Over the past few months there have been problems of rising crime in other Peruvian cities like Lima and Arequipa but Cusco in general remains fairly safe. As tourism is such an important industry to the region there are tourism Police in all the main tourist spots including Cusco city centre, Machu Picchu, Pisac, Urubamba in the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo. However like every tourist destination, muggings and petty theft can occur. The Sacred Valley is slightly safer than Cusco but when in crowded spaces like the San Pedro market, Pisac market and Ollantaytambo train station when it’s busy, remain alert, use common sense and stick to the usual travel rules below.
Top Tips for Staying Safe In Cusco, Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley:
- Only take licensed taxis. Ask your hotel or restaurant to order you a licensed official taxi when moving around Cusco.
- Always get a taxi home at night and don’t wander around dark, unlit and quiet areas after dark.
- Don’t wear flashy items like valuable jewellery and watches.
- Use the hotel safe or safety box to store valuables.
- Stay aware at all times of what is going on around you.
- If in crowded areas wear your daypack on the front of your body.
- Keep valuables like cameras, smartphones and tablets out of site.
- Be suspicious if street sellers stop to talk to you and try to keep your attention for long periods of time.
- Be aware of common scams in Cusco which include:
- A person spilling mustard or some other liquid on you, which they then try to help you remove. During this process and confusion a sidekick will remove your valuables.
- Young women carrying babies on their back brushing up against you in crowded areas, usually if you are wearing a backpack or obvious bag, they will then swiftly open it and remove valuables before you are even aware of it.