When planning a trip to a new country, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations and the vaccinations that are required for your travel destination.
When it comes to Peru, you may be surprised to find that there are no specifically required vaccinations. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided a list of recommended vaccines that are a good idea to have before traveling.
Below are the recommended vaccinations for traveling to Peru:
1. Yellow Fever
If you only plan on traveling along Peru’s coast or throughout the southern part of Peru, the yellow fever vaccination isn’t needed. However, the CDC recommends the vaccination to all travelers going to areas at elevations lower than 2,300 m (7,546 ft) in the regions of Amazonas, Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martin and Ucayali, Puno, Cusco, Junín, Pasco, and Huánuco. The vaccination is not a recommendation by the CDC for travelers whose itineraries are limited to the following areas: all areas above 2,300 m (7,546 ft) in elevation, areas west of the Andes not listed above, the capital city of Lima, the city of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and the Inca Trail (please see this map for further details).
Typhoid fever is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food or water. With that in mind, this vaccination is recommended to those travelers who enjoy being adventurous with food and perhaps sampling street food. At Enigma, we recommend only trying foods and drinking water from trusted sources while traveling in Peru.
3. Hepatitis A
This vaccination is recommended because hepatitis A can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water. Like in any country, since you may not always know how your food is prepared or where your water came from, it is a good idea to get this vaccination before traveling.
4. Hepatitis B
If there is a possibility that you will have sex with a new partner while traveling, get a tattoo or piercing or undergo any medical procedures, this vaccination is highly recommended. Hepatitis B is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact, contaminated needles and blood products. It is best to get this vaccination to ensure you are safe in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
Rabies is most commonly transmitted through contact with infected animals. For that reason, the rabies vaccination is mostly recommended for people who intend to travel through remote areas of Peru that may put them in contact with animals or those who intend to participate in adventurous outdoor activities, such as spelunking.
6. Other Routine Vaccinations
Before traveling, always check with your primary physician to make sure you are up-to-date on all of your routine vaccinations. Routine vaccinations include diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, measles-mumps-rubella, flu and more.
In addition to vaccinations, you should also take precautions to prevent malaria while traveling in Peru. Before traveling, you doctor may prescribe malaria medicine if you intend to travel through an at-risk area. At-risk areas in Peru include Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado and the more remote eastern regions of Lambayeque and La Libertad. Malaria is typically spread by infected mosquitoes, so when spending time outdoors, especially in those areas that pose a risk of malaria, you should always take the time to apply sufficient insect repellent.
At Enigma, we want to ensure that you stay healthy and fully enjoy your trip to Peru. Even though vaccinations aren’t required for travel through this country, we strongly recommend that travelers have medical and dental check-ups to be certain they are in good health. Especially anyone with a history of severe heart, lung or other major ailments should check with their doctor before confirming their trip to Peru. It is important to take every possible measure to protect yourself and your loved ones before your trip.