Lima Warnings and Dangers

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Best Rated Warnings and Dangers in Lima

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Petty Crime is Common in Lima

    by AKtravelers Written Mar 3, 2005

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    Everyone lives behind bars in Miraflores

    Of course, no crime is petty when it happens to you, so take precautions against pickpockets and outright theft. Use your hotel room safe and carry your valuables in a money belt, with a decoy wallet containig a few soles for small transactions and to satisfy the armed robber. Don't go out in the city center at night and, in general, don't go out alone at night.
    Even in the nicest neighborhoods, like Miraflores in Lima, people live behind bars, barbed wire and electric fence. Glass recycling in Peru means turning bottles into shards that can be implanted on the tops of cement walls. With a vast gulf between the rich and poor, Lima will always be plagued by crime.
    All that said, we never had any problems. Check the embassy web sites for guidance on the latest scams.

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Short Pants are Forbidden on The Palace Tour!!

    by AKtravelers Updated Mar 1, 2005

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    The guard would have laughed if he was allowed

    My cousin who lives in Lima used his connections to get us a special, private tour of Peru's Presidential Palace. Unfortunately, one thing my cousin neglected to tell us was that short pants were not allowed. In fact, I had worried about that, but my slacks were very wrinkled from sitting in my luggage and Andrea suggested my shorts were more presentable.

    Well, not according to Palace Security, who feared that visiting dignitaries might see my legs and relations with Peru might deteriorate. They told me "No short Pants" and were ready to deny me the tour. I desperately asked if I could go out and buy some. I couldn't disappoint my cousin who had pulled a lot of strings.
    They said okay, but I needed to hurry.
    Frantically, I raced through the side alleys and streets around the Plaza de Armas. Unfortunately, it was still only 9:30 and that is too early for stores to be open in a country like Peru. The few places that were open were pharmacies, which didn't sell pants. I was about ready to give up when I noticed a fabric mall just opening its doors, so I wandered in to see three young girls opening one of the stores for the day. "I need pants" I said in my most desperate sounding Spanish"
    " We don’t have pants for men." they replied.
    "Me necessito. Ahora. No problema. (I need them. Now. No problem)"
    With that, they allowed me to look through their selection and directed me to an area of woman{s beach attire where some parachute-type pants were on sale. They were meant to be loose and breezy, and with a tie waist, they could fit me. They were tie-dyed orange, pink and pastel blue. I chose the most masculine -- the blue -- and sprinted back to the palace. As you can see from the photo, they let me take the tour wearing them, though not without the attractive female tour guide rolling over in laughter at my fashion crime.
    If you don't want to be laughed at, wear long pants for your Palace tour!

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  • risse73's Profile Photo

    Commonsense needed, otherwise it's a safe city

    by risse73 Updated Jul 16, 2008

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    A busy street scene in downtown Lima

    You constantly hear all this chatter about the dangers present in Lima. Although I cannot guarantee all travelers to be 100% SAFE all the time (like I was), I can tell you that your visit to Lima does not have to end up traumatic with a few commonsense precautions:

    *Put valuable documents (passport, driver's license), credit cards, and cash in your money belt all the time

    *Use bags/purses for all other needed items (e.g., sunglass, lip balm, kleenex, etc.). You can hand this "worthless" bag/purse in a robbery (God forbid!).

    *Do not wear any jewelry or expensive watches (you're just inviting trouble)

    *Upon arrival or departure--make sure that all your luggages/belongings are safely in the trunk of the car/taxi and also that any bag/purse you have with you must be put under the seat of the car because I was warned by my driver that there have been incidences of general theft of tourists and locals a few miles around the airport area.

    Otherwise, Lima is like any other city (New York, etc.) with its share of crime infused with its urban setting. Do enjoy your trip to the wonderful city of Lima!!!

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  • nenzo's Profile Photo

    Travelling with taxis

    by nenzo Updated Jan 25, 2004

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    There are some common rules you should follow when travelling with taxis in Lima.

    Finding a taxi:

    Finding a taxi in Lima is easy, but it should also be safe, right? Therefore I would recommend you to follow my guidelines below

    1. The best is to book a taxi through the hotel reception. Usually the hotels have their own taxi or an agreement with a taxidriver or taxi-company.

    2. If this is not possible and you are on the street, try to find a registered taxi.

    3. No registered taxi? There will be many cars with a taxi sticker in the window, or maybe no taxi-signs at all. Though they will let you know they are a taxi using their horn when they pass you. The best advice if you want to use an unregistered taxi is to look at the driver. Does he look like an honest man, or a person who would drive you into a dark alley and rob you? Common sense in other words.

    How much to pay:

    It is cheap to travel with taxis in Lima. And to bargain on the price is also possible. From the airport to city center, a price on 10-15 soles would be reasonable. However you can easily be charged 50 soles ;-)

    General advices:

    1. ALWAYS agree on the price in advance. Tell your destination, get an offer, bargain if not satisfied with the offer and take the taxi if you can agree on the price.

    2. When you are inside. Lock the door and close the window. Don't buy anything from the street sellers.

    3. Valuables are probably more safe in the trunk than inside the car in case you should be so unlucky to be robbed.

    I must add that I never had any problems or felt unsafe travelling with taxis in Lima, but taking precautions doesn't harm.

    Have a nice ride!

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  • christian99's Profile Photo

    Dangers

    by christian99 Written Nov 14, 2004

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    Safety & Dangers
    Health Risks are few out of these tropical infectious diseases like malaria, yellow fever and hepatitis which are present in the Amazon Basin and Tumbes (malaria). If you are planning to visit the lowlands of the Amazon Basin is preferable to be vaccinated against yellow fever and malaria. Altitude mountain sickness, called soroche, happens at the higher andean areas. If you plan to bike for long distances, would be a good idea to have a rabies vaccination, because of the great number of dogs in each town and village. Travellers who follow the proper precautions will not have problems with food and drink.

    Crime & Violence
    Although physical violence in Peru is not as extreme in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá or New Orleans, we cannot deny that it has problems with security. Thieves are "available" as pickpockets, muggers, bag and watch snatchers, razor-blade pack slashers and confidence tricky. Lima and big cities like Arequipa, Trujillo, Huaraz and Cusco are safe in average but offer their risks when care is not taken in account, especially in crowded, dark and lonely areas.

    There have been a border dispute with Ecuador since 1942 which have resulted in multiple military conflicts. The area in dispute was the Cordillera del Cóndor. The last conflict was held in the area of the Cenepa river in the border region. Lastly, Ecuador respected history and recognised the original borderline. On October 1998, Ecuador and Peru signed a peace treaty to end with the long dispute and complete the settlement of landmarks along the border.

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  • christian99's Profile Photo

    warnings

    by christian99 Written Nov 14, 2004

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    Women
    There are a lot of women requiring information about travelling alone in Peru. In fact, there are no great risks besides the ones mentioned in the topic of Violence & Theft. But, to add to this, there have been some reports (some, we said) about rapes to women, which mainly happened in dark and isolated areas. The general rule is to avoid these areas and to have a minimum common sense to by pass these situations. Some travellers have commented that it is really a matter of bad luck than a risk.
    There is the strong belief that blonde hair attracts the attention of the southamerican men. This is partly true as they are not accostumed to see a blonde woman in their culture (only by TV). As long as visitors are increasing in number these fact would change in some years. But, this does not hide the matter that southamerican men are machist in great percentage (specially in lower classes). So, if you hear somebody throwing you a nice bouquet do not feel ashamed or get annoyed unless it is a bothersome one (also for men!). Anyway, it is a fact of our own culture that you should learn to accept.
    Drugs
    If you travel to Peru and think to recover your money by taking some "white stuff" to your country, please forget this, because these customs officers are the best hounds in the world!! The punishment for carrying, purchasing or using drugs (specially cocaine) is up to 15 years in a peruvian cold jail. Also, reject any intention of someone sending packs with you (to/from Peru), unless you know very well this person or what is inside the pack.

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  • Sininen's Profile Photo

    Money exchangers

    by Sininen Written Jan 9, 2005

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    I had only been for a few hours in Lima, walked from my hotel to Plaza Mayor where I was soon surrounded by local vendors and money exchangers. I talked with them for awhile and then continued to Plaza Martin. There money exchangers asked me if I were from Finland! I don't think that Finland is the first country they think of when they see a blonde tourist, so I suspected that there is some kind of network amongst the vendors and money exchangers. I don't know how trustworth these money exchangers are, because I exchanged money only in the banks.

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  • smash and grab crime

    by bscottpt Written Jun 12, 2006

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    Before traveling to Peru, I was warned by friends to stay away from Lima. I was traveling with a friend and had an 10 hour layover at the airport in Lima prior to returning to the US. We decided the safest way to see Lima was by taxi (we used the taxi service located inside the airport as they assured us that they were more reputable-to their credit, they were honest and trustworthy) and we decided that the safest part area to visit was Miraflores. We took the taxi to Miraflores in the afternoon and arranged to the driver to pick us up at 8pm. The driver was friendly and punctual. We were on our way back to the airport when we had to stop at a stop light. There were three rows of traffic going our direction and we were in the lane closest to the median. An old man with a crutch was walking down the middle row of cars apparently asking for money and wiping windshields-I think he was scanning the cars for someone like me. When he neared our car another man put his hands up to my window (the car was locked and the tinted windows rolled up) and peered inside, looking right at my backpack which was on my lap. He then smashed out the window with a spark plug and grabbed my backpack. Luckily, I had my important papers and money in a money belt so that only my camera and glasses were stolen.

    I am writing this in the hopes of sparing someone else this experience. I prefer to think that if I had put my backpack out of sight (under my feet) this wouldn't have happened. While I would definitely go back to Peru to Cusco and the jungle (Tambopata Reserve near Puerto Maldonado) I would not venture into Lima again-the airport is close enough. Hope this helps to keep others from suffering the same fate.

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  • Thieve, thieves, thieves

    by Pinkykitty Updated Mar 8, 2005

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    I think every minute somebody is robbed in Lima. I have been a victim twice.
    These are my recommendations to avoid being a victim:
    Don't wear expensive wristwatches or sunglasses or hats. Don't count your money in public. Ladies, don't carry a purse, use a waistpack instead. And if you do have to carry a purse, hold it with both hands. Don't place your wallet inside your back pockets and don't place your backpack on your back, place it on you chest instead, because thieves have knifes and they can cut your backpack open. Always look around and see who's following you. Don't receive papers from strangers and don't go out to drink with strangers (they can drug you). Don't go to bad areas, remain in the good areas such as San Isidro, Miraflores, Monterrico, Surco, and La Molina. Unfortunately you can't avoid downtown Lima because of the attractions. So be alert while you're there. If possible, avoid taking buses and taxis on the streets. Ask your hotel to call a taxi for you. Inside the taxi, be alert. Sit in the back and don't roll down your windows. If somebody does something to you, don't expect the passersby to help you because they won't. In Lima, you're by yourself. If you need help, look for the cops wearing white shirts, they are the cops for tourists or go to your country's embassy.

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  • K-nalla's Profile Photo

    Pirañitas

    by K-nalla Written Nov 26, 2007

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    Pirañitas are groups of 20-30 children (up to 10-12 y.o.) that come in groups and will mug you. They are not cute, and outrunning them is quite hard. Stay in well lighted places. They mainly work in downtown Lima, Acho and the area crossing the river toward Cerro SanCristobal.
    On the same subject, if a single child comes asking you for money, please dont give him any, there is an adult (who ownes them) around the corner waiting for him to come back with money. Instead, if you want to do something, get him something to eat. Thanks

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  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo

    Taxis From Jorge Chavez Airport

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Nov 26, 2011

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    The Foreign Affairs Office and International Trade Office of Canada is a site I visit when entering a country. There recent advice on Lima is something I wish potential travelers to review. It was last updated October 28, 2011. The following is pulled verbatim from their post.

    http://www.voyage.gc.ca/countries_pays/report_rapport-eng.asp?id=238000

    "Violent crimes such as carjacking, assault, and armed robbery are frequent. Canadians arriving at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport should use a secure taxi service to go into the city, and should exercise particular caution en route to their hotel. You may find further information on registered taxi companies on the Lima Airport Partners Website. Attacks and robberies on vehicles occur regularly along the route from the airport, and even upon a taxi's arrival at the hotel."

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    No photography

    by grandmaR Updated Jan 23, 2009

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    Courtyard in the monastery
    4 more images

    There were two places where no photography was allowed. One we knew about in advance and that was the Gold Museum. In that case I think it is fear of theft and also they want to sell you souvenirs. (Although I understand that as much as 85% of the items on display there are fake)

    The other was the San Francisco Church and Monastery. The guide said she did not know why photography was prohibited there. Again I think that they want to sell you their postcards and souvenirs.

    I took a photo of the sign at the admission desk (photo 3) and was chastised. I also took two pictures inside - one of the courtyard and a picture of the tile on the wall (photo 2) without a problem (no one saw me), but another lady on the tour took one and was told she could not even take pictures of the plants in the courtyard. One of the other ladies said it was for reasons of privacy, but that is total bunk. Of course the guide was calling this a convent, so maybe she thought there were actually nuns living here.

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  • chancay's Profile Photo

    Take care with pickpockets

    by chancay Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Silencio beach south of Lima

    In Lima you can imagine a higher number of crimes just thinking in the size of the city and the obviously also existing poorness of a big number of citizens.
    Nevertheless I´ve never had problems with it although I´ve been walking through the streets of centro de Lima at 3 o´clock in the morning.

    In general I would say, take always care of pickpockets, especially in Lima centrum and also at the beaches in the south of Lima (like "el Silencio", "Pulpos" etc)

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  • Sininen's Profile Photo

    Muy bonita!

    by Sininen Updated Jul 28, 2005

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    I am not if it was really a danger, but I found it quite annoying. I mean men staring at me, stopping whatever they were doing staring at me with their mouths open. I have never experienced anything like that before in my life. Muy bonita were the word which I heard continuously as I walked in Lima. :)

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  • El_Sueco's Profile Photo

    A few good advice when going around ...

    by El_Sueco Updated Nov 21, 2002

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    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!

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