Shipping a Vehicle to Peru

We have been asked by many past guests about the logistics of moving to Cusco, and one topic that often time came up was how to bring a vehicle. Since we did not actually bring a vehicle with us, we were never able to provide any information on the process, and while we do not know anything about shipping a vehicle to Peru, Jason Mueller does and has provided the following guest post for me and my readers, so if you are planning a move to Cusco or Peru in general, the following information will be useful for you.


“Everything You Need to Know About Importing a Car Into Cusco”

Are you considering a move to Cusco in the near future? If so, then you likely have an abundance of questions, ranging from topics like what area of the city should you live in to what type of medical care or insurance is available. Yet, perhaps one of the most pressing questions when contemplating (or actively planning) a move, is the subject of bringing a car into Cusco.

It’s wise to research this before making the leap, as you don’t want a nasty surprise waiting for you once you arrive. Since different countries and locales have varying rules and regulations, it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain what the right course of action is. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know about shipping a car to Cusco from abroad.

Procession in front of the Cathedral in Cusco

Procession in front of the Cathedral in Cusco

Limitations When Importing a Car into Cusco

It’s important to note that the laws regarding importing a car into Cusco, are the same for Peru as a whole. In other words, the city of Cusco doesn’t have any additional regulations beyond those which the country enforces.

1) Age Restrictions.
For your vehicle to be eligible for importation, your typical gas engine vehicle must be no more than 5 years old. If you have a diesel vehicle, it won’t be allowed in the country, as only diesel passenger vehicles with 8 seats or more that weigh above 5 tons are permitted. Considering that even a large SUV typically weighs only 2.5 to 3 tons, importing diesel vehicles into Peru is limited exclusively to large commercial vehicles.

2) Mileage Restrictions.
For this reason, you should only pursue the importation of a gasoline engine vehicle into the country. There are also mileage restrictions for gas vehicles, which must be followed if your car is to be allowed in. For used vehicles, there must be no more than 49,709 miles on the odometer at the time of import.

3) Emission Restrictions.
The vehicle that you’re attempting to bring into Peru, must also be able to pass the current legal emission standards.

4) Steering Wheel Placement.
Finally, only vehicles that were built with the steering wheel on the left side are eligible for import. Vehicles with the steering wheel on the right side, or vehicles that have had the steering wheel moved to the left side after manufacture, are not allowed into the country.


Documentation Needed When Importing a Car into Cusco

When moving overseas to Peru and bringing your car, it’s imperative that you have the appropriate paperwork already in hand. Otherwise, your vehicle could be unnecessarily delayed or even impounded by customs. To avoid this type of issue, be sure that you have your vehicle registration, title, vehicle identification number (VIN), Inspection Report for New Vehicles and Second Verification Report for New Vehicles fully filled out.

You’ll also need a bill of lading or airway bill, commercial invoice, packing list, Gas Emissions Certificate, emissions inspection approved by the Ministry of Transport and a Technical Certificate as well as your proof of insurance.

Taxes and Fees

Selective Consumption Tax
The final point to consider when shipping a car to Peru, are the various taxes and fees involved. For new vehicles, you’ll pay a Selective Consumption Tax which is currently set at 10% of the C.I.F. value. For used vehicles, the Selective Consumption Tax is set much higher, and it currently stands at 30% of the C.I.F. value.

The C.I.F. value stands for Cost, Insurance and Freight. This simply refers to the figure you get when you add together the value of the car, the cost of insurance and the cost paid to ship the car to Peru.

Impuestro General a las Ventas (General Tax)
In addition to the Selective Consumption Tax, you’ll also pay a general sales tax (IGV) of 18% for both new and used vehicles.

Value Added Tax (VAT).
Most imports in Peru are subject to an additional 18% VAT on top of the Selective Consumption and the IGV.


Finally, you can expect to pay a $300 USD fee for a required technical inspection and a $29 USD Customs tax.

Evaluating International Moving Companies

Knowing about the vehicle restrictions and various taxes you can expect to pay isn’t sufficient. It’s now time for you to evaluate and hire an international moving company to transport your car. Selecting the right international moving company is critical when shipping a car to Peru – otherwise your experience could be a highly negative one.

It’s vital that the enterprise you choose has sufficient experience, the right infrastructure and equipment, a stellar track record, knowledgeable staff and an affordable price. Finding this blend of attributes can be a challenge, especially if you’ve never undertaken this type of potentially tricky endeavor before.

The good news is that such a company exists, and you don’t have to spend hours trying to sift through the available options. A1 Auto Transport is extremely well-versed in every aspect of shipping cars as well as other personal items to Peru. They’ve been in business for more than two decades, and they know the ins and outs of the process in minute detail. Their experience can mean the difference between a smooth, seamless importation of your vehicle – and a nightmare scenario where your vehicle is left in endless limbo after being impounded.

You now have all the information you need to begin navigating the rather complicated process of importing a car into Cusco. While having this knowledge in hand will help you enormously, hiring the right international moving company is also imperative. They will help guide you through every step of the journey, from filling out the paperwork correctly to making sure the proper taxes and fees are paid. This expert guidance will help to ensure that your vehicle makes it safely to its destination – with minimum fuss and frustration.

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Easter Island: The Inca Connection

That’s right, there were Incas on Easter island, or at least that is a possibility based on one location.



Yes I generally try to keep my blog about Peru in general, but more specifically about Cusco, so a post about Easter Island might seem a little out of place here, but I thought the possibility of an Inca connection warranted a post.

Recently Lily and I took one of our short vacations to take a break from running GringoWasi, and on this trip we visited Easter Island for 10 days. Now even before we departed Cusco, we read about a site that has perfectly fit stone walls, very much like the stonework of the Incas, so this site made the “must see” portion of our itinerary.


The site itself is Ahu Vinapu and here you will find 2 separate platforms or Ahu, where the Moai used to stand, there is also supposed to be a third Ahu here, but it is actually located inside the fenced off fuel tank area and not accessible.

The two main Ahu that you can visit here are Ahu Vinapu and Ahu Tahira, and both of these Ahu’s have had their Moai toppled, which is believed to have happened between 1722 and 1868, either due to clan wars or earthquakes.

Toppled Moai

Toppled Moai

Ahu Vinapu seems to be the more promoted Ahu as the complex itself is named Ahu Vinapu, so don’t look too hard for Ahu Tahira on any maps, you will not likely find it. Ahu Vinapu is the Ahu to the Right as you enter the site, it is the oldest Ahu out of the three that are in this complex, and it originally supported at least 5 Moai and their head dresses, who’s remains can be seen near the Ahu. There is also a red stone column in front of Ahu Vinapu that was unearthed in 1956, and is thought to possibly be a female Moai, based on the thin arms and hands, small breasts, and pronounced navel, unfortunately this column is very deteriorated and very little detail remains.

Ahu Vinapu Wall

Ahu Vinapu Wall, this is what the normal Ahu walls look like

As I mentioned above, Ahu Vinapu seems to be the more promoted of the Ahu’s here in this complex, while we were visiting we saw 2 separate tour groups arrive and depart, both of these groups went directly to Ahu Vinapu, stood around the red “female Moai” while the guides talked, and then departed the complex. While it is possible that the guides might have made mention of the stonework on Ahu Tahira, you can not really appreciate the precision of the work unless you go around to the ocean side of the Ahu, which neither group did. Based on this I would have to guess that the local preference is to down play or even ignore the possible connection to the South American mainland.

Because we rented a vehicle (Suzuki Jimmy) while we were there, we were not limited by any tour guide preferences or agency policies, so we were basically able to go where we wanted, when we wanted, and if you are planing a trip to Easter Island yourself, I would highly recommend renting a vehicle (the Jimmy’s are quite popular) while you are there.

Rental Jimmy's

Rental Jimmy’s, the white one was ours

Ahu Tahira was actually one of my favorite sites, even though it’s Moai have been toppled (at least 6), And the reason it was one of my favorite’s is due mainly to the stone work. If you happen to visit this complex on your own, be sure to walk down to the water side of the Ahu closest to the entrance (left side if looking at the water). Based on what I have read, this is the only place on the island that exhibits this level of stone work, and we must have seen almost every site while there, since I did not see anything else like this, I am inclined to believe it. The stone work that was used in the construction of Ahu Tahira, ranks right up there with a lot of what can be found here in the Cusco region, I have read where it has been compared to that of Saqsaywaman, but these stones are not near as large as the ones at Saqsaywaman, I think this construction I would compare more to some of the stonework at Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, or many of the other Inca sites here in the Cusco region.

Ahu Tahira Inca wall

Ahu Tahira wall

Wall Comparison

Wall Comparison

Close up of Ahu Tahira wall

Close up of Ahu Tahira wall

So the big question here is, why is there just this one wall with this level of construction and who built it? To be honest I do not think anyone knows with any certainty, but I have read several theories about this construction. One theory is that it was just one of the last Ahu built and the stone working skills of the Rapa Nui culture had just progressed to this level. Another theory is that this was constructed with Inca knowledge, or even by the Inca culture itself, and some of the evidence to back this theory (aside from the construction itself) is that the platform faces the rising sun on the winter solstice, sweet potato’s and squash native to South America were found throughout Polynesia before Europeans sailed between the two locations, and some chicken bones from southern Chile had the same DNA sequence of samples taken in Tonga and Samoa, which suggests that the chickens came to South America from Polynesia approximately in the fourteenth century. I have also read that some dating of this site puts it actually older than the Inca culture, and this has generated a theory that it may have been the result of contact between the islanders and the Tiahuanaco culture, which was a pre-Inca culture that exhibited stone working abilities on the same level as the Inca culture exhibited.

Ahu Tahira wall

Ahu Tahira wall

Personally I like to keep an open mind and can see the possibility than any of these theories might be correct, and I believe that future archaeological work will provide additional evidence that might eliminate one of these possibilities, prove one, or might even propose a new theory. That is one of the things that I find so interesting about ancient history, archaeological science is constantly advancing and with new technology, new information can be obtained, so what is believed to be fact today, might just be disproved within the next 10 years or so.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and remember when traveling that archaeology is not 100% accurate, it is generally just “best guess” based on the available evidence, so never be afraid to question explanations of things, especially if they do not make sense, even the things that I might say.

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