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Safety In Lima

Lima has a pretty terrible reputation for safety. However, with a bit of common sense and street smarts, you’ll navigate the capital with few problems. Just remember: You are in a big city.

Avoid Lima’s eastern suburbs (Villa El Salvador, Villa Maria Triunfo and Lurigancho) which have little to offer visitors. Callao and the area north of the Río Rímac are also problematic. Also unsafe (especially at night) are Abancay and Luna Pizarro streets in La Victoria, where many budget bus terminals are. Generally speaking, if a neighborhood looks rough, it probably is.

The touristy areas, San Isidro, Miraflores and Barranco districts, are safer—but still, assaults also occur there.

No matter in which part of the city you are, take a taxi at night, even for short distances. The safest are those arranged by hotels and restaurants, and at the arrival area of the airport or bus terminals. When hailing a taxi on the street, look for reflective tape on the side, a license number painted on a side door, and a white taxi sign on top. Be wary of any taxi that seems eager to pick you up—slowing down, flashing its lights, honking. Always sit directly behind the driver, lock your doors and crack the windows only slightly.

Pick-pocketing is a problem on the Metropolitano, city buses and on crowded streets, such as Jirón de la Unión. Do not to carry valuables in your back pocket. In clubs, do not leave your drinks unattended, as they may be drugged. In many places, especially Barranco and Miraflores, you might be offered drugs. Turn these offers down—they represent trouble, both in legal and security terms.

If you are the victim of a crime, go to a tourist police station, located in Central Lima, Miraflores and San Isidro.

Lima experiences earthquakes and, in lower zones, tsunamis. In such an event, follow officials’ orders.

Tap water in Lima is not potable. Treat it before consuming, or use bottled water.

10 Feb 2012

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