Risky Cities

Arequipa, Peru

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Arequipa, a captivating city nestled in the southern part of Peru, boasts a rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and a vibrant atmosphere.

As of September 2021, Arequipa is the second most populous city in Peru, after Lima, with an estimated population of around 1 million inhabitants. This dynamic city serves as the capital of the Arequipa Region and offers a harmonious blend of urban modernity and traditional charm.

While Arequipa is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, it is important to stay informed about the local crime rates and historical records. It is worth noting that crime can occur in any city, and it is advisable to take precautions to ensure personal safety.

The crime rates in Arequipa have seen fluctuations over the years, but it is still relatively safer compared to some other major cities in Latin America. The local authorities have made efforts to improve security measures, but occasional incidents of petty theft, pickpocketing, and scams can still occur, particularly in crowded tourist areas.

To minimize the risk of encountering crime, it is advisable to exercise caution in certain areas of Arequipa. While the city has many safe neighborhoods, it is recommended to be vigilant and avoid isolated or poorly lit areas, especially at night. Some areas that have been reported as relatively more prone to criminal activity include the outskirts of the city, such as marginal neighborhoods. It is advisable to consult with local residents or trusted sources for up-to-date information on potentially dangerous areas.

To enhance personal safety while exploring Arequipa, it is important to be mindful of the time of day. During daylight hours, the city generally presents a safe environment for residents and visitors alike. The bustling city center and well-trafficked tourist areas are generally safe, even in the evenings. However, it is always recommended to exercise caution and remain vigilant, regardless of the time of day.

1. Personal Belongings: While exploring Arequipa, it is essential to keep a close eye on personal belongings, such as bags, wallets, and cameras. Avoid displaying expensive items openly, as it may attract unwanted attention. It is also advisable to carry only the necessary amount of cash and use a money belt or a secure bag to protect valuables.

2. Transportation Safety: When using public transportation, such as buses or taxis, it is advisable to choose reputable companies or use licensed taxis with visible identification. If possible, consider using ride-sharing apps for added safety and convenience. Additionally, be cautious of unofficial taxi services, as they may pose a higher risk of scams or theft.

3. Cultural Sensitivity: Arequipa is known for its rich cultural heritage, including its colonial architecture, historical sites, and traditional customs. It is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and be mindful of local sensitivities to avoid unnecessary conflicts or misunderstandings.

4. Emergency Contacts: Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers, including the local police, ambulance services, and the nearest embassy or consulate. It is also recommended to keep copies of important documents, such as your passport, separately from the originals.