The cheapest and easiest way to make international call from Peru is to use one of the many "locutorios", shops offering cheap call through the internet. You´ll find these shops, that also offer internet access, on virtually every streetcorner.
Just dial 00 + country code + area code without the first 0 + local telephone number. For example: +32 (or 0032) ( for Belgium) 89 (for Bilzen) and the local number 123456
To use a mobile phone in Perú you
can buy a SIM card with a number you can use in Peru. However you have to have a deblocked cuad-band phone. You can also buy a mobile phone, there are 5
operators, Movistar, Claro, Nextel, Entel and Bitel. In the streets you will
also find persons that offer cheap calls to Peruvian mobile phones.
Cost of live in Peru is not as high as in other Western countries. Using off-center markets to buy souvenirs, eating local lunch menus instead of a la carte, negociate prices keeping in mind a sensible price and agree on a set price for services delivered, such as a taxi ride, are some stratagies.
As a students you can get a discount card from the school, which allows you to have discounts in restaurantrs, bars, travel agencies etc. For the list of companies please ask at the school.
With an international student card (ISIC Student card) you can get al lot
of discounts in South America. You can buy the card at these offices.
In Cusco you can buy the Boleto TuristicoGeneral that allows you to visit more than 15 archeological sites and museums.
You get a 50% discount on the complete ticket when showing that you are under 18 years old, or your ISIC student card. Also on the entrance for MachuPicchu and other sites. You
can buy the Boleto at the main office in Av. El Sol 103 of. 102 (Galerias Turisticas)
Telf. 22-7037 Open from: 8:00 until 15:00, Saturday and Sunday util 13:00. More information on http://www.cosituc.gob.pe/.
In South America there is a network of Hostelling International.
When you have a HI-card you can get discounts on hostels, on travel and
In Cusco there are basically two seasons, a rainy and
season normally occurs from December until February. The maximum temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius. The average temperature during daytime between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius. The average rainfall in this season is 1000 mm per year.
From March until November the weather is generally
sunny, during the day hot, during the night cold. So you will have to bring
summer as well as winter clothes with you. The
maximum temperature is 32 degrees Celsius. The
average temperature during daytime between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature is 4 degrees Celsius The average rainfall in this season is less than 500 mm per year.
Peru uses a 220 Volts / 50-60 Hz power system.
Some wall sockets may differ, in that case you will need an adapter, also
available in the local stores in
Cusco. If you are traveling with a laptop in Peru, most laptop power supplies can accept both 110 and 220 volts, but always check beforehand, 220 volts damages your 110 volt appliance badly.
Plugs in Peru
There are two types of plugs in Peru (with corresponding electrical outlets):
Type A: two flat parallel prongs (used in most of North America; if your North American Type A plug has one prong wider than the other, it will probably not work in Peru)
Type C: two round prongs (used in much of Europe, but not in the UK or Ireland)
Electrical outlets in Peru are often designed to incorporate both plug types.
If you’re packing appliances that do not fit either socket, you’ll need a plug adapter.
The Peruvian currency is the Nuevo Sol (PEN or symbol S/) , although US Dollars are also
used in the more expensive restaurants, hotels or the travel agencies. There
is no fixed ratio between US Dollar and Nuevo Sol. For the current exchange
rate check Google currency converter (also for other currencies).
To change your US Dollars for Nuevos Soles in the street.
There are a lot of Cambistas or Casa de cambios at Avenida Sol just of the main square,
Plaza de Armas
There are also a lot of cash machines (ATMs) that
accept all the networks such as Visa, Plus and Cirrus. Interbank, Banco de Credito
Peru (BCP), BBVA and Sociabank are good options, also on Avenida Sol. Different banks use different commissions, besides the cost your bank charges. Please check.
If you are using Traveller Checks, you can cash them
at various Bancos and Casas de Cambio. At the banks you do not need to be afraid of counterfeit, at Casas de cambios you get a better exchange rate, but a slightly bigger chance to get false money... Do not forget your passport and check out the commissions.
In Cusco you can use your MasterCard in cash machines.
In general though, Visa is more accepted in South America.
The school only accepts US Dollars or Nuevos Soles (only cash).
Peru has more than 30 million inhabitants, of which almost a thirs lime in Lima, the capital. People in Peru are generally very friendly and helpful. They have lots of traditions and keep them up. Traditional music, dances and clothing vary almost from village to village, and recently the Peruvian cuisine is more appreciated every day.
Spanish is of course the official language along with Quechua and Aymara. 90% Of the country is Roman Catholic or Evangelical. More facts, please check the CIA factbook on Peru..
The water in Cusco is not safe to drink. You have to buy bottled
water or boil it before drinking.
In South-America you cannot flush toilet paper down the toilet, this to
provide the toilet / sewage system from getting stuck. You can deposit
your toilet paper in the waste buckets.
The houses in Cusco do not have a heating system. Thus important to bring
your winter clothes and to use some extra blankets at night, especially in June / July.
Normally hot water works with electricity here and is only available in the shower. Water get instantly warm, you turn it on when the water
is running. However hot water, or even water is not
always available, that is a common problem.
Agree on a price before taking a cab out the center. In Cusco the fares IN the city
are S/4 to S/5 during daytime. At night the tariff is S/ 6 to S/7.50.
In Cusco there are a lot places where you can use the free WiFi, also at the school. There are also a lot of internet cafes that offer connections for 2 soles per hour.
There are a lot of domestic flights
leaving from the Cusco airport Alejandro Velasco Astete,
15 minutes by taxi from the city center. There is 1 inernational destination to La Paz, Bolivia operated by different carriers.
There are two train stations, 1 in Cusco and 1 in Poroy, 30 minutes from Cusco.
The trains to Machu Picchu leave from the Poroy station. Trains to
Puno and Arequipa leave from the Wanchac station, located on Av. Pachacutec.
You also can travel by bus.
There are different sites in Cusco where buses, or mini-vans leave to villages near Cusco, and 1 large one for longer distances.
the inter-provincial buses arrive and leave from the main Terminal Terrestre in Micaela Bastidas, 10 minutes by taxi from the city center.
There are many services to many destinations. You can
choose between a economic service, special, bus-cama (more luxurious,
sometimes with a terramozo (steward) and meals included). The price
of a bus-cama service is of course more expensive but the service
is a lot better, leaving and arriving at time at least. The last couple
of years, Peru improved the conditions of its roads, however some parts
may be bad, especially during rain season. You can always ask for the
conditions at a tourist office.
You can ask the school for traveling tips, we are willing
to help you with your travel plans.
The bus stations in Peru are named terminales terrestres
and sometimes in other cities you have one especially for North- or Southbound.
Take care of the necessary vaccinations, your family
doctor can advice you on this, especially when you want to travel to different
countries. It is recommended that students purchase health insurance.
You should have a vaccination against typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis.
If you are going to the jungle a yellow fever vaccination
is required. Also take malaria pills with you when you
want to visit the jungle, but educate yourself about the side effects
(there is no malaria in the Cusco area!).
There are a lot Farmacias (Pharmacies) where
you can buy medicine available without a prescription.
Be careful using mayonnaise in restaurants.
The Cusquenian people often prepare it using fresh and unprepared eggs.
You might be infected with the salmonella bacteria when eating it causing
diarrhea. Also be aware of sauces which might be prepared with unboiled
Soroche or altitude sickness:
In Cusco you might have to adapt to the altitude (3300 meters). Symptoms
are headaches and shortness of breath.
If you experienced problems before with altitude, it
is best to travel first from Lima to Arequipa (by plane
or bus) and stay here for one or two days before continuing to Cusco.
Arequipa is situated 2000 meters above sea level.
When you have some trouble with the altitude in Cusco,
it is best to rest , to drink a lot of fluids (coca-leaf tea) and avoid
alcohol and heavy meals. There is a medical station at the airport for
visitors that have immediate problems with the altitude.
In Cusco there are various private clinics with a lot of connections with travel insurance companies. We recommend Clinica San Jose.
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