The official language in Peru is Spanish blended with some indigenous slang. However, a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua, Aymara, or another indigenous language. Quechua is what the Incas spoke, and you will most likely hear some version of this tongue in the sierra. Around Lake Titicaca, the area known as the altiplano, you may experience Aymara, the language of the Tihuanacu culture. Even in these places, many people are bilingual and able to communicate in Spanish.
The currency of Peru is the nuevo sol (literally translating to “new sun”). It is divided into 100 centimos (cents), although they are seldom used. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, and 5, and bills start at 10, followed by 20, 50, 100, and 200 notes. 200 bills are rarely accepted, so it is best to request smaller denominations from the bank. ATMs are readily available in cities and tourist areas, but the more remote areas may not accept credit cards. Many places in Peru take US dollars, particularly for large items like tours or accommodation, so it might not hurt to carry some with you along with the local currency.
The time zone in Peru is GMT -5.
Electricity in Peru runs at 220V/60Hz so you may need a transformer if your electrical appliance differs. The country uses both the two-pronged round European plugs and the two-pronged North American plug at different places. Considering the variation, it is best to bring an adapter just in case.
The international dialing code for Peru is +51. Cell phone reception is good in the two largest cities of Lima and Arequipa, but less consistent elsewhere due to the mountainous terrain. Internet cafés (cabinas publicas) are available in most tourist centers. They are popular with locals, as well as visitors and often feature VOIP services, as well as regular land lines. Many have booth-style call areas for privacy.
Duty-free goods can be purchased at Jorge Chávez International Airport. If you are travelling to Peru, you are allowed to import three liters of alcohol, 400 cigarettes, and three bottles of perfume without paying taxes.
Peru (Tourist Information and Assistance): +11-511-574-8000 for 24-hour assistance or visit http://www.peru.travel/en/
Consulates in Peru
US Embassy, Lima: +11-51-1-618-2000 Canadian Embassy, Lima: +11-51-1-319-3200 British Embassy, Lima: +11-51-1-617-3000 Australian Embassy, Lima: +61-2-6261-3305 New Zealand Consulate, Lima: +11-51-1-627-7778 Spanish Embassy, Lima: +11-51-1-212-5155 Israeli Embassy, Lima: +11-51-1-4180500
Police: 105 Medical: 117 Fire: 116 Tourist Police: +11-51-1-423-3500