Lima - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Uber and similar rideshare services are very affordable and reasonably safe (caveat emptor). Embassy policy is not to use public transportation for safety reasons, but if you know what you're doing, it shouldn't be terrible. Taxi drivers will try to cheat you, which is why Uber and other app-based services are normally the way to go. - Jul 2022

Yes, although I usually drive, walk, or bike. Lots of bike paths; some hiking in Lima and within driving distance; good sidewalks for strollers, walking, kids biking, etc. Traffic can be maddening, time consuming, and seems rude, but well-functioning internal air conditioning and air recycling is worth driving to avoid toxic street pollution you will get in public transportation or a poorly maintained taxi. - Oct 2018

Tons of local transportation, you just have to be careful. Lima has a train system, but somewhat outside the area that expats would use. We used the registered taxis from apps like Easy Taxi, Uber and Satelital. Uber was the best followed by Easy Taxi. Satelital left us stranded on several occasions. I would avoid all the buses, as I found they were usually standing room only and seemed to be frequently involved in accidents. - Mar 2018

Some public transit options but I'd never recommend them. Only use registered taxis from an app like Easy Taxi, Satelital, and Uber. I never hail taxis off the street, though I know some people who do. - Apr 2017

Taxis are relatively safe, but almost everyone now uses Uber, Cabify or other applications. Prices are very affordable.

Buses are often subject to robberies, but the main issue is the way that they drive. - Jul 2016

Yes. Don't take taxis from dangerous areas late at night, as there are rings of drivers who arrange attacks on people with people waiting for them in dark side streets. Also, taxis like to run scams with counterfeit bills for change. - Sep 2015

Lima has a commuter train, but it is limited and didn't work for our travels. The city is rife with buses, small commuter vans, and especially taxis. Buses are incredibly cheap - 1.5 soles (about 35 cents) to go from Miraflores to the embassy, a distance of six kilometers - but slow as they are constantly picking up and dropping off folks. Some express caution about pickpocket problems on the bus, but again, be self-aware and you'll be fine. Avoid the commuter vans. They're also cheap, but drive crazily and look like they could fall apart at any moment. Taxis vary greatly, from the guy that rents a beater from someone else to use as a job, to the relatively sophisticated satellite-based sedans. Costs for taxis are greater, but reasonable. The taxis have no meters, so negotiate the fare BEFORE you accept the ride. The high-end taxis (you can use apps to summon them much like UBER) have set fees for most routes. - May 2015

Buses and "combis"- which are speedy, rickety vans that hold twice the amount of people they should- are not safe. Taxi's, however, are fine. They say to call ahead for a taxi instead of catching one off the street, but not too many people abide by that. - Apr 2015

Yes and yes. - Sep 2014

Avoid the buses and trains. Taxis are relatively safe. It's preferable to call a taxi than hail off the street but we do both. During rush hour, you may not be able to get a taxi at all. - Apr 2014

Local taxis are safe, but you should stick to secure call services, not street taxis. That said, I sometimes take street taxis and have never had a problem. Local buses are less safe and extremely affordable. - Mar 2014

RSO only lets us take cabs. Small buses (combis) and the metro are off limits. Thankfully, cabs are quite cheap. A 10-20 minute ride usually costs between US$2-4. Most cab drivers are quite friendly too. For safety reasons, always take marked taxis. - Aug 2013

There are some taxi-related crimes, so it's best to call one rather than hail one on the street. - Jul 2013

Buses are relatively safe. Overnight buses are targets for violent crime and robberies. Taxis can be safe, but call for a secure taxi to be sure. - Jul 2013

Yes. - Jun 2013

No, they are not safe at all. Combis are like a cancer on the road and the atrocious manners and lack of etiquette on behalf of the drivers have contaminated the rest of the driving public. The problem of having too many vehicles on the road stems from a relatively lax automobile importation policy in which older cars can constantly enter the country. As cars are not routinely taken out of circulation, the old, tiny, colonial streets of the city are literally choked by an overwhelming number of cars. It should be noted that the new bus system, the Metropolitano, is a step in the right direction and the new light rail system purports to improve an otherwise terrible system of transit. In terms of prices, a trip on a combi is less than a sol and cabs can run S/.10 - S/.15 for a ride of 30 minutes. When you go to the airport prepare to fork over S/.45. Street cabs are a bit more dodgy, so it is advisable to call a company until you get used to the system.. - Jan 2012

Taxis, buses, combi’s, an electric train is being built in the center of the city. After 20+years the electric train is close to being open. It was designed to bring in people from the outlaying areas into central Lima for jobs. There is also a Metro bus line that has it’s own dedicated lanes in the central of the main road. As with anywhere else, you take your chances on public transportation-accidents, pickpockets, and robbery. There are several measures to take to ensure your safety and you are will advised to follow them. A lot of our decisions to do something will always take traffic into mind. “Do we really want to drive an hour or more in this crazy bad traffic to go to function and then drive back in it?” There seems to be a ‘me first’ mindset here about everything – driving really brings it out. - Jan 2012

No. There are safe taxis you can call, and safe taxi stands at the mall, etc, but in general, you shouldn't take the bus or hail a cab. - Aug 2011

Public transportation is terrible here. It is cheap, but if you don't know your way around you won't know which bus or combi (small taxi-vans that are never too crowded to pick up more passengers) to take where. Anyone who can afford a car can drive one here. There are many bus companies that run routes to other major cities, and this can be a cheap way to travel. But be sure to travel with a reliable company -- otherwise you may find that your things were stolen in the middle of the night - if you're lucky. If you're not lucky, your bus will fall into a ravine (a weekly occurrence in Peru). - Jul 2010

Taxis are abundant and cheap. They can be dangerous, even in front of the embassy. - Jun 2010

Radio taxis are ok, others are must negotiate before entering, no meters, buses are terrible, but may be safe if you like cramped and smelly. - Jul 2008

Don't take the buses. Taxis are generally safe, but it is best to call a secure taxi. Everything is inexpensive. - Apr 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More