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Lima

San Pedro church, Lima

Practical Info about Lima

Time

Local time is GMT -5.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 60Hz (Arequipa 50Hz). Two-pin, flat blade and round plugs are standard.

Currency

The official currency is Nuevo Sol (PEN), divided into 100 céntimos. Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. Outside Lima facilities may be more limited. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange and plenty of restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars for payment. Casas de cambio (exchange bureaux) often give better rates than hotels and banks and can be found in any town on the tourist circuit. ATMs are available in the main cities.

Communication

The international access code for Peru is +51. Mobile phone operators offer GSM networks with coverage limited to major towns and cities; there are roaming agreements with most international operaters. Peru is well connected to the internet with a proliferation of inexpensive internet kiosks (cabinas pública) available in most towns and cities.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 105 (Police); 117 (Ambulance).

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Maundy Thursday 17 Apr 2 Apr
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
St Peter & St Pauls Day 29 Jun 29 Jun
Independence Day 28 Jul 28 Jul
Santa Rosa Day 30 Aug 30 Aug
Battle of Angamos Day 8 Oct 8 Oct
All Saints Day 1 Nov 1 Nov
Immaculate Conception 8 Dec 8 Dec
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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The weather in Lima is influenced by the cold offshore Humboldt Current, and the city has a mild climate, much cooler than one might expect for what is technically a subtropical desert region. It gets neither very cold nor very hot in Lima: temperatures rarely fall below 54°F (12°C) and seldom rise above 84°F (29°C) year-round. It is a cloudy and foggy city, which doesn't actually get that much sun. Rainfall is extremely low and what little the city does get comes in the form of drizzles in winter, or occasional, brief showers in summer. There are two distinct seasons: summer, from December through April, is sunny and generally cloud-free, but can be very foggy, with temperatures ranging from 64°F to 84°F (18°C to 29°C); winter, from June to October, is a gray season with cooler temperatures ranging from 54°F to 66°F (12°C to 19°C), and is frequently overcast; May and November are transitional months. Humidity is high in Lima all year. The city is known for its beautiful sunsets, which are especially colourful. Lima's climate is fairly consistent, and seldom wonderful for travellers, so it doesn't really matter when one visits; however, the city gets the most sun and is least foggy between December and April, making this the best time to travel to the city.

Getting around the city

Lima is divided into four quarters, which are small enough to explore on foot. Travelling from one section to another is best done in a bus or taxi, however. The regular buses serving the city consist of microbus vans and larger 'school bus' vehicles. These are plentiful and inexpensive, although uncomfortable (especially in the heat of summer) and frequently involved in accidents. These 'micros' and 'combis' can be flagged down in the street. Destinations are usually not marked so ask the driver before boarding. Taxicabs are also plentiful and cheap, of no particular make or model, but recognisable by plastic signs on the windshield, and often the generic yellow of taxi cabs the world over. Taxis are not metered and the fare should be agreed before departure. It is a good idea to find out how much they generally cost to avoid being overcharged as a foreigner. Driving in Lima is hazardous: not only are the roads in generally bad condition, but local drivers are reckless and aggressive. Car rental is therefore best avoided. For those determined to rent cars, however, there are numerous rental agencies and having your own vehicle is wonderful when heading out of the city on excursions.

Jorge Chavez International Airport

www.lap.com.pe/lap_portal/ingles/index.asp

Getting to the city

Buses and minibuses service the city centre; their stops are outside the airport gates on Avenida Faucett. They travel to the city, stopping along the main avenues.

Car rental

Car rental companies include Hertz, Budget and National.

Airport taxi's

Taxis can be found outside the international flights terminal.

Facilities

Facilities at the airport include banks, bureaux de change, ATMs, a post office, public telephones, a couple of restaurants, shops, left luggage and a tourist information desk. There are disabled facilities; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Parking

Parking is charged at PEN 4.50 per hour and PEN 35 per day, and is located across from the main terminal building.

Internet

Wifi is available on a pay-as-you-go basis within the terminal, and access cards can be purchased at coffee shops or the Telefonica call centre.