If you’re taking electrical appliances to Peru, you’ll need to know about the country’s electrical system. Both the electrical current and the plug outlets may be different from those of your home country, so you should plan accordingly.
Electrical Current in Peru
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you plug in a 110-volt appliance, 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 on an adapter, as many modern laptops and digital cameras can safely take both 110 and 220 volts (they are dual voltage). So if you're taking a laptop to Peru, you'll probably only need a plug adapter (see below).
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, while the other takes plugs with two round prongs. 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.
Universal plug adapters are inexpensive and easy to carry around. It’s a good idea to buy one before you go to Peru (most major airports have a store selling plug adapters). Some international plug adapters have a built-in surge protector, providing an extra layer of protection.
A Note on Dubious Sockets, Annoying Outages and Power Surges in Peru
Even if you are traveling with all the correct converters, adapters etc., 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, show burn marks or other warning signs, don't risk using them.
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 out.
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.