Health and Safety
Drink only bottled water, and avoid lettuce and other raw vegetables. As for cebiche and tiradito (thinly sliced, marinated fish), both made with raw seafood, the citric acid in the lime-juice marinade is as efficient at killing bacteria as cooking, but because they are often prepared to order, it's best to let yours stew in the lime juice for a bit before eating to be safe.
El Centro is safe during the day, but the neighborhood grows dicey at night, when you should stick to the two main plazas and Jirón de la Union (the pedestrian mall that connects them). Residential neighborhoods such as Miraflores, San Isidro, and Barranco have far less street crime, but you should be on guard when away from the main streets. Always be alert for pickpockets in crowded markets and on public transportation.
In case of trouble, contact the Tourist Police. The department is divided into the northern zone (01/423–3500), which includes El Centro, and the southern zone (01/445–7943), which includes Barranco, Miraflores, and San Isidro. English-speaking officers will help you report a crime. For emergencies, call the police (105) or fire department (116) emergency numbers.