Taking a Trip to Peru? All You Need to Know About Travel Insurance, Plus Tips for a Memorable Vacation
From the culinary delights in Lima to the ancient temples of the Sacred Valley, Peru is a destination that tops many people’s bucket lists. As you book guides for a hike through the Amazon and find hostel or hotel accommodations in Pisac, your travel plans seem to be coming together wonderfully—except one crucial detail: travel insurance.
And while travel insurance may seem unnecessary, it’s arguably the most important element of planning your trip. When you’re abroad, it’s possible you could encounter unexpected situations such as a stolen passport, lost baggage, or even a medical emergency, all of which will cost you a lot of extra money that you didn’t budget for your trip. Unless you have travel insurance, of course.
Let’s look at what travel insurance is, the benefits it provides, and whether or not you should buy it for your trip to Peru. Then we’ll give you our top tips for packing for Peru, weather, and more to ensure that your Peruvian adventure goes smoothly!
Travel Insurance for a Trip to Peru
Nobody wants to think about the worst-case scenario when planning an exciting vacation. As you know, most travel plans are either non-refundable or have stringent refund policies that restrict you from recouping your money if you can’t take your trip. But with travel insurance, you’ll be able to recover your money if you have to cancel your trip suddenly (for a covered reason), and you’ll be able to get your money back so that you can rebook for a future date.
On top of that, travel insurance can provide medical coverage while you’re abroad, which can save you from paying thousands of dollars or more out of pocket if you have a medical emergency.
No one expects to seek medical treatment while on vacation, but accidents do happen. Both Medicare and domestic health insurance companies rarely provide coverage for services rendered outside the United States, so you’d be facing some serious medical bills if you run into an emergency. Even more so, if you need to transport home or to a more appropriate medical facility for treatment, you could be looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses.
Travel insurance with emergency medical coverage ensures that you can get the treatment you need, when you need it, and not have to worry about the out of pocket costs. While we hope this is a benefit you never need to use, it’s always better to prepare just in case.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to Peru?
No, you don’t need travel insurance to book your vacation to Peru. However, you should seriously consider it if you’ve spent a lot of money planning your trip, and especially if your service providers don’t have the best refund policies.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for My Trip to Peru?
Fortunately, travel insurance coverage is affordable and can be customized to fit your particular circumstances and budget. Basic coverage is generally between 3-4% of your total trip cost, while premium coverage with advanced options and higher limits can cost 10-12% of your trip cost.
Cost variables include the price of your trip, the number of people in your party, ages, and which options and coverage limits you choose. Pricing is also pretty varied by the provider, which is why you need to do your due diligence and compare across several different travel insurance companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal for the coverage you need.
Gathering quotes from a variety of providers is made incredibly easy, thanks to this our travel insurance comparison tool. All you need to do is input your trip information, and you’ll receive multiple quotes from different providers. You can easily compare benefits and coverage limits, and purchase directly through the tool itself. It’s the quickest and easiest way to give yourself peace of mind and travel without worries, with a lowest price guarantee.
With your travel insurance sorted out, let’s get back to planning your fantastic trip to Peru! We’ve put together a few key pieces of information and tips to help you get the most out of the beautiful ancient country of Peru.
Cash & Tipping Customs
The official currency of Peru is the nuevo sol (S/), but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted throughout the country. Many hotels and restaurants will post their rates in U.S. dollars. This will come in handy since Peru is still very much a cash society. You can find ATMs throughout the country, which will dispense both soles or dollars.
Unlike the U.S., tipping isn’t a big part of Peruvian culture. As such, you’ll find that a lot of places don’t expect a tip, especially smaller restaurants or service providers. Upscale and chain hotels are an exception, and the amount is on par with the rest of the world: s/3-4 per bag for porters, s/1-3 per day for housekeeping, and 10% tip in restaurants.
Be sure to check your bill before leaving an additional tip in restaurants as you may have already been charged a service charge. Locally-run and family-owned businesses don’t expect a tip but feel free to round up the bill to an even amount or tip 10% if you enjoyed the service.
Weather Conditions & Packing Suggestions
Peru has two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The high season for travel and tourism is May through October, with a peak in July and August. Bright and sunny skies with chilly nights in higher elevations are the perfect time for trekking the Inca Trails or even exploring the Amazon basin, as the mosquito population is lighter. However, if you want to travel during the wet season to the jungle, you’ll have more water penetration as the rivers swell, and it’s a sight to see!
As far as packing is concerned, you’ll be well suited if you take a lot of loose, light clothing with you, a good rain jacket, broken-in hiking shoes, and a sweatshirt. And if you’re planning on climbing Machu Picchu or exploring the Amazon, don’t forget your insect repellant and malaria medication! You should always check in with your doctor before traveling to ensure that you have the appropriate vaccinations for your journey as well.
When traveling, one of the best things to do is to have as many authentic experiences as possible. Peru is full of them, but these are our favorites!
Peruvian cuisine is delicious, but there are two things you absolutely must try. Check out a seaside cevicheria in Lima, and enjoy one of the staples of coastal menus: ceviche. This dish is a spicy and refreshing concoction of raw fish and shellfish, marinated in lime juice with hot chili peppers.
And if the altitude is getting to you, try the coca-leaf tea, mate de coca. This legal beverage is a centuries-old tradition. While rural highlanders will chew coca leaves as their Inca ancestors did, the tea is much more enjoyable. But caution: it can make your head spin and your body reel, so be sure that you indulge responsibly.
Take a trek to Machu Picchu, the “lost city of the Incas.” In the middle of the Andes Mountain range, covered in clouds, you’ll find these ruins, and it’s one of the world’s most incredible sites. It’s a thrilling experience, especially if you can get there at sunrise. The rays of light slowly moving over the mountain tops is unreal.
For a real authentic cultural experience, travel to Cusco for the winter solstice. Honoring the Inca sun god, Inti Raymi, or “the Festival of the Sun” features Andean parades, dancing, and music. The festival takes over Cusco, where the Sacsayhuamán ruins become the main stage for the event.
If you’re still finalizing your itinerary and can’t decide which places to go, here are a few of our best suggestions. The first ten are popular tourist destinations, and the last five are more off-the-beaten-path places you can expect to see fewer tourists.
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in Peru
- Machu Picchu
- Lake Titicaca
- Puerto Maldonado
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in Peru