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Keeping in Touch


Peru's postal service is managed by a private company, Serpost. Serpost's services are normally very reliable in Lima, but less so outside of the capital. You will find Serpost offices in most towns and cities. They are generally open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and some locations are open on Saturdays and even Sundays. You can send letters, postcards and packages both nationally and internationally. See for details of services, prices and locations (website is in Spanish only) or check individual city listings.

Sending Mail Nationally

Mail sent nationally will take 3-5 days to arrive, with prices starting at $1.10 for a letter. You can pay more for an overnight or registered service.

Sending Mail Abroad

All overseas mail, even to neighboring countries, is sent by airmail. Mail sent abroad takes around 15 days to arrive if sent first class or 30 days if sent second class. A letter weighing under 20 grams will cost $2.70 to North America and $2.90 to Europe; prices increase according to weight. Sending packages is expensive: a package weighing between 1 to 2 kilograms will cost $53 to North America and $55.25 to Europe.

Receiving Mail

You can have mail sent to your address. Letters and postcards will generally be delivered directly to you, but, for anything bigger, you will receive a notification slip to say that you have a package. You will need to go to the Serpost address listed on the slip and collect your mail; you'll need to show ID and sometimes pay custom fees.

Members of the South American Explorers' can receive mail in one of the clubhouses in Lima or Cusco:

Mailing Address SAE Lima: Ca. Piura 135, Miraflores, Lima
Mailing Address SAE Cusco: Apartado 500, Cusco

Courier Services

UPS have branches in Arequipa and Lima; you can choose for your letter or package to arrive at its international destination in either 1-2 days or 3-5. It's expensive though (prices start at $68.40 for mail bound for the U.S.). DLH offices can be found throughout Peru, even in several smaller towns such as Puno, Tarapoto and Iquitos. See for a full list of locations in Peru.


Peru Country Code: 51

You will find phone kiosks all over Peru. Many are coin operated but you can also purchase a pre-paid phone card, the most popular of which is Tarjeta 147. Phonecards come in denominations from $3 to $30. You can purchase these cards from street vendors, and in several stores, supermarkets and pharmacies. To use the card, first rub off the secret code number. Dial the numbers 1-4-7 (in Spanish only) and then enter the 12-digit number on the card and your phone will be credited.

Emergency Phone Numbers

For police, fire and general emergencies dial 105 nationwide.

Calling Within Peru

In Peru, fijo (land line) phones generally have six digits while cell phones have nine. For local calls, you do not need to dial the area code, just the six digit number. For national calls, you must dial the city code plus the number. The following is a list of important city codes:

  • Arequipa: 054
  • Cajamarca: 076
  • Chiclayo: 074
  • Cusco: 084
  • Huancayo: 064
  • Iquitos: 065
  • Lima: 01
  • Puno: 051
  • Trujillo: 044

Calling internationally

For international calls, dial 00 + the country code + city code + telephone number. Popular country codes are:

France: 33

Germany: 49

United Kingdom: 44

Argentina: 54

Bolivia: 591

Brazil: 55

Chile: 56

Ecuador: 593

Australia: 61

Japan: 81

New Zealand: 64

Calling Peru from abroad

From the U.S. or Canada: first dial the exit code 011, then Peru's country code, 51, then the appropriate city code (without the 0) and lastly the phone number itself. For example, 011-51-56-123456 or if calling a cell phone, 011-51-912345678.

From Europe, Latin America and most other countries, follow the instructions above for the U.S. and Canada, substituing the U.S. exit code with 00. For example, 00-51-56-123456 or if dialing a cell phone, 00-51-912345678.

Cell Phones

If your cell phone back home has a GSM (Global Systems for Mobiles) stsyem, you can use your phone in Peru, as long as you have international roaming activated before arriving (call your provideer before your trip). The downside however is that it isn't cheap. Roaming per minute can cost anywhere from $1 to $5 in some countries, so ask before you talk for hours at a time.

Another practical option, if you will be in Peru for an extended amount of time, is to buy a cheap cell phone; they are available from around $30 and up. Telef├│nica, Claro and Nextel are the main cell phone companies. Local calls are relatively cheap, and incoming calls are free. You can choose a plan, or instead simply load your phone with minutes from a pre-paid calling card, available to buy from street vendors, supermarkets, stores and pharmacies.


Internet access is widely available in Peru, and even if you aren't traveling with your own laptop, you well find Internet caf├ęs even in the smallest of towns. Computers with webcams and Skype capabilities are easy to find at internet cafes in bigger cities. Connection speeds are usually fast and reliable (though significantly slower in smaller towns) and fees to use Internet per hour usually run between $0.50 and $1. Hostels and hotels commonly have Internet for guests to use, either for free or a small fee, and many caf├ęs, bars and restaurants offer WiFi for free (as long as you make a purchase)-just ask the staff for the code.

If you're traveling outside the reach of your ISP, the iPass network has dial-up numbers in most of the world's countries. You'll have to sign up with an iPass provider, who then tells you how to set up your computer for your destination. For a list of iPass providers, go to and click on "Individual Purchase."

Although obvious, don't forget to back up all your work on your laptop. Thieves love to steal these electronics and if you take your eye off of your laptop for one moment in a public location, it is bound to be gone for good.

If you need to access files on your office computer while abroad, look into a service called GoToMyPC ( It will allow you to get into all your files and programs on your desktop computer or laptop left behind at the office or at home. This allows you the comfort of working from abroad, without worrying about losing a laptop or having to make too many phone calls to the office.

06 Jul 2012

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