Most crime against tourists in Lima consists of bag-snatching or pocket-picking, and occurs in the Historic Center, Barranco, Miraflores and San Isidro. This is not because these are dangerous parts of town, but rather because tourists rarely venture into other parts.  

Miraflores and San Isidro are impressively safe. They are well-patrolled by police and municipal security (Serenazgo in Miraflores, Luciernaga in San Isidro), and I happily wander these districts in the night time with no real preoccupation. However, the beaches and coast highway here are not the same flavor of place at all, being crime-ridden at all times and downright dangerous at night. 

Barranco is a party central, generally safe even at night. If you’re out after dark, stick to well-populated places – there have been many reports of muggings, particularly in the parks. 

The Center of Lima varies between fairly safe (the main tourist areas) and definitely not safe. Be careful if out after dark, and avoid being on the streets after 10pm if possible. While there are many popular attractions here, you’re better off staying in Miraflores and visiting them in the day time. 

Most tourists don’t venture out of these districts, but in case you do, be particularly careful in La Victoria (only visit bus terminals, and do not venture more than two blocks from the Expressway or Av. Prado at any time) and Ate (get a cab to the Terminal Yerbateros and a bus onwards for the Central Highway. Don’t hang around, don’t wander off, and don’t be there at night). 

In general, you have no business in any of the Pueblos Jovenes, in Callao except for going to and from the airport, in Puente Piedra, Independencia, San Juan de Lurigancho or Comas. Avoid these areas unless you really know what you’re doing.

3 Responses

  1. I see travelers entering Peru with their backpacks and survival skills landing at Callao’s airport to go to remote and adventureous places all over Peru and almost everyone, young and old, look like they are up to the challenges ahead. But let your notice be published that the land they are standing on surrounding that aiport is wilderness and rawness, and how many visitors decide to miss the opportunity of an immediate urban discovery complete with risk and reward?

    Callao is a tough place because it is a working port city. The Bay Area of San Francisco and Oakland and the harbour area of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California, USA are very tough places and so are or were most of the great port cities of the world. But do people have ” no business ” being there?

    The Callao districts of La Punta, Bellavista, La Perla, and Carmen de la Legua Reynoso all place in the top 30 municipalities of Peru-La Punta ranking
    #6. And on the single issue of security and personal safety, there is no other district in the 49-district Lima Metropolitan Area that matches La Punta’s tranquility and physical protection.

    Callao’s resurgence has brought the presence last year and this year of the Housing Ministry’s to-date largest Mi Vivienda residential project in Cercado Callao and the project by department store Saga Falabella to transform the Pilsen Callao property in Bellavista into their latest tri-store mall. With these additions, the improvements of new theater and waterfront areas in Chucuito around the historical Fortress San Felipe in Antiguo Callao, and the community efforts of a new breed of home-grown elected officials, Callao is readying itself to join the list of livable and affordable cities with a world-class port. These are lots of reasons to do business in Callao.

  2. Indeed — La Punta is certainly a pleasant district with a lot to see and do. However, the pueblos jovenes of Callao are a different story; it’s a whole city of its own, with its safe and unsafe parts. Most visitors to Lima pass through without time to visit, but if you do (well worth it), be sure to get information in advance.

  3. A fine place to get information and begin experiencing Callao, its treasures and cuisine, is the Marina Yacht Club and Termino Medio restaurant in Chucuito less than a mile south of Callao’s cruise ship port. There a visitor can choose to go on a tour of Callao’s San Lorenzo Island, Peru’s largest and an eco-island and sea lion swimming-buddy perserve area.

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