Credit

Courtesy of Azureus70/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getting Around Lima

The best way to get around Lima is on foot. To a first-timer, getting around Lima can be a little complicated. Not only is Lima the name of the city, but also the name of a district within the city, as well as the name of the region surrounding the city and the larger Peruvian province in which the city and district lies.

If you're exploring the Historic Center or strolling the Malécon in Miraflores, you'll be fine on foot. There are a few transit options for traversing districts; the best one depends on how far you're going. Taxis are readily available, but you'll want to stick to prearranged rides (most hotels can call one for you) because street taxis are unregulated. The city also has multiple options for public transportation, but make sure to familiarize yourself with your route or carry a map along. You should avoid renting a car, as Limeños will tell you that it's a hassle to drive in the chaotic city.

You'll arrive in Lima at Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), which is located about 7 miles northwest of the city center. The easiest way to reach your accommodations is through a taxi service (you'll find a list of licensed taxis on the airport's website) or via the Airport Express, the official airport shuttle, which you can reserve in advance. If you're continuing your Peruvian journey to Cusco in route to the famous Machu Picchu ruins, it's smart to book the connecting flight or bus months in advance as these routes tend to sell out during the Peruvian summer (December to April).  

On foot

You can walk around the central (Lima) district to soak up the sights or spend the day strolling Miraflores, where most tourists and travelers base themselves. There are plenty of public plazas and squares to rest in along the way. Just make sure to bring along plenty of water and comfortable shoes. Also, there aren't any official crosswalk laws so look both ways before crossing the street. 

Taxi

Taxis are a good way to explore more of Lima's popular districts, but travelers should be cautious when choosing a cab. Taxis are unregulated in Lima, so it's best to have your hotel arrange one for you – especially at night – even though you'll pay a little more to do so. If you do hail a taxi on the street, make sure to agree on a price before you get in the vehicle. 

Public Transportation

Lima has an extensive bus system and a metro. The metro is easy to navigate but only offers one line that mainly services more inland districts of the city. Bus service, however, is much more widespread. The city offers a rapid transit bus system called Metropolitano that provides an efficient way to travel from one district to another because it uses private lanes to bypass Lima traffic. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the main street near your desired destination before boarding since most buses have the main avenues along their route painted on the side. If you're unsure if you're on the correct route, ask the cobrador (bus conductor). You can purchase a reloadable card for 4.50 sol at any station; single rides cost 2.50 sol.

Entry & Exit Requirements

Travelers need a valid passport to enter Peru, as well as proof of departure or onward travel. Tourist visas, which are free and issued at your port of entry, are typically approved for up to 90 days. Whether you arrive at a port, an airport or a land border, you'll want to make sure your date and place of entry is officially documented by Migraciones (Immigration). Hold on to the record of your entry, as you will need it when you depart.

Although not required, a vaccination for yellow fever is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keep in mind that it's illegal to take any artifacts out of the country, and reproductions need to be purchased from reputable vendors with documentation from Peru's National Institute of Culture. For more information about travel requirements and recommendations, visit the U.S. State Department's website

Explore More of Lima

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

America's 15 Coolest Ghost Towns to Visit

From Kentucky to California, the U.S. is filled with eerie abandoned cities.

Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019

The 7 Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Learn about the Big Easy's history through one of these daytrips.

Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Amazing Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019