How do I make the difference between real and false Peruvian notes

There is a a significant amount of counterfeit notes in Peru. The poor victims of this traffic are mainly tourists, who do not make the difference between the real and fake notes. Logically, they focus on their holidays in a cultural and funny aspect rather than worrying.

All the security measures included in the Peruvian bank notes can be found here (in spanish)

Checking all these measures is extremely annoying. In practice, the following ones are sufficient:

  • The hatches have a slight relief when scratched with a fingernail.
  • The numbers indicating the value of the note changes its color when turned slightly.
  • Most counterfeits are printed on smooth paper, without any relief.
  • S/. 100 notes, in addition to the above features, present a serie of vertical holograms that move when the note is tilted.

Danger near the rivers in Machu Picchu Pueblo

There are two major rivers in Machu Picchu Pueblo, named Aguas Calientes for the first one, and Urubamba for the second one. Their surroundings are generally well secured, even it is advisable taking care of some black points.

On the highest side of the river Aguas Calientes, there is a wall protecting from a possible fall; However, the higher one goes, the lower the wall, making its efficiency useless.

Along the Urubamba river, one is advised to use the sidewalk on the opposite side of the river, because the area around the river is quite unsafe and may be subject to landslides in the rainy season.

[photos of river banks]

Danger near the bridges in Machu Picchu Pueblo

Some bridges in Machu Picchu Pueblo may be dangerous when traveling with children.

The first one is the railway bridge, overlooking the River Aguas Calientes. This bridge is used by the train and the pedestrians. The main danger lies between the ties, where even an adult could easily fall. Extreme caution is advised when crossing this bridge.

The second danger lies in the proximity of a metal bridge not used so far; it is very close to the previous one, passing over the river Aguas Calientes. This bridge is located: on one side, close to the bus station; on the other side, near the stairs leading to the crafts market. On the bus side, its access is secured by a newly constructed wall. On crafts market side, its surroundings offer lovely views over the river, which however can be fatal, because its environment is not secured at all. Once again, it is advisable to keep children away from these dangerous places.

[Plan of dangerous bridges]
[Railway Bridge Photo]
[Bridge 1 Industrial Photo]
[Bridge 2 Industrial Photo]

Danger of motor vehicles in Machu Picchu Pueblo

The only motor vehicles in Machu Picchu Pueblo are:

  • The buses which make round trips to and from the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu.
  • The trains for the transport of passengers, food supplies and materials.
  • The mini-tractors loading materials within the village.
  • The vehicles of the Police.
  • The construction trucks.

A crane is sometimes present, mainly used to fix the course of the various rivers.

The hazards associated with the presence of these motor vehicles are particularly small. Although most of Machu Picchu Pueblo is a pedestrian zone, one should nevertheless be careful, especially when traveling with children.

[Photo of each type of vehicle]

May I change money in the street in Machu Picchu Pueblo

In Lima, Arequipa and Cusco, independent agents offer to change money just outside of bank offices. The exchange rate is better than the one offered in the banks.

However, for security reasons, it is advisable to change money at exchange offices, where the money can be counted, the notes can be checked and stored with confidence. Exchange offices offer similar rates than those offered by agents in the street.

In Machu Picchu, there is not enough money movement for change agents to operate in the streets. The only way to change money is through an exchange office