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I have come by these news recently and now I am wondering how real the threat is. Is there someone who recently came back from Peru, Bolivia or Argentina and can report how the situation is?

UPDATE: For me "safe" means: "Everyone came back without any injuries on time."

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What would clarify 'safe' for you? One person coming back? I think it's a valid question, it's just rather broad, so some specifics on what you're expecting in an answer would be good. –  Mark Mayo May 17 '13 at 5:52
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For sure safer than US, where US citizens actually do get kidnapped. –  vartec May 17 '13 at 9:20
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Safe generally means everyone coming back intact with all their belongings. –  Itai May 17 '13 at 16:28
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I think this question needs some major work to be acceptable. As already mentioned, we don't know what "safe" means. What "dangers" concern you? Kidnapping? Murder? Theft? Pickpockets? Street scams? Traffic safety? Air travel safety? Malaria? Cybercrime? Racial prejudice? –  Flimzy May 19 '13 at 9:35
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@Itai well then by that definition nowhere is safe. Every country has had a murder, a robbery, a car crash and so on. –  Mark Mayo May 20 '13 at 2:43
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2 Answers 2

Regarding those news, there was a huge debate about it here in Peru mostly because this was not based on reliable information. After the US Embassy posted this news, the government did a evaluation of the security around Macchu Picchu and even the Embassador Rose Likins visited Peru. However, they still recommend to not get closer to the VRAEM (Valley of River Apurimac,Ene and Mantaro).

It is safe to visit Peru, of course there are always tips and advices.

  • Do not go out to the city of Lima in the night.
  • Always ask the police for addresses and places.
  • Do not show your valuable belongings in public.
  • Travel on a popular bus company and do not take rides of strangers.
  • Travel in big groups, do not go alone.
  • and many more....

And i suggest you read this.

US lifts controversial travel warning

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"Do not go out to the city of Lima in the night"? Lima is large city, as in any city there are places when you shouldn't be at night, but OTOH there are lot of places where people enjoy nightlife (for example Barranco or Miraflores). –  vartec May 13 at 10:17
    
    
@vartec There is a part called "Center of Lima" which is really dangerous at night, but for example in Barranco or Miraflores is OK to go out. –  Washu May 20 at 6:27
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There is some risk anywhere you go but the risk is not even for everyone.

In other words, it depends on where you go, when you do there and how. Generally, larger groups traveling together are safer. Even not part of the group, following hordes of other tourists will make it safer for you, and indeed there are hordes of tourists in Peru in all major sites and along the usual paths.

Peru significantly benefits from tourism and it is in their best interest to keep things safe. Along tourist areas, there is a strong presence of tourist police from morning to around sunset.

It is sad to hear this kind of news and when a group is being particularly targeted you have to be extra caution if that includes you. Anything that can make you seem excluded would help. I know Americans how sew Canadian flags to their bags to avoid anti-American sentiments in some locations.

You are also asking about Bolivia and Argentina in the same question and should point out that those are separate countries. Such issues are really different between them. Just a few months ago (Dec 2012-Jan 2013), I was in both Peru and Bolivia as well as Ecuador. There was some uprest in Bolivia but never did I feel in any danger. It was my first time there, while I have been 8 o 9 times to Peru, but it felt even safer. Ecuador on the other hand is much more dangerous at this time.

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