The official language spoken in the four Andes Overland countries is Spanish!
The electricity and outputs might differ from your own country.
For the required plugs we would like to refer to Google; plugs type A & B.
Check carefully to make sure your connectors have two flat plugs and that
your equipment (if necesarry) is set to the following lower voltage.
Peru, Ecuador, Colombia (UTC-05:00)
Money & Currency
Bolivia Bolivianos ($b)
Peru Peruvian Nuevos Soles (S/.)
Ecuador American Dollars ($)
Colombia Pesos ($)
We advise you to check the internet in the days before your departue for the current exchange rates.
The possibilty exist to order foreign money before departure at the airport or at your own bank, make sure you order the money at the bank at least one week in advance.
During the trip there will be some oppertunities to withdraw money however this will probably only be the case in the big cities. More over previous experiences has shown that not all ATMs except foreign cards. It is from great importance to take this into account and make sure you withdraw money on time.
If you’d like to know where you can withdraw with Mastercard, you can search for this online http://www.mastercard.com/pe/consumidores/localizador-de-cajeros-automaticos.html (select the country and then ‘Hojee una lista de ciudades to see a list of the number of ATMs per city).
Note that Maestro, Cirrus and Debit Mastercard are part of Mastercard. Creditcards are not commonly accepted. We can imagine it is difficult to make a correct assessment for the amount of your withdrawals therefore it might be smart to carry a small amount of dollars with you since besides Ecuador (where the dollar is the national currency) the remaing countries accept dollars in some cases.
In some countries banks put security on their debit cards which ensures that you can not withdraw money abroad. Make sure you arrange this at your bank before departure. At last, banks can write off substantial amounts for a cash withdrawal this differs per bank and type of account.
Giving a tip is becoming increasingly common in the four countries. In fancy restaurants and expensive hotels, 10% often added to the bill, in smaller restaurants is it common to give a (a part) of your change to the waiter who helped you. Guides, carriers and drivers will expect a small tip as well.
We advise all travelers to read the safety clause provided by your own government before departure.
However note that these advices are frequently to be rather safe than sorry and give often a way more dangerous impression of a country than reality.
Anders overland advices you to:
- Keep a close eye on your stuff. The best thing is to keep your bag in front of you and not on your back. Especially in big cities and in busses are a lot of pickpockets active.
- Do not travel with too much cash. It could be wise to wear a money belt under your clothes.
- Make sure you take a safe cab; these are cabs that have to report to their central. If in doubt please ask your hotel/restaurant to call a reliable cab company for you.
- Always carry a copy of your passport.
When traveling, it is of great importance that you have appropriate travel insurance.
Pay careful attention to wether the coverage of your insurance is adequate. Note that some components are already insured through your health care. If desired, take care of your cancellation insurance. We recommend you to be sure to take the emergency numbers of both your health insurance and travel insurance with you during the trip.
Health & Vaccinations
- Vaccinations are not mandatory however we do recommend the following vaccinations for all four countries:
- DTP diphtheria, polio and tetanus
- Hepatitis A
- Yellow fever
- Typhoid fever
- Hepatitis B
When you plan to travel more often in the future, it might be wise to choose for the Rabies vaccination. Please consult your doctor on this.
Malaria tablets are advised in case you book the trip to Ecuador or Colombia. Dengue is common in all four countries therefore it is important to take Deet mosquito spray containing at least 50% concentration.
If you have personal medical questions, for example concerning diabetes or epilepsy, it is wise to consult your doctor. In most countries it is illegal to possess narcotic drugs; please note that this also applies to a lot of subscribed medicines. You can only take these medicines abroad when you are in the possession of a license for that particular country. In case you visit all four countries make sure you have a license for all four countries as well. Make sure you consult your government on this.
For health reasons, you cannot drink tap water in the majority of places of the four countries. Therefore, we strongly advise you to buy bottled water which is widely available.
Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador & Colombia
Tourist visa is not required for stays up to 90 days for citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, America and most citizens of the countries within the European Union and South America.
Due to regular changes concerning the Visa requirements of a country we advise you to check the validity of this information. For information on citizens deriving from other countries and exceptions, we recommend the websites of the embassies of the respective countries.
- Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months from the moment you enter the foreign countries.
- It is your nationality and not a potential residence permit in another country that is the deciding factor if you need a visa or not.
- In case you need a visa make sure you have at least one empty page left in your passport per country where a visa is required. This also counts for citizens who need to get a visa upon arrival.
We advise you to always try to call 112, 911 or 999 since these are pre-programmed alarm numbers in mobile cellphones. When you call the one of these numbers, the network should redirect the emergency call to the local emergency desk. However, it might be wise to carry with the following list with local alarm numbers at all times.
Fire department 119
General emergency 105
Fire deparment 116
General emergency 911
Fire department 102
Traffic accident in Guayaquil 103
General emergency 123