Transportation in Lima isn’t something that’s easily explained. The transportation system is constantly changing as new lines of the metro and the so-called El Metropolitano are introduced. In this guide, we’ll explain what you need to now about transportation in Lima.
Even though Lima is one of the major metropolises in South America, up until 2010 the city didn’t have any sort of train transportation. This changed with the introduction of the Lima Metro in this particular year. However, other than that there’s still no way to get from A to B in Peru by train, at least speaking of serious transportation. There are a few rail lines operated by different companies, but none of those is real mass public transportation that’s worth mentioning in regards to transportation in Lima.
One of the major developments in Lima is the metro. The system is supposed to have a total of six lines in just a few years. At the moment, there’s just a single line, named Line 1. Even though the metro is supposed to connect all parts of the city with each other, the first line is just touching the North, the center and the South-East of the city. Many very important areas, including Miraflores, aren’t connected to the metro at all. The next two lines, which are already getting built (Line 2 & 4) aren’t changing this, but rather go from the West of the city to the North-East. Line 4 is also supposed to connect the airport with the existing metro network. The further lines are then supposed to connect further important points of the city, including the business center of Miraflores with the rest of the city and metro network. While the first line is overground, all others are supposed to be underground. Most operating trains are modern and the system is quite affordable and mainly safe. Further developments will make the system a good way to get around in Lima even for tourist. As of now, that’s not the case however.
Existing Metro Network of Lima:
The bus network of Lima is very chaotic, which is something the city tries to change at the moment. The main attempt to do so is the so-called ‘El Metropolitano’, which is using the so-called Independent Corridor of Mass-Transit Buses.
This system is operating on a singular route, which is separated from normal traffic and thus allows easier and safer travel from A to B. The only existing line has 38 stations and is 33 kilometers long. It operates between the Northern parts of the city and the main business area in the South of Lima. Another attempt to make buses in Lima safer and easier to use is the so-called Integrated Transportation System, which is brought forward by the local government.
There are currently approximately one dozen of lines operating with fixed schedules and modern buses. Other than that, there are the so-called micros (microbuses), which are still the major means of transportation in Lima. Nevertheless, those are not recommendable for tourists at all as they are neither safe nor operate on fixed routes or with fixed schedules.
One of the major options for tourists to get from A to B in Lima are taxis. Those are available throughout the city. However, not all taxis are operating with a license and only few use the meters (despite most having them). Thus, you’ll need to negotiate prices with the drivers, who tend to charge tourists way more than locals. Additionally, you should be aware that there are premium taxis, too.
These are way more expensive, but also offer a higher level of comfort and safety. Most hotels call these taxis for clients. Generally, taxis and street traffic in Lima aren’t particularly safe and many taxis aren’t in a good condition, too.
Lima is a particularly difficult city when it comes to transportation. Thus, alternative ways to get around might be recommendable. That’s especially true for Uber. We used the service a couple of times in Lima and were quite happy overall. The cars aren’t great either, but better than taxis. There’s no negotiating, no rip-off and drivers are available throughout the city. If you are not into negotiating with taxi drivers, Uber might be the best way to get around in Lima.