I've been to Lima & Cuzco Peru. While in Lima the Hotel Mgr made sure we didn't get swindled by unscrupulous taxi drivers & street attendants (he made sure we only contacted people he knew was trustworthy). However while staying in Cuzco I did get picked pocketed (first time in my life) with my wallet stolen. Just like in the movies walking through a crowd and boom someone distracted me by spilling something on me then the next thing I knew 5 mins later when I reached into my pocket... My wallet wasn't there.
I considered myself to be a seasoned traveller. I never carry all my money with me and I always separate my cash on me in two areas on my body and I always have two I.D.'s w/ one in my wallet and another at my hotel and never carry more than two credit cards on my person.
The Police department in Cuzco is kinda weird. They tell you up front not to expect a recovery unless perhaps another tourist finds your wallet and hunts you down. The police officer had no computer at his disposal and made me handwrite a written statement. Then he instructed us to go down to the bank and pay a filing fee for the report then bring back the receipt from their bank ( I think the fee was less than $3). I don't know what happens with the report but basically there's only a 1% chance you'll get your property back.
I didn't let what happened in Cusco ruin our vacation because with my advance planning or readiness with my back up money and I.D.'s, we still had plenty of fun and Cusco and Machu Picchu are definitely a must see (didn't care much for the cuisine @ those places) about 7 years ago
Practice common sense and you should be fine. I just came back from a 2 wk tour to Peru, visited the Amazon jungle, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. No thief problems whatsoever. We always carry our passports & money with us. And all our luggage are locked in the hotel rooms (buy TSA approved locks and lock up each luggage individually). Feel free to check our travel blog for tips on Peru too. www.onthegroundtravel.com about 7 years ago
There are thief problems anywhere.But yeah! , you'll have to be careful first of all in the airport. There have been severe problems with taxidrivers. Better if you know someone there. Try not walk in dangerous areas where there is no people. I know not far the main square is quiet dangerous.
Then all is beautiful, try to enjoy it, it's a wondrful place ;D about 7 years ago
I was in Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley & the Puno/ Lake Titicaca area in '08 with my Dad, sister & a friend for about 3 great weeks. We were with a travel company called Bargain Peru. They arranged for the accommodations (inexpensive but comfortable hostels) & tours. I am fluent in Spanish & was easily able to communicate with the locals, who are very friendly. None of us had any trouble with theft. Trusted local advice can steer you away from risky parts of town as well as to the nicer, safer areas. Don't flash jewelry, cameras, etc. Don't dress like a rich foreigner. Be respectful & humble with the local folk & they will help you. Wander with a group, or at least a buddy. Have fun, but use common sense. When traveling, never trust strangers who approach & attempt to engage you or sell something, if you need information ask a shopkeeper or bus driver. There's a group called South American Explorers that's a great resource for travelers & expats. They have clubhouses in Lima & Cusco. Enjoy your trip, just don't be foolish & arrogant. It's an amazing country. I'd go back in a heartbeat if I had the $$. almost 7 years ago
We stayed all over Peru for about 14 days (big towns and small villages), and never had anything stolen from us. Just exercise caution when you walk around town like you would when you travel to any city in the world. Our trip report here if you are interested:
http://bit.ly/vZDOBd almost 7 years ago