Learn How Taxis Work in Peru
Traveling to a foreign country means getting around town in ways that you normally don’t. The same method can be wildly different from one country to the next. Today we’ll look at how taxis work in Peru.
We’ve already talked about the metro, and Lima’s buses that use a single electronic payment card. And even though we’ve mentioned some illegal taxi situations, we haven’t looked at the most common transportation method in Peru.
What Kinds of Taxis Are There in Peru?
Broadly speaking, you can classify taxis into three categories: Street taxis, rideshares like Uber, and VIP Taxi services. Let’s look at how taxis work in each of these cases.
Lima has approximately 200,000 taxis running around at any given time. As a result, finding a cab is extremely easy to do. However, once you find it, you’ll need to deal with the peculiarities of Peru.
In Peru, there are no taxi meters. All rates should be negotiated before you sit down. If you’re a tourist, I highly recommend asking a local how much they think the trip should cost.
Don’t be afraid to say no and let the cabbie go! This is how taxis work here. There’s almost always another one right behind the one you’re talking to, so you can let him go and try again.
For safety, check to see if you can roll down the windows or open the doors as soon as you get in. Rarely, cabs work as accomplices, driving unsuspecting passengers to a robbery. It’s happened to me, and if I had tested the door or noticed the broken window roller, I might have been able to catch on and get out in time.
Payment is always in soles, don’t let them try to trick you into paying dollars. Bring cash, and try to have small bills. Aside from that, enjoy the ride.
Rideshares (Uber, Easy Taxi, Beat) in Peru
Rideshares are a relatively new thing in Peruvian society. Uber is probably the most well-known, and if you use it at home, you can use it here.
Easy Taxi and Beat are competing apps that have since merged together. Aside from Uber, these are probably the most common platforms for passengers.
All of these methods work exactly as you would expect. You can do pools, arrange rides for later, and call for vans or fancier vehicles.
Generally, the prices are not much higher than they would be in the street. Sometimes they’re better! Safety is usually nothing to worry about.
Honestly, it’s the drivers who are more likely to get in trouble. Robbers use Uber to lure a victim to a spot in some parts of the city. Since that’s not you, you can relax and enjoy your ride.
VIP Taxi Services in Peru
While the aforementioned methods are fine, they carry with them some risks. Street cabs often drive haphazardly and take awkward routes. Rideshares are pickier and often cancel after accepting, either because they found someone in the street or because they’re too lazy to drive an extra minute to where you are.
When you really just want a taxi to be right there where you need it, use a VIP service. You get the best safety, and above all, communication.
See, while you can message your Uber driver, or talk to your cabbie, there’s really no one holding them responsible. With a VIP service, you get a direct line to the company.
Absolutely download and set up WhatsApp if you don’t have it already. It’s the #1 communication app in Latin America. VIP Services will give you a number that you can text at any time.
What’s the Best Taxi Method in Peru?
I think the answer depends on what you’re doing. I personally use Uber quite a lot. I’ll pick up a street cab if I’d rather not wait for an Uber to come.
But when it comes to important rides, I only trust VIP services. I go to several events a year for my work, and I need to be punctual. I don’t want to have a last-minute problem, so I call for a VIP ride.
And going to or from the airport? I’ve tried Uber there and it was a hassle. I don’t trust the street cabs either. VIP service is the only option for me in that case.