Internet & Wi-Fi: The availability of the Internet across Peru is in a constant state of development. How you access it depends on whether you’ve brought your own laptop, tablet, or smartphone, or if you’re searching for a public terminal. Internet access is plentiful, particularly in the form of free high-speed Wi-Fi, which is available in most hotels, cafes in larger cities, and airports. Cybercafes (cafés Internet, or cabinas) can still be found in some areas, though they are not nearly as prevalent as they once were. Most hotels will have at least one public computer.

If you have your own computer or smartphone, Wi-Fi makes access much easier. Always check before using your hotel’s network—many charge exorbitant rates, and free or cheap Wi-Fi isn’t hard to find elsewhere, in urban locations, at least. Ask locally, or even Google “free Wi-Fi + [town]” before you arrive.

Savvy smartphone users from overseas may call using Wi-Fi in combination with a Skype (www.skype.com) account and mobile app.

advertisement

Where Are You @? -- The @ symbol is hard to find on a Latin American keyboard. You must keep your finger on the "Alt" key, and then press "6" and "4" on the number pad to the right. If you're still unsuccessful and at an Internet cafe, ask the assistant to help you type an arroba. 

Mobile Phones

The three letters that define much of the world’s wireless capabilities are GSM (Global System for Mobiles), a seamless satellite network that makes for easy cross-border cellphone use throughout most of the planet. If your cellphone is unlocked and on a GSM system, you can make and receive calls throughout much of Peru. (Mobile coverage in Peru, even in rural areas, is surprisingly good.) Just call your wireless operator and ask for “international roaming” to be activated on your account. Unfortunately, per-minute charges can be high.

advertisement

There are other options if you’re visiting from overseas but don’t own an unlocked GSM phone. For a short visit, renting a phone may be a good idea, and we suggest renting the handset before you leave home. North Americans can rent from iRoam (https://personal.iroam.com; tel. 866/454-7626). You can also rent an inexpensive cellphone once you touch down in Peru. In the International Arrivals terminal of Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport (as you enter the baggage carousels area), you’ll find young representatives of Peru Rent-a-Cell (tel. 01/517-1856) offering inexpensive cellphones and plans (around $10 for the phone, up to a month, and incoming calls are free).

Per-minute charges for international calls can be high whatever network you choose, so if you plan to do a lot of calling home, use a VoIP service like Skype (www.skype.com) in conjunction with a web connection. See “Internet & Wi-Fi,” above.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.