Stay connected in Cusco and other Peruvian destinations.
Photo by Langwitches/Flickr
Traveling is a great way to take a break from your routine back home and “disconnect” from the hectic life of the daily grind. But for some travelers the idea of cutting the Internet out of their daily routine on a trip to Peru isn’t a happy thought. If you are one of these travelers, I have good news for you. Peru is a country that is online and with some helpful internet know-how you can find a healthy balance between the time you spend online and unplugged.
Internet connection: Are we talking tortoise or hare speed?
The question is not if there’s internet in Peru, but more so what internet speed you’ll encounter while traveling.
Internet connections in most Peruvian cities are reliable and comparably faster than those in remote Andean and jungle destinations. As Peru’s capital city, Lima enjoys the fastest internet in its Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco districts. Other cities, including Cusco, Arequipa, and Puno, are frequented by travelers and have stable connections.
In most cases, travelers that connect to the internet in cities throughout Peru won’t have trouble checking their email, Facebook, or online sports updates. But difficulties may arise if data-chewing applications are used. If you’re talking with a friend back home on Skype from Peru, for example, you may need to disable the video chat feature to adjust to the slower internet connection.
Travelers who want to download new music or watch movies online should plan ahead. Sometimes internet connections in Peru are unable to support live-stream music or videos. To avoid frustrating inefficiencies, download all the entertainment onto your portable electronic device before leaving.
Connectivity option in Peru
Travelers have some connectivity options in Peru, but as always, internet speeds will vary.
Option 1: Connect to Wi-Fi
Where Wi-Fi is available, travelers can connect to the Internet using their personal electronic devices. It’s up to the discretion of every traveler what devices they decide to bring to Peru; may that be their smartphone, compact computer, or tablet, etc.
As with any travel destination, opportunistic theft does exist and it’s important to carefully watch over your valuables. Keep your electronic packing list as simple as possible and sign up for travel insurance.
Traveler tip: Using wireless internet on your smartphone is a great way to avoid international roaming fees and stay connected during your trip. Just remember to double check the settings on your phone so that you don’t unintentionally incur data costs. Disabling data roaming prevents the applications on your smartphone – maps, email, internet browser, etc.- from using your data connection plan while abroad.
Hotels in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and Puno often provide free Wi-Fi. If the internet doesn’t work in your room, try the hotel lobby for a better signal. Even some remote jungle lodges offer wireless internet, although only during hours when the electric generators are functioning.
Many modern cafes and restaurants also offer free wireless internet. An establishment usually has a sign in their storefront to market available Wi-Fi, so be on the lookout while wandering the streets of a new destination. Order a beverage or something small to eat, and then ask for la clave (the password) to connect to the Internet.
Option 2: Visit a public internet booth
An alternative to using wireless internet on your personal electronic device is to visit a cabina pública (public internet booth). There are generally a number of cabinas públicas within walking distance of every city center. Amenities at each location vary, but places with newer computers may have built-in cameras and headphones with a microphone that enable visitors to connect to Skype.
Pricing varies, but generally doesn’t exceed more than a couple US dollars per hour. Printing documents from your computer can be done at additional cost.
Use this helpful know-how about internet in Peru and stay connected on your trip. Just remember that the greatest Peruvian adventures and travel memories are created from experience, not plugged into the world of online data!