Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru
Location: Peru (countrywide)
Event: Peru – Level 3: Reconsider Travel CTH
Reconsider travel to Peru due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Peru due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Peru due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Peru.
Do not travel to:
- The Colombian – Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region due to crime.
- The Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), including areas within the Departments of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junin, due to crime and terrorism.
Crime, including petty theft, carjackings, muggings, assaults, and violent crime, is a concern in Peru, and can occur during daylight hours, despite the presence of many witnesses. The risk of crime increases after hours and outside the capital city of Lima where more organized criminal groups have been known to use roadblocks to rob victims.
U.S. travelers participating in Ayahuasca and Kambo ceremonies should be aware that numerous persons, including U.S. citizens, have reported that while under the influence of these substances, they have witnessed or been victims of sexual assault, rape, theft, serious health problems and injuries, and even death.
U.S. government personnel cannot travel freely throughout Peru for security reasons.
Read the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Peru:
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans as needed.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the U.S. Embassy webpage.
- Review the Country Security Report for Peru.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Colombian – Peruvian border area in the Loreto Region – Do Not Travel
Drug trafficking and other criminal activity, combined with poor infrastructure, limits the capability and effectiveness of Peruvian law enforcement in this area.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling within 20 kilometers of the border with Colombia in the Loreto region, except on the Amazon River itself, without permission. This includes travel on the Putumayo River, which forms most of the Peru-Colombia border.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM) – Includes areas within the Departments of Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, and Junin – Do Not Travel
Remnants of the Shining Path terrorist group are active in the VRAEM. The group may attack with little or no warning, targeting Peruvian government installations and personnel.
Drug trafficking and other criminal activity, combined with poor infrastructure, limit the capability and effectiveness of Peruvian law enforcement in this area.
In urban areas, the crime rate has increased. U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling in the VRAEM except for certain areas during daylight hours. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens due to these travel restrictions.
U.S. government officials and their families are permitted to travel within many areas of the Department of Cusco, including the Machu Picchu area, the Sacred Valley, and the city of Cusco.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Travel Restrictions for U.S. Government Personnel
U.S. government personnel must request advance permission for any travel to the Peruvian-Columbian border and the VRAEM. Sometimes they are required to travel in armored vehicles or carry personnel trackers. They cannot use inter- or intra-city bus transportation or travel by road outside urban areas at night except for:
- Travel by commercial bus on the Pan American Highway, between the Pan-American Highway and Huaraz, or between the Pan-American Highway, Arequipa, and Cusco.
- Travel by car on the Pan-American Highway south from Lima to Paracas, or north from Lima to Huacho (approximately three hours north and south of Lima).
In the restricted areas, they are permitted to use only the following routes during daylight hours:
- Road travel from Ayacucho city to Huanta city, staying within the city limits of Huanta, and from Pisco city (Department of Ica) to Ayacucho city.
- Train travel from Lima to Huancayo city (Department of Junin) and Huancavelica city.
- Road travel from Lima to Huancayo city.
- Road travel from La Merced city to the Satipo provincial boundary.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to crime information.
- U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru
Avenida La Encalada 1615
Santiago de Surco 15023, Lima
- State Department – Consular Affairs
+1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
- Peru Country Information
- U.S. Embassy’s COVID-19 Webpage
- To receive alerts, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Need help? Email: CASTEP@state.gov.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter