Can you drink tap water in Peru?

Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Peru – or anywhere else in South America – but it’s generally considered safe to drink tap water that has been boiled or filtered. There's no need to worry about keeping your mouth closed while you shower, but if you have a particularly sensitive stomach, you may wish to use boiled or filtered water to brush your teeth or wash fruits and vegetables.

When ordering cocktails or smoothies, try to avoid drinks with ice. You can always ask the waiter or vendor if they use filtered water to make ice, but if you’d rather not risk it, just order your drinks sin heilo, or ‘without ice’.

Single-use water bottles contribute to a huge environmental problem, so your best bet is to bring a portable water filter or water purifying tablets, and a large reusable bottle to refill at canteens or hotels. Brands like Steripen sterilise water using UV, while bottles from Sawyer remove most bacteria through an in-built foam purifier. If you’re travelling with Intrepid, you can ask your leader or the hotel where filtered water can be found.

Water safety tips for Peru

Here are some handy tips to follow when it comes to drinking water in Peru:

  • Buy a special water bottle that can purify or filter tap water
  • Bring plenty of oral rehydration tablets in case you come down with diarrhea or stomach upset
  • Take advantage of the wide variety of hydrating fruits and young coconut water available at local markets

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