It is advised not to rely on cash and keep a VISA or American Express Card on you to pay for the purchases. Never carry large amounts of money as this can make you a target.
If possible, carry a small of amount of cash along with traveller’s checks and debit card. Most hotels, restaurant and grocery stores in South America accept card payments.
Make sure you split your assets before departing for one of the most crime effected places in the world.
It is also advised not to carry expensive and valuable electronics with you. As soon as you enter your hotel’s room, put your passport in the locker. Do not show the valuables to strangers. If you are travelling on a bus do not take out your valuables such as iPod, iPhone, laptop or notebook as people in South American countries can live for months on what a Smart phone costs in the United States. Therefore, consider keeping the expensive products in your bag at all times.
Keep the city map on you so you can move from one place to another without needing help from anyone.
Although South Americans can easily distinguish between locals and tourists, it is important not to look like a confused tourist. Do not keep a guidebook on you and dress up like a local to stay away from the criminals.
Showing that you have no clue about where to go is similar to asking for trouble in South America.