1. Don’t drink the tap water
The tap water in Peru is not always safe to drink. If you are a foreign traveler whose stomach is not accustomed to the local water, you would want to depend on bottled water only. If you must drink the local tap water, you should boil it or use water purification tablets before drinking it.
Peru is an extremely popular tourist destination nowadays and almost all big and reputed restaurants or other tourist sites accept credit cards. However, if you are determined to do a few non-touristy things like visiting some non-conventional venues or taste the delicious street food of Lima, cash would be the only way to pay. You need to carry some cash with you for tipping the local tour guides or porters as well.
The public transport in Peru is safe if you avoid the dubious, unmarked, old taxis. You would want to take the modern cabs that are in good condition or those who have a taxi company banner. Picking the licensed yellow taxis is the safest way to travel in Peru. Another option is to take Uber, Easy Taxi, Beat or Cabify. All of them are available for iOS and Android.
Like an ignorant foreign traveler, don’t just assume that coca is bad. Yes, it is the main ingredient for making cocaine, but coca leaves have a variety of popular uses in the Andean culture of Peru. It was widely used in the Inca rituals and it is still used for medicinal and other properties. The Peruvians use it in tea, candies, and gums to help fight cold temperature and altitude sickness. This makes them extremely helpful for the foreign travelers as well.
Though the major tourist sites in Peru have officers who speak English, it is not the case everywhere. Don’t expect every local guide at Machu Picchu or Cusco historic center to be fluent in English. It is always better that you learn some common Spanish words and phrases so that you can at least manage to fumble your way around. Yelling at the locals in English is a strict no-no.
Even though it is fine to do some tours or activities on your own, some experiences are much more rewarding if you do them with an experienced guide. For instance, most of the Inca ruins will have an interesting, and sometimes breathtaking, story you would want to hear. So, don’t always think with your wallet when experiencing Peru. Try to think that this could be one of the few times you will be in Inca territories.
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