Before going to Peru, a general check-up with a practitioner is necessary in order to make sure that all the appropriate vaccinations are obtained. At present, the World Health Organisation recommends the following vaccinations before going to Peru:
- Hepatitis A & B
- Yellow fever (if you plan on travelling to jungle areas, especially Madre de Dios, San Martín, Loreto, Amazonas, Ucayali)
- Rabies (if you’re travelling to remote areas or expect to come into regular contact with animals)
You should also check you are up to date with regular childhood immunisations.
Expatriates and travellers should make an appointment with their general practitioner 4-8 weeks before departing for Peru to get the necessary vaccinations.
It is essential that insect repellent is used at all times and insect protection measures are taken in all areas that have a risk of malaria.
Water and food precautions
When drinking water in Peru, you need to be very cautious. It is not recommended to drink tap water, unless it has been boiled, disinfected or filtered. Drink bottled water only and avoid beverages with ice.
Consumption of fruit and vegetables is advisable only if the skin has been peeled or if they have been cooked. Cooked meals that are not hot should be avoided, as well as unpasteurized milk.
Raw and undercooked meat and fish should not be eaten. The following types of fish should not be consumed, as they may contain poisonous biotoxins: ceviche, barracuda, red snapper, grouper, amberjack and sea bass. Additionally, do not purchase food and drinks from street vendors.
Insects and mosquitoes
Wearing long sleeves and trousers is essential in Peru, due to the high risk of getting insect bites, which can transmit diseases. It is better to wear shoes instead of sandals and hats are advisable.
Insect repellent should be applied to bare skin. If sleeping with an open window, make sure that there is a screen or mosquito net.
Travel insurance in Peru
Travel insurance is essential if staying in Peru temporarily. There are different types of travel insurance policies depending on personal requirements. A basic travel insurance policy will normally provide:
- Emergency medical treatment for short term illnesses and accidents
- Cover in case of cancellation or curtailment of trip, including booked flights, accommodation and activities
- Cover for loss or damage of personal items