Peru is a relatively easy country to enter — in fact, visas are not required for most travelers, with the exception of a few nationalities. Even the tourist visa duration is generous, lasting up to six months.

With such an extensive amount of time to travel, visitors can plan a full circuit of Peru’s awe-inspiring archaeological sites, including Machu Picchu; eat their way through the roster of world-renowned restaurants; and venture to a handful of the innumerable natural gems that can be found in the coast, jungle and highlands. Read on for more information on entry and visa requirements as well as how long you can stay in Peru as a tourist. 

What you need to know about visas in Peru

Among those who can visit Peru visa-free are citizens of the US, Canada, European Union, UK, Australia and New Zealand. In order to enter Peru, travelers from these nations must have a passport that is valid for at least six months on arrival and that has enough room for an entry and exit stamp. 

Upon receiving the entry stamp at the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, the immigration clerk will write the number of days your “temporary authorization to enter as a tourist” (not technically a tourist visa) will last. The duration allowed for your visit will typically be between 90 and 183 days (with the latter being the maximum amount) and is dictated by the person stamping passports. The number written on your entry stamp represents the total number of days you can stay in Peru in a timespan of 365 days (this number does not automatically reset when the calendar year ends). 

If you are issued less than 183 days, you can visit the migrations office in Lima and ask for an extension of your “temporary authorization.” This needs to be done before your allotted days in Peru as a tourist have run out. While it is theoretically possible to request an extension online via the migration website there are often glitches and it is not very user-friendly. 

Photographer in front of a condor in the Colca Canyon Peru
Capturing a photo of a condor in flight over Colca Canyon, the best place to see these majestic birds © Jjacob / Getty Images

What happens if I overstay my visa in Peru?

Overstaying your “temporary authorization” results in a fee of US$1 a day which must be paid in cash on your exit from the country. 

For those needing to stay in Peru for more than six months, be it for business or studies, the correct visa must be requested in a Peruvian consulate in your country of residency — in other words, prior to traveling to Peru. It is possible to request the relevant visa once in Peru, however the logistics are incredibly complicated and a lot paperwork will need to be sent to Peru from your home country. 

Red Arch Columns Pathway with Classic Colorful tiles in Lima Peru
Some of the beautiful architecture and classic colorful tiles in Lima © tr3gin / Shutterstock

Who needs a tourist visa to enter Peru?

With the exception of South Africa, all citizens of Africa require a tourist visa as do many nationals of countries in Asia, including India, as well as Venezuela. For the full list click here

In the case that your nationality does require a tourist visa to travel to Peru, it is best to check with the Peruvian consulate or embassy in your country to verify any special requirements that may be needed. 

The basic requirements for obtaining a tourist visa regardless of nationality include: 

  • Passport with a minimum validity of six months after expected date of arrival to Peru
  • Photocopy of the front and back sides of passport
  • Two completed DGC 005 forms 
  • Two recent and colored, passport-size photographs with a white background
  • Round-trip tickets in and out of Peru
  • Hotel reservation(s) in Peru
  • Proof of financial solvency, e.g. bank statements, fixed deposits
  • Payment of consular fee
    Mancora, beach and surf town in Peru
    Peru may be famous for its mountains but the beaches are just as expansive: Mancora beach © xeni4ka / Getty Images

Can you enter Peru with a one-way ticket?

While the migration clerk rarely asks for proof of a return ticket, in the case that it does happen and you have a one-way ticket to Peru some issues could arise. The most dire of consequences being that Peruvian officials refuse you entry and send you home. 

Having no proof of onward travel (be it a return ticket home or a bus ticket to a neighboring South American country such as Ecuador or Bolivia) may even be an issue with your international airline so it is best to avoid problems and secure a return flight or check with your carrier. 

You might also like: 
The 13 most incredible places to visit in Peru
How to get around Peru
The best time to visit Peru

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