Update 1: Demonstrations in Cusco (October 21, 2015)

As of 9am, October 21, most public transportation is not operating in the city of Cusco. Train and bus service to the Sacred Valley (Urubamba and Ollantaytambo) and Machu Picchu also has been suspended for October 21.  Peruvian National Police have deployed to ensure security at the Cusco airport and maintain a secure corridor between the airport and city center. Along with many local businesses, popular sites in the city center (including museums and churches), have announced closures for October 21-22 due to the planned demonstrations.

Travelers with itineraries in/around Cusco this week should stay in close contact with local hotels or tour organizers to determine how demonstrations may affect travel plans.  Many planned tours may be cancelled due to the aforementioned closures and the suspension of public transport. You may also request updates on local conditions by contacting iPeru at 01-574-8000 or iperu@promperu.gob.pe.

Demonstrations in Peru are often peaceful, but can quickly escalate into violent confrontations.  U.S. citizens are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, maintain awareness of local events and their surroundings, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.  It is illegal in Peru for foreigners to participate in demonstrations.  In the past, some U.S. citizens who have been caught up in political demonstrations in Peru have been detained and expelled from the country.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the Embassy Lima website or by following the Facebook page for American Citizen Services in Lima.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, by calling the regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Should you wish to avail yourself of additional up-to-date information on conditions on specific areas within Peru, please contact iPeru at 01-574-8000 or iperu@promperu.gob.pe.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency.  Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, located in Monterrico, a suburb of Lima, at Avenida La Encalada, Block Seventeen; telephone 51-1-618-2000 during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or for after-hours emergencies; website.  The Consular Section is open for emergency services, including registration, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. weekdays, excluding U.S. and Peruvian holidays.  Non-emergency services are provided by appointment only.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and Crisis link at: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies/crisis-support.html.