The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently updated the travel warning for Peru to include information on crimes – which can sometimes be violent – that have targeted foreign tourists and expats. It warns that robberies have occurred outside hotels during daylight, and that scams at airports and theft of passports on transport can be common.

Travel advice

In addition to the information below, please consider the following –

  • Avoid travelling with valuable items where possible.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and avoid situations that make you feel uneasy.
  • If challenged, hand over your items – things can be replaced, and your health is much more important.
  • Make sure you have a copy of your passport and other key documents in a secure online location that you or your emergency contact can access if needed. If your passport is stolen, having access to this information will help prove your identity.
  • Make sure you have the contact information of your travel insurance company and your local embassy stored in a secure offline location.
  • If something does happen, contact the local embassy as soon as it is safe to do so.

Official travel advice

From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Street crime, including muggings and thefts, is a significant problem in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and other major cities. Be vigilant in public places and when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night.

There have been a number of recent thefts at gunpoint affecting foreign nationals, including British tourists and residents. These have happened in tourist areas of Miraflores and Barranco, including outside hotels popular with tourists, during the day and at night. In early 2019 there have also been a small number of robberies in and around luxury lodges near Puerto Maldonado city in the Madre de Dios region, including on tour buses. Some of these have been at gunpoint and involved British tourists. As with travel across the country, you should remain aware of your surroundings and avoid wearing or displaying expensive items. In the event of a robbery, do not attempt to resist attackers or take any action that puts you at greater risk. Report the matter to local police as soon as possible. If the incident takes place in a lodge or hotel, staff will be able to assist.

Passport theft is also common on inter-city buses and at bus stations. Keep your passport with you at all times during your bus journey and take particular care of valuables if you travel on a bus at night. Provincial and inter-city buses are sometimes held up and the passengers robbed.

Tourists have been targeted and robbed by bogus taxi drivers. Do not hail a taxi on the street. Use licensed telephone or internet-based taxi services whenever possible, or ask your hotel to book one for you. Be particularly careful when arriving at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, and at bus terminals. Bogus taxi drivers and thieves pretending to be tour operators sometimes approach arriving passengers. At the airport, use one of the official taxi companies located at desks directly outside the arrival hall. Further details are on the Lima Airport Partners website. At bus terminals, use one of the taxis registered with them.

There have been a number of cases of rape, mostly in the Cusco and Arequipa areas. Be alert to the use of ‘date rape’ and other drugs. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. If you’re in a bar and don’t feel well, try to seek help from people you know. Unscrupulous tour agents have targeted lone young female travellers in the Cusco area.

If you’re a victim of crime, try to report it to the police as soon as possible so they can start investigations.

from Travel Advice Summary, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/peru

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