Is Peru a dangerous place for tourists
But ... isn't South America dangerous?
Recently, more and more visitors have found my site using the search phrase "is South America dangerous" or "dangerous countries in South America". Many travelers in Germany are concerned with the issue of security, and quite a few avoid South America because of their concerns. Is it really so bad?
As most readers know, I spent a long time in South America, 8 months in total. During this time I have traveled through 5 countries alone: Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. This year, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was added.
I had a great time and always enjoy coming back to South America. The local people are incredibly personable and warm-hearted, especially if you speak the language, it is worth the long journey from a human point of view.
There is nowhere absolute security
Let's start with the sad truth: there are no safe countries / regions in this world. Especially if you grew up in Germany, you can hardly find an area that is safer than at home. But there are also dangerous areas in Germany, especially in metropolitan areas and so-called “social hot spots”.
Although poverty is greater in South America, this does not necessarily mean that a mass murderer is waiting for his next victim on every corner. As in Germany, there are places with more and places with fewer criminal incidents. Especially with tourist hotspots, the countries try to guarantee a particularly high level of security, after all, many are dependent on tourism.
Travel carefree and without fear - maintain respect
On my trip across the continent, I had a good, safe feeling most of the time. Many areas sometimes look worse to us Europeans than they actually are. Here it is important that you inform yourself in advance about the places you want to visit next and that you observe basic safety rules.
The most important thing, however, is: never travel with fear, but on the other hand don't lose respect either. It is important to be with your eyes open and to trust your gut feeling.
Learning the language also means becoming more confident
I preach again and again in my travel guides: “People, learn the local language!”. The language opens many doors for you and lets you travel much more confidently - you understand people, you know what they want from you, you can ask them for help or advice.
In addition, you avoid so many misunderstandings, appear more self-confident and add value to your trip immensely - the effort of a language course and the money invested pays off in many ways.
Enjoy big cities with caution
But yes, something bad happened to me too - I was the victim of a very violent robbery in Cordoba (Argentina). However, this is due to the disregard of my own safety rules “never go alone in big cities at night”, “if in doubt, take a taxi” and “don't get reckless”. In the end there was the loss of valuables and hospitalization. Quite uncool but also pretty stupid of me (here is the video).
If you follow the safety tips on South America, there would not be a single incident at the end of a very long stay in South America. Nevertheless, after the attack I learned to love Argentina even more - the support I received is difficult to put into words and has shown me how great the local people are.
Be it my negative experience or that of other travelers, the attacks mostly took place in large cities. Not infrequently, the recklessness and the fact that one has not been informed beforehand played a decisive role.
Do not be put off!
If you ignore the big cities, a lot is put into perspective - in Patagonia and the lake area in Chile I hitchhiked more than 1000km. In Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Bariloche (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Punta del Este (Uruguay) and many more. I was often out and about at night without any problems after I had informed myself about the conditions beforehand. Not to mention the multi-day hikes including camping in Peru, Chile and Argentina.
The security we enjoy in Germany is a great burden, as it often results in a fear that prevents us from having wonderful experiences. Because, let's be honest, what do we in Europe already know about this part of the world? What messages are getting through to us? Unfortunately, as is so often the case, it is mostly the negative ones.
The countries of South America have so much to offer, most spots are much safer than one is often led to believe. With a little preparation, traveling to this part of the world isn't much more dangerous than anywhere else. South America is waiting for you!
If you want to prepare optimally, continue here:
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Is South America Dangerous? How are your experiences
This post reflects my personal experiences and impressions - what about yours? I look forward to any constructive comment / experience report on the subject to give the undecided a broader impression!
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