Peru - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel

Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, and other aspects of international travel. .

Last published date: 2021-10-08

Business Customs

In Peru, business attire is conservative. Women should wear dresses or suits, and for men, suits and ties are customary. Normally, business partners will exchange business cards at the outset of a meeting. Business travelers to Peru seeking appointments with U.S. Embassy Lima officials should contact the Commercial Service in advance. Contact information for the Commercial Service located in the U.S. Embassy is: e-mail office.lima@trade.gov, Tel. (51) (1) 618-2240.

Travel Advisory

In general, travel information, including travel warnings and alerts, can be found at U.S. Department of State’s webpage. Travel information, regulations, and restrictions related to COVID-19 can be found on the Embassy’s webpage.

The Department of State issues country specific information for all foreign countries, including Peru, with information including the location of the U.S. Embassy or consulate, immigration requirements, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information, and drug penalties. Peru’s Country Specific Information can be found at State Department Consular Information Sheet for Peru. Passports must have a minimum of six months’ validity at time of entry.

Visa Requirements

The U.S. Embassy in Lima also maintains a website with a wealth of information for U.S. business travelers.

The Department of State recommends that all U.S. citizens traveling overseas enroll their trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Travelers may register their stay in Peru online.

Travel Related Web Resources

U.S. Department of State’s Travel Website

U.S. Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Peru

U.S. Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for Peru

 U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

U.S. Department of State, Visas

U.S. Embassy in Lima

U.S. Embassy in Lima, Lost and Stolen Passports

U.S. Embassy in Lima, Visas

Embassy of Peru in Washington D.C.

Peruvian Customs Information in English

Currency

The Peruvian local currency is the Peruvian Sol (PEN), and the average exchange rate in the first quarter of 2021 was approximately 4.0 PEN to $1. The dollar has appreciated nearly 18% against the sol since the beginning of 2021.

 

2018

2019

2020

2021

Exchange Rates

3.29

3.40

3.50

4.10

While major retailers, hotels and some restaurants accept credit cards, smaller businesses operate on a cash basis. Visa and MasterCard predominate where credit is accepted, but American Express is also accepted on a limited basis. Mobile payment applications (Venmo/PayPal) are yet to catch on, but Yape is a Latin American equivalent that is becoming popular. ATMs are readily accessible in urban areas.

Telecommunications/Electronics

Peru has four main mobile service providers: Telefonica Movistar is the biggest service provider, with about 54% of the market; America Movil’s Claro is second with a little less than one third of all users; and Entel Peru is third. Vietnamese Bitel entered the market in 2014 and has since gained approximately one million customers.

For travelers to Peru, a smartphone will function if it has GSM/GPRS service. For long distance calling there are a variety of pre-paid calling services. International calls can be made through VoIP services such as Skype, WhatsApp or Google Talk. Long distance Direct Access through credit card numbers for AT&T, Sprint, and MCI WorldCom (among others) is also available. Wi-Fi access is widely available in many public and private venues.

Transportation

Airlines

International flights suspended due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency were resumed as of October 2020. The Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima serves as the gateway for international flights into Peru and as the central hub for inter-country connections. Direct flights from the United States to Peru are available from: Atlanta, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York – Newark.

At the regional level, direct flights to Lima are available from: Bogota, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Panama City, Quito, Rio, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Cartagena, Punta Cana, Medellin, Cancun, San Jose, El Salvador, Guayaquil, La Paz, Santa Cruz, Asuncion.

Domestically, although there are daily flights between Lima and provincial cities, flights between provincial cities are extremely rare, and traveling between metropolitan areas will require a layover in Lima.

Current travel restrictions

COVID travel protocols change frequently, so we advise you to contact your airline days prior your flight to gather the proper documentation and regularly consult the airport website for the latest guidance:

https://www.lima-airport.com/eng/for-passengers/covid-19-protocol/arrival-protocol

Airport Taxis

The U.S. Embassy in Lima recommends the use of official airport taxi services and cautions against hailing taxis on the street. Safe and reliable taxi services located at the Lima International Airport as soon as one passes through Customs are easily found: Taxi Green, Taxi 365, Taxi Directo and CMV. In major urban areas Uber is widely used and reliable.

Rail

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications oversees the limited rail system in Peru through a system of government concessions to private companies. Lima is the only urban area with a basic metro system. Line 1 is in operation and runs from Villa El Salvador to Downtown Lima. Line 2, approved in 2014 and estimated to be completed by 2024, will run from the industrial district in Ate to the port district of Callao.

Ground Transportation

Driving conditions in Peru differ from those found in the United States and can be considerably more dangerous. Visitors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with local law and driving customs before attempting to operate vehicles. Road travel at night is particularly dangerous due to poor road markings and frequent unmarked road hazards. Due to safety concerns, inter-city bus travel can be dangerous.

The Metropolitano is the first public, urban and massive transport in Lima that serves around 700 thousand daily trips. The trunk routes are integrated with the feeder routes and manage to connect the North and South of the city, linking 18 districts. The buses that circulate on the trunk road have the capacity to carry 160 passengers and have high quality standards in safety and technology. The Metropolitano was the first system in the world to operate buses powered by natural gas.

Language

Peru has three official languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara, but business is primarily conducted in Spanish. While some members of the Peruvian business community may speak English, marketing literature for the Peruvian market should be translated into Spanish. Quechua and Aymara are most commonly spoken in the Andean highlands.

Health

Medical care is adequate in Lima and in major cities, but of inconsistent quality elsewhere in Peru. Private, urban healthcare facilities are often better-staffed and better-equipped than public or rural ones. Public facilities in Cusco are generally inadequate for serious medical conditions. Visitors to popular Andean destinations, such as Cusco/Machu Picchu, Arequipa/Colca Canyon, and Puno/Lake Titicaca, often suffer from altitude-related illness. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely strained Peru’s health system. Travelers to Peru should purchase medical evacuation/global health insurance to cover the unlikely, but extremely costly instance of a medical evacuation flight.

Local Time, Business Hours and Holidays

Lima is situated directly south of New York in terms of longitude, occupying the Eastern Standard time zone (UTC minus 5). Peru does not observe to Daylight Saving Time. The format for writing dates is: day of the month, month, and year e.g., April 28, 2021 would be written as 28/04/2021.

Business hours in Peru are generally from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Breakfast meetings are becoming increasingly common, and business lunches are normally scheduled between the hours of 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Business offices, excluding banks, are closed on Saturdays.  In the provinces, business hours are usually from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. It is acceptable to arrive a half an hour late for social functions. However, punctuality is expected from business visitors for social and business functions.

Official Peruvian Holidays:

New Year’s Day

January

1

2021

Holy Thursday

April

1

2021

Good Friday

April

2

2021

Labor Day

May

1

2021

St. Peter and St. Paul

June

29

2021

Peruvian Independence Day

July

28

2021

Peruvian Independence Day

July

29

2021

Saint Rose of Lima

August

30

2021

Battle of Angamos

October

8

2021

All Saints Day

November

1

2021

Immaculate Conception

December

8

2021

The U.S. Embassy is closed on the Peruvian holidays mentioned above and the following U.S. holidays:

Martin Luther King Day

January

18

2021

Presidents’ Day

February

15

2021

Memorial Day

May

31

2021

Juneteenth

Independence Day

June

July

18

5

2021

2021

Labor Day

September

6

2021

Columbus Day

October

11

2021

Veterans’ Day

November

11

2021

Thanksgiving Day

November

25

2021

Christmas Day

New Year

December

December

24

31

2021

2021

Travel Related Web ResourcesTemporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings

The Customs authority SUNAT oversees temporary entry of items into Peru.  Goods for registered trade fairs may temporarily enter Peru by paying a bond, but without paying duties. In addition, travelers may enter Peru with a cellular phone and a laptop computer as long as the items are for personal. Information regarding items that require temporary entry registration can be found on ADUANET (http://www.aduanet.gob.pe/aduanas/version_ingles/informca/TR01ITPV.htm).

A customs guide for travelers can be found on SUNAT.

The Peruvian Customs Baggage Declaration form is available on SUNAT.