Health and Safety

Altitude sickness, or soroche, is a common risk in the Andes, though it’s not a major concern unless you’re hiking or climbing. Hydrate with water and coca tea, avoid alcohol, and move slowly until you have acclimated.

Safety and security have improved dramatically since Shining Path’s heyday in the 1980s, and the central highlands benefit from a strong military presence. Occasional conflicts do shake the area, though, with illegal coca growers and militant unions often blocking roads, particularly in the area from Huánuco to Pucallpa. This has little effect on tourism, although a regional strike can throw off a tight itinerary.

Petty crime is rarer in the highlands than in Lima. By staying alert and taking standard precautions, you shouldn’t have any trouble. Carry your passport and other important identification on you at all times. Call 105 for an ambulance, the fire department, or the police.

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