What Should I Avoid in Peru?
Peru is a fascinating country filled with rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. From the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu to the bustling streets of Lima, there is much to explore in this South American gem. However, like any travel destination, it is important to be aware of potential pitfalls and things to avoid during your visit. In this article, we will discuss some of the things you should avoid in Peru to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
1. Street Food Mishaps:
While trying local street food can be an exciting culinary adventure, it is important to exercise caution. Avoid eating from unhygienic food stalls or those that seem to have poor food handling practices. Stick to stalls with a high turnover of customers as it usually indicates fresh and safe food.
2. Altitude Sickness:
Peru is known for its high-altitude regions, including the famous city of Cusco. Altitude sickness can affect anyone, regardless of their fitness level. To avoid this, it is recommended to acclimatize slowly by spending a couple of days in lower-altitude areas before heading to higher destinations.
3. Overpaying for Souvenirs:
As a tourist, it is common to be charged higher prices for souvenirs or services. It is essential to haggle and negotiate prices, especially in markets like the famous Pisac Market or the San Pedro Market in Cusco. Researching average prices beforehand will give you a better understanding of what to expect.
4. Petty Theft:
Like in any tourist destination, petty theft can be a concern in Peru. It is advisable to keep your belongings close to you at all times, especially in crowded areas such as markets or public transportation. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or carrying expensive gadgets that may attract unwanted attention.
5. Drinking Tap Water:
While tap water in some cities like Lima may be safe to drink, it is generally recommended to stick to bottled water to avoid any potential stomach issues. This precaution also applies to ice cubes, which may be made from tap water. Always ask for drinks without ice or ensure the ice is made from purified water.
6. Illegal Drugs:
Peru has been associated with the production of illegal drugs, particularly cocaine. Engaging in drug-related activities can lead to severe legal consequences and put your safety at risk. It is crucial to avoid any involvement with drugs and to strictly abide by the country’s laws.
7. Unlicensed Taxis:
To ensure your safety, it is advisable to avoid unlicensed taxis in Peru. Always use registered taxi services, such as Uber or official airport taxis. If you need to hail a taxi on the street, look for those with clear signage and identification numbers. Negotiate the fare before entering the taxi to avoid any surprises.
1. Is it safe to visit Peru?
Peru is generally a safe country to visit, but like any other destination, it is important to take necessary precautions. Be mindful of your surroundings, avoid isolated areas at night, and keep an eye on your belongings.
2. Do I need to learn Spanish before visiting Peru?
While it is not mandatory to learn Spanish, knowing a few basic phrases can greatly enhance your travel experience. Many Peruvians speak English, especially in popular tourist areas, but having some knowledge of the local language will make communication easier.
3. Can I drink the tap water in Lima?
The tap water in Lima is generally safe to drink, but it is always advisable to stick to bottled water, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. When in doubt, ask for bottled water in restaurants and cafes.
4. Do I need a visa to visit Peru?
The visa requirements for Peru vary depending on your nationality. Some countries have visa-free entry for a certain period, while others require a visa in advance. It is recommended to check the visa requirements for your specific country before traveling.
5. How can I avoid altitude sickness in Peru?
To avoid altitude sickness, it is advisable to acclimatize slowly. Spend a couple of days in lower-altitude areas like Lima or the Sacred Valley before heading to higher destinations like Cusco or Arequipa. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol can also help alleviate symptoms.
6. Is it safe to take public transportation in Peru?
Public transportation in Peru, such as buses and trains, can be relatively safe. However, it is important to be cautious and keep an eye on your belongings at all times. Stick to reputable bus companies and avoid traveling overnight on long journeys.
7. Can I use my credit cards in Peru?
Credit cards are widely accepted in most tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, it is always advisable to carry some cash, especially in smaller towns or local markets where card payments may not be accepted. Notify your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with card transactions.
In conclusion, Peru is a beautiful country with much to offer travelers. By being aware of potential pitfalls and following the necessary precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in this culturally rich destination. Remember to stay vigilant, respect the local customs, and immerse yourself in the wonders that Peru has to offer.