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Before Leaving Peru - Useful Travel Tips
Protected wildlife and wild flora species
Considered by the World Resources Institute as forming part of the select group of eight "megadiverse" countries, it is estimated that in Peru there are 84 of the 104 life zones existing in the world, nearly 10% of the species of mammals and reptiles of the planet, over 20% of earth's birds and between 40.000 and 50.000 species of vascular plants (the most developed). Unfortunately many of these species are endangered due to their unauthorized exploitation for the manufacture of tourist souvenirs and the cruel traffic of wildlife (transported under conditions which cause most of them to die during the trip).
Each loss reduces earth's life diversity with indescribable consequences. It is for this reason that Peruvian laws prohibit and sanction the extraction, transport, sale and export of all types of wildlife and wild flora, dead or alive, without the authorization of INRENA (1) . The prohibition extends to any object made with their parts (crowns or necklaces made of Macaw (guacamayo) feathers, butterfly wings, musical instruments, "tigrillo" skin or "palos de lluvia" (also called oncelote, a small feline resembling a tiger).
(1) NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NATURAL RESOURCES. The National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA) is the State's public organization responsible for promoting the rational use of natural resources. Current legal regulations impose severe sanctions to any persons who hunt, extract, transport, sell or export wildlife or wild flora species, as well as their products and by-products, including handicrafts made with such products, without the corresponding authorization.
Archaeological and Historical Heritage
Peruvian laws prohibit and sanction the sale and export of original pieces of the national cultural heritage. Abstain from buying them. However, if you are interested in taking to your country samples of Peruvian pre-Hispanic or Colonial art, you may buy replicas. Replicas are all objects of modern manufacture imitating shapes and decorative figures of pre-Hispanic or Colonial pieces (ceramic pieces, gold and silver works, stonework, woodworks, textiles, paintings and others).
When buying replicas of pre-Hispanic or Colonial works, make sure they have been certified by the INC (2) ; this certificate can be obtained at any of the offices of this institution, located in all departmental capitals. If you are leaving Peru through the Jorge Chávez Airport, visit the INC booth after you pass through Immigration post. The authorization can be granted automatically.
(2) NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CULTURE The National Institute of Culture (INC) is the State's public organization responsible for the protection, preservation, restoration and dissemination of Peru's Cultural Heritage.Cultural property, whether archaeological or historical, is protected by law; and its export is prohibited. Clandestine export of cultural property is a crime. The law authorizes the confiscation, in favor of the State, of any material, equipment and vehicles used in the commission of crimes against the cultural heritage, as well as of the unduly obtained cultural property.
It is absolutely prohibited to carry drugs. If you do so, you will be arrested and put in jail. Do not accept to take in your luggage packages belonging to strangers, under any circumstances.
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