In January I went to Peru. I went there and did not know what would happen. I had planes, I had read a lot, I had chatted on MSN and I thought I was prepared.
The first two days I was in Lima and was walking around in the center of the city in this big town. Well almost all Swedes could be living here at the same spot since there is about 7-8 millions already, well not Swedes but Peruvians.
One thing that is good to know in advance when you are going here is the regular prices, otherwise you might feel that you have been cheated after a while when you get some idea about them.
It works a tiny bit to talk English, but if you have some knowledge about Spanish - freshen it up before you go here! Otherwise you will lose a lot of communication.
If you are blessed with something called traffic rules, just forget them. There are no traffic rules whatever. Just watch up and try to stay alive! Cars don't see you when you walk and the driver is occupied with using his/her horn.
Visa is just a form to fill in on the aeroplane for us gringos, it's easy and cost you nothing.
If a Peruvian wants to visit us there is tons of paper and lots of costs. Someone in west must imitate the Peruvian and write a letter that says that this person will support the Peruvian during the visit. The Peruvian will also need to have insurance for health on the amount of 30.000 euro, that one cost 750-1000 USD. Further more must the Peruvian visit the embassy for an interview that cost some 85-100 USD. The travel to the embassy and the cost for the stay is not included. The ticket from Peru to other countries is 1.5 more expansive than vice verse. It takes, if you are lucky, about 3 month to get the visa.
Why is it this bad? I had to ask the embassy, well since there is no Swedish embassy in Peru (itís in Satiago, Chile), I asked the Finish embassy, who take care of visa for the Schengen area. They said that it all depends upon the high rate of non returning Peruvian. About 57% of all Peruvian who got a visa for the Schengen area never returns and the number for Europeans that return is almost 100%.
My conclusion is that these rules are made to build up the land borders around Schengen and just let people that are loaded with money enter EU. The total cost for papers, insurance and travel are at least 2000 USD and a regular monthly pay is about 170 USD in Peru.