Cusco is a fascinating city and the Unesco World Heritage Site, due to the fact that it used to be the capital of Inca Empire.
Regarding the fact that it preserved colonial architecture, surrounded by a number of ruins and Spanish colonial buildings, Cusco is the city is with incredibly rich history. In order to satisfy every tourist need, it also has a vivid night life.
Cusco is located in south-eastern Peru and it is regarded as the “Archaeological Capital of the Americas”.
Warnings & Dangers in Cusco
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
As tourism is the main source of income for Cusco, the authorities are doing their best to protect he travelers from any kind of crime that might happen there. However, petty crime in tourist areas exists and travelers need to protect their personal belongings at all times.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
In many large cities which attract many tourists, taxis and public transportation is not reliable and people can become victims of robbers and thieves there. Most taxis in Cusco are safe, but there are some bogus taxis where travelers have been robbed. Always use one of the official companies. If you decide to drive in Cusco, bear in mind that driving standards in Peru are poor. Bus crashes are common, especially at night. If you are staying in Cuzco for a long time, the Combis are also a cheaper and reliable mean of transportation.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
The risk of being pickpocketed is very high at locations frequented by tourists and street crime in Cusco is a big problem. Pay special attention when withdrawing cash from ATMs, since the aim of thieves is your money. There have been a number of recent thefts against foreign nationals. The victim should give them money and valuables, and avoid further more serious consequences.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Cusco is prone to various natural hazards, including flooding and landslides, as a consequence of heavy rains. Peru is in an active earthquake zone and if you are planning to visit this area, you should get familiar with volcanic activity and follow the advice of the authorities.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Mugging risk is not very common, but still it happens in Cusco. Muggers usually attack solo travelers who show the expensive jewelry, gadgets or wallets. Passport theft is also common and you should take particular care of valuables on a bus, if you travel at night since number of passengers were robbed.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The Shining Path terrorist group is active in Cusco, so the internal terrorism is possible. When it comes to global terrorism risk, attacks in Peru cannot be predicted. Tourists are not direct targets, but can find themselves in the wrong place. Watch out for any suspicious activity.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Taxi drivers are the most frequent scammers, since they try to take advantage of travelers whenever they can. Pay attention to the meter and avoid being overcharged. Tourists have been targeted and robbed by bogus taxi drivers and robberies have been reported in taxis from the airport.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
The risk that a solo female traveler will be attacked in Cusco is medium, and women should not feel unsafe. Even though many women travel without any trouble, it is advisable to avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Criminals have targeted female travelers in the San Blas neighborhood in Cusco.
So... How Safe Is Cusco Really?
Cusco is not so dangerous city, but opportunistic crimes like muggings and thefts do occur. One of the dangerous areas where you should not wander alone at night is the Plaza de Armas. Pay attention to people trying to sell you stuff in the streets. They should be avoided since they might distract you while someone else tries to rob you.
Use only licensed taxis and avoid crowds in front of the sights. There are a number of beggars in the streets of Cusco, most of them children who will be asking for money.
Violent crime is not very common in Cusco, but it is important to be extra caution in Bélen, Puente Santiago, and Santiago district.
- Visas - Tourists do not need a visa to enter Peru and they get the permission to stay for up to 183 days. If you overstay, you will need to pay a fine. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a website which has all the information about the entry requirements when coming to Peru.
- Currency - ATMs are available in banks or supermarkets and they are better option than using an ATM on the street. Bear in mind that not all shops, restaurants, bars and hotels accept credit cards. Counterfeit US dollars or local currency is frequent and you need to check the change. The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo sol.
- Weather - Cusco has very hot days and quite cold nights. The rainy season might lead to serious consequences like flooding and landslides. The winter in Peru lasts from June to September.
- Airports - The busiest international airport in Peru is Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, while Cusco has its own airport Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - A travel insurance policy is a must no matter how healthy you are, since medical issues and theft can happen to anyone and can never be predicted.