If you plan to visit Peru you will have many opportunities to create incredible content, since Peru has it all: mountains, jungle, desert, and the sea. More than that, Peru is home to the famous Machu Picchu, which will guarantee amazing photos.
Flying on your drone in Peru will allow you to see many sites from a different perspective and get memorable photos and videos. However, before bringing and using your drone, you should consider the local drone laws in Peru and also the airport regulations. This short post focuses on everything you need to know if you want to take your drone to Peru.
What are the local drone regulations in Peru?
Years ago, it was only possible to import drones with special approval from the Peruvian Ministry of Transport and Communications. Fortunately, the regulations were changed and this no longer applies.
In order to better understand the issue of drones entering Peru, we communicated with Peruvian customs by phone and also by email. Officially, you must indicate your drone on the customs form that is given to you on your international flight before entering the country.
If you do not do it and the officials realize that you are carrying a drone during a random control, according to the General Customs Law 1053, you will have to pay a fine equivalent to 50% of the value of the drone .
Other than that, you have to go to the customs office (SUNAT) at the airport to get a temporary entry declaration for your drone. This is done through a payment, a security deposit , which will be returned when leaving the country . At this point, you will also be given instructions on how to retrieve the payment.
This security deposit has the functionality of a VAT, in case the drone remains in the country. The government does this to prevent people from importing drones cheaper than what is offered here and then selling them on the Peruvian market.
8 important aspects to fly drones in Peru
Apart from the specific distance of 4 km to the airport, the other points are not official laws, but rules to follow for people flying drones in Peru. Most of those rules are intuitive, but it’s always good to review them from time to time. Especially if you are just starting to fly your drone. Let’s take a look at those rules:
- Only use your drone during the day and only when the weather conditions are good.
- Don’t let your drone fly beyond your sight.
- Do not fly with your drone where you can disturb the animals (especially without permission)
- Do not use your drone within 4 kilometers of the airport
- Don’t fly your drone when there are a lot of people.
- Do not fly your drone in archaeological or religious sites where it is not allowed.
- Do not fly your drone in military or government areas.
- Respect the privacy of other people when you are flying your drone.
- If you are not sure if you can fly your drone or not, it is always better to ask the travel agency or your guide Normally, they will have no problem flying your drone in most of Peru. However, there are some places where flying is prohibited or where you need a special permit.
Where can’t the drone be used in Peru?
In some archaeological sites, such as Machu Picchu, it is not allowed to use your drone. In general, it’s always best to ask a person in authority before you fly to be sure.
Lately, more and more communities have become more strict about drones as their animals have been irritated by drones. For security reasons, we no longer allow the use of drones on our group tours but only on private tours.
That is why many of them, like the community of Palccoyo, require that they pay for the use (S/ 50 in the mountains of 7 colors Palccoyo or that they obtain a permit before or in the same place, as in the tour to the lagoon Humantay or in the mountain of 7 colors Vinicunca, respectively.
However, the good news is that our guides are excellent photographers and know several off-the-beaten-path places where you can get amazing pictures without other tourists around.
It is allowed to fly drones in these places
- Machu Picchu, NO
- Laguna Humantay Only after the approval of the local community.
- Mountain of Colors Palccoyo You must pay S/50 ($15; €13) to the local community.
- Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca You must make a donation to the people of the community in the mountain, but there is no fixed amount.
- Sacred Valley It is not allowed to fly in the Valley just like that, it can only be done with a permit.
Tips and Recommendations for flying drones in Peru
It is always best to ask your guide before launching your drone.
Ask your international airline about drone regulations regarding transportation on board.
Avoid flying around military installations, government buildings, archeological/religious sites, or over private property.
In case you have obtained a permit in advance, make sure to bring it with you.
Find out more about other people’s experiences online.
As drones receive more attention on a global scale, it is very important that you educate yourself on the rules and regulations of the country you wish to visit. Also, it’s always a good idea to double-check your airline’s specific requirements. We recommend that you go to the airline’s website or give yourself a call to make sure you don’t experience any problems when you travel.
In Peru, the use of drones is still not as regulated as in the US or Europe, which makes their use easier. In case you have a small drone in your backpack, chances are you won’t have to worry about declaring it and you can just pass by.
However, don’t take my word for it…if you’re going to be searched, you’ll need to get a temporary entry declaration from customs .
The general recommendations for flying your drone in Peru are the same as in other countries as well. However, we recommend that you do not fly in archaeological sites where it is prohibited.
Have you already taken your drone to Peru? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!