Boasting some of the best hiking on the continent, access to the Amazon Rainforest, sandy beaches, & bustling cities; Peru has a little something for everyone. It’s no wonder that solo travel to Peru is one of South America’s most iconic experiences. Traveling to Peru on your own is also a lot more common than people think!! Here is some important information about traveling Peru on your own.
Like its other Latin American neighbors, Peruvian culture is friendly and warm. This makes life for a solo traveler exceptionally easy. Add in the abundance of hostels and well-trodden ‘gringo’ trail and you’ll find it impossible to not make friends while traveling in Peru. With plenty of tourist infrastructure in place, hopping from city to city is an easy task. Unless of course, you want to visit some of the more rural areas in Peru. This could add some painful 12+ hour bus rides across the vast country. But if you’re seeking serene mountain villages you won’t be disappointed. Day-to-day you’ll find yourself exploring high-altitude cities, immersing yourself in the ancient Incan culture, and learning about the rich indigenous histories of the region. Throw in a trip to the Amazon and some trekking through the dramatic landscapes of the Sacred Valley and Peru will undoubtedly be a trip to remember.
Let’s talk safety, most solo travelers’ biggest concern when traveling abroad. These are a few things you can do to quell those fears in Peru.
Get a sim card. Navigating unfamiliar cities becomes a lot easier with access to GPS. If you’re worried about safety this is a good asset to have.
Avoid going out alone at night. Or heavy drinking.
Trust your gut. If it feels like a sketchy situation, remove yourself.
Keep valuables hidden. The most commonly reported crime is pick-pocketing. Don’t carry a lot of cash on you.
Brush up on your Spanish or carry a phrasebook. English isn’t widely spoken in Peru. You can also download Google Translate to make interactions with locals go smoother.
Many travelers choose the solo route out of a deep-seated desire to take on the world alone. Many solo travelers relish the opportunity to develop their confidence and to spend some time alone with themselves. It can be a profoundly rewarding and introspective experience. But some travelers choose the solo travel life out of necessity. In the case of the latter, you may want to make some friends along the route. Let’s take a look at the easiest ways to make friends as a solo traveler in Peru.
Stay at a Hostel. Hostels are backpacker hubs filled with travelers (often solo) looking to make connections.
Sign up for a tour. From cooking classes in Lima to group treks in Cusco, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends with other solo travelers who share your interests.
Join a trekking group. Hiking is an activity best done in groups. Multi-day treks through the Andes have a way of bonding travelers more than just an evening spent in the hotel.
Don’t travel with a lot of money
Taking out large sums of money might seem like a good idea because you’ll avoid international fees, but really it’s not. Unless you stash it away in a safe at a hotel, avoid taking out those large sums of money, and definitely don’t go out with too much money. Having all that cash on you at one time is just setting yourself up for disaster. It’s much better to have 50 soles pickpocketed than 400 soles.
Museums and Plazas
Museums and plazas are magnets for people traveling throughout an area. Everyone wants to know the history of a place and a museum is where they’ll find it. Not only can you meet people at a museum, but it is also a good way to occupy some time. Another great way to meet people is to go to a plaza. Peru has plenty of plazas in every city, and each plaza attracts everyone: from vendors and families to travelers and street performers. The plazas are the heart of every city and offer a perfect place to meet people and mingle with the locals.
This may go without saying, but you have to be very vigilant with your belongings at all times. Especially when you’re traveling alone with a big backpack on, you’ll be a glaring target for theft. The best way to prevent your things from getting stolen is to be careful of where you put them and watchful of your surroundings. Large, busy bus stations with all their commotion are usually the best times for thieves to do their thing, especially when it gets crowded and everyone is bumping into each other. Don’t keep all your money and valuables in one place and always know where you’re storing them. Keep an eye on where you keep your money and constantly recheck to make sure your money and phone and computer are still there.