Health risks vary depending on whether travelling to altitude in the Andes (e.g. Cuzco and Machu Pichu), the Amazon Jungle, or other destinations. Many travellers to Peru also visit Bolivia and Ecuador/Galapagos Islands – advice below may apply to these destinations as well.
The following information provides some broad and general guidelines about health risks and recommendations for travel to Peru. It should not be taken as a substitute for a personal consultation with one of our travel health doctors, whose advice will be specific for you and your trip and may include some things not mentioned here.
Most Common Health Issues
Travellers’ Diarrhoea, Giardia and Dysentery
Observe strict food and water safety precautions. Take a water filter and well stocked kit with guidelines for treatment.
Risk of this mosquito born parasite depends on itinerary/season. The need for preventative medication should be discussed with one of our doctors. Any fever after travel to the Amazon requires a blood test to exclude malaria.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements and Recommendations
This is a very serious but rare mosquito borne disease. Most travellers to Peru require or are recommended the vaccination either for disease protection, prevention of international spread or for bureaucratic reasons. An internationally recognised certificate is issued as proof of vaccination and should be presented when requested at border crossings. An exemption certificate can be provided where there are medical contraindications to this vaccine.
Zika and Dengue
Use DEET repellent and avoid of travel during or if anticipating pregnancy.
Altitude Sickness in Cuzco/ Trekking in the Andes
Seek advice about prevention and treatment of altitude sickness, get fit and have a physical check-up prior.
Security and other general travel issues
Keep an eye on the Australian Government’s website: smartraveller.gov.au
As well as Yellow Fever and being up to date for routine childhood vaccines such as tetanus, measles and Hep B, the following vaccines are often recommended – hep A, typhoid, rabies, cholera and influenza. Decisions regarding which are most appropriate depend on duration and nature of travel, itinerary, age and underlying medical conditions.