Allowed reasons for cancellation can range from sickness to natural disasters, to the State Department declaring your destination unsafe for travel. Insurance policy details vary, so read the fine print—and especially make sure that your airline or cruise line is on the list of carriers covered in case of bankruptcy.
Protect yourself further by paying for the insurance with a credit card—by law, consumers can get their money back on goods and services not received if they report the loss within 60 days after the charge is listed on their credit card statement. Some supplemental carriers such as the ones listed in this chapter will sell travelers coverage for these areas.
Peru or specific regions in the country has appeared on this list in the recent past. For travel overseas, most health plans including Medicare and Medicaid do not provide coverage, and the ones that do often require you to pay for services upfront and reimburse you only after you return home. If you worry about getting sick away from home, consider purchasing medical travel insurance, and carry your ID card in your purse or wallet. In most cases, your existing health plan will provide the coverage you need. If you suffer from a chronic illness, consult your doctor before your.
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On international flights including U. If your luggage is lost, immediately file a lost-luggage claim at the airport, detailing the luggage contents.
For most airlines, you must report delayed, damaged, or lost baggage within 4 hours of arrival. The airlines are required to deliver luggage, once found, directly to your house or destination free of charge. Pack prescription medications in your carry-on luggage, and carry prescription medications in their original containers. Also bring along copies of. Carry the generic name of prescription medicines, in case a local pharmacist is unfamiliar with the brand name. A yellow-fever vaccine is strongly recommended for trips to the Amazon. As recently as July , the Ministry of Health reported an outbreak of 13 deaths from yellow fever in Peru, part of the highest number of cases reported across South America since In the airport at Puerto Maldonado, in the southern jungle, public nurses are usually on hand to administer yellow-fever shots to travelers without documentation of proper vaccination.
Carry your records with you to avoid getting pricked right after you hop off the plane. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend taking antimalarial drugs at least 1 week before arriving in the jungle, during your stay there, and for at least 4 weeks afterward. Consult your doctor about antimalarial treatments.
The CDC also recommends vaccines for hepatitis A and B and typhoid, as well as booster doses for tetanus, diphtheria, and measles, although you might want to weigh your potential exposure before getting. For additional information on travel to tropical South America, including World Health Organization news of disease outbreaks in particular areas, see the CDC website at www. For most health matters that are not serious, a pharmacist will be able to help and prescribe something.
In the case of more serious health issues, contact your hotel, the tourist information office, or, in the most extreme case, your consulate or embassy for a doctor referral.
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Hospitals with English-speaking doctors are listed in individual destination chapters. As a tropical South American country, Peru presents certain health risks and concerns, but major concerns are limited to those traveling outside urban areas and to the Amazon jungle. At these. Some people experience intense headaches, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, and nausea.
Most symptoms develop the first day at high altitude, although, occasionally, travelers have delayed reactions. The best advice is to rest on your first day in the highlands. Drink plenty of liquids, including the local remedy mate de coca, or coca-leaf tea. Avoid alcohol and heavy food intake. Give yourself at least a day or two to acclimatize before launching into strenuous activities.
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Many hotels in Cusco offer oxygen for those severely affected with headaches and shortness of breath. If symptoms persist or become more severe, seek medical attention. People with heart or lung problems and persons with the sickle cell trait could develop serious health complications at high altitudes, or even die from medical conditions exacerbated by high altitude.
Wear a hat and use a sunscreen with a high protection factor SPF 30 or higher , and apply it liberally. Remember that children require more protection than do adults. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels, and try to avoid drinks with ice. Carry bottled water with you at all times especially on long bus or train rides ; the heat of the desert and the high altitudes of the Andes will dehydrate you very quickly.
That said, many, if not most, travelers eat it with few or no problems. Your best bet is to eat ceviche only at clean, upscale places. Vegetarian restaurants can be found in most cities look for branches of the chain Govinda in the largest cities. If no vegetarian restaurant is available, most others will be able to accommodate you with salads, fruits, and vegetables such as papas potatoes and palta avocado , although palta rellena is usually stuffed with chicken or tuna.
STAYING SAFE Peru has not earned a great reputation for safety among travelers, although the situation is fast improving, especially since the violent crime wave and terrorist threats of the late s and early s subsided. Personal safety is an issue to be taken very seriously in most large Peruvian cities, especially Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa.
Simple theft and pickpocketing remain fairly common; assaults and robbery are more rare. Most thieves look for moments when travelers, laden with bags and struggling with maps, are distracted. Although most visitors travel freely throughout Peru without incident, warnings must be heeded. Carjackings, assaults, and armed robberies are not unheard of in Lima. Occasional armed attacks at automatic teller machines occur.
However, in most heavily touristed places in Peru, a heightened police presence is noticeable.
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Use ATMs during the daytime, with other people present. Street crime is prevalent in Cusco, Arequipa, and Puno, and pickpockets are known to patrol public markets.
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This form of violent assault seems to have subsided, but you should still not walk alone late at night on deserted streets. In major cities, taxis hailed on the street can lead to assaults—I highly recommend using telephone-dispatched radio taxis, especially at night. Ask your hotel or restaurant to call a cab, or call one yourself from the list of recommended taxi companies in the individual city chapters. Travelers should exercise extreme caution on public city transportation, where pickpockets are rife, and on longdistance buses and trains especially at night , where thieves employ any number of strategies to relieve passengers of their bags.
You need to be supremely. Be extremely careful in all train and bus stations. In general, do not wear expensive jewelry, keep expensive camera equipment out of view as much as possible, and use a money belt inside your pants or shirt to safeguard cash, credit cards, and passport. Wear your daypack on your chest rather than your back when walking in crowded areas. The time to be most careful is when you have most of your belongings on your person—for example, when going from airport or train or bus station to your hotel. Have your hotel call a taxi for your trip to the airport or bus station.
In addition to safety and health concerns, travelers planning a trip to Peru should keep a close watch on current events. Although the large-scale terrorist activities of the local groups Sendero Luminoso and MRTA were largely stamped out in the early s, the U. State Department reported a resurfacing of the long-dormant Maoist terrorist network Sendero Luminoso in.
That perception can be consciously or subconsciously directed at travelers of color, who might experience some discrimination, most often expressed in less-than-welcoming receptions at hotels or restaurants. A number of nightclubs in Lima maintain unofficial discriminatory admissions policies. In March , a radical offshoot of the Sendero Luminoso was blamed for a car bomb attack that killed 10 near the U.
Two more isolated attacks in were attributed to Sendero Luminoso. Neither group, however, is currently considered to be active in any of the areas covered in this book. Before you depart, check for travel advisories from the U. There are more options and resources out there than ever before. However, Peru is considerably less equipped for disabledfriendly travel than are most parts of North America and Europe. Comparatively few hotels are outfitted for travelers with disabilities, and only a smattering of restaurants, museums, and means of public transportation makes special accommodations for disabled patrons.
There are few ramps, very few wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, and almost no telephones for the hearing-impaired. The page report features evaluations of hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, airports, and other services in Lima, Cusco,. One Peruvian hotel chain, Posadas del Inca www. With properties in Lima, Cusco, Yucay, and Puno, it maintains rooms in every hotel that are accessible for disabled travelers. See individual destination chapters for full reviews.
Many travel agencies offer customized tours and itineraries for travelers with disabilities. Apumayo Expediciones www.
InkaNatura Travel www. Organizations that offer assistance to disabled travelers include MossRehab www. It is still a male-dominated, macho society where homosexuality is considered deviant. Across Peru, there is still considerable prejudice exhibited toward gays and lesbians who are out, or men—be they straight or. In the larger cities, especially Lima and Cusco, there are a number of establishments—bars, discos, inns, and restaurants—that are either gay-friendly or predominantly gay.
Outside those areas, and in the small towns and villages of rural Peru, openly gay behavior is unlikely to be tolerated by the general population. Gay life is not out in the open across Peru. Many gays and lesbians might want to err on the side of discretion. Many agencies offer tours and travel itineraries specifically for gay and lesbian travelers. You can search for Peru tours, cruises, and packages on its website. There are a number of helpful websites for gay and lesbian travelers to Peru.
Gay Peru www. Purple Roofs www. If you can read Spanish, deambiente.