Hello everyone! My name is Maria and I am a student at the University of Florida who is solo-traveling through Peru this fall. Here are my top 5 tips for female solo-travelers like myself! *Note that these tips can be applied to any trip and useful for anyone. However, female solo-traveling can be especially dangerous so I have included some extra safety tips at the end of this blog. Enjoy!
1. Dress in Layers!
If you traveling to Peru during the summer and fall months (August, September, October) like I am, you need to remember that Peru’s seasons are opposite of that in the Northern hemisphere. While we are in Summer, they are in winter so you need to dress accordingly. However, there are a lot of different micro-climates here in Peru. The weather can change almost instantly during the day so make sure you pack pieces of clothing that you can layer on top of one another. For example today I am wearing a sweater with a jean jacket and a scarf and I have managed to stay comfortable. 2. Get to know the Locals.
Don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone and meet someone new. Locals can help you find some hidden gems during your time in Peru.
HOWEVER… 3. Be Street-smart!
Just because the people are friendly here does not mean that you should let your guard down. Petty theft is abundant, so make sure that you wear a cross body bag, keep small valuables in your front pockets, and keep all of your bag zippers closed at all times. Also, you should be wary of setting your jackets and purses on the back of your chair in any public setting. Thieves are looking for an easy target, so do not put yourself in the position to be robbed. I will include some more safety tips at the end of this blog post if you would like to continue reading.
4. Eat Peruvian food.
While you are traveling through Peru and ESPECIALLY Lima, take advantage of all the delicious food it has to offer. After all, Lima is the gastronomy capital of Latin America. A phrase that you should learn if you want to order water in any restaurant is “agua sin gas.” This phrase means that you want non-carbonated water. The best food I have tried in Lima so far has been at Mangoes Restaurante. They have a huge lunch buffet where you can try many Peruvian dishes at once for around 60 soles. There is also no need to tip more than 10% on a “nice” restaurant bill here in Peru.
5. Practice your Spanish
Try your best to assimilate to the culture here. You might be scared of embarrassment at first but don’t worry! You are by far your own toughest critic.
Extra Safety Tips:
- Take money out of ATMs during the day and preferably when you are not alone.
- Do not accept drinks from strangers and keep all of your drinks covered when in a crowd.
- Do not give out your personal information to strangers (e.g. Address, SSN, etc.)
- Keep a portable charger for your phone handy.
- Do not take street taxis alone at night – If you are going to take an Uber, share your location with friends and family members.
- Keep some extra money in your sock, just in case of petty theft.
- Do not go to the beach at night.
Maria Dozier is an ISA Featured Blogger at University of Florida. She is currently on a Service-Learning program in Lima, Peru Fall 2019.
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