“When living in Sucre, I had called the consulate of Peru in Cochabamba. They were real pleasant to talk to, and with the same pleasantness they decided to tell me that I needed to go back to India and apply for the tourist visa there. Didn’t matter that I was a hundred miles or so farther from their border.”
If you ask me to unpack the bag of memories I have from La paz, and spread it out on a mat in front of me, you are gonna see these three happenings, over and over: Taking a truffy (van) to the Peruvian consulate for a tourist visa, going to the Colombian embassy time and again for 2 weeks to finally know that I wouldn’t get a tourist visa, and staying in a rundown hostel with the best WIFI in Bolivia. There are a bunch of extras that come with these three: taking the cable car, walking in the witches’ market, finding the best street food near the San Fran Cisco church square, running out of breath, going to museums to find that they didn’t have a guide book in English even though they charged foreigners more etc. But these memories are the ones that ultimately stick with me. And, if one great thing happened in La Paz, it was getting a visa for Peru.
I really didn’t know much about Peru when it popped up on my list. When living in Sucre, I had called the consulate of Peru in Cochabamba. They were real pleasant to talk to, and with the same pleasantness they decided to tell me that I needed to go back to India and apply for the tourist visa there. Didn’t matter that I was a hundred miles or so farther from their border.
After this, I called the consulate in La Paz to try my luck. They didn’t seem too happy about the fact that I hadn’t applied for it in India, although then they guided me through the process and the list of documents. The Indian embassy in Peru mentions this:
“Indian nationals who have valid visa with minimum six months validity or are residents of either US, Canada, UK, Australia or any Schengen member country. “
So, after arriving in La Paz, I gathered all my documents and caught a truffy to Calacoto from the city centre. I got off at avenida 14 de Septiembre. The consulate is on the 5th floor of Mario Mercado, and just a 2-minute walk from the traffic signal.
When I went there, I was a little apprehensive but my fear was probably unfounded. They were really professional and organized, and gave me the list of documents I needed.
After I submitted the documents the next day, I got to know that they would send the documents to the foreign ministry in Peru for review. The consular official there was really nice, and she spoke in English for a change! So, my then girlfriend Ane didn’t have to play the negotiator for me.
The consular official asked me why I am going to Peru. To travel of course, I said. What places are you planning to visit, she asked next. I told her that I was planning to visit Puno, Arequipa, Cuzco, Lima and Trujillo. There was a flood situation in Trujillo at the time and it had been raining for days, and she jokingly asked if I would still go there. Every time, someone talks about floods, my mind goes back to the floods in Mumbai, the visuals of cars and trucks and people sailing in water alike. To the flash floods in zion national park in Utah in 2015. And many others. Although I wasn’t sure if I would really go to Trujillo, I told her that I come from a country which has an official rainy season. She smiled at this and took the papers from me. When I explained that I wanted a 3 months(almost) visa in Peru, she told me I could even get it for 6 months.
Even though officially the time to make a decision is 10 working days or so, they emailed to let me know that the visa application has been accepted. After this, I went to the bank (Banco de Credito ) to pay the 30$ fee for the visa. Then I went to the consulate with the receipt and my passport.
The next day, I went to the consulate at 3 pm to pick up my passport. (They had asked me to come any time in between 2.30-4 pm). I had to sign a couple of forms, and leave my finger print impressions on the same forms (Nothing digital there). And, I was done.
The tourist visa for Peru is one of easiest and no-holds barred (up to an extent of course) visas that I got. Even though I applied for 80 days, I got it for 183 days. That too a multiple entry visa valid for 1 year. I could very well give a bear hug to the consul officer, but then I just had to limit myself to a big smile and to the words: muchas gracias. Hasta luego. (Thank you very much. Until tomorrow.)
One other great thing about Peru visa is that you don’t have to pay the fees before your application is accepted. The last thing you want is to get a NO and also lose your money.
Visa duration- 183 days.
- Flight tickets. Please note that they do ask for a return ticket to your home country. Please enquire if it’s possible to just show an onward flight ticket.
- Your bank transactions for the last 3 months. Although they don’t mention how much money you need to show, I guess 5000$ is always a good bet. If you have an account in any other currency, you could write down the amount in dollars below. I also provided my credit card photocopies to make sure I don’t leave any stone unturned.
- They ask for two photographs. And as we all know, for some mythical, esoteric reason, the dimensions of passport pictures vary for all the embassies, they also needed something specific. It drives me nuts thinking why all these diplomats can’t get together for a beer, and zero upon one specification for passport pics. Below is the specification. A color photograph and a white background, with a big face- it makes a huge difference.
- Hotel bookings. I showed it for two weeks in Cuzco, as that was my first destination in Peru.
- Photocopies of passport.
The contact info and the address of the Peruvian consulate in Lima are as follows:
Av.14 de Septiembre esq. calle 17
Edif. Mario Mercado piso 5, 504
Tel- 2750568, 2750332
Do you have any experiences with applying a visa for Peru? Let me know in the comments below.