State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 2

Attending Peru’s Pan American & Parapan American Games Includes Risks

Peru travel advisories issued by the US and Canadian governments
peruvian women dancing in celebration
South America (Vax Before Travel)

The US Department of State issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory when visiting the Republic of Peru.   

This ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Travel Advisory was issued on July 18, 2019, and is related to Peru hosting the Pan American and the Parapan American Games this summer.   

U.S. citizens should be aware major events are a prime opportunity for thieves and other criminal elements to prey upon unsuspecting tourists. 

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. 

Should you require assistance, the U.S. government personnel cannot travel freely throughout Peru for security reasons. 

Previously, the Canadian government issued an avoid non-essential travel advisory on June 24, 2019. This advisory suggests avoiding the following areas due to terrorist and criminal activity:

  • The districts of Kimbiri, Pichari, and Vilcabamba in La Convención province in the department of Cuzco (the city of Cuzco and Machu Picchu are not affected)
  • Huallaga and Tocache provinces in the department of San Martín
  • The Upper Huallaga and Ene river valleys in the departments of Huánuco and San Martín
  • Padre Abad province in the department of Ucayali
  • Huacaybamba, Humalíes, Leoncio Prado and Marañón provinces in the department of Huánuco
  • Concepción and Satipo provinces in the department of Junín
  • Tayacaja province in the department of Huancavelica
  • The districts of Abancay, Andahuaylas, and Chincheros in the department of Apurímac
  • Huanta and La Mar provinces, in the department of Ayacucho

This is unfortunate news since Peru is experiencing a rapid increase in tourism welcoming 3.8 million visitors, which is up 10 percent in 2018, according to a recent report.  

Peru is a South American country of 32 million residents, located on the western coast.  And, the US Embassy is located at Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n, Surco, Lima 33, Peru. The telephone is (51-1) 618-2000. 

If you decide to visit Peru this summer, the US Department of State suggests the following preventive actions:

  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, nor display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.

South America travel vaccine news

Travel Vaccines

Regarding health's risks to visitors, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested on July 12, 2019, that visitors to Peru are current with certain vaccines, such as Routine Vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Additionally, the CDC suggests the Stamaril Yellow Fever vaccine for all travelers older than 9 months of age, visiting most areas less than 7,546 feet in elevation in some areas of the country, mainly in the east.

Moreover, Stamaril should be administered at least 10 days before entering an endemic area since protective immunity may not be achieved until at least this time has elapsed.

Furthermore, Peru is included in the CDC’s Global Measles Outbreak Notice, issued on June 10, 2019.

Pre-departure vaccination services, related travel medications, and counseling appointments can be scheduled with a local pharmacy by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.

As of July 1, 2019, the CDC updated its private sector vaccine prices for general information.   

And, the CDC’s Vaccines For Children program offers vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. 

Additional financial support programs can be found at Vaccine Discounts.     

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report vaccine side effects to the CDC.


Article by
Dani Reiter