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Peru: the Ultimate Quarantine-Free Destination in 2021

Peru: as safe as it gets

Peru: a paradise for anyone who loves food, history, diverse landscapes, friendly locals, and fun.

If you fall into these categories, great news! Peru has JUST retracted the previously required quarantine on arrival.

Plus, Peru is one of the safest destinations you can visit right now. And we know that airplanes are the safest interior spaces, so why not? We personally traveled to 20 countries last year and tested the theory out.

If you’re seeking a cultural experience in a ridiculously beautiful country, and one that takes COVID-19 seriously, Peru is EXACTLY what you’re looking for.

RELATED: 14 Countries You Can Visit Right Now Without Quarantine

PERU-VING THEY CAN HANDLE COVID-19

The Peruvian government has excelled at maximizing safety during COVID-19 while keeping the economy alive. This is how.

Billboards in Peru reflect their strong desire to curb the virus!
A billboard right outside Lima’s international airport. It advises against reunions with friends and family during the pandemic. #noseamoscomplices means let’s not be accomplices (to the spread of the virus).

Peru enforces these safety measures prior to entry into any indoor area:

  • Temperature checks
  • Hand sanitizer required
  • Shoe disinfectant
  • Capacity limits of 25-50%
  • Doors and windows opened for ventilation 

To incentivize tourism, many sights (including Machu Picchu!!) are free and others are discounted.

STAYING HEALTHY IS A BIG DEAL IN PERU 

It’s not just limited to the government. Peruvians take the rules very seriously too.  

This is because they had a bad and deadly outbreak during their winter. There is a sense of urgency to not allow that to happen again. 

Peruvians really seem to uphold a community effort to stick together and defeat the pandemic. The result is that the cases have steadily been declining, despite constantly increasing testing. 

COVID-19 cases in Peru

Peru is the only country in the world I’ve seen with such an abundance of N95 or KN95 masks. I’m not sure how they did it, but it seems that 30% of the general population wears them. 

The number of cloth masks here seems very low. You never see people wearing bandanas on their face – they almost always have an N95 or medical mask – and I’m sure this helps in eradicating the spread of COVID-19.  

REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER PERU

Inbound international passengers on commercial flights have either a negative real-time COVID-19 molecular (RT-PCR), negative antigen test result, or a medical certificate of epidemiological discharge that is no more than 72 hours old after being issued, before boarding the plane.

All passengers must also complete an affidavit of health.

These requirements may change, so we advise you to contact your airline days prior your flight to gather the proper documentation and regularly consult the airport website for the latest guidance.

UPDATE: the Peruvian Government no longer requires a mandatory 14-day quarantine. This is great news!

TRANSPORTATION IN PERU DURING COVID-19

All public transport – that includes flying – requires that you wear a face mask and a face shield. This is strongly enforced.

Although not as widespread, airlines and rail companies mostly block middle seats and limit capacity. 

Peru Rail does a great job maintaining social distance.
Alternating seats are blocked on PeruRail’s trains.

We recently experienced this on a PeruRail train from Cusco to Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes. Alternating seats were blocked, windows were opened for ventilation, and face masks and shields were required. 

A Peruvian requirement on all transportation is wearing face masks and shields. This was strongly enforced during our entire journey to and from Machu Picchu.

Flying from the US to Peru is super easy (and cheap). Flying between cities in Peru is even cheaper. For example, you can fly between Lima and Cusco for close to $50 roundtrip.

Lima to Cusco, Peru r/t for $52!
Insanely cheap airfare between cities in Peru.

Read about our experience flying to Peru and Chile from Europe – it wasn’t too bad despite the travel requirements.

HOW TO VISIT THE SITES, AND FOR CHEAP!!

One important difference in visiting Peru’s incredible archeological sites this year is that you must register ahead of time. Peru does this as yet another safety measure to predict and limit crowds.

This might sound like a hassle, but it comes with one massive benefit – it’s CHEAP. Even Machu Picchu! Just make sure to register ahead as slots fill up quickly.

Ministry of culture in Peru takes care of tickets (boletos) for all the sights.
Some of the sites are still offered for free. Machu Picchu is only about $40 per person!

You can find a complete, step-by-step guide to reserving your cheap ticket to Machu Picchu and other sites here.

Note that you can only sign up for ONE slot for each site – so make sure you choose the right one! In the rainy season, earlier tends to be better.

WHERE TO STAY IN PERU

One positive side to the pandemic is that, as an attempt to lure tourists back, prices on hotels have never been lower.

San Blas - one of the nicest neighborhoods in Cusco, Peru
This hotel (Antigua Casona San Blas, rated 5 stars on Tripadvisor and 4.8 on google) is only around $50 per night. Insanely good deal!

We’re currently staying at the Casona Antigua in Cusco, probably the nicest hotel in town and one of the nicest we’ve ever stayed at. Normally, prices are upwards of $200-300 per night. Right now, they’re charging around $50.

In Lima, my favorite hotel is the JW Marriott, located in Miraflores. Miraflores is probably the nicest area in Lima, right on the coast with excellent dining options and endless nature trails. The JW Marriott is currently on discount for Marriott Bonvoy members.

IF NOT PERU, WHERE?

if you’re not interested in the rich history Peru offers, or prefer to travel to closer destinations, here are other safe destinations you can visit without needing a long quarantine period.

As always, thanks for reading!

Keep Exploring the World

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