Home Videos Safety concerns and General Tips when traveling to Peru Videos Safety concerns and General Tips when traveling to Peru By Admin - August 31, 2018 183 0 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Transcript Safety concerns and General Tips when traveling to Peru 0:00 Hey everyone! 0:01 Thank you so much for joining me here today at Stef’s Peru Travel Tips. 0:04 I’m Stef and it’s been a really long time since I’ve made a video so I’m kind of nervous 0:08 and I have my notebook here that I’m going to read off of in case I forget anything and 0:13 I hope that that doesn’t annoy you guys or seem very obvious but I’m going to try to 0:18 do my best to remember this information. 0:20 So, let’s get started with this video. 0:22 Today’s video is going to be about safety concerns when traveling to Peru and around 0:28 maybe someone in the middle of this video or the end, I will have some general safety 0:32 tips that you can use when coming to Peru. 0:34 But you might also be able to apply them as well when you travel to other foreign countries. 0:39 So, let’s get started. 0:42 A lot of tourists generally have safety concerns when traveling to Peru or specific foreign 0:47 countries either because they have seen things on the news such as riots or other forms of 0:53 civil unrest or they have read up on crime in the country that they are planning on visiting 0:58 or maybe they know natives from that country or foreigners who have traveled there that 1:03 have had bad experiences. 1:05 So I know that it can be easy to get discouraged about traveling to a country when you have 1:10 so much negative information coming in, and at least in my experience, I feel like Peruvians 1:16 are very proud of their country and their culture and they know that Peru has a lot 1:21 to offer but at the same time, at least for me, I feel like a lot of people in Lima live 1:25 in a constant state of fear. 1:28 They’re always scared that they’re going to get mugged or that something bad is going 1:31 to happen to them when they leave their homes or even just being at home. 1:35 So, what I want to do in this video is try to present to you the information that you 1:39 need so that you are aware of what could possibly happen while you travel here but I, um, don’t 1:45 want you to get discouraged from traveling to any foreign countries just because it’s 1:50 “too dangerous.” 1:51 I think in general, there is always danger present anywhere you go and I just think that 1:56 the main thing that you have to do when you go anywhere is just keep an eye out and just 2:00 try to be as safe as possible. 2:02 So, here we go! 2:04 This video is a little difficult for me to talk about because I have to be as objective 2:09 as I can be but at the same time it is my personal video blog so I am going to be to 2:14 a certain degree subjective and I just hope that all of you can respect me and my opinion 2:19 and you know, I welcome your opinions as well so just be sure to write down whatever it 2:24 is, um, that you would like to mention at the bottom of this video in the comments section. 2:29 So, let’s go! 2:30 The U.S. Department of State has ranked Peru as critical for crime and we actually have 2:38 one of the highest crime rates here in Latin America. 2:41 So that’s not really good to know but it’s not that bad. 2:44 I mean, it all depends on what goes on when you come here. 2:49 So some common crimes here are: pickpocketing, purse snatching, smash and grab robberies. 2:54 A smash and grab robbery is basically when you are in your car and someone comes up to 2:58 the car or wherever you’re in in the vehicle and they break the window. 3:02 They grab your purse or your bag or whatever you have there in that moment and they just 3:07 run away with it or drive off or whatever. 3:09 They also have express kidnappings which is basically when they pick you up off the street 3:15 and they take you to an ATM and make you withdraw all of your money and they force you to give 3:23 them whatever you have on you and sometimes they even take you all the way home so that 3:27 they can just take whatever else that you have before they finally let you go. 3:32 And then there’s also carjackings and burglaries as well. 3:39 I’m sorry if this is really loud but my grandmother has decided to cook while I am making this 3:43 so, there’s going to be noise. 3:46 So why are foreigners easy targets? 3:49 Well, foreigners are perceived as as generally being wealthier than the local population. 3:55 You guys generally tend to have items on you or cash on you so, you know, we think that 4:01 you’re loaded basically. 4:03 Common items stolen are: smartphones, cameras, ipads or tablets, wallets and laptops. 4:14 So as you can see, small electronic devices are generally stolen besides wallets. 4:19 For those of you that don’t know the history of Peru. 4:22 I don’t know a whole lot about it myself because I didn’t live here and I wasn’t raise here 4:27 so I didn’t have to study this but I did try to do some research in order to make this 4:32 video and basically Peru has had a pretty rough history, as most countries have. 4:37 But our history, um, the country has just now been able to stabilize very recently. 4:45 So it started going through a period of militarism in the 50s or 40s or something. 4:50 Around there this militarism started and it just continued on for a couple of decades, 4:58 for a few decades and then there was an emergence of these terrorists, domestic terrorist groups 5:01 or insurgent groups. 5:05 And we also had inflation, plus hyperinflation in the 80s so it’s been really rough. 5:14 The last major terrorist attack that Peru had was in 2002 when there was a bomb left 5:19 in a shopping center that’s right in front of the American Embassy. 5:24 So that was the last major attack in 2002 and it’s 2014 so that was just 12 years ago. 5:32 So the country has not really had a whole lot of time to really have a period of just 5:40 like, peace, you know? 5:41 We still, um, had to deal with terrorism up until the early 2000s and in the 90s is when 5:51 the whole economy started stabilizing because there was seriously, crazy hyperinflation, 5:57 where people could barely buy anything because it was just, the prices were ridiculous and 6:02 a lot of people actually did leave the country for that reason as well because life here 6:06 was really scary, you know? 6:08 It was incredibly difficult to buy things and there was the whole terrorism thing. 6:13 You just never knew if on your way to work something was going to happen to you or something. 6:17 A building was going to be blown up or a bus was going to explode. 6:20 So it was really tough for the people who were living here then. 6:25 That’s basically the general gist of it because I don’t want to go into too much detail because 6:30 I don’t want to possibly get anything wrong here. 6:32 So, I don’t want haters to be like “hey! 6:35 You told the story wrong” or something. 6:38 I don’t know. 6:39 So, some general tips for when you come to Peru are number one, don’t exchange a lot 6:46 of money at the airport because the exchange rate in the airport is REALLY really terrible. 6:51 I believe when my aunt came here in February of 2014, the exchange rate within the airport 6:58 was 2.5 soles, the Peruvian currency, 2.5 soles per dollar and outside of the airport, 7:08 in a bank or something, it was 2.8. 7:11 So it’s a really big difference when you’re exchanging high amounts of money. 7:18 Tip number two is that you use a dispatch taxi or as we call it here in Peru, a “taxi 7:23 seguro,” which is basically just a, a number that you call and that you reserve a taxi 7:30 for a certain time. 7:31 They go pick you up and then the taxi driver and the company communicates via a radio or 7:35 something and it’s just. 7:38 It’s more for you just to be safe because, I don’t want to get too into this right now 7:44 but you can get mugged if you take a taxi outside of the airport. 7:49 How can I explain this to you very quickly? 7:52 Within the airport there are some taxis that you can take and these are usually overpriced, 7:57 but they are safe taxis and you can take those taxis. 8:00 Outside of the airport there’s also other local taxis and these are the street taxis. 8:05 And if you happen to take a street taxi, you know, something could POSSIBLY happen to you 8:10 if you decide to take that kind of taxi because it’s not something that’s 100% sure. 8:15 It’s just a regular person on the street picking you up in a car that probably has a “taxi” 8:20 sign and you don’t really know if you can trust them or not. 8:23 If they’re actually going to take you to your destination or if they’re going to take you 8:26 somewhere else to mugged, so, I recommend that at least for your first visit in Peru. 8:32 If you don’t know the area, you definitely should try to use a dispatch taxi or reserve 8:36 a taxi beforehand because, um, it’s for your safety. 8:41 Number three is that you place your suitcases in the trunk of the car and any small bags 8:48 you may be carrying with you or book bags or whatever. 8:50 If you carry it with you in the car then, I suggest that you put it somewhere where 8:56 it can’t be seen. 8:58 Try to keep it out of sight because people do get mugged outside of the airport when 9:02 they’re leaving because they have their suitcases in the seats with them or their bags in the 9:07 seats with them and then they’ll get their bags taken. 9:09 Tip number four is that you should always try to be reserved and that’s because you 9:16 don’t want to tell strangers too much personal information about you because they could be 9:20 sizing you up to see if you’re a good potential victim for them. 9:23 So just be careful when you mention things to the taxi driver, police officers and maybe 9:27 customs officials because you just never know if they’re going to let someone else know 9:34 that you’re about to come along that way they can steal your things from you. 9:39 So, just try to keep things limited or even make up a story. 9:45 I once had a friend that came down here and he actually told the taxi driver that he was 9:51 an FBI agent and he said things like “yeah, I have a gun but I can’t show you right now 9:56 or whatever. 9:57 Blah, blah, blah” and the guy actually believed him and he just kept up this little game. 10:01 This little conversation because you just never know who you can trust so maybe you 10:05 can do that as well. 10:07 Maybe make up an entertaining story to tell your friends. 10:09 later on or something. 10:10 Tip number five is that I recommend that you not carry your passport around with you everywhere 10:15 and that’s just because if you lose it, it’s going to be a pain in the neck to have to 10:18 get a new one, especially if you’re going to be leaving soon. 10:22 So what I recommend you to do is to leave your passport in some sort of locked safe 10:26 in the hotel where you’re staying at and carry around a photocopy of your passport and the 10:33 pages that contain the visa maybe if you needed a visa to come here. 10:37 And a copy of the immigration form that you signed upon entry and also if you have another 10:43 form of identification such as a driver’s license, you should try to carry that around 10:47 as well along with a photocopy of your passport, visa and other stuff. 10:54 Tip number six is that you try to keep a low profile. 10:58 Do not carry around flashy jewelry or loads of money with you, you know? 11:04 Expensive electronics. 11:05 Just keep it simple here, you know? 11:09 Because that definitely draws attention to you and I think that’s a little common sense. 11:13 You don’t want people to be looking at you. 11:15 You want people to think that you’re a part of the local population. 11:20 Even if you are a foreigner. 11:21 There are lots of foreigners that live here as well but they’re pretty relaxed. 11:24 They wear a regular t-shirt and pants and whatever so don’t come in here wearing like, 11:30 super nice name brand stuff or whatever because people look at that. 11:35 And they’re going to think you have lots of stuff on you so it just…you’re making yourself 11:41 a potential target. 11:43 Tip number seven is that I recommend you avoid walking in “dangerous” districts, especially 11:49 at night. 11:50 Try to walk along well lit streets wherever you go and um, yeah, just try to be careful 11:59 because it can be pretty scary or intimidating when you’re in a dangerous district and it 12:07 just looks, not very pleasing to the eye and there are sketchy people walking around so 12:13 just try to avoid those areas if possible. 12:17 Tip number eight, in case you happen to find yourself in an area that is not very welcoming, 12:23 do NOT act afraid or frightened because you totally just look like you don’t belong and 12:31 obviously people are going to pick up on that. 12:33 so just try to be alert, don’t act paranoid. 12:37 Tip number nine is that I recommend that you pay attention to people who are paying extra 12:42 attention to you and to be careful about group of children that run up to you because kids 12:48 try to use that to their advantage sometimes. 12:51 Just because they’re kids, you know, you think “oh, they’re little! 12:54 They’re innocent” and whatever but that’s not always the case. 12:57 I mean, these kids will come up to you and they will just take your wallet off you or 13:02 whatever else you have on you without you even noticing it and sometimes they can even 13:05 attack you because there are little bands or gangs of children that do mug people so 13:10 you have to be careful with that. 13:12 Tip number ten and I think this goes without saying but do not get drunk if you go out 13:17 to bars and clubs and try to stay with people you know. 13:20 This actually leads me into tip number eleven which is to try to always travel with a group 13:27 of people. 13:28 Remember that there is safety in numbers. 13:31 You don’t want to be caught alone. 13:33 It’s always much safer when you’re with people. 13:35 Tip number twelve is that you hold your camera firmly by the straps if you have a semi-professional 13:40 camera or another type of camera that goes around your neck because people will easily 13:47 just, yank that from you if you don’t have that around your neck or if you’re not holding 13:52 it tightly. 13:54 And if you’re not using it then try to put it away when not in use. 13:57 I know that a lot of people who have semi-professional cameras or professional cameras they put it 14:02 in little special camera bags and I think that that’s all good and well but I personally 14:07 prefer to use this little book bag thing that’s like this. 14:11 And it just goes around my body this way so whenever I’m not using my camera, I just put 14:16 it in my bag and I walk around and I feel like this way it’s much more secure for me. 14:21 It’s much more difficult for a thief to yank my camera from me if I have it in this as 14:28 opposed to having it in a little camera bag that I’m holding or carrying around. 14:36 Tip number thirteen is that you do not leave your belongings in the restaurant, on the 14:43 restaurant table or just away from you, you know? 14:47 If you are going to the bathroom, then I suggest that you take your purse with you. 14:51 I mean, a lot of restaurants nowadays, especially the, not more expensive ones but the ones 14:57 that are relatively expensive ones, they have these little straps or hooks where you can 15:01 put your bags or purses or whatever you have and that’s all nice, you know, it prevents 15:07 people from just taking your purse without you noticing. 15:12 It’s a little difficult to get it out of those things but what I recommend is that if you 15:17 have your phone or other small little objects, you definitely want to take that with you 15:21 when you go to the bathroom and just be careful not to leave them in the bathroom. 15:25 Tip number fourteen is that you try to be careful when handling money because people 15:29 will sometimes try to cheat you out of money. 15:32 They will try to give you false bills or bills and coins that are really worn down. 15:39 So if they are just really worn, I would just tell the person that’s handing me the money 15:43 to give me a nicer looking bill as opposed to what they’re trying to give me in that 15:47 moment. 15:48 And yeah, you’ve just got to be careful. 15:51 I’m going to make other videos on taxi taking tips and public transportation tips and also 16:01 money tips. 16:02 So I’ll have more information on those things in videos to come but for now these are my 16:07 general tips and I hope that they help you somewhat when you come down here and um, or 16:16 if you’re traveling to another country. 16:17 Maybe these could prove to be useful so that’s it for my general tips I believe. 16:23 And right now I’m just going to give you guys my personal experience with crime in Peru. 16:29 I haven’t really dealt with any seriously crazy stuff. 16:34 I mean, um, I remember when I first go here. 16:38 My aunt let me use this really old little cheap phone that she had and it was really 16:42 worn out but it was just, you know, a phone that I needed to use so that I could make 16:46 any calls that I needed to and it was so beat up that I seriously didn’t think anyone would 16:53 want to steal this phone because it was a REALLY really old model and I just thought, 16:58 you know, who on Earth could possibly want this phone? 17:00 Well one day, I’m leaving work and I put the phone in my little book bag mesh pocket that’s 17:07 on the outside so for those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s something like this. 17:12 These kinds of pockets and I put it in that little mesh pocket and I got off a few blocks 17:20 later and at this bridge where it’s “dangerous” and I started walking and two or three blocks 17:26 later when I wanted to see what time it was and I reached back for my phone and it wasn’t 17:30 there. 17:31 So I took my book bag off and I looked and the mesh pocket actually had a slit in it. 17:36 Someone had taken the phone from me at some point without me realizing it. 17:39 And I thought that was so weird because I didn’t feel the slightest thing. 17:45 So that was my experience with that. 17:47 Another time was when I went to Mistura, which is a food fair or festival thing that we have 17:53 usually in September. 17:55 This started maybe seven years ago and yeah, in Mistura, a guy came up to me and asked 18:03 me if I could take his picture and I was with my aunt and my cousin so I said “yeah, sure” 18:08 and I took his picture and I, you know, me being the nice person that I am, I said “Oh, 18:12 do you want me to take another one?” and the guy was like “No, no, no. 18:16 It’s okay” and he left. 18:18 Well that day I was wearing those pants that had those fake pockets that you can’t put 18:24 anything in and I had a sweater that had a front pocket. 18:28 So I had my phone hanging out of that pocket somewhat and then a few minutes later when 18:35 I went to try to watch this little musical thing, show, going on and I wanted to take 18:41 pictures of it and I reached for my phone, it wasn’t there. 18:45 And this was right after I took that man’s picture. 18:48 So I don’t know if at some point, somehow, between the time I gave him back his phone 18:55 or his camera or whatever and he said bye, I don’t know what but I don’t know if he took 19:00 it off me then or if it fell out or what but I am assuming that he probably stole it from 19:06 me so that’s what happened there. 19:09 Those are the major incidents that I’ve had. 19:14 There’s also been once where, twice I believe, when I was on the bus and a “choro,” a choro 19:21 is what we call a thief, a street thief or whatever and a choro came up to the bus and 19:31 I think he stole the bus conductor’s money or something. 19:36 The bus conductor is the person that takes the money from the passengers so yeah, he 19:40 like, ran up to the bus when it had just stopped to pick up a passenger and he took something 19:46 from the bus conductor and he ran off. 19:50 And another time was when I was on the bus and again, that “dangerous” area where the 19:54 bridge is, um, and yeah, a guy came on the bus pretending like he was going to get on 20:01 and he actually reached for this woman’s purse, snatched it and ran off. 20:06 So, that’s what I’ve experienced as far as crime here in Peru. 20:12 Nothing really horrible, at least directed to me. 20:18 But I have had friends and other people. 20:21 I know two people, one person was expressed kidnapped, but she was okay after that. 20:29 They just made her give them her money and a bunch of other things. 20:33 And, um, she wasn’t raped or anything. 20:36 And then I had another friend that was almost expressed kidnapped, but luckily a man walking 20:41 down the street decided to try to defend her so she was really lucky. 20:46 And then, a friend that also lives in Miraflores, she was, maybe a block and a half or something 20:53 from her home and she lives in a nice, safe area and a guy came up to her and demanded 20:59 that she give him everything she had and she was just in shock and was like “I don’t know 21:04 what you’re talking about. 21:05 I don’t know what you’re talking about” and, um she was calling out for help and people 21:11 around her were not going to help her. 21:14 I guess because they were afraid often times here, at least in Peru, people don’t usually 21:19 want to get involved because they put themselves in danger by getting involved so people don’t 21:26 always lend a hand when you’re being mugged unfortunately. 21:31 That’s not always the case like my friend who was almost express kidnapped. 21:34 That guy definitely defended her against two guys or something and that was really nice 21:38 but that’s not always the case and in this case my friend was calling out for help and 21:42 she saw some people coming and they just kind of stopped like “oh my God! 21:45 What’s going on?” 21:46 They didn’t run up to help. 21:48 And she was calling out for help and then this car came up and the driver was actually 21:54 the thief’s accomplice and the driver was like “Give,”‘ you know, he insulted her and 21:58 he was like “Give him your effing phone you whatever. 22:02 Blah, blah, blah” and yeah, my friend threw the phone away from her and she ran off and 22:09 the thief got in the car and they drove away and that’s in Miraflores which is a very nice 22:15 area here. 22:16 In the beginning of the year when I started making these videos and I was actually in 22:18 Miraflores recording and stuff with a friend, a serenazgo woman came up to me and she told 22:25 me that I should be more careful and that I should put my camera away because there 22:29 were people stealing a lot in the area. 22:32 And she was telling me how yes, it’s usually a group of two, um, a couple of people on 22:38 a bicycle or um, sorry, a motorcycle and one is obviously driving or riding the bike or 22:45 whatever it is and the other person is the thief and the person will just snatch whatever 22:50 you have on you. 22:51 Purse, camera, whatever and they’ll just, you know, ride away. 22:54 So, she told me to be more careful and I definitely put my camera away then because I had just 22:59 bought it and it was really expensive so, yeah. 23:01 So, it can just happen anywhere you go and we have to be really careful. 23:06 Don’t get too confident, but try not to be paranoid or whatever. 23:10 Just be alert. 23:12 Always be alert and keep an eye out. 23:15 That’s it! 23:16 An experience I want to mention is that once when I was in centro de Lima which is downtown 23:20 Lima with a friend eating at KFC, while we were sitting there, I noticed a group of tourists 23:26 coming in and then after a few minutes I went to the bathroom and I happened to see one 23:31 of the tourists there with a Peruvian woman and then I left and sat down and kept talking 23:37 to my friend and then a few minutes later, um, the woman was crying, just balling her 23:44 eyes out and I happened to find out that the Peruvian woman that she was with somehow managed 23:50 to steal a bag off of her. 23:53 She was just confusing the woman with whatever she was asking her and she somehow created 23:58 so much confusion that she was able to steal her bag off of her that had like, all of their 24:04 passports, money and all of their stuff and I felt so bad for her and the worst thing 24:08 about this is that the KFC didn’t even have a surveillance camera. 24:13 The police officers were unfortunately, not much help at all and there was no way to catch 24:17 this woman and I just felt so bad for them because they were going to leave Peru with 24:22 such a negative experience. 24:26 Negative feelings about their time here for the most part probably because that can really 24:32 kill your experience so I hope that these tips and this information can help you guys 24:40 limit your risk for when you come to Peru in case you find yourself in shady areas or 24:46 whatever. 24:47 I hope that this limits your risk for danger and I hope that you are still motivated to 24:52 come here and visit Peru because it does have a lot to offer and it would be a very good 24:56 experience for all of you and thank you so much for watching. 25:00 I want to shout out to my friend Suz, who really pushed me to get back to making these 25:05 videos so thank you so much Suz and thanks so much again for watching. 25:10 And I hope to see you again sometime soon! 25:16 Bye! 25:22 Take care!