I had over 10 hours between flights in Lima and therefore took a taxi to see a part of the city, the Historic Centre. For the taxi from the airport to Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) I paid S45 (August 2011). The taxi driver advised me to go back to the airport before rush hour, because then there would be traffic jams.
When it was time to go back to the airport I stopped several taxis on the street, but no one was willing to go all the way to the airport. I asked a police woman and she told me to go to a taxi stand (parada), one and a half block away. The taxi driver had a chart with prices for different zones and to the airport it was S40.
I found two websites that have good recommendations regarding getting around in Lima:
A. http://www.hopstudios.com/nep/column/taxis_in_lima_peru.html - It is funny and well written.
B. Better even is the following website: http://www.limalimo.net I discovered that this website belongs to a small but excellent and highly reliable "more-formal" owner/operator taxi company called “LimaLimo”. The website has EXCELLENT information about transport in Peru (see the page http://www.limalimo.net/engPage0002.htm ). After studying the LimaLimo website, I have used the services during two recent business trips to Peru and my colleagues in Peru are now using it again. This is not only a great service for foreign visitors, but Miguel is a very nice, reliable guy too.
Even if you decide to use other taxi services in Lima, at least the LimaLimo website tells them the truth and gives them an excellent overview how the taxi system “works” (and does not work) in Lima. In any event, LimaLimo describes the risks for foreigners very well without broadcasting much panic.
There is no municipal public transport from the airport (only the Urbanito private bus service, see tip above).
So if you wanna take a tax, here are the fares (in 2005):
- Centre: 7.50 USD
- Miraflores, Barranco...: 10 USD
- Others: 14 USD
Ask always first to the driver if he is an official one and tell him to show you his license. Write down the plate number, just in case. I have no personal complaints about taxis in Lima but you can read scary stories about that in the forums...
When you arrive in Lima and get out of the airport don't even talk to the taxi drivers unles you have tons of money to spend. they will charge you $30 even if the place is not too far from the airport. they called themselves that they are registered taxi drivers. OK, but I don't like to spend on the taxi more that I woud spend in the US. when you get out of the airport go right to the end of the street and turn left like street is turning. you will walk another 50 meters and get to the main road. you can catch the regular cab there for $3. I caught the cab from my hotel to the airport and they dropped me off there because they can't go to the front of the airport. If you don't mind walk a little bit you can save for the very good dinner. I didn't notice any safety issue.
The way you take a taxi in Lima is like this:
First you put your pointing-finger in the air when you see one. Beware that they will only speak Spanish, as almost everyone else in Lima.
If he is free of customers he will stop, and then you tell him where you want to go before you get in, Its not certain that he goes there, in this case just stop a new one.
Then you negotiate the price, it varies a lot, and you should be very specific and show it on a map because as a tourist the driver may try to pretend he did not understand where you wanted to go and charge you extra.(It happens all the time, even with the locals)
Then enjoy the cheap ride :-)
If you get a registered cab, they will charge you about 60 soles from the airport to Miraflores, probably. An unregistered cab should charge you about 30 or 40 soles, BUT I'd recommend you stick to the registered ones. They're the ones you normally get by calling a cab company, and the ones the information desk at the airport should get for you. Registered cab drivers are also more likely to speak English. Be careful that many unregistered cab drivers are also at the airport waiting to get customers.
Unregistered cabs are normally the ones you can get directly in the street. (It doesn't mean a thing that they're painted yellow.) Although most unregistered cab drivers are good people, a few of them might not be, since the job is not well regulated in Peru. That's why I recommend registered cabs. I especially suggest you take a registered cab if you're taking it at night, or when coming back from partying and not in full command of your senses. You can always ask the managers at most restaurants or clubs to call a registered cab for you.
If you do decide to take an unregistered cab, you should know fares are suggested by the driver at the time you stop the cab. If you agree and get in, then that's what you have to pay. The vast majority of locals do bargain, but you need to be familiar with the area to bargain reasonably.
A basic command of Spanish wouldn't hurt, since most people (and cab drivers, among all) in Peru do not speak English.
I'm a local, by the way.
There are SO many taxis everywhere that there will never be a problem finding one when you need one. They will beep their horns when they are looking for a fare. When they stop, make sure that you haggle for a good price because they will rip you off! If you offer a price and they say no, walk away and get a different taxi. They want your fare, so they may just take your offer as you're walking away. Never get in the taxi without settling on a price first.
Be aware that during the typical hours of rush hour in Lima there is a RIDICULOUS amount of traffic. For a trip that took us 30 minutes on the way TO our hotel from the airport, the return trip FROM our hotel to the airport took us almost 2 HOURS!
Every street the taxi turned down was packed with cars and we nearly missed our flight.
I had a great experince when I visited Peru; however, since my spanish language level is at the extreme beginner-level, I had a difficult time trying to get-around. Then, someone told me about Andina Taxi. They have English speaking drivers or a translator that arrives with the driver. Anyway, I ended up using them all the time and they took me back to the airport. You can find them at www.andinataxiairport.com
Local price from the airport to Miraflores is 20 soles or around 6-7 USD max. The offical scammers at the airport will try and charge you 40-50..even the hostals will mark the fare up to pocket some cash. After arriving from Cuszo I was called an ass in Spanish by the cab manager at the airport after refusing to pay the "offical rate".
The hatchback cabs tend to be the ones that charge the most. Find one of the small 4 door Yugos that are numbered and negotiate a price prior to getting in.
From Miraflores to the center should be around 10 soles.
I've travel to Lima Peru many times and this is the best Transportation i was able to hire,
New large vehicles - Polite Drivers - Air conditioned - Insurance
They work ( 24 Hrs ) and have bilingual assistance 011 511 - 997377388
They also have USA number (202) 4702936. Email: CONTACT@AKATORI.COM
I saw the website AKATORI.COM contact them, they were very helpful. A+
I walked out of the arrivals terminal about 200 feet to the main street where several taxis were waiting at the public bus stop just to the right of the pedestrian overpass. The first one asked for S/. 15 (US$4.75) to the Plaza De Armas (colonial city center) straight off the bat and I didn't even have to haggle so I gave him a tip upon arrival.
We did not have to take taxis in Callao or Lima because we were on bus tours. Actually we didn't take a taxi anywhere in Peru. But I understand that. like other countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America, you should to negotiate the fare in advance
Taxis in Lima are not a universal color and size. Some are little yellow ones, some are black some are red, some are white and some are red and white.
I know this is too late for your trip, but we found Renato of http://www.taxilimaperu.com/ here on Virtual Tourist before our trip in September. For $15/hour, he drove us to Pantanos de Ville (great birding!), along the beach for Pelicans, and showed us around Lima. He's not much into birding, but if you know where you want to go, he's your guy.
Hi, when I was in Lima, all was a mess because lots of people around taking buses and taxis. Well, the thing is that my friends recommended me to take a new taxi cab company and I liked it, its not very expensive like in the US . The company is called www.radiotaxi.com.pe and I order them by MSN.
What I liked most is that I only paid like $10 for 1 taxi cab hour!!! good attention and fast service. highly recommended.