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Safety for 20 year old lone female

Dallas, Texas...
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Safety for 20 year old lone female

Found a way to get to Cusco and Machu Picchu without breaking the bank after my study abroad program in Argentina ends. It seems like the opportunity of a lifetime, but the caveat is that I would be travelling as a lone 20 year old female. Although I am fluent in Spanish, my blue eyes, pasty white skin, and blonde pixie cut might make it difficult to blend in. Should this trip be attempted? If so, what is the safest way possible to go about it?

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Cusco
Cusco
Cusco Region, Peru
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Sacred Valley, Peru
Lima, Peru
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1. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

Man posts on this forum about lonely fe Alejandro travelers, just do some research using the search facility

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2. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

Just be sensible and you should be fine!! Backpacking is supposed to be an adventure! =)

Just do some research and make sure you take reliable transport!

Farmington Hills...
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3. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

I was 25 when I worked in Peru. I have light brown hair and blue eyes. I cannot count the number of times that I was whistled at, ogled, gawked at and even touched (by both men and women) while I was there. You will stick out like a sore thumb. I would take extra precautions and perhaps see if you can find a site that has single women travelers and then hook up with them and travel together for legs of your trip.

**Do not get into taxis by yourself. And I am dead serious on that. A few friends were held up by the cab drivers, taken out to the desert, and then told to give them all their money or they would be left there. And these were native Peruvian girls.

I hate to sound like the country is evil! It's not, but it's not as safe as other places I've been as a single girl. Be careful, and if it doesn't feel right, don't do it.

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Peru
Peru
South America
jersey
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4. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

After Argentina you'll be fine in Peru, because the same conserns for Peru are required over there too.

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Peru
Peru
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Cusco, Peru
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5. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

I think you will be fine, stick to the tourist routes and locations, take normal precautions, and don't wander off by yourself. To look for other travelers that will be in Cusco at the same time you are, you could start a new thread here on TA or try http://www.meetup.com/find/

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Cusco
Cusco
Cusco Region, Peru
california
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6. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

How funny that dfcool is the only responder who has been in your situation.

Follow her advice.

I prefer staying in highly rated b&bs over typical backpacker hostels which often have lax security. You are just as likely to be harassed by a fellow backpacker, I like Footprint guidebboks since they do highlight known security issues.

You can also use ratings sites such as hostelz.com

Maui, Hawaii
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7. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

I did parts of Peru by myself, but in 1974 when I was 18 and it could be different today, but : I agree with DFcool's advice, and also do not take rides in auto, plane, helicopter, boat from strangers, not even if they offer you a plane ride over the Nazca lines. Do not become intoxicated. Stay in decent places in busy areas in each town. be in your hotel room by 10. Maybe find some people (other tourists perhaps) to hang out with a bit in each town, if they seem safe and sane. I did not follow all of this advice, but I am fine and nothing really bad happened. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, and certainly being fluent ( and you don't always have to let anyone know how good your Spanish is until you get a feel for each situation) helps a ton. I would do it all over again, by the way.

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Peru
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california
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8. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

Another trick while traveling alone is to wear a fake wedding band (even if it is a cheap ring just turned the other way). And not real gold!

Memphis, Tennessee
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9. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

Hi! Last month I traveled to Peru for 10 days solo. I stayed in both Lima and Cusco. With the exception of the police at the Cusco airport, I never had any issues.

Now I'm African American female in my mid 40's, so I stood out. But no issues.

I stayed at Bed & Breakfast that were small. I enjoyed them and also, someone is more aware if you are not back at a certain point.

I did take taxis alone. But I had my hotel call for a taxi, got the price set before leaving. The same with dining and at the end of a tour. The one time that I shared a taxi was with a mother and a baby. I took taxis from Cusco to Ollantaytambo twice with no issues. But I never just hailed a taxi off the street.

I dress in jeans and simple tops. I have a cheap plastic watch for traveling and that's the only item that I wear.

When out, I look and act like I know where I suppose to be and always aware! I learn years ago, if something don't feel right, leave the area.

When I did need to find out where to head to, a tourist police or inside a store was a great place to find out

I carried only a small amount of money in my pacsafe purse. I had a neck purse under my top and in my pocket, kept around $10 in loose sols. This was for the bathroom, to buy a bottle water,etc.

When I visited sites around the Sacred Valley, I was solo, but with so many tourist at the sites, there was someone always around and stayed in the main areas. In Machu Picchu, it was full of people and no issues there.

I had a great time! I visited ruins, the local markets, dine, sat in the plaza and people watch and had a great time. It's ironic that the only person who tried to steal from me were the police at the Cusco airport!

But mainly be aware, act like you know, have your hotel call for rides!

Have fun!

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Peru
Peru
South America
Lima
Lima
Lima Region, Peru
Cusco
Cusco
Cusco Region, Peru
Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo
Sacred Valley, Peru
Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley
Cusco Region, Peru
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Sacred Valley, Peru
Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Safety for 20 year old lone female

I'd suggest Costa Rica first. Its friendlier and safer in my opinion. Maybe do parts of Peru with some people as part of a group later .

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Costa Rica
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Central America
Peru
Peru
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