What Should I Avoid in Peru?
Peru is a fascinating and diverse country that offers a wide range of experiences for travelers. From ancient ruins to vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious cuisine, Peru has something for everyone. However, like any other travel destination, there are certain things that visitors should be mindful of in order to have a safe and enjoyable trip. In this article, we will discuss some of the things you should avoid in Peru to ensure a smooth and memorable experience.
1. Avoid drinking tap water: While tap water in major cities like Lima and Cusco is generally safe for locals, it may not be for tourists. It is recommended to drink bottled or purified water to avoid any potential stomach issues.
2. Don’t leave your belongings unattended: Petty theft is a common issue in crowded tourist areas. Always keep a close eye on your belongings, especially in busy markets or on public transportation. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or carrying expensive equipment that could attract unwanted attention.
3. Stay away from street food vendors without proper hygiene standards: Peruvian street food is famous for its delicious flavors, but some vendors may not adhere to the best hygiene practices. Look for busy and clean food stalls, and make sure the food is cooked thoroughly to avoid any foodborne illnesses.
4. Avoid illegal drugs: Peru has a reputation for being a major producer of cocaine, and drug trafficking is a serious offense. Engaging in drug-related activities can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment. It’s best to steer clear of any involvement with illegal substances.
5. Be cautious of taxi scams: Some taxi drivers may try to overcharge tourists or take longer routes to inflate the fare. It is advisable to use reputable taxi companies or ride-sharing services like Uber, which provide a safer and more reliable option for transportation.
6. Don’t ignore altitude sickness: Many popular tourist destinations in Peru, such as Cusco and Machu Picchu, are located at high altitudes. Altitude sickness can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. To avoid this, take it easy during the first few days, drink plenty of water, and consider taking medication such as acetazolamide if recommended by a healthcare professional.
7. Avoid public displays of affection in conservative areas: While Peru is generally a tolerant country, certain regions, especially small towns and rural areas, may have more conservative values. It is best to avoid excessive displays of affection in these areas to respect local cultural norms.
1. Is Peru safe for tourists?
Peru is generally safe for tourists, but like anywhere else, it is important to take precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid displaying wealth, and take care of your belongings.
2. Can I drink the tap water in Peru?
While tap water in major cities is generally safe for locals, it is recommended for tourists to drink bottled or purified water to avoid any potential stomach issues.
3. Are there any areas in Peru that I should avoid?
While most areas in Peru are safe for tourists, it is advisable to research and avoid any regions with high crime rates or political instability.
4. Can I use my credit card in Peru?
Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas. However, it is always good to carry some cash, especially in smaller towns or local markets where cash may be the only accepted form of payment.
5. Do I need to get vaccinated before traveling to Peru?
It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic before visiting Peru to ensure you are up to date on routine vaccinations and to discuss any additional vaccines you may need based on the areas you plan to visit.
6. Can I hike to Machu Picchu without a guide?
While it is possible to hike to Machu Picchu without a guide, it is strongly recommended to hire a reputable guide or join a guided tour for safety reasons and to fully appreciate the historical and cultural significance of the site.
7. Are there any cultural etiquettes I should be aware of in Peru?
Peruvians are generally warm and welcoming people. It is polite to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek if you’re familiar with them. It is also customary to say “buen provecho” before starting a meal, which means “enjoy your meal.”
In conclusion, Peru is a remarkable destination that offers an abundance of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and adventure. By being aware of certain precautions and respecting local customs, you can have a safe and memorable experience in this incredible country. Remember to stay hydrated, be cautious of your belongings, and immerse yourself in the rich Peruvian culture.