• Peru’s official language is Spanish, but there are many communities which still speak indigenous languages, including Quechua and Aimara
• It’s capital city is Lima
• Peru is home to an estimated total of 30,814,175 people
• It’s populations density works out to approximately 24 inhabitants per kilometre squared
• Peru’s currency is the Nuevo Sol (meaning the New Sun)
• It shares borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile
• It’s one of the most biologically diverse countries across the entire world and one of the richest countries on the planet in terms of natural mineral resources.
• Artisanal gifts — Peru is a wonderfully rich country in terms of artisanal produce. In particular, the textiles created by Peruvian women in rural areas, who weave to make a living, make wonderful gifts to take home to family and friends.
• Ancient History — The ruins left behind by the Inca are considered to be some of the most majestic and mysterious sites of the ancient world on the planet. The famous Nazca Lines, thought to be a gigantic astronomy calendar created by civilisations which lived in Peru before the Inca arrived, can only be viewed by air.
• Culinary Delights — If you love food, you must visit Peru. The country serves up, what is considered to be, some of the finest cuisine on Earth. Its dishes are an enchanting mix of influences from Spain, China, Japan, Italy and West Africa. Make sure you make room for lots of ceviche and plenty of soups.
The Republic of Peru’s current political constitution was approved in 1993.
The Ministry of Education in Peru is the official state body which assumes responsibility for the education of its people. Peru’s Educational Constitution states that education is both compulsory and free in public schools at both primary and secondary level. University students who aren’t able to meet the demands of tuition fees, and who demonstrate strong academic potential, also have the opportunity to receive free education at undergraduate level.
UNESCO, World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank, are three independent entities who believe that Peru has one of the best public educational systems across the whole of Latin America. However, The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranks Peru at the very bottom of educational provisions in Latin America for maths, science and reading.
The main governmental concern regarding health care programs in Peru relates to the inequality of the provisions. Poorer people and those living in rural areas have less access to quality medical assistance. The inequality in health care provisions is one of Peru’s major challenges. Health care programs for indigenous communities is another issue which the Peruvian government continues to face.
• Machu Picchu — Visiting Peru without visiting Machu Picchu is like visiting the UK and never ordering a cup of tea. You have to go. You can choose to make the trek, which normally lasts between three to four days, which day two being the most difficulty physically due to the steep upward climb. If not, you can take the train there and back and visit the ruins in just one day. These Inca ruins managed to stay hidden until 1911 when the North American archaeologist, Hiram Bingham, discovered them.
• Cusco — Commonly referred to as the archaeological capital of Latin America, Cuzco was the most important capital city during the long reign of the Inca. Spanish conquerors took over the city during colonial rule and the city, as a result, is now an interesting example of what happens when you combine Spanish and Inca inspired architecture.
• Máncora — Considered one of the best beaches in Peru, thanks to its tropical climate, clear waters and fine, white sand, Máncora Beach is a wonderful place to find rest and relaxation. It’s also one of the best beach locations for food lovers. Tuna, ceviche and lobster should be at the top of your menu list.
• Lima — The capital city’s historical centre is huge and full to the brim with many colonial-style constructions; one of the reasons why the city was turned into a Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. However, the modern face of Lima is undeniably present. Soaring towers and a business economic centre dominate daily life in Peru’s capital city.
• Is a visa required?: Depending on your country of origin. For more information, please check this website:http://www.projectvisa.com
• Allocation of Tourist Visa: Tourist Visa is received at the airport of Lima or any other international airport
• Duration of Tourist visa: Lasts up to 90 days
• Tourist Visa Extension: It is possible to extend by leaving the country and flying in again or by paying an extension fee
• Passport validation: Must be valid for the proposed duration of stay
• Return/onward flight ticket: Sometimes required upon entering the country
• Confirmation of Funds: Declaration of sufficient funds will generally not be required
• Currency: Peruvian Nuevos Soles (PEN)
• Inform Banks: Give the dates of travel and destinations to prevent security blocks on your bank and credit cards
• Cash: Always take enough cash to cover your expenses for the first week in case there is a problem with your bank cards or access to ATM’s is limited.
• Credit Options: Good idea to have at least two different credit/debit card options i.e. MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, or Cirrus.
• Travellers Cheques: Will only be able to exchange in major cities and best to take them in Dollars
• Western Union: If at any time you have any problems in accessing money you can use Western Union transfer. Money can be sent from your home country and received in Peru the same day.
• Vaccinations: Yellow Fever Vaccination, Hepatitis A&B + Typhoid + Rabies recommended for some regions
• Malaria medication: Necessary if rural areas are visited
• See local GP: If vaccinations or medication is required see the doctor 4-6 weeks before your departure
• Less than 4 weeks before you leave: You should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while travelling.
• Check the following for up to date information: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
''We really did have the most wonderful and unforgettable time in Peru, thanks to all of you. The Spanish institution is a fantastic organization, thank you for all the effort everyone went through to help us realize this dream. We had a great time home staying in a Cusco family. Thank you to the teachers, our classes with you were an absolute delight, we felt we learned a lot. We likewise enjoyed the cultural activities in the afternoons and just loved Cusco. '' Spanish course. Pam
''I really like how everyone speaks in Spanish. I can’t speak Spanish yet after just a week but sure I understand a lot more.'' Spanish course. Sam Rogers
''I have been a student here at the language institution now for just short of eight weeks. This has been an unforgettable experience for me so far and I am sad that I will be leaving soon. The city of Cusco is very beautiful and I have made lots of new friends. There are tons of places to shop as well as places for entertainment and nightlife. The food is great and if you like to dine out it is very inexpensive. Also, it is very healthy, I have eaten like a pig and actually lost some weight. The best part of being here in Cusco so far has actually been meeting the other students. I have met people from all over the world and we normally hang out in groups on the weekend. It is normal to be a bit homesick when traveling at first...but the people here are great at making you feel at home. I highly recommend the institute as well as the city of Cusco. I hope that you do not miss out on an opportunity of a lifetime. '' Spanish course. Cody
''Currently I’m learning Spanish at the language institution in Cuzco, Peru and I like it very, very much!!! An overall enriching and positive experience!'' Spanish course. Sandra Wyss