Relative to other countries in Latin America, safety in Peru is not a major concern. That said, expats should stay vigilant, as crime does occur in both rural and urban areas, and civil unrest can cause disruptions.

Crime in Peru

Crime is a problem in the main cities, including Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. Petty crimes, such as mugging and pickpocketing, occur frequently in crowded tourist areas and on public transport, while more serious crimes, such as robberies, are also frequent in big metros.

The city also has a problem with unregistered taxi drivers taking advantage of unsuspecting foreigners, so it’s best to order a taxi ahead of time rather than hail one directly off the street, or opting for a ride-hailing service such as Uber.

Protests in Peru

Protests are common in Peruvian cities and towns, and can be quite disruptive, particularly for commuters. It’s not uncommon for protest action to carry on for days or weeks, so it’s best to keep abreast of developments. Although they are mostly peaceful, it’s best to avoid any demonstrations. 

The Shining Path in Peru

The Shining Path is a domestic insurgent group operating within Peru. The organisation is involved in illicit narcotics trading, mostly in the Ayacucho region, and has carried out a few terrorist attacks since its start in the early 1980s. The government has waged a relatively successful ongoing campaign against the group, and while the organisation was a lot more active a decade ago, they do still carry out occasional raids and attacks on small villages. It’s unlikely that expats will be affected by Shining Path terrorist activities, but areas in which they are known to operate are best avoided.