Lima is the capital of Peru and its largest city. Since it was founded in 1535, it has developed into a metropolis full of colonial architecture, wonderful churches and monasteries in the city center that are worth a visit.
Peru’s large coast makes the sea very rich in seafood, therefore fish and seafood restaurants are not expensive and they offer a delicious cuisine. Also worth visiting are several archeological sites both within and around the city.
Warnings & Dangers in Lima
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
When it comes to crime level in Lima, there is not much violent crime, but standard safety precautions are recommended due to the existence of petty crime. You need to protect your valuables, even in nice tourist areas. Some areas of Lima are safer than others, so visitors should stay out of these dangerous areas. Downtown Lima is normally well patrolled by the police.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Taxis are mostly safe in Lima, but you can feel safe only if you use radio taxis from places like a hotel. Green Taxi, CMV, and Mitsui Taxi Remisse are reputable companies. However, there have been reports of tourists being assaulted by the taxi driver. Even though you do not know where you are going pretend that you know the route. Taxi drivers have also been known to participate in robberies and express kidnappings.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
The pickpocket risk exists in Lima in tourist locations and public transportation and bag snatching is also very frequent. Tourists need to be aware of people around them, since there are polite people, but stay away from the extremely friendly ones. You need to be really watchful and exercise caution before and after using ATMs on the street.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Some of the possible natural hazards in Lima are flooding and landslides, due to the rains. Storms, severe weather and earthquakes are also common, since Peru is located in an active seismic region. Volcanoes in southern Peru are active and tsunamis might occur in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
The victims of mugging are usually people walking alone at night. The main aim of muggers is to rob you, so do not resist and hand over your valuables. Violent crime, including sexual assault and armed robbery occurs frequently in Lima. The mugging frequently occurs after the spiking of food and drinks. Foreigners are assaulted and robbed on boats, as well as on intercity buses.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
In isolated areas, maintain a high level of vigilance, since terrorism is a threat throughout the world. The attacks might occur in Lima, and travelers need to follow the advice of local authorities, if happen to be in the middle of the incident.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Scam risks are frequent as in any other big city and taxi drivers are the first ones to deceive travelers by overcharging them. Credit card skimming and fraud is possible in Lima, so be watchful when taking money from ATMs. Drink spiking happens, so do not leave your drinks unattainable at night clubs.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Many women reported that they have been sexually assaulted in Lima, so female travelers need to avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. However, many of women travelers spent their visit without experiencing any trouble in Lima.
So... How Safe Is Lima Really?
Lima is not so safe city, since many criminals carry guns and do not fear to use them if feeling threatened. However, if you do no wear expensive jewelry and watches or do not carry a laptop, you can feel relaxed.
Due to the widespread poverty in the city center and in the peripheral areas, opportunistic crime acts are very frequent in Lima. The place which mostly attracts crime is the airport and public locations so do not leave your belongings and do not accept the offering of transport. Express kidnapping happens in order to take money from credit cards at various city ATMs.
- Visas - Entry requirements for Peru differ and depend on the country you are coming from. Australians as well as most countries do not need a visa to enter Peru if they come as tourist, but the passport should be valid for at least six months.
- Currency - The official currency in Peru is the Nuevo sol. You can use ATMs which are available in most places and credit cards are accepted. It is very hard to change money other than Euros and US-Dollars in Lima. You should be aware of your personal security when using ATMs on the street.
- Weather - The weather in Peru differs from place to place, but the winter lasts from June to September and it is followed by heavy rains. However, tropical climate in Lima makes that it hardly ever rains. In the summer, the weather is beautiful, very warm and sunny.
- Airports - Jorge Chavez International Airport has regular international flights and it is the busiest international airport in Peru. The airport is located in Callao, which is 11 kilometers away from Lima.
- Travel Insurance - A travel insurance policy is necessary when coming to Peru and it should cover not only medical problems, but also theft which might happen to anyone in Lima.