Stop-over in Lima, Peru Is it Safe? What do do?

Historic Distric in Lima

Lots of trips to Machu Picchu and the other South American destinations stop in Lima for 8-18 hours.  When my husband and trekked in Peru many years ago — Machu Picchu, the Cordillera Blanca — we too had a long lay-over in Lima.  Recently I returned to Lima en route to Easter Island and discovered how much we’d missed on the first visit.

The photos tell a story of what there is to do. Enjoy but beware.


There are pick-pockets, so leave your jewelery at home. Our guide told us that gold items; earrings, watches, are of particular interest to thieves who will grab and run.

Leave valuables in the hotel safe, and wear your ID and credit cards, and cash in a money belt or interior pocket under your clothing.

Remember the hour of sunset. A neighborhood that was bustling with activity during the day may quickly be deserted after dark and not be safe. Ask locals what and where is safe. Spend the extra money for a cab.

For more safety tips go to my website, Gutsy Traveler and click on the Travel Tips / Safety:

Larco Museo, Marvelous Collection of Moche Pots

What to do during a lay-over in Lima?

Mira Flores area of Lima. See all the surfers?

Again, friends asked me if Lima is safe for tourists. That depends upon where you go and how savvy you are. I recommend you hire a guide for the day.  Mountain Lodges of Peru has day guides, and Roberto, our charming, well-educated guide  was excellent.  He showed us all the highlights — Plaza San Martin, San Isidro, Miraflores, Museo Larco — and he saved us time, and ensured our safety. (By the way, Mountain Lodges of Peru’s website is awesome. You’ll want to spend more time in Peru after perusing the site).

Larco Museum, Inca Gold

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About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.

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