safety in peru

Old Oct 24th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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safety in peru

Hi! I'm visiting Peru in December and trying to make my way from Lima to Cuzco and then onto Macchu Picchu. My first question is about safety. I'm a single woman, and I've always wanted to travel alone, and am hoping this is the trip. I have friends I'll be staying with in Cuzco. So is it safe to see Lima for a day or two and then travel up to Cuzco alone? Also, is it safe to travel from Cuzco to M.P alone?
Secondly, is it better to fly from Lima to Cuzco, or are there sights to see that I'd really miss out on if I flew?

XULIETTE is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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During my time spent in Peru I believe it is a very safe place to travel. The only thing I ever ran into were pick-pockets, but I would exercise more caution in Lima than in Cuzco.

For the most part Lima is just a big city, but a few places like the central plaza may be worth seeing. If you decide to stay in Lima make sure to make a reservation with a hotel/hostel before you leave so you can have someone pick you up at the airport. There's no place close to the airport to stay for the night.

Flying from Lima to Cuzco is the way to go. The only other way to do it is to take a 24 hour bus drive, mostly on single-lane dirt roads winding around the Andes. It'd be an adventure and amusing for sure, but don't know if it'd be worth your time depending on how long you'll be staying.

You can travel 'alone' on the Inca trail to Machu Pichu, but will be in a group. You can't hike to MP by yourself anymore, you must go with a tour group. There's 3 options to get there:
1. Do the 4 day trek with a tour group to MP seeing other ruins along the way. You'll camp along the way and stay in a bunk-house your last night.
2. Do the 2 day trek with a tour group to MP seeing one other set of ruins along the way. The train will take you half way the first day, then you'll hike, stay in a bunk-house (where the 4 day trekkers meet up with you), and hike to MP in the morning.
3. Take the train all the way to Aguas Calientes at the base of MP and take a bus the rest of the way the same day.

I would recommend doing either the 2-day or 4-day trek because you can get up early in the morning and beat the bigger crowds coming in the bus/train later in the day.

And there's an entrance fee to get into MP on top of what you'll pay to get there so make sure you bring extra money for that.

Hope that helps, Cheers!
millencolinf2f is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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I felt a bit uneasy in Lima. It still has a third world air about much of it. Best place to stay is Miraflores, which is the upmarket area. Things to see: Gold museum, though the armaments museum upstairs is far superior. National museum of anthropology and archaeology which though small has quite a lot in it. The art museum is a bit hit and miss. Rafael Larco museum. You have never seen a pottery museum like this. Taxis in Lima are ordinary cars with a piece of cardboard in the window with "taxi" written on it. I used them a number of times and they were just ordinary people trying to make a bit of money to feed their family. There are some Inca ruins at Pachacamac south of Miraflores but I didn't visit them as I didn't know of them at the time.

Peru does have a reputation for pick-pockets, as does much of Central and South America. I was warned about it a few times, including by a woman I gave money to in a market up north. It is a matter of being vigilant. I think that is the only real problem with Peru.

Cuzco is a nice city and I felt safe there. Packed with travel agents to help you, a museum, church, etc. Fly to Cuzco but be aware that sometimes the airport (at 10,000 ft) sometimes gets weather bound, so no flights leave or arrive for a few days.

There is an early morning train from Cuzco to Macchu Picchu which is a long boring ride. There are also a number of good side trips available from Cuzco which are worth taking.
kaneda is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2006, 06:50 PM
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I wouldn't say Peru is "very easy" but you will be perfectly fine travelling solo as long as you use common sense (not showing off wealth, walking alone at night, etc, etc). I encountered no problems in Peru and I was there for a month. You do have to be more vigilant in Lima some areas are not safe - but you will know it.
oceania is offline  
Old Oct 25th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Be especially careful and vigilant in Lima.
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