Being a pedestrian: If you...
Being a pedestrian: If you want to cross a street, do as the limeños, wait! Don´t think that the cars will stop for you. They don´t!
In Sweden where I live we have a law (about two years old) that forces the drivers to stop at the crossing signs, if a pedestrian want to cross.
The system in Lima work the other way, if the driver se a pedestrian he doesn´t stop, if he shows some reaction, he will increase the speed, to make the person run or take two steps backwards very quickly!
If a car wants to change driving field, the other cars won´t let him until they have passed! Making turning signs doesn´t work! Even busses (micros or combis) have to force their way, you hear horn-beeps all the time, and nobody will pay any notice.
- Road Trip
While travelling by car in Lima - always lock the doors and put up your windows, whether your in a taxi or a private car. Keep an eye out at intersections and trafiic jams, thats when there are most chances of you getting mugged, assaulted or kidnapped.
A few good advice when going around ...
When going by car, peruvians always have the side windows open. This makes it easy for thieves ...
1. Place your hand bags on the floor, do not have them on your knees.
2. Take off your watch, and place it in a trouser pocket.
3. Take off finger-rings, ear-rings, nose-rings or whatever you normally use.
4. Trouser pockets are more secure than jacket pockets.
5. If you must pass a zone that is considered riscy, close the windows, lock the doors from inside and follow advice 1-4. But remember that a car is no protection, a thief can easily smash the window and grab your things before you will be able to react by mere chock.
6. Be aware of the risks from "ambulantes" (merchants in the street) and other persons that will pass between the cars when it is red light. Most people of course are just trying to sell small things to earn their money and make no offence, but anyway, watch out!
7. When walking on the streets, grab your hand-bag firmly and have it in your front, not on your back. Always look around and keep control of your posessions and the persons in your group.
I don´t know which advice i shall give you about your money, if you shall put "all eggs in the same basket" or not. Though it is a good advice, always have some small money easy available (and you shall know exactly where and what you have), then you can buy small things and make minor arrangement without taking out your big purse. (Taking out the purse, you shall only do when and where you have control of the persons around, not anywhere in the street).
Ask the peruvians (hotel staff and such)where and when you can go.
Also look for the Tourist police in the centre of Lima, they will gladly assist you. Local municipal police will also try to help you if you ask them to.
So take care. Common sense will help you!
Lima is not the safest place...
Lima is not the safest place to be, but you don't have to be paranoiac. I have been there several times and had zero problem.
It is much, much better to have a hotel in Miraflores or San Isidro than downtown Lima. Anyway, there is nothing to do at night downtown except look at the beautiful yellow colour of the cathedral, so why would you stay there?
Even during daytime, be careful downtown, especially if you look like a gringo. If you have a camera, try to stick with your friends. There are so many ways to steal a camera that you cannot imagine, especially in crowdy places.
It is safer to use taxis instead of buses, especially at night.
If you change your dollars on the street, you get slightly better rates than in banks, but you may get fake money. This happens to Peruvian too.
Concerning food, it is very, very, very good. Restaurants are usually reliable. Eating on the street is at your own stomach risks. My wife (who is from Lima) never does it.
I personnally never had problems with corruption.
Lima: The traffic is terrible....
Lima: The traffic is terrible. If you have planned to drive a car in Lima, don´t do that!
As foreigner you first have to learn to understand when other cars will stop and when they will not stop! Even when you go by car in Lima, driven by a native driver, there are incidents all the time. (adding to that, in some districts there are 'holes' in the pavement, that can hazard your car).
You also have the 'rompemuelles', (in some countries called 'sleeping policemen'), which means a elevation (sometimes more than 10 cm) of the street to force people to drive slowly, on which you can 'chock' heavily! They are seldom marked with signs, but sometimes marked with colour.
Outside Lima and other big cities, you can - but be careful - drive your car. The bigger roads are sometimes of good standard.
Going to the north, Lima-Trujillo for instance, look out for 'flying sand' in desert zones that over night will create a very hard 'rompemuelle' or dangerous obstacle.
I was approached twice by a...
I was approached twice by a man two days in a row who spoke with an american accent, asking if i spoke english. He showed me a phone card and requested my assistance. It was unclear what he wanted, but after asking him again, he said he wanted some money to make a call and would repay me. He story included his claim that he had gone to the embassey, but they were no help. This is a scam and you should walk away as quickly as possible.
Lima is generally a safe city,...
Lima is generally a safe city, but petty crime is common. Avoid carrying your passport, credit cards or large sums of cash if you can. Pickpockets are a real concern in the more common tourist areas, and you wouldn't want to lose anything valuable. Leave anything important behind when you go out.
Unless you're very familiar...
Unless you're very familiar with the city, DO NOT attempt to drive here! Drivers cut each other off all the time, nobody wears a seatbelt (some Peruvians don't even know how to use them!), one-way and stop signs are mere suggestions, and while people do generally adhere to stoplights, there are only a handful in this city of 8 million! If you aren't traveling with locals, rely on cabs to get anywhere you want. They're very cheap, and your driver will understand the frightening (and largely unwritten) driving rules! Be aware that some drivers might overcharge tourists because they know many of us are used to paying a lot more in our own countries. Keep this in mind and settle on the fare before you leave. Also, remember that the majority of Peruvians don't have much financially, so don't get all bent out of shape if you think you might be overcharged. You've got more money than your driver ever will.
Take care with water, if you...
Take care with water, if you are not used to spicy food or you are too cautious with your health then be careful on where you eat...extremely careful. And never ask for help to the first guy that looks nice, even regular cops. Lima is a very dangerous city, and there's a specialized unit of Police to help Tourists (those with white uniforms).
Be careful when you are taking...
Be careful when you are taking pictures of military buildings or any buildings that have something to do with the government. If in doubt, ASK a native Peruvian or your hotel concierge before shooting your picture.
Unfortunately, I have to...
Unfortunately, I have to adviced you, that you are still in a (third world city), and although some places are as beautiful and up to date as any major city of the first world. You must take your preacutions with your belongings and surely certain areas of the city are more dangereous than others, and you are well advice to stay out of those areas, violent crime is still rare, but purse snatching and petty crime are always present.
INCA COLA It seems that...
INCA COLA It seems that peruvians love this incredible thing!!! Inca cola is completely different from any other cola you may know...
colour: greenyellow or yellowgreen with a shade of gold
taste: hmmm something like an used chewing gum
additional taste: mouthwash
great thing: inca cola sea towel!!!!
well... I'm for local food usually... but incacola was completely out of my taste! anyway don't worry I don't like colas of every kind so maybe it's fantastic!
Do not go out in the night in Lima under curfew
I had to go anyway because I had to board a ship to Easter Island and Pitcairn, but I was afraid to walk around Lima when it became dark, so I stayed in my hostel.
There were controls everywhere.
- Budget Travel
- Adventure Travel
Normalmente no hay problemas de cambio en Perú , se puede cambiar casi que en todas
Usually you do not have change problems in Perú , you may change practically everywhere
Avoid the slums!!
This should be obvious, but the slums are dangerous places for people who are clearly tourists and look like they have money. DO NOT GO THERE!!
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Business Travel