Peru Travel Info

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Peru Visa and Border Crossing Info

Border Crossing

Peru can be reached through different border crossings. Some are quiet and without problems and others are more chaotic. Especially the border crossing from Ecuador, between Huaquillas and Tumbes is worth an advertisement, especially if you travel on a budget. Below I will indicate the most important border crossings with more details.

Flying in from abroad.

1. Lima.

Most of the tourist will enter Peru in Lima. Normally this is without problems, only you have to take care once leaving the airport. In our Lima segment we will give you more tips on how to go around in the capital. For more information on Lima airport and the flight schedule for international an national flights, see here.

2. Cusco.

Cusco has a few times a week flights coming in from Bolivia. Entering the country here is a smooth process normally. See our Cusco airport segment for more information on flights to and from Cusco. Cusco is also more easy to access thanks to an increasing number of flights coming in from Lima. Consider booking directly to Cusco if you want avoid Lima; it might save you some money on tickets.

3. Iquitos.

Iquitos has now international flight to and from Panama. It brings you straight to the jungle and the amazon. There are also several fligths a day to and from Lima. See here for the airport information, and Departures and Arrivals of the day.

4. Areguipa

Arequipa has an airport with flights to and from La Paz, Bolivia. See for the schedules our webpage with the Arrivals and Departures of Arequipa airport. From there you can easily connect with Cusco and Lima also.

Over land.


Huaquillas (Ecuador) to Tumbes.
Coming in from Ecuador it is the border crossing between Huaquillas (Ecuador) and Tumbes that could cause problems. Horror stories of money changers, police and taxidrivers trying to make use of the chaotic situation there exist. If you do not have transport arranged, you will have a bigger chance of being exposed to all this. You have to take care of your belongings as you have to walk cross the border and have to arrange a taxi to Tumbes, which is more than 10 km away from the border. The best advise is to go on an international bus trip. Good comments on the Ormeño bus that you can take from Ecuador (Guayaquil, Quito) going in to Peru, they help you and indicate you what to do at the border crossing and you do not need to worry about your belongings that much or about arranging tickets for another bus or taking a taxi. It is also recommended ot change some money before arriving at the border so that you won't need to do that there. Avoid things to do there as much as possible and you will be fine.
Macara (Ecuador) to Piura.
Another border crossing is between Macara, Ecuador, and then travelling to Piura, this is much more relaxed , with much less traffic, recommended! The best is to take a bus for example from Loja, and that goes till Piura, the drive from the border to Piura is a few hours (144 km). The immigration offices are just at the same border on both sides, and there is no need to change busses. Vilcabamba (Ecuador) to Chachapyas.
There is a third option that is for the more adventurous people. A long trip, most of the time a dirt road, and an even more quiet border crossing. Leaving Vilcambamba one arrives at Zumba and from there goes to La Balsa at the border in Ecuador, and then travelling to San Ignacio, a small town at 1,5 hour from the border. One hour from there there is a paved asphalt road towards Chachapoyas.
Iquitos (over water!) and the three border aerea with Brasil and Colombia.
Leticia to Iquitos.
The Tri-Border region of Brazil, Colombia and Peru in the Amazon from where there are fast boats to Iquitos. The border town of Leticia is the Colombian gateway to Peru, this town is the only town for hundreds of miles in Colombia. Seems to be rather safe. One can go to Iquitos or to Manaus (Brasil). The peruvian immigration post is in Santa Rosa, which is on the other side of the river from Leticia. From Leticia there are rapidos (sort of long speed boats for 20 pax), going to Iquitos (12 hours), and from Santa Rosa there are are cargo boats leaving that take 3 nights/2 days and including an 'amaca' (hammock). Rumours are there about flight soon to come by Star Peru, from Iquitos to Santa Rosa and vice versa. One could ask in Santa Rosa if a charter is available, sometimes there seems to be a possibility with a plane of the military force. Tabatinga (Brasil) to iquitos. Tabatinga forms a contiguous settlement with the Colombian town of Leticia. Santa Rosa on the nearby island in the river is in Peru. There is not a real border between Brasil and Colombia. There are boats from there to Iquitos that first cross the river for the immigration office that you need to travel into Peru, then the boat continues to Iquitos. Tip for this three border aerea; movement between the 3 border towns is unrestricted; but you need to have stamped into the correct country when leaving the border area. Minimize the times that you go through immigration: if you enter from one country and leave from another, just get one exit and one entry stamp - although you visit all three towns in this area. Anything else is not necessay and seems to bother the immigration officers.

Border crossing from Brazil.

Despite of a very long border in the Amazon region that Peru shares with Brazil, they only have one easy acessible land route between them, due of course to the inaccessiblity of the rainforest. The route goes from Rio Branco, Brazil, towards the southeastern border, where one can cross between Assis, Brazil, to Iñapari (Peru). This route is completely modernized now with a new bridge between Assis and Iñapari, and a paved road towards Cusco or Puno, passing first the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado. This road is called the Interoceánica, see here.

Border crossing from Bolivia to Peru.

At Lake Titicaca there are 2 border crossings normally used by tourists to enter Peru,on their road to Puno. One is from La Paz, passing the archaeological site of Tiahuanaco and Puma Punku (recommended if you are into ancient vestiges and mysteries), towards Desaguadero. This crossing can be quite busy with trucks due to the duty free zone for Peruvian goods to and from the Atlantic. the other one is also from La paz and then to Copacaba, a nice small town at the border of Lake Titicaca where many tourists stop. There one enters Peru at the border village of Yunguyo. Normally this crossing is more quiet and recommended for tourists. there seems to be of the beaten track a border crossing at the north side of ALke Titicaca. A longer way between Bolivia and Peru leads along the seldom-visited north shore of Lake Titicaca. Border formalities must be handled elsewhere as there's no immigration officials, nor police, at either side, this border crossing is mostly used by smugglers and it's truly no man's land. The roads on this part are largely unpaved and can be difficult at times (but generally ok) on the Bolivian side but its pretty hardcore on the Peruvian side, until you reach pavement again near Moho. So before you leave La Paz, get your immigration stamp out of Bolivia, and when entering Peru, get your entry in Puno or Juliaca.

Border crossing from Chile to Peru.

The only border crossing is between Arica and Tacna. There are international busses crossing the border in both directions. If you do the crossing by yourself, you have to take a Taxi from the border to Tacna. Beware to check the prices before they charge you too much. Tacna has an airport with regular flights to Lima. Arica in Chile has an airport too, from where you can travel faster further south for example to the capital Santiago.

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