One of the current major problems of the city of Lima is related to public transport. This situation has led to the construction, by the municipal authorities, of viaducts, bridges, road interchanges, express roads and overpasses as a formula to solve the constant city traffic jams.
Since there is no urban rail service in Lima, the cheapest option to get around the city is through municipal buses, private minibuses or collective minibuses (known as combi or colectivo). The combination of all these bus lines covers every part of the city.
Most services run from 6am to 11pm (some until 1am). Municipal buses and minibuses charge a fixed fee of 1.50PEN / $0.45 approximately. Tickets are purchased directly from the bus driver.
Combis are faster and cover the city main routes, but are usually slightly more expensive (2.20PEN / 0.67 $). Whenever possible, it is better to avoid using them during the night.
Metro de Lima has 1 metro line, built and inaugurated in 2011. It has 26 stations and it runs from south to northeast in the city. The rest of the lines are under construction (about 5 more). It is the second most used public transport service by locals.
Lima's subway opens, usually, from 6 am to 11pm. However, each station has its operating hours. Make sure you check the opening and closing time properly.
The trains have time intervals between 6-14 minutes depending on the day. During the week the time is shorter and increases on weekends.
Prepaid and rechargeable card: 5PEN / $1.50
Passage for adults: 1.50PEN / $0.45
In Perú, buses cover almost all destinations, except for the Amazon rainforest and Machu Pichu. While these are popular tourist destinations, they require additional planning. The dry season (May-October) is the best time to visit the mountains and the jungle.
Ticket can be purchased online or directly at the city bus station before leaving.
Although there is no connection between them, there are two railway lines in Perú that connect the coast with the high plateau.
Southern Railway: This one links the city of Arequipa with Cuzco and Lake Titicaca. From Arequipa to Puno (Lake Titicaca) it usually runs three times a week and at night.
In the morning, you can take the train that leaves from Puno to Cuzco through Juliaca, a service that is also provided three times a week.
Central Railroad: This train departs from Lima to Huancayo and it includes a stop at the highest station in the world: Galera, at 4781 meters above sea level, on a journey that demands the full day. It is good to remember that trains can stop working in the rainy season so it is advisable to take advice on schedules and departures.
For more information you can contact the Railway Company in Lima.
To get to Machu Picchu you can take the train that leaves from Cuzco and also reaches the town of Quillabamba, in a journey of about 4 hours.
Callao, with 8 docks and 18 docking sites, is the most important port with the largest South Pacific Ocean boat/ferry traffic. Large cruise ships sail from different countries of the world to Perú.
Because of its geographical location, the port of Callao has a great influence on Lima, Cerro de Pasco, Huanuco, Ayacucho, Junin and Huancavelica departments. It is located in the Peruvian coast central area, within the Pacific Basin, an area that has access to interoceanic routes, the Panama Canal and the Strait of Magellan.
Some of the cruise lines that have Perú as another port on its South American route are, among others, Hapag Lloyd and Princess Cruises whose services can be booked online.
Although Lima is not the most bicycle-friendly city, several districts, especially the most touristic ones, are making great efforts to increase their bicycle paths and promote the use of bicycles, especially around Miraflores and Barranco area. In addition, Lima is a fairly flat city, so it is easy to reach most of its places by bicycle.
There is no public bicycle system, however there are places where you can rent them for a few hours or days. Most of the bicycle rental shops in Lima are concentrated in Miraflores.
You can also book a bicycle tour through the best areas of the city with a guide who will explain you every detail of each point of interest to help you discover part of the fascinating history of Lima.
Jorge Chávez International Airport is located in Callao, about 10 km (6 miles) from Lima's City Center. The airport is named after the Peruvian aviation icon Jorge Chávez Dartnell and it is one of the most modern ones in Latin America.
It was privatized in 2001 and is now managed by Lima Airport Partners (LAP), a joint venture of Alterra Lima Holdings Ltd. and Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide. In 2001, the Peruvian Government granted a 30 year concession for the operation and expansion of the airport. Since then, major construction and modernization works have brought the airport to a complete new level.
Nowadays, it serves as a hub for many aviation companies with 38 international and 19 domestic destinations. The Lima Airport managed 16,500,000 national and international passengers in the year 2018.
Trains: There's no train connexion to reach Lima's airport from the city centre.
Shuttle: Lima International Airport is served by Airport Express Lima shuttle. This newly launched service offers over 60 departures per day and connects Lima Airport to Miraflores. They stop at 7 different locations in Miraflores at walking distance from 150+ hotels/hostels in the district. All buses are equipped with on-board TVs, leather seats, charging ports and free Wi-Fi.
Tickets can be purchased online or within their terminal desk, both next to the international arrivals zone or at the domestic arrivals baggage area.
Tickets are $8 one way and a return ticket will cost you $15. It is the most reliable and economic way of getting to Miraflores from the airport.
Bus: There is no other bus service directly to or from Lima Airport itself. However, the privately owned mini buses network, known as Combis, offers this service. Each Combi has a set route that they trace all day on badly maintained inner-city buses fleets.
They do not have fixed schedules but run extremely frequently. These Combis crisscross the city on hundreds of routes. The total cost would be 2-2.5PEN ($0,60- $0,75) from Callao. Buses are usually very crowded and the seating is very limited. There are no baggage storage areas.
Taxi: Taxis are a popular mode of transport to and from Lima Airport. However, regulation of taxis in Perú is still informal. You will see both registered and unregistered taxis leaving Lima Airport, although there has been a strong crackdown on unregistered taxis due to new Uber drivers operating at the airport in the recent months. 60PEN ($20) is the approximate rate to Miraflores.
*Make sure you mention the right currency when agreeing on the price. A lot of drivers agree on 40, but upon arrival will say they meant dollars while you assumed Peruvian Soles.
Find put more about "Taxi Services" below.
Taxis in Lima are not metered and their rates depend exclusively on the driver. Depending on the distance and traffic, the driver will give you a fare. Therefore, in the case you decide to take a taxi on the street, its price can vary drastically from one driver to another, especially if they identify you as a tourist.
In Lima there are several formal companies that offer taxi services. For safety, we recommend using them and avoid taking taxis in the street.
Charges may need to be added when carrying any luggage or an airport pick up. Note that very few taxis take credit or debit card payments in the cab.
Driving in Perú can be a bit of the challenge for those not accustom to driving on the right. Not to mention, narrow winding roads, rain, mist and fog, sheep and cows, roundabouts, and the dreaded loose chippings. Note that during the rainy season (end of November to April) landslides are frequent and this can cause delays in the displacements and car accidents. However, if you take it easy you should do fine.
If you plan to rent a car in Perú, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the operation of the manual transmission. The vast majority of rental cars have manual transmissions. If you reserve a car with an automatic transmission you could end up with a manual.
All this said, if you want to rent a car, the best international companies are:
Check out the full list of rental cars companies in Perú here.