If you’re taking electrical appliances to Peru, you’ll need to know about the country’s electrical system as both the electrical current and the plug outlets may be different from those of your home country.
While much of northern Peru operates on the same plug shape as the United States (Type A), parts of the region and most of southern Peru use what's known as C-type outlets and the entire country runs on 220-volt currents, which is higher than America's 110-volt standard.
This means that while you may not need to purchase an adapter for a Peruvian plug, you will need to buy a voltage converter in order to avoid burning out your electronic devices and appliances while staying in the country.
Electrical Current in Peru
Electricity in Peru operates on a 220-volt current and a 60-Hertz frequency (cycles per second). If you plug in a 110-volt appliance to any of the sockets in Peru, prepare yourself for a puff of smoke and a broken piece of equipment.
If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, you’ll need to buy a power adapter, but always check before spending money as many modern laptops and digital cameras can safely take both 110 and 220 volts because they are dual-voltage. This means that if you're taking a laptop to Peru, you'll probably only need a plug adapter if you're going to the country's southern regions.
Many of Peru’s more luxurious hotels have outlets for 110-volt appliances, specifically for foreign tourists with foreign-made electrical items—these outlets should be clearly labeled, but always check if you’re unsure.
Electrical Outlets in Peru
There are two types of electrical outlets in Peru. One accepts two-pronged plugs with flat, parallel blades (Type A), while the other takes plugs with two round prongs (Type C), and many Peruvian electrical outlets are designed to accept both types (see image above).
If your appliance has a different plug attachment (such as a three-pronged UK plug), you’ll need to buy an adapter, and these universal plug adapters are inexpensive and easy to carry around.
It’s a good idea to buy one before you go to Peru, but if you forget to pack one, most major airports have a store selling plug adapters.
Keep in mind that some international plug adapters have a built-in surge protector, providing an extra layer of protection, and some are combination voltage converters and plug adapters that will solve all your challenges with getting the right amount of electricity in Peru.
Dubious Sockets, Annoying Outages, and Power Surges
Even if you are traveling with all the correct converters, adapters, and electronic devices, you still might not be prepared for some of the quirks of the Peruvian electrical system.
Treat dubious-looking plug sockets with the respect they deserve—if they are obviously falling to pieces or show burn marks or other warning signs, it's best to not risk using them as they could blow out your electronic device.
Power outages are also common in Peru, so if you have work deadlines to meet, try not to procrastinate for too long as you might suddenly find yourself with no power and no internet. If you are staying in Peru for a while and you've purchased a desktop computer, it's worth buying a battery backup so that your computer doesn't die every time the power flickers.
Power surges are also a potential problem, making a surge protector a wise investment if you are staying in Peru for extended periods (or plan to live in Peru) and want an added level of protection for your valuable electronics.