Peru civil unrest

Old Jan 2nd, 2023, 04:24 PM
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Peru civil unrest

This is the third effort to visit Machu Picchu, Peru. I now read that civil unrest threatens our oft postponed visit. Can anyone give me a real time update on a visit to Machu Picchu and Cusco? Is it safe to travel there? If we go in March, 2023, will the unrest likely be a problem. Hopefully someone will either have been, or be there at this time to give us an accurate report of conditions on the ground. thanks
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Old Jan 2nd, 2023, 05:38 PM
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This has being widely discussed in TripAdvisor, as you might imagine, including some real time reports.
That said, what happens this month and last will not have much bearing on March, which BTW can still be very rainy.

Is there a reason that you have to book everything now, or can you wait and see?

As far as "danger" other than your plans being disrupted by strikes, just avoid demonstrations as is always recommended in any country you might travel to. No one is going out of their way to attack tourists.

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 2nd, 2023 at 05:48 PM.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2023, 02:33 PM
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Note that on TripAdvisor there are new postings today about the rail transfers to Machu Picchu again being suspended from January 4. The situation remains uncertain.

It looks as if you were hoping to tack this before a postponed cruise, so I assume "danger" refers to missing the cruise departure from Santiago. If it were me, I would not put this leg before a cruise, even in good times.

It is easy to get relatively inexpensive nonstop flights between Florida or NYC and Lima. I would just do a separate 8 day trip to Peru after it looks as if things are settled.

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 3rd, 2023 at 02:48 PM.
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Old Jan 4th, 2023, 09:20 AM
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A real time update will be of little use to you in determining what the situation may be in March. The situation there is very fluid. There was a truce of sorts over the Christmas and New Year when strikes, demos and protests were stopped by agreement between the parties concerned. as of today those protests have been resumed. It is genuinely anyones guess how this may pan out over the coming weeks and months.

I have spent a lot of time in Peru over many years and have been there at times of civil unrest. One time we were livening in the Sacred Valley for a couple f months doing some voluntary work when there were a lot of roadblocks, protests and demos going on. It was little inconvenient but no big deal. This time around it does seem very different. The arrest and impeachment of the president was what originally kicked off the troubles though IMHO the issues run far deeper - covid, global inflation .. left v right etc. The situation in parts of Bolivia seems to be developing I a similar direction.

The reality on the ground is that if you avoid large groups etc. you will likely be safe. However, as a tourist you are going there to see stuff and therein lies the problem. There has been a huge amount of disruption. Major roads blocked making intercity travel very difficult particularly in the south. Cancelled flights, cancelled trains to Machu Picchu. all of which make it difficult to be sure you would be able to get to see the sites you went there for. You may be lucky, maybe not!

Personally, I think the unrest will continue until elections are held and the results accepted by the population . Last I heard they were bringing forward elections from 2024 to this year but clearly they are not going to happen before you go.

Much as I love the country. I would not book a trip to Peru right now and would wait to see how things develop. If I had tickets booked, I would look at cancelling if the costs were not too high. If that were not possible then I would likely go but plan on avoiding the south of the country which sadly, is where many of the tourist sites are. There is still plenty to see in the north.

There is a lot of activity over on the Tripadvisor forum with some people there at the moment. Unfortunately, what is true today may not be the case tomorrow. I should also point out that there are a number of individuals posting there who are in the travel industry and who are assuring people that all is OK - take those posts with a huge pinch of salt as they have vested interests.
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Old Jan 9th, 2023, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for the straightforward replies. I know there is no exact answer, so we will wait another month to make our decision. Fortunately, we won't lose a lot of money canceling. We added a post MP cruise from Santiago because we had cruise credit from earlier covid cancellations. Unfortunately, civil unrest in Peru will not justify cancelling a cruise from Chile, so we will likely make the cruise part of our planned trip. At this time, we are still planning the entire trip. We are older persons who don't have a lot of years left to try such a trip. If the unrest is in Cusco/MP area as March approaches, we can cancel that part of the trip. I would love to hear from travelers in the Cusco/MP area at that time. Thanks for the help.
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Old Jan 10th, 2023, 12:15 AM
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I hope all goes well for you jetterray. If I hear of any developments over th coming weeks I will try and remember to post here. Currently the disruption seems to be worse in the south of the country, Puno , Arequipa and along the coastal Pan-American highway. The disruption seems to be on/off around Cusco and MP but no one really knows how it will develop.

Sadly civil unrest seems to be spreading through South America with problems Santa Cruz region in Bolivia and of course, the current problems in Brazil which seem to be echoing the problems in the US at the end of Trumps reign. Ecuador also had some pretty major problems last year though that seems to have settled down.
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Old Jan 10th, 2023, 11:09 AM
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Sadly Peru's problems appear to be getting worse rather than better. Thirteen people were killed in anti government riots in Juliaca on Monday.

https://www.itv.com/news/2023-01-10/...tests-escalate

https://apnews.com/article/politics-...78da7de6e777db
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Old Jan 12th, 2023, 01:32 PM
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I am currently in Lima. I received this today from the Government of Canada's Registration of Canadians Abroad service:The Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced the closure of Cusco Airport this afternoon, January 12, 2023. All operations have been suspended until further notice. If you have a flight scheduled, do not try to get to the airport. Wait for local authorities to confirm the resumption of operations and consult with your tour group or airline on rebooking options.

Protests, demonstrations and roadblocks are expected to continue in the coming days across the country. Demonstrations could take place in Lima as well.



If you are in Peru:




  • avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • donít attempt to cross road blockades, even if they appear unattended
  • allow extra time to reach your destination
  • expect increased security forces
  • monitor local media for information on the evolving situation
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
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Old Jan 13th, 2023, 06:09 AM
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trycke- thanks for this live report from Peru. I regret that I am now beginning to cancel plans to visit in March. I think I can cancel without much cost since flights and hotels have been obtained using points. The Latam flights are iffy. Please keep me posted on conditions
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Old Jan 15th, 2023, 12:55 PM
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Here in Lima we are seeing protestors/ demonstrators parading down Avenida Arequipa in the evenings and today a march of those in support of peace. The parades are accompanied by police escorts but do impact the flow of traffic significantly.

Todayís email from the Canadians Abroad service states:

Local authorities have announced the reopening of Cusco airport and rail services to/from Machu Picchu as of January 14, 2023. A 30-day state of emergency is in place until February 13, 2023 in the following areas:
  • departments of Puno, Cusco, Lima and Callao
  • provinces of Andahuaylas, Tambopata and Tahuamanu
  • district of Torata
The state of emergency also includes the following roads and highways:
  • Panamericana North
  • Panamericana South
  • Carretera Central
  • Corridor South Apurimac-Cusco-Arrequipa
  • Corridor Interoceanica South
While a state of emergency is in effect, police and military have the power to:
  • restrict freedom of movement and the right to assembly and association
  • monitor correspondence and communications
  • enter private properties to conduct searches
A curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. in Puno until January 24 2023.
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Old Jan 16th, 2023, 07:51 AM
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I think that is a wise choice jeterray. Put your research back in a file. Consider going in a different month for your fourth try. There are more protests scheduled for Lima, and not just for the Plaza de Armas, but extending along the main boulevards into Miraflores. Stay safe trycke!
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Old Jan 16th, 2023, 08:12 AM
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A wise decision jetteray. The situation there is ever changing and whatever is happening today is likely to be different tomorrow or next week or next month. No point in going and constantly wondering if you are going to be able to visit the places you want. Better wait until there is a return to stability that looks as thou it will last. Either the protests will run out of steam or the elections will be brought forward.
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Old Jan 17th, 2023, 05:48 AM
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Our plans have removed the Cusco/Machu Picchu part of our trip. We still need to get to Santiago to board a nonrefundable cruise back to Fort Lauderdale. Our flight is from Maimi to Lima. We will stay in Lima for a couple of days. If there is a problem in Lima, we can fly to Santiago on any day of the week. Based on our previous plans, we were able to book business class airline tickets to Lima. It would be twice the cost to change the tickets to fly to Santiago. It's interesting that the cruise from Santiago is still scheduled to stop for 2 days in Lima, with a tour to Machu Picchu. I assume this will change. I wish Holland America would cancel the cruise, and give us future cruise credit. That would solve a lot of potential issues. Thanks everyone for the great advice. I will report to this forum if we have any serious adventures.
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Old Jan 18th, 2023, 01:01 AM
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Cruise companies cancel excursions and ports all the time. I have met folks who went to MP as a cruise excursion. They used charter flights to get to CUZ. If still available is this an option for you? Then HAL has to get you back to the ship. If it's still risky they're likely to cancel the excursion the day before.
But they will not cancel the cruise.

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 18th, 2023 at 01:03 AM.
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Old Jan 19th, 2023, 06:30 AM
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Thanks mlgb. You are correct that HAL offers a tour of MP where you depart the ship at the stop before Lima, and rejoin the cruise in Lima. While this is an option, we wanted to spend several days in the Sacred Valley in addition to visiting MP. We determined that was not wise to be traveling around the Sacred Valley at this time. We will save this trip for a later date..Our current trip will focus on Santiago and the cruise back to Fort Lauderdale. We are lucky that apparently we will not lose any money by canceling the first part of our March trip.
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Old Jan 19th, 2023, 06:51 AM
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Good to hear jeterray that you did not lose any funds. A week or 8 days is a good amount of time to see the SV/MP and a day or two in Lima. Hopefully things settle down by next year.

In Lima if you enjoy museums do include the Larco Museum which also has a restaurant on site.

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 19th, 2023 at 07:01 AM.
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Old Jan 21st, 2023, 11:38 PM
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Machu Picchu has now been closed "indefinitely" https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-64360531. Sadly, I think tourists who haven't booked will be writing off Peru for 2023. Terrible for the people involved in the tourism industry there, especially following on form the pandemic closures fro which it hasn't recovered.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2023, 06:13 AM
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crellston- thanks for the update. We just cancelled thousands of dollars in tours and lodging in the Sacred Valley. This is the third year in a row that we have been forced to cancel this trip. The tour operators somehow continue to be friendly and helpful. I hope they can stay in business until next year.
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Old Feb 18th, 2023, 02:01 PM
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Things are starting to reopen this week and next for Machu Picchu. But I still think it is risky to do any kind of independent tour to Cusco BEFORE the cruise, where missing connections could create big headaches. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy Lima with less stress. There are some good hotel bargains to be had in Lima now.

When you plan this trip again, May is usually a nice month.

Last edited by mlgb; Feb 18th, 2023 at 02:03 PM.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2023, 01:46 PM
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Things in Cusco and Machu Picchu are returning to normal since the last week, yesterday I been in Machu Picchu and didnít have any problem. However we recommend to postpone your trip for May or June which are the best months to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu!
Good luck planning your trip!
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