Why carry an IDP while driving in Peru?
Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.
It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Peru highly recommends an International Driving Permit.Start my Application
How to get your IDP
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1. Apply Online
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2. Upload Photos
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Peru is a tropical country, with its northern tip almost touching the Equator. Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, has different climates, ways of life, and economic activities. These are bought on the elevation's extremes and by the southwest winds that clear across the cold Peru Current that flows along its Pacific shoreline. The country's official language is Spanish, but Quechua and Aymara are still common in some regions, and they are heavily spoken.
Many have said that Peru's city roads can be a bit stressful, and yes, it may be accurate, but you didn't visit Peru to hang around the cities. There are many beautiful destinations inside Peru, and the best way to enjoy each destination is by going on a road trip. But before any of the road trips, let's make sure that you have everything you need to rent a car.
When renting a car, you need to prepare items like international driving permit for Peru as a requirement, and others like passport, driver's license, visa, and proof of insurance. Suppose you haven't registered for an IDP; you can always opt to sign up via a reliable International Driving License for Peru website like the International Driver's Association.
Here you will find high-quality and trustworthy IDPs being processed at a low price. They also offer a bundle that you can get, and it includes a digital copy so that you can download your International Driver's License for Peru to your mobile phone.
Top Destinations of Peru
Peru is a country that has lots to offer and needs to be explored. With its land, history, colonial, and modern traditions, the country can provide many activities to satisfy every tourist and give you an unforgettable experience. And if you want to drive along the country's long and bold roads, make sure to check that you have your International Driver's License for Peru.
Lima is Peru's capital city, and it's also known as the City of Kings. The city symbolizes the Spanish colonial history, industry, and independence. Even though many have said that it is the most populated city in Peru, you can not deny that more things the city offers than meets the eye. Here's our Lima, Peru guide on the most important things you need to know when visiting the city.
Lima is best visited from December to April since it is located in the Southern Hemisphere. These months have the warmest summer weather throughout the year. If you prefer a more cooling temperature, you may want to visit Lima from May to November. By these months, you would likely see a thick misty sea fog hanging over the city together with the overcast skies; locals in Lima call it La Garua.
Museo Larco is a local museum in Lima where you can see Peru's history. You can find ancient collections from the pre-Columbian culture where it exhibits Peru's indigenous people. If you get tired of looking at exhibits all day, the museum has an on-site restaurant where you can unwind and enjoy the pleasant food they serve or visit the beautiful gardens.
Miraflores has the best way to enjoy Peru's coastal views and feel the city's tradition and history. In Miraflores, you can stroll through a park called Parque del Amor to have a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean or go to Huaca Pucllana to see the ancient pyramid. For souvenirs and shopping, you can go to a mall called Larcomar.
Lima Gourmet Company
For food lovers out there, you should consider having a food tour with Lima Gourmet Company. They offer morning and evening tours around Lima and end the time by serving the best and authentic food the city provides for 130 US dollars. Don't have the budget for a fancy tour? Well, there is also a Haku Tour that offers various group outings not limited to food.
Lima, Peru's capital city, is well-known because of its symbolism through colonial history, industry, and independence. Travelers would be busy in Lima for days not because of the congested traffic but because of its ancient concrete pyramids, oceanfront parks, and colonial architecture.
Generally, when going to Peru, the first place that you will land is in Lima. But, let's say you were in another city, you can take a Peru domestic flight to Lima. If you are in Cusco, these are the driving directions to Lima, Peru.
- Take Av La Paz and Primavera to Alameda Pachacuteq/San Martín.
- Take Route 3S, Route 28A, Aup. Panamericana Sur/Panamericana Sur and Carr. Panamericana Sur/Route 1S to Av Paseo de la República in La Victoria.
- Take Av 9 de Diciembre and Avenida Alfonso Ugarte to your destination in Cercado de Lima.
- Before driving to Lima, make sure to check your international driving permit for Peru if you have them with you. It's forbidden to ride in Peru if you don't have your IDP, passport, and local driver's license with you. Have your digital copy of the international driving permit in Peru downloaded or the physical permit itself, including the IDP in Peru requirements mentioned above.
Lima was the cultural, economic, social, and capital of Peru's Viceroyalty and an essential city in the Spanish South American colonies. Magnificent buildings were created during the colonial period in the Historic Center of Lima. Lima's Plaza Mayor is the center that's surrounded by the Cathedral of Lima, Government Palace, Archbishop's Palace, Municipal Palace, and Club de la Union.
The city of Cusco was announced as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and was the initial seat of power for the Inca Empire. It is a city near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range, and it is the seventh most populated city in Peru. But even with its population, the city's atmosphere remains a romantic vibe and European feel with its Inca and 16th-century architecture and narrow, winding street.
June to mid-September are the best times to go to Cusco even though the temperatures hang in the mid to upper 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. And even with the temperatures during these months, it is still the city's peak tourist season, and you can expect fellow trekkers in most of the locations.
Museo del Pisco
If you want to unwind and enjoy the scenery that Cusco offers, Museo del Pisco is the place for that. Museo del Pisco provides guests with cocktail classes and flight tasting of pisco, a typical Peruvian alcoholic drink that you take before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas is Cusco's main square and the city's most iconic site where you can comfortably stroll, hangout, and relax after a busy day touring. Various shops and restaurants around Plaza de Armas and the Cusco Cathedral home, a UNESCO Heritage Site. You can see archeological relics, artifacts, and colonial works of art are displayed.
It is a mountain in the Andes of Peru and has an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level. Vicuna is known as the famous Rainbow Mountain, where you can have an all-day journey from Cusco. It has a high elevation that would be fantastic for people that love to hike. You can access the mountain either by driving for two hours from Cusco and a five-kilometer walk or a 4-hour ride through Pitumarca and a two-kilometer walk up the hill.
Cusco is famous for its beautiful city with a romantic vibe and a European feel despite having a large population. Cusco was also declared a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1983. It is the Incas' past capital city and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in South America. The buildings of the ancient Inca city became the foundation for the Spanish culture today, and the Incas built the stone walls that are aligned in the streets.
The quickest way to get to Cusco is through a Peru domestic flight. But, you can also drive to Cusco from Lima. Driving to Cusco from the capital city Lima with your own vehicle, will take you about a day, give or take, but every road trip is worth it if you know that there's going to be a magnificent destination ahead. If you're with friends or family, a road trip to Cusco would be much cheaper than booking a flight.
- Take Avenida Alfonso Ugarte to Au. Panamericana Nte./Ctra. Panamericana Nte./Vía Evitamiento/Route 1N in Rímac.
- Drive from Carr. Central, Route 3S, Route 3SB, Huancayo-Huancavelica/Mariscal. Castilla and Route 3S to Cusco.
- Take Tomasa Tito Condemayta, Urb. Chinchero - prolg. av. Humberto Vidal Hunda and De La Raza to Calle Plateros.
- Your destination will be on the left.
The requirements when driving are your driving licence and the international driving permit for Peru. If you haven't applied for one, you can go online and register for an International Driver's License for Peru on the website. Ensure that you also download your international driving permit for Peru on your phone if you misplaced your printed copy.
Cusco was the Inca Empire's administrative and religious capital in ancient Peru from 1400 to 1534 CE. The Incas were the largest empire in South America and the entire world by having territories from Quito to Santiago. At that time, Cusco's population was up to 150,000 and was dominated by fine buildings and palaces. The Coricancha is the most prosperous building in the city and within the vicinity resides the temple of Incas sun god, Inti.
The Sacred Valley of Incas
The Sacred Valley or the Urubamba Valley is an excellent destination if you want to explore Inca's ancient ruins and enjoy outdoor activities. To visitors that want to stay for more than a day, the Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is the perfect lodging place. A hacienda-like hotel located in the center of the Sacred Valley that provides multiple outings in your stay.
The best time to go to the Sacred Valley is from April to October, where the sun shines, the weather is grand, rains are rare, and the air's breeze is enjoyable. Although even within these months, you may still experience showers in the afternoon, or if unfortunate, it would rain all day. But even with the rain, there are still many activities you can do indoors.
Adventure tours are offered in the Sacred Valley, where you can choose biking, horseback riding, hiking, and rafting throughout the region. For visitors that don't like the tight schedule of a tour, you can hire a local tour guide to enjoy an adventure of your own, at your own pace.
In the Sacred Valley, there are numerous breathtaking locations that you can explore, the Salinas de Maras, Salinas de Maras, the town of Ollantaytambo, etc. Ollantaytambo's village is the typical starting point for the Inca Trail (hiking route to Machu Picchu) and the home of the Incan fortress with large stone terraces built into the hillside. When exploring locations on your own, driving is the best way. Bring your driving licence with you.
The Sacred Valley is a top destination where you would see and explore other ancient Inca ruins and has many famous archaeological sites. The land was first used around 800 BCE by the Chanapata civilization because of the rich soil.
Driving from Cusco to the Sacred Valley with your vehicle will take you about two hours, and with your driving licence and International Driver's Permit for Peru as a guide to authorities. The international driving permits can help you have a stress-free conversation when it comes to checkpoints. Sometimes there wouldn't be a conversation at all if both you and the officer can not understand each other. There are two routes to get to the Sacred Valley, either take the Urubamba road or the Route 28G and Route 28B.
- Take Av La Paz and Primavera to Alameda Pachacuteq/San Martín.
- Take Route 3S to CU-1185.
- Follow CU-1185.
- Continue to Yucay.
- Turn right onto Amaru Yupanqui.
- From Amaru Yupanqui, you can either hike to the Sacred Valley or take a tour.
Route 28G and Route 28B
- Take Av La Paz and Av. Infancia to Av. de La Cultura/Route 3S.
- Follow Route 28G and Route 28B to Amaru Yupanqui in Yucay.
- Turn left onto Amaru Yupanqui.
- From Amaru Yupanqui, you can either hike to the Sacred Valley or take a tour.
Driving in Peru will require you to have an International Driver's Permit for Peru, so make sure to check that you have yours, and it's still valid on the day you use it. For you to check the validity of your International Driver's Licence in Peru, there will be a phrase in your booklet stating "valid until," beside it, you will see the date saying until when your IDP is valid. The downloaded International Driver's License for Peru on your phone also has a date for your IDP's validity.
The Sacred Valley has housed beautiful and traditional towns since colonial times. The Sacred Valley is where the Incas built their citadels like Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero, which cultivated various agricultural products on terraces such as Moray. Today, these tourist attractions are the few places that every visitor should check out before heading to Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is one of the 15th-century Inca citadels in the Eastern Cordillera in southern Peru, on a 2,430 meter (7970 feet) mountain ridge. Machu Picchu is a groundbreaking destination, and maybe the reason why visitors in Peru would like to visit the area. Machu Picchu will not let your hopes down, and it is part of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Suppose you want to have a quieter and peaceful trek, the best time to go to Machu Picchu in October and September. Do take note that September is the end of the dry season, so be prepared for rain.
Although there is a bus that you can take up to Machu Picchu, is it worth it to wake up early to wait in line for the bus when you know that you can take a hiking trail to get up the mountain? When hiking to Machu Picchu, the route is more direct than taking the bus and will take you within one to two hours, depending on how fast you go. It's an adventure itself when hiking up the mountain, and you will be able to appreciate the view more than when taking the bus.
Explore the ruins
Once you get to the top of Machu Picchu, you will see many ancient ruins of "The Lost City of the Incas." You can explore them, starting from the Temple of the Sun down to the Prison Group and The Temple of the Condor. You can also take your time to get pictures of some ruins to prove that you have visited the ancient ruins in Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu, part of the Seven Wonders of the World and has never let any visitors in the area be disappointed. It is Peru's main attraction, and it certainly is one of the most memorable destinations in the country.
Sadly the only way to get to Machu Picchu is by taking the trail, the bus, or the Inca Rail train that departs from Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Although to visit Machu Picchu, you would need to buy your ticket in advance because only a limited number of visitors could go up the mountain.
Machu Picchu, built in the fifteenth century, served as a center of worship, a place for astronomical observation, and a resting place of the royal family of the Inca Pachacutec. Its name was from the Quechua word meaning "Old Mountain." It is believed that only high social ranks of Incas (around 200-300) lived in Machu Picchu based on the citadel's size alone.
The Peruvian Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon is full of wildlife, and it is known as the home of the anaconda. It covers 60% of the country and is one of the world's biologically distinct areas. The culture and traditions inside the Amazon are eye-opening, and surely you would never get tired of seeing the wildlife.
Travelers who want to spend the rest of your visit trekking and exploring, the best time would be from June to October, where these months are commonly the dry seasons. For others who want to travel the forest by boat, you can visit during the rainy season, from November to April. These months are best for boat rides because of the heavy rains that cause the rivers to rise. Do note that if you want to visit during the rainy season, make sure to join a tour or hire a guide since you can easily get lost and get exposed to dangerous animals.
Take a boat ride
Countless sceneries are seen while boat riding, the beautiful waters, the rainforest colors, the small villages (some floating), and if lucky, dolphins. Taking a boat ride in the Amazon River is highly recommended. When taking a boat ride, there are plenty of choices that you can take, luxury boats, cargo ships, speed boats, and little motorized canoes.
Swim in the Amazon
While many of us know that Amazon is a dangerous place to swim, there are always tour guides and local guides that can join you to identify the safe rivers. Even with the hundreds of trees surrounding the Amazon, it's still hot, and nothing is better than having a quick swim in the river to refresh ourselves.
Hangout with Monkeys
Amazon is a home for wildlife, and what better way to know some of them than to meet them, monkey's in particular. There is a guided tour around the area, and some of them offer retreats to hang out with some monkeys. But be warned, monkeys are known to take people's belongings (hats, cameras, and glasses, etc.), so be careful if you want to leave the area with your things.
The Peruvian Amazon is the fourth largest forest worldwide. It has exceptional biodiversity, and it is home to 700 types of ferns, more than 7300 different flowers, 180 reptiles, 262 amphibians, 293 mammals, 697 fish, 806 birds, and 2,500 butterflies. For the people that love nature and wildlife, the Peruvian Amazon will be the highlight of your vacation in Peru.
You can book a Peru domestic flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado if you want to get there quickly. But if you prefer to have the road trip of your life, you may follow these directions to get to the Peruvian Amazon. You can check out the driving in Peru guide on our website if you want to know the rules when driving on Peruvian roads.
- Take Av La Paz and Mateo Pumacahua to Av 28 de Julio.
- Turn left onto Av 28 de Julio.
- Follow Av Velasco Astete, Vía de Evitamiento and Vía de Evitamiento to Carr. Cusco - Paucartambo/Route 3S.
- Continue on Carr. Cusco - Paucartambo. Drive to Carr a Manu.
- Before heading to Amazon, you will see a small town named Kosñipata. There you can find a lodging area and a place to park your car before trekking your way to the Amazon.
To drive around the country, you are required to have an International License for Peru. Why do you need an International Driver's License in Peru? Well, it's a translation of your native driver's license, and it's illegal to drive in Peru with your native permit, and if you get caught by doing so, you would either be locked up in jail or deported. There's no exam if you want to register for an International Driver's Permit for Peru, so you won't need to worry about studying.
From the name itself, the Amazon is the "lungs of the Earth," and the Peruvian Amazon covers nearly 2/3rds of the country, where it protects an immense amount of plants and animals. Some Peruvian Amazon plants are used in modern medicine to cure diseases, and some are not yet discovered.
Most Important Driving Rules in Peru
Although you can take Peru domestic flights to get from one city to another, driving in Peru lets you see the country's subtle charm that could only be achieved when driving. However, driving in Peru, especially in the city, can be stressful and dangerous if you don't know any rules before getting behind the wheel. Because some local drivers in Peru don't abide by the law, knowing some essential guides when driving is highly recommended for you to drive around the country safely.
No Drunk Driving
Drivers in Peru can only have 50 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 milliliters of blood. If you got caught having more than 50 milligrams, you might get a massive amount on your ticket, or if anyone, passenger or pedestrian, got hurt, you may be sentenced to jail for 60 days to five years, depending on how critical the person is.
Driving at night
If you want to drive at night in Peru, reconsider it first before doing so. Some trucks are not correctly using headlights, and buses would speed faster than usual. If there is a reasonable explanation for you to drive at night, make sure to be extra careful on the road. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before you start driving.
Bring Your International Driver's Permit in Peru
Visitors who want to drive in Peru need to have their IDP to be legally allowed to ride the streets of Peru. An International Driver's License for Peru is a guide and translation for police officers so that they can fully understand your native license. It's easy to register, and you won't need to take an exam for the International Driver's Permit for Peru.
On a website called International Drivers Association, you can easily register for an International Driver's Permit/License in Peru, and their chat box is always available to guide you 24/7. There is also a sample on their homepage to know what an International Driver's License for Peru looks like.
Some companies offer a three-year validity at a low price on their website. You will also see a sample of their International Driver's License in Peru or any other country. Here is a guide for the documents needed when applying for an International Driver's Permit for Peru:
- Photocopy of your native license (front and back)
- Credit Card for Payment
- Passport size picture
- Completed form of your application
When all documents are submitted, you will need to wait for two hours to get reviewed and approved. Once approved, the company will mail it to you within seven days to one month, depending on where you live. And you don't need to worry about studying before registering because there is no exam when applying for an International Driver's License in Peru.
You may register for an International Driver's License for Peru online, or you can apply by the time you get to Peru. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that there won't be any exam if you get your International Driver's License in Peru in the country. And if it's your first time applying, you might wonder, 'do you need an International Driver’s License in Peru?' The answer is yes because an International Driver's License for Peru is a translation of your native license. It is part of the country and car rental agencies' requirements if you plan to drive around Peru.
You must present your valid license and visa to get an International Driver's Permit in Peru insurance for cars. If either one is missing, you wouldn't be able to get car insurance in Peru. You need to present third party insurance when to rent a car in Peru; it's part of their requirement and so for your safety. Not all car rental agencies offer great insurances on their agreement.
Driving in Peru is hassle-free if you have all the requirements with you, such as your international driving permit and driving license. It also pays to know what are the driving rules you must observe on the roads of Peru. If you want to know more driving rules, you can check out our driving in Peru guide.
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