Lima

Lima, the capital, is on the west central coast of Peru, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest city in the country and a treasure trove of history. Lima was ruled by the Spanish for about 300 years, and you can see this influence in its churches, cloisters and monasteries. Once you are done strolling through its colonial center, you can explore ancient Inca archaeological sites or enjoy the beachfront areas which are great for shopping and dining. While there is not much violent crime against tourist, it’s important to take care of your personal belongings at all times and be aware of your surroundings as opportunistic theft is common. Below, you’ll find more information on how to stay safe while traveling in Lima.

SAFETY INDEX

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Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

While there is not much violent crime reported against tourists, there is opportunistic theft. Standard safety precautions are recommended in Lima. Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour as you would in any other country. Watch out for petty crime in tourist areas and protect your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocketing and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Muggings have happened in urban areas. People walking alone are often the targets, especially at night. In case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you like a tap on the shoulder, spitting or getting something spilled on you. Credit card skimming is also common.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Overall, taxis and public transportation are safe. Make sure you book a ride or use radio taxis from places like a hotel when possible as there have been reports of traveler being robbed and assaulted by taxi drivers.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Flooding and landslides can happen during heavy rains and may result in public transportation disruptions.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

There is a general threat from terrorism within Peru. There have been a few recent incidents, including grenade attacks in Lima. Remain vigilant and take advice from authorities, hotels and tour operators.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Many women travel safely without any issues. However, there have been reports of sexual assault throughout the country. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Remain extra vigilant at bus terminals and in taxis.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

As in other major cities, some areas are safer than others. Lima is composed of thirty districts; Miraflores and San Isidroo are highly populated; you’ll find wealthy Peruvians and big tourist groups, so there is a lot of security. Other areas like La Victoria and Callao are considered dangerous. Downtown Lima is usually well patrolled, but it’s always recommended to use common sense.

Downtown

The city’s history centre is located here; it’s also known as “El Centro” or simple “Lima.” The area is home to most of the rests of the colonial past, the Presidential Palace, the Metropolitan Municipality, Chinatown, and many hotels.

San Isidro

San Isidro is Lima’s financial center and home to politicians and celebrities. However, you can also find a few parks like Parque El Olivar and The Lima Golf Cub, which is a lush golf club.

Miraflores

This is another upscale district with luxury hotels, shops and restaurants. Nonetheless, this neighborhood has more parks and green areas than most of the other districts. Beware of women approaching you asking if you can escort them home on a bus because they don’t feel safe. This is a ruse to get you to a dangerous area and rob you.

Barranco

This is the city’s bohemian district. It borders Miraflores by the Pacific Ocean, and it is home to famous writers and intellectuals like Mario Vargas Llosa, Chabuca Granada, and Alfredo Bryce Echenique. Barranco, just like Miraflores, is the hub to the foreign nightlife scene.

Useful Information

Most countries do not need a visa to enter Peru when the purpose of the visit is tourism. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your departure date. Your stamp may be for 30 days on your passport though the limit is 180 days. If this happens, explain the immigration officials that you need more days and show your return ticket. You may also get a tourist card called Tarjeta Andina de Migración (Andean Immigration Card) that you must return when you exit the country. If you lose this card, you can visit an immigration office for a replacement (www.digemin.gob.pe). www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Peru is the Nuevo sol (S). ATMs are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in main cities, but be careful of possible scamming and never leave your card out of sight. S100 bills are hard to exchange in small towns, so make sure to always carry small bills.
The weather in Peru varies per region as the country’s geography is very diverse. On the coast, the winter lasts from June to September. Expect heavy rains in the mountains and jungle from December to April. Tumbes and Piura have tropical climates, while it hardly ever rains in Lima and most of the coast.
The busiest international airport in Peru is Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page