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Capital city: Lima.
Currency: Nuevo sol (in 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 notes).
Cuisine: Ceviche is a classic Peruvian dish of seafood marinated in lime juice and chilli, served raw with corn, sweet potato and onions. Or there’s pollos al la brasa – pit roasted chicken – another speciality.
Tipping etiquette: It’s not essential, but polite to do so. 10% is the norm.
Saying hello: Most Peruvians speak Spanish, with a small number speaking Quechua or Aymara. “Hola” can be used pretty much everywhere.
WHEN TO GO
The sheer diversity of Peru means there’s always a good time to stay – the weather tends to vary depending on your location. In the highlands, most people visit between June and August when the weather is generally at its driest. But the wetter months of December to March can make a refreshing change. Along the coast, it’s year-round sunshine and during the hotter months the beaches are bustling with city-dwellers seeking a breath of fresh air. As for the rainforest, the name is a giveaway: it rains, but rarely for more than a few hours at a time.
For the freshest ceviche, try to order early in the day from the liveliest, local eatery.
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