The trans-Lima electric express bus system, El Metropolitano (www.metropolitano.com.pe), is the fastest and most efficient way to get into the city center. Routes are few, though coverage is expanding to the northern part of the city. Ruta Troncal (S2.50) goes through Barranco, Miraflores and San Isidro to Plaza Grau in the center of Lima. Users must purchase a tarjeta intelligente (smart card; S4.50) that can be credited for use.
Alternatively, traffic-clogging caravans of minivans hurtle down the avenues with a cobrador (ticket taker) hanging out the door and shouting out the stops. Look for the destination placards taped to the windshield. Your best bet is to know the nearest major intersection or landmark close to your stop (eg Parque Kennedy) and tell that to the cobrador – they’ll let you know whether you’ve got the right bus. Combis are generally slow and crowded, but startlingly cheap: fares run from S1 to S3, depending on the length of your journey.
The most useful bus routes link Central Lima with Miraflores along Av Arequipa or Paseo de la República. Minibuses along Garcilaso de la Vega (also called Av Wilson) and Av Arequipa are labeled ‘Todo Arequipa’ or ‘Larco/Schell/Miraflores’ when heading to Miraflores and, likewise, ‘Todo Arequipa’ and ‘Wilson/Tacna’ when leaving Miraflores for Central Lima. Catch these buses along Av José Larco or Av Arequipa in Miraflores. To get to Barranco, look for buses along Av Arequipa labeled ‘Chorrillos/Huaylas/Metro’ (some will also have signs that say ‘Barranco’). You can also find these on the Diagonal, just west of Parque Kennedy, in Miraflores.
The principal bus routes connecting Central Lima with San Isidro and Miraflores run along broad avenues such as Tacna, Garcilaso de la Vega and Av Arequipa. These neighborhoods are also connected by the short highway Paseo de la República or Vía Expresa, known informally as el zanjón (the ditch).
Lima’s taxis lack meters, so negotiate fares before getting in. Fares vary depending on the length of the journey, traffic conditions, time of day (evening is more expensive) and your Spanishlanguage skills. Registered taxis or taxis hailed outside a tourist attraction charge higher rates. As a (very) rough guide, a trip within Miraflores costs around S8 to S10. From Miraflores to Central Lima is S20 to S25, to Barranco from S10 to S12, and San Isidro from S15 to S20. You can haggle over fares – though it’s harder during rush hour. If there are two or more passengers be clear on whether the fare is per person or for the car.
The majority of taxis in Lima are unregistered (unofficial); indeed, surveys have indicated that no less than one vehicle in seven here is a taxi. During the day, it's usually not a problem to use either. At night, for safety it is important to use registered taxis, which are traceable by the license number painted on their side. Taxis should also have checkers, a rectangular authorization sticker with the word SETAME on the upper left corner of the windshield and may have yellow paint.
Registered taxis can be called by phone or found at taxi stands, such as the one outside the Sheraton in Central Lima or outside the LarcoMar shopping mall in Miraflores. Registered taxis cost about 30% more than regular street taxis but the security is worth it. Recommended taxis include the following:
Easy Taxi Download the app for fast service and cost estimates from your smartphone.