In light of the recent tourist strikes at Machu Picchu and how misinformation from Peru travel agencies is unfortunately commonplace, I thought it would be helpful to provide an English resource on how to check the reputation of Peru tour companies.
Registro Único de Contribuyente (RUC) Number
First and foremost, a reputable Machu Picchu travel agency will be a registered, tax-paying business in Peru. All registered businesses are given what’s called a RUC number. RUC is the abbreviation for “Registro Único de Contribuyente,” which can be loosely translated as “Taxpayer Identification Number.”
In my opinion, the best Peru tour companies would have nothing to hide, so their RUC number should be easily findable on their website or freely given if requested. As an example, you can find our RUC number at the bottom of our website in the copyright footer. Another strategy is to do a simple Google search for the company’s RUC number.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade & Tourism
All travel agencies are legally required to register with the Peruvian government’s Ministry of Foreign Trade & Tourism within 30 days of being established as a business.
Here’s how to check if the Peru travel agency in question is registered:
- Click here to access the National Directory of Qualified Tourist Services.
- Input the travel agency’s RUC number (you can leave the other fields blank), then click “Buscar” (which means “Search”).
- You should see the travel agency’s information. If you see “Sin registros que mostrar,” this means that no information was found and that the agency isn’t registered.
Pro tip – this method will show you the contact information of the owner of the company in case you need to get in contact with him/her.
Taking a bit of extra time to check these types of details could prevent the frustration and heartache of tours and travel experiences gone awry.