Avoiding dangerous situations and scams in Peru
Peru is one of the world’s most beautiful and diverse countries. With plentiful ruins from nearly a half-dozen ancient cultures, four distinct climate zones, and a number of gorgeous modern and colonial cities, one could spend a long time exploring all the country has to offer.
Another reason that so many tourists flock to Peru is its relative safety, but all places have their dangers, and a few tips on how to avoid some of the more common problems encountered by foreigners while traveling in the country can take you a long way (and isn’t that what we’re all after) and make sure you have your health, and your wallet, with you throughout.
One of the best ways to protect your money is to figure out a budget for the day before you leave your hostel, and not carry more in cash and credit cards than you need. Having a safe hostel to store your things is essential to leaving things behind, and hopefully you can leave your credit cards locked up behind the front desk and not carry them with you. A little extra money on top of your planned budget, for impulse buys, is not a bad idea, but carrying all your cards and lots of cash can put you in a vulnerable position to start out.
Once you know your budget withdraw cash from a safe ATM before you leave the area of your hostel. ATMs attached to major bank buildings are usually a better bet than street corner, store or market machines, which are more prone to modifications that allow criminals to steal your card and pin information. If you must use a less reputable ATM, something as simple as covering the keypad with one hand while you enter your PIN, in order to block the numbers from a possible hidden camera, can be enough to prevent the theft of your information, but such an activity will not save you from robberies that can occur after leaving ATMs, often committed by criminals watching the spot for an opportunity. Ensuring that you have changed any money to local currency before you leave to explore the cities hidden treasures will ensure you don’t fall victim to similar wait-and-follow schemes with that form of cash access-and secure money changing businesses in buildings usually offer better exchange rates anyway.