Peru is a very popular destination for tourists. But: is it safe to travel to Peru? And, once here, is it safe to travel across Peru? The answer is yes, but here are some useful tips for you to travel safely around the country.
There is delinquency in Peru, like in other countries, but these people do not represent the majority of Peruvians. Yes, some places are dangerous and shouldn’t be frequented alone late at night, but just be careful and don’t take any unnecessary risks. In other words, don’t go there.
Most people traveling to Peru feel safe and are able to travel without problems. Read these tips carefully and feel safe to travel around this beautiful country full of pleasant surprises.
Traveling to Peru after Coronavirus (COVID-19)
International travel by air, sea and land to and from Peru is suspended until July 31, 2020, except for humanitarian purposes. Read all the updates regarding traveling to Peru here. Though international travel should resume this year, we recommend planning and booking your trip to Peru for 2021.
If you have questions about traveling to Peru and booking tours in advance, you can contact the Traveling & Living in Peru team at [email protected]
Traveling in Peru solo and as a woman
Though it’s true women should take precautions while traveling solo in Peru across Latin America, there is no reason women can’t have extraordinary experiences. He are a few of tips from a female solo traveler in Peru:
- Stay positive, stay aware
- Learn the local language
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Read all of the tips for how to travel solo as a woman here.
Traveling in Peru by bus
When traveling by bus, choose your company wisely, and don’t always opt for the cheapest bus option. Most of the long routes in Peru include going up and down very high mountains. If you choose the cheapest buses, you risk ending up with only one driver for an 8+-hour long trip during the night! Moreover, the cheaper it is, the less comfortable you are going to be during the trip.
The safest bets for bus companies in Peru are: Cruz del Sur (considered a tourist favorite, but it is also the most expensive), Movil Tours, Oltursa, Tepsa and Cromotex. Another options is Redbus.com.
Also, leaving your luggage in the cargo hold is totally safe, but don’t leave any valuables such a computer or a camera.
Taking a taxi in Peru
When you need to take a taxi, ask locals beforehand what the trip should cost, more or less, and how long it will take for you to arrive at your desired destination. When taxi drivers see tourists, they might want to take advantage and give higher prices. If you already know how much you’re supposed to pay, you can’t be fooled!
As for the route, check on Google maps as you are driving and always be alert by looking out the window to see more or less where you’re heading. In Lima, most of the drivers use Waze, and you can look over their shoulder if they are following the routes. Uber, Cabify, EasyTaxi and Beat apps are also available.
Using an ATM in Peru
When taking money out of the ATM, make sure it’s an ATM inside a bank vestibule or gas station shop. BCP is the only bank that doesn’t take extra charges from other cards, and you can find the bank in most of the cities. Always keep your money and phone in a little bag close to your body (not in the front pocket of your backpack!).
Safest and most dangerous districts in Lima
In Lima, the safest district and most visited district for tourists is Miraflores, and you don’t risk anything there (with basic precautions, of course). It’s even safer than in certain cities in Europe! There is a tourist police and you will see security everywhere.
Callao, the city where the airport is located, is one of the most dangerous in Lima. And when you travel to other cities, ask locals where are the areas that they don’t recommend and try not to go there (or at least not alone during the night).
Relevant recommendations for traveling in Peru
Beforehand, try to get information about what to do if there is an earthquake in Peru. Tremors and earthquakes are frequent, even though they are often not intense. It is always better to be prepared in case you experience a strong and dangerous one.
Listen to your body. Peru is a country with very high mountains, and altitude can be dangerous if not taken seriously. If you feel really sick, consider getting down 1,000 meters at least for a day or two. Also, wear sunscreen, a hat, and plan enough water for your trips.
In general, don’t go wandering around alone at night, and try to avoid deserted areas, especially if you are by yourself.
If you follow these recommendations, the risks of traveling in Peru are no different than in any other country. Don’t forget that people tend to privilege stories with horrible happenings, and all the stories of people traveling without any problems are often forgotten or not told. Don’t be too afraid, and enjoy your stay in this incredibly beautiful country.
Cover photo: Julia Natri.
This article has been updated from its original publication on June 13, 2019.
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