All about health:

WATER AND FOOD

Water in Peru is better than it used to be, but it can still trouble non-Peruvian (and even Peruvian) stomachs, so it’s a good idea to only drink bottled water ( água mineral), available in various sizes, including litre and two-litre bottles from most corner shops or food stores. Stick with known brands, even if […]

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THE SUN

The sun can be deceptively hot, particularly on the coast or when travelling in boats on jungle rivers when the hazy weather or cool breezes can put visitors off their guard; remember, sunstroke is a reality and can make you very sick as well as burnt. Wide brimmed hats, sun screen lotions (factor 15 advisable) […]

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HIV AND AIDS

HIV and AIDS (known as SIDA in Latin America) are a growing problem in South America, and whilst Peru does not have as bad a reputation as neighbouring Brazil, you should still take care. Although all hospitals and clinics in Peru are supposed to use only sterilized equipment, many travellers prefer to take their own […]

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FIESTAS, FESTIVALS AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

Peruvians love any excuse for a celebration and the country enjoys a huge number of religious ceremonies, festivals and local events. Cusco, in particular, is a great place for both Christian celebrations and for Inca festivals like Inti Raymi in June. In October, Lima, and especially its suburb of La Victoria, takes centre stage, with […]

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ALTITUDE SICKNESS

Altitude sickness – known as soroche in Peru – is a common problem for visitors, especially if you are travelling quickly between the coast or jungle regions and the high Andes. The best way to prevent it is to eat light meals, drink lots of coca tea, and spend as long as possible acclimatizing to […]

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CONTRACEPTION

Condoms ( profilacticos) are available from street vendors and some farmacias. However, they tend to be expensive and often poor quality (rumour has it that they are US rejects, which have been sold to a less discriminating market), so bring an adequate supply with you. The pill is also available from farmacias, officially on prescription […]

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Diarrohea and Dysentery

Diarrhoea is something everybody gets at some stage, and there’s little to be done except drink a lot (but not alcohol) and bide your time. You should also replace salts either by taking oral rehydration salts or by mixing a teaspoon of salt and eight of sugar in a litre of purified water. You can […]

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Traditional Medicine

Alternative medicines have a popular history going back at least two thousand years in Peru and the traditional practitioners – herbaleros, hueseros and curanderos – are still commonplace. Herbaleros sell curative plants, herbs and charms in the streets and markets of most towns. They lay out a selection of ground roots, liquid tree barks, flowers, […]

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FARMACIAS

For minor ailments you can buy most drugs at a farmacia without a prescription. Antibiotics and malaria pills can be bought over the counter (it is, however, important to know the correct dosage), as can antihistamines (for bite allergies) or medication for an upset stomach (try Lomotil or Streptotriad). You can also buy Western-brand tampons […]

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HEALTH

No inoculations are currently required for Peru, but it’s a good idea to check with the embassy or a reliable travel agent before you go. Your doctor will probably advise you to have some anyway: typhoid, cholera and yellow fever shots are all sensible precautions, and it’s well worth ensuring that your polio and tetanus-diphtheria […]

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INSECTS

Insects are more of an irritation than a serious problem, but on the coast, in the jungle and to a lesser extent in the mountains, the common fly is a definite pest. Although it can carry typhoid, there is little one can do; you might spend mealtimes successfully fighting flies from your plate but even […]

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