Getting Around Lima

Getting Around Lima & Peru

Lima is the gateway for international and national tourists and business travelers to Peru and its numerous highlights. Getting to Lima and from Lima to international and domestic destinations is easy.

The capital of Peru is well connected to the world and the Peruvian provinces.

But finding your way in and through Lima's city jungle can be quite a challenging experience. Heavy traffic including unusually aggressive and reckless drivers make getting around Lima difficult. Additionally you find instead of proper public transport, a chaotic system of privately owned and operated microbuses and thousands of taxis. And even if distances between the districts and points of interest seem very short, navigating in Lima can be very nerve-racking and time consuming.

Getting Around Peru

Car Rentals in Lima - Peru

Car Rentals

Before renting a car in Lima we would highly recommend reflecting about the need of it. Sure if you are planning to travel through Peru a car gives you more freedom and flexibility, but driving in Peru and especially in Lima is quite different from what you are used to. You can get around Lima easily and cheaply by taxi without having to stand your ground and compete against other reckless drivers that seem not to follow any of the traffic rules you know from home.

Car Rentals...

 

Distances in Peru

On this article you find a chart showing distances within Peru (in km) published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Distances in Peru are vast, so for getting outside of Lima to other highlights Peru has to offer you need to fly, a quick, convenient and safe way for getting around Peru, or you have to take a long distance bus, a cheap but slow and more risky option.

Distances in Peru...

Distances in Peru
 
Long Distance Buses

Long Distance Buses

Lima is connected to all major cities by numerous long distance buses of varying quality, but services are frequent. Regional buses to nearer destinations like Chincha Alta, Paracas and Ica in the south or Huacho and Barranca in the north leave daily roughly every hour. No reservation is needed, just buy your ticket and hop onto the next bus. National buses to destinations further from Lima (for example Arequipa, Puno, Cusco, Trujillo, Piura and Tumbes) only leave two or three times per day.

All Buses...

 

National Airlines in Peru

Jorge Chavez International Airport in Callao is not only Lima's gateway to the world, but also to numerous national destinations. Distances within Peru are vast, so flying is a convenient, quick and safe way to get around. Unfortunately most domestic flights are direct flights without connections to other national destinations. If you for example wish to fly to Cusco, than to Iquitos and later to Tacna you have to return from Cusco to Lima, take another flight to Iquitos, return to Lima just to board another plane to Tacna.

All National Airlines...

National Airlines in Peru
 

International Airlines in Peru

Lima is the gateway for international tourists and business travelers to and from Peru. The capital of Peru is well connected to the world. Jorge Chavez International Airport in Callao is Lima's hub for international flights. Several international airlines operate regular direct or connecting flights to Lima's airport from numerous cities in North and South America as well as Europe and vice versa. Currently 18 airlines are serving more than 30 international destinations from Jorge Chavez International Airport.

All International Airlines...

International Airlines connecting Peru
 

Getting Around Lima

Getting to Lima

Getting to Lima

Lima is the gateway for international tourists and business travellers to Peru. Getting to Lima is easy. The capital of Peru is well connected to the world and can be reached by air, road and sea, while a flight might be the most convenient way to get there. Lima is also the starting point to all other destinations within Peru.

Getting to Lima...

 

Finding your Way

Finding your way in and through Lima's city jungle can be quite a challenging experience. A puzzling ball-up of kilometer long main roads, side roads and one way streets of course without proper road signs at the really important junctions connect the 43 districts of Lima and the 6 Callao districts and should ensure the movements of more than 8 million inhabitants and an unknown number of visitors.

Finding your Way...

Finding your Way
 
Taxis in Lima & Peru

Taxis in Lima & Peru

Taking a taxi in Lima is a relatively quick and affordable way to get around town, not only for Limeños, but for visitors as well. But there are a few things to be aware of before flagging down the first cab you see on the road. In 2011 there were an estimated 330,000 taxis circulating Peru's capital, from which only around a third were official and registered. The remaining two thirds were informal, meaning literally everybody could get into any type of car, put a taxi sign on top of it and offer to drive you around the city.

All about Taxis...

 

Public Transport

Public transportation in Lima except for the Metropolitano and Tren Electrico consists of a chaotic system of privately owned and operated big buses, medium-sized micros (coasters or microbuses) and combis (small vans). For most Limeños the only affordable option, this means of transportation is the cheapest and most adventurous way of getting around Lima for visitors. While Lima's complex bus network connects literally all of the city's main streets, the full routes of individual buses and connections stay even for some locals a mystery.

Public Transport...

Public Transport
 

Driving in Lima (!)

Driving habits in Lima are very different to driving in North America or Europe. Forget about defensive driving because if one tries to navigate their way through traffic with any form of hesitation you will not get very far. Most drivers here do not show any signs of politeness or etiquette. It is the fastest and strongest and who gets there first or moves forward the quickest. Get used to the honking horns and the angry gestures and profanities that often can come out the windows of cars.

 

Private Transportation

Hiring a private car with driver surely is one of the best options to get from one place to another and staying mobile while being in Lima and Peru. The vehicles of private transportation providers are new, comfortable and clean; the drivers know their way around, bring you as safely as possible through the chaotic traffic, are absolutely reliable and speak at least English; the service is excellent; and prices are affordable.

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Private Transportation in Lima - Peru
 
Metropolitano Bus

Metropolitano Bus in Lima

The chaotic situation of transporting the masses in Peru's capital finally led to plans creating a real public transport system for Lima's citizens. After many delays the new Metropolitano was inaugurated in 2010. Since then gas powered articulated buses circulate on special bus lanes that are partitioned off the normal road, finally giving Lima a mass transit system comparable with the Bus Rapid Transit.

Metropolitano Bus...

 

Lima's Metro

Using Lima's Metro is really simple. It starts (or ends) in Villa El Salvador and runs along Av. Separadora Industrial, Av. La Union, Av. Pachacutec, Av. Los Heroes, Av. Tomas Marsano, Av. Aviacion to Av. Grau in the city center. All stations along the route from Villa El Salvador to the center here. Trains operate from 06.00 am to 10.00 pm and arrive every 15 to 20 minutes.

Lima's Metro...

Lima's Metro
 
Getting Around on Foot

Getting Around on Foot

Although heavy traffic and pollution might discourage you from walking around, some places in Lima are best discovered on foot, but be aware that pedestrians actually don't have any rights in Lima. So be more careful than you are used to! Don't expect drivers to stop at cross-walks. They also won't give way to a pedestrian or break when someone is crossing the street. Instead they speed up and honk at you. And even if pedestrian lights are green, look both ways and make sure all cars have stopped before crossing the street.

On Foot in Lima...

 

Distances in Lima

Although most distances don't seem far, traffic in Lima is horrendous and congestion especially on the main roads are a common daily occurrence. While you might be able to reach the airport from Miraflores on a quiet Sunday in 20 minutes, it's also possible it takes you one and a half hours on a weekday. Or the few kilometers from the city center to Miraflores might take an hour on a bad day. The same applies for trips to Lima's outer districts: for 30 km or 40 km you might have to plan an hour or two to reach your destination.

Distances Lima...

Distances in Lima