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Parking with a rental car in Peru (Lima, Arequipa, Puno and Cuzco)

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Hello my fiance and I are gonig on a 35 day journey to Peru in May/June! We are volunterring for the first week, then heading to Lima to rent a car and spending 3 weeks on the road! We are visiting Lima, Nazca, Ica, Arequipa, Puno and Cuzco. We are going to do a homestay in Puno and would love to know if there are parking lots to safely leave our car while we explore the surroundings! That goes for every place, not just Puno. I heard in Cuzco you don't want to drive and that if we get a hostel in Ollantaytambo we could maybe leave it there. Has anyone ever done this? Has anyone done this in maybe just one of the cities. I would like to know for Puno the most since we will be leaving it for maybe a day or two. Also what are the gas prices like? I am researching this more and more and would like some feedback from people who have been there! Thank you so much!

S&T

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    Sorry i cant help with your question re parking but I have rented cars and driven in many countries around the world and am not a nervous traveller by any stretch of the imagination, but Peru is one country I simply would not drive myself in. We spent a couple of months there a few years ago and loved it but The roads are terrible, the drivers are maniacs and are amongst the worst I have seen anywhere. The simply have no concept what constitutes safe driving. Add to that the roadblocks/ demonstrations which happen frequently ( at least once a week when we were there!)' occasional landslides and the fact that as a foreigner you are likely to be targeted by the police and other scam artists, and it doesn't make for a relaxing experience! It is probably just as cheap ( or expensive) to rent a car and driver from time to time and avoid the hassle.

    Cusco is one place you don't want to drive yourself unless you know the city well. One wrong turn and you could end up in some very dodgy areas! Ollantaytambo is a lot quieter and certainly has a lot less crime so a car would be less of a risk there. Puno also has its share of places to avoid and if you do want to go this route it is probably best to avoid hostal type accommodation and go for bigger hotels which will often have secure parking. Do check the rental conditions and insurance excess VERY carefully . Some are a complete rip off and don't always provide the cover you may think - even with some of the big companies.

    I am returning to Peru later this year and will be visiting many of the places you mention but will rely entirely on public transport and the occasional taxi. The bus system is excellent and cheap in Peru.

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