Easy Covid Testing for US-Bound Travelers Going to Machu Picchu
Here's what travelers to Peru need to know about vaccination status. What is the definition of "fully vaccinated" for foreigners heading to Peru? Do vaccinated foreigners need to show a negative covid test to board domestic flights in Peru? Find out below the list of resources to use to determine the documents you need to enter Peru and to move around the country.
Disclaimer: I am providing this information to assist you with your quest to confirm the documents you need for entry to Peru and to move around. I am not responsible for changes or accuracy. Please review more than one source.
The Peruano Suiza Clinic in Cusco offers molecular PCR tests for travelers boarding domestic flights or returning to countries where negative covid tests are needed or entry. I include links below to two clinics in Cusco as well as Unilab in Lima. And find out how to get a covid test if you're in the Sacred Valley. As a tour operator who has been working with groups traveling to Peru after the pandemic, Adios Adventure Travel has experience assisting people with information about how to get covid tests when needed.
Who can travel to Peru?
Whether you're vaccinated or not, all healthy people are welcome to visit the land of the Inca. Peru allows vaccinated to enter with proof of completed doses, and unvaccinated travelers to enter with neg molecular PCR test before boarding their flight to Lima. But. But, Latam Airlines now requires passengers to show proof of covid booster or negative molecular PCR test taken within 48 hours of boarding for domestic flights. Perurail requires proof of covid vax or neg covid test to board trains. But our guides report that the rail companies are not checking health documents. Some hotels and restaurants are still asking for vaccination cards although our guides report that the policy is not consistently enforced. Covid tests are pretty easy to get now in Cusco. Here's a link to our blog post that includes more details about arrival protocols in Peru.
What is required for US citizens to return to the US from abroad?
Updated June 11, 2022, the CDC no longer requies proof of negative covid test (or documentaion of recovery from covid) for international travelers arriving in the US. Here's the exact words from the CDC website:
"As of 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022, CDC will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight."
Here's a link to the CDC website to read the announcement and other details.
Are covid tests required for domestic flights in Peru?
Yes, but only for not fully vaccinated or non-covid vaccinated passengers. Foreigners who are vaccinated can show their vax card. To board domestic flights in Peru, all adult passengers need to show their booster dose or provide neg molecular PCR test taken within 48 hours of scheduled boarding time. Now even vaccinated passengers need to pay attention to the defintion of "fully vaccinated." I'm seeing two definitions. The first is for arrival in Peru where the definition of fully vaxxed means the number of doses as defined in your country of origin. But to board the Peru domestic flights, the definition of fully vaccinated includes one booster dose. Check the airline website for the full details. Here's a link to Latam Airlines Covid Information Tool. You can type destination and vax status to see the rules for international and national flights. You don't need to be a ticketed passneger. I use this all the time. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.
What documents do you need to travel to Peru?
- Link to Official Peru Travel website. Negative covid test or covid vax cards (or other documents as described by your international airline) before boarding your flight to Lima, Peru
- valid passport (must not expire within 6 months of your arrival dates)
- Peru health statement (available online 72 hours before you travel) Usually the international airline sends you the link.
Face shields no longer required for trains and shuttle buses to Machu Picchu, But face masks may be worn on buses and trains although the practice is declining in ourdoor spaces. Ask your tour guide or just do what you see other people doing.
Where can you get covid test in Cusco? We have it right here:
Clínica Peruano Suiza
Grupo Peruano Suiza
Av. Perú K-3 - Urb. Quispicanchis
Cusco - Perú
Telefonos: +51.84.242 114 | +51.84.237 009 | +51.84.237 168
First you should determine what kind of test you need. It's easy to take a taxi from the Cusco city center to the Peruano Suiza clinic. It's best if you can call in advance and set up an appointment. While the clinic is open 24 hours a day every day, keep in mind that the laboratory may not be open all the time. Be careful to plan ahead if you need tests on a Sunday or a holiday. Check ahead to see if they offer it. Don't expect people to speak English at the clinic or over the phone. Ask your hotel reception to call the clinic for you and arrange a taxi.
Covid Tests. Clinics offer PCR and Rapid antigen test. The PCR test may require 12 hours to obtain results. The medical staff will take a swab and have the results ready by the next day, The antigen test results can be ready in less than 2 hours. Results are usually sent by text on What'sapp or to your email.
You can go in person to pick up a hard copy. Payment can be made with a credit card. Visa credit cards are most widely accepted in Peru. Like most of Peru, cash is always best.
Can you get a covid test if your hotel is located in the Sacred Valley?
Yes but. . . Suiza has a satellite clinic in the village of Urubamba. Our manager reports that they may not always have testing supplies on hand. Please call them in advance if you need covid tests for flights or activities. They may be able to arrange a technician to come to your accommodation. Again. please call and arrange in advance. Here is their number on WHAT'SAPP +51 944 069 009
Ask your hotel in the Sacred Valley what your options are. It takes at least one - two hours by car from some hotels in the Sacred Valley to get to Cusco. It's a matter of organizing your logistics to get to one of the clinics in Cusco who offer the tests. Our company is assisting our groups by arranging itineraries that allow proximity and time for getting the tests done in Cusco when needed. Mainly this is for unvaccinated travelers who need a PCR test to fly back to Lima. Adios Adventure Travel can help you organize tours and hikes so that your itinerary allows time to get the test before you depart. Our local guides are helping our groups with phone calls and transportation. We can even arrange for a lab technician to come to your hotel to get your sample if you're staying in a hotel in the Cusco historical center. Ask your tour operator or your hotel to help you. If you still need help, I can put you in touch with our team in Cusco. Of course, they're available for other guided services including tours and activities. See more below.
Another group of clinics in Cusco:
Choose from several locations on their contact page
Phone:(+51 84) 231718
Pardo clinics have walk-in service. But our guide in Cusco recommends that you call in advance just to confirm how long it might take.
Assistance to and from the clinics in Cusco.
The first place to get help is to ask your hotel or your tour operator. We have been assisting our groups with covid testing services as needed. For almost a year, we organized all our group itineraries to allow time for testing with the least amount of disruption to travel experiences. There can be challenges to getting tested if you happen to need it on a holiday. Our manager in Cusco has found a couple of small clinics who will go the extra mile for our groups. For help setting up tours, activities, hikes and hotels, just ask. Text or call me in the US - JACQUIE 757-714-6649. Or I can put you in touch with our manager in Cusco who may be able to assist you with transporation, phone calls, testing in your hotel, and anything else you need. You shouldn't need a translator. The cost for the covid test is around $150 USD for PCR and $30-50 for Rapid Antigen (subject to change) and does not include transportation. We've been arranging trips to the clinics for our groups on the day they fly to Lima to return home. Need more info about setting up your trip? email@example.com (please give us at least 1 week advance notice)
Can you get covid test in Lima airport?
Unilab Services at Lima Airport states they are open every day. But they are not open 24 hours. Usually an appointment is needed which can be made from the link I included below. Clinics in the city offer both PCR and antigen. The city is at least a 45 minute drive each way from the Lima airport. There is luggage storage at Lima airport ("LEFT LUGGAGE") near the international arrivals area,
Unilab Clinic Locations and Appointments
Choose from serveral locations
Personal Side Note:
Many of our past travelers have reached out to check on our small travel company during the covid shutdown. We're very grateful for the support and want to share one of our favorite accessories for travelers looking for gift ideas. People always ask me what my most useful travel gadget is. I took this handy air-tight bag for hand-washing laundry, called the SCRUBBA, and turned it into a multi-use "tote-of-all-trades," with more functions than a swiss-army knife. (if you purchase the bag through the link on our website, I get a small commission for which I am truly grateful)