The Don’ts of Visiting Peru
Visiting Peru is a must, from UNESCO World Heritage Sights like Machu Picchu to the Incan capital of Cuzco (Cusco) to the capital of Lima to the white city of Arequipa to the Nazca lines there is so much to see and do in Peru. Here we talk about the things you shouldn’t do when you visit Peru.
Don’t Drink the Tap Water: the water in Peru is not always safe to drink and you should stick to bottled water. If you are going to be hiking the Inca Trail it would be a good idea to bring water purification tablets or a purification pump.
Don’t Mess with Your Health: many sights in Peru are in high elevations and sunburn and altitude sickness affect a number of travelers to Peru. So bring your own good strong sunblock and when you visit places like Cuzco make sure you take extra time to adjust to the high altitude or else you may end up sick from Altitude sickness (headaches, shortness of breath, nausea). Also, if you are suffering from altitude sickness ask your hotel if they have an oxygen tank you can use.
Don’t Freak Out About the Coca Leaves: Yes, coca leaves are used to make cocaine, but you do not have to think that you are a drug dealer if you drink coca tea. The coca leaf is used in teas, candies, and gums to help people adjust to altitude sickness.
Don’t Bring Home Any Coca Leaves: you will have coca tea and may choose on coca leaves, but do not bring back the leaves to the US or your home country. You might have a little explaining to do to your border patrol and customs agents.
Don’t Think You Can Just Hop on the Inca Trail: you need to register to hike the Inca trail. And don’t think that it is super easy. It can be done on various tours and on various lengths of hikes to Machu Picchu. Also, if you do hike the Inca Trail don’t forget to clean up after yourself and if you have a guide or a porter make sure you tip them for the work they do.
Don’t Be Grossed Out by the Cuy (Guinea Pig): Yes, they eat guinea pig in parts of Peru. Your pre-school pet, is now a delicacy and it can be served in a number of interesting ways. We prefer the alpaca steaks when in Peru, but to all their own. Peruvian cuisine is actually very well done. So you will eat well in Peru, oh and try the Inca Kola, it tastes like bubble gum and sprite had a baby.
Don’t Think Peru is Just Machu Picchu: Yes, you should visit Machu Picchu, one of the most important historic sights in the world, but do not think that Peru is just Machu Picchu. From the white city of Arequipa to enjoying the Miraflores district of Lima to flying over the Nasca Lines or seeing the tropical rain forest, Peru has a ton of sights to see.
Don’t Throw Your Toilet Paper Down the Toilet: the pipes in Peru cannot handle the paper, so please place all your toilet paper and other toilet products into the trash basket next to the toilet.
Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle in the Markets: price tags are not always on products in Peru and in the markets that is the case as well. So if it is a market and there is no price it is OK to haggle for a better price. But in the cities at traditional stores haggling is not done.
Don’t Forget to Have Cash: at tourist destinations and restaurants popular with tourists credit cards are accepted, but if you are out and about and seeing sights and meeting locals, cash is the preferred way of payment. You will need it for tipping guides and porters as well, or perhaps grabbing a snack on the side of the road.
Filmed in Cuzco/Cusco, Peru
Copyright Mark Wolters 2018