Driving in Peru
Driving in Peru, whether
in the city or on the highway, can be an adventure. Transit
in this country is chaotic for anybody who is not used
to it: Peruvian drivers are very aggressive and there
are not many signs (the signs you do see can be ambiguous). In
addition, be careful with thefts of windshield wipers,
hubcaps and even the wheels themselves; it is not a good
idea to park in the streets. If you are going
to drive at night, be very careful, because the roads
are not in good conditions, the buses drive at high speeds
and the trucks do not have lights.
Taxis are a highly recommended
method of transportation within the city, especially in
Lima given the size of the city and the mess of traffic.
You should decide on the cost of the ride with the taxi
driver before heading out. It shouldn't cost more than
US $ 5 in the big cities, so haggle over the price if
In the larger cities, there are some radio taxi companies
which offer more security and can pick you up when and
where you prefer, but prices are a bit higher.
buses ( Microbuses )
These buses are found only
in the main cities, and they can hold twenty to forty
passengers. There are no defined bus stops, so you
should watch out for where you need to get off so you
can warn the driver on time.
pick up trucks (Combis)
This means of transportation
involves pick-up trucks, each one with a capacity for
10 people. They move quickly throughout the city
and are cheaper; nevertheless, they are not recommended
due to the high speed and aggressive manner of driving.
In Peru, there are two ways
to travel by bus between towns. The first option
involves buses, called 'caleteros', that stop in every
town along the route. Direct buses are more expensive
but a lot better.
In some parts of the country,
cargo trucks are used as a means of transportation for
passengers. Passengers and drivers agree on the price
at the time of departure; but you should get there early
in order to find a good seat.
In Peru, the company in
charge of the railway system is the ‘Empresa Nacional
de Ferrocarriles’ (ENAFER) or the National Railway Company.
There are two routes in the country; the most touristy
and widely used is the Southern one, linking Arequipa
with Juliaca, Puno and Cusco, or Juliaca and Puno. The
last route departs from Cusco to Machu Picchu and Quillabamba,
though the stretch to this last destination is interrupted.
The other railroad links Lima with Huancayo and Huancavelica,
however, the first stretch is not in service.
When traveling by train, you may choose from several categories
depending on your necessities and budget. The best ones
are Pullman or buffet; then, first class, business/tourism
and the always-overcrowded second class. For the route
from Cusco – Machu Picchu there is an auto coach, a kind
of faster but costlier electric train.
Basic Conditions for Car Rental