By Allie E. Almario
At Premier Tours, we are very proud to provide all of our travelers with up-to-date information to make sure your preparations for your adventure goes perfectly. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Peru’s local currency and general travel documents:
1. Can I use US dollars in Peru?
ATM bank machines in Peru actually let you take out cash in both US dollars and in the local currency, soles. You can use smaller denominations US dollar bills ($20 bills or smaller) in many places, especially in Cusco. Even your local guide and driver will prefer gratuities in US dollars – our currency is more stable and stronger than their own. Before you leave the USA, don’t forget to let your bank know the dates that you will be out of the country. Please also check the amount of cash you are allowed to withdraw on a daily basis from your bank.
2. What are the best credit cards to use in Peru?
It’s better to use a Visa or Mastercard credit card than American Express. Sometimes you may have to pay an extra fee or surcharge if you use a credit card to pay for souvenirs, restaurant meals or added activities.
3. Is it worth it to use travelers cheques in Peru?
This currency is now used a lot less by US travelers in Peru. The process of using travelers cheques does require carrying your passport and ID with you, so in addition to tracking down a kiosk that actually accepts travelers checks, it can also take a few minutes to exchange the cheques. Most travelers report it’s a lot easier to just access cash through the local ATMS, whether it’s in US dollars or in Peruvian soles.
4. Do I need a visa for Peru?
US citizens do not require a special visa to travel to Peru for short trips. A passport is required to have at least six months of validity beyond your anticipated return date. We will always ask for a copy of the photo page of your current passport to make sure this requirement is met.
5. What is a TAM?
When entering Peru, you will be asked to fill out an immigration card. This piece of paper is called a TAM. Don’t lose it – this document is required to be handed over to the immigration authority when you are leaving the country on the last day of your trip. It is also very important you carry this paper with your passport during your entire stay in Peru. All hotels will ask you to present this paper at check-in to exonerate you from local Peru tax payments. If you lose your TAM, please inform immigration officials at departure time. You will have to pay a fee in order to fill out a duplicate form.
As always, our experienced staff at Premier Tours is always available to assist you with any questions or concerns about Peru. Don’t hesitate to contact us.