- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
Avoid Non-Essential Travel
Latest Travel Alert
Citizens planning travel abroad should take into account the ongoing risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad and are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover. Before departure and during travel, citizens are advised to monitor our Travel Advice, follow us on Twitter, and register with their nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate.
Due to ongoing unrest, a 30-day State of Emergency (15 January – 13 February) is in effect in Puno, Cusco and Lima regions, in Callao province, in Andahuaylas province, in Tambopata and Tahuamanu provinces, and in the Torata district in Mariscal Nieto province. A 30-day State of Emergency (19 January – 17 February) is also in effect in Amazonas, La Libertad and Tacna regions.
Protests continue to take place across the country, including in Lima, and these can quickly become violent. There have been extensive clashes between police and protesters in Juliaca in the Puno region leading to a significant number of fatalities and injuries to protesters, and - despite a curfew imposed in the Puno region from 25 January – 4 February (between 8pm and 4am) - this region is likely to continue to experience a significant volume of protests and disturbances.
The airport in Juliaca has suspended operations in light of the ongoing violence. Arequipa airport is operating in a limited capacity. All other airports in Peru, including the international airport in Lima, are restricting entry to passengers that hold an ID and a boarding pass. Local transport and other services in cities like Cusco and Arequipa continue to be impacted by the protests, including bus and rail connections between Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Irish citizens in Peru should be aware that travel to some parts of the country, especially tourist locations in the south, may not be possible. In addition to airport closures and reduced rail and bus services, many roads also remain blocked by protesters. Irish citizens throughout Peru should avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Travel to Peru
There are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for travel to Peru from Ireland. There is no requirement to present certificates of vaccination/testing for COVID-19 or to complete a Passenger Locator Form.
Passengers who enter Peru overland from Ecuador should make sure that their passport is stamped with a Peruvian entry stamp at the local immigration office. Immigration authorities might not grant permission to leave Peru without a valid exit stamp from the last country visited.
We advise Irish citizens in Peru to respect regulations and follow public health requirements.
Local authorities promote COVID-19 vaccinations and the use of masks, but both are optional. To find out current restrictions, consult El Peruano (Spanish) or check local media sources.
General Travel Advice
There have been outbreaks of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens especially those with a weakened immune system or women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
You can contact the emergency services in Peru by dialling (911).
As there is no Irish Embassy in Peru, we are limited in the help we can offer in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Lima or the Irish Embassy in Chile.
The Peruvian government has opened Tourist Protection offices in many tourist destinations where tourists can register complaints or get help via a 24-hour hotline. The contact number is 424 2053 in Lima and 01 424 2053 when outside the city of Lima. English speaking operators are available.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
There are high levels of serious crime in Peru so be vigilant about your personal safety and always take sensible precautions.
Violent crime, including sexual assault, armed robbery, muggings and car-jackings, is a problem, particularly in the cities of Lima, Cusco and Arequipa.
There have been a number of recent cases of sexual assault against female travellers including in the areas of Cusco and Arequipa. Female travellers should take particular care should be taken at bus terminals and when taking taxis. Isolated areas should be avoided, particularly after dark. Always buy your own drinks and keep them in your sight at all times to make sure they can’t be spiked by date rape or other drugs.
Demonstrations and unrest
The security situation can deteriorate quickly in Peru and dangerous incidents can happen. Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
Roadblocks can appear on main roads and can cause traffic disruptions. Don’t try to cross blockades, even if they appear unattended.
We advise against all travel to the border area between Peru and Colombia, which is heavily patrolled and monitored by the Peruvian army for armed narcotics gangs and other illegal armed groups. Isolated areas in the Southern Highlands including San Martin, Huanuco, Pasco, Junin, Ucayali, Huancavelica, Ayacucho and Apurimac may still harbour sympathisers of the Shining Path rebel group. We advise you to carefully consider your need to travel to these regions.
States of Emergency
States of Emergency declared many years ago as well as those more recently declared are in force throughout many regions of Peru. A State of Emergency declared for security reasons gives the armed forces responsibility for law and order. A State of Emergency declared for natural disasters or health alerts means that the standard service providers in the region cannot guarantee normal services and frequently need help from central government. However, in these cases the armed forces don’t take responsibility for law and order.
If you’re travelling overland to Ecuador or in the region of the Peru-Ecuador border, especially the Cordillera del Cóndor region, you should only use official border crossings due to the presence of unexploded ordnance and land mines. If you decide to travel to these areas, don’t stray off main routes and always check with your local contact or tour operator before travelling.
There is a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in Peru, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
There are also ongoing concerns about a possible resurgence of terrorist activity by subversive groups, including remnants of the Shining Path. Isolated terrorist incidents have taken place in remote areas and cities in the departments of Puno, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Junín, Ayacucho, Cusco, Ucayali, San Martín, Huanuco, Huancavelica and Apurímac. These were mostly robberies, temporary takeovers of small villages and, very occasionally, violence (including bombings) or threats of violence against security forces or local community figures. Overland travel in these regions can be dangerous.
Unlicensed taxi operators
There have been increased reports of serious crimes, including robbery, assault and rape, against travellers using unlicensed taxi operators, particularly in Lima and Cusco. Travellers are often approached by thieves masquerading as taxi drivers or tour operators.
If you’re arriving at Lima's international airport, we advise you to arrange your transport at taxi counters within the international terminal or to book transport in advance through your hotel. Bogus taxi drivers and thieves pretending to be tour operators sometimes approach arriving passengers. You should also get help from staff at hotels, hostels, restaurants or places of entertainment to book a licensed taxi or tour.
There have been assaults on inter-provincial buses in rural areas, which have included the rape of female passengers and crew. Police report that most of the crimes against bus passengers happen between the hours of 10pm and 5am, so if you choose to travel by long-distance bus at night, be vigilant and make sure you keep your valuables (passport, money, credit cards, etc.) in a safe place if you intend to sleep.
Tourists have had money taken from their accounts after using ATM machines, particularly in the Cusco area so take the same precautions when using these machines in Peru as you would in Ireland. Unlike in Ireland, ATM machines in Peru don’t automatically release your credit or debit card when you get your money. You have to push a button to request its return and remember to do this when you finish your transaction. Many ATMs in main towns have instructions in English. Be alert to the possibility of being passed counterfeit US dollars or local currency, especially from street money changers.
Lost or stolen passports
If your passport is lost or stolen, getting a replacement can take up to three weeks so keep your travel documents secure at all times. So please take extreme care with your passport and other personal documentation. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you are able to provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport.
If your passport is lost or stolen, an Andean immigration card (see entry requirements section for more information) and a new entry stamp on the replacement passport must be processed at the Peruvian Immigration Office in Lima:
Dirección General de Migraciones y Naturalización (DIGEMIN)
Address: Prolongación Av. España 734, Breña, Lima
Telephone (from Lima): 433 0789
Business hours: Monday to Friday from 08:00-12:00
If you’re planning to drive in Peru, be extremely careful. Road safety standards are low, particularly outside towns and cities. Accidents are frequent and are often caused by poor driving, badly maintained vehicles and inadequate lighting. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
- Avoid travel by road outside major cities after dark.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Bus crashes are commonplace, especially at night and inter-city bus crashes have resulted in loss of life and serious injury. You should only use reputable transport companies for travel between the major tourist centres and always wear a seat belt when travelling by inter-city bus. Where possible avoid overnight travel, especially in mountainous and remote regions. Make enquiries when planning long bus journeys and where possible try to take a bus which operates using two crews, allowing drivers an opportunity to rest and reducing the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue.
There have been a number of fatal accidents and emergencies, including tourists, involving small aircraft flying over the Nazca Lines over many years. Don’t assume that operators are following proper safety and maintenance standards.
Tourists have been injured while travelling in recreational sand buggies, particularly in the sand dunes around Ica and Lake Huacachina. These buggies are unregulated and the drivers take no responsibility for the welfare of their passengers.
If you’re hiking on the Inca Trail go with a guided group. To protect the trail there is a government fee and restrictions on numbers. During the high season (June–August) you should make reservations with a travel agency well in advance. Always register when entering national parks and be particularly careful in steep or slippery areas which are unfenced or unmarked. Several climbers have died or suffered serious injuries after falling while climbing Huayna Picchu, a peak near Machu Picchu. Only very basic medical assistance is available at Machu Picchu.
Travel in groups when walking along the banks of Lake Titicaca. There have been incidents of armed robberies against travellers walking on their own. Take care at all times and contact the local tourist information centre for advice about known safe zones. Local authorities advise against travelling alone at night in the Desaguadero area on the Peru-Bolivia border at the southern end of Lake Titicaca.
Shamans and other individuals offer ‘spiritual cleansing’ to tourists in the Amazon area and Cusco. This service is often referred to as Ayahuasca or San Pedro and typically involves the consumption of a brew containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an hallucinogenic drug. Consumption of this brew is not regulated and its interaction with existing medical conditions isn’t well understood. People have suffered serious illnesses and in some cases death after participating in these ceremonies. Spiritual cleansing retreats are usually some distance from populated areas making it difficult to access medical attention for those who need it.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Drug trafficking is a serious crime in Peru and drug smugglers face severe penalties, usually long prison terms. Pack your luggage yourself and keep it with you at all times. Don’t carry anything through customs for anybody else. We advise against taking coca leaves/coca tea out of the country.
Age of consent
Sex with minors (anyone under 18 is considered a minor in Peru) is illegal. Offenders will face long term jail sentences.
You are not allowed to take any archaeological artefacts from the country without the proper authority.
The sale of souvenirs made with any animal parts, including condor feathers, is illegal. These feathers are often sold in tourist markets in Cusco.
Homosexuality is legal in Peru but social attitudes are generally conservative. Any outward display of homosexual behaviour could lead to negative attention. Same-sex partnerships are not formally recognised.
You should avoid taking photographs of anything of a military nature.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
- Get local advice on how to manage in the case of a serious incident or dangerous conditions
- Co-operate with local authorities and emergency services in the case of serious incidents
Peru is in an earthquake zone and tremors are frequent. You should check with your tour operator or local authorities for current updates before visiting the area.
Tsunamis and High tides
Although tsunamis are rare in Peru higher tides are often experienced either after an earthquake or for other reasons throughout the year.
Landslides, mudslides and flooding can take place during the rainy season in Peru (November to April). They can make local travel difficult, particularly in mountainous areas and can sometimes cause death or serious injury. If you’re planning to travel in Peru, keep up to date with current weather conditions via your local guide, travel agent or local tourist information point. Always take local advice if you’re travelling overland in areas affected by floods and contact your tour operator before you begin your journey to find out if your planned route is open.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens can travel to Peru without a visa if their stay does not exceed 183 days.
When you’re entering Peru by land, you need to get an entrance stamp in your passport. If you fail to do so, you will be obliged to apply for an expulsion order in order to leave the country. This process may take several weeks and prevent you from re-entering Peru.
Passports should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Peru and have at least 1 completely blank page.
You should take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay, carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
If you plan on travelling in Latin America, you may need a Yellow Fever Certificate. Confirm with the authorities of your next destination whether they require a certificate following your visit to Peru.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Peru.
The altitude in Cusco, Machu Picchu, Puno and Lake Titicaca can cause problems for travellers, particularly those who suffer from lung, heart or chest problems. Healthy travellers may also feel the effects of the lack of oxygen.
The Embassy operates an out of hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance outside of hours, on weekends and on public holidays. If you are in need of emergency assistance during these times, you should leave a message on the emergency message system by calling +56 2 3304 6600. The emergency message system is checked regularly outside of office hours and a member of the Embassy staff will contact you as soon as possible.
When you leave a message, remember to state your name, the nature of the problem, where you are now, and the details of how the Duty Officer can contact you (e.g. leave your mobile phone number, or the phone number of the hotel/hostel where you are staying).
Alternatively, you may contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.
Embassy of Ireland
(Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Embassy is not currently open to the public – visits on an appointment-only basis)
Mr. Eduardo Benavides Torres,
Honorary Consulate of Ireland
Estudio Berninzon & Benavides Abogados,
Av. Camino Real 390,
Torre Central, Oficina 801,
Centro Camino Real, San Isidro,
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.