Travel in Peru - Corona Update

Posted by Marianne Salmans (status 07-08-2020)

“Are you considering a holiday to Peru? We are here and ready to give you advice.”

With the borders of Europe largely opening up to tourism, the big question for many of our travellers is: when can we return to Latin America? In this blog we will keep you informed about the current situation in Peru.

Developments up to now

On March 8, the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Lima of a traveller who had returned from a visit to Europe and on March 13, Peru announced that it would close its borders; the country went into a strict lockdown 3 days later.

Peruvians have since been allowed to go outside their homes only to a limited extent to do their essential shopping (supermarkets, pharmacies, banks). Initially this was regulated by gender: women were able to leave home on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Men were able to leave their home on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Neither men nor women were allowed out on Sundays. Since April 10, this spread has been changed to allowing one member of the family, regardless of gender.

In addition, Peru initiated a 4-phase roadmap at the beginning of May, in which the economy will be gradually reactivated. The phase can differ per province, depending on the number of registered infections.

The current situation

Peru is now in phase 2 of the roadmap in many provinces. With a strict safety protocol in place, various sectors are open again and public transport is restarting to circulate. Outdoor sports are possible from Monday to Saturday between 5am and 1pm within 3 kilometres of the home and water sports such as surfing and kayaking are allowed with the permission of the local authorities. It is also allowed to go out with by private car and interprovincial transport has slowly started with many limitations.

Since the start of the lockdown, a curfew has been in place which has eased somewhat over time. At this time, everyone should stay indoors from 9pm to 4am. Phase 1 still applies in some areas, with curfew already starting at 6pm. Nobody is allowed to go outside all day on Sunday.

Exploring the country now

Tourism is not possible at this time. The borders are closed to international traffic (only occasional repatriation flights out at this time) and important sites such as Machu Picchu are closed for visitors. Domestic flights and bus travel resumed on July 15, but are only available to locals and many areas are still in quarantine. At this time it is possible to purchase a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Lima with flights starting in September; however it is yet unknown when Peru will open its borders for international air traffic.

According to official rules, guests arriving from countries such as Italy, Spain, France and the United States have to go into a 14-day quarantine, but international travel is not possible at all at this time.

Exploring the country later

The intriguing country has the advantage that it is originally a destination for travellers with an interest in culture, archaeology and nature, with small-scale lodges and hotels in the great outdoors. The country has beautiful vast nature reserves where you can stay in total peace. Tourist attractions will limit the number of visitors in order to be able to maintain sufficient distance. For example, Machu Picchu has already announced that it will only allow 675 visitors per day. This is only a quarter of the average from the past, with 2,500 visitors a day and sometimes even peaks up to 5,000 in high season.

Further measures are not yet known, but we will of course keep you informed in this blog as soon as there is more clarity. .

Are you considering a holiday to Peru? We are here and ready to give you advice. Our friendly partners in Peru, guides, drivers and receptionists are eager to receive you with open arms and a big smile. Even if this will be at an appropriate distance.

Support Peru as long as we cannot travel yet

In 1999, Petit Miribel and her husband started an educational project for local children in the Sacred Valley that has evolved into the Sol y Luna Intercultural School.

To support these educational initiatives, they built the beautiful boutique hotel Sol y Luna – a heart-warming place which many of our guests had the pleasure to enjoy. At this time, Peru has entered into lock-down and the Sol y Luna Home is facing the immense challenge of how to remain open. The principal source of funding, the Sol y Luna Hotel, is temporarily closed. The children of the Sol y Luna Home are currently being cared for by tutors and volunteers, but their future is uncertain, as is that of the 200 children who are educated and cared for by the Sol y Luna Foundation.

Whilst we are all facing disruptive and unsettling times, we ask you to please remember those who are deeply suffering with no access to basic necessities, such as food, clean water and education.

The donation page has already reached more than £43.000, a tribute to this fabulous cause and the warm bond between sustainable tourism and support of local communities. More is needed to help the children of the Sacred Valley. Any donation, even the smallest amount, will help provide a future for these deeply deserving children.

For donations to Sol y Luna, please click here.

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