Peru-Borders, Roads, Hotels, and Camping

Read more about border crossing, road closures, driving, gas prices, hotels, and camping in Peru.

Basic Facts

  • Population: 29,180,900
  • Capital: Lima
  • Fun Fact: Peru is home to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Border Crossing Information

Entry Requirements

Necessary documents

  • Passport
  • Drivers License
  • Vehicle Title/Registration
  • 1 photocopy of each
  • Vehicle Insurance

Costs

  • S/.4 parking fee
  • S/.3.10 fumigation

Procedure

First head to migracion to have your passport stamped. You will need a photocopy of the stamped page and the face page of your passport for the importation of your car.  Depending on the border, you may have to pay a parking fee outside of the aduana.  At the aduana, present your passport photocopies and a copy of your car title/registration.  Fill out the 2 parts of the SUNAT (superintendencia nacional de circulacion y salida) form.  The aduana officials will stamp and date the back of the form - they keep one part and you keep the other.  You will also get a big SUNAT sticker for your car's windshield.  There shouldn't be a charge for the importation.  Your car may be fumigated as well for minimal cost.  

Peru requires some form of insurance, but it doesn't have to be SOAT - it just needs to have equal coverage. The relevant law is here: Articulo 30.1, Ley No. 27181: Todo vehículo automotor que circule en el territorio de la República debe contar con una póliza de seguros vigente del Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes de Tránsito - SOAT o certificados contra accidentes de tránsito, que contengan términos equivalentes, condiciones semejantes o mayores coberturas ofertadas que el SOAT vigente You can buy SOAT at the Macara border crossing from Ecuador. It was $8 USD for a one month policy. The insurance office is the building on top of the hill, just south of Migracion and across the street from Aduana.

Exit Requirements

Necessary documents

  • Passport
  • Tourist permit
  • Vehicle import permit

Procedure

When you drive up to the border, you will be asked to surrender your vehicle import permit. They should give you one of the pieces of the permit as a receipt. At the aduana you will surrender your tourist permit and have your passport stamped stating that you have left the country. There should not be any costs.

Individual Experiences

People's experiences vary depending on crowds at the border, corrupt or honest border officials, and rules can also change. People's individual experiences are included in the Peru-Additional Border Crossing page.  

Roads and Driving

Road Closures

July 2009: The road from Rio Marañón basin to Cajamarca is closed from 6 am till 6 pm every day for construction.

Gas Prices

Gas in Peru comes in 84, 90, and 95 octane levels. Prices are in Peruvian Soles (S/.) per gallon. 84 octane is fairly low, so may cause your engine to 'knock.' In the Andes in small villages, the only gas available might be 84, however at high elevations you can get away with lower octane than at sea level. Also expect to pay 2 to 3 soles more per gallon than on the Pan American. And yes, gas is sold by the gallon, not the liter.

September 23, 2012

  • 84: S/ 13.00
  • 90: S/ 15.00
  • 95: S/ 18.00

July 1, 2009

  • 84: S/.8.00
  • 90: S/.9.50
  • 95: S/.11.50
  • diesel: S/.9.80

Conversion: 1L=0.26 gallons

Car Rentals

Renting a car in Cusco may be more expensive than other cities. Before driving into Chile or Bolivia, check with the rental agency to make you have proper documentation for the border crossings.

Mechanics

Recommended mechanic in Arequipa, Peru

  • Lubricentro Pegasso, Av Socabaya N 304, San Martin de Socabaya
  • Javier Quispe Farfan, administrador
  • pegassos@hotmail.com
  • 250 904

Helped us with oil change, washed the car to the cleanest it's been in month, checked all fluids, recommended a place to get alignments done. 

Camping and Hotels

Northern Peru

Mancora
Hosal La Posada, has parking and tent camping spots. GPS: 4° 6'32.85"S  81° 3'34.04"W We paid 10 soles per person. Has a kitchen, wifi, hot showers.

Piura
Hostal El Almirante, Calle Inca 480, (51) 073-335239. No Parking, but there is a big parking lot down the street for S/. 3 a night. Hotel is S/. 60 a night. Hot water, cable, internet in lobby. It's located downtown just off the rotaries with the Grau monument.
Chiclayo
Hostal Silvana. Alfredo Lapoint N 1058 (cross street L Prado) S/. 70 a night, wireless internet. No parking, but they can give you directions to a lot 4 blocks away for S/. 5 a day. TV, clean, nice.

Near Lambayeque/ Chiclayo
Rancho Santana - http://cabalgatasperu.com/
Great little farm, has some rooms or camping. Cold shower, bathroom, kitchen. Very friendly family offers horseback rides of the surrounding ruins. Details and photos on our site.

Pedro Ruiz
If you get stuck here driving from Chiclayo to Chachapoyas, you can stay at the Hostal Casa Blanca. S/. 45 a night for 2 people, simple clean rooms, a little musty. Parking, TV with 2 channels, Hot Water. Recommended by two people on the way here. It's on the main street that runs through town.
Kuelap
If you've visiting the ruins of Kuelap, you can park in their lovely grassy parking lot for camping (free). There is no water or bathroom, but you can get meals in the homes of people who live near there.
Celendin
Hostel Raymi Wasi. Jr. José Gálvez 420, 855374. About 2 blocks off Plaza de Armas. S/. 20 a night. Hot water (supposedly), TV, Parking (limited clearance and a cockfighting ring that they're turning in to a restaurant apparently.
Trujillo
Hostal Colonial. Independencia 618 (cross street Gamarra) about 1 block off Plaza de Armas. Hot water, nice courtyard, quiet, and Trujillo has loads of parking lots, so you'll have your pick.

Cordilleras (Northeast of Lima)

Caraz- Los Pinos Lodge
Has a nice grassy camping area for tents, or a parking lot in the back if you sleep in your car. 15 soles per person, plus 5 for parking. Has hot showers, internet, and electricity. Great place to stop if you are coming from Huanchaco via the Canyon del pato road. GPS and photos on our site.

East of Yungay- Llanganuco Lodge
Nice lodge, camping doesn't have much shade, but the views ae incredible. Book ahead if you want meals. Has kitchen, common area inside, hot showers. Great hiking in the area. ighly recommended. Photos here.

Huaraz- Jo's Place
A hostel in downtown Huaraz, small places to pitch tents, no parking, but there is a garage a half block away. Be very careful parking on the street, even for a few minutes.

 

Central Peru

Lima
Hostal Residencial El Faro Inn is located in the Miraflores neighborhood. $30-$35/night depending on the room. Very nice (but limited clearance) parking, cable TV, hot showers, wireless internet access, room service, very clean and nice. Close to restaurants, etc and one block from the ocean. Calle Francia N 857 (at intersection with Ave de La Aviacion and G Vigil). (511)-242-0339

Hitchhikers Hostel - Lima http://www.hhikersperu.com/
Has parkig! You can pitch a tent on the cement if you want, but the common area is in the parking lot too, so it can be very noisy at night. Has a kitchen, hot showers, wifi. Prices on their website. Make reservations if you want a room. GPS: 12° 7'21.07"S  77° 2'9.12"W

Nazca - La Maison Suisse
Hotel with camping. Nice big parking area and good grassy camping. Hot showers, wifi for a fee, electriity costs extra. Negotiate the price. Photos and more info on our site.

Puerto Inca
Located 3 hours south of Nazca along the Pan American highway, Puerto Inca is an old Inca fishing village, complete with ruins, old llama corrals, a pretty cove, and tombs with human bones. Hotel Puerto Inka is right next to the ruins, look for the sign on the Pan American highway at km 610, about 5 km north of Chala. Camping for $5/person, bathrooms with hot water. Has a somewhat expensive restaurant as well.

Cusco Area

Cusco - Quinta Lala

Great overlander spot above the town. GPS: 13°30'20.56"S  71°59'7.87"W Getting there is a pain, your GPS will try to route you up stairs! Grassy camping, level places to park, hot showers, small kitchen, wifi for small fee. Photos and prices here.

Santa Teresa (Back side of Machu Pichu)
About 4 hours from Cusco. The jump off point to get to Aguas Calientes the cheap was. Owner is super nice and will watch your car for 5 soles a day. Camping is 10 soles per tent. Hot shower for 5 soles extra. Photos and more info on how to get from here to Machu Pichu on our site.

 

 

 

Fri, 06/10/2011 - 15:11

Ultra low sulfur diesel

I am in the process of converting a Sprinter van into something that will serve as our "home" in the way to and through Peru.  Information about the availability of ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) has not been confidence inspiring, so far.  Does anyone have some recent experience getting ULS diesel in Peru?

Sat, 10/20/2012 - 08:17 (Reply to #1)

There is no such a thing as

There is no such a thing as ULSD in Peru. The only difference on gas stations are Bio- and Regular-Diesel. Marked as B5 or B2 at the pump. Sometimes entire departements only offer one kind of Diesel for a while and change it on an irregular basis.

Fri, 06/10/2011 - 16:03

fuel options

I don't remember there being anything in terms of options for fuel in terms of diesel, but I wasn't driving a diesel car so I may have missed that in Peru.  

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 07:16

Chiclayo-Chachapoyas-Cajamarca gotta do!

Chiclayo-Chachapoyas-Cajamarca tour, some 840kms (including *warning*38km EACH WAY side trip to Kuelap) was a stunning visit to the mountains that would challenge the Bolivian Death Road for narrow passes on vertigo-giving cloud high cliffs of doom.  From Chiclayo to Pedro Ruiz and to Chachapoyas is paved and a stunning trip.  There is a great free boondocking opportunity at the Peaje at Pomahuaca where the morning sun shines over a picturesque valley.  Toilets are clean and water is available for other needs too.  Gas can be had at Chamaya and Chachapoyas.   The Gocta falls is worth the 10km dirt track climbing drive to the village of San Pablo; Boondocking in the town square is standard and there are toilets to the left end of the tourist information building.  The 2,5hr hike to the falls is on a stunningly nice well maintained easy to follow trail.  The road to Leimebamba leaves the pavement 12km before Chachapoyas and drops down to follow the river on a good quality well maintained dirt road.  Soon after the left fork leads to the 38km (each way) detour to Kuelap is also a stunning goat track following upwards through the mountain contours – where the first 18 kms is a good dirt track but the second half degrades to poor – moderate condition with many potholes as you pass through lost villages.  Boondocking at the entry of the archeological site is accepted but there are no services (when the new visitor center is finished it will be a nice place to hang).  Leimebamba has a very interesting museum (expensive entry but free unlocked WIFI) and the good dirt road climbs over 3800m and then drops down to Balsas – just over the hump the road is PAVED all the way into Balsas.  Crossing the bridge in Balsas towards Cajamarca the road loses quality and it medium-good into Celedin, climbing up into a hanging valley and then hairpin climbing up the bowl over the rim and down the other side.  There are several gas stations in Celendin.   Leaving Celendin is an 18km detour through Sucre due to the road construction/paving  from Celendin-Cajamarca.  This section is VERY poor condition at this time and the trip was interminable....

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 18:27

 Soon after the RIGHT fork

 Soon after the RIGHT fork leads to the 38km (each way) detour to Kuelap is also a stunning goat track following upwards through the mountain contours....

 

SORRY

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:21

Awesome Drives

The police have become sticklers for driving with headlights (not fog lights, not daytime driving lights) while on National Highways. 

1. Chiclayo-Chachapoyas-Cajamarca.  840km/~300 unpaved.  The Bolivian Death road cannot be more breath-taking.

2. Canyon de Pato following the Rio Santa.  After the Cajamarca the trip was less thrilling.  Bush camping just after the first bridge down by the river just after the pavement turns into gravel.  Expect about 100km dirt driving into Caraz, although the roads are generally good due to the mines and the power company use.

3. Cordillera Blanca:

     a. Caraz-Laguna Paron.  About 30 km unpaved each way, the first 15 are rough and the second half starting at the entry gate to the park gets better.  Not suitable for large rigs.  DO NOT drive down to the lake as others suggest – it is fine sand over clay/silt and you will be stuck forever.  S5 entry lets you 24 hrs and thus a sleep overnight.  No services although we saw lights in the interpretation center overnight.  Sleeping might be difficult at 4200m elevation

     b. Yungay- Llanganuco lakes.  Huascaran National Park has a S5 entry per day, S65 if you want to sleep overnight (entry valid for a month).  Very rough dirt road.  The roughest.  At km 29 is a parking/camping zone after the second lake.  At km 31 is the parking and the starting point to the hike to Laguna 69.  Parking is at a expanded curve in the road that leads all the way to Yanama.  Parking is NOT necessarily secure. For the hike, it is 3 hrs up and 2 hrs down – just follow the marked trail following the river up and up and up.  Laguna 69 is 4700m elevation. 

      c. Huaraz-Chavin de Huantar.  The drive from Huaraz up to the pass and the tunnel (4520m) is a glorious, beautiful, paved drive that takes you past Laguna Querococha (where children pose with their baby animals for photo-ops).  After the tunnel, the road is 50/50 paved for the next 12kms and at km15 turns into full dirt that degenerates as it takes you into Chavin at about km 31.  The free and highly recommended museum is found at km 33.  The archeological site at Chavin is well worth the tour and guide. NO Huascaran NP entry fee even though it is in the park.

     d. Pachacoto to Pachapaqui to see the Raimondii plants is also in the Huascaran National Park.  Entry hut is at about km15 along the moderate quality dirt road where S5 gets you in for the day.  Bivouacking free is possible just outside the Guard Hut on a large flat area. From the Guard hut to the Raimondii plants is about another 15kms.

4. Paracas National Park is worth the visit.  S5 for the day meaning if you want to sleep over you must buy 2 tickets.  It IS possible to drive from Pisco-Park Entry -Laguna Grande (~35kms started paved but became piled rock marked trail)-Playa Carhuas -Ica.  Laguna Grande to Carhuas was fully offroad (no trail but many tracks; simply stay parallel to the water.  Local fishermen are driving 80’s vintage dodge cars!) and sometimes 4x4 over the dunes, many wonderful boondocking opportunities on the high cliffs From Carhuas to Ica was 54km of very poor dirt road where it was often better to cruise the saltflats or the sand-dunes parallel to the road. . Caution advised for tall, instable offroad rigs (ie pickup with camper) as side-hill angles on the sand dunes are sometimes extreme.

5. Nasca-Cusco was a pretty (long) 2 –day drive.

 

Our overlanding colleague Felix offered to us these other worthy road-trips:
• The pass over the Cordillera Blanca from Yungay to Yanama (not paved) as well as from Chacas back to Carhuaz (almost all paved)
• Cerro de Pasco (ugly city) to Canta is awesome, but Canta to Lima is a terrible road with lots of construction sites. Still worth in our opinion
• The section on the coast between Atico and Camana is nice.
• And another highlight is the road from Andagua (Valle de Volcanos) via Chachas to Caylloma (note: NOT the road via Orcopampa as this is not as scenic)
• Canyon de Colca was ok, but way too touristy for our taste. If the guys at the main road to the canyon have a bad day you might need to pay up to 70 Soles per person as entry fee. As we came from the other side (via Chachas) they didn't bother us to ask for the entry ticket.
 

Wed, 01/02/2013 - 13:41

Canyon de Tajani

One last amazing camping site is located in the Canyon de Tajani.  S15*00,124 W70*34,745.  Leaving Ayaviri heading south there will be a large panel indicating a right turn onto a dirt road for the Canyon.  Follow this road until you reach a bridge.  At the far end of the bridge you will find a 12km mile marker.  Turn right onto the gravel path, ford the river and follow the trail around the mountain where you will climb a small hill and park on a terrace overlooking the rock formations.