Combis Y Micros - Buses, Lima
Metropolitano is the modern bus line in Lima. It's a very fast and convenient South-North connection and the most of the people think that we are talking about classical Metro line. The Metro also exist as Metro Line 1 and it's a city Metro train and it's good to know that we are talking about two different things. With Metropolitano, with only 2,5 Soles, you can reach the Lima Center from Barranco or Miraflores in máximum 20 minutes. There are many stops on the way and the interesting thing is that you can take even Alimentadores, smaller Metropolitano buses that runs to periferic areas specially once you get to the last South or North stop destination. It will cost you additional 1,5 Soles. To pay your ride you will need to buy your prepaid card, it cost not more tan 5 soles, and you can charge as much money as you will actually need. It's not personal so your friends can use the same one. The main stops are south terminal Matellini in Chorillos, then Estación Central or Central Station in Lima Center and north Terminal Naranjal. When you get to the any station or terminal, check first the maps very carefully to see which line you will take. From Miraflores, Ricardo Palma station I usually take C line to go to the center. It stops to every stop. But Expresso 5 is faster and it stops only in few main stops.
If you wanna go from the airport to the centre, the most economical way is the Urbanito bus. It is a private shuttle that stops in:
- Centre: 6 USD
- Miraflores, Barranco: 8 USD
It is safe, but IT ONLY LEAVES WHEN FULL, so you might have to wait for very long to leave.
To buy a ticket, you will find a desk after passing customs, still inside the airport, at the right.
If you want to take it from the city to the airport, you can call them to their telephone number 5171893.
Lima public transit system is pretty intimidating. Combis are rickety and confusing.
Why is this guy yelling at me? Is there a limit to how many people can ride this thing? Is that man going to stab me?
Don't ask questions. Get on, pay the man when he asks for it, enjoy the ride. Worrying about getting lost will just distract you from all the uniqueness that combi rides offer.
Check out my video of a combi ride: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/vv/4657/
Most people in Lima don't have cars and can't afford taxis, so they travel by foot, bike or bus. There are many configurations of buses around Lima - from the big tourist buses which tower over everyone, down to the little vans. Micros were the large buses and combis were minibuses and vans. They both had set fares.
I've taken the van type bus in the Bahamas, and seen them in the Dominican Republic, but I didn't have a chance to do that in Lima because we were cocooned in the big tourist bus.
There are bus stops/bus lanes on the streets which is why there seem to be buses lined up along the curb lane. The lane is marked BUS, but from the top of our tourist bus it seemed to read SUB. (Photo 5)
Public transport is very good in Lima. Collectivos (also called combis) are criss-crossing town every 30 seconds or so and cost virtually nothing.
Taxis are plentiful, just make sure you take green & white taxis with the official sticker outside (ask your hotel what it should look like, I can't remember).
I found using collectivos in Lima a great way to get real close to Peruvians and observe the world inside and outside of those minibuses. At first the routes etc.. are a bit bewildering but once your Lima mind map is built, you'll enjoy hoping on & off all over town.
Viajar en "combi " es barato , divertido y rápido
Hay que enterarse de la ruta que se quiere hacer , acercarse a la calle y luego dejarse llevar , pues cada combi además del conductor lleva un cobrador que con medio cuerpo fuera va voceando la ruta y cogiendo los clientes a lazo
Traveling in combi is cheap , amusing and quick
You must ask about the route that you want to do , go to the street and then let you go , because each combi besides the driver takes another person ,that with half body outside the combi, is shouting the route , practical grabbing the future customers
Busses and microbusses are the most used transportation vechiles in Lima. They are also the most common source of pollutation. The co-driver is keeping the door open and crying people to step in and telling where the bus is going to. Price of ticket is 1 - 2 soles. Old North-American school busses are commonly seen. Bus stop is everywhere.
If you have the hostel in Miraflores or Barranco, the chaepest way to get to the historical center is by public bus. There are several buses that follow the "Via Expresa" urban highway, so they go faster than normal ones. To catch one, just go walking to the Via Expresa, look for the bus stop and take it towards the north. In 15 minutes you will be at the center. 1,20 soles (0.30 cts of USD)
I took the bus from the airport to the hotel that was the cheapest and best only around 5 soles and they drop you off right at your hotel.
This is much cheaper than the hotel cab that wanted 15 US$ for the trip.
The bus people are right at the check out and you can buy the tickets right there. No problem about luggage as it can be stored in the luggage compartment below (by the driver).
Safe convenient and very cheap.
It's a fairly simple matter to find your way around the rest of this huge, spread-eagled city. Almost every corner of it is linked by a regular municipal bus service , known to everyone as El Bussing, with flat-rate tickets (around $0.2) bought from the driver as you board. In tandem with these are the privately owned microbuses , older and smaller, more colourful and equally crowded, but again with flat rates (25¢). Quickest of all Lima transport, combi colectivos race from one street corner to another along all the major arterial city roads. You'll see "Todo Arequipa" or "Todo Benavides", for example, chalked up on their windscreens, which indicates that the colectivo runs the whole length of Avenida Arequipa or Avenida Benavides. Colectivos dash dangerously fast, frequently crashing and speeding off before their passengers have got both feet into the vehicle, and might be anything from a ramshackle Dodge Coronet to a plush fifteen-seater minibus; wave one down from any corner and pay the flat fare (around $0.4) (1 sol )to the driver or fare collector. You can catch colectivos or buses to most parts of the city from Avenida Abancay. Taxis can be hailed on any street, and cost $2-4 to most central parts of the city. It's worth reiterating that driving in Lima is incredibly anarchic - it's not that fast, but it is assertive, with undertaking happening as often as overtaking and drivers, especially taxistas, finding gaps that don't appear to exist (one reason why there are so many damaged cars).
The central area of Lima is fairly compact so you can get around on foot and taxis, when shared, can be a great alternative. The local buses seemed very confusing but sure it's easy enough to get to the more touristy areas of Miraflores and Barranco. We mostly had a tough time dodging them, especially to cross the street before the Parque de la Exposicion!
Catch one if you can.........they come flying by. Extremely cheap, but hard to figure out which one to take. Don't stand too close to one if you're on the sidewalk, the exhaust fumes will knock you out, I don't think they have any air pollution laws! cough...cough.....
Take a bus (Micro = the bigger ones = like old US-Schoolbusses) or Combi ( these little Toyota (most of them) transporters) to almost every place in Lima. The prices you can find in the front window, but it´s always difficult to know which one is the right one. Normally it´s written as well in the front window, but who knows always the name of the districts or streets that are near to where you wanna go......so, it´s difficult to help here, you have to ask before or ask the second boy or man who´s always with the driver, they try to help normally (if ther´s time).
You pay inside or when you are leaving the Micro/Combi. You can stop these ones as well as taxis at every place, better at corners. To leave the bus just say e.g. at the corner ("escina") or "baja" (, that means "to alight").
A taxi costs you between 3 and 20 soles, depends how far you wanna go, ask for the price before getting into the car.
These things are great! There is no standard type and the routes are confusing as hell, but it is really fun to ride around Lima for only 1 sol and just guess at where you are going.