Off topic: Cycling Peru - seeking reassurance ;-)
Thread poster: Evelyna Radoslavova

Evelyna Radoslavova  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:26
English to French
+ ...
May 8, 2003

Dear all,

My husband and I are planning a cycling trip in Peru next month (starting in Lima, then probably south to Arequipa, then North through Cusco). We have done several trips, so we are looking forward to the challenge of the mountains, but this would be our first trip outside Europe and North America.

The trouble is that I am a bit of a worrier, and everywhere I look, I see horror stories about robberies at knifepoint, etc., and still a lot of people do go there. Does any of you have information on the actual situation for tourists there, besides the obvious (opening your eyes and ears and not carrying a lot of cash)? Would it be safer to go backpacking and hiking instead of cycling? I do speak a bit of Spanish, but no Quechuaicon_wink.gif

Thanks in advance,



Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:26
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Try some travel-related sites May 8, 2003

There are some very good and informative travel sites out there. To name but a couple: (the Thorn Tree section has a message board system set up for each major region in the world, very good source of information from fellow travellers).

Alternatively, you could try


Jose Trujillo
Local time: 20:26
English to Spanish
From Peru May 8, 2003

Hi from Perú. From Lima to Arequipa there certainly are safe and dangerous places, so I am no sure the whole route would be safe. The same for Arequipa-Cuzco, but my country is beautifull and recommend you to take a trip directly to the city and there you could find some agencies offering cycling around the cities, another beautiful place is Huaylas in the department of Ancash, there there are a lot of \"adventure trips\" for cycling, mountain hiking and so on. In Lima itself (the department) there is a nice town called Lunahuana where you can practice cycling around the mountains, it is terribly beautiful. You could find more information in


José Antonio


Rocío Aguilar Otsu  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cycling tour? May 8, 2003

Hello Evelyna, I\'m Peruvian and I can tell you that as a tourist you will always be exposed to these kind of risks. And I don\'t think that this situation is worse than 10 years ago. If you really want to cycle here, I would recommend you to join a cycling tour, you\'ll feel safer than if you travel with your husband only. Another option is of course, backpacking.If you need any information let me know. Have a nice trip!


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:26
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cycling May 8, 2003

I have been to through the area you wish to visit. It was 35 years ago to be sure but the mountains and desert are still the same and I suspect that the roads are not much better. However, you might be able to get some idea of road improvements (if any) through the Net.

The roads used to be dirt and in very poor condition, traveled mainly by trucks and buses also in very poor condition.

In some places, especially along the coast, there is no water to be had for hundreds of kilometers except (ugh) sea water.

Spanish will get you by OK in Perú but you will find many people who understand little or none, especially in the high country.

You\'d better be in really good shape because cycling uphill at close to 4,000 meters on a dirt road is not for the weak.

You might be better off hanging your bike on a bus or truck and enjoying the scenery with less effort. It is a hair-raising ride but it is worthwhile.

Many trucks in Perú used to carry both freight and passengers but if you give the driver some good conversation (in Spanish) he will often ride you in the cab for free.

You might try Chile instead (south of Santiago), it offers beautiful country, plenty of civilization and not too many old ruins but the wine is devine!

Northern Chile, on the other hand, will give you an idea of what a lot of Perú is like. One time there not long ago I had to drive 350 kms. just to get to the next bathroom and boy, did I have to go! And there were not even any rocks big enough to get behind.

You can see it all but don\'t kill yourselves!


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