Monday, January 23, 2012

A few days in Lima, Peru with the crazy taxis!

Well lets just say Lima, Peru was an adventure. The most developed and largest of the cities I visited in Peru turned out to be the most dangerous in my opinion. I climbed all over the high mountain Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

I took buses, trains and taxis in the Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. I flew 19 hours on six different airlines to get there. None of it was as truly life threatening as a single taxi ride in Lima.

You are taking your life into your own hands. There seem to be almost no traffic laws in Lima. Everyone just goes. We blew through red lights at 30 mph. Stop sign? What stop sign? We would navigate our way through intersections where all four directions were going even though there was a red light and a traffic cop! I estimate I spent about four hours in Lima taxis over the couple of days and in those four hours I saw six crashes. The average taxi had to have eight dents!

I saw traffic cops and I saw police officers all over the place. The traffic laws are just not enforced. It is chaos. We would sit in a turn lane waiting to make a left turn. As soon as we pulled into the turn lane two or three more taxis would move in after us. We would all be lined up in a row in the turn lane waiting to go. Then…..zooom it would be a race to see who could get to the single lane the fastest. Quite the hair raising experience!

Now don’t let this stop you from visiting Lima, Peru. It is a beautiful town right on the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to stay in the Miraflores district. It is clean and the safest area of town. The hotels there are wonderful and very reasonably priced for the level of comfort and amenities.

Peru travel tips -
1. The taxis are cheap and you can negotiate a price beforehand
2. Expect ALOT of traffic
3. Buckle up, it's an adventure!

1 comment:

  1. After visiting The Museum of Gold we asked a cab driver that was just outside to take us to our hotel. He got a well dressed older man that he called the president to get us a cab. We walked across the street to a driver sleeping in his cab. The president woke him up and instructed him to drive us. After negotiating the price we sped away. After noticing the panic handles above the windows were ripped out we held tight. We made it in record time with horn honking and at least a few inches between our cab and other vehicles. The lines in the roadway are merely suggestions. Nascar at a slightly slower speed and a horn added. Whew!