Travelers' passports should be valid for at least six months beyond their departure date. When arriving by air, US citizens must show a return ticket or an open-jaw onward ticket.
Upon arrival, immigration officials may only stamp 30 days into a passport though the limit is 180 days. If this happens, explain how many more days you need, supported by an exit ticket for onward or return travel.
Bribery (known colloquially as coima) is illegal, but some officials may try to procure extra ‘fees’ at land borders.
- Peru allows duty-free importation of 3L of alcohol and 20 packs of cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco. You can import US$300 of gifts. Legally, you are allowed to bring in such items as a laptop, camera, portable music player, kayak, climbing gear, mountain bike or similar items for personal use.
- It is illegal to take pre-Columbian or colonial artifacts out of Peru, and it is illegal to bring them into most countries. If purchasing reproductions, buy only from a reputable dealer and ask for a detailed receipt. Purchasing animal products made from endangered species or even just transporting them around Peru is also illegal.
- Coca leaves are legal in Peru, but not in most other countries, even in the form of tea bags. People subject to random drug testing should be aware that coca, even in the form of tea, may leave trace amounts in urine.
- Check with your own home government about customs restrictions and duties on any expensive or rare items you intend to bring back. Most countries allow their citizens to import a limited number of items duty-free, though these regulations are subject to change.
Visas are generally not required for travelers entering Peru.
Tourists are permitted a 183-day, nonextendable stay, stamped into passports and onto a tourist card called a Tarjeta Andina de Migración (Andean Immigration Card). Keep it – it must be returned upon exiting the country. If you will need it, request the full amount of time to the immigration officer at the point of entry, since they have a tendency to issue 30- or 90-day stays.
Those who enter Peru via the Lima airport or cruise ship do not receive a tourist card; their visits are processed online.
If you lose your tourist card, visit the Oficina de Migraciónes or obtain a replacement copy via the website. Information in English can be found online. Extensions are no longer officially available.
Anyone who plans to work, attend school or reside in Peru for any length of time must obtain a visa in advance. Do this through the Peruvian embassy or consulate in your home country.
Carry your passport and tourist card on your person at all times, especially in remote areas (it’s required by law on the Inca Trail). For security, make a photocopy of both documents and keep them in a separate place from the originals.