[icon name=»cc-visa» class=»» unprefixed_class=»»] Currency and credit cards
In 1991, the Peruvian government introduced the «Nuevo Sol», divided in 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and S/.10, 20, 50,100 and 200 banknotes or bills. US dollars are welcome at most shops, restaurants and service stations at the current exchange rate. Most Shops and stores accept the most common credit cards, including Visa, Master card, Diners and American Express.
ATM cards can now be used in city locations: airports, bank machines and shopping centers. The main banking systems are: visa/plus, MasterCard/cirrus.
It’s possible to obtain local currency «Nuevos Soles» (sometimes dollars) with your card. Don’t forget there’s always a small service charge when you use credit and ATM cards. The use of traveler’s checks is welcome. When using a credit card makes sure you are charged the right amount for your purchase. In case of lost or stolen cards, don’t forget to have the telephone number of the bank in order to cancel your card.
Changing money on the street is very common but risky. Banks or «casas de cambio» are a better choice.
Important note: old or damaged US bills (i.e. a very slight tear) either won’t be accepted or will be exchanged at lower rates. When exchanging cash be sure to have crisp, new bills. Bring bills of various denominations.
The price of food and services is included in a 18% national tax (airline tickets, included). In almost all restaurants there is a 10% service charge. However, when in doubt consult your guide. Tax for international flights is $25 and $4.50 for domestic flights, which you will need to pay in cash at the airport.
Cusco Tourist Ticket («Boleto Turistico») – This visitor’s ticket costs 130 soles approx US$45 (half price for students) and is valid for 10 days. The full «Cusco Tourist Ticket», the ticket allows you to enter to 15 sites These sites which are part of the City tour are Sacsayhuaman/Qenko/Puca Pucara/Tambo Machay and these sites which are visited in the Sacred Valley Tour are Pisac/Ollantaytambo/Chinchero plus other sites in Cusco such as Religious Art Museum/Church of «San Blas»/Regional History Museum
This ticket does not include: Entrance to Qorikancha (or Qorikancha) 10 soles Entrance to the Cathedral, 25 soles the visit of the Cathedral is optional as many people prefer not to visit now that it is more expensive. Cusco Tourist Ticket also includes the admission to the Cusco folk dances and music at Cusco Art Center in the 3rd block of Sol Avenue, presentation every night from 07:00 p.m.
Food and Drink:
The hot and spicy nature of Peruvian food, created by ají and ajo (hot pepper and garlic), has become celebrated at home and abroad. Peruvians enjoy a wide variety of vegetables; there are over 2,000 kinds of indigenous and cultivated potatoes alone. Table service is the norm in hotels and restaurants and many also offer buffet-type lunches.
- Ceviche (uncooked fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and hot chilli pepper).
- «Chupe de camarones» (chowder-type soup made with shrimps, milk, eggs, potatoes and peppers).
- «Causa relleña» (potato cakes with chicken in the centre, but also cooked with avocado or crabmeat).
- Tamales (boiled corn dumplings filled with meat and wrapped in a banana leaf).
- «Mazamorra morada» (purple corn and sweet potato starch jelly cooked with lemons, dried fruits, cinnamon and cloves).
- Pisco sour (bittersweet cocktail made from a potent grape brandy).
- Other pisco-based drinks are «algarrobina» (pisco and carob syrup), «chilcano» (pisco and ginger ale) and «capitán» (pisco and vermouth).
- «Chicha de jora» (fermented corn juice) and «chicha morada» (non-alcoholic purple corn juice) are popular drinks dating from Inca times.
Tipping: Service charges of 10% are added to bills. Additional tips of 5-10% are expected in better restaurants, while rounding up the bill or adding a few Soles is appreciated in small restaurants. [icon name=»share» class=»» unprefixed_class=»»]