In Peru, people are requiered to pay the Peruvian government a 19% sales tax (Impuesto General a las Ventas or I.G.V.) which is automatically added to every receipt.
Everyone flying out of Peru, whether a national or foreigner, must pay a fee for airport use of $28.44 American dollars, which need not be paid upon entering the country. For national flights, the tax rate is $4.00 American dollars. Both must be paid in cash either in dollars or soles.
Generally, in 5-star hotels one is expected to give a $1.00 tip per piece of luggage. In fancy restaurants, tips are included and appear as a 5-10% additional charge in the lower part of the bill. If you are more than satisfied you can leave the waiter an additional 10%. When dining in less expensive restaurants which do not include tips on their bills, we recommend tipping 10% of the total.
Unlike other countries, in Peru it is not customary to tip cab drivers. Since cabs are not equipped with meters, it is important to agree on a price before hiring services to avoid being taken advantage of. In the case of tour services, we suggest tipping the driver $2.00 American dollars per person, per day. In the case of a large group, you may choose to tip half of the suggested rate.
Agencies that organize adventure trips, such as trekking and climbing do not customarily include tips for mountain personnel. If you opt for this type of service, you should tip the guide, cook, porters and other personnel joining you in you expedition. It is difficult to suggest how much to tip, but we believe that each of these people thoughtfulness, efforts, and pleasant disposition will enable you to appropriately evaluate their work and reward it.
Peru can be considered a safe country for tourists, but it is necessary to take precautions to avoid theft especially in large cities such as Lima and some ports such as Chimbote or Pisco. We suggest you avoid carrying large amounts of money, valuables or costly cameras in such areas. Seek information in regards to safety conditions prior to your visit. Sources of information include hotels, restaurants or police officers which are generally found on main streets or avenues throughout the country.
Although smaller cities within the country may be safer, always be careful with your luggage and valuables. Be especially alert where there are large groups of people such as bus terminals and markets where thieves working in pairs distract you, one pretends to be a service provider while another takes your belongings in a matter of seconds. We suggest you avoid such contact. Should you need information about the city or where to go, you can obtain it from the bus company personnel.
It is convenient to have photocopies of both sides of your passport, credit cards, and travelers' checks. Avoid keeping them in the same place as the original.
Keep your passport, flight ticket, credit cards, money, and documents in a safe place.
Avoid leaving your valuables in the hotel room. It is best to put them in the hotel safe.
Going to the ATM in the morning or afternoon with another person is safer. If this were not possible, try to go to one that has police surveillance.
Ask the hotel personnel whether it is safe to walk in the neighborhood and which areas may be dangerous.
If you are traveling with valuable equipment, additional insurance is suggested.
Be alert, especially in places where there are many people.
If you have been warned that the place you will be visiting is not safe, take the necessary precautions and avoid carrying valuables, jewelry, and large amounts of money.