• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Social Life in Peru


The Peruvians are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the doctrines of their Catholic faith. However, there is also great variety in the way the Peruvians behave as the country is quite diverse ethnically and geographically.

As a visitor to Peru try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Peru Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.


The dress in Peru varies greatly as many young people and the urban populations tend to wear western-styled clothing, while many of the Quechua prefer to wear more traditional clothes. The style of the clothing many Quechua wear today is not wholly authentic as their "traditional" dress tends to be a combination of pre-Columbian and Spanish in style, design, and even fabric.

Today the traditional dress worn by many of the Quechua women in Peru is centered on a polleras, which is a skirt generally made from wool. These polleras have many variations and often times these differences are regional as many locals can tell where an individual is from based on her polleras. Women also tend to wear monteras, which are hats, and k'eperina, which are large sheets of cloth used to carry goods from the market, the farm, or even children. Both Quechua women and men also tend to wear ajotas, which are sandals made from recycled tires. Men who wear traditional Quechua clothes tend to wear a poncho, which is typically red. Again the designs on these vary and can indicate where an individual is from, but today few men wear this except on important special occasions.

As a visitor to Peru you should dress conservatively by covering your legs and shoulders at a minimum. However, wearing shorts or t-shirts will rarely cause offense and are more likely just going to get you stares from curious locals. If you want to fit in with the local youth in cities like Lima try on a soccer jersey (football kit) and track pants. Or fit in with the older population by wearing dark woven coats and pants. In business settings stick with western-styled suits and other professional dress.

This page was last updated: November, 2013