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We will be traveling to Peru and Machu Picchu. I know Peru has it's own currency but also accept US dollars. Do you recommend having so Sol as well for markets or food vendors?
Also, do hotels have purified or filtered water for drinking or do we need to buy bottled?

Posted by
7906 posts

We love Peru and have been there three times.
Cuzco and Machu Picchu are amazing. We used tours and they were fantastic. We did four days in Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and MP for $799 pp in 2019.

Absolutely doing bottled water. Our hotels provided it for us.

It is best to dine in upscale restaurants, no street food or low scale restaurants. The cusine in Peru is great, it is special, and not like any other South American country.

When we had a meal with potatoes, we had six or seven different types of potatoes, all different colors and with different tastes.
Potatoes came from Peru. One thing, we could not eat the guinea.

We use US dollars, but did buy a small amount of local currency. Take US bills that are not torn, marked or too old. Also, avoid $100 bills.

Posted by
839 posts

We ate guinea pigs cooked and served in a house with the rest of the uncooked live guinea pigs roaming around on the floor. Aside from how they are cooked, they are basically like chicken wings. Unless you get the flattened whole fried ones.
Bottled water in most any country south of the Rio Grande.
Try some chicha beer. Comes in pink or blue.
There are ATMs to get currency. If you use dollars you will have everything rounded to the dollar. I always use local currency as it is more respectful. Especially for food vendors and markets.

Posted by
2506 posts

I would use sol and not dollars, as it does cost locals a fee to exchange currency (just like it costs you). I drank the water in our hotels but always carried bottled water. I have a pretty strong stomach and ate at all kinds of restaurants (high and low end and street vendors) and did not have problems. I took a cooking class that shopped in a very local market and our guide advised not to eat raw salads or lettuce (though I ate some of it and was fine). I also ate Guinea pig (the flat fried version) and agree it tastes like chicken. Alpaca is surprisingly tasty. For an interesting experience try Inca Kola a neon yellow soft drink (I myself wouldn't have it again). That said, I would suggest you pack some OTC meds for digestive issues just in case.

Do you have a plan for elevation sickness? I had been in Ecuador prior to Peru so was used to elevation by the time I got to Cusco/MP.

Have a great trip. MP was a bucket list item for me and it did not disappoint in any way.

Posted by
385 posts

We were in Peru in December, on an OAT tour, and loved it. Hotels will provide bottled water in your room, and will have purified bottle-filling stations in the lobby (at least, ours did, and it seemed to be the standard).

Be careful at markets and food vendors. The basic tip is, only eat raw fruit and veggies that are or can be peeled. Salads in restaurants should be OK (and you will see that any tomatoes in them are peeled).

You should use sol for cash transactions. US bills have to be in perfect condition, and even then, expect that they may not be accepted and any recipient has to then exchange them, more work for them. Taxis in Lima, at least, are cash-only.

Have fun!!