Generally speaking Peru welcomes foreign visitors with open arms, allowing the majority of tourists to stay for a maximum of up to 183 days without restriction.
This long limit also encourages travellers to visit more of of the beautiful destinations in Peru. In more recent years, rather than flying straight to Cusco upon arrival in Peru, many travellers have started to take the more scenic bus route from Lima to Cusco. For this, we strongly recommend following Peru Hop‘s route down along the South Coast. This route is becoming increasingly popular because of interesting stops such as Huacachina, the only desert oasis in South America, Nazca, home to the mysterious Nazca lines, and Puno, where visitors can see Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world. Travelling by bus also gives travellers the chance adjust to altitude gradually, decreasing the chances of altitude sickness when arriving to Cusco.
However, there are some exceptions to the 183 day rule and these are listed below. If you need to obtain a visa, there is an application process that you need to follow. Paul Jones, a Peru travel expert looks answers the question – Do I need a visa for travel to Peru?
Please note that this information was correct at time of publishing. Please double check with your local Peruvian Embassy for all the latest entry requirements.
Who needs a visa for travel to Peru?
Residents of countries that don’t need a visa to travel to Peru.
If you are a citizen of the following countries, travelling on a government issued passport from the same country, you do not need to apply for a visa in advance. On arrival in Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport you will be required to fill out an Andean Immigration Card and you will be granted up to a maximum stay of 183 days. See notes on the Andean Immigration Card.
Citizens of: United States of America, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel, Japan, Germany, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Russia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal & Switzerland.
ENTERTAINMENT TIP: If looking for fun at night, or to watch sports during the day, or even a taste of home, visit the Wild Rover Hostels Chain for great food, sports and beer! Entrance to their bars is free even for non-guests
Residents of countries that do need a visa to travel to Peru.
Residents of the following country, travelling on a government issued passport from the countries listed below are required to apply for a visa before travelling to Peru. See the section on applying for visas in advance, and the list of Peruvian Embassies in your country.
If you are living in the USA on a green card, but are not a citizen of the USA, you will need to apply for a visa in advance at a local Peruvian consulate.
Citizens of: All African countries, excluding South Africa, India, Pakistan & China.
What you need to do on arrival in Peru
The Andean Immigration Card & Customs Declarations
Do I need a visa for travel to Peru?
This applies to all foreign visitors arriving in to Peru. On arrival at Lima’s international airport you will be required to fill in two documents. The first is an Andean Immigration Card and the second is a Customs Declaration, both of which are usually provided on your flight over. The Andean Immigration Card is a really important document, which you must keep safe for your entire trip. You will be required to show the card when you depart the country, and failure to do so could result in a delay or small fine. Your Customs Declaration is a standard declaration, similar to those requested by most countries on arrival. Please note if you enter Peru with more than US$ 10,000 per person in cash, you will need to justify the reason in your customs declaration.
Proof of funds and onward travel
On very rare occasions you may be requested to show proof of funds and/or proof of onward travel. Proof of funds can be shown in cash, a recent bank statement or more simply a current credit card. You need to be able to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for your entire time in Peru; US$ 25 – 30 per day is more than sufficient. Proof of onward travel is also sometimes requested, and can be proven with an onward airline or bus ticket.
Obtaining a Peruvian visa from your local Peruvian Embassy
Should you need to apply for a visa to Peru before you travel, you will need to contact your nearest Peruvian Embassy and make a visa application. Normally this needs to be done in your home country, however if you have a green card to live in the USA you may apply for the visa from your nearest Embassy in the US. Allow sufficient time to apply for your visa as applications may take several weeks.
During the application process you will need to provide the following information:
1) Fill out the obligatory visa application form.
2) Attend a personal interview.
3) Show a valid passport.
4) If living in the USA (but not resident) you will need to show proof of a valid green card and an I-95 form.
5) Round trip airline ticket (can be electronic).
6) Proof of hotel bookings, or travel agents itinerary of your trip.
7) 2 recent passport photos.
8) Proof of sufficient funds for your trip, recent bank statement.