Peru stretches for almost 500,000 square miles and even the urban area of Lima is of such an impressive size that if you want to stand any chance of seeing at least a good number of the many available sights, some form of transportation will be necessary. Of course you can always opt for a rental car from the airport as you arrive, but Peru has different systems of very affordable public transportation as well if you have the time. They also offer you the unique possibility to meet locals as well as like minded travelers during your trip to Peru.
Lima offers by far the most possibilities with buses, taxis, the metro and the so called “Micros” all available for your transportation needs. By far the most popular in Lima transportation as well as other larger cities across Peru are those Micros, minibuses and vans that normally follow one regular route along a main street or avenue and stop wherever people along the way want to get on or off.
This also means that a lot of the time they hardly pause at all so entry and exit can at times be somewhat hazardous. Since they are not allowed in most parts of the Lima old city center, a taxi is your best bet in this area. Though normally cheap as well, Lima taxis have no meter, so agree on a price beforehand, especially if you’re an obvious foreign visitor. The subway only consists of one line as of now but a further 6 are under construction, so this should become a viable alternative in the coming years as well.
To travel outside of Lima there’s a very effective system of comfortable long distance buses, often with seats that can almost completely recline as well as meals, aircon and tv. All major cities have a central bus station where the different companies have ticket offices and most are open 24 hours a day, though they are not always in the nicest parts of town. Some long distance bus lines also provide connections to neighboring countries such as Chile.
If you have a little bit more to spend or just less time to travel, several companies also offer airpasses which allow you a number of flights within a country or region at a discount. LAN has a good option with their passes being valid in Peru, Chile and Ecuador and further savings if you fly in to South America with LAN as well or with Spanish airline Iberia.
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