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September 2011

  • +3 rating

    Kidnapping threat in Peru. Is it safe?

    I am US citizen who lives in the US and I arrived alone in Cusco the day before the travel advisory was posted on the US Embassy website. I go to Cusco several times a year and I know many guides & other local people. We were very surprised by the alert and no one was aware of any situations or events with tourists that could be cause for concern. But several local guides speculate that the US gov is not happy about how the Peruvian authorities handled the assault on 3 Americans who were driving around lost last Dec late at night, and wandered in to the village of Palca. (4 hr from Cusco) The villagers thought the strangers were stealing their cattle & beat them badly. Everyone I know in Cusco, agrees that the local authorities should have investigated & arrested those who were involved. But it doesn't appear that anything much was done about it. From the standpoint of a tourist, I spent a week in Cusco after the kidnapping alert was posted and talked to many Americans. No one was concerned about the threat at all and everyone was out and about. Some Americans wondered how kidnappers would be able to distinguish between Americans & other nationalities. I spent a weekend in Ollantaytambo and with a local friend, went to visit a rural ruins in the nearby valley. We gave a few locals a ride in our truck and even asked for directions. They were typically shy but friendly. I am 56 yo woman and I would not hesitate to go back to Cusco at any time. No Americans have been kidnapped, injured or threatened at this point. The tourist police were very visible. The kidnapping threat is expected to "expire' by the end of Feb. Depending on when you travel and where, every traveler should learn to monitor all conditions that can potentially threaten one's safety while on the road. I can't tell you if you should go or not, but I hope this is helpful. about 7 years ago

  • +1 rating

    Do I need to buy tickets for the Incatrail in advance if I'm going in April?

    Yes, no matter when you hike, you need permits for the Inca Trail. (the trail is closed every February for maintenance) I suppose you could be asking if it's possible to show up in Cusco and find places on the Inca Trail last minute? It is feasible at certain times of year, but not probable. Usually the permits sell out in advance. You cannot buy the permits yourself. You have to "buy a hike" from an operator who gets the permits for you. You must provide valid passport to get a permit. You have to show that passport at the checkpoint to enter the trail. Permits are needed for the strenuous 4 day hike and for the easy 1-day hike. Permits cannot be transferred, cancelled, refunded or changed. If you don't show up, your place will go empty. There are 500 places allowed on the trail each day, including porters and guides. You will find cheap hikes in groups, private hikes, and "superior" comfort hikes. The quality of the hiking experience varies. Make sure you understand what kind of hike you prefer. It's an amazing hike. I hope you get to do it. over 6 years ago

  • 0 rating

    What would be the best time of year to visit Bolivia and Peru (and do an Inca trail)?

    Yes, the Inca Trail is closed Feb and the rainy season comes to an end in March. But you cannot travel across the Salt Flats in Bolivia until April and then May. Then it becomes cold, although it is mostly dry. June, July, August are when the tourists come from the northern hemisphere. April, May are the best. almost 8 years ago