Respect for local culture during your Peru vacation
Travel in Peru means experiencing the country’s unique cultural expressions
When you plan your Peru trip, bear in mind a few simple cultural travel guidelines and you will enhance your own experience while contributing to the culture you have traveled to enjoy. Before you even arrive in Peru, try to learn as much as you can about the travel destination you have selected, and ask your Peru tour operator to tell you as much as they can about what you should expect upon arrival. And when you are planning your trip, organize your itinerary so you can hire local people to guide you, and consume locally produced products.
During your Peru holiday, remember to respect local culture. Try to learn a few words of the language. Even if you can only greet local people and say “thank you” in Spanish, this will be greatly appreciated! Try to learn as much as you can about local customs related to greetings, sharing meals and hospitality in general.
It is not uncommon for poorly-paid local people or children to ask for gifts. If you have had a meaningful encounter with an individual, then by all means offer them a gift. And when children ask for small presents, think about giving them things that will help them with their studies, such as school supplies. Gifts of clothing you might not want to carry all the way back home with you are also always welcomed.
As you tour Peru, you’ll certainly want to take photographs of the people you see on the streets, in the countryside, and at major Peruvian tourist attractions. Only take photographs of people with their agreement, and if payment is requested in exchange for a photograph, accept politely. And don’t make promises you won’t be able to keep, like sending photographs to people you meet!
When you are buying typical Peruvian souvenirs to take home, try wherever possible to buy them from the people who made them. In this way, you’ll be helping the local economy directly. Look for local cultural shows and events at the travel destinations you visit, and when you are exploring independently, remember to avoid any impression of arrogance or superiority through the way you behave, or the clothes and gear you are wearing and using.
Of course, you are traveling to relax, enjoy yourself and create memories that will last a lifetime. But remember that travel can also be an enriching learning experience!