My gf wants to go to Peru (Im a bit hesistant), but I admit I know nothing about the place.
So I have some questions, I hope someone can help me out.
1. Whats the best airport to fly into? Lima?
2. I looked up some things to do and came up with this list:
El Misti Volcano
I assume we will stay in Lima (thats the main place? most tourist stay there?) so will we be able to do all these things from there?
3. Most of those things I saw are "nature" type stuff...Im not into nature stuff or outdoorsy things, are there any modern man-made things to check out? Like Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc? (just went to Paris)
4. Is it safe there? Can we walk around without any issues?
5. Do I need any shots or vaccanations?
6. I know my gf will want to hike (though I hate it) are there any 1 day hikes?
Oct 28, 09, 7:13 pm
Peru is a great country ^ you should go for sure.
1. If you're flying in from outside the country Lima is the only airport to arrive to. You can either stay in Lima for a few days before flying on to somewhere else (most tourists go to Cuzco, and from there overland to Machu Picchu) or you can do the minimum layover in Lima and fly straight on. Although Lima is a grey and ugly city, I recommend staying there for a few days as it's a wonderful place despite its appearance.
2. You can't do all those things as day trips from Lima. (a) Inca ruins, these are all over the country, which ones do you want to see? (b) Machu Picchu you can do in a daytrip, but from Cuzco which is one hour by commercial air service from Lima. (c) El Misti you can see from Arequipa, which is Peru's second largest city and a 16 hour bus ride or 1+ hour flight from Lima. Arequipa is a really interesting place, I highly recommend it. (d) Nazca Lines I think you could do in a day from Lima, you would probably want to drive or take a tour bus from Lima to Ica (3 hours? south) then do a flyover. (e) Colca Canyon you need to access from Arequipa.
3. Nothing particularly spectacular in terms of man-made structures in Peru I'm afraid, at least nothing comparable to the Eiffel Tower. There are some good museums in Lima, though, and the cathedral downtown is interesting.
4. Security is an issue especially in Lima. You need to take the regular precautions, and you need to be careful about which district you want to walk around in. But if you ask around and choose carefully, you can walk to your heart's content.
5. Vaccinations you should check out with a qualified medical practitioner, which I am not. Here's my uneducated guess: if you're going to stick with Lima / Cuzco / Arequipa, etc., and not go to the jungle, then you can probably get away with hep A & B shots in addition to whatever else you've got (tetanus, etc.). If you're going to go trekking in the highlands I think a partial rabies vaccine would be good (I have taken three of the five shots as a preventive measure). If you're going to the jungle add yellow fever and you may want to take malaria pills depending on where you're going.
6. If you want to hike go to Huaraz and hike in the mountains. Spectacular. Just be prepared for some altitude sickness.
Oct 29, 09, 8:35 am
Most people use Lima only as a transit point and go right on to Cuzco. If you look at brochures for organized tours, you'd get an idea of what the most common itineraries are and that could provide a good basis for planning.
Archaelogical sites are manmade, albeit not modern, and something that Peru abounds in. Machu Picchu is, obviously, the major one, but there are others that are fairly commonly visited, e.g. the fort in Ollantaytambo.
You don't need a yellow fever certificate unless you are going to the jungle. However, I've heard that people have had trouble with entering certain other countries (e.g. Panama) if they've been to Peru recently and don't have one.
As for malaria, there is no risk in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. There is some risk in Lima and the southern coast (including Nazca), but it is low enough that the CDC does not recommend using malaria prophylaxis. Just get good insect repellant and use it, especially at dusk.
Re: hiking, bear in mind the altitude. Acclimation is very important to avoid illness.
Oct 29, 09, 10:13 am
Siempre Viajando -
"Here's my uneducated guess: if you're going to stick with Lima / Cuzco / Arequipa, etc., and not go to the jungle, then you can probably get away with hep A & B shots in addition to whatever else you've got (tetanus, etc.). "
>hmmmm this is what I was worried about.
We are planning on going the first week of Dec. If we have to get shots, that MIGHT not be enough time. I dont think I have any shots. I did get a tetanus shot, but that was 9 years ago.
"If you're going to go trekking in the highlands I think a partial rabies vaccine would be good (I have taken three of the five shots as a preventive measure). If you're going to the jungle add yellow fever and you may want to take malaria pills depending on where you're going.
>ok, yeah, sounds like Peru might be out of the picture then.
We have 1 month to decide on a place and then hammer out the details THEN get the shots. I wouldnt get shots until its confirmed we are going to whichever place (afterall why get shots if that place doesnt need it). And by then it might be too late to get shots. (I heard you need to get vaccinations 1-2 months ahead of time)
Since I have not gotten any...I think other than the tetanus shot (which I got because I had to get stiches) my last vaccination was probably as a kid (measles, or whatever they give out), well not counting the occasional flu shot.
Oct 29, 09, 1:31 pm
(I heard you need to get vaccinations 1-2 months ahead of time)
Most travel clinics do recommend a consultation 1-2 months ahead of time, but it isn't necessarily too late to get shots after that.
The Hepatitis A vaccine is worth getting if you plan any significant future travel since it is good for life. It's 2 shots, 6 months apart.
Yellow fever vaccination is good for 10 years and is legally required for some destinations (mostly in the equatorial belt, especially subsaharan Africa). Personally, I keep up with it because you need to get it 10 days in advance and you never know when a last minute opportunity to travel to some mosquito infested hell hole might come up. (I have, er, interesting tastes in destinations at times.)
The typhoid vaccine is the shortest term travel-specific one. The injection is good for 2 years. The oral vaccine (4 capsules taken every other day) is good for 5 years, but supplies of it seem to be short and it can be hard to find on those grounds. Which is a pity because it is also more effective than the injection.
One issue on timing is that you do have to allow a certain amount of time between certain vaccinations. I think it's a week between Hep-A and typhoid, but I could be misremembering.
(There are other travel related vaccinations, e.g. rabies pre-exposure vaccine, Japanese encephalitis, and meningitis C, but those are somewhat more specialized.)
www.cdc.gov is a good resource.
Oct 29, 09, 3:57 pm
Thats why I dont want to go to "nature" type places!
I don't believe you need those shots going to places like Paris, Las Vegas, etc...
My gf said "Those shots are just precautions, you don't really NEED them"