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Peru

Peru Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Peru? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Peru? See below for an introduction to Peru locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Peru Film Locations

Peru ranks amongst the world’s great centres of ancient civilization and has one of the richest biodiversities on earth.

Lima is Peru’s capital, historical centre and main film production centre. The city is known for Inca and Pre-Inca archeological sites, modern and colonial architecture, beaches, and some of the best restaurants in South America.

Cusco is a beautiful colonial city and the ancient capital of the Incas. Locations of interest include the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral of Cusco, Church of the Society of Jesus, and the Saksaywaman ruins. Within an hour’s drive of Cusco you can find the Inca archeological sites of Moray, Pisac, Ollantaytambo Fortress, and the salt terraces of Maras. The Sacred Valley is also known for its natural beauty, snow covered peaks, agriculture, traditional Quechua villages and colourful local markets. The Walls of Sacsayhuaman are another interesting Inca ruin.

Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, is one of the most famous and photographed ancient locations in the world. The spectacular terraced ruins sit nestled in a tropical mountain forest, almost 8000 feet above sea level, overlooked by the beautiful Huayna Picchu. One way to reach Machu Picchu is to hike the famed Inca Trail. For more on filming at Machu Picchu see here.

Arequipa is a stunning colonial city with dramatic otherworldly landscapes including volcanoes, salt lakes, canyons, and sand dunes.

Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest and the gateway to native jungle tribes, virgin rainforest and abundant wildlife.

Huacachina is an oasis village built around a natural lake in the desert.

Trujillo is known for its tropical beaches, surf breaks and archeological complexes such as Chan Chan (the largest mud brick city in the world) and Huaca de la Luna (an ancient Inca pyramid covered in colorful frescos).

Other ancient locations of interest in Peru include, Caral (the centre of the oldest society in the Americas), Kuelap (one of the largest stone structures in the world), and the Nazca Lines (giant glyphs etched into the desert).

Peru likes to set records. Lake Titikaka is the highest navigable lake in the world. Colca Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world. Gocta is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Cerro Blanco is the world’s largest sand dune. La Rinconada is the highest city in the world at an elevation of 5,100 m (16,700 ft). Ferrocarril Central Andino is the second highest railway in the world.

Peru is blessed with many beautiful natural locations. Peru is the source of the Amazon River. Cordillera Blanca is one of the world’s most picturesque mountain ranges. Year-round glaciers can be found above 5,000 metres. Manu National Park offers pristine virgin rainforest. Ballestas Islands and Paracas Reserve offer an abundance of marine wildlife. Sechura Desert runs the length of Peru along the Pacific coast.

Agricultural looks in Peru include coffee, sugarcane, cotton, and quinoa plantations.

Peru has hosted productions including The Green Inferno, The Motorcycle Diaries, Lost Cities of the Ancients, and Guns, Germs and Steel.

Peru Film Location Permits

Archaeological locations require permission from the relevant government ministry. Entrance fees also apply. For documentary projects permit fees are $375, per location, for two days of filming. Permit fees for commercial projects are $1500 per location, for two days of filming. Most permits need to be applied for at least 2 weeks prior to shooting. Allow up to a month for Machu Pichu. Some sites require permission of the local indigenous community. City location permits require permission from the municipality. Please contact us for more location specific information. 

When To Shoot?

Peru has a tropical climate so sunlight hours vary minimally from summer to winter. Peru is said to have 81 0f 104 possible ‘life zones’, more than any other country in the world, so the climate varies considerably depending on the location and time of year. Peru can be divided into three distinct geographic zones:

Coast. Peru’s southern coast has one of the driest deserts in the world with high temperatures during the day and cool to cold nights. The central coast has hot, dry summers and cold, overcast winters with almost no rain. The northern coast is much more tropical with warm sunny days throughout the year and mild temperatures at night.

Highlands. Most of the Andes have a typical high-altitude climate. April to October is the dry season marked by long sunny days and cold nights. November to March is the rainy season. Heavy rains can cause delays, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get all the shots you need. The extremity of the seasons and temperatures varies greatly based on latitude and altitude. If arriving from a lower altitude location it’s important to allow your team enough time to acclimatise to the higher altitude.

Jungle. Lowland jungle areas are warm and humid throughout the year with rain fall varying only slightly between summer and winter. Heavy rains cause landslides and slow filming, so be sure to allow for delays.

For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Peru celebrates thousands of local fiestas every year. Of particular note are:

• Carnival in February.
• Peruvian Paso Horse Festival in April.
• Snow Star Festival (Qoyllur Rit’i) takes place in the Sinakara Valley (high Peruvian Andes) in May / June.
• Corpus Christi in May / June.
• Inti Raymi in June.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Peru.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Locations, talent and services costs are inexpensive but since little filming infrastructure exists much of the key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Our Peruvian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for feature films or commercials shooting in Peru. Foreign crews are exempt from hotel accommodation tax.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Peru has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Supporting crew speak English and have extensive experience in servicing foreign productions. For more complicated projects it is recommended to bring in your key crew from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a Lima based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Peru.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Talent looks vary by region. Coastal Peruvians tend to be mestizos of mixed Spanish and Amerindian decent. Many of the coastal areas are also populated by communities of European, African, Japanese and Chinese decent. In the Andes the majority of the population are of Amerindian decent (Quechua and Aymara). Peru’s Amazon region is home to at least 65 known indigenous tribes. All other talent looks are limited and need to be brought in from abroad.

Peru Film Equipment

Peru has some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment based in Lima. Local crew improvise to help you achieve more complicated shots. More specialized equipment can be easily brought in from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, or the US. Peru is not an ATA carnet country but bringing in your gear is generally a very easy, hassle-free process.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. Quality of local craftsmanship is high and labour costs are low but it’s best to bring in art department key crew to oversee the project.

Studios and Backlots don’t exist at present.

Post Production. There is one processing and transfer facility in Lima but the standard is quite average. It is best to post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

A press visa is recommended for any crew entering Peru with equipment. Press visas are free and can be easily obtained through the Peruvian embassy in your country. They typically take up to two weeks to process. Contact your local Peruvian embassy / representative for more information. The rest of the crew and clients can travel on tourist visas. Western passport holders can enter visa-free.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Several international airlines service flights to Lima. Major coastal roads and roads between cities are paved. Most rural and mountain roads are in a poor condition with the rainy season often bringing landslides. Our Peruvian fixer organises safe and reliable 4WD transportation. Flying is often the best option as long distances and mountainous terrain make land travel slow and uncomfortable. The Amazon city of Iquitos can only be reached by plane or boat.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Lima include:

Swissotel Lima
JW Marriott Hotel
Miraflores Park Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Peru, please see below:

Hire Peru Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Peru, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Peru, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.