Traveling to Peru and want to impress the people you are meeting or want to make sure you do not offend anybody? View the following list of etiquette recommended for foreigners visiting Peru:
Peru Business Etiquette Guidelines
- Peruvians may stand closer to you than you are used to. Do not back away as it may be seen as rude.
- Time is perceived as highly flexible. You might be waiting for up to an hour for a meeting to begin, however you should still be on time. The same can be said for parties or events.
- Business attire is more formal than casual and conservative
- Arrive at least 30 minutes after the proposed party time. You should also bring the host a small gift such as flowers or wine. Be certain to keep the gift small rather than expensive.
- Handshakes are most common. Some women will greet with a cheek kiss
- Greet everyone you encounter with good morning or good evening
- Relationships are also an important part of business. You should also use formal titles and last names during conversations, as it is a hierarchical society.
- Business lunches are common and will often last for a few hours.
- Always schedule meetings in advance rather than appearing without notice.
- During any dining experience, keep your hands on the table rather than to rest them on your lap.
- Bring an interpreter as meetings are often conducted in Spanish even if the persons in attendance speak English.
- Do not call someone over with your index finger as it is rude in Peruvian culture.
- If you are presenting gifts, avoid any items in odd numbers as it is bad luck
- Never give a knife as a gift as it symbolizes the ending of a friendship.
- It is not expected in small restaurant.
- Tip baggage handlers in airports and porters in hotels around 5 Peruvian nuevos soles (S/.).
- Tip 10 percent in high-end restaurants
- Tip guides in museums and cultural sites roughly S/. 5.00 for each hour to hour and a half.
- Tip tour guides who provide exceptional service roughly S/. 10 per half a day and the driver of the bus between S/. 5 and S/. 10 per half day.
- If you have a tour that lasts a few days or more, you should consider the following: Porter S. 40 – S/. 80, Cooks S/. 70 – S/. 100 and per guide S/. 150 – S/. 200.
- Taxis are not expected to be tipped as all prices are pre-negotiated.
- Taxis in Lima are not really regulated nor do they have meters. You must negotiate the price of your trip before you get into the cab and only pay once you safely reach your desired destination as you would in any city anywhere in the world. It is also advisable to carry small bills. Recently Uber taxis are available in Lima
- You can hail taxis from the street, however many taxis will come to you if they see you walking.
- Keep in mind that roughly one third of taxis in Lima are legally registered with the city.
- When negotiating the price, be aware most drivers will likely attempt to charge you a foreigner fee.
- Be aware of standard pricing before you negotiate.
- Make sure you repeat the quote back to them and verify before you get into the taxi. Also make sure that it is soles and not dollars. This will avoid the driver pulling a fast one once you go to pay.
- Taking a taxi in Lima can be dangerous as many locals and tourists alike have been victims of kidnappings, theft, and attacks over the years. It is recommended to only use taxis officially registered with the city. These taxis will either be yellow, white, or black and have an official Setame sticker in the front windshield, a proper ID hanging from the mirror, and they will have an attached taxi sign on the roof of the vehicle.
- You should phone a reputable service provider to ensure your safety. Keep in mind the most reputable services are the most expensive.
Cash is the preferred currency in Peru. It is advised to always carry soles and dollars on you at all times especially when traveling outside cities. You will be unable to cash travelers checks or use credit cards in some villages. To get the best exchange rates, avoid banks and use an ATM or a currency exchange. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards throughout the country.