Peru's stunning landscapes, rich culture, and ancient history beckon travelers from around the globe. However, amidst the excitement of exploring Machu Picchu and indulging in Peruvian cuisine, a question often arises: can you drink the water in Peru? The short answer is no. According to credible travel organizations including Intrepid Travel and TripAdvisor the water in Peru is not safe for visitors due to contamination from inadequate sanitation infrastructure and pollution. Some parts of Peru also have heavy metals contamination due to mining.  Let's delve into this issue and uncover the answers to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

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Can You Drink the Water in Lima?

Lima, Peru's bustling capital, is renowned for its vibrant culture and culinary delights. However, when it comes to the water supply, caution is advised. The tap water in Lima is not potable due to contamination concerns stemming from outdated infrastructure and pollution. Although efforts have been made to improve water quality in recent years, it's advisable for visitors to avoid drinking tap water directly. Consuming contaminated water can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea, potentially disrupting your travel plans. 

Can You Drink Tap Water in Cusco?

Cusco, often hailed as the gateway to Machu Picchu, captivates visitors with its charming streets and Inca ruins. However, like Lima, the tap water in Cusco is not recommended for drinking due to similar contamination concerns. The water quality and sanitation infrastructure in Cusco may not meet international standards, potentially exposing consumers to harmful bacteria and parasites. Ingesting untreated water can lead to traveler's diarrhea and other waterborne illnesses.

colorful sands of Peru

Can I Brush My Teeth with Tap Water in Peru?

Travelers are advised to avoid brushing their teeth with tap water in Peru. This may seem excessive, but it is an easy precaution to minimize the risk of ingesting potentially harmful bacteria. When brushing your teeth with tap water in Peru, use bottled water or purified water from a filter water bottle for travel.

Boats on lake in Peru

Avoiding Sickness from Drinking Water in Peru

To safeguard your health and prevent waterborne illnesses while traveling in Peru, consider the following tips:

  • Drink Bottled Water. Opt for sealed bottled water from reputable brands to ensure its safety. However, be mindful that single-use plastic bottles of water contribute to environmental pollution and are harmful to ecosystems, so consider using reusable filter water bottles for travel. If you must use single-use plastic bottles, make an effort to properly recycle them to mitigate their environmental impact.
  • Use a Filter Water Bottle for Travel. Filter water bottles provide portable water purification for clean and safe drinking water on the go. These bottles feature built-in filtration systems that remove impurities and contaminants from tap water, making it suitable for consumption. When selecting a filter water bottle for travel in Peru, consider factors such as filtration capabilities, ease of use, and portability. Look for bottles that are BPA-free and capable of filtering out viruses, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals and other harmful substances commonly found in untreated water sources. Water-to-Go offers a range of filter water bottles designed for travelers, providing peace of mind and convenience during your adventures in Peru and beyond. 
woman drinking from Water-to-Go water filter bottle for travel
  • Eat Cooked Foods: Stick to cooked foods that have been prepared at high temperatures, as they are less likely to harbor harmful bacteria compared to raw or undercooked dishes.
  • Peel Fruits and Vegetables: When enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables in Peru, peel or wash them thoroughly with purified water before consumption to remove any contaminants.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, preferably from a filter water bottle for travel, to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration while exploring Peru's diverse landscapes.

Conclusion. While the tap water in Peru may not be safe for drinking in many areas, with some simple precautions you can ensure hydration and minimize the risk of waterborne illnesses. By following these tips and investing in filter water bottles for travel, you can stay healthy and enjoy all that Peru has to offer without worrying about the water. Safe travels!


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1.Intrepid Travel: Can you drink tap water in Peru?

2. Trip Advisor: Tap water in Lima

For additional information:

CDC: Travelers Health - Peru

Written by Water to Go

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