By Plane — Lima is the gateway for most international arrivals to Peru; see “Getting There” and “Getting Around” for more detailed information. All flights from North America and Europe arrive at Lima’s Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez (www.lap.com.pe; tel. 01/595-0666), located 16km (10 miles) west of the city center. Lima is connected by air with all major cities in Peru; there are regular flights to Ayacucho, Cusco, Puerto Maldonado, Juliaca, Arequipa, Tacna, Cajamarca, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Pucallpa, Iquitos, Tarapoto, Tumbes, and Piura. The major domestic airlines are Avianca (www.avianca.com; tel. 01/511-8222), LAN (www.latam.com; tel. 01/213-8200 in the U.S., or 01/213-8200), LC Péru (www.lcperu.pe; tel. 01/619-1313), Peruvian Airlines (www.peruvian.pe; tel. 01/716-6000), and Star Perú (www.starperu.com; tel. 01/705-9000).
The airport has a tourist information booth, two 24-hour currency-exchange windows, three banks, ATMs, a post office, and car-rental desks, including Avis (www.avis.com; tel. 01/575-1637, ext. 4155), Budget (www.budget.com; tel. 01/575-1674), Hertz (www.hertzperu.com.pe; tel. 01/575-1390), National Car Rental (www.nationalcar.com.pe; tel. 01/578-7878), and Thrifty (www.thriftyperu.com; tel. 01/484-0749). The tourist information booth can help with hotel reservations. The arrival and departure terminals can be very congested, especially when a number of international flights arrive at once, and early in the morning when many flights depart Lima for Cusco. Be very mindful of your luggage and other belongings at all times. To get through large groups of travelers and relatives all hovering about, you might need to forget about being polite and simply push your way through the crowd.
Remember to reconfirm your flight at least 48 hours in advance and arrive at the airport with ample time before your flight. Flights are frequently overbooked, and passengers who have not reconfirmed their flights or who arrive later than (usually) 45 minutes before scheduled departure risk being bumped from the flight. Flights to Cusco are especially popular; make your reservations as far in advance as possible. Also check to be sure that you will have enough time to make your connecting flight if coming from overseas.
To get from the airport to Lima—either downtown or to suburbs such as Miraflores, San Isidro, and Barranco (the sites of most tourist hotels)—you can take a taxi or private bus. When you exit with your luggage, you will immediately be besieged with taxi offers; the ones nearest the door are invariably the most expensive. Taxi companies (who have plenty of representatives hawking their services) are inside the security area at the international and domestic arrivals terminal, though Taxi Green is the most reliable. They charge S/50–S/55 to Miraflores (about 30 min. to 1 hr. from the airport) and S/40–S/45 to downtown Lima (Lima Centro)—though they’ll almost certainly begin by asking for more. Tip: You get 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi on your smartphone at the airport, which is just enough time to order an Uber (www.uber.com), whose cars are always waiting outside, tend to be cheaper, and are GPS-enabled (this helps in a traffic jam).
Private limousine taxis (taxis ejecutivos or remises) also have desks in the airport; their fares are about $65 one-way. One to try is MitsuTaxi (tel. 01/261-7788).
By Bus —Lima is connected by bus to neighboring countries and all major cities in Peru. No central bus terminal exists, however; the multitude of bus companies serving various regions of the country all have terminals in Lima, making bus arrivals and departures exceedingly confusing for most travelers. Some terminals are located downtown, although many other companies have their bases in the suburbs, especially along Av. Javier Prado in San Borja. Most bus terminals have nasty reputations for thievery and general unpleasantness; your best bet is to grab your things and hop into a cab pronto. Of the dozens of bus companies servicing the capital and points around the country, the largest with frequent service in and out of Lima are Ormeño, at Av. Javier Prado Este 1059, San Isidro (www.grupo-ormeno.com.pe; tel. 01/472-5000); Cruz del Sur, Av. Javier Prado Este 1101, La Victoria (www.cruzdelsur.com.pe; tel. 01/311-5050); Excluciva, Av. Javier Prado Este 1155, La Victoria (www.civa.com.pe; tel. 01/418-1111); and Oltursa, Av. Aramburú 1160, San Isidro (www.oltursa.com.pe; tel. 01/708-5000).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.