Although Peru is a tourist-friendly country, travelling to it could be a bit daunting for first-timers. For many of us, people in Peru speak a different language and they have a different culture. In order to keep ourselves safer, it is a good idea to do the following things:
Get a vaccination
We should be aware of the prevalent diseases that may affect locals. We should be aware that some vaccinations may take a couple of months to be fully working. As an example, the hepatitis A and B vaccines need a period of 8 weeks before they become fully active to protect our body.
Book an Inca Trail early
Many people who go to Peru prefer to go to the Inca Trail. To avoid traffic jams and congestions, it is a good idea to book months in advance. It is considered as a UNESCO heritage site and uncontrolled hikers are prohibited from causing damages to the historical trail. Consequently, there are only 500 people who are allowed to walk through the trail each day, including hikers, porters and guides. In peak season, in May, June, July, August and September, permits are usually sold out two months in advance. We should consider this fact to avoid disappointment.
Watch out for strikes
In Peru, there are some occasional strikes or huelga in local language. It usually happens in the main plaza. Strike is initiated by a local organization and it is usually well organized. Strike could happen when locals think that there’s something unjust. There could be about 4 or 5 strikes each year, but can be more at specific years. There are obviously some impacts on local tourism, but in most cases, airports never close. However, we should be prepared to see some obstructions and blockades on the road, erected by the local police force to contain the strike.
Look for ways to stay healthy
Peru is still a developing country and it is important for us to look for ways to stay healthy. There are different hygiene regulations and they may not be strictly enforced in some areas. If we are not sure, we should choose good quality restaurants. It may not be a good idea to ask locals, because they could be immune to local microorganisms. In general, we should try to use our common sense and judgment. Some travellers have all kinds of stomach problems and it is a good idea to avoid eating in wrong places.
Get travel insurance
Many people don’t purchase travel insurance, but it can be a good idea in many situations. In reality, travel insurance covers a lot of potential medical costs. Travel insurance may also cover us if the travel agent is no longer in business, the flight is delayed, there’s a natural disaster in the country and we have a serious sickness. If we plan to travel to specific countries, we should consider whether a travel insurance is necessary.