Tour Agencies and Guides
Do not get hustled by agency reps at Lima’s airport or bus stations. They will arrange travel packages that tend to be as expensive as, or more expensive than, if you were to do it on your own.
Our favorite travel agency in Lima is Fertur Peru (www.fertur-travel.com, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat.), run by the enterprising Siduith Ferrer with offices in central Lima at the Plaza Mayor (Junín 211, tel. 01/427-2626) and Miraflores (Schell 485, tel. 01/242-1900). It can buy a variety of bus and plane tickets and set up tours around Lima and day tours to see Paracas or the Nasca Lines.
Peru’s most reputable agency, with decades in business, is Lima Tours, with offices in central Lima (Belén 1040, tel. 01/619-6900, www.limatours.com.pe). Its city tours have exclusive access to the pristine 17th-century mansion Casa de Aliaga. Because the company works with large international groups, it is best to get in touch before arrival in Lima.
A good agency for booking flights and other logistics is Nuevo Mundo, with offices in the center (Camaná 782, tel. 01/427-0635), Miraflores (Jorge Chávez 225), and San Isidro (28 de Julio 1120, tel. 01/610-8080).
Reputable agencies in Miraflores include Exprinter (Pardo 384, tel. 01/444-5350) and Carlson Wagonlit Travel (Ricardo Palma 355, tel. 01/610-1600, www.cwtvacaciones.com.pe).
A final option for day tours in Lima is Peru Smile (tel. 01/997-1349, perusmile [at] yahoo [dot] com), which is run by Jorge Fernández and has tours and prices similar to Lima Vision (but without the large groups).
Many of the recommended agencies sell tours run by Lima Vision (Chiclayo 444, Miraflores, tel. 01/447-7710, 24 hours, www.limavision.com), the city’s standard pool service, which offers three- to four-hour daily tours of Lima’s center (US$25), museums (US$35), Pachacámac (US$35), Museo de Oro (US$25), or a full-day city tour with lunch (US$70). Whether you buy from Lima Vision or from an agency, the cost is the same. All of Peru’s main agencies are based in Lima.
For those who can’t make it to Paracas, Ecocruceros (Arequipa 4960, tel. 01/9910-8396, www.ecocruceros.com) offers half-day boat tours from the port of Callao to see sea lions at the Islas Palomino.
Recommended and certified private tour guides are Tino Guzmán Khan (tel. 01/429-5779, tinogpc [at] yahoo [dot] com), who speaks English, Chinese, and French, and Cecilia Paredes (tel. 01/475-3829), who speaks English, Spanish, and Italian.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition