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U.S State Department Issues New Travel Advisory Update For Peru

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Peru is a beautiful country with a rich heritage and is a popular destination for travelers hoping to explore the culture, meet the wildlife, and trek to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the country's most popular tourist attraction.  

A white llama standing in front of Machu Picchu, Peru.

Visiting is a bucket list dream for a huge number of people, and more than four million tourists visit Peru each year.  

If you are hoping to visit Peru this summer, then there is good news.  

The U.S State Department has issued a new travel advisory changing the level of perceived risk in Peru from ‘Level 3- reconsider travel plans’ to ‘Level 2 – exercise increased caution’.  

Travelers are now advised to exercise increased caution due to crime and civil unrest, meaning that they can make travel plans to Peru again.

Here’s everything you need to know:  

Traveler sitting with a llama overlooking Machu Picchu, Peru.

Reduced Travel Level For Peru

In recent months, the U.S. State Department had increased the level to Level 3 due to civil unrest. Since the end of 2022, Peru has seen a significant wave of protests and escalation of violence.  

The catalyst for this was that former President Pedro Castillo was removed from power and his vice president, Dina Boluarte, took control of the county. 

Now that this period of unrest has calmed, the U.S. State Department has reduced it's travel advisory to level 2.

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The United States Government uses a four-level system to alert its citizens to how safe it feels a country is. Those four levels are: 

  • Level 1 – U.S citizens should exercise normal precautions 
  • Level 2 – U.S citizens should exercise increased caution 
  • Level 3 – U.S citizens should reconsider travel plans 
  • Level 4 – U.S citizens should not travel  

Peru as a whole has now dropped back down from ‘Level 3 – reconsider travel plans’ to ‘Level 2 – exercise increased caution’.  

Sunset over Lima, Peru

Traveling In Peru

There are some areas of Peru where the advisory level remains higher.  

Visitors to Peru should still exercise increased caution when they are traveling in the country. And there are some parts of the country that tourists are advised to avoid.  

Panoramic view of a historic city in Peru

The travel advisory states that American citizens should not travel to:  

  • The Columbian-Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region due to crime.  
  • The Valley of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), including areas within the departments of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica and Junin, due to crime and terrorism.  
  • The Puno Region, including the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, and the Apurimac Region due to civil unrest.  

In addition, U.S. government personnel cannot currently travel freely through Peru due to security concerns.  

Staying Safe When Traveling In Peru

When traveling in Peru, much like when traveling anywhere else, it’s important to stay safe and remain aware of your surroundings.  

The new U.S. State Department travel advisory states that certain crimes are common in Peru. These are petty theft, carjackings, muggings, assaults, and other violent crimes.  

These crimes can take place during daylight hours and in populated areas where there are many witnesses, but the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime increases at night.  

hikers and the rainbow mountains in peru

You can minimize your risk of being a victim of these crimes by hiding your valuables and not drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.  

The State Department travel advisory also states that the risk of civil unrest in Peru has not completely disappeared.

Public demonstrations occur regularly in the country. These can take place for a variety of reasons, including due to political and economic issues in the country.  

Machu Picchu in Peru

If there is a demonstration taking place during your time in Peru, you need to be aware that these can cause widespread disruption.

Local roads, trains, and major highways can be shut down without prior notice. Public transportation levels may be reduced.  

You can stay safe during a demonstration in Peru by avoiding the area where the demonstration is taking place. You could also consider remaining inside your hotel or accommodation until the demonstration is complete.  

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