Peru is a diverse country full of vitality and South American lifestyle which can be visited easily and safely. Most Peruvians are hardworking and honest people who warmly welcome visitors.
However, foreigners should be aware that they are visiting a developing country which has certain safety and security issues. The mere fact that you can allow yourself time off and afford a trip to a faraway country or to just leave your home country and now live nicely in Peru makes you - at least in the eye of the average population - extremely privileged and rich.
So, the risk potential on various levels is surely higher in Peru than back in your home country on the sofa.
Most crimes against foreign visitors and expats in Peru include petty crimes such as pick-pocketing, cheating, fraud, and theft, sporadically as well robbery. You should and can - at least in large part - protect yourself against these offenses with knowledge, proper preparation, and a few simple steps.
Violent crimes against tourists and expats, however, are extremely rare and most are connected to shady businesses and the drug cartels. Other safety risks, that most don’t really think of, include for example earthquakes or diseases.
How dangerous are Lima and other cities in Peru?
Today, the general situation in Lima and other cities in Peru shouldn't be considered worse than in any metropolis are larger city around the globe, where rich and poor live closely together.
There are places and areas you can move around safe and relatively unconcerned, while you better avoid others. And as anywhere in the world extra caution should be taken at crowed places such as busses, bus stations, airports, markets, sights, ... and in areas where mainly rich locals and foreigners spend their time - these are of course popular with crooks as they provide profitable possibilities.
In addition, it is surely advisable to move around more consciously, to listen to your gut feeling more often and have your eyes and ears open.
In the following articles of our "Travel Tips and Safety Advice for Peru" series we put together useful tips and advice relating to every conceivable aspect of your safety and security while traveling or living in Peru.
Our tips and recommendation don’t aim at scaring foreigners, but at enabling you to recognize potentially dangerous situations, and either avoid these beforehand or handle them the best way possible. These of course can’t guarantee complete security and integrity but can raise awareness for the local situation.
Please take your time and read through all articles in this series as they contain very helpful information to ensure your safety while staying in Peru!