Beware of Peruvians who see you WALKING MONEYBAGS
It is sad that many Peruanos see gringos/foreigners as walking moneybags. Instead of being sincerely helpful and welcoming, many will try to take advantage of you. Beware of Peruvians who pretend to quickly befriend you. Here are some tactics:
Escorting you to a hotel - THEY GET A KICKBACK. The hotel may not be best for you, but best for them as they get a commission!
Inviting you to a restaurant, bar, disco - THEY WILL ORDER FOOD/DRINKS AND EXPECT/ASSUME YOU SHOULD PAY. Some will escort you to a fancy restaurant with the intention of you footing the bill. Only pay for your portion. Stand your ground. Do not be intimidated. Some travellers have been escorted to bars for grossly overpriced drinks where the escort is getting a kickback.. Examine all prices BEFORE ordering. DO NOT PAY for the food/drinks or your so-called friends or escorts as this encourages their taking advantage of foreigners.
Meeting with someone and they show up with their friends or their friends later join them at the bar/restaurant. If this happens, bail out immediately as usually their intention is to invite their friends to feed at the trough on your dime.
Overcharging you for a taxi. This doesn't happen so much in Huaraz, but more so in Lima. Best to get 3 quotes from 3 different taxis to see if the price is fair or not. Do not take a taxi at Larcomar in Miraflores as its a tourist mecca where the taxi drivers will quote high rates to foreigners. Walk 2 blocks away and the quote will be 50% less!
Your hotel being so kind as to call a taxi for you. Before you do this, walk out to the street yourself and get a quote. I have seen others pay 50% more for the private hotel taxi, whereas the taxi driver charges you excessively and gives a kickback to the friendly hotel who called a taxi for you. It is not necessary for them to call their "friend" taxi who is overcharging you and giving them a kickback.
NO MONTREK OR MONY TOURS!
MONTREK, MONY AND GANESA TRAVEL
These companies managed to lose or steal my pack within five minutes of my arrival. They put our bags into one taxi and the group members into another, and when we arrived at the bus, my pack was gone. Whether this was premeditated or just irresponsibility is unclear, but it contained over 400 dollars of clothes and equipment needed for the trek. The company then convinced me to go on the trek anyway, even though I didn´t have enough clothes for the extreme temperatures near the pass. They promised that the trip would be refunded either way, but that since the equipment and supplies were already bought, I might as well go on the trek and give them three days to look for my pack.
After the trek, I met with the owners of the company and they were dishonest and unhelpful. They kept trying to convince me that the U.S. would pay for all new equipment for me. I explained that I have no travel insurance that they were responsible for the bag, since I handed it over to them. They have no insurance, and they weren´t even willing to refund the trip, even after telling me that earlier.
The police in Huaraz were helpful and kind, but it quickly became clear that there isn´t much they can do. Even after threatening Montrek·Ganesa that I would write to all major travel guides and post this information on this blog, they claimed that they didn´t have any money to give me. Do not recommend this agency. Other tourists should use their buying power to ensure that these companies are held accountable.
- Hiking and Walking
- Adventure Travel
masked, armed gunman
Please do not use the trail from the ruins of Wilcahuai'n to Monterey. On june 29th 2006, myself and two other hikers were ambushed at gunpoint. IPERU is supposed to close the trail. This is unfortunate as it was a lovely hike untill the last hour of terror. Although we got away by turning and running (with the gun pointed at my back) their were two tourists about 45 minutes behind us who are still missing. This trail was suposed to be safe but was not. If you want to do this trail I would suggest a larger group plus a small boy as guide to make it safer... Police refused to do a written report...
- Hiking and Walking
Don´t go to ANDEAN KINGDOM
About two weeks ago, I went to the Huayhuash trek (8 days), with this agency, and returned three days ago.
Before travelling, we were promised several things, such as 4 horses, a specific cook (that we met, and built the menu with him), private bus, and stuff. Some of these promises weren´t filled, and we lacked stuff such as gas, toilet paper, and even some kinds of food on the last days.
Most of these problems havn´t bothered me too much (I am not as picky about food) , but I came to complain about the horses - It bothered me especially as at the last day they asked me for more 5$ in order to have the forth horse. When I came to the agency, the owner (Andres) was there, and was really angry, because of other complaints he got the same day. When I tried to talk with him, he looked mad, so I asked him, politely, to let me out of the agency. He blocked my way, and only the forth time I asked he let me out. The second I was out, he literally picked me (I am not such a big guy), and threw me all the floors from the second floor. There were several other people there that saw this, and called the police. I was took to the police, and filed a complaint their.
I also went to my embassy, were I was told I am not the only guy that had problems with them, and, as far as they know, this agency DON´T HAVE a license. It really surprised me, as It is listed as recommended in guide books (I myself own the 2005 handbook, but I was also told by Lonely Planet owners that it is listed as recommended).
I am attaching the police complaint, and also the results of the legal doctor check.
Beware of dogs...
There are countless dogs on the streets of Huaraz and they often travel in packs. Luckily they tend to be small but as with most animals, it is imperative to stand your ground and not show fear. We had no problems whatsoever with any of them.
Be careful with Elton John - La vache Elton John
Peru also has a passion for english singers ... But be careful, the fans can be dangerous !!
Les anglais font des emules au Perou, semble-t-il... Mais attention, les fans peuvent etre dangereux !
Meat market not for the squeamish!
I loved going to the market in the morning, nothing could keep me from it, but poor Doreen would get sick at the smell of the raw fish and some of the more unerring sights...
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