuevo Sol I would strongly recommend doing it inside a bank and using the ATM inside of the bank Banks in Peru have security guards inside the bank who also watch the ATM's. Be careful when you get money from someone that is not ripped or torn. Also avoid the exchange bureaus at the airport and downtown. There exchange rates can be well above 10% higher than at a bank atm. If so it will unlikely be accepted somewhere you wish to buy something. At the time of the printing of this tip the exchange rate was for $ 100.00 US Dollars you would receive back approximately 277 Nuevo Sols.
The guys with "tourist info" badges outside the airport are totally corrupt. One of them tried to fix us up with a taxi and make us pay 50x the price. We sensed that something was not right, and the guy was giving some weird explanation about the exchange rate.
Needless to say we got rid of him and found ourselves a taxi that cost the real price.
This was the only time we almost got cheated in peru.
Fun Alternatives: get your own taxi, and bargain.
Hey you guys out there! if you really want to know about Peru you shouldn't be going to places laike Larco Mar, Jockey Plaza those will just offer you same old things you can get in your hometown even some street markets will atract you with their atractive offers...
There are 3 ATMs in the area where you'll collect your baggage. After 9pm these don't work, once the bank closes the ATMs won't allow any international card money withdraw. This is very trouble some if you must pay any tarrif to the customs agents. The exchange booths and the one bank next to the customs agent only accept cash for exchange. I know this because I was bring gifts for family members and the taxes exceded $200 USD. If you ask why the ATMs aren't working to the customs agents they'll give you a rude answer as if your card has the problem. Don't believe this!
*Over all, the exchange around the city is better than the airport.
Unique Suggestions: Take extra money if you happen to be bring items for friends or family.
Fun Alternatives: If you exchange money, I wouldn't do more than $100 USD in the airport. Just enough to get by until you get into the city.
My travel mate lost her ATM card so we had to purchase a phone card to call her bank in the US. Our hotel informed us that we can just use the phone in our room to make the call using our phone card and to just dial #140 prior to using the phone card so that we won't be billed for any time on the hotel phone. We followed their instructions and to our surprise, we were charged $40 US for telephone time AFTER we used a phone card to make the call. They indicated that if you just pick up the receiver, we are billed for every minute the phone is in use and they would not offer an explanation to us about the #140 directions they gave us the night before in order to avoid those charges.
Unique Suggestions: Peruvians were experts at ignoring you and blowing off your questions if you put them on the spot to question something they have done that was not right. As such, the only way to make a trap experience bearable is to chalk it up as a learning experience, especially in Peru where it seems they just want to part you from your money in the most sneakiest of ways.
Fun Alternatives: If you use a phone card, just use a regular phone to make the call and not your hotel phone. Phone cards are relatively cheap and easy to use to call the US.
I had read my Frommer´s Peru guide about Museo de Oro (Gold Museum) in Lima, Peru and still decided to go. It was a huge disapointment. It´s the definition of a tourist trap.
"Everything that glitters is not necessarily gold" said the guide, and indeed. This museum was the most expensive taxi ride ever (about $15) then $12 to pay for the ticket just to see this atrocity of museum... Not labelled, dirty, confusing and really small. And yes, there were all the fakes in exhibition. Lost al afternoon just going there and then back to Miraflores for nothing.
Unique Suggestions: There are many little shops to buy alpaca knitwear - like Alpaca 111. Do some shopping...
Fun Alternatives: I have already written a tip for my alternative in Museums in Lima.
The best one is Larco Museum at Pueblo Libre district, labelled in english, an excellent overview for all precolumbian cultures, and an amazing collection of gold and jewelry from inca cultures.
The best by far!
There are fixed prices for taxis booked inside the terminal (the safer taxis). You will see the official taxis booking counter right next to a big sign displaying the fares to different destinations.
When we visited, it was $11 to Miraflores but once we arrived, the driver kept going on about exchange rates and demanding more money. Resist! They have to abide by that price, which is already not so cheap compared to non airport rides.
Also ignore their suggestion of a different hotel. Stick to your original choice. They are only after a nice commission and it could mean you end up in an unsafe part of town.
Unique Suggestions: It is indeed safer to travel from the airport in an official cab, booked in the terminal. Don't risk being mugged one hour after you arrive in Lima. The cabs outside are cheaper but some will not be safe.
Fun Alternatives: Take the taxis but refuse to hand over more than the price that was displayed in the terminal. Refuse to go to their suggested hotel and demand they take you to your own choice of hotel.
If they are unpleasant, take their licence number and mention the tourist police, this should calm the driver down!
That cute little kid trying to see you a piece of candy, most likely isn’t telling you the whole story. Adults hire these young kids to go out and sell. After all they are perfect little salespeople. I had heard about this and asked several locals, all confirmed that this was very common. The adult takes most of the money, and the kid does all the work.
Unique Suggestions: Buying a piece of candy may appear nothing much, but do you really want to support this type of business.
Currency exchange rates change daily, and some places will have better rates than others. However what happened to me was way past the point of reasonable.
The hotel listed all prices in U.S. Dollars (room rate, mini bar, room service, etc) When I went to pay my bill they showed me in U.S. dollars, however when I went to pay with my credit card, the said it would have to be in local currency. This is common in many places, so I didn't give it a second thought. Figure they would exchange at the current daily rate (take or give a few cents). I was wrong!!! Current rate was 2.93 to the dollar and they charged my card 3.20 to the dollar. This increased my hotel bill by $148.78 for the week.
Unique Suggestions: Double check to see which currency the are billing with, if local ask their rate of exchange. If it's a large difference I would suggest going to the ATM and paying cash. The fee your bank charges may a lot cheaper than what the hotel charges.
Fun Alternatives: I have stayed at other hotels in Peru that didn't do this. Some bill in USD other in local, but all were up front about their bill practices. Ask before you book your room.
There is a street lined with restaurants just of Pl President Kennedy - it's fairly obvious as there are bars and restaurants running down either side. It's also fairly obvious as the street is also lined with staff from the restaurants trying to 'invite' or 'hassle' you to enter their establishment with offers of free Pisco Sour (see elsewhere).
Unique Suggestions: It's a bit of a drag getting all the in your face hassle so to make it easy, refer to a guide book, get your head down and plough through the hawkers to a predetermined restaurant of your choice!
Lima´s taxis don´t have meters...so before you hop in ask how much is going to be till the place you want to go. They are in general honest but we had one or two bad experiences.
Fun Alternatives: Ask for the price in advance.
If you've looked at a map and salivated at the prospect of spending some time on Lima's long beaches, think again. The water is dirty and the sand is, well, rocks. Baseball size rocks. In fact, the sound of the undertoe crackling as it pulls the rocks out to sea is lodged forever in my memory.
Furthermore, while the sunset over the Pacific can be pretty (on the rare evenings there is no fog), the beach after dark can be dangerous and crime-infested.
So, while the beach is interesting for people-watching, entertaining for the surfer buff an interesting for its sea-side cliffs, one should not make it a point to visit the shores of Lima.
not a very evocative site even if it was one of the greatest pre-hispanic site through peru,to pachacamac's glory....the one who guides the world,in quechua langage.
if you visit with a guide,she/he is able to speak about during more than one hour!
31km south on panamerican highway.
Unique Suggestions: go to the beach.....
Fun Alternatives: have a look to "warning and danger" tip!
The Gold Museum is a popular place to visit for tourists but what they see may surprise them. A good friend of mine whose family is an acquaintance of the owner suggested that many of the items it contains are not originals but reproductions. Seems the man had to sell some of the real things off to raise some money. Still, it's a pretty amazing collection of trinkets.
Unique Suggestions: Just enjoy it, but I wouldn't pay for a personal tour guide. I did and it wasn't worth it.