Look on the FCO website for best advice - but kidnap threat pretty low by comparison with a number of other countries. But armed criminality is a real threat in much of Lat Am incl Peru, so avoid dodgy areas, esp at night. You could for example get taken at gun- or knife-point to an ATM machine and invited to hand over your cash. If this happens, best not to decline the invite, or you can expect a serious kicking or worse.
Flip side to the coin is that Peru is a fantastic country with lots to see and do.
Street crime, including muggings and thefts, is a significant problem in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and other major cities. You should take care when using web-cafes and similar services as thieves operate in places where people are easily distracted.
You should remain vigilant at all times and avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night. It is not recommended that you travel alone to areas outside Cusco at night. Provincial and Inter-city buses are occasionally held up and the passengers robbed.
You should be particularly careful when arriving at Limaâs Jorge Chavez International Airport. Unwary passengers are often approached by thieves masquerading as tour operators, people who pretend to know them or by bogus taxi drivers. There have been frequent cases of rogue taxis being used to perpetrate robberies. It is recommended that you use the services of one of three official companies located at desks directly outside the International and Domestic Arrival halls. We also recommend you visit the Lima Airport Partner website gives details of the Airport registered taxi companies.
Tourists have also been targeted and robbed by bogus taxi drivers, especially at night, when arriving at bus terminals and in the main tourist areas of Lima Cusco and Arequipa. You should always use a taxi from a reputable company, if possible booked in advance from a hotel reception desk or by telephone. If you cannot avoid taking a taxi from the street, be sure to take a conspicuous note of the registration number before getting into the vehicle. If you have luggage, you should not take a station wagon cab where your luggage can be seen, as it attracts robbers, who use mobile phones to advise accomplices to hold up the cab and rob you further along the road. And never leave your luggage in the cab with the driver behind the wheel. There have been incidents where passengers have got out with their luggage still either in the cab or boot and the driver has driven off. Wait for the driver to stop the engine and get out first.
You should also be aware of the risk of "express kidnappings" - short-term, opportunistic abductions, aimed at extracting cash from the victim. These have occurred in the main tourist areas in Peru, including Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. Victims are often selected at random and held while criminals empty their bank accounts with their stolen cash cards. Once the cards have been used the victim is usually quickly released.
There have been a number of cases in the past few years of female tourists being raped. Most have taken place in the Cusco and Arequipa areas, but cases have occurred elsewhere too, in places such as Mancora and Pucallpa. Women should take particular care at bus terminals, when hiring or getting into taxis, and avoid isolated areas particularly after dark. Some assaults on inter-provincial buses in rural areas have included the rape of female passengers and crew. You should also be alert to the availability and possible use of âdate rapeâ and other drugs. You should purchase your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times to make sure they cannot be spiked. For more general information see Rape and Sexual Assault Abroad.
Police report that most of the crimes against bus passengers happen between the hours of 2200 and 0500. If you travel by long distance bus at night, you should keep your valuables (passports, money, credit cards etc.) in a safe place before falling asleep.
There have been incidents of tourists having had money taken from their accounts after using ATM machines, particularly in the Cusco area. You should take the same precautions when using these machines in Peru as you would in the UK.
You should be aware that, unlike in the UK and elsewhere, ATM machines in Peru do not always automatically release your credit or debit card at the time you receive your money. You sometimes have to request its return by pushing a button. Please remember to do so. Many ATMs in main towns have instructions in English.
peruvians are on a whole a decent bunch and are inquisitive about where you come from (can be mistaken fro noseyness by us brits) just use the same street smarts and common sense you would use in a british city.
a common crime used to be that a tourist with big a camera round their neck would have the strap cut off and the camera taken, the camera will then be offered back to you for sale the next day at your hotel, and this is by street kids.
if you remember the steaming attacks that used to happen on trains back here, well they used tol happen in Peru but again by street kids and in the high street as well, they'll knock you down and strip you clean like locust, i'm talking a pack of around 20 kids here, under or around the age of 10.
i travelled in the north of Peru for the Inca trail and had a fantastic time.