Our very first blog post at A Little Further South was 10 things that are different in Peru. Here’s 8 more differences…Enjoy!
8 More Things that are Different in Peru
1) Water pressure – Most homes will pump water from the municipal lines into a tank on the highest floor of the home. Many apartment buildings have several large tanks for water storage. It is typical to allow gravity to do the job, although some homes are now adding pressure systems. What that means is that sometimes the pressure will drop if someone is washing etc. in another part of the home, hot water takes longer to get to your shower etc.
2) Colectivos – Transportation between cities in Peru for the average person without a car consists of the choice between a variety of bus companies, or if you’re in a hurry, or prefer a more private ride, the colectivo. A colectivo is just a car that rents out seats. Typically, you will have a front seat (sometimes the middle is also rented out,) and the back three (sometimes four) spaces are also available. For a more comfortable ride, one can rent the three spaces in the back which allows a little stretching – nice on a multi-hour trip.
3) Mototaxis – In the smaller cities, but even in parts of Lima, you’ll find the mototaxi, that is a motorcycle with a small compartment in the back for hauling passengers. In the cooler climes, you’ll find yourself in a car like seat and interior, in the rain forest the mototaxis are usually open air and have a roof in case of rain & for blocking the sun. Usually not very expensive, and great for getting around local areas.
4) Christmas & New Year’s – The Holidays at the end of the year coincide with summertime beginning in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a time of celebrations, and very loud! Fireworks will be heard sporadically daily leading up to both Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve. On those days about 9:00-9:30 at night, the fireworks are heard more and more and at midnight the whole city explodes everywhere into an incredible (and smoky) spectacle. It will gradually wind down, but you’ll need earplugs even at 4:00-5:00 in the morning. Typically, many fires start…
5) Fireworks – The M80s & Cherry bombs of my youth are long gone in the US for the most part, but It doesn’t appear that those restrictions stop the flow of fireworks to Peru. Every park, and if there is no park, the corner, will be shooting off rockets and strings of firecrackers & bigger during the holidays. (see #4)
6) Peru uses both the sol & the dollar – In many places especially in Lima, you may be able to use dollars as freely as soles. Typically, this will be the bigger chains, grocery stores etc., and once in a while a purchase can be handled in dollars with the smaller shops as well. Always mind the exchange rate, but sometimes being generous can allow you to use dollars where you might otherwise not be able to.
7) Good Coffee is hard to find – For a county that produces some of the best coffee in the world, a typical morning coffee in most restaurants consists of hot water with a small bottle of coffee concentrate (or even freeze dried concentrate) & a sugar bowl. It’s not very good. Fortunately, more and more shops are keeping better coffee in the country as well as preparing it well. There a now quite a few good coffee roasters in Peru.
8) Voltage – Like Europe, Peru runs on 240V electric. For the Peruvian traveler with a hot pot, that means that the water heats up really fast. Quick coffee in the morning. I like that!
© 2015 Ben Gangloff
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